Reviews of Shinde Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Shinde, more wildlife close encounters
Our final camp (of 3) in the delta and in some ways the best. As we had become by now accustomed, a short game drive from airstrip to camp with our new guide for whom, as in the previous camps nothing was too much trouble. Shinde camp is only a short drive from the airstrip but is perhaps the best located for wildlife viewing of the 3 we visited, there being small salt pans very close by the camp holding a good variety of birds including wattled cranes, and animals including crocodiles.
Once again the camp staff were all very welcoming and nothing was too much trouble. A free self-service bar in the raised lounge was available with views across an expanse of grassland to keep us interested even while relaxing there. The dining area is raised at least 3 metres above the ground and surrounded by trees, a lovely spot too. The tents are as always well appointed and well equipped.
Having been in camp less than 30 minutes I was lucky enough to be walking along the path back to our tent when a small black mamba crossed about 5 metres ahead of me, very exciting. Further close encounters while out on drives were many at Kanana and included leopards, lions, hyenas, Cape wild dogs and a solitary cheetah.
Walking safaris, fishing and game drives kept us busy and happy for our 3 days at this camp with possibly more species of both animals and birds than at either of our other camps. The great service from the lovely staff made this another splendid experience.
Shinde Camp review
We spent Christmas at Shinde Camp and loved our time here. Overall this was probably the best camp we stayed at in Botswana.
The camp itself is beautifully set among trees - at night the lights look spectacular. The communal areas are very well designed, and the rooms are very comfortable. Note though that not all have views, because of the trees (we asked to move to one which did). Food was always excellent.
The highlight of Shinde for us was the game viewing, which was the best we experienced. Our guide was extremely impressive - probably the best we have had anywhere in Africa - and we were able to track a pride of lion through the concession at night, and see a leopard with a recent kill. Much of this is down to luck, but the staff at Shinde will find game if it's out there! We certainly didn't think that the lack of a tracker was any handicap. The heronry at Shinde has recently been destroyed by elephants so it may be disappointing if that's a particular reason to visit, but the boat and mokoro activities on the water were great nevertheless - including seeing a sitatunga near the camp from a mokoro.
Overall excellent. But we thought that a couple of days at Shinde was probably enough, and were glad that we had planned to see another concession (at Kanana) afterwards rather than spend more time there.
Leopards at Shinde
There was not a lot of game in total - possibly because of the time of year. However, we had a wonderful first afternoon, with 4 leopards - we got 3 in one photograph.
Tea/coffee would have been welcome on the morning drives.
Organisation a bit lackadaisical; we waited for over 30 minutes past the agreed time one night to be collected from our room.
The best camp we stayed at.
Would have been excellent if we had seen more wildlife.Read more about the whole safari
Excellent camp on the Delta
We had a lovely stay at Shinde, our last camp in the Delta. We were there for 3 nights, and participated in a number of game drives as well as water activities. The food and service was excellent, with great hospitality and terrific staff. We also had some excellent wildlife sightings, including two leopard cubs who were playing with each other while waiting for mom to return.
Like at Okuti, dinner was communal at a large table, with guides and management staff joining guests and food served family style. No one goes hungry at these camps, since there are three meals a day, tea, and several snack breaks on top of those! Plus cookies in the room!
Since Shinde is on a private reserve, we were able to be out after dark and also go off road, which allows guests to see the animals from closer up. We didn't see as much wildlife at Shinde as at our other camps, but that was just due to the luck of the draw and not the camp itself.
Expert Africa comments
After this trip, this traveller put together a super photo-album; its a great record of the wildlife seen and the activities experienced. See it here. This link should remain live until about July 2013!
best of them all
This is a lovely camp. It is not overly forced and formal but service is good. Management is very genuine and not remotely pretentious. Genuinely enthusiastic and no sign of tourist fatigue (well done!!!).
Safaris good when leopards were around but otherwise were, quite frankly, boring. Going fishing was great as we had not done this before. Very patient and helpful guide (cannot remember his name now...an older man with rheumy eyes) with an obvious lifetime of delta experience.
Mokoro here was excellent, plenty of time to enjoy the peace and quiet!
Shinde Camp review
nice facility. liked the tent style accommodations. don't be concerned, the tents weathered a rain storm we experienced just fine. trade-off, somewhat confining, couldn't move outside after dark because camp is open to wild animals but you are surrounded by nature. not problem since by the time dinner is over in the evening, you are ready to retire.
like the fact the camp is trying to reduce water bottle waste by furnishing plenty of treated water. would encourage the owners to expand conservation efforts, reduce laundry, reduce room cleaning. believe that doing so would not reduce quality of rooms or service.
the game drives were good. seemed more natural than the ones in Kruger. did not see lions or leopards. the mokoro trip was good.
Shinde Camp review
Shinde was wonderful. It had a very nice balance of land based and water based activities and diverse wildlife. Since we arrived early in the day our guide, Banolo, took us on a mini drive from the airstrip and in 15 minutes we saw lots of elephants, zebras, giraffe and of course antelope. That evening Banolo was able to track down a leopard with her cubs and a few days' old kill. Definitely one of the highlights of our trip.
Camp common areas are quite lovely, resembling a very elegant tree fort. The tents were very nice too, but not as spacious as those at Kanana. Like Kanana Shinde had a number of pleasant service touches such as coffee delivered with the wake up call and in room brandy with glasses. The swimming pool here was a little larger and a pleasant place to spend time with refreshments stocked in a cooler. The food was good.
The hosts here are a married couple Farley (sp?) and Maggie. They are excellent hosts; evenings around the fire were entertaining.
Banolo was a good guide. While having a leopard around was lucky, he also knew quite a bit about animal behaviour and birds. We spent a relaxed evening fishing with him that was a lot of fun. We did catch bream and the kitchen cooked it for us too.
There weren't many other guests around so we pretty much had the run of the place and very personalised service.
Shinde Camp review
Same menu on same days as at Kasane and of same quality. Frendly Management, less friendly staff.
Small swimming pool which I was unable to access one afternoon as it was filled with staff and their guests.
Shinde Camp review
Got the honeymoon tent, which was nice and roomy, but hot. In our view Kanana and Shinde are a bit too similar in food and activities. Our guide was good but not exceptional, our overall impression of the trip was that the 'senior' guides were trying less hard, and in some cases did not listen.
Two special evenings were arranged well, one evening the food was very good, the 2nd evening the lamb was significantly overcooked, however, we realize that the camp was probably not fully staffed for special dinners. Overall we can recommend both Shinde Camp and Kanana, but probably only take one of them.
Got some excellent Lion photos here as well, in addition to lots of Elephants, giraffes, Zebras, and Sable Antelope.