Reviews of Kwara Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Kwara Camp review
A mixture of good, some excellent, and poor makes our scoring below mostly average for a camp of this type.
There were problems with some aspects of the accommodation and service: the loo was broken and the first attempt to fix it was not successful, not aided by a communication mix up between the managers; the water in our room should have been replenished daily but was not.
Got off to a bad start because the boat to collect us from Xakanaka was 2 hours late: Grant contacted the Kwara Maun office and, after they had radioed the camp, was told that the boat had left when it hadn't. Another plus for Grant for staying until the boat did come.
The managers who are leaving at the end of June had perhaps lost their drive: we had a sense of the managing of the camp needing tightening up and that the incoming manager, who we met, would make a difference. We make these remarks with a full appreciation that we were in Africa and acknowledge the difficulties that can arise. But, apart from the guiding, which is, of course, most important, Kwara did not stand up to comparison with other camps/lodges we've been to in Botswana and Tanzania.
For us, having been on a mokoro with Grant, the very limited mokoro trip was too inactive and stretched out. The motor boat trip was worth while. The saving grace was that the guiding was excellent: it certainly helps having a tracker/spotter as well as the driver, especially at night. A highlight was the night sighting of serval.
Expert Africa comments
The ‘Grant’ referred to above was their guide at Santantadibe Camp – where they stayed before transferring to Kwara, and clearly enjoyed immensely.
Kwara Camp review
We were pleasantly surprised by Kwara. The setting was excellant - a wooded area by a hippo lagoon.The rooms and facilities at Kwara were much better than we expected. Whilst not exactly "luxurious" the tent was extremely comfortable and pleasant and very private being high up on stilts with views over the plains.
We had good game sightings from our terrace and also had five elephants outside the tent one evening eating the trees. This was a little scary but very exciting and we watched them for some time before they moved on to the next copse and tent. There were also hyenas who regularly raided the kitchen and on our last evening, a lioness waiting outside camp as if expecting tit bits!!
Guiding was slightly disappointing. I think we were unlucky in that we were assigned a new guide who seemed to have a fixation on lion kills! There was interaction with the other guides though and we did see lots of game although this involved some very tiring long drives over really awful tracks. The vehicles used were South African Uris which were not suitable for the sandy terrain and these made the drives arduous rather than enjoyable. We enjoyed the mokoro trip...quite an experience...and the double decker boat trip at sundown.
In general, the staff were lovely and there was a very relaxed atmosphere but little attention to detail and service. However, the food was good and several guests had been time and time again.
We did get to see Little Kwara (which had been our preferred choice) and yes, it was more luxurious but game drives were the same as Kwara so I don't think we missed out that much as our main aim was to see game!!
Overall, Kwara was OK.
My favorite camp thus far
We spent three nights at this camp which was the perfect length as we got to unpack a bit and rest up in between the travelling. Our guide Donald was very knowledgeable and thorough in teaching and answering questions. Our tracker was JD who was very very good. They were the best I had in the three camps that I visited.
We were lucky to see wild dogs, leopard, pride of lions and the female lions too. The game drives were chilly in the mornings and evenings but very productive and exciting. Dinner and desserts were so good especially after a tiring evening of tracking animals.
Our tent (I believe it's #3) did get a bit too hot during the afternoon to be able to fall asleep. There were also a lot of bees that joined us during afternoon tea which were a bit scary as i learned that they can get aggressive. At night, it gets really cold. Even the extra blankets did not keep us warm enough. More insulation for the tent will be super helpful as it makes getting up at 6am a bit easier.
The water was also a bit yellowish-brown and some times way too hot. The water pressure in the shower was a bit low and the hot water knob gets so hot that you can easily get burned. Also, the insect killer spray "Doom" used at all the camps doesn't work. The bugs only get wet but don't die. I suggest they buy a different brand like Raid that does work.
Lions at Kwara Camp
Game drives by our guide Donald and tracker TJ were excellent, a huge variety of animals were seen including a night hunt with lions. Other actiivies included fishing and Mokoro however due to long grass a walking was unavailable. The food, the friendlyness of staff were excellent.
There were too many sorries due to housekeeping errors, unfilled water, promise of water bottles but not put in, room being prepared for new visitors when we were not leaving therefore the room not being available whilst it was being put back to original state, laundry then being returned wet due to error of room being vacated, being told that room would be put back to original state and that laundry would be dried but when told room okay to go back to, bed had not been returned to original state and laundry still there wet.
This did not retract from our stay we still loved the camp, it just reduced our opinion from excellent to good.
Good for hippos
The camp was very well integrated into its surroundings, and accomodation, food and service were excellent. The managers and all the staff made us very welcome. Siesta times were spent on our verandah watching the grazing hippos. To be recommended!
During the first evening drive we witnessed two cheetah kills and one lion kill. Dinner for us was a little late that evening! We were impressed by the skill of the guides in following the hunting animals, but in a non-intrusive way. The animals were not bothered by our presence - confirmed by a vet in our party - and all the guides were careful not to interfere with the hunts - switching lights off at critical times so that we did not influence the outcome - by blinding the prey, for example. Our guide, David, was also aware that not all guests would want to witness the kill or the aftermath, and we were given the choice.
The other drives were also very enjoyable.. We had very good viewings of many animals, including lions and cheetahs again. The boat trip was delightful, and it was great to enjoy our sundowner in the middle of a large African lake, watched by a few hippos. The mokoro trip was great, so peaceful, and having heard the calls of the painted reed frog, it was great to see them, and marvel at how such a small creature could make so much noise.
Very good range of gaming activities
Both waterborne and land animal and bird expeditions were well conducted by skilled staff who responed readily to customer requests.
Food was good if somewhat unimaginative (and the meat was usually over-cooked)
Kwara Camp review
This camp was also in a lovely situation near a pool and also with views across the fields. The tents had sliding doors rather than zips which might possibly be a plus to anyone anxious to keep out centipedes, but the lavatory was part of the bathroom rather than being separate which we had liked at the other camp.
Another very friendly camp where everyone: guests, guides, managers ate together. And the food was of an excellent standard. Any small request was dealt with promptly and most willingly, e.g. another towel, hot water needing adjustment, etc.
Again, the guides were superb,driving us some distance to see a family of cheetahs hunting, wild dogs, lions, as well as taking us on a bush walk to hear about plants and their uses. Nothing was too much trouble and their conversations about some of the Botswanan customs added a further dimension to our experience.
Kwara Camp review
We can recommend to visit Kwara during the rainy season, despite the fact that animal densities are fairly low at this time of the year. We saw a pack of wild dogs, 2 prides of lions, a coaliton of cheetah, and Hyena. We do not recommend to have night drives, as we had virtually no sightings at all. But this may be different during the dry season.Read more about the whole safari
Kwara Camp review
Good location with different landscape.
Guides are interested to make your stay a great experience.
This camp is beautifully situated by the lake. Once again we could see wildlife all around us - elephants and hippos, you couldn't ask for more.
We went on our first wild dog chase at this camp which was so exciting, fortunately we did not see the kill! Just amazing watching these animals pick up a scent and follow their prey to the bitter end. Super game drives: saw large herds of elephants, was mock charged by one; hippos and saw the cats: leopard, lions and cheetahs.
Chard and Doreen who were about to take managership of the camp were wonderful hosts. They are going to make this a super camp. Fortunate enough to see a baby tsesebe being born! Good food once again