Reviews of Lagoon Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
The best game viewing we had
This was the last of our safari camps on our trip and definitely the most luxurious. Our room was huge, like a house, with a thatched roof and a combination of canvas, stucco, and mesh walls. It had beautiful wooden floors with oriental carpets, a very comfortable king-sized bed and huge dressing area with a safe. The bathroom was enormous with two sinks, a tub and indoor and outdoor showers. There was also a sitting area inside and a deck outside.
The camp is located on the banks of a lagoon extending off the Linyati river. All the rooms and common areas have an expansive view over the lagoon and the grassland between it and the river. We saw large herds of elephants slowly making their way across the water and grass every day and hippos came into the camp at night. (We were warned not to walk around after dark.)
The highlight here was definitely the game viewing. We saw extraordinary game on each of our five game drives. Twice we got to observe a pack of 14 wild dogs. Once they were feeding on an elephant that had died of unknown causes. On other drives we saw leopards, lions and cheetahs and were able to observe them for long periods. One of our cheetah sightings was just after a group of 3 had killed an impala. Our guide, Matt, and tracker, PD, were amazingly good at locating the cats. The guiding staff keep each other informed by radio of sightings and they obviously know the groups of predators that are in the area well. Elephants were everywhere. We haven't been to Chobe, so I can't compare, but the numbers of elephants were impressive. We also had excellent sable antelope sightings.
As birders we were looking forward to seeing the Southern Carmine Bee-eaters that nest in the area. We did see a number of individuals but the nests in the river bank were not occupied (it may have been a bit early in the year). Other nice sightings were Bataleur, Dickenson's Kestrel, Tawny Eagle, African Spoonbill, Malachite Kingfisher, Pearl-spotted Owlet, and a Hadeda Ibis on a nest with two chicks. To be honest, the game was so amazing that we spent little time looking for birds. But the camp itself had some good birding with highlights being abundant Greater Blue-eared Starling and Southern Red-billed Hornbill and resident Scops Owl, Striped Kingfisher, and Bearded Woodpecker.
The camp has options for an afternoon boat cruise and a walking safari. We did get to do the boat trip and it was a nice break from a bumpy safari vehicle. We saw plenty of animals from the river and some nice birds as well. We didn't get the chance to go on a walking safari though and I was a bit disappointed. Guests are combined into groups of 6 and stay with the same guide for their whole time at the camp. So if you are combined with people arriving and leaving at the same time as you it's easier for the staff to fit in all the activities to suit everyone. Since we were combined with groups staying fewer nights I suppose it wasn't so easy to work out. The game viewing was so spectacular that it really wasn't a problem.
Dogs vs. Sables at Lagoon
Our first camp on our first ever safari on our first day in Botswana, we were lucky enough to observe the Lagoon pack in action. The first evening, they were unsuccessful with a warthog though they had recently eaten and their effort was half-hearted. The next day, things were more serious when they surrounded two sable antelope and the fight was on. The sables were able to drive off the dogs, who later came upon an elephant carcass where they would stay for the next three days. That same morning the dogs had driven a large male leopard up a tree for everyone's enjoyment.
We can't say enough about our guide and tracker, Carlos and Aaron. When they received word from Lebala that the Cheetah brothers were headed our way, off we sped to track them. I admit to having my doubts, but after several hours off road with Aaron periodically disappearing in the bush, there they were. My jaw hit the floor of the jeep!
The camp is lovely, the food great, the staff wonderful. We were in the last tent, which meant hippos, elephants and an occasional buffalo were our neighbors.
Lagoon Camp review
An excellent start to our safari. The lodge was in a wonderful setting, friendly staff and good food. But the real highlight was the quality of the tracking and guiding.
The standard of guiding and tracking was exceptional. Within an hour of being in the bush we were amidst a pride of six lions. During our four day stay we also had two wonderful and lengthy wild dog pack encounters and tracked a leopard for over an hour. We also experienced a fantastic hyena pack devouring half a kudu.
Superb location and sumptuous accommodation
This camp is in a fabulous location and the accommodation was the most sumptuous of the three we stayed at. Again the guide and tracker were very helpful and informative.
Without leaving the camp we were able to enjoy elephants crossing the river and even wandering through the site. We very much enjoyed the evening boat cruise and the chance to stretch our legs on a walk.
Lagoon Camp review
Lagoon Camp has a fantastic location on the Kwando channel with elephants crossing back and forth to graze on a regular basis. Once again, like the other Kwando camp, the guiding was excellent and we saw cheetah, leopard, lion and an excellent array of birds.
The rooms were very large and very well-appointed - the camp having been refurbished in the last year or two. Food again was very good (without being outstanding) and the staff were universally excellent. One of the highlights of this stay had to be watching a pair of honey badgers playing around our vehicle on the last morning.
wonderfulRead more about the whole safari
Kwando Lagoon Camp
This is a beautiful camp and very well run. The facilities are excellent and the food was plentiful and well prepared.
The game viewing was outstanding. We followed a leopard on our first game drive and saw a cheetah kill on our second. Our tracker AT and our guide Spencer were very skilled and knowledgeable about the local wildlife. We learned quite a lot from them. I can still hear Spencer's voice calling out the name of the animals that were near, usually long before we even saw them.
Lagoon Camp review
This was the nicest of the three camps, with the best rooms and location. Having a hippo emerge from the water and walk past your bedroom door at 3.30 in the afternoon isn't something that happens every day.
Guide and tracker were both excellent.
Wildlife variety and viewing also excellent.
Fantastic Again for Wild Dogs
This was my second time in Lagoon camp and I loved it every bit as much as my last visit. The highlight of my visit was a confrontation betweeEXn 9 wild dogs, a lioness, and 4 hyenas. Our vehicle passed the wild dog pack and went on to see 6 adult lions: two males and four females eating a large male kudu. There were at least 60 vultures in the trees waiting for the remnants.
The smell of the kill brought the wild dogs towards the kill, and a female lion roared and chased off the dogs, who in turn pursued the 4 hyenas. it was absolutely awesome.
I have to say that Matt was a superb guide and was ably assisted by his tracker Elmo. Matt knows Expert Africa's managing director Chris McIntrye and says that he's a good man. I'll never forget how one of my fellow passengers on this game drive forgot his camera case and Matt managed to find it just as it was getting dark. Matt showed incredible tracking ability.
I saw wild dogs on almost every game drive, when I saw a leopard in a tree. I saw plenty of elephants. I also learned that there are various types of terrain in the Kwando concession. I loved seeing the wild dogs running through the forest. Again the rooms were huge and very comfortable. I appreciated having a porcelain bath tub, as well as an indoor and outdoor shower. The bed was big enough for three people.
The food was excellent and always served in huge portions. I particularly enjoyed dinner one night when were served the local cuisine. The pap and beef were delicious.
Obi and Peter made a very kind and management team. Peter has years of experience managing camps both in Botswana and Tanzania. The test of the staff was also excellent. Yes, I'm sure that I'll visit Kwando camps again.
Lagoon Camp Cheetahs
This was the 1st & only time we were fortunate enough to see the elusive cheetahs. On 1 afternoon drive we had a thrilling time tracking & racing to observe 2 cheetahs as dusk was fading into night. Were able to watch them close-up for an extended time.
We also learned the roaming habits & range of wild dogs determines whether or not you see them. The resident pack of 35 here were on the move elsewhere during our stay, so we were very fortunate to have seen the pack of 5 at Selinda, our previous camp.