Reviews of Khwai Tented Camp
Wildlife sightings and reviews
32 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Khwai Tented Camp and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"Terrific African Tent Safari Experience"
The facilities were as promised, not luxurious but in keeping with traditional tenting camps from the past. Everything was clean and well kept. Only downside was that there was no electrical outlet in the tent for charging tablets/phones etc. However, there was a charging "station" in the dining/common room. Meals were in the open air and beautifully presented. The service was second to none, the staff was outgoing and eager to please.
We have been to much more luxurious resorts but we felt that here we were more in the "real Africa" and thoroughly enjoyed it." See all these reviews: 5n in Botswana
"Khwai Tented Camp review"
Delicious food, small and intimate setting, lovely staff. Excellent game drives, varied & abundant wildlife including leopards, wild dogs, and huge numbers of hippo!
We very much hope the staff who were so friendly and welcoming & mainly local, and were to be laid off due to closure of the camp, will be re-employed when the new camp opens." See all these reviews: 11n in Namibia; 8n in Botswana; 1n in Zimbabwe
"Great experience at Khwai Tented Camp"
Service was always attentive, on time, very polite and patient.
The safaris were unique, we had the opportunity to witness fantastic animal interactions. All guides in the camp were amazing, and the way they shared information on animal sightings was a very valuable addition to our experience.
Absolutely loved our guide: Partner Kadisa. He was always enjoyable, knowledgeable, patience, funny, attentive. He made our safari rides something very special.
Also enjoyed very much all the help, service and great conversations with Junior at Camp.
Overall absolutely great experience." See all these reviews: 3n in Botswana
"Khwai Tented - our favourite camp"
There were only six people staying there at any time during our stay which meant plenty of attention for us. We found it a well organised camp with everybody keen to please. There was always food made especially for me (gluten free and dairy free).
Our guide, (Partner), was very special - he formed a good relationship with us and his tracking skills were excellent. We saw wild dogs for the first time which was a special moment for us all. The memory of the last night's meal out in the bush will remain with us for some time." See all these reviews: 9n in Botswana
"Khwai Tented Camp review"
The accommodations are a basic tent with running cold water and electricity. The beds are comfortable and bucket showers are quite nice and refreshing. Everything was in working order for us, and we were satisfied with the service. The meals were full service and tasty. There was limited choice on the menu, though it wasn't a big problem for us because we are not too picky.
Our guide was very knowledgeable and did a great job finding the action for us. We were lucky enough to encounter a pack of wild dogs twice and even got to see them in action hunting and chasing after another pack. The area has a lot of water around, which makes the scenery really spectacular as well. And the remoteness of the area means you won't encounter many other vehicles. This gives a feeling of having the entire area to yourself." See all these reviews: 10n in Botswana; 2n in Zimbabwe
"Relaxing stay on the Kwai"
Compared to the experience with Savute Under Canvas, the game drives tended to be a little bit crowded since they used to have 7 people on one vehicle. They always tried to make everyone happy that led to "flexible" time schedule (that is starting a little bit later) for game drives and we had to put it as a special request to leave at 6.30 am one morning to see the sunrise.
The area is very nice and we had good game viewing, but itineraries were always quite similar to each others, in a short range from the camp (main constraints were brunch and dinner timing). The tent was comfortable but missing a clothes rack or hangers, we requested a chair to use for that purpose.
The overall stay was nice and relaxing, a little bit less focused on maximizing game drives (that was our main interest) compared to the Savute Under Canvas." See all these reviews: 8n in Botswana
"Khwai was nice but not all that different"
Activities: We couldn't do walking safaris because the grass levels were too high and the guides felt it was too dangerous. Understandable. Night drives were merely a continuation of the afternoon drive, which was a nice add-on but not an activity in and of itself. Off-roading allowed for some closeups that we couldn't get in the reserves, but was also an add-on rather than the bulk of an activity. As for water stuff, it was awesome being in a tent that's just a few meters from water where hippos are doing their thing around the clock. But otherwise, there wasn't much of a water element to the activities. We did a 1-hour mokoro cruise but it was more of a novelty than an actual activity.
While we were right outside Moremi, we never actually entered the park. Our guide is a local Khwai resident and suggested that we stick to the Khwai concession. He knows that terrain extremely well, but we couldn't help but wonder what if anything we might have missed in Moremi.
We really had expected some elements that didn't exist at the Chobe camps (e.g. walking, water activities) but those didn't materialize. We did have a chance to visit the Khwai village and meet our guide's family which was a nice change from non-stop game drives.
As for the staff, they were very friendly. Terry runs a great kitchen and the team did a great job prepping our gluten-free meals. Our room and laundry was great. But compared to &Beyond, we felt that there was a bit of finesse missing. The operation was well run, but not clockwork like we had been spoiled with at &Beyond. It lacked the military precision. We noted a lot of staff turnover while we were there (many staff work for 3 months at a time, then get 3 weeks off) so the teams were in a state of flux. We also noticed that the two game vehicles they had were sharing one spare tire. Each car should have two spare tires all the time. We also noticed that our guide's vehicle had radio trouble intermittently with no backup handset. It's the little things like this that stuck out.
Overall we felt there was some polish missing that we had expected at this price point! We brought this up to the camp management and they tried their hardest to make our remaining time memorable. The highlight was a bush dinner where it was just us in the wilderness. It almost felt like a scene from The Bachelor complete with song, dance, and candlelit dinner surrounded by rhinos and elephants!
I'm glad we had this experience at Khwai. Looking back, if we were to do this again, we'd probably combine Khwai with only one other land-based camp (rather than two), or we'd combine the other land-based camps with a true water-based camp deeper in the delta. Khwai offers a little bit of everything but we didn't feel that it excelled at one thing in particular." See all these reviews: 7n in Botswana
"luck runs out at Khwai"
I think it needs to be said that the very early morning routine i.e. beginning the drives at 6am worked against us as the weather was so cold many animals had not emerged at this early hour. Starting game drives so early is fine in the summer when the temperatures rise quickly and the animals are most active in the relative cool of dawn and dusk, but in the winter this is not really an issue, and, as I said, can be inimical to great sightings. Camps should be more flexible in this regard and on cold mornings visitors could happily set out at 8 or 9am and get a better viewing experience in my view. Having said that, it was great to see the sun rising through the mists at Duba Plains.
The late afternoon drives were better and our highlight at Kwai was the hyena den where four youngsters had been whelped a few weeks previously. It was great to see these much maligned beasts playing with their cubs and showing a caring and gentle side to their natures.
On the winter note, the weather can be seriously cold overnight and in the mornings, so it's therefore important to take as much warm clothing as can sensibly pack in your suitcase. We did not pack enough despite Expert Africa's warning." See all these reviews: 13n in Botswana; 2n in Zambia
"Friendly Khwai Tented Camp"
At this camp, we probably had our best experience of close encounters with mainly sightings of individual animals: elephant, giraffe, kudu, lion, waterbuck, warthog, fish eagle and crocodile (on other side of water!). We had a very enjoyable 1/2 hour with a mother hyena and her cubs; literally 2m away. Good groups of red lechwe, impala and zebra; also dwarf mongoose, plus various large wading birds like Marabou, saddle-billed and gap-billed stork.
In June, the camp has enough water bordering it to support views of Hippos from your lodge veranda. We had an excellent sundowner, again with Hippos, allowing numerous photos to be taken at leisure, in stunning lighting." See all these reviews: 8n in Botswana
"A highlight - Kwai Tented Camp"
We stayed in Tent 1 overlooking the floodplain. The only thing we missed was somewhere to hang our clothes as there was no canvas wardrobe.
Our guide was Pilot who seems to be famous throughout Botswana. Our drives were divided equally between the Moremi Game Reserve and the Kwai Community Concession. A one-off was Pilot simulating a lion's roar and enticing 2 male lions to emerge from the bush. The noise from all 3 was unbelievable. The lions belonged to a pride of eleven. We were able to see them all including tiny triplet cubs.
On our first night a child in Kwai Village had been attacked by a leopard and Pilot was on a mission to find the cat. Five game drives later Pilot was confident we found the guilty leopard. He claimed he could tell from the way the leopard looked at him!
Other sightings included a spotted hyaena den with 3 females and 5 small cubs; and a real-life bush baby. Our send-off was as special as our arrival, only this time we joined in the singing and dancing." See all these reviews: 24n in Botswana; 7n in Mozambique; 1n in South Africa
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