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Namibia Ngepi Camp Warning

Alberta
Level Contributor
1 post
13 reviews
Namibia Ngepi Camp Warning

Ngepi Camp Namibia Warning

Although Ngepi Camp has a lovely setting and interesting accommodation there are security risks. There are no walls or doors or storage lockers that lock. My sister and I were on a tour with Kiboko. They booked us with our parents [family accommodation we did not request or want] but with no doors on the showers and toilets, this was no going to work for us as adult children. Ngepi staff moved us the first night which was fine as we had paid for double accommodation on the tour. The next day when we were out on a boat ride they packed up our belongings and moved our room without telling us. We returned to find people in our room. The staff did not even have the courtesy of telling us this was going to happen. When the move occurred, my Ipod, charger and adapter went missing. It never turned up so it is assumed stolen. Anyone could have taken it. Anyone could have walked in our room and stolen anything. NO LOCKS AND NO DOORS. The owner was very nice about replacing the Ipod but here is a link to the emails that went back and forth from my mother and him after we got home. We did enjoy Kiboko as a tour and a company. See www.hlkwine.com/blog for the e mail exchange.

Berks UK
Level Contributor
187 posts
9 reviews
1. Re: Namibia Ngepi Camp Warning

Ngepi's email puts his side of the story and if truthfull he has a point ?

You are dealing with Africa here, not Canada !!!..when you book, things get confused in the language change, staff may not be as skilled and well trained as those at the Hyatt etc, but then if you want to go to great out of the way places like Caprivi then maybe you shouldn't expect Hyatt treatment.

Isle of Man, United...
Level Contributor
39,745 posts
445 reviews
2. Re: Namibia Ngepi Camp Warning

I have not time to read the lnks. My taxi is due in the hour BUT

NO NO NO!

There is NO excuse for theft. Some of the poorer countries are so honest it is embarrsing.

"TIA" is simply not good enough and in fact is grossly insulting to the many many honest residents.

There was a thief on Ngepi premises. End of story. Thanks for warning people.

London, United...
Level Contributor
33,469 posts
78 reviews
3. Re: Namibia Ngepi Camp Warning

I'm not condoning theft, but wish to comment -

Knowing there was no security, why were 'valuables' left around?

Surely the valuable items are the contents of the ipod, not the ipod itself. The irreplaceable photos or music. And these would be backed up somewhere else? (Maybe the ipod was being used as a camera backup, but the point is, the contents should be replaceable, so no great loss after all.)

Ipods fail and get lost - surely you have insurance for such an eventuality?

I have stayed at several places with no lock, or even doors. In most cases, I have been warned about theft....from other guests, not from staff.

It seems your version of events is at odds with the camp managers. So you are asking us to believe one of you. No prizes for guessing who I'm leaning towards....

Given that you want to publicise this one element of the trip and do not balance it with any reports of generosity or pleasant experience, I have to say that you need to get over this issue and move on. Lessons learnt. Nuff said.

New Zealand
Level Contributor
2,085 posts
2 reviews
4. Re: Namibia Ngepi Camp Warning

Followed the link Kingston2 but gee.!Dark blue print on dark red background...how do you expect people to read that!??

So I gave up...

Anyway, who leaves valuable ipods, etc in their rooms when going out for the day, especially if you know there are no locks?

The experienced traveller will leave nothing tempting lying around in their rooms, no matter where one is staying.Take it with you, or at least lock it away in your luggage.

You are travelling in a country where the domestic staff are often the poorest of the poor.Don't ever put temptation in front of them.Sometimes it is too hard for some people to resist.

And if you do, then who should share the blame by creating the situation?

Isle of Man, United...
Level Contributor
39,745 posts
445 reviews
5. Re: Namibia Ngepi Camp Warning

Part 2.

I have returned from Namibia and have read the purple prose as linked. I have to say that several of the Lodges/Camps (right across the cost spectrum) that we stayed in did not have locks either. Some had 'safes', some did not. Some chalets locked others did not. Even those that locked were accessed by the cleaning staff in our absence so I fail to see the significance of rooms not being lockable when commonsense dictates that you should protect your belongings. Accordingly, we took care of our possessions such as camera/Binoculars etc., and anyone who did not has only themselves to blame. (This is NOT to condone theft.) I would add that 'moving' the room in guest's absence has no relevance here. The iPod or other valuables could have been removed/lost/mislaid from any or either room. My comprehensive Insurance covers most articles at home and abroad and to travel without such insurance is foolish to a degree. My policy also clearly states that cover is conditional upon using commonsense protection of any valuables. Leaving 'valuables' in an unlocked unoccupied room is NOT commonsense protection.

My insurers also will not meet claims for theft without a police crime number. (This is a natural precaution against possible fraudulent claims.)So no crime report, no claim. There is absolutely no evidence that I can see that points ANY suspicion at Mark or his Staff. On the contrary he asked for a Police investigation to resolve the matter. Sadly the OP could not attend.

On the plus side it is heartening to read that the value of the lost item was no big deal anyway so the girls won't endure many sleepless nights over their loss.

Biel
Level Contributor
1 post
15 reviews
6. Re: Namibia Ngepi Camp Warning

Hello,

We have just been in Ngepi Camp in January 09 and as you told: it has a lovely setting and nice tree houses. I did not really worry about the missing doors.

But we had problems with mice in the room (which is not really a problem). so we told the staff to have a look because we know, that if mice are a few days in the same place, there is going to a snake as well. And because of missing doors the snake could easily be in the bed or whatever while you are sleeping. But they didn't do anything, they didn't even put us in a other room (it was low season we were almost the only guests). The next morning we had a venomous snake in the tree house. There a few more examples from our stay in Ngepi which all showed the same: The owner and the staff are not well educated and they dodn't take any responsibility for their guest. We saw other camps which cut for example the grass around the houses to reduce at least a little bit the risk of snakes.

I would not recommend Ngepi to anybody, which is a pity because the place is nice. But almost the same can be seen in other lodges as well...

Mey

Pickering, United...
Level Contributor
3,298 posts
7. Re: Namibia Ngepi Camp Warning

At the risk of being blunt (I'm from Yorkshire) the crux of the problem here seems to be folks' unwillingness to take responsibility for themselves. You can't expect things to be as they are in your own country (thank goodness or what would be the point of travelling).

If concerned about security and not geting anywhere with the management/facilities take the initiative and don't leave valuables around. Some are small enough to pop in your backpack and not to weigh you down.

If I was worried about mice attracting snakes and the management didn't seem bothered, drag them out to the tree house and compel them to do something or see to it myself if all else failed. Find the nest and ditch it.

And before someone answers - "but that's what the staff/camp are paid for" - that just underlines my point. Paying the money does not remove all personal responsibility.

New Zealand
Level Contributor
2,085 posts
2 reviews
8. Re: Namibia Ngepi Camp Warning

Quite agree with the point of everyone taking resposibility for their own security.And I made the point earlier about taking care of your valuables and not leaving them exposed in the room.

But as for snakes...

Hotel management everywhere need to take all reasonable precautions for their clients safety.

And even I know that in some of these places , where you have mice, you end up with snakes.

The snake/rodent problem is well understood in other countries.For instance in India 2 thirds of the rural rice harvest can be lost to mice.Why?Because the snake population, nature's rodent controllers, have been killed off.

So I can agree with your position.Mice=snakes.There is a natural association.

Hotel management there have to learn to take action.

Get rid off the mice...no snake problem.Simple.

Isle of Man, United...
Level Contributor
39,745 posts
445 reviews
9. Re: Namibia Ngepi Camp Warning

"Get rid off the mice...no snake problem."

Mice have feelings too! A lot of snakes are quite harmless. (Getting rid of the Management works better!)

but yes. It is time tourists shook off their '1st world' complacency and took (some)responsibility for their own stupidity.

Blowing the Alarm whistle at 3am just because there is a Frog in the Bog (sorry, I should say 'loo' but I could not resist the rhythm)is not a security problem.

Pretoria, South...
Level Contributor
1,802 posts
18 reviews
10. Re: Namibia Ngepi Camp Warning

Hi folks,

What an interesting thread we have here! And it certainly seems like we have some exceptionally devious and malicious guests visiting our conutry and making some very inflammatory statements.

And then having the audacity to place such comments on a website blog that has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with their grievances.

Fortunately such guests are few and far between!

But to be fair, they are obviously aggrieved. So would I be if my personal valuables, which I should have looked after personally, disappeared during a room change (which appears to have occurred in order to resolve some sort of conflict anyway). It is very likely that the loss was innocent anyway (theft implies intent)!

However, it appears very easy to shout Thief! Thief! to shift the responsibility. And I can assure you that "theft" in this situation will result in dismissal from a very valuable job. Which is why the lodge and police take a very serious view of any theft accusation.

I have very rarely experienced in Africa that lodge staff will steal something as "value-less" to them as an ipod, and sacrifice a job which feeds a family and can lead to their starvation.

Madame! Your behaviour smacks of sheer unmitigated malice. And you and our family should be ashamed yourselves!