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“Sandwich Harbour Day Tour - just as we hoped”
Review of Turnstone Tours

Turnstone Tours
Ranked #8 of 37 Tours in Swakopmund
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 15 October 2017

Only disappointment was that despite being asked if I had any special dietary requirements when I booked no vegetarian lunch was made. It would have been a nice gesture if I had been given a small refund or a gesture of goodwill.

But, moving on from that this tour with Burger was great. everything we could have hoped for. He was very professional and knowledgeable. Stopped for us to photograph seals, jackals,and ostrich ( he must have seen thousands previously). We were taken to see the flamingos and pelicans. It was a shame that the tour was a little late starting ( I think there was trouble finding a guests place to stay ) so that by the time we got to a huge cormorant roosting deck they had all departed for the day. It was a bit funny just stopping and looking at this empty platform!
Burger really came into his own in the dunes with expert driving and making sure we were the first to drive the dangerous stretch of shore going into Sandwich Tour. This was exhilarating and it was wonderful to see the dunes plummet into the sea. It meant that our small group of 6 people had the Sandwich Harbour dune area to ourselves for a while. It really is all about the journey rather than the arriving on this tour. Burger also did some dune driving - amazing what a land cruiser can do - it was a bit like a rollercoaster ride. Great fun.
I respected the fact that this tour company respects the rules put in place to protect the area. Other companies obviously ignored this and were driving in prohibited areas.
The scenery is stunning. Like anything a bit of sunshine helps.
Do consider the tides when you book and check that it will be likely that you reach the harbour area. The full day tour gives you the greatest chance.

Thank gaildevonshirelass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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in 23 reviews
"full day tour"
in 12 reviews
"sandwich harbour"
in 44 reviews
"dune driving"
in 7 reviews
in 4 reviews
"walvis bay"
in 21 reviews
"day trip"
in 11 reviews
"land rover"
in 6 reviews
"picnic lunch"
in 5 reviews
"sand dunes"
in 10 reviews
"white pelicans"
in 2 reviews
"learned a great deal"
in 2 reviews
"apple pie"
in 2 reviews
"fantastic lunch"
in 2 reviews
"salt works"
in 2 reviews
"huge dunes"
in 2 reviews
"black backed jackal"
in 2 reviews

5 - 9 of 105 reviews

Reviewed 24 September 2017

I went out to Sandwich Harbour with Turnstone Tours. Mike, the driver, was very informative and was a great at getting us through the dunes very safely. He even tried out a new dune on the way back which virtually went straight down. I was in the front seat and it was enthralling. On the way out we set up a little table and chairs for the group on a dune and had lunch with a nice little picnic basket just along with the other vehicle we were travelling with. Unfortunately, we did not get through to the Sandwich Harbour because of the tide and the drivers thought it was not safe. Evidently there is not much at the harbor that we had not seen already. Hey, safety is paramount and everyone on the tour had a great day. Well worth the trip. Cheers Mike!

Thank WCOB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 August 2017 via mobile

Burger organized the tour trying to give you something unforgettable and that is. He explains all animal and insects we saw and all you ask if habits and behavior of people. The tour is appropriate for families. Thank you

Thank Art D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2017

We booked the Sandwich Harbour tour with Turnstone Tours based on their website which says they are conducted by a small team of highly specialised guides led by Turnstone's owner Bruno Nebe. We were also swayed by the good reviews on tripadviser. The tour was not cheap and cost my husband and I over £200.

Much to our disappointment it was not Bruno that arrived to pick us up at the hotel but a freelance guide who had lost his right hand and had been left with a stump. The Land Rover looked totally unsuitable for the terrain (sand dunes), it looked like it had seen better days and did not even have the name Turnstone Tours emblazoned on it.

Soon after starting out, the weather conditions took a turn for the worst and we were driven into a sandstorm, which would have been known about that morning had the tour company made any sort of check. It was so bad that visability was extremely poor and made getting out of the vehicle not pleasant at all. In fact the guide felt that driving on the dunes was unsafe and decided to drive down on the beach instead. Whereby the Land Rover broke down in the sand with the tide coming in. This was very scary as the sea was actually flowing beneath the vehicle and could be seen on the other side nearest to the dunes. We were stuck their for 45minutes whilst the guide unsuccessfully tried to restart the engine. Another Turnstone Tours vehicle arrived and tried to tow us out but the tow rope snapped and the driver asked us to get out in the sandstorm and push. Eventually the guide was able to get the engine started and reverse out of the sand.

We could see that the route ahead to Sandwich Harbour was getting narrower on the beach due to the incoming tide and as we couldn't drive up over the dunes in the continuing sandstorm you would expect the guide to consider our safety and turn the Land Rover around. The guide however did not think the conditions were bad enough to stop the journey even though the Land Rover had already broken down once and he was now scared to turn the engine off in case it wouldn't restart. It was only when we said we were frightened that he turned the vehicle around. Unbelievable!!

We guess that to prevent us being able to claim back our money he felt he needed to prolong the tour and took us to Pelican Point to see the seals which was not part of the tour we had paid for. Then he drove us back to Walvis Bay for the picnic that should have "taken place in the middle of nowhere with spectacular views to boot!" Our guide thought a good place would be in a residential area on a grass verge next to a busy road. To make things worse he chose to lay out the picnic where sprinklers were spraying sewage water onto the grass. The smell was awful.

We were eventually returned to our hotel at around 3pm, much earlier then the tour should have finished.

We immediately complained to Expert Africa who said they would take the matter up with Bruno at Turnstone Tours. Considering that we had paid a lot of money for a tour which should have been a feast for the eyes and an amazing experience, we did not feel that the tour we had and the fact that we were very frightened by the Land Rover braking down in a sandstorm with an incoming tide was worth £206 and we demanded a full refund.

Turnstone Tours went to extraordinary lengths to defend themselves, refusing to acknowledge that we were scared, or that the extreme weather conditions made the tour very disappointing. In fact they refused to refund any of the money. Our fantastic travel agent Expert Africa stepped in and said that they would refund us in full as they didn't like it when their customers were not happy.

Turnstone Tours should have cancelled the tour that morning and offered us a refund or an afternoon tour but allowed it to go ahead in order to keep our money. They don't appear to care whether the weather conditions are appropriate for the tour to take place or whether you enjoy the tour or not. They just want your money. Be warned!!

3  Thank r0z13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 July 2017

I was having alit difficulty walking on the dunes; he took my on a special drive to meet the group. Showed me how to safely get down the sand dune and made my overall experience lots of fun. I finally felt included in a group. He and his brother were a delight. I got to see the pink flamingos and pelicans galore. He was knowledgeable and explained about salt flats in the area.

Thank Catherine18881
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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