Reviews of Little Kwara
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Wild dog den at Little Kwara
It was a 5 minute flight from Shinde airstrip to Kwara. We arrived at the camp around 1pm and were given a cheese sandwich for lunch. We stayed in Room 1, which is a beautiful room with a lovely view from the verandah. There is a super pool in a sunny position with comfortable sun loungers. The guiding and tracking were magnificent. It was just the food that did not come up to expectations.
Our guide was Hobbs and our tracker Mike. On our first game drive we found 3 male lions (two with a dark mane and one blond). We showed Hobbs the photos that we had taken of the 3 lions at Footsteps and he confirmed they were the same ones! These lions had fathered 3 young cubs on the Kwara Reserve. Unfortunately we did not manage to see the lionesses and cubs. Hobbs thought they must be in the marshland where we could not take the Land Cruiser.
On our second drive we found a pack of 13 wild dogs playing by a pan. The alpha male and female were missing. Another guest in our Land Cruiser was due to catch a flight later that morning so we left the dogs and went off to look at other game and found 2 cheetah brothers resting in grassland. The other guest vehicle stuck with the dogs for five hours eventually finding their den in the wilderness a long way from the camp. Not to be outdone, the next day Hobbs and Mike set out to follow the wheel tracks of the other guest vehicle. Finally we found the den, saw the alpha female dig her way into the den, heard the cubs squeaking, and saw the alpha male. We just managed to get back to a familiar dirt track in the reserve before dark. Hobbs and Mike did a great job!
There was a complicated set up of lions at Kwara. Besides the 'Footsteps' lions, the lionesses and cubs - there were 2 brothers who were part of the pride but had now been kicked out, and a solitary lion who had been the dominant male but had now been usurped by the 'Footsteps' lions. We saw the solitary lion on several occasions and got a great cine of him roaring. On our last morning we spotted two of the 'Footsteps' lions just outside the main Kwara camp, and picked up the tracks of the 2 brothers who were running away. We followed the tracks for a long way until they disappeared into the marshland and we had to stop. Thwarted by marshland again!
Night drives were more successful here than at some other camps. One night in pitched darkness a saddle-billed stork flew very very low over our Land Cruiser. We also saw a wild cat and a rock python.
little kwara review
sadly our transfer to little kwara was delayed by 30 minutes and we spent a further half hour or so at the airstrip on arrival while we waited for other guests to be flown out by a different airline which was also late. consequently by the time we'd had our briefing and got to our room we were 10 minutes late for the game drive, which had left with the other new couple and given a lift to catch up with them, but left in no doubt that we would miss the drive if it hadn't been for them. we wouldn't have minded a shout that the game drive was about to go, as we were as quick as we could be sorting out stuff needed for our first night drive, had been delayed by circumstances beyond our control and were not too far behind time (maybe the other jeep could have collected us from the airstrip earlier?)
despite the shaky start the staff here were great, I remember O a waitress especially for her lovely smile and quiet ways
our guide Wago and tracker Mike always did their best for us, following a roaring lion and battling the elements on a cold, windy mokoro ride
our room had everything we needed except central heating (joke) which would have been great during a 48 hour cold/windy spell, we wish we'd learnt a day earlier we could close up more of the windows
Little Kwara review
More informal, but very warm service and accommodating staff. Our guide was very focused on tracking animals and did a good job with this, but he lacked some of the interpersonal skills that guides in the other camps exhibited.
Saw amazing animals in their natural states (fighting, eating, playing with cubs, etc.) Loved the late afternoon motorboat ride through the delta. We also enjoyed the makoro ride the last morning in camp. We appreciated the later start in the morning and the peaceful afternoons (when there was no staff to be found). We loved the rooms - basic, but very well designed with a nice big bathtub and the best outdoor shower.
Also we liked staying in the woods with various game surrounding our tent. We liked having the early morning breakfast around a fire in the boma - hot coffee, great porridge and freshly baked muffins.
Little Kwara review
I really liked the informatility and small size of this camp. Also, to my delight, the morning tours start an hour later than the others, so we could be more rested and we were able to walk to breakfast on our own volition because it was daylight. (See my comments on Duma Tau about the problem with waking guests at 5:30.) I also liked the boar ride (in the small canoe boats) a lot, It was the best part of our stay. And, of course, gliding on the water is such a pleasant change from bumping around in the Kalihari sand.
Regarding the early rising issue, you may consider telling your guests that if they are traveling in a group of 4 or more people, they have the option of having their own Landrover and then could alter the departure times. I am not sure guests would realize this unless they were told. Guides seemed willing to depart later if everyone was willing to (but it was not apparent that we had the option to request this).
Little Kwara Camp
We had fatastic game vieing here with a wild dog pack hunting , cheeta kills, lions as well as hyena and herds of elephants with young.
A lovely small camp with very friendly and knowledgable staff and guides. The singing menues were also a treat.
the lion of little Kwara
We were welcomed by a plane spotting large male lion watching the planes landing and taking off at the air strip - was spotted later that day fast asleep on the runway! - quite an experience!
a smaller camp so everybody got to know one another and all the guides ate with us, which led to some great conversations.
Our guide (P.J.) and tracker (Mike) were a great team, and we had some great sightings with them e.g.lionesses and cubs with a kill, mating lions, and a pair of very lazy cheetahs!
They made a lovely cake for Janet's birthday and gave her a card and a hand made paper album - and also sang happy birthday! Very special!
Lovely lodge with fab sightings
A really lovely lodge in a great location, but no mosquito nets in rooms and door to verandah didn't shut completely.
Superb staff and good attention to detail, lovely food and some wonderful sightings. Great effort put into finding the animals we hoped to see.
Little Kwara, great camp & staff
The staff at Little Kwara consistently goes above and beyond! They were fantastic (arranging a private in room dinner on our last night to help celebrate our honeymoon - very touching).
The game and the tracking is firstrate, and having the river activities (canoe and boat) really help to set the experience apart.
Little Kwara review
Game viewing was generally good , and the level of guiding and tracking was satisfactory but I was disappointed that my request for room 1 was ignored, as was the case last year. In both years that room was allocated to 1st time visitors. My wife and I have now spent a total of 60 nights in Kwando camps, but our loyalty is not reciprocated. In this case I believe that the problem lies at camp manager levelRead more about the whole safari
Little Kwara review
This area is larger and sparser so we do more driving to find things to see. We've also at the point seen most animals so out guides are trying to find more unusual things like wild dogs and hyena which we haven't seen yet. On the way back the first evening we see a wild cat, a Civet cat, and a hyena by spot lot. The guides ability to spot stuff continues to amaze.
Sleep deprivation is slowing us all a little but no one is willing to skip a drive! The evening drive starts in rain, and the rain becomes torrential. The supplied pancho's don't do the trick, and we haven't provided for protecting our cameras. Carry a large zip lock bag! We give up. The other car continues and does see the wild dogs.
The next day we do a mokoro and walk in the morning. We decide to skip another boat ride in favor of another drive. And we finally find the dogs!
And then we are done and going home.
Only problem here was that it got hot and the lack of AC or even fans made sleeping difficult early in the night. The camp really doesn't have electricity so I don't know what they could do to improve the situation.