Etosha - never again - Page 6





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  1. #101
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    Default Re: Etosha - never again

    The gates use to open with sunrise and close with sunset. Not sure if still like that

  2. #102
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    Default Re: Etosha - never again

    Hi ,

    Sorry to say also, never again, after several years visiting Etosha. The last time some 12 months ago I arrived very friendly at the reception Okaukuojo at around 11h00, very rude lady tells me that my camp site is not ready yet and should "go drive around, come back at 15h00". I parked my vehicle and walked to the camp site and my stand and the camp was almost empty. they still refused entry and I had to come back at 15h00.
    That afternoon the overlanders arrived in their hundreds. very friendly overseas people, but all the ablution blocks were crowded and water running out of the entrance doors. All toilets occupied!!
    Next morning the overlanders left, while busy shaving I watched the cleaner in the mirror trying to clean the "piepie crip" with a rag. He then went to the wash basin and used the same rag......with no soap to clean the basin!! I asked him where is the soap etc on which he only answered "no money for soap" !
    We went to Namutoni. Campsite is a little better, but while walking to the waterhole the wooden slats of the walkway are so old and many missing. My wife, only 65 kg"s .almost tramped through a slat when it broke and she almost got het foot stuck between these wrotten wooden planks....!
    My advice, stay away, too many overlanders at any sighting and then loud. NWR don't want us RSA people there.

  3. #103
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    Default Re: Etosha - never again

    For all the naysayers! The pan is getting water now.
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  4. #104
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    Default Re: Etosha - never again

    It is not that they don't want RSA people there. They are just an exceptionally bloody useless parastatal. Simple solution - do not use them or any of their services.
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  5. #105
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    Default Re: Etosha - never again

    We can totally agree with 'Etosha - never again' - which is so so sad. We have visited this area many times and each and every time everything had deteriorated.
    On arrival at Namutoni our last trip at the main gate by a very rude sour woman we were informed the camp was FULL even for camping so we found a fabulous private lodge outside from there we used to go back into the park daily. The following morning we visited the reception desk at Namutoni where we were informed there was plenty of room available and for camping as well. We dug a little deeper to discover there are/were 2 organisations trying to run Etosha who did NOT work together and were at daggers drawn. Thank heavens we found this lovely private lodge outside!
    At Halali water hole one evening we had a bus coach driver having a LOUD business call on his mobile - eventually my husband asked him to SHUT UP. (there were 3 rhinos people were trying to watch). All the facilities were appalling and no staff were ever around. Thank heavens my husband managed to find a block where he succeeded in getting hot water - by this time of our trip we camped in Halali - all self service.
    All the picnic spots were in utter chaos, dirty and broken - WHAT a disgrace. Nothing appeared to be cared for. Any staff one might see were just sitting around in heaps talking!
    Okaukuejo was the next camp we tried - GHASTLY - the camp site was full of Overlanders and their buses not to mention the entire camp site was under water so camping spaces were very difficult to find - a really unpleasant stay.
    Very sad as Etosha is such a beautiful park with amazing birds and animals but we will not be going again.

    Indeed we won't be going to Namibia again because at one lodge near Fish River Canyon we were robbed - the maid/cleaner had let herself into our room with her own key. After a lot of fuss and promises and delays with head managers asked us to sign a document regarding this serious complaint and we were promised one of the head ares managers would be in touch as soon as possible. We were doing one of our big African trips in vehicle so were were on a bit of a schedule. Not till the end of this trip when my husband contacted the lodge or owners were were reimbursed all our stolen money plus 10%!

    On arrival at Windhoek to collect our vehicle which had spent months in storage at the start of our big trip - the very day of arrival we went to the licensing office and paid the road tax. Then we set off for Swakopmund for some serious "birding". We were suddenly pulled off the road where a huge police presence and road block were and we were accused "illegally importing a vehicle". Our vehicle was up to date and in every way fit for the road but we were escorted back to the customs head quarters where we were fined N$ 4000!!! Frankly we were made to feel like a couple of criminals. The vehicle was in storage a year so had not been out on any roads. Our vehicle has a CA registration - making it easy prey and of course it was round Christmas time. All the vehicle storage places we asked had NEVER heard of this "law" and no we didn't get our birding trip in because of all this delay. The little police traffic warden was aggressive and even learning the vehicle had been stored and not been on the road - would NOT listen. Something to do with our License was bought in Windhoek.

    Sorry Namibia but never again. If you want tourists and their money you should learn to treat them better. You are such a beautiful unusual country but have SO much to learn.

  6. #106
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    Default Re: Etosha - never again

    Quote Originally Posted by BillR View Post
    We can totally agree with 'Etosha - never again' - which is so so sad. We have visited this area many times and each and every time everything had deteriorated.
    On arrival at Namutoni our last trip at the main gate by a very rude sour woman we were informed the camp was FULL even for camping so we found a fabulous private lodge outside from there we used to go back into the park daily. The following morning we visited the reception desk at Namutoni where we were informed there was plenty of room available and for camping as well. We dug a little deeper to discover there are/were 2 organisations trying to run Etosha who did NOT work together and were at daggers drawn. Thank heavens we found this lovely private lodge outside!
    At Halali water hole one evening we had a bus coach driver having a LOUD business call on his mobile - eventually my husband asked him to SHUT UP. (there were 3 rhinos people were trying to watch). All the facilities were appalling and no staff were ever around. Thank heavens my husband managed to find a block where he succeeded in getting hot water - by this time of our trip we camped in Halali - all self service.
    All the picnic spots were in utter chaos, dirty and broken - WHAT a disgrace. Nothing appeared to be cared for. Any staff one might see were just sitting around in heaps talking!
    Okaukuejo was the next camp we tried - GHASTLY - the camp site was full of Overlanders and their buses not to mention the entire camp site was under water so camping spaces were very difficult to find - a really unpleasant stay.
    Very sad as Etosha is such a beautiful park with amazing birds and animals but we will not be going again.

    Indeed we won't be going to Namibia again because at one lodge near Fish River Canyon we were robbed - the maid/cleaner had let herself into our room with her own key. After a lot of fuss and promises and delays with head managers asked us to sign a document regarding this serious complaint and we were promised one of the head ares managers would be in touch as soon as possible. We were doing one of our big African trips in vehicle so were were on a bit of a schedule. Not till the end of this trip when my husband contacted the lodge or owners were were reimbursed all our stolen money plus 10%!

    On arrival at Windhoek to collect our vehicle which had spent months in storage at the start of our big trip - the very day of arrival we went to the licensing office and paid the road tax. Then we set off for Swakopmund for some serious "birding". We were suddenly pulled off the road where a huge police presence and road block were and we were accused "illegally importing a vehicle". Our vehicle was up to date and in every way fit for the road but we were escorted back to the customs head quarters where we were fined N$ 4000!!! Frankly we were made to feel like a couple of criminals. The vehicle was in storage a year so had not been out on any roads. Our vehicle has a CA registration - making it easy prey and of course it was round Christmas time. All the vehicle storage places we asked had NEVER heard of this "law" and no we didn't get our birding trip in because of all this delay. The little police traffic warden was aggressive and even learning the vehicle had been stored and not been on the road - would NOT listen. Something to do with our License was bought in Windhoek.

    Sorry Namibia but never again. If you want tourists and their money you should learn to treat them better. You are such a beautiful unusual country but have SO much to learn.
    Ok so it seems you are pretty pissed off with Namibia right now. Lets look at your trip in general.

    Firstly, the law regarding an SA registered vehicle is that they are allowed in Namibia for a MAXIMUM period of 90 days per year. There are exceptions, such as work permits. If you have a work permit the vehicle can be imported temporarily by paying the import duty required, then when you leave the country your import duties are refunded to you. You are also obliged to have a valid Road Tax permit, which is issued at the port of entry and only valid for a single visit to a maximum of 90 days. If you have a temporary import vehicle that permit needs to be renewed at the Roads Permit office in Windhoek every 3 months.

    With the above in mind i have the following comments:


    • Firstly your SA registered vehicle overstayed its welcome of 90 days per annum.
    • Secondly, your Road Permit had probably expired as you had not renewed it every 90 days.
    • Unfortunate that you were treated like criminals, but you did break the Customs and Excise laws pertaining to a vehicle.
    • The mere fact that you have a CA number plate does not make you easy targets. What it does do is alert the Police or Traffic police that your vehicle is registered outside of Namibia and that they were simply stopping you to ascertain if you are following the laws of the country in respect of foreign vehicles.
    • Unfortunately the excuse that the vehicle storage company had never heard of these laws is a blatant lie. If you offer a service such as this, it would be imperative to understand the laws of Customs and Excise with regards to the storage of foreign registered vehicles, BEFORE taking unsuspecting customers' monies


    With regards to the robbery, these types of incidences happen ALL over the world. It isnt unique to Namibia. Next time keep the cash on you or insist its locked up in a safe. You can consider yourself very fortunate to have got your money back, never mind the 10% extra!!! I bet that wont happen in 99.9% of places in Europe, or America, or....you get my point i hope.

    And finally, Etosha.

    May I comment on your Etosha experience and maybe offer you some advice regards procedures in the park, albeit most of what Im about to comment is just common sense:


    • You said that you asked the woman manning the gate if there was accommodation at Namotuni? May I suggest in future that you inquire at reception what the status of the accommodation is. I would be extremely surprised if the gate keeper had any idea what the ststus of the availability of the accommodation at the camp was.
    • You say there was a bus driver making a noise at the Halali waterhole? I mean really. Is that now ETOSHA's fault? Is it not the bus driver that needs a bit of educating? Cant see how that can be blamed on Etosha to be honest. I have sat at that waterhole during the day and night countless times. Yes there have been noisy people but they get told off straight away. I suggest that next time you do it immediately and not let the incident go on and on until you blow a gasket.
    • Regarding the state of ablutions. Yes, they are shocking at the best of times, and there is no excuse for that. Did you report it to reception? Did you report it to Namibia Wildlife Resorts? Did you get them to send a cleaner?
    • The overlander issue at Okaukuejo is a problem I agree, this we know. Again, did you report the issue to reception? Or to NWR? Im very sure that they are aware of the problems and yes they do turn a blind eye to it. NWR will need to get their act together before they sit with empty chalets and camping sites.
    • The fact that it had rained to cause the flooding of the camp site is unfortunate. The rain is a God send for Etosha, something that should not be taken for granted. Did you approach reception and ask them for an alternate site to camp at?


    Im sorry that your trip was an unpleasant one, and once you have read and responded to my queries above, then only then will you find peace. The fact that you label NAMIBIA a bad place for tourists to visit because you had some legal issues and a couple of bad experiences (some could have been rectified or avoided) is worrying and to be honest it is unfair on the rest of NAMIBIA. I have never been to France, but im sure if i did visit your country my trip would not be 100% perfect.

    Dont stay away from Namibia because of your experiences, and please dont tell others to stay away. Clearly you have been before as you had a vehicle in storage, but yet you choose to come on to a public forum and bad mouth a country that does have its faults, like every other one does. Lets try look at the bigger picture please.

    Namibia is great. Simple.
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  8. #107
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    Default Re: Etosha - never again

    Quote Originally Posted by Caracal View Post
    I have never been to France, but im sure if i did visit your country my trip would not be 100% perfect.
    100%. What ever you do, dont speak English. They also urinate a lot in the streets.
    Estee = S T = Sean Towlson

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  9. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by Estee View Post
    100%. What ever you do, dont speak English. They also urinate a lot in the streets.
    I know. Heard horror stories.
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  10. #109
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    Default Re: Etosha - never again

    Thank you and well said Caracal!

    Camps in Etosha is what it is and it is everyone's choice whether you visit and where stay. But it is great and iconic park.

    But Namibia in general is great! We were treated with friendliness by every single traffic official and at every roadblock we encountered in December (we happened to have passed the same roadblock before Swakop as BillR at least 6 times during our 4 day stay with an SA registered vehicle) , friendly and helpful staff at almost all the places we stayed, clean towns and roads, and I can go on and on.
    Last edited by lekhubu943; 2020/01/28 at 04:16 PM.
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  12. #110
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    Default Re: Etosha - never again

    Quote Originally Posted by Caracal View Post
    ................Lets try look at the bigger picture please.

    Namibia is great. Simple.
    That's the problem with perceptions. You might not like what others have to say, but that is what they experienced, and return visits are based on these experiences. Trying to tell them they did not experience something like they should, will not help matters. I'm like that as well.

    If I have a negative experience with some establishment, I will not go back, irrespective if 99% of others found it fabulous. That is unless that is holds something special for you which cannot be experienced elsewhere.

    There is no doubt that there is a problem with service levels in Namibia, and that they have become worse in the last decade or so. Africa needs to wake up and lose their attitude problems, at least a big percentage. It's fine hooking first time visitors. It's more difficult to convince them to come again. Luckily there are still enough first time visitors to fill bookings.

    Etosha has also lost me as an overnight visitor - unlike with many others, to me it's not special enough to brave bad service and accommodation. But then the solitude of wild camping somewhere in the remote desert to me is better than sitting in a noisy and dirty campsite, trying to get a glimpse of some wildlife at a waterhole.


  13. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeml View Post
    That's the problem with perceptions. You might not like what others have to say, but that is what they experienced, and return visits are based on these experiences. Trying to tell them they did not experience something like they should, will not help matters. I'm like that as well.

    If I have a negative experience with some establishment, I will not go back, irrespective if 99% of others found it fabulous. That is unless that is holds something special for you which cannot be experienced elsewhere.

    There is no doubt that there is a problem with service levels in Namibia, and that they have become worse in the last decade or so. Africa needs to wake up and lose their attitude problems, at least a big percentage. It's fine hooking first time visitors. It's more difficult to convince them to come again. Luckily there are still enough first time visitors to fill bookings.

    Etosha has also lost me as an overnight visitor - unlike with many others, to me it's not special enough to brave bad service and accommodation. But then the solitude of wild camping somewhere in the remote desert to me is better than sitting in a noisy and dirty campsite, trying to get a glimpse of some wildlife at a waterhole.
    I agree 100%. I have no objection to what the OP said, but i do have a right to reply and disagree. My reply to their post was the bigger picture, that being Namibia.

    The question is would you label the WHOLE country as rotten if its just one specific attraction that is a bad experience?

    I was once in 3 hour queue in December for the cable car up to Table mountain. I got to 6 people before boarding and the whole system shut down due to a breakdown. Man was I pissed!!! But I didnt go straight on to social media and lambaste Cape Town as a sh*thole. Get my point here?


    Each to their own hey.
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  14. #112
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    Default Re: Etosha - never again

    Quote Originally Posted by Caracal View Post
    ...................Each to their own hey.
    Yip


  15. #113
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    Default Re: Etosha - never again

    Quote Originally Posted by Caracal View Post
    Ok so it seems you are pretty pissed off with Namibia right now. Lets look at your trip in general.....
    Well said, Caracal!
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  16. #114
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    Default Re: Etosha - never again

    Quote Originally Posted by BillR View Post

    Indeed we won't be going to Namibia again because at one lodge near Fish River Canyon we were robbed - the maid/cleaner had let herself into our room with her own key. After a lot of fuss and promises and delays with head managers asked us to sign a document regarding this serious complaint and we were promised one of the head ares managers would be in touch as soon as possible. We were doing one of our big African trips in vehicle so were were on a bit of a schedule. Not till the end of this trip when my husband contacted the lodge or owners were were reimbursed all our stolen money plus 10%!


    Sorry Namibia but never again. If you want tourists and their money you should learn to treat them better. You are such a beautiful unusual country but have SO much to learn.
    Dear BillR

    I have been to many places in the world and once I was the victim of a robbery. Not in Windhoek, or Luanda or Dar es Salaam or Hanoi or Istanbul, but in Paris, France. Do I go around and tell people on public forums not to go to Paris? Obviously not, I am not stupid, I know you get criminals everywhere, even in civilised Europe.

  17. #115
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    Default Re: Etosha - never again

    I spent a few hours on a boat with an Australian tourist to try and get him into a Tigerfish.
    Completely the the wrong season, but he trawled up a little dog and got his photo.

    Great guy, his wife was just as nice, and that evening during dinner their chalet gets broken into, they steal the cameras and toiletries, including prescription medication that forced them to cut short their trip close to the start and head home.

    At a guess they're not people that would visit Paris, but for sure never Namibia again.
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  18. #116
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    Default Re: Etosha - never again

    Quote Originally Posted by DustGypsy View Post
    I spent a few hours on a boat with an Australian tourist to try and get him into a Tigerfish.
    Completely the the wrong season, but he trawled up a little dog and got his photo.

    Great guy, his wife was just as nice, and that evening during dinner their chalet gets broken into, they steal the cameras and toiletries, including prescription medication that forced them to cut short their trip close to the start and head home.

    At a guess they're not people that would visit Paris, but for sure never Namibia again.
    I can imagine their pain and anger. This is why i tell everyone that wants to visit Namibia, watch out for petty crimes, crimes of opportunity and crimes on soft targets, such as theft from a vehicle and theft out your chalet. These kinds of crimes against tourists are on the up unfortunately.

    As stated before, I lived in Windhoek for 3 years and had 3 crime incidents. One was a break in at my townhouse, the other 2 were car jamming incidents. they were after electronic goods that they can move fast.

    If you are planning a trip to Namibia, be vigilant. If you follow a few simple rules you should come through your holiday with fantastic memories and avoid the heartache of your possessions being stolen or your property being damaged.

    Just make sure you do the following:


    • Always lock your valuables away, be it in your chalet, when camping or in your vehicle
    • Make sure that your valuables are out of sight of prying eyes, specifically in your vehicle
    • Check that your car is locked by testing the handle after you have locked it with the remote. Vehicle jamming is all over Namibia unfortunately.
    • Do not park in secluded or unlit places. Park where there are other cars. Dont go to secluded places on your own if you can help it. Try go with a group.
    • Do NOT accept help from strangers, specifically at airports or known tourist spots.
    • Use the resorts lockable safes at all times. If there is not a safe in your room/chalet/tent then ask that reception lock you camera/cash etc away.
    • Make sure that when you arrive in Namibia that your add the emergency numbers to your phone. I dont have them on hand, but will see if I can add them here later.
    • Be vigilant at all times, even when sitting in a remote spot at night around a fire. Just be aware of your surroundings. If you think you see something suspicious then act on it. If it doesnt feel right, then act on it, or report it.


    Im sure there are others that can be added to the list.
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  19. #117
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    Default Re: Etosha - never again

    The tips above are probably applicable to most of this country as well!

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    Default Re: Etosha - never again

    Another "European" writes in support of Caracal etc.,
    We have lost cash from our luggage twice. Once in Uganda and once in Kenya. I still visit both countries. Both instances happened on our first evening in country and were our fault for letting our guard down whilst still not fully wired or alert.
    I have been lucky not to have suffered loss in Europe apart having tools pinched from my garden shed and an attempted pickpocket in Rome which I prevented by breaking the ba$tard$ fingers before scarpering when his minder headed in with a knife.
    It is up to all of us to be alert and not forget to pack our brains along with the rest of our luggage.
    I also abide by the laws of the country. I take my car to Europe regularly and I am aware that each country has different rules such as dipped headlights, Tax discs or Vignettes for Motorway/Autobahns etc., so I comply. I also smile and act friendly when pulled over. So far I have escaped with a wagged finger for minor infringements but mostly the stops are mere curiosity as to my GBM Reg being so far from home.
    My only near miss was in RSA when returning from Kruger I got a flat and could not fathom how the tyre release under the Hi luxe worked. So I flagged down a similar truck and out jumped six strapping lads who promptly just lifted the Hi luxe, swapped wheels and set me on my way. I was shocked when my JNB renter almost fainted when I related the story. Evidently I had run some sort of risk due to the skin colour of my good samaritans. Who knew? Eh?
    Two flats in Namibia on other occasions resulted in similar unasked for help from locals. One was from NWR Security in Halali who actually knocked on my chalet door to tell me of the flat and then promptly set too and changed the wheel for me.
    So I will continue to visit Etosha and Namibia while I still can and let the whingers have their whinge at home.
    Nowhere is perfect and there is good everywhere too.
    Albert

    Progress might have been alright once, but it has gone on too long.

  21. #119
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    Default Re: Etosha - never again

    I can't fathom why BillR, having been on this site for a number of years has only posted once previously before giving the detailed criticism of Etosha . Maybe I'm missing them but not a single post sharing anything positive over the years. Very strange. If we all treated online forums as being only fit for criticism and negative experiences the world would indeed appear to be a very dark and dangerous place .

  22. #120
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    Default Re: Etosha - never again

    I can..
    IF they are never coming back to Namibia ever what is he going to do with his vehicle?
    Give it away, store it or get over his strop at being caught out and go off and find life is not so bad after all?
    Albert

    Progress might have been alright once, but it has gone on too long.

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