Reviews of Kwara Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Stunning wildlife & a truly special excursion
Kwara had some unique additions: the boat tour was great (Sandibe's boat tour was a lot less special, with hardly any sightings (except for some nice kingfishers); the small channel through the papyrus was still nice though); and the komoro and little walk were a nice touch.
From a pure camp (design, built) and comfort perspective Kwara was the looser in this department, with both Nxai Pan (main lodge) and Lebala (own hut) being very nice/unique and coming very close to Sandibe (note that our hut at Lebala did get quite wet on the inside twice after heavy rains; luckily excluding the bed and luggage area). Even the 'looser' Kwara was still rather nice: we woke up to the noise of 'grazing' hippos early in the morning… (and giraffes across the lagoon one day).
Kwara and Sandibe camps were the clear winner from a pure wildlife perspective. They were best for both the abundance and the variety of wildlife (including some rarer species). For example: Kwara (fantastic cheetah sightings, serval). Truly impressive.
Suggestions for improvements:
I did not find the hosting at Kwara special at all. It was what I expect a nameless hotel in Mallorca/Cuba during high season to be…. (mind you, this was also the fullest booked camp, so it simply was less intimate). Also our tracker at Sandibe was disappointing; we drove right past a leopard less than 10m from the Jeep (I know this happens, but it generally felt we saw great wildlife there because of their abundance, not the tracking quality).
Kwara Camp safari
The location of Kwara camp in the Delta area and on the shores of a lake is wonderful. You can watch and listern to hippos from the camp. The activities, safari drive, boat safari and mokoro trip were excellent. The habitat here was so different from Chobe and so provided us with good opportunities of seeing some different animals. Over the three days we saw 21 different lions and 3 cheetahs. Also saw Tsessebe, Blue Wildebeest and lots of hippos in addition to elephants, giraffe, zebra etc. The boat trip out to the heronary was lovely and the heronary is amazing, so many heron, stork, egret, cormorant breeding on the island, we spotted nearly 20 different species. A wonderful place to have the 'sundowner'.
Kwara Camp itself was good but there were a few things that did not quite met the standard. The rooms were good but we couldn't understand why after making such a point about the importance of making sure the door was latched properly to keep baboons out they don't provide a latch on the inside of the door. This means when you are inside the room you have no means of keeping the door closed. This would be such a simple thing to resolve and could enable guests to feel a bit more secure at night. The food was reasonable but quite often not very hot. The staff were friendly and helpful but there were a few occasions when it was difficult to find someone if you wanted a drink from the bar or to look in shop. Despite these few things the safaris at Kwara were very good.
This camp was a bit of a disappointment!
The game viewing here was wonderful - we saw lions with cubs at close quarters and many other animals and birds. Very comfortable new vehicles.
The camp itself however, was far from satisfactory when we were there. The shower in our tent (No4). would only run too hot to use or freezing cold and in spite of three very polite requests to the manageress, nothing was done. There were also issues with cleanliness, the condition of the tent generally and the fact that baboons might be able to get in and interfere with our possessions. Food was truly dreadful - sometimes overcooked, sometimes served cold or undercooked. It was generally unappetising.
The camp is in a lovely position, overlooking water. However, the effect of this was spoilt by fallen dead trees and branches in front of the camp and outside areas could be much improved by a bit of tidying up.
Kwara Camp review
There was no area in the camp that we could get cool - no fans etc.
The food was very enjoyable and of an excellent quality.
On speaking to other travellers we would have preferred to stay at Little Kwara, due to the better quality of the rooms. The rooms at Kwara need refurbishing.
Our time here was exceptional. George and Beruti were great. The trucks here are very nice. Again, max of 4 in the car. The amount of game was incredible - lots of lions.
The lanscapes here were amazing as well. Our favorite camp overal!!!!
A great all- round experience at Kwara
Our stay at Kwara a great experience and would highly recommend it.
The staff were outstanding...all being very friendly and helpful.The Manager BK was helpful an dinformative.The guiding by Bait and Justice was some of the best of our trip. We found the rooms very comfortable as were the Toyota Landcruisers.
The game was plentiful and there were some noticebale benefits not being on a Reserve. The boat trip to the bird island was an experience not to be missed.
Kwara Camp review
Perhaps unfair since we'd just come from the refurbished Lagoon Camp, but Kwara felt a tiny bit shabbier with smaller rooms.
In general, though, it has an excellent area for game drives and a lagoon for mokoros.
There was one thing that left a sour taste, however. On the first day, one of the lodge's cars located a male lion. We got very excited and went straight over. The lion, however, was incredibly old and sick and could barely move. He was covered in flies and looked ready to die. I would guess your average safari goer is an animal lover and this may not something they want to witness, so I would have thought the guide might have mentioned, before we drove there, that the animal was sick.
He didn't, and found the state of the lion hilarious. He couldn't stop laughing at this wretched creature's state. Even after I mentioned that some people found the whole thing moderately distressing, he kept bringing up the story of the sick lion at dinner and bursting into fits of giggles. While he was a good guide - this was not an attitude we expected or liked.
Great action on and off the water at Kwara
A good broad based experience of the Delta. Enjoyed the mukora/canoe trip and the boat trip was a good change of pace. We saw a wide range of game (although not many predators) and birds - expertly guided. We were lucky with our jeep mates at this camp (Nick and Rebecca - also customers of yours I think) and liked the enthusiasm and warmth of the staff.
Accommodation was the most spartan of the camps we stayed in but still a long way from roughing it. The only cavil would be to say that having only an outside shower at this time of year is a bit challenging. We thought the cooking here was about the best we experienced in Botswana.
Kwara Camp review
The rooms are basic Meru style tents and were fine but not as comfortably furnished as similar ones at Xakanaxa,which had the edge accomodation -wise .The communal areas were abit cramped and faded .
However the location ,range of activities and quality of guiding made Kwara a good choice.Hilda was great manager and nothing was too much trouble
-The views of the lagoon just a few yards away were amazing -listening to the music of the frogs and hippos chomping the grass round our room at night
-our guide Thomas -who must be the biggest guide in Botswana and tracker BJ who was a real star and mokoro poler Justice who described 2 month mokoro trips in his youth to travel from his village to the main town (now takes 3 hours by road)
-birdlife especially wattled cranes ,a secretary bird,a Pels Fishing Owl (Thomas had last seen one 5 years ago) and a dozen huge ground hornbills spread out in formation across the airstrip scouring for 'roadkill' but missing the lone blacksmith plover chick which we checked out each day
-crossing the wooden bridges between the islands -very hairy
-the mokoro trip (seeing the tiny things in the reeds)and walking in the bush,tracking and learning about the flora ,the biodiversity and the interrelationship of living things in the delta
-the evening boat trip and watching the sunset through the papyrus
-having a puncture surrounded by 7 lions
Close encounters at Kwara
In general the game at Kwara seems a lot more relaxed with the vehicles here compared with Lagoon and Lebala. We had great sightings of lions chasing vultures away from the hippo carcass which they had claimed for their own, but by far this was the best place for sightings at night. We were particularly please to see an aardwolf and one evening we saw a small spotted genet, a civet, an African wild cat and two servals, all within a few minutes of each other. The serval showed up on a couple of evenings and seemed to be at ease with the vehicles.
Since the animals here were much less wary of vehicles or people, this led to some very enjoyable sightings at close quarters. During siesta time in the middle of the day, we were sitting very quite on the ground near the water's edge and had a family warthogs come within a few feet as they foraged their way through the camp. Later that afternoon, we were unable to leave our tent for the game drive, as a large bull elephant was taking his time collecting fruits from around our veranda. As he wandered his way towards one side of the tent, our guide came to collect us around the other side, only to come face to face with the elephant as we tried to get away at the back of the tent. We carefully retraced our steps, as the elephant strolled away.
The vehicles at Kwara were great - brand new Toyota landcruisers which were only a few weeks old, however, they still get stuck from time to time. The Delta was flooded to a very high level when we visited and we were only a few feet from a group of lions when it was our turn to get stuck.
The tents at Kwara are old style safari tents, which are quite small compared with Lebala and Lagoon, but they are still very clean and comfortable. The only problem we had was with the hot water supply, especially to the shower, as the gas boiler to our tent was a little temperamental. The solar systems at Lebala and Lagoon are excellent, but there are a lot of baboons Kwara, which can cause a lot of damage to solar panels.
On our last morning, instead of taking the usual game drive, we had a mokoro trip and bush walk with an armed guide and tracker. This was certainly well worth doing, as it gives such a different close up view of the water and all its beautiful plants. The walk was very interesting and we also spotted a lioness in the distance.