During my recent travels to Namibia's Etosha Park, I decided to treat my parents to a luxury stay at the Emanya Lodge near the Namutoni gate. The place looked absolutely amazing and it could be, if not for the permanent unwanted guests sharing your bed with you at night.
You might wonder why there aren't more reviews about the bed bugs, but they are tiny creatures and most guests won't notice them until they look closely at their pillows and sheets. If you don't notice them, you will sleep uncomfortably thinking that the mosquitoes really disturbed your sleep and you just feel something "walking" on your skin. Once you look closely, you won't sleep again - that feeling is a thousand tiny little living bugs falling down from the thatched roof onto your bed - eek!
After noticing, I woke the owner at midnight asking for a new room. She was clearly aware of the problem, but not apologetic at all. She merely told me, "they don't bite"! OK, that makes me feel better at over N$10000 spent at Emanya lodge for a luxury 2-night stay. She gave me a new room, but never walked with me to check that it was ok. The new room had exactly the same problem - all the guest rooms do. Neither me or my parents slept that night and it was too late to find alternative accommodation. Worst night ever and left a bad taste in our mouths for the rest of our Nam tour.
Your thoughts? The owner probably refunded us for our terrible stay and apologised? Nope - wrong again. She kept saying the bugs don't bite and charged us the additional N$2600 for dinner for 4 people for 2 nights without so much as an apology. Unbelievable... and just shows that there is no intention to resolve the problem soon.
According to the manager, the bugs live in the thatched roofs due to the grass not being treated properly. The dining hall has the same grass roof and I actually saw these bugs in my tea cup and plates as well. When you find them in your dishes you can dust them off, but no doubt some of them fall into the food containers as well.
I would not go back to Emanya in a million years. It is a shame, because the place is quite beautiful. If you do decide to stay, make sure you inspect your sheets and pillow carefully and demand a refund if you find these creatures lingering around your bed or food. It is not acceptable to charge someone luxury accommodation prices and expect them to be satisfied with crawling friends in their bed.
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