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“Do not visit the Himbas there” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Gelbingen Lodge & Safaris

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Gelbingen Lodge & Safaris
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2.5 of 5 Lodge   |   Kamanjab, Namibia   |  
Hotel amenities
Windhoek, Namibia
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Do not visit the Himbas there”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2013

We only went there to visit the Himba village on the farm. The lady who guided us was strange, the walk through the village (a few huts) with only a few explanations. Then the Himbas were asked to show their crafts for shopping. The lady named the Himbas "they are animals, not humans".
Worst experience in this kind, poor Himbas who live there.
The Himbas do not get any money of the NAD 150 pp, the only get food.
In other Himba villages in this area you have interaction with the Himbas (a really proud tribe) and not a walk like through a museum with attached shopping site.
Absolutely disappointing!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
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22 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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13
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
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English first
Brisbane
Top Contributor
123 reviews 123 reviews
110 hotel reviews
Reviews in 92 cities Reviews in 92 cities
121 helpful votes 121 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2013

We stayed here for one night as part of a small group tour. The rooms were rustic and simple but very clean. The food was good and the table setting for dinner was beautiful. Lazing around the pool watching the great bird-life was a delight.

We visited the Himba village and while it was interesting we were a bit unsure about its relationship to the farm and who benefits most. Elizabeth, who guided us through the village, was helpful and friendly at all times during our stay.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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San Diego
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2013

Stayed at this lodge to see the Himba tribe and unfortunately was booked for two nights rather than one. Do not make those arrangements as there is nothing to do but visit the Himba tribe. The woman owner is rude and crazy. She suggested that we visit the Cheetah farm and she would make arrangements. The following day her staff told us to go there at 10:30AM which we did after an hour or so drive, only to find another crazy woman who yelled and screamed at us and told us that no one called and that the woman at the lodge always lies. We went back to the lodge and the owner said she told me the visit was to be at 3:00PM. She never told me that and then said that the misunderstanding was all my fault. Who needs to to be treated like this when you are a paying guest. Worst travel experience of my life!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Parma, Italy
Top Contributor
130 reviews 130 reviews
50 hotel reviews
Reviews in 64 cities Reviews in 64 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

We were quite disappointed to visit this Himba village, just in the backyard of this lowly lodge in the middle of nowhere. The visit was lead by a woman who works in the lodge and who translates our questions to the Himba women. Se was no informative at all and unpleasant. The most surprising thing was when we're asked to pay 150 NAD each for the tour. Nobody inform us about the price and it was totally unfair, as we have already bought some manufactured bracelets, necklaces and other curios form the village women.
Totally a shame, be aware of asking the tour rates before getting in!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013

We stopped there on our tour from Damaraland to Etosha. The host and staff is very nice. We arrived during lunch time and they prepared a nice simple lunch for us for very few dollars. The visit to the Himba was pure and good. May be simple, but felt very honest. The kids had a great time playing with the Himba kids (with some old batteries!?!). Diner and breakfast were very good. Strange is the lack on any electricity point in the room (that's a bummer).

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Calgary, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2013

We stayed one night at the Lodge, on the plus side it has a nice setting and the staff were pleasant. However, this was the only place we stayed in Southern Africa that made our Zimbabwean driver and guide (both black) stay apart from our accommodation, which we found appalling. We also thought the Himba "village" was more fake than real, it is a few huts sitting at the back of the Lodge's property, working on some kind of contract with the Lodge, and to us the brief tour conducted by one of the lodge staff reeked of exploitation.
Brent G

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

We booked this property for mid-January and were specifically interested in the Himba Village Tour they advertized. We were very disappointed...you basically walk to the back of their property and there are a few Himba women and children living in huts...it is not a real village and our "tour guide" was one of the women who works at the lodge. She was not very informative. We took the Himba Village Tour in Opuwo and it was far superior.

The best thing about the Gelbingen Lodge is the food...it was great and very tasty. The worst thing is the rooms...no air conditioning or fans! It was blazing hot when we were there and very difficult to sleep with absolutely no air moving. We knew it would be rustic, but we at least thought they would offer a fan. The property is beautiful (despite being out in the middle of no where). They have done a great job planting flowers and there are a couple of alpaca who wondering around and take care of keeping the grass cut short!

Room Tip: Bring your own fan if you come during the hot season!
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gelbingen Lodge & Safaris

Address: Kamanjab, Namibia
Location: Namibia > Kunene Region > Kamanjab
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 7 Specialty Lodging in Kamanjab
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Gelbingen Lodge & Safaris 2.5*
Number of rooms: 19
Also Known As:
Gelbingen Lodge & Safaris Namibia/Kamanjab

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