Reviews of Lagoon Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Why did we go there?
The vehicles were boneshakers and the roads were horrendous. Please see separate email and attachment.Read more about the whole safari
Expert Africa comments
These travellers saw wild dogs here, which were high on their wish-list. Despite this, they were very unhappy here, especially with the camp's vehicles and the quality of the reserve's tracks.
By way of a post-script to this story, Kwando Lagoon took delivery of new vehicles toward the end of 2012. Lagoon tell us that they're not allowed to lay anything to improve the tracks, but they do drag them periodically to try and reduce the ruts.
Kwando lagoon review
This was our last camp. Left waiting at the airstrip for 45 mins to be met, very hot!! Jeep with no roof and no means of attaching one so late am safaris were very uncomfortable.( did not know about no rooves at Kwando until just before departure so probably would not have booked here). However they did try very hard to accommodate us on game ride timings and I used a sarong and umbrella!!
The setting was absolutely fantastic. The rooms huge and very comfortable ( but with slippery rugs on highly polished floors!) the ceiling fans were excellent.The elephant swimming across the river was stunning and the evening boat ride very enjoyable .Paul , our guide , tried very hard to find game but there was disappointingly little about. We drove a long way to see the wild dogs which were great but didn't manage to track the cheetah due to the lack of game.
The camp is in an excellent position with great views across the river. The pool area great for relaxing in the shade and fishing from the deck was fun.
Expert Africa comments
We were delighted that these guests had a good time at Lagoon Camp (and did finally see the wild dogs there!) but sorry about the delay at the airstrip. Such flight delays are rare in Botswana but thats no consolation to these travellers.
The vehicles at Lagoon and Lebala camps are open to the skies; they dont have roofs. Although we make this clear on our website pages for these camps, were very sorry that we didnt draw this travellers attention to this fact when she was planning her trip. We now have a system to do this to inform travellers who are thinking of including Lagoon or Lebala of this fact as they plan their trips.
Incidentally, these open-topped vehicles at Lagoon and Lebala are gradually being replaced by new vehicles (with three rows of seats rather than two), which are due around the end of November 12. These will have the facility to add a canopy. However, the default practice of Lagoon, Lebala, Kwara and Little Kwara will remain for these vehicles to have open tops, without any canopies, as the camps believe it gives better all-round visibility. They plan to only add a canopy, on request, if all guests on a vehicle agree it's desirable.
Wonderful place. We just loved it.Read more about the whole safari
Lagoon Camp review
Beautiful, comfortable camp. The management and staff were very accommodating.
The game drives were spectacular! We were there in August and were lucky to see many predators and other game. Spencer and James were our guides/ driver. They were amazing. They successfully tracked cheetah, leopard, and lion. We had the most incredible experience with a pride of lions--I will never forget it. We were also able to see the wild dogs and their puppies!
We love the open trucks that Kwando has, even the Yuri!
Kwando Lagoon - home of the wild dogs
After leaving Muchenje Safari Lodge we've had a scenic flight to Lagoon Camp located at the Kwando river.
We stayed for 3 nights at Lagoon Camp and enjoyed it very much!
The lodge is located at a lagoon and you can hear (and sometimes also see) elephants and hippos close by. The tented rooms are more than spacious with a large living-sleeping room and a bathroom with a bath tub facing to the lagoon - amazing. All people are very friendly and helpful and they create delicious meals. They offer game drives in the morning and afternoon and also a boat cruise an the Kwando river
Joe (a bushman!) and his tracker A.T. were a fantastic team to guide us. Because Lagoon is a private concession the drivers are allowed to drive off road and also at night. This is a big advantage in comparison to the National Parks where vehicles have to stay on the road and have to be back at the lodge/outside the park at sunset.
We've chosen this camp because we hoped to see wild dogs .... and we did!!! At the time of our visit the Lagoon pack consisted of 18 adult animals and 10 puppies (about 5 weeks old!). The den was just a 10 minutes drive away from the camp so it was easy to visit them (and we did it every day!!!). We saw them sleeping, suckling the puppies, playing, doing their famous ritual greetings, preparing for the hunt and also joined them hunting - an unforgettable adventure: we followed the dogs through the bush overriding bushes, logs and even small trees with the indestructible URI vehicle and joined them chasing a herd of about 100 buffaloes trying to bring down a calf (finally successful!).
But we've seen also a lot of other animals in this concession incl. elephants, buffaloes, wildebeests, topi ..... and we also saw a pride of 4 lions and not to forget a clan of hyenas at their den with 3 cubs !!!!
The boat cruise was nice but a little disappointing because we've seen only a few animals but other guests were more lucky in seeing more animals.
The camp was great and because of our wild dog experience this camp will stay unforgettable for us and of course we can't recommend it high enough !!!
Wild dogs everywhere!
Our first camp in Botswana - very spacious and luxurious rooms. Friendly and welcoming staff and expert guiding. We had fantastic sightings of Wild Dog everyday of our stay, as they had set up their den very close to the camp.
Bali and Aaron our guide and tracker looked after us very well. Keeping up with the dogs while they are hunting is no easy task and you need to hold on tight as the vehicles do follow them everywhere!! But with expert driving by Bali we arrived at two kills very soon after they were made by the dogs.
We saw 7 species of antelope including Eland. We also had good sightings of both side stripe and black backed jackal. Also good birding with sightings of many raptors, Giant Eagle Owl and Kori Bustard.
Lagoon Camp review
Kwando Safaris clearly like to give value in terms of length of game drives - 4 hours being about the average. This does mean that the late afternoon/evening drive inevitably turns into a night session as well, which may not suit everyone. Others, of course, will choose this and other Kwando camps specifically because of this.
We did spend quite a lot of time "driving around in the dark" - here and perhaps more so at Lebala - not seeing very much other than moths, but I suppose this is the nature of safaris in general. We were luckier at Kwara and felt the length of time spent in the dark was better here (i.e. not so long!) Enjoyed the sunset cruise on the lagoon/river as an alternative to a drive.
Regarding food: dinners were very good - not fancy food as provided in some safari camps, but good honest fare. The idea of brunch worked well, but the execution wasn't always perfect in terms of how hot some of the dishes were kept - we hardly had a hot sausage all week! Quality and supply of drinks was very good. Particularly liked the afternoon savoury snack and homemade lemonade.
The lovely polished wood flooring around the camp was extremely slippery in some places - near the dining area, for example - perhaps a little less polishing would be safer.
The tents are nothing short of magnificent.
Some disappointment at not seeing any cats, but wonderful experience with the wild dogs.
Wild place, exceptional experience!
I just loved it here! Because of the atmosphere and because of the dogs.
The atmosphere was very nice, not in the least due to the camp staff. The camp itself seems to have been recently refurbished and looks very nice. The tents/cabins are very large and nicely decorated. Hunting with the dogs was the most wonderful experience I had in my life and I just loved the guide, famous (" Mr Wild Dog") Spencer. Because he is good, great fun and a little bit crazy.
Yes, there will be a next time Botswana, and this camp and guide will definitely be included in the travel scedule!
And like in lebala, trying to track down the animals adds something special to the safari experience.
THE place to see African wild dogs
Kwando Lagoon is a great place for families because it's casual and offers a variety of activities. Meals are served buffet-style at a communal table. It was fun to catch up with the other guests and talk about our day's sightings.
We loved that our guide, Bali, and spotter, AT, took us to see the elusive wild dogs, but then they were able to bounce our 4x4 across the bush as the dogs were on a hunt. Thankfully we didn't witness a kill (in spite of our 13-year-old's insistence that this would be educational), but we saw the warthog prey, tail up in the air, run for its life and duck into a hole at the last minute.
We saw young hyenas emerging from their den, lots of ellies, a male ostrich, impala, hippos, giraffes, zebra, the lovely lilac-breasted roller (bird), kudu and more.
Bali and AT took us out on a walking safari (Bali carried a rifle, just in case) and we learned about termite mounds and other creatures' habits.
Late one afternoon, we took the boat down the Chobe River, and we got to fish and have sundowners. Coming back to camp, the sunset was glorious.
Excellent remodeled camp!
Very nice accommodations and staff. Lots of great game viewing. Wild dogs were kind of a specialty here during my stay. However, there were plenty of other viewings of elephants, hyenas (including lots of puppies), hippos, warthogs, impala, kudu, ostrich, giraffe and cheetah.
As you've probably already read, the camp was completely remodeled about a year and a half ago. The rooms are very nice. I actually had 2 showers (1 indoor and 1 outdoor) and a bathtub. It's a bit of a walk if you have one of the higher number rooms, but that was ok. If you want hot water, you need to plan ahead; it takes about a full 5 minutes for it to hit the faucet.
The food was pretty decent. However, I am still trying to figure out who came up with chocolate covered pineapple (must be a British thing). Meals were at a community table and most of the guides would join us. Meals were buffet style except for the appetizer and dessert.
Chasing the local wild dog pack was quite an experience. Tip: don't sit in the back of the vehicle if you're going to do that. I almost literally got thrown from the vehicle. I was hanging on for dear life. We got to see the dogs hunt. We saw a few feeding on an Impala (just missed the kill unfortunately). Probably the most fun was watching the pack just play for a good 10 minutes in a small pond. They had a blast just chasing each other around and through the water. They raced around full speed just chasing and playing with each other.
Overall, a very nice camp with very good game viewing. Pictures and videos of my trip, including video reviews of my rooms, are available if you click here. I hope this review is helpful for you.