Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Namibia 2017 Part 17. Etosha N.P. Accommodation, my prize goes to.......!

Having left the NP early we headed down towards our new accommodation booking, Emanya@Etosha booked as with most of the others through They'd been a bit sneaky compared to other places and taken a large deposit which they are entitled to do under the terms and conditions but they also have to refund it if you cancel before an agreed date. My original booking had been reduced from 7 to 3 days but I told them to keep the deposit as it was. The £ was falling so it saved me 10% of the price. Compared to other places in the vicinity it was really inexpensive so the thought is there must be a catch, it can't be very nice. All the Trip Advisor reports of late had suggested it was awful. Oh dear!
It's 20 kms down the tar road from the park gates but it's a dead straight road and you can travel at speed to get to the gated entrance. There you have to open and close the unmanned gate and drive a kilometre or so to the lodge itself. There you find another unmanned gate you have to open and close yourself. To me it's no big deal but to others on TA they thought it was dreadful. 
We walked from the parking area to the reception office which happened to be unmanned so we carried on through to the restaurant bar area were we found some staff members. 
The lady on reception was most apologetic and wasn't in the least bit miserable as described on TA either.
She was lovely and gave us a guided tour of the facilities.
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Can you see behind the bar at the far end there is a huge photograph of Etosha Pan made up of lots of individual posters
Some had complained that the place was falling to pieces, and desperate for some upgrading. 
A few corners were lifting as a result of the heat. Hardly impacting on your pleasure !
Likewise, a couple of panes of glass in the building had cracks in them. I would imagine it's difficult to source replacements and it certainly wasn't something to be concerned about.
The rooms, 24 of them I think, were in blocks of three, built around an enclosed garden area.
Inside the were nicely appointed.
Spotlessly clean with lots of storage area and plenty of electric sockets too.
The bathroom was huge too, my only comment was the shower floor could get slippy with shampoo.
Ok, they don't have a fridge in the room but they do have coffee making gear. Bar prices are slightly larger than standard at 36NR I think for a large beer but it was the best we had served during our trip.
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Every one served in a newly frosted glass. Perfect!
Meals too were slightly above the norm at 290NR pp but for a sumptuous 5 course dinner. 
Well worth it and a special dining experience too. The staff were friendly, polite, professional, attentive. Just who writes those TA reports?
While we were having dinner someone turns the bed down in your room, lights a couple of candles and places a bottle of water by your bed. Nice touch.
With dinner included the price for all this was £105 per night for the two of us.
It was a tough call which was the better, here or Etosha Village. Overall Emanya wins on just about everything ( including an excellent wifi signal!) but it is a longer drive to get in to the park. Whereas at the Anderson gate you have a choice to turn off the main road to Okaukuejo almost immediately,  at the east gate it's another 10kms to Namutoni making a 30km drive in total, but that is the same as Etosha Village to Okaukuejo, but faster.
There will always be those who prefer to stay inside the park purely for the camp waterholes and I can understand that preference but otherwise outside is much better in most respects from comfort, facilities, privacy, and of course food. It also can work out a lot cheaper too from what I could see unless you are camping but even then I believe you pay a lot more inside than out.
For us the waterholes in the camps had been a waste of time so my recommendation for the wet season is stay outside. 
To me it's a no brainer.

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