Reviews of Kwara Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Excellent game viewing
Staff was very good and friendly. Lots of great game viewing. My favorite tracker of my trip, Mustah, worked here; he was lots of fun and had a great sense of humor!
While I landed, there were two male lions hanging out right next to the landing strip! Surprisingly, the plane didn't scare them off at all. They just watched us like they were watching TV. We got good views of giraffe, ostrich, wild dogs, water buffalo, lions, zebra, wildebeast, elephants, baboons, wide variety of large birds, hyenas, jackals, cheetah and even porcupine.
Food was pretty decent. Service was very good. Guides and trackers were both very knowledgeable and personable.
The accommodations at Kwara were by far the most Spartan of my four camps. I knew this in advance, but I overlooked this because of the excellent game viewing reputation. Not that the rooms were substandard, but they really do need a facelift. One thing I did not understand: the staff made a point of telling you to always lock your doors because of baboons, yet there was only a lock on the outside, not the inside! (I propped one of my bags against the door at night) The canvas tents have seen much better days. This would be a prime camp if it were to be refurbished like its sister camp, Lagoon Camp (my final destination).
Luckily, the room conditions did not diminish my enjoyment much. I still had a great time at Kwara. If like me, game viewing is your primary objective and you can overlook a lesser level of accommodation, Kwara still very much worth your time! 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.
Kwara Camp review
Kwara offered a broader range of experience with a chance to fish, travel in mokoro, take a short walk etc. as well as to drive out mornings and afternoons/evenings. Accommodation is not as good as some other camps, but still perfectly adequate.
Our guide and spotter - Bait & Mopane were both very knowledgeable, patient and committed. Again, we enjoyed both bird and animal experiences enormously.
Kwara - Land of the Lion!
Accommodation - This was our third camp in the Delta (the others being Lebala, Nxabega, and Sandibe) and we stayed here for 2 nights. The tents are well appointed, but a little tired (we knew this before we came here) - however that in no way detracted from our stay.
Here at Kwara, everyone dines together around a central table, which is a great way of meeting new people and sharing stories and experiences. Also, Kwara was the only place where we didn't have power sockets in the room to charge up batteries and devices - but there is an excellent system set up in the communal area where you can plug in and charge up.
Wildlife - Here in Kwara we were lucky enough to see the Cape Clawless Otter, fishing for it's breakfast on our first morning here. This was a lovely, unexpected sight - as Otters are normally very shy and will disappear long before you see them. We stayed watching the otter for a good 10 minutes - and it seemed completely unconcerned by our presence.
Kwara was also the home of the Lion for our particular trip. At this point (day 7) we'd yet to see Lions at all in Botswana, and our Guide and Tracker picked up tracks for a male Lion along the road, made the previous evening, which we then started following. Imagine our surprise when we came round the corner and almost ran over 2 female lionesses and 2 18 month old cubs who had approached from the other direction. We stayed with the group - following them as they set off to hunt - and eventually leaving them as they settled in the long grass near some Red Lechwe, to wait to hunt in the coolness of the evening.
That evening we set off, and this time we came across a lone female lioness who, clearly by the amount of blood around her mouth, had just made a kill. The Guide and Tracker recognised her as a female with 2 young cubs, and suggested we followed her. We were not disappointed - shortly she called to her cubs, and they came bounding out from their hiding place, and she led them back across the ground to the kill (a journey of approx 30 minutes). The two cubs were approximately 3 months old - and we stayed with the family, driving through dense bush, until we reached the kill (a male Kudu). We watched enthralled as the lioness fed, and the cubs chewed the meat a bit - and then messed around, jumping on the carcass, on their mother - and playing with the Kudu ear. It was a wonderful, intimate glimpse into lion family life - and one we were very privileged to watch and photograph. (Many thanks too to the kitchen staff at Kwara, who kept dinner for us long after the usual dinner time!)
Our trip to Kwara was rounded off the following morning with a lovely male Lion, with a Steenbuck kill just outside the lodge.
Again, you will also find the usual array of Elephant, Giraffe, Hippo, Warthog, and various different Antelope species (including Red Lechwe and Tsessebe) at Kwara - in between the Lions !!
The wildlife sightings are often much closer than in other parts of Africa, as the Drivers/Guides and Trackers take you off road. Note - we had both a Driver and a Tracker on every Game Drive, so you need to consider that when estimating the amount of cash required for tips.
Kwara Camp review
Kwara Camp was supposed to pick us up by boat at noon, but they didn't arrive until 3:00 PM. Xakanaka kept calling and they kept saying they were on their way. When we arrived they were getting ready to go on a drive, so there was mass confusion as to what we should be doing.
They also said they knew nothing of my diet, when the people at Xakanaka said they called the Maun office and told them of the diet restrictions. Again, they did OK with the lack of notice.
This is a Kwando Camp and it was not very well run. You never knew who the manager was. They had some "Corproate" people and they were more concerned with them, than the guests. I would not recommend the Kwando organization.
Excellent Camp with good guides, good atmosph
very friendly and professional quideRead more about the whole safari
Kwara Camp review
This camp just blends in the middle. Nothing terrible and nothing great. The tents were the least comfortable here. Older, smaller and some water issues with the showers.
I am having a hard time finding anything else to comment on.
Stunning wildlife & a truly special excursion
Kwara had some unique additions: the boat tour was great (Sandibe's boat tour was a lot less special, with hardly any sightings (except for some nice kingfishers); the small channel through the papyrus was still nice though); and the komoro and little walk were a nice touch.
From a pure camp (design, built) and comfort perspective Kwara was the looser in this department, with both Nxai Pan (main lodge) and Lebala (own hut) being very nice/unique and coming very close to Sandibe (note that our hut at Lebala did get quite wet on the inside twice after heavy rains; luckily excluding the bed and luggage area). Even the 'looser' Kwara was still rather nice: we woke up to the noise of 'grazing' hippos early in the morning… (and giraffes across the lagoon one day).
Kwara and Sandibe camps were the clear winner from a pure wildlife perspective. They were best for both the abundance and the variety of wildlife (including some rarer species). For example: Kwara (fantastic cheetah sightings, serval). Truly impressive.
Suggestions for improvements:
I did not find the hosting at Kwara special at all. It was what I expect a nameless hotel in Mallorca/Cuba during high season to be…. (mind you, this was also the fullest booked camp, so it simply was less intimate). Also our tracker at Sandibe was disappointing; we drove right past a leopard less than 10m from the Jeep (I know this happens, but it generally felt we saw great wildlife there because of their abundance, not the tracking quality).
Kwara Camp safari
The location of Kwara camp in the Delta area and on the shores of a lake is wonderful. You can watch and listern to hippos from the camp. The activities, safari drive, boat safari and mokoro trip were excellent. The habitat here was so different from Chobe and so provided us with good opportunities of seeing some different animals. Over the three days we saw 21 different lions and 3 cheetahs. Also saw Tsessebe, Blue Wildebeest and lots of hippos in addition to elephants, giraffe, zebra etc. The boat trip out to the heronary was lovely and the heronary is amazing, so many heron, stork, egret, cormorant breeding on the island, we spotted nearly 20 different species. A wonderful place to have the 'sundowner'.
Kwara Camp itself was good but there were a few things that did not quite met the standard. The rooms were good but we couldn't understand why after making such a point about the importance of making sure the door was latched properly to keep baboons out they don't provide a latch on the inside of the door. This means when you are inside the room you have no means of keeping the door closed. This would be such a simple thing to resolve and could enable guests to feel a bit more secure at night. The food was reasonable but quite often not very hot. The staff were friendly and helpful but there were a few occasions when it was difficult to find someone if you wanted a drink from the bar or to look in shop. Despite these few things the safaris at Kwara were very good.
This camp was a bit of a disappointment!
The game viewing here was wonderful - we saw lions with cubs at close quarters and many other animals and birds. Very comfortable new vehicles.
The camp itself however, was far from satisfactory when we were there. The shower in our tent (No4). would only run too hot to use or freezing cold and in spite of three very polite requests to the manageress, nothing was done. There were also issues with cleanliness, the condition of the tent generally and the fact that baboons might be able to get in and interfere with our possessions. Food was truly dreadful - sometimes overcooked, sometimes served cold or undercooked. It was generally unappetising.
The camp is in a lovely position, overlooking water. However, the effect of this was spoilt by fallen dead trees and branches in front of the camp and outside areas could be much improved by a bit of tidying up.
Kwara Camp review
There was no area in the camp that we could get cool - no fans etc.
The food was very enjoyable and of an excellent quality.
On speaking to other travellers we would have preferred to stay at Little Kwara, due to the better quality of the rooms. The rooms at Kwara need refurbishing.