Stanley's Camp

Reviews of Stanley's Camp

Excellent(92%) From 12 travellers
Excellent
8
Good
3
Average
1
Poor
0
Terrible
0
Below are independent comments from 12 of our travellers who have visited Stanley's Camp, and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts.

They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Mr & Mrs W - Nova Scotia
Arrived on: 16-Jun-2014 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Stanley's Camp

This was the last camp of our visit to Africa and somehow we managed to save the best for last. We arrived at the camp after arriving in a bush plane, driving 50 minutes through sand roads and water which sometimes came into the vehicle. Apparently, the water was coming down from Angola from the rains in December. We were treated to songs from the staff which was so beautiful. The very friendly managers of the camp were Jake and Shelley and they were always there to help with anything and just to chat.

That evening a hyena came around the camp smelling the food for dinner; he is a regular visitor. The next morning we left the camp and there were 14 wild dogs just in the driveway. We followed them for a bit and then they disappeared into the bush. A rare sighting. Our guides were T.T. and Colin and they were quite knowledgeable about the animals and birds. They spotted leopard tracks and we followed him for a while; such a magnificent animal; another unusual sighting during the day.

In the evening while we were at dinner, the ladies came into the room and turned on the bed warmers. Ahh. One evening we went for a ride on a mokoru, with a guide poling the canoe along the waterways among the tall reeds. Very peaceful and relaxing. We stopped for a light snack and went back to the camp for dinner. The food again was exceptional as it has been in each camp. There was a small shop which sold locally made products which in turn goes back into the community.

The highlight of our visit to this camp was our Elephant Experience which is run by Doug and Sandi Groves. They have taken care of three elephants for the past 25 years and these are booked through a private tour operator. It is a not- for- profit organization which brings awareness for the elephant and humans. We walked with the elephants and took pictures of them with us. A delicious lunch was arranged by Stanley's Camp while we were there in the bush. Our last night there was spent with a special dinner and the very thoughtful Shelley and Jake. We listened to the hyenas and elephants bellowing in the bush. A fabulous camp and we would certainly return.

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Mr & Mrs A - Edinburgh
Arrived on: 9-Jun-2014 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

great elephant experience at Stanley's

The great highlight at Stanley's is, of course, the elephant experience and should not on any account be missed. Here, you have the opportunity to walk and interact with three semi-wild elephants, and a more humbling and moving encounter is hard to imagine. One feels the ennobling sentience of these great animals - while being uplifted and inspired the contrasting emotion is that of sadness at the way we treat our fellow beings. The poaching and culling of elephants are two sides of the same coin and, in my view, present humanity in a very poor light indeed.

Stanley's Camp is a very well run and pleasant spot to spend a few days and great sightings are possible. On our final day, a pack of wild dogs passed through the camp while we were relaxing yards away in our tent. The same pack was later viewed by those visitors who had had the good sense to go out on the afternoon drive. Having not expected to see any such thing at Stanley's, the irony was accentuated by the fact that this was the first and only occasion we had taken time out from the punishing safari routine. It just goes to show that anything can happen at any time. While furious at the missed opportunity, the humour of the situation was not lost on us.

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Mr & Mrs T from Hants
Arrived on: 24-Sep-2012 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Stanley's Camp review

A very friendly and welcoming camp which was ideal for our first 2 nights. We enjoyed the choir at the camp. We also liked the attention to detail in particularly the decoration of the beds by our housekeeper.

The elephant experience was wonderful and we learnt a lot about elephant behaviour.

It was especially nice to see a pack of wild dogs on one of our game drives.

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Mr S & Ms M from Banstead
Arrived on: 13-Sep-2012 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

A reasonable start to our trip.

The elephant experience was very good, though it became a bit gimmicky towards the end.

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Family M - Phoenix
Arrived on: 14-Jun-2012 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Stanley's Camp review

The Stanley's Choir greeted us in song upon arrival. The first afternoon we heard crunching sounds outside and discovered a warthog foraging right off our deck. We were enchanted. Our family couldn't decide if this was our favorite camp or the next one, Sandibe -- they both stand out in terms of luxury. Our guide, Kot, was so knowledgeable and mostly self-taught!! about all the surrounds, animal habits and even the night sky. The night game drive allowed us to see the glowing eyes of a bushbaby.

The Elephant Experience with Doug & Sandi Groves is a must for elephant lovers. We learned so much about the ellies, and this added to our enjoyment in subsequent elephant viewings at other camps. Our daughters (ages 13 & 11) treasure their photos with Jabu, Marula and Thembi.

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Mr C & Ms H from Ealing
Arrived on: 30-Sep-2011 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Stanley's Camp review

Great camp - nice layout and rooms, and amazing food. Woken up by a large bull elephant right outside our tent on the first morning.

The Grey Matters elephant experience was slighly disappointing. The animals were graet, but the whole experience was a bit of a cross between a circus act and a well-meaning lecture.

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Ms M from Ottershaw
Arrived on: 26-Oct-2010 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Stanley's Camp review

At home again in this luxury camp. From the moment I arrived my every need was catered for. Being a single traveller I felt extra care was provided, especially by Lebo who treated me like a special friend. It was a perfect end to my trip to spend time here. Again the food is second to none and every single member of staff afforded the highest possible service, friendly, courteous and professional at all times.

The game drives were very good but compared to Meno A Kwena and the Northern Botswana mobile safari there was less game to see. The vehicle was the least comfortable and the terrain extremely bumpy! None the less my guide Ike (who even though suffering with a really bad cold) did his best to seek out the game.

The best part of this stay was the Grey Matter, Elephant Experience. Whatever my expectations of this were they were multipled 1000 fold. Doug Groves is one of the most incredible people I have ever met, he is the fourth elephant. His knowledge and love for these beautiful creatures is breath taking. If like me you feel an affinity with these astounding animals then make sure you include the experience when you book.

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Mr S & Mrs I from London
Arrived on: 3-Oct-2010 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Stanley's Camp review

Overall an excellent camp especially the hospitality, rooms and foot.

The elephant experience was very worthwhile if you want to get up close and personal and learn more about elephants but they are humanised so do undertake "tricks".

Not a huge amount of game on our visit.

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Ms W and Mr M from LA, California
Arrived on: 24-Jul-2009 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Average
Average
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Average
Average
Facilities:
Good
Good

Stanley's Camp review

Stanley's Camp is a luxurious camp in the Okavango Delta, which seems to be aimed at honeymooners and well-to-do families. The food was the best we had during our trip, the accommodations were beautiful, and the camp staff was very helpful. However, our game drives at Stanley's did not hold a candle to the game drives at other camps. We encountered mostly elephant, antelope, and giraffe, which we had not seen much of at our prior camp. We thought this would be a good time to learn more about these animals and various behaviors they were exhibiting, but our guide did little more than point at the animal, say its name, and impatiently say "done?" after hearing a few shutter clicks on our cameras. We found this to be terribly disheartening, especially considering the premium we paid to stay at Stanley's and our wonderful experiences at other, less expensive, camps.

We tried to ask questions of the guide to encourage more dialogue during the game drives, but received short answers and no further discussion unless prompted by us. Based on our limited interactions with other guides at Stanley's, we believe that our experience was limited to our guide, but it nonetheless put a damper on our overall experience.

The saving grace of Stanley's, for the purposes of our trip, was the Elephant Experience, which we really enjoyed. In fact, the Elephant Experience was the reason we requested Stanley's in the first place. However, knowing what we know now, we would have requested to stay a single night at Stanley's, just long enough to do the Elephant Experience.

We would recommend Stanley's for people looking for luxurious accommodations who are not concerned about the quality of guiding, or for those very interested in the Elephant Experience (but just for one night).

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Expert Africa comments

We were disappointed to hear that these travellers did not have a good guiding experience at Stanley’s Camp.

We passed on these travellers comments to the management of Stanley’s Camp, who were very concerned and responded speedily:

“We take feedback of this nature very seriously, as we pride ourselves in our standard of guiding at all our camps. We believe it is an integral part of a safari experience and because of this we invest a great deal of time training and developing our guides. We have a dedicated training officer and over and above this run a guide training programme annually for all our guides. As you can imagine this is a substantial investment on our part.

This feedback has been dealt with at the highest level within Sanctuary Retreats and our Operations director in Botswana will be addressing this directly with the guide concerned and the necessary steps will be taken to ensure this does not happen again.”


We are pleased that this has been dealt with at such a high level – and feel confident that they are acting swiftly to rectify this issue.

In addition, the camp wanted us to convey their apologies for a disappointing stay, and have made a kind gesture to these travellers to try to make up for their disappointment.

Dr M & Ms D from New York
Arrived on: 22-May-2009 Stayed for: 1 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Stanley's Camp review

Lovely staff (Carter was a great guide).

Delicious food.

Comfortable room.

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