Reviews of Kwetsani Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Kwetsani Visit 6
As witnessed by the number of times we have visited, we love Kwetsani. The rooms, the management and the staff combine to make this small camp one of the very best in the Delta. The resident pride of lions were centre stage of the game viewing but our guide Ras realised very quickly that we were interested in seeing all that was on offer and we had a mass of big, small and avian sightings that filled our 3 night stay.
The relief mangers Hank and Marelize were a joy. Always there but never pushy they run a wonderful camp that the resident managers Dan and Charmagne Myburg will feel has been in safe hands during their leave. We hope Hank and Marelize will still be at Jacana, their next appointment, when we next visit. It is sad to think that the wonderful thatched roofs of the rooms may be replaced by more durable material but doubt any such change would seriously affect the wonder of Kwestani.
Advice to Wilderness - TLC but don't change it!
James's at Kwetsani Camp
From the welcome onwards the time we had at Kwetsani was magnificent. if we had a complaint it would be that the time was too short.
The guides were all generous with their extensive knowledge which was passed on with enthusiasm and wit. The site is beautiful, the food was very very good and the general atmosphere could not have been better.
We saw every animal we had wished to see.
Kwetsani Camp review
We very much enjoyed our family visit to Kwetsani. The hostess went out of her way to make us comfortable and our guide (Moya) was excellent. We saw a good amount and variety of game.
We enjoyed the motorboat rides to/from the islands for game viewing as we were keen to be on the water, not just on land, but a real water-based camp with leisurely water-based activities is not really feasible when tourists are rushing in and rushing out after two or three days. We had a brief mokoro ride one morning, but this was no more than a trailer to a movie.
One downside to the time of year we were there is the need to get back to camp via the boat before dark, which is a disadvantage compared to land-based camps.
At Lebala and Lagoon other travelers told us that Kwetsani was a highly regarded camp of the African Safari group. Our assigned guide, Moyo, greeted us at the airport & trackers were not used at Lebala. We had a 45-minute boat ride to camp through walls of papyrus and bulrushes. We had chosen Kwetsani because the tents were in the trees & the tents were gorgeous and high above the ground.
When we arrived there was a group of ladies singing a greeting song and the South African couple, the relief managers, running the camp met us. We walked into the main area and it was indeed upscale compared to Lebala and Lagoon. During high tea a couple of ladies had laid out woven baskets and were weaving. The singing and the basket weavers gave me the initial impression that this was going to be a more 'staged' experience. The afternoon was spent on a boat ride around the camp looking for hippos. We 'found' a family of hippos just in time for our sundowner. For dinner the featured dish was leg of lamb that turned out to be very tough and most were left on the plate.
The next morning Moyo took us for the boat ride to Hunda Island for an 'all day' safari. The boat motor had its problems and quit several times when full throttle was applied & we limped to the island at low speed. We loaded onto the jeep and when our guide attempted to start it the starter would not turn over the motor. Moyo, with his trusty leatherman was able to jiggle the terminals and succeeded in starting the motor. The drive was interesting, fording a lot of creeks with the water level up to the running boards. We saw elephants, zebras, and the ever-present impalas. The guide handed us a map of the island showing the trails, each of one with a name like "elephant trail". We stayed on the trails and at lunchtime we joined another group and had a nice lunch on a raised platform overlooking the flooded plain. We did another hour of riding the trails of Hunda Island seeing some more birds, giraffes, zebras, and elephants. We returned on a different boat whose motor operated normally.
Upon arrival at our tent I noticed that they had not lifted the evening wind curtains as in Lebala and Lagoon and the tent was very hot & 95F on my thermometer. I went outside and lifted two smaller wind curtains & the two larger ones were too much form one person to handle. I turned on the fan and was able to ventilate the tent. I then decided to take a shower on the outdoor shower to cool down & it was a double outdoor shower. When I turned on one of the showers water gushed from a coupling on the pipe & I shut it off and transferred to the other shower. Dinner was grilled meat and was taken outside & the steak was excellent and the wines good.
When we returned to our tent we were greeted by a surprise & they had a bottle of chilled South African bubbly wine on the outside small table with a note congratulating us on our 45th anniversary & they also had sprinkled paper hearts around the table. We sat outside and sipped the bubbly looking out on the flooded plain. We went into our tent and I noted that the evening turndown had not lowered the wind shades so I went out and lowered them & a good measure since the wind blew strong late that night.
The next morning we slept in since we were scheduled for a mokoro ride. This ride turned out to be a 45-minute ride in front of the camp - sufficient to get the mokoro experience. We embarked on a boat that took us to the airport area where we transferred to a jeep. Our guide parked us under a shaded enclosure to wait for the plane. The plane landed and when the guide tried to start the jeep it would not start. All of us broke out in laughter when Moyo motioned to another jeep to come over and linked us to the other jeep with a towrope! Fortunately the guide was able to jump start the engine after we got towed and we arrived at the waiting plane shortly thereafter.
Although Kwetsani had a more staged feel and we had some equipment issues the staff was always pleasant and accommodating.
Peaceful, tranquil camp with perfect views.
Kwetsani is a shift in gear from the big game of Little Vumbura, but nevertheless allows the pace to be slowed down a little to appreciate the wetlands with superb bird life.
Moyo our guide was a quiet but knowledgeable guide who had a fine appreciation of the flora and fauna who was happy to share his knowledge and love of Botswana. The camp design and setting up on stilts gave an all round view of the area and the stand in managers of Henk and Marielise were a delightful couple with a passion for their camp.
Lovely camp in the delta
Good all round camp, the Mokoro rides were particularly good. Such an unobtrusive way of seeing and understanding the Delta.
It was so quiet and all that could be heard were the Red Lewche running through the water, terrific!
We saw lots of elephants of all ages.
Particular highlights were a female hyena with her small cub who was running and jumping all over her and rolling over on the ground and lying between her front paws being washed.
Saw leopard very close.
All staff very helpful
Another Great Guide: MT
The food was great, specially coming from Chitabe.
Management was warm, efficient and always accessible.
Rooms were great. Service and hospitality fantastic.
Game drives and boat drives great.
Laundry was first class.
Amenities in the room were much better that in Chitabe.
Peaceful/Warm environment Eco Mixture lure
The main lure of the Camp is the diverse eco system which requires both water and land drives. This mixture is most appealing, including the immersion into the environment. Location is tops as were the staff. Again the regular Manager was not on duty but Theresa and Bryan were forever present and interactive both in your needs and being informative. Felt like home and the guest all seemed to mix well as a result.
Again a different eco system with the mixture of water relate and savannah wildlife. The guide G+T was good, however our few exposures to Flo suggested she was better suited to the needs of the clients. Food was good as were the accomadations. The overall facilities seemed to have been recently refurbished and were tops.
The highlite was probably the silent ride in the am in the Mekoro, when the thunderous sound, as if we were approaching rapids, became almost deafening. A herd of up to 200 thundering Red Lechwe were driving across the edge of the wetlands. To experience the small wildlife around your tent under the walkways was always a delight. Our first Leopard, thanks to the skill of G+T was also most spectacular.
We could have spent more time there, primarily due to the variety of the opportunities and the warm hospitality by all the team.
Kwetsani Camp review
As usual ALL the staff were delightful and made us feel, not only welcome, but special.Read more about the whole safari
The Jewel of NG25
We believe this was our fifth visit to Kwetsani and it remains our favourite. Despite the limitations on game drives imposed by the rising annual flood, we absolutely loved our 3 nights in this wonderful Classic Wilderness camp. The rooms are exceptional, the ambiance just perfect and we were, as ever, looked after royally by a professional and attentive staff. The food was varied and despite the remoteness, of a consistently high standard.
Our guide Ronald has an infectious sense of humour but this belies an uncanny ability to seek out the most elusive sightings. It was with him that we began our relationship with the Hunda leopards which was to continue unabated for the next 6 days. He instinctively understood our wish to see and talk about everything, going out of his way to explain and describe all that we were seeing. A great guide.
Management was outstanding, starting with Dan and Charmaine Myberg the senior managers for the 3 Classic camps in the concession. They looked after us wonderfuly well while clearly being 'in charge' of every aspect of the delivery of service. For our last day the resident management team of Annelize and Bradley seamlessly resumed control.
Our fondness for Kwetsani remains intact but we have one single niggle. On previous visits during the annual flood we have been taken on game drives onto and around the Kwetsani island and local flood plain. Previous guides delighted in describing the activity as 'swimmin safari'! The practice now seems to have been stopped because there have been instances of vehicles becoming stuck or 'drowned' elsewhere in the concession. This was always the case and was, in the past, taken as one of the hazards of holidaying in NG25. We have personally experienced it twice from Kwetsani with little or no lasting effect. Perhaps the new policy is a slight overreaction and one misses some great birding opportunities. Still, a niggle, and this remains a great camp.