Reviews of Kwara Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
First visit to the Okavanga
It was interesting to stay in a different terrain from the other Kwando Camps. The highlight was the visit to the newly discovered wild dog den with sixteen pups, and we also saw around a hundred elephants on one evening drive.
Like Lagoon, the emphasis seemed to be on predators and we spent several hours on abortive hunts for lions.
The evening river boat trip was very enjoyable, as was the Makoro on the lagoon.
Kwara Camp review
Our overall experience at Kwara camp was excellent. Prior to booking it was pointed out to us that the camp was a little tired but this did not detract from our stay at the camp which was amazing. The staff were all very attentive and we would like to give a special mention to our guide and tracker, George and Ope, and also Joseph and Lebou.
The highlight of our stay at this camp had to be sightings of the wild dogs and their 15 puppies. George said we should expect a lengthy drive, but my was it worth it. We consider ourselves extremely fortunate to have had this experience. Wildlife in this reserve was in abundance, with exceptional sightings of cheetah, the lion, hyena and bird life - you wouldn't believe. This made the sightings for the guides in our next camps extremely challenging.
Great wildlife, beautiful landscapes.
This concession is a no miss if you want to see cats... And more. If you know which animals you want to see, your guides will really do everything they can to find them. We really wanted to see cheetahs and had an amazing time watching a cheetah family playing and hunting.
The only watch-out is each guide tales care of 6 guests. So you need to be clear what you want to do -game drive, boat, mokoro, walking safari- and make sure you don't end up having to do what the other guests of your guide want to do. But should you be in this situation (this happened to us), don't hesitate to talk to your guide or even the camp manager and they will find a solution.
Kwara Camp was most enjoyable and we had a memorable 13 hour all day game drive with lunch in the bush with Tom and his tracker Kelly. This was the best part of Kwara Camp--excellent guides and staff. This was the best game drive our our trip with sightings of lions and over 150 elephants and rather constant game coming into view all day long. Our second game drive found a pack of 15 wild dogs and we watched them for 40 minutes.
Botswana camps and game drives are VERY different from East Africa where we have been five times. The camps are small and intimate. The staff is uniformly superb and knows your name from the beginning. The drives are in beautiful terrain, woods, grasses, water crossings, savannah. AND there are not many animals compared to East Africa. Except for our one all day game drive, the other five days of drives at a total of three camps did not produce many animal sightings. When we did have a good sighting, such as the wild dogs, we spent a lot of time there and learned a lot about them from the guides who seem to know the game on an almost personal basis.
It takes some adjustment to appreciate the Botswana game viewing experience. You have very few vehicles to contend with. The guides have great local knowledge and game viewing is distributed between lots of birds, regular elephant and impala viewing and occasional other antelope, wart hogs, and the rare cat encounter.
Kwara was the best game viewing. However Kwara as a camp was disappointing in terms of our tent and the overall condition of the camp. It had a worn out feel. Our tent was very small with an off-again-on-again hot water shower, holes in the window mesh. The public areas were nice and in better repair but all over a renovation is needed.
Tree House Tent
My stay at Kwara was very nice. Of the 3 lodges I stayed at, the food here was the best. The facilities were wonderful and my room (a tree house tent) offered wonderful views and an area to unwind in the afternoon and evenings.
I saw a number of animals right from my balcony!
The tree house was very nice except for a few details:
1) there was a hornets nest somewhere outside near my shower - I notified the staff about it but nothing seemed to change with the hornets persisting in that area. At night when it was cold, I could go out to shower since there were fewer hornets but this was not as pleasant as I would have hoped.
2) There appeared to be a break in to the room before my arrival and I think baboons may have urinated all over the carpet/rug and the side of the bed in this room. There was a distinct smell of urine at all times. At night, the maid would burn an incense which made the room much more pleasant to sleep in and the smell did not overly bother me.
The games drives were very good and I liked that there was a walking safari and morokoro option here.
Kwara Camp review
Kwara camp has an excellent location and a great variety of game - in our 3 days we saw lion + cubs, male lion + kill, cheetah, giraffe, elephant, hippo, wildebeest, baboons, vervet monkeys, wart hog, various antelopes and some spectacular birds.
Activities included game drives, a walking safari and a great boat trip through the Okavango waterways. The rooms are very well-appointed and the facilities good. Our guide and tracker were both great.
The only thing that prevented this being a 5/5 rating was the attitude of a couple of the camp managers, one of whom was somewhat chippy towards western visitors (e.g. uncomfortable comments on colonialism, racism etc), the other showing a lack of real interest in, or enthusiasm for, her job. Otherwise outstanding.
Great animal encounters at Kwara
Great camp, great encounters with animals.
The guide and tracker were excellent and always tried to accommodate us re bird and photography interests.
Kwara Camp review
Kwara Camp had much the same feel as Lagoon - as it is also a Kwando property. As Expert Africa predicted, and as many of the EA reviews indicate, Kwara is not as luxurious as the other camps. The tents are significantly smaller, are older and less well-appointed. Still, the tent was comfortable and met all of our needs.
The managers, TJ and Joseph, were friendly and helpful - though not as visible as OB had been at Lagoon. Our guide, Thomas, and the spotter, Josiah, were outstanding. Thomas is intelligent, articulate, and charming, with a tremendous enthusiasm that is infectious. Josiah is extremely kind and caring and we all enjoyed getting to know him. He's very knowledgeable and the team of Tom and Josh really worked out well. They went way beyond the call of duty with respect to game viewing - one evening taking us on a cross country dash for a fantastic viewing of a cheetah.
One other staff person who stood out for us was Ocean, whose friendliness and enthusiasm were great.
The atmosphere at Kwara is very informal - even more so than Lagoon. For instance, instead of sitting down at the table for 'tea' in the afternoon, there was a kind of small buffet and guests ate standing up or found a soft chair to sit in. We actually found this to be a better plan, since it encouraged people to chat with one another and reduced (at least a little bit) our calorie intake. The food was good.
Kwara Camp review
At Kwara we had the most adventurous and energetic guide as well as a well versed spotter who participated knowledgeably in our travels.Read more about the whole safari
Kwara camp review
We loved our guide - his assurance, sense of adventure, and bush wisdom, and the great rapport between him and his assistant/tracker. It rained a lot but we went out on activities undeterred and had great fun.
Also loved the more indigenous feel of the camp, with its elephants in the garden!
Would be nice if the camp had more sitting/lounge facilities - sometimes there simply wasnt space for all the guests to be in that single lounge space at once.