Reviews of Okuti
Wildlife sightings and reviews
18 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Okuti and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
Very good guiding by Cautious, but I was upset on my first afternoon not to have been "cautioned" that there would be no pit stop on the afternoon cruise, necessitating a painful and rushed return to camp instead of "sundowners on the water."
The food at dinner was poor, but perhaps the chef was unable to give meats such as lamb shank and oxtail the long, low heat, slow cook needed to make them tender.
Wildlife sightings were good. One highlight was to see hippos mating, and another to witness a leopard stalking an impala. Happily the impala won out to live another day!" See all these reviews: 14n in Botswana; 3n in Zimbabwe
"Very personalised- every detail matters here "
All meals at eaten at one large table with guides joining the guests. Food was very well-cooked and plentiful. A high light for us was a surprise lunch in the bush. Staff had thought of everything, even hot water and soap for you to wash your hands before the meal. Insects were not a problem.
We were allocated a family chalet with two bedrooms. It was very spacious with a comfortable sitting area. There were two sinks, as well as inside and outside showers. Okuit's setting is very peaceful. Rooms overlook the river and each room has a private viewing platform. The chalets are solidly built, but the walls, whilst high, do not reach the ceiling. The gap is filled with mesh to keep out insects, but it still gets very cold at night., We really appreciated the hot water bottles that were put in our bed at night and the hot drink brought to your chalet as a wake up call.
We stayed 3 nights here and think that is a minimum stay. In that time, we had 5 game drives in the jeep and one trip on the river.
." See all these reviews: 7n in Botswana; 3n in Zimbabwe
One odd thing happened which didn't fit with the rest of my experience there. On the third day when we got to the safari vehicle for the morning drive, we noticed the tops had been taken off all the vehicles. Given our experience at AfriCats we knew this would be a problem and asked for the top to be put back on. Our guide was clearly in a bind. He had not agreed with the decision but had been ignored. So Jeanne went to one of the managers and asked for the top to go on and he said of course and made it happen. This took time out of our drive and left us puzzled about why we weren't asked about something like that. It was the same day the manager returned from leave so I assumed it was his decision.
There was also an issue with elephants seeming stressed out with our presence. We asked to move on when the elephant was bellowing and being protective of their young. We asked to move on and get out of their space. The guide ignored us until we got really insistent. We heard later that this area had been a hunting lodge previously and maybe the elephants remembered." See all these reviews: 8n in Botswana; 4n in South Africa; 2n in Zimbabwe
"Wonderful start to our trip at Okuti"
Our guide was really good (Solomon) and very knowledgeable and gave us plenty of time at each sighting. We did a boat trip on the afternoon of our first full day and this was the only reason for a slightly lower mark against the activities as we'd have skipped it if we'd been told that it was very likely to be very quiet (quite normal at this time of year). At this time of the season (going into winter) activity on the water was very quiet and felt more like a gentle river cruise that anything else....so we'd suggest checking this if you are visiting in early winter. However.... the following morning Africa did it's usual surprise trick and provided us with a wonderful leopard sighting on the move for 15-20 mins and an exhilarating encounter with Wild Dogs eating and a persistent Hyena trying to grab a snack from them, which resulted in a scrap between them all and a Hyena with a very sore backside (but it did get away with some meat). We had lesser elephant sightings but the one we did was of a massive herd of 60/70 plus some really good hippo sighting too.
Food was excellent and plentiful (and constant!) and the architecture of the camp was quite different to the usual safari style but really blended in well to the surrounding. We stayed two nights which felt about right. All in all a wonderful visit and a great camp to start the trip off!!
A small note, at the time of the year we went it was chilly in the morning and evening... so pack an extra jumper though hot water bottles are provided for the morning trip with blankets!" See all these reviews: 8n in Botswana
Service: was excellent especially our guide. The staff knew all guests by name which was nice.
Food: was excellent as well. There was a huge variety at all meals and eggs to order in the morning. Lunch was a buffet and dinner was wait staff walking around with a plate or bowl to serve the contents with each guest. There was 1 evening when we were told there was kudu fillets for dinner everyone at the table except us were served kudu (one of my husbands favorite fillets). Instead we were served beef. We can only assume that they did not have enough kudu fillets and assumed we wouldn't want kudu? When I asked our guide about it he was not able to respond. Sitting away from the other guests and not receiving what was advertised for dinner was rather off putting.
Activities: the game drives were excellent. Moremi had a large variety of animals as well as birds. Moremi was so diverse in its geographical layout where one minute you were in a woodland and then a huge meadow would open up on the next turn.. We got to see Pel's Fish Eagle and Verreaux's Giant Eagle Owl due to our guide's excellent spotting. Seeing those birds was one of the highlight's of our trip. We also appreciated that there were no night game drives which gave us time between game drive's and dinner. People did dress for dinner with some women wearing dresses.
Facilities: The main lodge and the dining area were very nice. We really appreciated the bar area as it was a serve yourself operation. There was chilled water available to fill our water bottles. There was a refrigerator with bottled water and other beverages which was also self serve. This was the best beverage operation we have ever seen in any lodge we have ever seen and enjoyed the self serve.
Rooms: were adequate. There were 2 wing chairs, which was nice, but they seemed to be covered with wool fabric. They were to hot to sit in very long. The issue we had with our room was that we kept finding animal/insect droppings in one area of our room. We kept cleaning them up and they would reappear. We do not know if they were Gecko, bats or rate droppings. There was something in the ceiling chirping at us when we were using the bathroom area. Also the screen above the door to our room had a large fist size hole in it would allowed things to come inside.
This camp was able to provide car batteries for us to hook up our CPAP machines. It disappeared during the day as they were using it and it returned in the evening. So we were not able to use our CPAPs when taking a nap. There was no distilled water offered.
Just an FYI - There was a guest in camp who was very obnoxious. She wanted the staff to sing and dance every night before dinner was served which also involved getting the rest of the guests to dance to the dinner table. We were embarrassed for the staff because this guest was trying to imitate the dancing and singing done by the staff. She looked ridiculous!
We would recommend this camp to others. However it is not the same quality as a Wilderness camp." See all these reviews: 9n in Botswana; 6n in Zambia
Guiding was great, very flexible and great location.
Rooms were very nice and the staff was great.
They even obtained sun block for us when getting their supplies." See all these reviews: 7n in Botswana; 6n in Zimbabwe; 1n in South Africa
"Nice camp - average service"
Game viewing and location - very good. Organization, attention to detail, attitude of staff - average at best.
I had a feeling the management of this lodge is more preoccupied with the comfort of the staff then with the guests.
Wasted one day on a trip to a location high the guide did not know. Saw one dead giraffe and got one juvenile elephant pi....d off one the way back.
Next day's was very good - even excellent.
Guide then followed us evening/morning to ensure we tipped him( would have done so anyway)
Got half a breakfast on the second day- then staff took away the plates and disappeared" See all these reviews: 15n in Botswana; 3n in Zimbabwe
We had mentioned in advance that we were interested in birding as well as animals and Solly (a birding expert) was therefore our guide. This worked very well with over 100 different birds sighted as well as wide range of wildlife including leopards, lions, hyenas etc.
The highlight was spending 30 minutes adjacent to a leopard and it's kill." See all these reviews: 7n in Botswana; 3n in Zambia
"Number One in Our Safari Book - Moremi Camp"
We were greeted upon our arrival with Botswana's greatest chorus, the Okuti staff member singing! It may sound cheesy, but the staff were incredible, heartful host who treated us to their traditional culture singing and dancing two of three nights.
One of our most memorable experiences occurred after spotting two leopard cubs later on our morning game drive. Our guide, Chachos, casually told us it was time to head back to lunch, to our surprise. Lunch turned out to be a white linen table set up out in the bush! Absolutely awesome!
Our last night at camp the staff went above and beyond the call of duty to surprise us with yet another incredible dinner feast, Botswana songs and dances. The game viewing was a special experience.
We were fortunate to see and hear lions and leopards, elephants, etc. If we ever return to Botswana, we would go back to Okuti!" See all these reviews: 8n in Botswana; 2n in South Africa; 2n in Zimbabwe
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