Reviews of Lagoon Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
30 year ambition realized
Again, a very friendly camp, beautifully situated by the Kwando River. The food & accommodation were satisfactory & the guiding excellent.
For 30+ years my wife had nurtured an ambition to see wild dogs & within an hour of setting out with Vundi & Lester on our first drive we found ourselves at the nearby den site, surrounded by 15 relaxing adults. The pups were hidden in the den, but the following evening we arrived early & found all six romping around with the adults, closely watched by the alpha female to ensure they came to no harm. Later that evening the whole pack set off on a hunt across the open plain. We managed to keep up until they entered thick bush & we lost contact.
On our last evening we spotted a leopard descending a tree while driving to the den, & were later radioed that the dogs were away from the den & had also come across the leopard. It had been found up a tree & we arrived in time to see the last two dogs wandering off & a very disgruntled leopard scowling down from the topmost branches.
There was a hyena den in the area as well & we enjoyed great views of the cubs there, frolicking with their 'minder' - a young male who had been left to oversee the cubs & den while the rest of the clan were off hunting.
Vundi & Lester were excellent at finding & following animal tracks along the road. In this way we found a huge male lion & sat about 5 yards away from him until he tired of our company. Also two lionesses after a 30 minute search & a lone male cheetah who had mislaid his two brothers , climbing every termite mound & calling pitifully.
There was plenty more common game in the area, plus two separate large herds of buffalo, ground hornbill, ostrich & four magnificent Kudu bulls. We had coffee & sun downers in some really beautiful settings.
There was one really serious complaint about the camp which Kwando need to address. A fellow guest & myself mentioned that we would like to do an hours fishing during siesta time from the camp deck. Unfortunately the tackle provided was totally inadequate - fishing rods, tiny reels & thick wiry line which sprang off the spool in tangled coils, making it impossible to cast spinners more than a few yards. We gave up in disgust after 15 minutes, but later a member of the camp staff took over the rods & baited the spinners with raw meat & cats out using a ut & bolt for weight. He soon hooked a large (20lb) catfish which he dragged in & attempted to lift dead weight on to the decking, the hooks tore out & the fish fell back in to the water.
Soon after a managed to land a nice talapia & went off to the kitchen with , leaving a second baited rod propped up against the deckrail. Minutes later the rod bent double & before we could reach it, hurtled over the rail like a javelin & was last seen heading across the river towards Namibia, before it eventually sank from view.
Leaving baited tackle unattended is both stupid & irresponsible. The hooked fish will probably become tethered to a snag & die of exhaustion or starvation, but there is also 50-100 yards of wiry line, which doesn't rot, lying in the river. When the water levels drop this could easily ensnare any bird or animal which comes into contact with it causing suffering & probable death.
There are obviously large fish to be caught here, but if Kwando wishes to advertise fishing as one of the activities available, they should consult an experienced angler who could recommend the purchase of suitable tackle & advise on some common sense ethical rules. At Duma Tau, our next camp the tackle provided was of excellent quality & they operated a 'catch & release' policy - all very well organised.
Another superb Kwando Safari's Camp
This matched the allround excellence of Kwara Camp.
The guide and tracker worked hard to deliver one of the highlights of the trip....a pack of wild dogs with a kill.
Add to this a herd of 50 elephants and we were in heaven!
Lagoon Camp Experience
Overall Lagoon Camp was good. There was a slight mismatch at the camp as there were 6 French photographers who had booked 2 vehicles (just 3 in each) leaving us with 6 in the only other remaining vehicle (it's a good job there were only 6 guests outside the French party). When we enquired about a boat trip we were told that all our group of 6 had to agree to going on it due to staff availability. The camp needs at least one more vehicle and another driver/boatman.
We knew the manager from Lebala last year and although he sympathised with us he couldn't do anything and as a result we didn't get as much birding in as was expected (but we did get a Wild Dog overload - there's only so many photos you can take!!). By the way there were only 2 guests in the camp the day we moved to Lebala (bad timing I suppose on our part).
The location was excellent and you couldn't fault the food. Our Driver/Guide and tracker were Alison and BD who did find us some birds to photograph.
The tents are beginning to show a bit of wear and tear but are quite acceptable. The nightly visit of the Hippo was an experience.
wild lagoon camp
Lagoon camp continues to retain a tangible feel of being in true wilderness set as it is in this northern extreme of the kwando concession and continues to have a very positive laid back but can-do atmosphere
The good management team of Labu and keoni clearly motivated their team and provided excellent service in a friendly and laid back way throughout.
The guiding team were also excellent - we had Dishu and James who were extremely impressive skillfull and persistent trackers.Their dedication and enthusiasm for setting off early rewarded us with some fantastic experiences with the lagoon pack of dogs including excillerating hunts.
The camp really are dedicated to maximising your quality time in the bush and go out of their way to make what you want happen.
The camp itself is comfortable and the tents beuatifullly set beside a lagoon just off the main linyanti channel. This camp does not need to be any bigger or more luxurious than it currently is other than the tents are now a bit worn and im sure they will be replaced by Kwando in the near future.
The food was wholesome and plentiful .
Great location at Lagoon camp
Our second camp for 3 nights. A wonderful location, with our tented lodge verandah right next to the Kwando river. Very pleasant sitting watching the hippos,or the great bird life. Sharing our garden'with our elephant friend' was no hardship! Slightly more spacious rooms and shower area than Kwara. All of the staff were very pleasant happy smiling attentive people who entertained the guests with their traditional dance and singing on our last night. Good food. Friendly relaxed atmosphere.
Guides worked tirelessly to satisfy guest 'wish lists' on animals and birds. Hunting with a large pack of wild dogs one late afternoon, and following 3 cheetahs, were very special moments for us. Lagoon had 'a more maintained and fresher feel' than its sister camp at Kwara. From the furnishing to the books left for guest reference reading.
Only downside was that the river excursions were not possible as the boat was away being repaired ( for more than a month??). This was the only negative in an otherwise great 3 night stay.
Lagoon Camp review
We really enjoyed our stay here.
Our guide Alson and his tracker Baruti were everything we could have asked for. Their tracking ability was unbelievable. How the guides managed to find the 3 cheetah brothers in all that space I will never know. Beruti was constantly spotting animals way before us and we saw lots of anilmals here.
There were many highlights which included following the Wild Dogs hunting, watching them on a kill, spending time at a Hyena den watching the puppies play, watching Wild Dog puppies play, but how Beruti managed to spot a Pangolin in the long grass on a night drive is beyond comprehension.
We never thought we would be lucky enough to see this but then we had never met Baruti before! I loved the mornings at the Lagoon with all the birds in the camp & a lovely tortoise. Every drive yielded a new experience for us.
Lagoon Camp review
Another great location with views across the lagoon. Full on game drives-slightly hair raising (and slightly surprising that guides go out without compasses and get lost - luckily radio contact and engine revving help to locate us!) but the ferrari safari paid off with great sightings of the wild dogs.
Generally good food and snacks although slight critisism of arriving mid morning and nothing to eat until afternoon tea but the delicious cakes made up for it.
Disappointing that the boat was out of order but luckily we were booked into other delta camps with boats so didnt matter too much. Overall good.
Lagoon Camp review
Seeing the wild dogs with puppies here was the highlight. The number of elephants meant that they were soon classed at "common sightings". The staff were friendly and sitting around the camp fire (a feature shared at all three camps (Kwara, Lagoon and Lebala) - called the "bush TV"
was always a great way to start and finish the day. Sitting chatting to staff and fellow guests about life the universe and everything and in particular the wildlife was a memorable experience.
Wildlife score: * * * * *
Lagoon Camp review
This camp was set in a drier area to the first 2, and therefore there was different but also beautiful scenery. There was plenty of water in the river, and as in the other camps a nightly serenade of hippo and frogs.
We had an excellent driver and tracker, and one of the highlights was watching their expertise in tracking cheetah,. We evetually caught up with 3 enormous male cheetah on a zebra kill.
The highlight was the wild dog family of 8 puppies and about 11 adults. We followed a hunt from start to finish (not the actual kill thank heavens) which was absorbing and exhilarating. The dogs set up a leopard and eventually killed a warthog. The drive across country is not for the faint hearted, but the standard of driving was excellent.
We had an all day safari which is highly recommended. After driving through dry country spotting such things as Sable antelope we arrived at a beautiful lagoon to meet up with our lunch which had been driven 17km to meet us.
The staff at this camp were all very good. Our thanks to Dishu, Baruti and Niki,
Wonderful stay at Lagoon camp
The hospitable team at Lagoon Camp really looked after us well. We appreciated Alison & Baruti's in depth knowledge when they were guiding us around.
Highlights of our stay were the cheetahs and the wild dogs - we hope Scrappy is continuing to thrive! It was very exciting to be in the wilderness yet feel completely safe and very comfortable. Food was excellent (including catfish caught from the deck by another guest!).
The location is beautiful - watching elephants from your own balcony takes some beating!