Reviews of Kanana
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Great time at Kanana
Kanana has been the second camp we stayed in after our arrival in Botswana. Being in the Okavango delta, Kanana is completely different from the area we were coming from (the Makgadikgadi Pans). This means that we have managed to see different animals, birds and plants. On our drive from the air strip to the camp we have seen elephants, an hippo, monkeys and impalas and on our first game drive in the afternoon we spotted giraffes, kudus, warthogs and many different kind of antelopes. Kenny, our guide, was very nice and friendly. He was very prepared and helped us identifying birds and trees.
The managers Mark and Georgie made us feel very welcome, as did all the rest of the staff. Again, the food was really nice and plenty of treats. The accommodation was spacious, comfortable and clean. We have fully enjoyed our activities including the trip on the mokoro during which we saw many birds( amongst which the bird eagles, different kingfishers, African darters, jacanas, herons, storkes, etc), otters and hippos, while floating amongst all the lovely water lilies and other aquatic plants. Then on the way back to the camp, on board of a small motorised boat, we came across elephants bathing themselves and eating papyrus. That was great!
We went out again on the small boat with a guide called Ono. He took us to the herons ring. Unfortunately it was a bit early for the season (they are expected later in June /July) but we could still appreciate the beauty of the place. Ono showed us a pelican colony and we got quite close to some hippos which were very funny and interesting to watch while they yawned, dived in the water and got upset with each other trying to defend their territory. The highlight of the afternoon boat trip was spotting a sitatunga (a water antelope) which apparently is very shy and quite difficult to spot. Even Ono was quite excited when we saw it.
We went out for a night drive but we only saw some impalas, one elephant and a bush baby (or rather the eyes of a bush baby watching us). We have been told that at the moment is a bit too cold for the animal (being still winter there) and they do not come out much at night. Nevertheless we still liked it. At night, from our cabin, we could hear thousand of those minuscule frogs but also hippos and elephants. It was very exciting knowing that those large animals were just outside the camp...
The morning we left we had the camp to ourselves as all the other guests had gone out. The table for breakfast was set in front of the lagoon so that we could have the amazing view all to ourselves! After that our guide Kenny walked us to the air strip and on the way he explained all about animal tracks and behaviours and we talked about the traditions of local people. When we arrived at the air strip we found another guide waiting with our bags and we were ready to jump on a plane to go to our next camp. We really had a great time in Kanana!
Kanana, close encounter city.
Another warm welcome on landing and another great mini-safari on the way back to Kanana Camp. Our guide Maipaa was a gentle giant for whom nothing was too much trouble. Likewise our host/manager Mark and his wife and all of the staff were great.
Kanana has lots of potential for those wishing water activities with both motor boats and mokoro available, and fishing trips a great way to spend an afternoon. The game here was a little less than other camps that we visited but we did see less spotted genet here which we saw nowhere else as well as Cape hunting dogs and hyenas and many more species as well as great birds including lots of wood hoopoes.
One night we were woken by noises outside our tent (the tents at Kanana are very spacious and comfortable) and on opening the sliding doors we found a mother elephant with her calf browsing on the foliage hanging over our deck area. We watched them for about 10 minutes before they wandered off. The next day we heard them foraging nearby during the morning and then in the afternoon during siesta time they came along to the communal lounge/BBQ area and walked straight across by the fire pit. Just to be so close to them was amazing.
A short trip by mokoro took us to an island where we were able to have a beautiful hour or so walking with Maipaa, by far the best way to see the wildlife and gain a better understanding of the flora in the area.
Definitely the lap of luxury in the most beautiful surroundings. Fully recommend.
Like its sister camp Shinde, Kanana provided an excellent experience for 2 nights.
The camp is extremely comfortable, and a communal area with views over the water is a good touch. Service and food was generally very good - though we had one meal which was definitely below the normal standard.
The Kanana concession has a lot of wetland areas, so in December this was a good choice with a good mix of driving, boat trips and mokoro activities available. During the floods it might be harder to drive around the concession. Game was abundant, including large herds of elephant passing through the area, and wildcat during a night drive. The quality of the guiding was very good.
One point to note is that for some reason Kanana are using an older set of vehicles than other camps we stayed (including Shinde). These are less comfortable, give a bumpier ride, and have less visibility (because the seats are higher and the canopy more obstructive). Upgrading the vehicles would definitely improve the overall experience.
Kanana was a great choice as a complement to Shinde camp, with a very different concession, different game, but still excellent standard of accommodation and service.
Kanana at xmas
Kanana is a little more modern than the other camps I visited, and by that I mean that the wood looked a little newer but overall the set out are all similar. On arrival from the airstrip Amos, my guide, had an ice cold flannel and a cool drink waiting. While on the drive in we managed to spot a jackal and 3 cubs out playing in the mid-day sun. Arriving at the camp I am greeted by six staff members singing a traditional song, very nice but I feel a bit awkward with all the fuss.
This is a small concession but don't let that fool you, there are animals aplenty here. So many giraffe and elephants and there are cats here as well. The first afternoon drive and at the far end of the concession there are bush fires, sounds dramatic but are not dangerous and travel at what looked like an inch an hour. This is where we find our first leopard within 40 feet of the fires sitting on a log watching the world go by.
Kanana also does proper night drives, going out after the evening meal for a few hours. We managed to see a few lions and a selection of the smaller animals so well worth doing. Then your morning wakeup is accompanied with a tray of fresh coffee (or tea) before it's off on another safari drive. I also went on the boat safari which was great, very relaxing and you get close to the hippos. We saw a baby croc but it's the heronry that will amaze you. Perched on small islands of thick bushes are perched hundreds of juvenile birds from storks to herons which don't fear the boat at all. This allows you to get within 10 feet and experience an amazing sight so close.
I was there for xmas day and our evening meal was out in the bush. We drove out about 15 minutes to an area filled with kerosine lamps on the trees, a near full moon and stars I never normally see and the sounds of wild animals all around. The staff sing for us before yet another fantastic meal in the bush and a few to many red wines.
Overall a great place to stay, very friendly and lots to do and nothing was to much trouble.
Quite a good camp.
Please see separate email and attachment.Read more about the whole safari
Expert Africa comments
This traveller was disappointed with some aspects of Kanana including the birdlife at the heronry and the game densities, which they perceived to be low.
Its worth mentioning that this feedback prompted the camp to send an ornithologist from the Bird Society to take a census at the heronry.
Fantastic camp in a breathtaking position. The tents were spacious and comfortable and we had a bathroom door - yeh!
The staff were superb and worked tirelessly from before dawn untll late into the night to make sure that we enjoyed every minute. The bush walk with our guide, Andrew, was great fun and the night drive was amazing. We loved the mokoro ride and our trips out to the heronry.
I would like to thank Mark and all his team for an unforgettable few days and would wholeheartedly recommend this camp to anyone wanting to experience the delta.
a luxery lodge
Very comfortable lodge and very friendly and hospitable staff. we appreciated some lunch being left for us when we arrived after 2pm from the Mokoro trail.
Our guide Mypa very helpful.
Beautiful location very peaceful.
Really appreciated the taylor made feel of the activities in that the camp responded to what we wnated to do when we wanted to do it.
Good lodge and good animals
Unfortunately Mrs K was very unwell here, with diarrhoea and vomiting. NOT due to malaria medication as have taken it many times before. Staff helpful with Rehydrate etc. Unwilling to accept responsibility though, which was disappointing. No apologies.
Fortunately we had a stock of powerful antidotes so only one activity missed.
Very good safaris here, with a pride of lions. Elephant in the camp was exciting.
Mokoro trip disappointing as the men seem to have been told to talk non stop for the whole trip which was very irritating.
Management very pleasant.
We only spent two nights at Kanana, but enjoyed our time there. The tents and central areas are lovely. Game here is not as plentiful or diverse as some other locations but we were lucky enough to see a leopard hunting on a night drive. We also saw giraffe, hippos, impala and a semi resident elephant, George.
The primary focus is on water activities. We had a fun motor boat trip through papyrus lined channels to a heronry but this wasnt the right season for most birds. We did see some marabou storks. Other interesting birds included saddle billed storks and ground crossbills.
Our guide was Kenny who was knowledgable and easy to get along with. He had a sense of humour too - tipping us off to the "Ugly 5" at the heronry. His bush walk was also interesting. He knew a fair bit about the plants and their uses (including how to use a poisonous one to feign illness and get out of school as a boy).
One problem was that our transfer flight to the next camp was booked for shortly after 10:00, which meant our mokoro trip the second morning was rather short. The manager, Murray, was upset about this but unable to remedy the matter.
Murray was an engaging host. We were the first guests of the year and greeted with sparkling wine accordingly. He's a larger than life character, and my husband in particular enjoyed staying up talking with him by the fire.
The food here was notably good.