Namibia is a beautiful country and without a doubt you will be impressed by the landscapes, but I would have preferred a different tour operator. I just did two tours with Intrepid, but a friend who did Cape Town to Windhoek advised this itinerary. I booked the reverse (Windhoek to Cape Town) - oops!
My driver and guide were in the final stretch of a two-month tour starting in Nairobi. They were polite and made sure we got where we needed to be, but both were exhausted and the guide especially seemed eager for the tour to be over. It was my first day and I felt the tour was being phoned in. The guide was most happy and social the last day, dancing around, being funny but he kept saying “it’s our last night”. There were other nice people on tour and locals were the ones to keep the energy and enthusiasm.
I think Acacia should be cognizant of over-working their staff. They even put the driver and guide up in a dorm room in Cape Town with other backpackers. That’s no way to rest! My Intrepid guide also stated that he had worked for Acacia for 6 years and refused his request for a raise (so he left). Also, I can imagine the staff was a bit unenthused to only have 5 passengers (so only 5 tips and 5 opportunities for commissions).
My whole group thinks Acacia was a bit thoughtless in their campsites near the dunes in Sossusvlei region. One is an hour north, one is an hour south, presumably so both north- and southbound tours can wake up early to get to dunes. Only thing is that you’re done by noon, and then they dump you at a campsite in middle of desert. Neither have visible staff, no entertainment, and only sell basic drinks from a fridge if you summon them with a bell. Now, if we had driven 4 more hours (which we had time to do), we would have made it to an actual town. Instead, we sat in the middle of the desert until the sun finally set and relieved the heat 8 hours later.
Speaking of Sossuvlei, I paid $20USD for an adventure pass for a guided nature walk in Deadvlei. This never happened?!?!
If I did it again, I’d go with Intrepid. The sites will be the same. The guide for that sat in back whole time giving info, and they kept the window open to communicate with driver. The Acacia guide was in the front 90% of time, and they kept window closed (“to avoid wind”)... I don’t care if a guide needs rest, but they were taking rest during “group time” and weren’t providing info. The driver did an excellent job, though.
I still enjoyed my trip. It seems I enjoyed it in spite of Acacia, not because of it though.