Kwara Camp

Reviews of Kwara Camp

Excellent(93%) From 171 travellers
Excellent
117
Good
48
Average
3
Poor
3
Terrible
0
Below are independent comments from 171 of our travellers who have visited Kwara Camp, and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts.

They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Mr H - Michigan
Arrived on: 4-Oct-2017 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Average
Average
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Average
Average

Kwara Camp review

The rooms/facilities are very basic, but the location, guiding, experience in the 'bush' was superb.

The guides really focused on what we hoped to see, and we saw a lot, a cheetah close up, a pack of painted dogs and a leopard stalking its prey as well as spending time with her cub. Night drives were particularly good.

The setting was great - able to watch game from our deck.

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Lawrence from London
Arrived on: 24-Jun-2017 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent

Kwara Camp review

Ahead of time, we had been slightly concerned about comments that the camp needed refurbishment. We were therefore very pleased with the tent.

The staff were excellent as were the game drives.

The location of the camp was lovely and the communal areas were excellent.

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Mrs C. from Southwest USA
Arrived on: 1-Jun-2017 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Average
Average
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

good variety of activities

Kwara has the best location - land and water all the time. I had been warned that the camp needed updating, but I found it just fine. The tents were spaced better than at Lebala, so there was some privacy. The camp staff here were above and beyond - just as they were at Lebala. Warm, friendly, welcoming and considerate beyond expectation. Could not imagine a better camp staff.

I had similar activity observations here - guides were slightly unprofessional and the activities seemed so structured and left no room for flexibility. We were not asked if we wanted to mokoro - we were told which morning it would be done. We weren't asked about the sunset cruise to the rookery - we were just taken to the boat. It just wasn't the flexible, "what should we do today" attitude I was used to - and valued most - from Kwando.

During our stay at Kwara we came across a large male cheetah warming up and getting moving for the day. We had a lovely time with him as he rolled on the grass and got up to start the day. He marked a couple of spots and then climbed a tree to watch a herd of impala nearby. As he was climbing down and starting a stalk, we were told we needed to move along to make room for another vehicle. I was gobsmacked. I've never left an active cheetah hunt before and I never expect to do so again. In the end he was unsuccessful, but that hardly matters.

Another time we were notified by another vehicle of some mating lions. We arrived late in the morning to find them snoozing, and the other vehicle left when we arrived. The guide asked if we were ready to leave after just a few moments. I asked him how often they mate, and the guide said about every hour. I asked how long it had been since they last mated, and the guide said, "about an hour." I asked for 10 more minutes and sure enough we had a spectacular sighting. He seemed very anxious to get back to the lodge, and indeed the others were finishing up brunch when we arrived, but we didn't come to Botswana for brunch. It was just another example of misplaced priorities in my opinion.

On the boat ride, we were told that we needed to be off the water by dark since it was inside the national park - and thats completely fine. (No reason guests need to know that - just do it.) But then the "night drive" was 20 minutes from the dock to camp with no detours. The whole point of a private concession is driving at night, and I found overall - at both Kwando camps, that the night drives were essentially just the trip back to camp from sun downers. So much so that all the vehicles were all on the same road again, 70 meters apart, and arrived at camp at the same time. We had so little time driving at night at Kwando camps that we didn't see any nocturnal wildlife (saving the 2 big cat sightings we had at sundown.) We never saw genet, civet, bush baby, small cats, bat eared fox or porcupine with Kwando. Try to imagine how little time you must spend in a private concession in Botswana at night without seeing at least ONE of the above. It was shocking.

One other incident that I noticed to illustrate the point - and I don't know which of the Kwando camps this was - may have been Lebala - was that after we left a leopard sighting and were on our way to a sun downer spot 30 minutes away, the tracker and guide essentially gave up. The tracker stayed in the front seat chatting with the driver and didn't return to the jump seat for a 30 minute drive to a dam. Not a big thing if it was an isolated incident, but this was definitely a pattern.



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Expert Africa comments

We passed on this feedback to Kwando Safaris and this was their response:

We would like to thank this guest for her very positive comments regarding the camp staff at Kwara and will certainly pass on her appreciation to the team.

Again, we are sorry to hear that Kwando’s usual flexibility was not made obvious and will definitely follow up with the team at Kwara about this that they should consult the guests more as to which activities that they want to do on a given day. We have spoken to the guide at Kwara and he could not recall the guests preferring a different arrangement to the plan that he suggested. It would be useful to know if this concern was raised at all with the camp management at the time, or if the guests requested alternative activities/itinerary at any stage.

We have spoken to the guide, Chester and he did recall the male cheetah sighting. We are sorry that your client felt frustrated at being asked to leave. Chester said that they stayed with the cheetah for approximately 30 minutes and at the time, it was the only cheetah located in the concession. We do operate a three vehicle rule to ensure that the wildlife is not harassed and the only way to manage this in a fair way so that all guests have equal opportunity to see the key predator species is for guides to give way to one another after allowing a reasonable amount of time at the sighting. On this occasion, Chester has already informed the other guide that he could come into the sighting when the cheetah started to move; it was unfortunate timing, but to have stayed would have prevented other guests having their chance to see the animal which would equally have frustrated them. (Lucy, as an aside, there were 8 vehicles operating in the concession at the time, so the guides did need to be mindful of the time spent so that all guests could enjoy the sighting)

With regards to the mating lions, Chester said that he did remember checking with the guests if they wanted to leave since not all guests have the patience to wait for snoozing lions to spring into action. We are pleased that in this instance the guests were happy to wait, the guide accommodated their wishes and that ultimately they were rewarded with an excellent sighting. Although the guests were late back for brunch, it seems that in this situation we did offer the flexibility that this guest was looking for.

Chester agreed that the drive back from the boat activity was not a true night drive. The route back includes some deep water crossings and thus the vehicles do go together to ensure that all vehicles are safely through before it gets dark. However what he should have done after the crossings is to check whether these guests wanted to then extend their night drive and continue to look for smaller nocturnal mammals. He sincerely apologises that he did not do this and that they found the night drives in general to be lacking.

Feedback about the guide and tracker essentially giving up after a leopard sighting and heading to the sun downer spot is unusual – usually the tracker only stays in the front seat during a sighting with a potentially dangerous animal and then reverts back to the tracker seat. We need to do some further follow up with the guides further to ask why this happened, but are very sorry that the guests felt that the team were not committed to finding game during that period of the drive.

Again, it is pleasing to see that the overall experience at Kwara was rated as good and that many aspects of the guest’s stay were rated as “Excellent”

Lucy, we are very sorry that your client had concerns regarding some aspects of our activities and would ask you to please pass on our sincere apologies that she did not feel that the overall guiding service was of the same standard that she enjoyed on her previous stay. We would like to thank her for her valued feedback and have already spoken to our guide coordinator to ensure that the points that she has raised are addressed with the specific guides in question, but also at a broader level across all camps to ensure that Kwando continues to consistently deliver a high quality of guiding and flexible approach.



Miss C. from São Paulo
Arrived on: 18-Apr-2017 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Kwara Camp review

Excellent guide.

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Mrs H. from Bedford
Arrived on: 15-Apr-2017 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Kwara Camp review

This was a very attractive and comfortable camp. The staff were all extremely welcoming, friendly, helpful and keen to ensure that we had the best possible stay with them. The food was very good.
Our guide Jacob and tracker Goms were both excellent. Jacob looked after us extremely well throughout our stay. He and Goms were very knowledgeable and made an excellent team as they worked together to ensure that we had many wonderful wildlife encounters. Their tracking skills were amazing - we saw a large number of animals, birds, and reptiles. We thoroughly enjoyed the two water excursions they took us on - one on a boat and one on a mokoro.
A great place to stay.

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Mr and Mrs G - Herts
Arrived on: 25-Feb-2017 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Average
Average
Rooms:
Poor
Poor
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Average
Average

Kwara Camp review

As with Nxai Pan the weather prior to arrival and the resulting conditions , controlled events.The water level in the delta was as high as during a typical flood, usually 3 or 4 months later. (There was considerable local apprehension as to what will happen if a big flood arrIves. )

The elephant grass growth was too high to allow walking, thus drives dominated activities. Possibly due to guest pressure, a mornings Mokoro tour was arranged using all 5 canoes, and by moving access point a boat trip through the delta in Moremi NP was arranged. Both were very enjoyable, although animal sightings were infrequent.

Whilst the animals were well spread out reasonable sightings were had, but the variety of birds was very good throughout.

We were told bird spotting was a minority pursuit but it was a great time to see them. In fact we would say that the green season was not for new Africa hands. The guides were exceptionally informative and knowledgeable. However for us the drives were too long and without sufficient break time for sundowners etc. The spotlight drives were very perfunctory given the vegetation.

As recognised by a forthcoming refurbishment the tents were old fashioned poorly positioned and with very inadequate plumbing.

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Expert Africa comments

Botswana's 2016 / 2017 summer rains have been out of the ordinary; more rain fell than over all of the three previous rainy seasons combined. You comment about the arrival of the floods... We've heard from Kwando Safaris that some of the researchers are hypothesising that the rain belt typically at the Angolan highlands has tracked south this year which would mean not as big a flood as they might otherwise anticipate. We will have to wait and see what nature holds!

Activities in the green season are often quite different to the dry season - in that guided walks do depend on the grass levels and visibility, game drives can be delayed or cut short because of rain, and water activities all depend on water levels and whether or not there is enough shallow water around in a safe area to allow for mokoro activities, and enough deep water to allow to boat activities.

With regards to the tents and their refurbishment... we're anxiously awaiting news on this. Watch this space!

Mr BG from Newport Coast
Arrived on: 16-Feb-2017 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Good
Good

Kwara Camp review

At Kwara Camp we had four nights with a private guide in the Green Season.

The area was just beautiful and lush, and we did see a pack a wild dogs as a bonus. Other game was somewhat hard to find, our guide worked really hard to track cheetahs and lions with limited results, though.

We did have a leopard kill an impala about 20 feet from our tent, though!

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Mr & Mrs S from Oxford
Arrived on: 5-Oct-2016 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Kwara Camp Review

We were at Kwara for 4 nights.

Going there, we were somewhat apprehensive as some people we had met in the previous camps (and other Trip Advisor comments) let us to believe that it was going to be rather run down. This was reinforced by the fact that it was considerable cheaper than the Lagoon and Lebala camps (all part of the Kwando group).

In fact, it turned out that this was probably the best camp we stayed at - certainly from a value-for-money perspective.

The location was really good, right on the edge of the delta close the the Moremi Reserve, so a great mix of water and land based activities. The camp itself overlooked a large lagoon with elephants wandering about (often into the camp). Also, there was a family of baboons living in the camp itself and a hoard of Impala also wandering about throughout the day, making things always lively and interesting.

Our guide and tracker were particularly excellent and worked really really hard to give us a great experience, tracking down cheetah, loads of lions, wild dogs on the hunt, elephants having a mud bath, etc etc.

The rooms were probably the most basic of the 7 camps we visited, but more than adequate, and the food was a similar standard (good) as all of the other sites.

We would certainly recommend this camp.

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Mrs. L - Basingstoke
Arrived on: 12-Sep-2016 Stayed for: 5 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Wonderful Kwara Camp

A wonderful camp in a beautiful situation overlooking a lagoon, with hippos, elephants, baboons, impala and warthogs moving around and through the camp during the day and night.

The staff were friendly and helpful but a special mention must be made of our outstanding guide, Dux, and our excellent tracker, AT, who together provided us with some exceptional game drives. It was wonderful to see how they worked together to read the animal tracks, deciding on the animals' movements and deciding where to go next.

Thanks to their skills we were provided with some fantastic sightings including wild dogs on a kill, a pride of two lionesses and four cubs who were extremely hungry one day but the next replete having killed and consumed most of a zebra and a cheetah stalking a reedbuck.

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Mr & Mrs B from California
Arrived on: 10-Sep-2016 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

In the bush

Enjoyed the intimate, social nature of the camp. Was pleased with the food and being able to dine with guides and members of camp management.

After a long day of transport to camp, felt some sort of welcome drink/snack should have been offered...everyone showed up hungry and had to wait two hours before afternoon snacks were offered.

Felt our guide who was friendly and knowledgeable spent much more time in conversation with the tracker than informing us what was taking place. Common complaint in our vehicle.

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