I ended up here by accident late at night. In fact I ended up here after a car accident. And after having to pay a bribe to drunken Policemen. So needless to say I was having a very bad day and I asked for some sort of cheap room or reduced rate as I was late, had been in a car accident and the chalets were above my budget. I didn’t receive any sympathy or help. In fact I had 2 ladies making faces at me like I was wasting their time. I was told they only had a chalet left and the options were yes or no. When I asked about food – I had another look like ‘how dare you speak to us’. Trying my chances I asked if they had a bar. “Yes – it closes very soon”. OK.
Wow. I am having a bad day at the reception staff were absolutely charmless.
I pulled my car around to my chalet and I have to say it looked ok. There was an outside screen door to keep the zillions of bugs out. Well most of them. The chalet was open plan except for the bathroom. It looked great. It has an outside porch, large sliding glass doors, a large bed in the middle, 2 mosquito nets and a large ceiling fan. The bed was very plush and I expected at least a good night’s sleep. That’s when I started to notice something not quite right. The bedding was full of insect parts and bits of other debris. To be fair the sheets were laundered, but full of dead bugs and parts of dead bugs. The laundry people were great, but the housekeepers have a lot to answer for.
I then went to have a look at my bathroom. Not bad. All modern and a few rough edges. Nothing out of the ordinary. Except more dead bug parts. And a few live bugs. And the massive spider web covering a third of the wall where the sink and mirror were. Oddly the sink and tubs were clean. Bizarre. I know there are a zillion bugs just outside, but there is no reason for them to be inside. Luckily I had my own can of bug killer – so I did Housekeeping’s job for them.
Because I had arrived late and needed to leave early – I wanted to make sure I enjoyed every last possible facility I could at the hotel.
So I ran to the bar.
Yep, they said they would close soon, but a small tip and a few nice words and I was told they could give me a few extra minutes. I would have just ordered a bunch of drinks anyway. I was told the pool was now closed. Given that this was a poolside bar and the pool looked very physically open to me….I planned to go and change the second I finished my last drink.
I did jump into the dark pool later after a very long, hot sweaty, horrible day. It was freezing and the chlorine content was shocking. But at least it kills the bugs. I can respect that. So all in all I went to bed with a slight buzz from a few drinks and a cold dip in the pool.
And I slept well.
The next morning I made sure I promptly dived back into the super-chlorinated pool and then went for my breakfast. That done I looked through the small (slightly expensive) gift shop and then packed my car. So off I drove as I needed to be elsewhere and was now a day late.
I hope you have a better experience than I did. The place looked ok, but was expensive by local standards for what you get. I did see a few birds outside my back door, but that’s it for wildlife here. The rest you have to drive to see. The reception staff should have all been made to report to the drunken Police I had to deal with in Nata. Their attitude sucked.
The same company offers 5 different accommodations in different locations.
Nata Lodge offers:
• 22 chalets on stilts with an en-suite bathroom, fans and air-conditioning
• 10 Meru tents with wooden decks, en-suite bathroom and outdoor showers
• A camp site with semi-open ablution facilities (M,F, hot water) showers
• A swimming pool with kids slide
• Open air, covered bar next to the pool
• Gift shop
Directions: Nata Lodge, PO Box 10, Nata, Botswana
GPS: 20 13 53.06S, 26 15 90.73E
10 km (6miles) from Nata Village
This was the biggest groan of our entire African trip!
There is not a lot before Nata and Nata was about as far as we were going to be able to drive in one day, so, when we found Nata Lodge (on the internet) we did not hesitate to email them.
Now, Nata Lodge had suffered a fire and was having to be completely rebuilt but, when we contacted them, in about January, they wrote back to assure us they were going to be rebuilt, up and running by the time we arrived in August. They promised us a luxury tent, with breakfast and demanded we pay the full amount in advance in order to secure the booking. They then sent us confirmation of our booking and even ended it with how they looked forward to our arrival!
So, when I received a text, at 11pm, one night at a waterhole in Etosha, Namibia, from a friend who was feeding my cat which said "you have an answer machine message from Nata Lodge - you cannot stay there"... I was rather surprised.
The very next morning I bought a phone card and tried to telephone Nata Lodge but there was NO answer, no answer, still no answer. We were then faced with a real problem. Accommodation after Nata Lodge had been booked and mostly paid for, so we had to stick to our route, but there was no place else anywhere around Nata for us to stay.
Eventually, we resigned ourselves to having to drive further than we wanted to, in completely the wrong direction, out of our way, in order that we could have some place to sleep...but finding and staying at The Planet Boabab in Gweta... I cannot see how Nat Lodge could ever beat the wonderful time we had there!
And, despite phone calls and emails.... we never got our money back from Nata Lodge. Ripped off and cross.
April 7th 2010 - 8 months after we were due to stay, a little shy of a year since we had paid, we finally got our refund. The lady is charge was very friendly, polite, apologetic and hopes to see me sometime in the near future!