Reviews of Kwandwe Ecca Lodge
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Out of this world
This was frankly the most brilliant time of our lives. It was as though everyone was dedicated to meeting our personal needs. The lodge was the most luxurious place we've ever stayed (and we're fond of luxury hotels), the food was second to none and so much of it and the babysitting while we went on private safari (for most of the time we were the only people on the game drives) was the biggest bonus. The kids loved it and no one wanted to leave.
There was confusion over the booking which has all been cleared up but all I want to say on this is that we didn't need to know that two rooms were reserved for us - we had imagined separate rooms each with a child and rubbish boring evenings alone but it wasn't like this at all.
Would love to go back. Tomorrow.
Kwandwe is excellent for families
We had a fantastic stay. Nothing was too much trouble. Our lodge was amazing (huge with separate rooms for us and the children, an immense bathroom and a lovely plunge pool on the deck).
The staff were very hospitable, the food great and the drives spot on (we saw lion cubs, cheetah cubs, rhino, elephant, lion roaring, and lots of other animals). Our guide and tracker were a brilliant team and we learned a huge amount.
We wouldn't hesitate to go back (our youngest asked if we could before we had even left!). Really fabulous family-friendly place to stay.
A place where lifetime memories happen
We just loved Kwandwe - from the moment we arrived the team were making sure we had everything we wanted to have a good time. We arrived at 3pm with a drive starting at 4pm - they were keen to ensure we'd had lunch so plated a veritable feast! The game drives are just brilliant the enthusiasm of the Rangers and Spotters is contagious. A call comes across the radio that lions, cheetahs or leopards [or other animals have been spotted] and the chase is on to see them. On our first night we saw Cheetahs eating their kill, this was followed by the most amazing storm!
Getting up at the crack of dawn is no hardship - the excitement is almost tangible. The Rangers and Spotters are extremely knowledgeable and can tell visitors lots of information about the animals and their habits. 3 hours can just disappear. Its not until you drive just a few hundred yards away from the lodge and spot a HUGE buffalo grazing that you realise just how close you are to wild animals and that's when you realise why the team are so cautious about guests safety.
The sights we saw will stay with us for ever. We were just a short distance from a male lion who had walked miles during the night to get close to his female and cubs, we watched and heard him contact calling and could feel the resonance of his call.
The food is plentiful and delicious, a chance to try local dishes. In fact you get fed up to seven times a day! Fortunately some are just small snacks! We never saw housekeeping, but our room was always being tidied! Having our own plunge pool was lovely.
At the end of our stay, we wished it was the beginning so we could do it all again.
Just look at the pictures of this place and make your own mind up!
A wonderful experience all round.
This was excellent, a superb safari
Knowledgeable and very experienced rangers, great fun lovely accommodation.
very impressive organisation of the park a really good experience seeing a superb selection of animals sometimes at close quarters!
Kwandwe - a walk on the wild side
Not the tailor-made safari we've experienced at other lodges where you fall over game as soon as you set foot outside, but this added to the adventure. Each trip felt like a real journey of discovery and on the whole we were richly rewarded.
All the staff were welcoming and again nothing was too much trouble. The atmosphere of the reserve grabbed hold of all of us and had us wanting more. The views from the northern hills were captivating.
Like at Hog Hollow we could easily have stayed longer and may just have to make a return visit.
Kwandwe for great game and birds
The perfect formula would be Samara lodge and rooms in Kwandwe reserve! A more compact reserve than Samara, the Kwandwe game and birdlife was plentiful, findable and approachable. Had the lodge been to the same standard this would have been unbeatable. However on day 2 the temperature went into the mid 30s and we, along with all the other guests, found the rooms built in such a way as to make air conditioning essential. We had it but it required the skill of an astronaut to work the controls and the conditioner outlet is cunningly sited behind a wall to make the bathroom area icy while making no impact on the heat in the bedroom. Moreover the design of both the main lodge and the rooms allows the sun to bake all the surrounding decking and heat up the concrete walls to provide highly effective radiators.
We then had a farcicle episode in which we were gradually deprived of first our face flannels then our hand towels on successive linen exchanges - a situation which the lodge management appeared unable to grasp when informed or then remedy. When they finally got the message we found that all the hand towels were in the laundry and there were insufficient clean ones to go round so we were left without. The same staff continually layed the tables for breakfast and lunch out in the sun on the decking only to be asked by guests to move them into the shade inside the lodge.
We also noticed that we and one other party were the only guests staying for 3 nights. All the others during our stay were one or two night stoppers. However in their wisdom the management had placed us in one of the rooms furthest from the lodge. A crippled back episode was not helped by the long walks to and from our room. The staff were however wonderfully helpful in replacing my exhausted supply of painkillers.
On the plus side we were lucky to benefit from a 'special deal' whereby we qualified for a private guide, tracker and vehicle for the duration of our stay. Even better was the fact that our guide was none other than the reserve's head ranger. Absolutely wonderful and our time on the drives amply compensated for th shortcomings with the rooms and housekeeping.
Left the best until last
All of the places we stayed at and visited were great but Kwandwe has to be rated as the best. Everything about it was memorable. The safari drives were very well done and we saw everything that we hoped to see - and lots more. They were fun, interesting and educational. The place itself is magical with great lodges, food and service.Read more about the whole safari
Can I live here as well
Great place to view animals, although hard to find in quantity, seeing perhaps one of the big five each day. Although did not see a leopard. Next time a park with more anaimals and the same viewing privacy (not many trucks/drives) was great would be ideal
The staff are wonderful and great lodges to stay in by the river.
Trackers are knowledgable and friendly, eating freshly made pancakes in the bush whilst watching wild animals was fab.
Staff were very friendly