Booking our African Safari with Imagine Africa started out wonderfully. Matt was responsive and seemed knowledgeable. However, once he had our $ he turned things over to Suzi, an assistant who, while also nice, was not nearly as knowledgeable. As the trip progressed we discovered that we had made an error in trusting their judgment and advice:
1) having been told to "bring layers" because African can be cold at night we were not prepared to be lodged exclusively in places (eg Desert Rhino Camp; Kulala Desert Lodge) with absolutely no heat or insulation where the indoor temperature was often literally freezing (32F): the water in our glass froze overnight. Hot water bottles in beds was great but getting out of them, eating in unheated spaces, etc., was not. Because the daytime temperature remained in the 50's most days, we never warmed up. Appropriate forewarning would have resulted in our opting for other lodging.
2) After 5 days of freezing (no camp had heat of any kind), we requested a change of hotel from Imagine Africa for our last night in Windhoek (from the freezing hotel we had stayed on our first night in Namibia) to a hotel with central heating. Although we requested this nearly a week ahead of time we were told that we could have to pay for a 2nd reservation--that no credit would be given for the canceled hotel. This despite the fact that the only reason we changed the reservation was because the hotel was too cold. We were told, in essence "too bad, we already paid". So having shelled out over $18,000 for a 9 day trip the agent couldn't manage to absorb a $218 charge. Unacceptable.
3) Prior to leaving the States I phoned the agent twice to inquire about whether it would be possible for me to run at any of the camps, indicating that I wanted to bring my running clothes if it were. I was told that they would check and get back to me. They "checked" and told me that it was not safe to run at any the camps because of the animals. Seemed reasonable so I left my running stuff home. However when I arrived I discovered that at only one of the 4 camps we visited (Hoanib--not Kulala Desert Lodge, Desert Rhino, or Serra Cafema) was this an issue. Clearly they did not check with the camps directly. Since I had made two attempts to check this out, this seems like a real failure to follow through on their part.
4) Finally, the camps themselves were not adequately described to us. Some (Hoanib & Serra Cafema) were great (Hoanib) and good (Serra Cafema). Kulala desert Lodge was awful--from food to organization. Desert Rhino had the loveliest people ever but the camp is really not set up for comfortable living in winter and we should have been so informed. We came away feeling ripped off and not well cared for.
Overall the take away is: Don't trust Imagine Africa to follow through or respond to your needs. Poor customer service and much disappointment on our end.