Reviews of Lagoon Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Kwando Lagoon - home of the wild dogs
After leaving Muchenje Safari Lodge we've had a scenic flight to Lagoon Camp located at the Kwando river.
We stayed for 3 nights at Lagoon Camp and enjoyed it very much!
The lodge is located at a lagoon and you can hear (and sometimes also see) elephants and hippos close by. The tented rooms are more than spacious with a large living-sleeping room and a bathroom with a bath tub facing to the lagoon - amazing. All people are very friendly and helpful and they create delicious meals. They offer game drives in the morning and afternoon and also a boat cruise an the Kwando river
Joe (a bushman!) and his tracker A.T. were a fantastic team to guide us. Because Lagoon is a private concession the drivers are allowed to drive off road and also at night. This is a big advantage in comparison to the National Parks where vehicles have to stay on the road and have to be back at the lodge/outside the park at sunset.
We've chosen this camp because we hoped to see wild dogs .... and we did!!! At the time of our visit the Lagoon pack consisted of 18 adult animals and 10 puppies (about 5 weeks old!). The den was just a 10 minutes drive away from the camp so it was easy to visit them (and we did it every day!!!). We saw them sleeping, suckling the puppies, playing, doing their famous ritual greetings, preparing for the hunt and also joined them hunting - an unforgettable adventure: we followed the dogs through the bush overriding bushes, logs and even small trees with the indestructible URI vehicle and joined them chasing a herd of about 100 buffaloes trying to bring down a calf (finally successful!).
But we've seen also a lot of other animals in this concession incl. elephants, buffaloes, wildebeests, topi ..... and we also saw a pride of 4 lions and not to forget a clan of hyenas at their den with 3 cubs !!!!
The boat cruise was nice but a little disappointing because we've seen only a few animals but other guests were more lucky in seeing more animals.
The camp was great and because of our wild dog experience this camp will stay unforgettable for us and of course we can't recommend it high enough !!!
Wild dogs everywhere!
Our first camp in Botswana - very spacious and luxurious rooms. Friendly and welcoming staff and expert guiding. We had fantastic sightings of Wild Dog everyday of our stay, as they had set up their den very close to the camp.
Bali and Aaron our guide and tracker looked after us very well. Keeping up with the dogs while they are hunting is no easy task and you need to hold on tight as the vehicles do follow them everywhere!! But with expert driving by Bali we arrived at two kills very soon after they were made by the dogs.
We saw 7 species of antelope including Eland. We also had good sightings of both side stripe and black backed jackal. Also good birding with sightings of many raptors, Giant Eagle Owl and Kori Bustard.
Lagoon Camp review
Kwando Safaris clearly like to give value in terms of length of game drives - 4 hours being about the average. This does mean that the late afternoon/evening drive inevitably turns into a night session as well, which may not suit everyone. Others, of course, will choose this and other Kwando camps specifically because of this.
We did spend quite a lot of time "driving around in the dark" - here and perhaps more so at Lebala - not seeing very much other than moths, but I suppose this is the nature of safaris in general. We were luckier at Kwara and felt the length of time spent in the dark was better here (i.e. not so long!) Enjoyed the sunset cruise on the lagoon/river as an alternative to a drive.
Regarding food: dinners were very good - not fancy food as provided in some safari camps, but good honest fare. The idea of brunch worked well, but the execution wasn't always perfect in terms of how hot some of the dishes were kept - we hardly had a hot sausage all week! Quality and supply of drinks was very good. Particularly liked the afternoon savoury snack and homemade lemonade.
The lovely polished wood flooring around the camp was extremely slippery in some places - near the dining area, for example - perhaps a little less polishing would be safer.
The tents are nothing short of magnificent.
Some disappointment at not seeing any cats, but wonderful experience with the wild dogs.
Wild place, exceptional experience!
I just loved it here! Because of the atmosphere and because of the dogs.
The atmosphere was very nice, not in the least due to the camp staff. The camp itself seems to have been recently refurbished and looks very nice. The tents/cabins are very large and nicely decorated. Hunting with the dogs was the most wonderful experience I had in my life and I just loved the guide, famous (" Mr Wild Dog") Spencer. Because he is good, great fun and a little bit crazy.
Yes, there will be a next time Botswana, and this camp and guide will definitely be included in the travel scedule!
And like in lebala, trying to track down the animals adds something special to the safari experience.
THE place to see African wild dogs
Kwando Lagoon is a great place for families because it's casual and offers a variety of activities. Meals are served buffet-style at a communal table. It was fun to catch up with the other guests and talk about our day's sightings.
We loved that our guide, Bali, and spotter, AT, took us to see the elusive wild dogs, but then they were able to bounce our 4x4 across the bush as the dogs were on a hunt. Thankfully we didn't witness a kill (in spite of our 13-year-old's insistence that this would be educational), but we saw the warthog prey, tail up in the air, run for its life and duck into a hole at the last minute.
We saw young hyenas emerging from their den, lots of ellies, a male ostrich, impala, hippos, giraffes, zebra, the lovely lilac-breasted roller (bird), kudu and more.
Bali and AT took us out on a walking safari (Bali carried a rifle, just in case) and we learned about termite mounds and other creatures' habits.
Late one afternoon, we took the boat down the Chobe River, and we got to fish and have sundowners. Coming back to camp, the sunset was glorious.
Excellent remodeled camp!
Very nice accommodations and staff. Lots of great game viewing. Wild dogs were kind of a specialty here during my stay. However, there were plenty of other viewings of elephants, hyenas (including lots of puppies), hippos, warthogs, impala, kudu, ostrich, giraffe and cheetah.
As you've probably already read, the camp was completely remodeled about a year and a half ago. The rooms are very nice. I actually had 2 showers (1 indoor and 1 outdoor) and a bathtub. It's a bit of a walk if you have one of the higher number rooms, but that was ok. If you want hot water, you need to plan ahead; it takes about a full 5 minutes for it to hit the faucet.
The food was pretty decent. However, I am still trying to figure out who came up with chocolate covered pineapple (must be a British thing). Meals were at a community table and most of the guides would join us. Meals were buffet style except for the appetizer and dessert.
Chasing the local wild dog pack was quite an experience. Tip: don't sit in the back of the vehicle if you're going to do that. I almost literally got thrown from the vehicle. I was hanging on for dear life. We got to see the dogs hunt. We saw a few feeding on an Impala (just missed the kill unfortunately). Probably the most fun was watching the pack just play for a good 10 minutes in a small pond. They had a blast just chasing each other around and through the water. They raced around full speed just chasing and playing with each other.
Overall, a very nice camp with very good game viewing. Pictures and videos of my trip, including video reviews of my rooms, are available if you click here. I hope this review is helpful for you.
Lagoon Camp review
It was a great complement to Little Kwara. Between the two camps, we lacked for nothing in terms of animal sightings. Leopard, wild dogs, hyena, buffalo, hippo, and more.
Great food by Chef Gee and staff.
Lagoon Camp review
Lagoon Camp is a fairly new camp so the rooms were very nice. It was downhill after that. Never knew who managed the camp. The guides were not very friendly, other than the one assigned to you and then it felt like this was his job.
Did not know of my diet limitations, but tried to hard to make it work, with no advance notice. Had "Corporate" people and was more concerned with their comfort than the guests. If it wasn't for the wonderful rooms the whole place would have been a dud.
Again, this was a Kando Camp and not very organized.
Disappointment at Lagoon camp
Guiding was of an extremely low level. Vehicles kept breaking down. Management was indifferent.
The camp was beautiful though and the tents where absolutely huge and very comfortable. The food was great as well. We expected the focus to be on the guiding and the wildlife, however, and it certainly was not.
Expert Africa comments
These travellers had problems at Lagoon Camp so we looked into these in detail.
Amongst the issues, they were guided by the relief camp manager, who didnt know the area well; their vehicle broke down more than once, and wasnt fixed swiftly; and when they complained, they felt that they were not heard.
This is far from what we expect of Lagoon Camp so we passed the full story to Kwando. The companys General manager, Nicola, replied swiftly with a profuse apology, a detailed explanation of the circumstances, and a kind gesture to try to make up for their disappointment on a future trip.
These travellers were very satisfied and commented: It's amazing to see that both Expert Africa and Kwando take our comments that seriously! We're very impressed with this response. They felt reassured that their experience was not something Kwando considers acceptable, and are looking forward to returning to these camps in the near future.
Another Wonderful Experience at Lagoon Camp
This second camp was equally as impressive as our first. We were particularly happy with our guide, Dux, who was very experienced in tracking as well as camp administration and training. He helped us understand the operational requirements of the camps which was very interesting. He also worked very closely with his tracker, A.T., and they made a good team. All of the staff were very friendly and helpful. Moses, the manager, was very nice and always available to help.Read more about the whole safari