Reviews of Lebala Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Great Safaris at Lebala Camp
A lovely camp in a dryer part, but nevertheless, interesting part of the concession.
Lovely, friendly staff who, together with the Managers, Action and Violet, went out of their way to make our wedding anniversary a wonderful and very special evening which we will always remember.
Our thanks also go to our guide, Bate, and tracker Ngarko, who provided us with some excellent game drives.
Brilliant stay at Lebala
Lebala was absolutely lovely. Rooms were a really good size and design with gauze netted walls so no mosquito nets were required.The camp was run really well and the food was amazing, we always seemed to be eating some delicious homemade cake or dish and you could never go hungry here. All the staff were first class.
Bate and Nalgo were our guide and tracker who were briliant. There are several different types of terrain around Lebala which made for interesting game drives and we really liked having both guide and tracker which not all camps have as their tracking paid off with some lovely sightings.
After 2 nights in Lebala's sister camp, Lagoon, around 30kms away, I spent 3 nights in Lebala. As with Lagoon, the quality of the experience in Lebala was outstanding. The rooms are very nicely appointed with outdoor showers, a deck overlooking the plains in front of the camp, and loads of space. The walls are mostly a mosquito netting type material, which allows you to look out into the plains and up to the stars at night from your bed. A really nice touch, particularly when the plains are so constantly alive with the echoes and cries of animals throughout the night. The camp also has a small plunge pool, which was very nice during the break over lunch between game drives when it was very hot.
On my first game drive back to Lebala from the 'half way point' (to Lagoon), Ishmal and Mr More (our guide and tracker) impressively managed to spot a leopard running in the bush some distance away. Over the following 45mins or so, we were able to spend some very enjoyable, quiet time right next to it. A very nice introduction to Lebala! Their eagle eyes were generally very impressive, with another leopard spotted up a tree on a later game drive, as well as lions (we had a price of 19 lions on the final day), hyenas, jackals, a huge variety of birds, etc.
On a couple of afternoons, we had sundowners in a truly majestic setting, known as 'Twin Pools' (for memory), which is a huge open savannah full of elephants (100+ on one of the nights), zebras, wildebeest, etc. So beautiful and tranquil. For one of the dinners, the camp organized a lantern-lit dinner away from the camp buildings, right next to the open plain, complete with a campfire apero and BBQ. The memory of that night will live on in my memory for a long time. Everybody loved it. The quality of food at Lebala, generally, was unbelievably good, a real highlight. As was the service and attentiveness of the management and all staff (Action/Violet, Hobbs, etc).
Lebala Camp review
Warm and enthusiastic hosts. Great guiding. Great food.Read more about the whole safari
Our main desire here was to see African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus). We were not disappointed. One day when hunted with them and the next we saw their den and the pups being fed. Our guide was knowledgable.
The only concern was driving safety. While chasing the dogs it became a bit of Mr. Toad's wild ride, especially for those in the last seats. We were violently bounced around. We still were glad to have gone on the chase, but we suggest that if at possible passengers move forward in the vehicle and wear seatbelts.
The staff was wonderful.
Dynamic Game Drive To Be Found Nowhere Else
Feedback by Hitoshi E.
1 Real Excitement: Pursuing wild dogs in their hunt was really exciting--a National Geographic experience. Both the driver and the tracker are professionals. I have never seen such an army like hunting by animals.
2 Professional Operation: Using my iPhone relying on faint 3G signals from a nearby Namibian base station, I called Chris [Ed: At Expert Africa] in London to ask him to change the camp for our next night stay. It was just a short conversation and my English was not perfect. But he got the picture of our situation correctly and arranged my request perfectly even if it was at night. I thank you all - not only Chris but also the local staff members who cooperated. I was amazed at such perfect operations done in Africa.
To be improved: Nothing special
Feedback by Kazuko Enda
In Lebala, we only had two safaris (reason described later), but they were very good ones. I was glad to see the wild dogs in their den with 15 puppies! The chase after the dogs hunting for a zebra (who escaped) was a roller-coaster experience.
Here’s a note on some special situation we had in Lebala:
When we flew to Lebala, we saw a big smoke rising from the ground (later found it was from the burning of fields in Namibia). The air was hazy and thick with the smell of fire. This concerned us gravely because my husband has a lung disease. He then called the Expert Africa’s emergency number and asked them to put us in another camp. It was a Saturday night. The next morning, we were out in the field for a morning safari. Then the camp manger radioed our guide to tell us that all the arrangements had been made for us to move to Little Kwara. We hopped on the airplane to Kwara at 11 am. We were simply amazed at the entire operation. How efficient! We were also deeply grateful for everyone who tried to meet our request—Chris, camp manager, and the driver who sped up the jeep so that we could catch the airplane.
2nd camp at Lebala
Accommodation and location not as good as Lagoon. Tents a little too close together. Missed being near water.
Great encounters with leopard, wild dogs, giraffe and large herd of elephants.
One evening, the staff entertained us with singing and dancing - most enjoyable.
Lebala Camp Review
Our second Kwando camp and we recognised the corporate approach from Little Kwara. We began really well with an amazing encounter with around 150 elephants on our way to the camp from the air strip. Our guide, Hobbs, was a one-off, with his own distinctive style, and Diesel was the best tracker we encountered on the trip. The accommodation was very spacious, with two showers and two wash hand basins and the bed was once again huge and very comfortable. The food was good and the bar was well stocked.
Hobbs responded quickly and efficiently to our request to search for wild dogs, and organised food to enable us to stay out as long as it took to find them. This involved driving to the neighbouring concession of Lagoon (also Kwando), where we were delighted to locate a group of 6 young males - the first time I had seen wild dogs in several visits to different parts of Africa. However, we were reminded that game viewing is often a matter of luck when we and the other vehicles spent a fruitless day and a bit trying to track and locate a pride of lionesses and cubs who succeeded in staying out of sight. Our activities were limited to game drives as walking was considered too dangerous due to the length of the grass 0 which we understood.
Several lovely surprises were laid on for the guests - sundowners set up beside a pan full of hippos, and a wonderful dinner set up in the open, under the stars and beside a big fire, which involved the staff in a lot of extra work, but was much appreciated by the guests.
Fantastic time at Labala camp
Labala was the first camp of our trip and we couldn't have wished for a warmer welcome. All the staff were friendly and approachable and couldn't be more helpful. The atmosphere is relaxed and not too regimented, the guides are very knowledgeable and were really focused on giving us the most enjoyable game drives.
The camp itself showed some minor signs of age, with a little wear and tear here and there, but this did not detract from our stay at all.
In at the deep end at Lebala
For the pleasurable task of introducing some of my family to safari for the first time, I turned to Kwando, at three of whose camps I and my partner had experienced fabulous safaris in the past.
We were not disappointed. One of the animals on our 'tick list' that had eluded us on our previous visits - wild dog - we encountered on our first drive - all 26 of them! Thereafter, our insightful and immensely tolerant guides Bali and Boman proved excellent keyholders to the Linyanti's bounty and each drive provided a colourful and/or dramatic example for the 'newbies'.
The accommodation and food were first rate, with my partner and I feeling very much at home in the more 'trad' accented lodges. There was always a visitor or two round the tents at night, including an elephant who must have been a frustrated landscape gardener.
The staff were charming and infinitely patient with a nephew displaying residual ADD-like tendencies and I'm sure they sailed through their Dept of Tourism checks that were happening the day after we left!