Reviews of Lagoon Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Cats & Dogs
A return visit to lagoon at first was a little disappointing as the camp is now very aged (it is being closed and completely revamped from the end of November, due to re-open in March 2011, and in need of a revamp).
The staff are what make this camp being friendly and very focused on providing their guests with the best opportunity of seeing the wildlife treats.
We were very fortunate to see the Wild Dogs who had gone after the first sighting and we spent three days with the 3 cheetah brothers which was great viewing. This is a real bush camp and my only hope is that the new camp keeps the true feel of wild Africa.
Lagoon Camp review
We had a very enjoyable stay at Lagoon. Staff, service and food were very good. Our guide and tracker were very knowledgable and great fun and always did their best to find what we particularly wanted to see.
The highlights were the game drives when we were on our own, on one of which we spent quite a long time watching the cheetahs and on the other the wild dog puppies.
We were rather disappointed to miss out on the boat trip due to a problem with its starter motor as this was one of the reasons for choosing Lagoon. But we still had a great time.
Lagoon Camp review
The grading was between exc. and good. I like self-service, e.g. of drinks, but this was probably a bit difficult to organise, so not done.
Liked the chalet, the guides were superb, esp Carlos and Bidi - the tracking skills of the latter were amazing to experience - 2 hrs of arduous tracking and we find wild dog pups and the adults, and witness an altercation between the dogs and a hyena. thrilling! Bidi knew and had told us that they were being followed by a hyena, and that they had stopped to attack it on the way. Fascinating.
Service slightly 'obvious' but really friendly and helpful. I am never quite sure why we need to be told to come up ladies first and men later, to the buffet counter - what it means is that the ladies have nearly finished eating before their male friends have started. If given free rein I think people would go up in groups and could eat together better. They made a charming effort to entertain us with singing.
I shall remember the guides most, and the wild dog and cheetah (even a leopard).
Lagoon Camp review
Excellent atmosphere, energetic staff.
Outstanding guide and tracker (Marcos and Beedee).
Expert Africa comments
After sending us the above comments, this traveller subsequently kindly droped a note to the camp, which commented:
'Lagoon was one of five camps on our itinerary – and certainly one of the most memorable for all of us. This was chiefly on account of our guide, Carlos, and tracker, BeeDee (?). They were a great team and together they taught us so much about the bush/savannah and its inhabitants. Their ultimately successful (against the odds, we were thinking!) tracking of a family of wild dogs with pups after abandoning their den was a triumph of skill and perseverance. Carlos was knowledgeable and interesting on so many subjects, and BeeDee, very bright and intuitive, was more impressive than most guides we met on the safari.
The camp staff were very attentive; they worked (and sang!) hard to create a friendly, memorable atmosphere.
Many thanks for a very special three days!'
What a fantastic experience this proved to be - including the river trip/border crossing to get there.
Tent was very comfortable with fabulous riverside location. Staff very attentive and knowledgeable in camp and tracker and guide both excellent and very enthusiastic.
All game drives were great and extended day trip spent successfyully tracking cheetahs ended with camp manager driving our lunch out to us. The camp principle of tracking predators meant we witnessed two kills which was a brilliant experience in terms of seeing nature as it is. We also appreciated the limit of six people per vehicle and the staff's willingness to ensure everyone had a good time.
Already planning to return sometime.
Lagoon Camp review
A fantastic experience in a real bush camp with a good and enthusiastic team. We were glad with our experienced guide (Bali) and his tracker (Raps). They were both so determined to follow the fresh tracks of a cheetah, that we almost lost our tracker! One of the highlights was a pack of wild dogs with puppies.
The camp is comfortable, tents are beautifully set and staff is most friendly. A wonderful stay, we won't forget!
Lagoon Camp review
Fantastic location, guides and staff.
We enjoyed exhilarating chases following the wild dogs resulting a wart hog kill. We really loved every minute here.
30 year ambition realized
Again, a very friendly camp, beautifully situated by the Kwando River. The food & accommodation were satisfactory & the guiding excellent.
For 30+ years my wife had nurtured an ambition to see wild dogs & within an hour of setting out with Vundi & Lester on our first drive we found ourselves at the nearby den site, surrounded by 15 relaxing adults. The pups were hidden in the den, but the following evening we arrived early & found all six romping around with the adults, closely watched by the alpha female to ensure they came to no harm. Later that evening the whole pack set off on a hunt across the open plain. We managed to keep up until they entered thick bush & we lost contact.
On our last evening we spotted a leopard descending a tree while driving to the den, & were later radioed that the dogs were away from the den & had also come across the leopard. It had been found up a tree & we arrived in time to see the last two dogs wandering off & a very disgruntled leopard scowling down from the topmost branches.
There was a hyena den in the area as well & we enjoyed great views of the cubs there, frolicking with their 'minder' - a young male who had been left to oversee the cubs & den while the rest of the clan were off hunting.
Vundi & Lester were excellent at finding & following animal tracks along the road. In this way we found a huge male lion & sat about 5 yards away from him until he tired of our company. Also two lionesses after a 30 minute search & a lone male cheetah who had mislaid his two brothers , climbing every termite mound & calling pitifully.
There was plenty more common game in the area, plus two separate large herds of buffalo, ground hornbill, ostrich & four magnificent Kudu bulls. We had coffee & sun downers in some really beautiful settings.
There was one really serious complaint about the camp which Kwando need to address. A fellow guest & myself mentioned that we would like to do an hours fishing during siesta time from the camp deck. Unfortunately the tackle provided was totally inadequate - fishing rods, tiny reels & thick wiry line which sprang off the spool in tangled coils, making it impossible to cast spinners more than a few yards. We gave up in disgust after 15 minutes, but later a member of the camp staff took over the rods & baited the spinners with raw meat & cats out using a ut & bolt for weight. He soon hooked a large (20lb) catfish which he dragged in & attempted to lift dead weight on to the decking, the hooks tore out & the fish fell back in to the water.
Soon after a managed to land a nice talapia & went off to the kitchen with , leaving a second baited rod propped up against the deckrail. Minutes later the rod bent double & before we could reach it, hurtled over the rail like a javelin & was last seen heading across the river towards Namibia, before it eventually sank from view.
Leaving baited tackle unattended is both stupid & irresponsible. The hooked fish will probably become tethered to a snag & die of exhaustion or starvation, but there is also 50-100 yards of wiry line, which doesn't rot, lying in the river. When the water levels drop this could easily ensnare any bird or animal which comes into contact with it causing suffering & probable death.
There are obviously large fish to be caught here, but if Kwando wishes to advertise fishing as one of the activities available, they should consult an experienced angler who could recommend the purchase of suitable tackle & advise on some common sense ethical rules. At Duma Tau, our next camp the tackle provided was of excellent quality & they operated a 'catch & release' policy - all very well organised.
Another superb Kwando Safari's Camp
This matched the allround excellence of Kwara Camp.
The guide and tracker worked hard to deliver one of the highlights of the trip....a pack of wild dogs with a kill.
Add to this a herd of 50 elephants and we were in heaven!
Lagoon Camp Experience
Overall Lagoon Camp was good. There was a slight mismatch at the camp as there were 6 French photographers who had booked 2 vehicles (just 3 in each) leaving us with 6 in the only other remaining vehicle (it's a good job there were only 6 guests outside the French party). When we enquired about a boat trip we were told that all our group of 6 had to agree to going on it due to staff availability. The camp needs at least one more vehicle and another driver/boatman.
We knew the manager from Lebala last year and although he sympathised with us he couldn't do anything and as a result we didn't get as much birding in as was expected (but we did get a Wild Dog overload - there's only so many photos you can take!!). By the way there were only 2 guests in the camp the day we moved to Lebala (bad timing I suppose on our part).
The location was excellent and you couldn't fault the food. Our Driver/Guide and tracker were Alison and BD who did find us some birds to photograph.
The tents are beginning to show a bit of wear and tear but are quite acceptable. The nightly visit of the Hippo was an experience.