Reviews of Kwara Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Honeymoon at Kwara
We spent 3 nights at Kwara, having flown in from Lebala. Kwara's location in the trees in front of the lagoon is amazing and it seems to attract all sorts of great wildlife which The General & Kebe were only too happy to track down for us.
The waterside location affords extra activities and both the mokoro and delta-boat trips were very special experiences. The hosts at Kwara (Thuso and Janet in particular) really do go the extra mile for their guests and put on a private dining experience to celebrate our last night in the bush, and we were sad to leave the lovely people and their wonderful camp.
The only real surprise at the Kwando camps was that there were no other English guests whilst we were there. Not a problem at all, just a little unexpected.
Kwara Camp review
A similar experience as earlier in Lagoon. [Ed: this traveller commented: 'A fantastic experience in a real bush camp with a good and enthusiastic team.' about Lagoon Camp.]
The camp is great, beautifully set and very friendly staff and a good informal atmosphere. Our guide (Ona) and tracker (Kent) managed to find cheetahs, lions and leopards. Fantastic!
We also enjoyed the boat ride and the many birds we watched.
A great place to be!
Leopards and lion cubs
Guide and tracker were great - Jacob and Kent. Finally got to see a leopard (not easy in the long grass). Later on however we saw him up a tree in characteristic pose just staring down at us. We also saw lion cubs with their mother just playing in the afternoon sun, could have watched all day.
Took a mokoro boat across to an island where we walked for about an hour. Got up close and personal to a male elephant. Also had chance to smell elephant dung - not as bad as you might think.
Kwara Camp review
Some further infrastructure issues here re the age of the Camp. The rooms could have been bigger and the storage spaces for putting clothes was not fantastic. Lots of dust and sand here and it could do with some walkways to enable guests to take off theiie trainers for dinner!
The guiding was of a very high standard again as at Lebala and everything in the tents worked and was much cleaner than Lebala. Food was good and the staff very super fiendly and helpful
Cheetah - first target acheived
Our first camp on this trip to Botswana (see also Duba Plains, Little Vumbura, Mapula, Lagoon, & Duma Tau). We asked for a high number tent & were pleased to find we were in no. 7 with good views across the lagoon& opposite shore. From our tent we saw warthog, baboon, hippo, giraffe & impala & fish eagle & hoopoe - the pick of the birds.
On our game dries we saw impala, tsessebe, zebra, giraffe, elephant, steenbock, warthog, & baboon as well as many bird species.
In previous visits to Zambia & South Africa we had never seen cheetah, so they were high on the wish list. Within 4 hours of our arrival, on our first game drive Balli & Justice found us the coalition of 3 males resting on a mound.
The following morning, after much tracking, we caught up with a mature lion, one of seven brothers, completely relaxed at the roadside. In the afternoon we caught up with the cheetahs again, relaxing on a grassy mound in the evening sunshine - magic. Another vehicle nearby had been watching two lionesses, so we swapped over for the last half hour.
The camp had a very relaxed feel & all the staff were cheery & friendly. Our tent was comfortable & adequate & the food excellent. The need to be escorted to our tent after dark was brought home to us as there were two elephants feeding noisily between tents 5 & 6 after dinner one evening & another sleeping noisily beside our shower decking in the early hours. The noises seemed to be coming from both ends, plus lots of rumblings from the tummy.
We did have one serious concern at this camp. Returning after dark one evening we caught up with three other vehicles from Kwara & Little Kwara, spotlighting a leopard walking along the track. They weer leapfrogging each other crashing through the bushes on either side in order to get ahead or abreast of the animal for photos. Our diver joined in the general melee, but after a short while my wife asked Balli if we could leave as she thought the leopard was being harassed. The other couple in the vehicle agreed, but Balli ignored the request & continued the pursuit.
On one occasion the animal tried to leave the track, but was cut off & 'herded' back into view. This sort of behaviour by guides & drivers is totally unacceptable & unethical. A leopard moving at night is hunting & should never be subjected to such harassment. In the 15 days spent at six camps this was the only occasion when animals were not treated with the utmost respect by guides.
Expert Africa comments
We sent this feedback to Kwando's MD, Sue, and she reverted with a clear and very unequivocal comment, noting:
"I’m really sorry to hear this. All of our guides at Kwando should be following our own, in-house ‘code of conduct’. This specifically forbids more than 3 vehicles at a sighting at any time, or harassment of wildlife at any time at all. While the company is committed to help guests to get the best possible game viewing, we believe that the utmost respect for our wildlife must come first.”
She added that, “The incident in question has been investigated, and the guides disciplined accordingly. We are confident that this will not happen again.”
Kwara Staff make the difference
The amazing variety of wildlife in this area made our safari special. The staff here made our stay outstanding.
Our guide, Keone, was magnificent and the greeter/coordinator was also fab.
A wonderful introduction to the Okavango
A well appointed camp with an authentic safari ambience.
Efficient,friendly,relaxed staff who established easy rapport with guests.We liked sitting at a communal dining table which allowed guests to share the adventures of the day and we valued the contributions of the guides who joined us..
Our guide and tracker were outstanding.
Kwara Camp review
Best for big cat viewing. Guides Piet and GnT were an excellent team and worked very hard to deliver interesting game drives. We would like to add a special note about Piet. An English, solo travelling, lady joined our group mid way through our stay. She was extremely demanding of Piet and required almost one-to-one attention. In our view she had been badly advised (not travelling with Expert Africa) and was totally unprepared for seeing nature in the wild. She was only interested in "pretty animals" and was selfish in her demands and behaviour towards us and the guides. Piet demonstrated outstanding patience and diplomacy in trying to balance her requirements with those of the three of us other guests on the vehicle. We are aware that she made a complaint and whilst we made assurances at the time to Piet, GnT and Janet, we want to add our comments to assure the team at Kwara that they could do no more in the circumstances.
We felt that the tents would benefit from some refurbishment. We didn't experience many mosquitoes but they would have little problem coming up through the gaps between floorboards. The canvass was pretty mouldy in places and the bed linen was very tired. That said, the location on the lagoon with the views (and sounds) of the hippos, impala, warthogs and baboons on tap was wonderful.
Again, we have the reservation that 6 guests to a vehicle looks cramped - we were lucky and only had 4, which was fine.
another superb camp at least matching if not surpassing lebala.
game drives were awesome, extremely flexible were happy to accomodate a full days safari. Janet the manageress was incredible and could not do enough.
leopard spotted on 2 occasions with great sightings, cheetah also seen on 2 occasions, lions were very prevailent and numerous were seen
Excellent Kwara camp
In spite of exceptionally high water levels, our driver always got us through mud and swamps (and pulled out other vehicles on a couple of occasions) so that we had excellent sightings of leopard, lion and cheetah.
The overall quality of guiding was outstanding.
The tents are slightly smaller than average, but are well equipped.
The boat ride was a highlight of the stay.