Reviews of Lagoon Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Evasive under qualified poorly motivated manager. Overconfident guides whose base knowledge of what we saw was lamentable. Always referring to guide books to answer questions. The staff appeared to run this as a private club rather than for the enjoyment of customers who had paid a grand a head per night for the dubious privilege of being there. If this camp remains on EA's list in the future it will be the last time we book with you.Read more about the whole safari
Beautifully situated Lagoon Camp
A lovely camp situated on the side of the river with constant comings-and-goings of hippos and dozens of elephants as well as numerous birds.
The staff were charming and friendly, the tents large and well furnished.
We had many fantastic sightings including a large pack of wild dogs with pups and two male lions feeding on a dead elephant. Due to the low level of the river boat rides were impossible but the game drives with our excellent guide, Hopps, and tracker, Justice, were exceptional. Some of the areas visited had been ravaged by fires but the new grass provided excellent food for an unusual selection of antelope.
Had an excellent 2 nights/days here. My only regret was that I hadn't booked to stay longer. I would highly recommend that you spend at least 3-4 nights here. The location/aspect of the camp is unbeatable, so relaxing overlooking the lagoon, with its resident hippos and herds of elephant and zebra bathing and grazing close by. There is a great little plunge pool and deck in which to cool down and laze about between game drives too. And a nice library to have some quiet time.
The huge, permanent tents have a lovely terrace overlooking the lagoon, a separate seating area, indoor/outdoor showers, as well as a stand alone bathtub also overlooking the lagoon. Food and service by all the management and staff at camp (Lebo, Kay, etc) was exemplary.
My guide/tracker (Hopps/Justice) were extremely skilful and great company. On the first morning, we tracked wild dog prints for one and a half hours before finally finding a pack of 23 dogs (including 10 puppies). I was totally blown away by the quality of tracking of these guys. They both have extensive experience in this field and it clearly shows.
On my first night, I was actually staying in the camp by myself, which was amazing (though the camp filled up the next day), and gave me the opportunity to have a long chat by the fire with Jake, the very friendly and hospitable camp manager, and also Hopps, who regaled us with stories of previous guiding successes, client antics, and very funny guiding mishaps/close calls over the years. A really fantastic evening. Highly recommend this camp. Again, I really didn't want to leave.
Great start to my safari
A very enjoyable stay; the highlights being the wild dogs. Within four hours of landing in Botswana I found myself in the thick of the action, alongside the dogs as they first hunted impala and then frantically chased a warthog.
The next morning we spent a relaxed hour watching a flock of around one hundred carmine bee-eaters - two very different but very memorable experiences.
Great room, spacious, clean. The food was mixed, but with several options being offered, there was always something to satisfy my appetite. Service was as I expected, I’ve certainly no complaints, and I think Expert Africa’s description of the camp/service/food is spot on; the service is not as polished as at some other camps I’ve visited, but it didn’t have any detrimental effect on my stay. Most importantly the game drives were excellent.
So overall I would give 4.5 stars, not quite perfection!
Wonderful safari experience at Lagoon
The second high point of the trip. Amazing location with pods of hippos and elephants coming to bathe right next to the lodge.
Perfect accommodation with every comfort and beautiful surroundings. Great food and excellent service.
However the high point was really attributable to the fabulous guides, Bate and PD, who demonstrated astonishing skill in tracking lions and leopard - predicting what we would find before we arrived - and in educating us in relation to birds, antelope .and wild dogs.
Lagoon Camp review
The room we had (overlooking the river with large numbers of hippo right outside our room) was superb. It was one of the highest standards of rooms throughout the holiday. It was our wedding anniversary while we were there and they surprised us with a private dinner, gift and champagne- it was truly wonderful.
The game viewing was again very good indeed and included one of the most memorable experiences we had when we followed the wild dog pack on a night hunt. Incredible. The guide and tracker's enthusiasm for this, clearly not an everyday experience for them either, was part of what made this so special. We also had the opportunity to enjoy a particularly good walking safari. The freedom to drive at night and go off road also brought great benefits.
The vegetarian food was not quite upto the standard of some of the other camps but it was still very good- and the lunches were generally better than the dinners.
The communal areas in comparison with the room were a bit tired in appearance but had a fantastic setting on the river.
The low water levels meant that all activities were land based which was a shame but out of anyone's control. Expert Africa might like to note that had we been told of this when they were in Oct 2015, (ie soon after our booking was made ) we might have asked to make a change. As it was we were only told when our final information pack was sent out when it was obviously too late for a change.
First camp at Lagoon
Lovely accommodation. Great to be by the river.
Wonderful encounters with lion family (lion, 4 x lionesses & 4 x cubs) coming together over old kill, cheetah, wild dogs. Our guide, Josiah and tracker, Timo were excellent.
Camp staff were excellent - very friendly and helpful.
Lagoon Camp review
accommodation good but cold at night. we had to get the staff to drop the outside window flaps to keep some of the heat in especially the one by the bath.
our guide Joshia and tracker were very good. they made sure we saw the wild dogs which was what we were hoping for.
we spent a mad half hour following them hunting. food and staff were both very good.
Great Safari at Lagoon Camp
We spent four nights in early June at Lagoon Camp. This was an excellent continuation after Kwara Camp, where we started our Botswana safari trips. There was plenty of game, and very good variety, plus colorful birds. Contrary to Expert Africa review, game drives were not overly focused on wild dogs or big predators. We saw them, with more than enough time for photos, but we also paused to photograph many sorts of animals and birds, which all the guests in our vehicles wanted to do.
Guide Josiah and tracker James were excellent. We never had to ask our guide to stop for photographs; he did it routinely as well as placed the vehicle for the best sun angle and the best lighting. We always paused for photos as long as people wanted, and we were never pressured to move along.
Camp managers and staff were very friendly, and we appreciated that the guides and managers joined the guests for sit-down meals. We liked the family style dining, which allowed plenty of time to chat with other guests. Flexible brunch and dinner times accommodated the game drives, since we didn’t have to quit a photo op just to rush back to camp for a meal.
We really enjoyed African singing and dancing shows by the staff, which showcased local music. The staff was extremely talented, and it seemed that everyone participated.
Lagoon was a small camp (8 tents) which fully met our wishes for an intimate African experience. Food and accommodations were excellent in all respects.
Highlights: the resident pack of 14 wild dogs finishing their kill, and then visiting a pond for water; a leopard chased up a tree by wild dogs which per the guide were harassing the leopard to chase it away from a nearby den; the sound of hippos munching grass outside our tent at 3am; African sunsets.
We also stayed at sister camps Kwara and Lebala, and the following comments apply equally to them.
The safari vehicles were well designed, with (relatively) easy access, canvas tops (removable), and very few support poles to interfere with photography. Only six passengers were allowed, giving everyone a "window seat", extremely important to us.
The same guides and trackers remained with us throughout our stay, from pickup at the air strip to delivery for the return flight. This added a great deal to the safari experience, as guides came to know what guests were interested in, and which areas were best to meet guest interests. It also allowed us to get to know our guide and tracker better.
Having both a guide and a tracker measurably improved the safari experience, as the guide could concentrate on driving, especially off-road, while the tracker spotted the wildlife. When trying to find an animal, it couldn't have been done effectively without the tracker to watch for paw prints in the sand.
Night drives took place after the sundowners, en route back to camp. Pickings were sparse, but we were pleased to see the occasional nocturnal predator.
We really appreciated "bush babies" (hot water bottles) on the early, cold morning drives. They were also provided in the evening for our beds, as the nights were quite chilly (maybe cold better describes the temps). We brought several layers of light jackets and sweaters, plus knit caps and gloves, taking them off as the morning wore on, and putting them back on after the sun set. We had back packs which worked well to carry all these items of clothing, plus camera gear and whatever.
Laundry service was efficient, which meant that we could have left some clothes at home, and not have stuffed our duffels quite so full.
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our time at Lagoon Camp and would readily return. In hindsight, three nights would have been better, both more relaxed and less rushed, plus additional game drives in this wildlife rich area.
Lagoon Camp review
Everything was great about the Lagoon Camp.
Our only complaint is that it was our last camp and meant the end of our safari.