Reviews of Lebala Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
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!
Lebala Camp review
Huge, comfortable tents, friendly staff and great game drives.
We were lucky in that there were a maximum of 6 guests while we were there and it had a very relaxed and intimate feel. It might be different when the camp is full. Our guide (Bate) and tracker (OT) were excellent.
We were lucky to be there on Botswana's independence Day and we were treated as part of the family and included in the celebrations.
Brilliant stay at Lebala
Our first experience of such a remote location - exhilarating. Game drives found lion, buffalo and elephant in numbers and one evening followed two lions chasing a large herd of buffalo. Our guide, Bait, was excellent and made the game drives varied and interesting, ably assisted by his tracker, TT.
Jessica, BK, Mox and Peggy and all the staff were marvellous, really made us welcome and comfortable. One night we had elephants sleeping next to our tent, very noisy and somewhat alarming. But exciting!
Jessica presented us with a card and a gift for our 30th wedding anniversary, which wasn't until the day after we were to leave Lebala. a lovely thought, I shall treasure the book with happy memories.
The food at Lebala was top-class, can't say how much we enjoyed it.
One disappointment is that on our first night the generator ran all night, and at night in the African bush a generator makes a mighty noise, blotting out all you might expect to hear from night time noises, and keeping us awake. We were told it was for a guest who needed to run breathing apparatus all night. Jessica was in an unenviable position of facing complaints from some guests or potentially a dead guest in the morning. Fortunately for us this guest left the next day. But I was surprised to find that such an arrangement had been made, which meant everyone in the camp was disturbed all night. It is not what one goes to remote sites for. Kwando Safaris, please note.
Lebala Camp review
The camp was more basic than the other 2 we went to - no wooden walkways - just tracks to the cabins.
The facilities were not as good - no provision of robes or slippers.
We didn't get a safety briefing before our first game drive (perhaps they assumed all safety aspects had been covered at the previous camp - but they should have still gone over safety issues)
The floor in shower was wooden and polished. It was very slippery when wet.
Great stay at Lebala!
Everyone at Lebala really went out of their way to make our stay a memorable one, and they succeeded! Co-managers Jessica and BK are truly doing a great job at this camp. Top marks for the whole staff for their friendliness and genuine hospitality! The singing and dancing on our last night will remain with us as one of the best memories of our trip!
We loved the camp's setting; very cosy rooms and those nice little touches to make us feel welcome. Lunch and dinner were always delicious, with plenty of choice of fresh vegetables and fruits. Our guide was Jacob and our tracker AT. These guys really worked very hard to give us the best safari experience: wonderful leopard and lion sightings, and to top it of, we saw a caracal ! Jacob is an extremely knowledgable and most entertaining guide. We truly enjoyed his tales buy the campfire!
Some points for improvement:
- early breakfast: not enough porridge for all the guests, and not much else to choose from.
- they might consider
a) moving the power generator out a bit further from the guest tents or
b) getting a more silent model.
We were in room 2, and it sounded like the power generator was standing right next to us, and it produced the sound of 10 heavy trucks. On our last night, the generator had to stay on all night because of one of the other guest's health issues, which is, of course, understandable, but it resulted in us not getting any sleep at all.
Anyway, we would absolutely love to go back to Lebala one day (but in a room further from the power generator...) !
Lebala Camp review
We did not initially feel as welcome at Lebala as we had at Little Kwara, probably not helped by the slightly larger size of the camp and our not receiving a camp-level induction/orientation on arrival. But our doubts were completely dispelled by the next morning, when we got to know our guide Jacko and our tracker Bowman better (with apologies to both for incorrect spelling) and had an admittedly long and bumpy drive to see the wild dogs and their puppies (who had moved closer to Lagoon).
Jacko and Bowman were endlessly knowledgeable and good humoured, and thanks to their dedication we had some marvellous sightings, which included fascinating lion/lion and lion/buffalo interactions. We were also lucky with night driving at Lebala, managing for example to see an aardwolf and its young as well as a charming baby porcupine.
During our stay we felt that a higher management profile would perhaps have helped the atmosphere gel better particularly over dinner but overall we had a fantastic time at this beautiful and unpretentious camp.
Lebala Camp review
Good location and rooms are spacious and comfortable.The laundry service is excellent.
The quality and variety of the food was good,particularly considering the remote location of this (and the other camps). The staff at Lebala are professional, very pleasant and willing to help. The manager at Lebala, Bikay (not sure of the spelling) was the best of the managers at the Kwando camps I visited. He was always visible, welcoming and helpful ......even at 0630 in the morning around the 'breakfast fire'. His enthusiasm, I'm sure, rubbed off on the rest of the staff because Lebala was by far the best run of the camps I visited.
Another 'best' for Lebala was my guide Dux. Dux is very knowledgeable, communicative and experienced. He listens carefully to his guests and tries to make sure everyone's particular wishes are fulfilled. Dux is tenacious and patient when looking for 'requested' animals but isn't reluctant to say that particular animals are not likely to be seen. This means even if someone is disappointed at not seeing their favourite, they don't hold unrealistic hopes. For example he told one guest that there was no hope of seeing cheetahs,he did it in a straightforward fashion but went on to say that the chances of seeing one at their next camp was high and also talked about cheetahs habits and behaviour and the reasons why there were none around Lebala at present.
Our tracker, Bohman (?spelling) was also the best one I encountered. He must have walked a good couple of miles one morning when he and Dux were tracking 3 lionesses for us. And, yes, they did find them and we all learned a lot about paw prints. Wild dog sightings were brilliant. I was fortunate enough to see them hunt and kill. Given comprehensive information about their hierarchical structure and the history of this particular pack and witness their greeting ceremonies.
Lebala was by far the best of the Kwando camps, though I may be a little biased because it was where I first saw wild dogs! Nonetheless, the quality of my guide and tracker and the Manager's professionalism would have made it my favourite even without the dogs.