Reviews of Kwara Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
We love Kwara camp!
This camp is brilliant.
Kwara camp's rooms and communal area look out onto water that is both beautiful in itself, and is frequented by hippos, elephants, crocodiles, impala, baboons, storks, pelicans and who knows what else.
The camp is gorgeous. The tents are built around the trees so it really feels like part of the scenery. The rooms are comfortable, spacious, and well maintained. Something about the camp made us feel instantly at home - maybe it was the friendly and very hospitable and accomdating staff, maybe the manager (who is a lovely man we had met previously at Lebala), or maybe just the general atmosphere of the place. We couldn't recommend it highly enough.
The terrain is very varied and interesting - open plains where the cheetahs and lions roam; mopani woodland where we were fortunate to see the rare sable antelope; and areas of acacias and scrub land.
The game viewing was brilliant. We were lucky enough to come across wild dogs resting and then off for the hunt, as well as general game, lions, cheetahs, elephants and some unusual sightings such as a leopard tortoise, an aardwolf, an african wildcat, and a small spotted genet. There is lots of interesting bird life as well, including the endangered Ground Hornbill. The elephants are a bit shy here, so you don't see large herds that are happy to hang around once a vehicle has arrived as you might in Chobe or Lagoon / Lebala, but we did see several bull elephants bathing and wandering about.
The drivers and spotters here are really passionate and committed both to finding and tracking the game and to imparting their impressive knowledge and fascination with the animals. We learned an enormous amount from our driver and guide, General and BJ, and we certainly had the impression that all the drivers and spotters took a simlar approach. They work as a very effective team, planning their routes to maximise the possibility of all the guests getting a chance to see something interesting. We had some great experiences tracking animals off road into the thickets and looking for nocturnal animals in the dark. The emphasis here is very much on the game, and everything else fits in around that.
The food was fabulous - as a vegetarian I was catered for very well, and the staff were very flexible in working around the timings of our extended evening drives.
The camp manager, drivers, spotters and staff work enthusiastically and tirelessly from dawn until the guests go to bed to ensure everyone has a lovely time. Whilst we were there, a honeymooning couple had a few surprise treats unexpectedly organised by the camp manager and staff and they clearly had a great time. They are very good here at working out how to satisfy a range of guests including repeat visitors and safari first-timers, without making it look at all difficult.
We had a very special and wonderful time at this camp and we hope to return soon!
Though the landscape was not as picturesque as at the Xakanaxa, we got to see a lot of cats and not only.
The tents would be nice to be slightly bigger, however the service and food was very good.
We were SO lucky at Kwara we enjoyed game viewing far beyond our wildest expectations . We had an excellent guide in Bally whose keen eyes spotted so much . BJ our tracker kept us laughing and joking . What a team they were. Who would expect to see Cheetahs and cubs, Lions, Leopard, Hyena, Wild Dogs, along with Zeebra, Giraffe, Elephant, Kudu, Tessebe, Impala, Reedbuck, Waterbuck, Hippo, Baboons, Warthogs, Crocodiles, Snakes and all manner of birds ALL IN THE SAME DAY----------- Amazing!!
This was a very happy, established and well run camp, we just loved it and Tuso and Janet made us feel so welcome.
We shall return!!
Kwara camp comments
Great game area with knowledgeable guide/tracker helping to give you great mind-blowing episodes which will long live in the memory eg a cheetah mum with 5 6-week old cubs, a coalition of 7 adult male lions setting out on a hunting trip through the grass, and on the last morning three adult male cheetahs dining on an adult impala stag.
Slight reservations include the tent accommodation which was fine but lacked things like a chair inside, and the fact that sometimes all the seats on the jeep were filled giving little room for camera equipment etc.
However a good lodge with excellent staff so a few quibbles should not detract from an overall very good stay.
Kwara Camp review
Two nights here were not enough! The game is prolific and I intend to go back in the future. Relief management were in place here and this does have an affect on the dynamic at any camp. However my stay here was very enjoyable, my guide(David), is the finest guide/tracker that I've experienced in my 20 years of extensive travelling throughout Africa. No greater compliment can be paid.
Leopard tracking, the finest art! The cheetah with five cubs, the fondest of memories and super photos. Seven male lions that dominant this area, three cheetah brothers and once again an abundance of birdlife.
My favourite 'tent' of the three camps - the sliding doors make it so much easier. Great food and enjoyable company here.
Thank you to all concerned.
Kwara Camp review
The air transfer was 40 mins from lagoon and no problem. Another great Kwando camp. The main lodge area looks over the lagoon and the resident lechwe and impala . Get a high numbered tent as they overlook the lagoon.
As it was a busier camp and its sister camp Little Kwara is just down the road , four vehicles went out morning and afternoon and they were in communication which made sightings a little bit easier. Even so . Lions , Hyena, Leopard, and a Cheehah mum and 5 cubs in one day !! Guide David and trainee tracker KP were great company and David must be up there as one of the very best.
Food , accommodation were fine . A brilliant 2 days
Kwara Camp review
Kwara was the best stay of the holiday. The tent wasn't as good as Lebala but everything else was better. We had had good guides at Lagoon (Alison) and Lebala (OC) but Izzy was much better also his tracker (Mike) was very good.
We saw a herd of buffalo and then six male lions eating one, later we saw some femal lions with a cub. That afternoon we saw a different group of female lions again witha cub. The following morning we saw three male cheetahs and in the afternoon we saw them again but this time there was a male and female lion nearby! The female started stalking the cheetahs who stood theie ground until she got to about 70 mts whene they made a military retirement to about 100 mts. The lioness then creapt closer to wthing 40 mts when she charged at the cheetahs who ran around her between her and another cheetah thus confusing her. They escaped!.
We a great river cruise to the Heronary and also a great makoro trip, as we were they only gueats with Izzy & Mike we had a makoro each. On our final morning at Kwara we saw a spotted hyena.
This was definitely the best stay, obviously down to the good sightings but also down to Izzy who, I say again, was very good.
Ah, Kwara, such a lovely place and highly recommended for a safari experience. After spending time at both Lagoon and Lebala our 3 nights at Kwara was a nice way to conclude our safari experience. Kwara is on the edge of the Okavanga Delta and yet still has a large reserve available for game drives with a variety of environments to include open savannah, woodlands and marsh areas.
Our guide David and tracker (whose name escapes me at the moment, my apologies!) were excellent. David clearly knows his business and we found him to be an excellent guide. Kwara provides a range of opportunites to include game drives, mokoro rides, river cruising in the delta and even the possibility for walking safaris. Perhaps it is because it was the end of the dry season but we found the mokoro ride a bit underwhelming (the weather was also a bit dicey as well that morning) but I suppose it is one of those things you should do at least once.
The river cruise to the Gcodikwe Lagoon is well worth the trip but although Kwara is on the Delta the focus here is still on game drives. Perhaps to have a more "in depth" Delta experience another camp deeper in the Delta might be better but since we did not do that it is hard for us to say. But the quality of game drives here was excellent with lion, cheetah, elephant, buffalo, giraffe and various antelope (to include lechwe, waterbuck and sable) all in abundance. Only the elusive leopard evaded us despite our best efforts. One of the many highlights was David's superb work in tracking a lioness with a young cub in tow on the prowl. We were right there for the chase and while the lioness missed her prey we didn't miss any of the heart stopping action!
Kwara Camp is perhaps the oldest of the three we visited and as such has a comfortable lived in feel about the place. The views are lovely and in November the lagoon is smaller leaving more grassy areas where lechwe, hippos, baboons and even elephant wandered by close to camp. The rooms here are tents and they appear to be slightly smaller that the tents at Lagoon Camp.
We stayed in tent 8, the "honeymoon" tent, which appeared to be slightly different and perhaps older than the other tents in camp. It is a little more isolated from the other tents which is nice as the other tents are farily close together and it has a nice view (although I wouldn't have minded a bit of the brush being cleared back to open up the view even more). It is the only tent I saw not on a raised deck and contains a bathtub at the sacrifice of a double vanity and smaller shower area. Personally we did not have much need for a tub and would have preferred the larger vanity and shower area of the other tents.
The main area has a nice view of the lagoon with a nearby elevated observation deck and a plunge pool for hot afternoons. The staff was very attentive and helpful particularly during a brief illness one of us experienced right at the end of our stay. Located near Kwara is the newer Little Kwara camp although you can't see it despite its close proximity. I think we might have enjoyed a visit to see the other camp during one of the mid day breaks. I do not know if this was possible or even allowed but I confess we have only ourselves to blame as we did not think to inquire about doing so until after we had departed.
Kwara Camp review
The management of this lodge is very poor. On arrival the manager seemed disinterested and stiff. The relief manager (PJ) who arrived the next day was an improvement. We lost part of our evening game drives on two evenings, the second being 2/3rds of the drive's time, because of late arrivals. This is acceptable on the first day but the result of unacceptably bad organisation of guest groupings when it recurs a second time.
Jacob was an excellent guide whose efforts were badly let down by this bad organisation.
During the 3 days we saw impala, tsetsebe, reedbuck, red lechwe, sable antelope, warthog, jackal, hyena, a lion, hippo, a large 70 strong herd of elephant, buffalo and numerous birds. The highlight was tracking a cheetah searching for and calling for his brothers to his reunion with one.
On our third evening our trip to the heronry was marred by a violent and overhead thunderstorm with heavy hail causing hippos and elephant to be very nervous. We question whether we should have been on the water in those conditions, though Jacob handled the situation very well, reading and responding to the intentions of the animals accurately
Expert Africa comments
Kwara Camp has apologised for the frustration and disappointment these guests felt during their stay. This was caused by a lack of communication between the existing and relief managers which manifested into bad organisation of transfers and game drives. The camp has assured us that they have learnt from this experience which will help them avoid any similar issues in the future. By way of apology, compensation for the disrupted activity has been offered to these travellers.
Josie was my number one camp manager, all the staff and guides out performed to the very high standard expected.Read more about the whole safari