on May 15, 2010
The reason we stayed here was the fact that it was 8km just outside one of the gates into Etosha which was what we had come to visit. This was a great location as we were able to drive back in easily for the evening game drive as it was closer to the park than Etosha Safari camp was.The name Mushara comes from the Purple Pod Terminalia tree, which grows around the lodge grounds and the surrounding area. We were very impressed as we arrived at the lodge as it looked lovely. I went to check in and was greeted in a friendly manner by a lady who I guess might be the owner who guided me through to the bar and reception area to be looked after by Victoria. I was offered a welcome drink and then I explained that my husband was waiting in the car so they sent me out to bring him in for his welcome too.We actually had a couple of drinks as it was so cool and refreshing while Victoria showed us the menu for dinner which was served at 8pm and then she explained about the other facilities in the main reception/dining/bar area. This was a lovely open area under a huge thatched roof and had several really cosy looking seating areas and there was also a small library with Namibian information books and a few novels in various languages which you could read. It had a real African feel about this lodge but with an opulent luxury element rather than a village feel.Victoria then took us to our lodge, one of 12 in the resort which were double rooms in a small solid stone/concrete lodge with very high thatched roof. It was a large room decorated in dark browns and muted colours, there were three huge windows but they all had brown curtains and it did seem quite dark in the room both during the day and at night the lighting was mood lighting rather than ‘useful being able to see’ lighting. So although the room was beautiful and tastefully decorated it was quite hard to see to read in the room both during the day and at night too.There were two large single beds pushed together as a double with white sheets and cream and brown cushions and trimming. They look good but were very hard I found and I kept waking up with terrible sciatica which wasn’t good. There was a kettle with tea and coffee making stuff, a fridge with mini bar at the same prices as the main bar, I even had a hair dryer which was a nice change it it was fixed to the wall in front of a mirror with the only decent light in the room which made it very difficult to see as I was looking straight at the light however I made good use out of having a hair dryer for only the second time in Namibia.There was a nice big wardrobe and a safe but you had to get the key from reception so we didn’t bother as we were only there one night. We used the car boot while we were out in the car and having meals and then kept things in the room when we were in the room. There was a good air conditioner which was very effective considering how high the roof was and that the bathroom wall only went up to about ten feet high not to roof height.Once again we did not use the mosquito net as the room was screened and we were also not at all bothered by mosquitoes so those £5 a pop malaria pills we bought were possibly not needed but better to be sure so we will continue taking them for a week after leaving Etosha. Even sitting outside for our dinner neither of us was bothered by mossies but there were some huge moths which kept landing in our drinks and meal!The bathroom was large with a huge shower and lovely powerful shower head, there were two wall fitted dispensers for shampoo and soap in the shower. The toilet was separate and also in quite a large ‘room’ which was nice as it meant that someone could use the toilet while the other person was in the shower. The towels supplied were four large and four small towels in a muted brown sandy colour and they were nice and soft.We made our way over to the main building which was reception, dining area and bar as well as small rooms with tables for eating at and quite a large shop. This was classy and luxurious and such a contrast to the African village style area at Etosha Safari Camp. We had a drink from the bar and went to sit outside looking at the beautiful grounds and lovely swimming pool while tiny squirrels darted around us. There were only 6 guests at the lodge and strangely all of us were English. At the previous places we had stayed the majority of guests were German so it was nice to have a bit of a chat over drinks and dinner with other travellers. Talking to them we discovered that we had been very lucky with all our accommodation as they had had a couple of ‘less than perfect’ places so well done to namibiareservations.com for doing us proud in their selections.All the staff there were delightful, so friendly and service was slick and efficient. Apparently one family started this hotel and gathered together a group of friends who trained together and then they trained others and it is a sort of co-operatively run business. Hence all those who work there have an interest in making it a success. We had dinner included and there was a set menu which was a starter of two butternut squash ravioli in a sauce followed by a chicken dish with couscous and vegetables which was a huge plateful but very tasty and then we finished with a chocolate mousse which I did manage to force down despite not finishing my main course! Everything was very nicely presented and tasted great too. It was nice as we chatted to the other couples and ended up having a drink together after the meal too which was very convivial and made a nice change from eating just by ourselves as we had done for the last 8 days.Breakfast was served from 6am to 9am but we were asked what time we wanted breakfast the night before. It was initially a buffet style for a large plate of several fresh fruits, two different yogurts, cereals, and a plate of about 10 different cheese and another with cold meats, there were also several spreads and then some spiced apples and stewed dried fruit and other chutney looking dishes but I didn’t try them. You were asked how you wanted your eggs and my husband had scrambled and they came with bacon nicely presented with garnish of parsley on the plate.There was one large pool which looked lovely and it was raised in the middle of a huge grassed area with trees giving shade too. There were a couple of thatched areas with seating and huge red cushions for relaxing as well as umbrellas with tables and chairs or sun loungers. Towels were also provided in your room in the wardrobe for pool use if you wanted to go swimming .The pool was just next to the main area of the resort and you could get a drink from the bar and enjoy it round the pool.The price we paid for this accommodation for dinner, bed and breakfast for one night was $2582 Namibian ( $11 Namibian to the £1) we didn’t thought was pretty good value considering again that it was a long way from most places so supplies must be tricky. We liked this place as it was so friendly and they had really made a big effort to make it luxurious and special. My only complaints were the fact that the room was so dark and the bed so hard. You could sit on your patio area to read but not in the evening if mossies were biting and of course it was very hot out there without fan or air conditioning. Other than these small niggle we thought this was a fantastic place to stay and so convenient for Etosha Safari Park too.
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