Reviews of Kanana
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Brilliant introduction to Botswana at Kanana
Kanana is a great introduction to safari in the Okovango Delta. Although primarily a water based activity camp, there is also ample scope for game drives with plenty of game on offer. The birding is particularly good - even in the dry season (we saw over 100 species in 3 days). Birds had begun to arrive at the spectacular heronry (pelicans, various storks, herons) by mid-July. This involved an interesting short (30 min) motor-boat journey.
On the drives we saw a pride of lionesses (5) hunting by night. The same pride also passed through the camp (unseen by us). Plenty of elephants - including a night time visit which kept awake some honeymooners in tent 8 at the end of the camp (much to the entertainment of staff and guests the next morning).
The tents were all you could want from a smart hotel room - but with far better views (over the lagoon) and sound effects (frogs, hippos and elephants).
The general areas were comfortable and relaxed. Dining together was jolly and convivial, facilitated by the charming friendly staff who ate with us. Singing and dancing was part of the experience - it never seemed forced or contrived.
The food at the camp, prepared under the supervision of Bea, was first rate. Plentiful, varied, and delicious. The nibbles to accompany the sundowners showed great attention to detail and thoughtfulness.
We had the same guide throughout (Bimen) who was excellent: knowledgeable and good company.
Overall the management was efficient and charming and this created probably the most relaxed and chilled atmosphere of the camps we visited.
Kanana for landscape, with life
Although Kanana is only two minutes' flight from Pompom (we could have travelled by car and boat), its setting was distinctive: ridges above the flood level gave scope for varied woodland around the open swamps and 'pasture'. This provided more cover for game than at Pompom, though birdlife was equally in evidence, and we observed more plants and trees.
Shakes and his colleagues are excellent guides, able to spot Pels fishing owls in thick foliage and knowledgeable on all aspects of wildlife. They willingly took us by vehicle, foot and boat to a range of sites, without spending a long time photographing sleeping lions.
We had come to expect excellent service from managers and staff, and were not disappointed at Kanana: we were served with humour as well as consideration, which made for a very relaxed stay.
Once again nice to walk.
Best guide of all
again a swimmig pool that you could swim in rather than a small plung pool type of place
Good Birding at Kanana
Our Driver/Guide Wago found us many different bird species and animals including a very obliging leopard.
The cruise to the heronry with Fly was out of this world and the Mokoro trip was very good seeing hippos, frogs and again many birds at close quarters.
Food was plentiful and varied. All the staff treated us as though we were part of the family with nothing being too much trouble for them.
A very good camp with good activities, great staff and comfortable accomodation.
Very comfortable Kanana, a great location
Our 4th and final camp in our 10 night Botswana trip ( 2 nights, would have preferred 3). We had the very good fortune to be the only guests on our first night attended to by a staff of 23 - superb! Very very comfortable spacious rooms and main lodge. Very well appointed and maintained.
The only camp with mosquito nets. Regardless of the fact that we didnt see or hear any mosquitoes in the 10 days we think it is 'comforting' to sleep under a net, for any types of bugs. The net windows act as a 'hide' which is great fun when you have a full adult male elephant standing at the tent side munching on the nearby tree at lunch time or at midnight. 'Denise wake up...there's an elephant at the window...'
Probably the best food on our trip ( and the other 3 camps were very good), great variety and amount...another 5 kgs added to the body mass from the experience! The staff were all very attentive, incredbly happy and caring. Starting the day at 6am with tea or coffee delivered to your room ( complete with warthog tea cosy) and finishing the day with a night cap at the camp fire - just magic!
A great location and area especially for water based activities. The early morning boat riide through the delta channels together with an 1.5-2 hour mokoro 'safari ( ride, short island walks, ride) was probably the best moment of a great 10 day trip. The scale and life of the nearby Heronry was also a very special sight.The game drives were educational.
A wonderful experience to round off our final few days in Botswana.
A great time at Kanana
Our experience at Kanana was most enjoyable, everyone was very friendly and helpful. The food was superb, our guide Wagu, showed us so much and nothing was too much trouble - we had a lot of fun.
Foster took us out on the makurus, both morning and evening and again he was great fun. Our first night was exciting as we were woken up at 1 a.m by a tremendous noise of splashing around our tent, a huge elephant then appeared right at the end of our veranda, about 20 feet away from our beds!
He continued to eat some leaves very noisily for 15 minutes and then went on his way. We soon got used to nightly interruptions here and at other camps from both elephants and hippos.
Kanana was the second camp we visited after Tau Pan in the Kalahari. This was totally different with the location on the water was very special. The best experience was the morning spent in the mekoro drifting along the water. The silence is wonderful and the birdlife was especially good.
The tents had just been given a make over and were very luxorious.
Food and service first class.
A well organised camp under careful management. The pace her is more gentle than at Kwara, physical comfort being more important (early morning tea served at the tent, rather than rushing out on a dawn game drive). Activities were well organised but the amount of game seemed limited and more nervous.
The mokuro trip was good, as was the boat ride to the heronry. We saw a very large number of birds, a small pride of lionesses and two wild dogs as well as giraffe, jackal, hippo and various antelope. On a walk we saw (from a very safe distance!) a crocodile.
Most of the guests were American. The camp is to be upgraded to be even more luxurious from 3 to 5 star, in our view unnecessarily. When our safari truck broke down a replacement was with us extremely quickly.
Storks over Kanana
Willy and the others were efficient and responsive (see below). The staff were rightly proud of their basketry display and were keen to explain what the designs meant.
The tent was comfortable although we had difficulty regulating the shower (as in the next two camps). The provision of bed tea in the morning was a real benefit; this was the only camp that provided it.
Although we were told that our guide was Shaku the first drive was conducted by Johnson. Unfortunately he did not have the bird knowledge required and seemed to have difficulty in parking so that we could see. Our companions in the car were on their honeymoon and had little interest in wildlife other than big cats and were clearly unhappy with the notion of searching for game rather than driving straight to a sighting. We reported this to Willy who ensured that we were guided by Shaku thereafter.
The high spot was the boat trip to the heronry travelling through the reed beds. Again we had plenty of wildlife sightings on the drives.
Alex took a long walk with Shaku - who demonstrated a great deal of enthusiasm.
This was a good experience at the end of the trip, when we were pretty much game-d out and wanted to relax more.
There were longer breaks between activities, and more gentle mokoro-ing. We are not birders or fishers, but we found ourselves fascinated by the variety - and the rarity - of some of the birds, and even caught fish to feed the fish eagle.
The staff were very welcoming and our guide extremely knowledgeable. Apart from some very noisy hippos, it was a very relaxing experience.