Reviews of Little Kwara
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Little Kwara review
Good location. The rooms are spacious but very tired and the whole place is in need of some basic maintenance let alone refurbishment. The charging point in the public area wasn't working and hadn't been working for some time.
The staff, though helpful, appeared to be low on morale and I thought that there was a general air of dejection pervading the camp. However, the laundry service is excellent and the food good and varied.
I was returned from one of my morning game drives at 1025. I considered this to be particularly early and said so to the guide, who said it was the 'normal time', which t wasn't. He did offer to take me and the two other guests out for another 30 minutes but that really is a ridiculous suggestion. I don't want this to be perceived as a criticism or complaint against the guide as I have little doubt that brunch had been arranged early to accommodate a family who were leaving at 1230. The camp's schedules need to be addressed.
My guide Wago, was average and gave me the impression that everything was a lot of trouble. However, Mike the tracker was very good and a very pleasant man and appeared more knowledgeable than Wago.
There is a good deal of very deep sand in some areas and we got stuck more than once, not anyone's fault, its easy to do. The guys had to jack the vehicle up and put brush under the offending wheels. Would it not be more practical to but some sand ladders to use on such occasions.
I did see wild dogs here and 3 tiny puppies. Brilliant!
However, overall I consider Little Kwando to be poor and not good value for money.
Expert Africa comments
We were sorry to read that this guest’s stay at Little Kwara didn’t meet expectations and, as with all feedback we receive, we forwarded these comments on to Kwando (who own and run Little Kwara) for their take on things.
We’re aware that some areas of Kwara and Little Kwara could do with upgrading and we are informed that there should be an announcement on that subject in the very near future. The broken charging point in the main area at Little Kwara needed two new batteries and, due to Civil Aviation regulations, these could not be flown in by light aircraft. This meant the camp had to wait for a truck to transport them in by road. In the event camp management arranged to charge all guest’s devices in the main office and we’re happy to read that, despite it clearly not being an ideal situation, the camp made a plan.
We also discussed the early return of the game drive that this traveller refers to with Kwando. Kwando spoke with management at Little Kwara. Management explained that because this traveller decided not to head out on a mekoro trip but instead opted for a drive they were allocated the remaining vehicle which included a group of travellers who had been together for the duration of their stay. These guests had been searching for leopards. The group continued to look for leopard on this particular drive and did indeed eventually find one, quite close to camp. As this group of guests was flying out that morning, and because the other game viewing areas were some distance away, they had to head back to camp in order to catch their onward flight.
Kwando explained that "Brunch was available from 10:30 - there is no obligation to be back in time for 10:30, but circumstances do sometimes necessitate that arrivals and drop-offs of other guests need to be factored in."
We would agree that a 10:30 return from a game drive is early. Under the circumstances we appreciate the guide had no other option however. It was great to read that this guest was offered an extension to the game drive to make up for this.
We were of course very disappointed to read that this traveller wasn’t impressed by their guide. Kwando have mentioned that they will speak with the guide and discuss his performance and this feedback with him. The general comments on staff morale are also very sad to read and again Kwando have said they will look into these.
We are confident that Kwando have taken on board these comments and where possible will act on them to improve. We were very happy to read that this traveller did at least find wild dogs with puppies, that's fantastic.
Little Kwara review
Little Kwara was quite different than Footsteps, with more people and a less personal feel. We wondered about two lodges so close together, but they had quite different terrains and feels to them. (Note that we ended up doing a land transfer rather than a flight because the high water meant that Footsteps had to drive around the long way to get from their runway to the camp, passing very close to Little Kwara. So rather than driving by, then flying for a very short hop, the staff arranged a meeting point to get us to the next lodge by vehicle.)
We enjoyed the game drives here, and saw a lot of different animals. The focus of the staff was really on the wild cats and dogs, so if we hadn't already had lots of encounters with the other game, we would have missed stopping to look at more 'mundane' wildlife.
It was nice to have other guests to talk to, but the down side was that drives were shared with people with somewhat different interests. In our travels in Namibia, we were travelling with friends, so it was generally just the 4 of us on drives, which meant that the guides could tailor things to our interests.
Little Kwara review
Our favorite camp!
Highlights: Close encounter animal sightings everywhere, Managers Jessica and Hilda were fantastic, Food was excellent.
OP(guide)and Mike(tracker)were very knowledgeable and entertaining,
Every imaginable animal sound during the night
Antelopes, elephant,,wart hogs and baboons grazing at our deck.
Female cheetah with four cubs and feeding off of impala
Leopard on ground and sleeping in tree
Two lion brothers
Owls on night drives
Great boat cruise and Mike made hats and necklaces out of lily pads
Little Kwara review
We stayed 3 nights here in our second camp of three during our safari. Following on from it's sister camp, Lebala, our expectations had been set high and Little Kwara certainly did not disappoint.
The quality of the guiding and tracking here was outstanding - we had Dicks and Chester for the full time here and to our mind these deserve special mention here. On two of the morning drives alone we saw Wild Dog, Cheetah and Lion, then Lion, Leopard and Cheetah respectively. This would almost be enough in itself, but suffice to say the remaining drives were almost equally abundant and we saw far more than we could have reasonably (or unreasonably!) expected.
As with Lebala, the accommodation here was excellent. The facilities were inviting and a perfect retreat in the heat of the day before our next game drive. The staff were really welcoming and all had incredible tales to tell whether it be of wildlife out in the bush or their home towns.
We also went on a mokoro/ speed boat drive while we were here and whilst we were worried about the game we might miss by not going on the evening game drive, this was quickly alleviated and turned into a highlight of our trip. What could be better than watching the sun go down over the delta with a gin and tonic! (and lots of stunning birdlife to boot!)
Thank you Little Kwara for a fantastic stay - we'll be saving up to come back!
Little Kwara review
We found the guiding and tracking - by Wago and Chester - excellent. We saw so many extraordinary animals close up through their skills.
Highlights were a cheetah killing a reed buck right beside our vehicle followed by her calling her 4 cubs to share in the feed, the affectionate interactions between a large pack of hunting dogs, and observing the complicated politics operating amongst a pride of lions after their original alpha male had been evicted.
What was noticeable here was the way in which all staff and guests shared the experience of camp (at mealtimes and elsewhere) in a relaxed, humorous way.
Exceptional wildlife viewing at Little Kwara
While this camp's location is ideal there seems to be a lack of cohesion in the running of this facility. It appears that they are lacking an adequate number of vehicles and staff to offer more than one activity at a time. The facilities are a bit run down and in need of some repair.
Meals were to be at a set schedule, however a couple who were on private safari were able to change the schedule to meet their needs which left the rest of us having dried, over cooked dinners.
The staff was friendly & helpful. The guide & tracker were both extremely knowledgeable about the area & animals. I enjoyed learning about the different prides of lions and their history in the region. The Delta itself was unremarkable due to high grasses & low water levels for mokoro trips. Mother Nature's doing.
There were a couple of times when Adventure Travel turned into Dangerous Travel which I would like to discuss with someone from Expert Africa for their perspective. I loved the area but would not return to Little Kwara.
Expert Africa comments
We were disappointed to read that these travellers were on the whole unimpressed by their time at Little Kwara. As with all of our traveller’s feedback we forwarded these comments on to Little Kwara’s parent company for their thoughts.
It does seem that the presence of a private vehicle impacted these guests stay in a negative way. When one vehicle is allocated to one couple or group in camp then this can mean that the remaining guests are all put in one vehicle. There is a strict limit on the number of vehicles allowed in one concession at any one time and often bringing in an extra vehicle is not possible, even when the camp is busy or one vehicle is taken out of action to be used on a private basis. The guests in the non-private vehicle all still have ‘window seats’ and so the quality of the experience is still high – but this vehicle is of course fuller than one booked on a private basis.
We were both interested and concerned to read these travellers comments on “Adventure Travel turning into Dangerous Travel”. After speaking with these travellers directly on their return we learned that these comments related to an incident with an elephant which charged the vehicle while coming back from a game drive. We spoke with Little Kwara about this matter and they in turn spoke with the guide. The incident involved a couple of male elephants who were surprised by the vehicle as it rounded a corner. The guide reacted quickly, gave the elephants a wide berth and then drove around them as one of them moved towards the vehicle.
The Okavango Delta is a wilderness area and male elephants, particularly when in musth, can become stressed and more aggressive. Guides train for long periods of time in order to be able to deal with situations such as this. Both we and the guests are happy that the guide dealt with this situation very well. There are instances when adventure travel has the potential to become dangerous – but we are happy that in this instance the guide’s actions prevented that situation from developing to that point.
Review of Little Kwara
I could not believe the quality and quantity of animal encounters.Read more about the whole safari
Lovely intimate camp in the delta.
Excellent guiding but did not feel as friendly in camp as Tau Pan.
Guides and spotters worked well to locate wildlife and we saw cheetah and lots of lions. We were lucky to have the manager Charles take us on some drives and he was excellent.
Great room in a truly wild location.
Review of Little Kwara
Little Kwara is a lovely little camp , well situated and nicely run . Staff welcoming , they don't wear name badges tho ( Kwando policy) which is a shame because it's really not easy to remember everyone's names . I think you can have a better relationship / experience if you know names ( even if you are reading them !!) .
We paid for a private guide and had Duks who was extremely knowledgable on all aspects of flora and fauna of the delta. We learned a huge amount from him . A great sense of humour too. We spent 12 1/2 hrs in the jeep one day tracking a family of cheetah learning to hunt !! . A picnic lunch was brought out to us in the bush which was a real treat while waiting for action from the cheetah. Chester was our tracker and he and Duks made a great team for us. It's the first time in many safaris that we have paid for a private guide and it was absolutely worth it .
My only negative of the camp ( which I said on the Kwando questionnaire) was that there was always a pressure to sit down and get the meal over and done with as quickly as possible . All a bit unrelaxing and unnecessary . We have not experienced this in any other camps. I appreciate the staff want to get finished but actually it was a bit irritating . The pre meal drinks and chat round the bar area really didn't exist and the plates were cleared so quickly from the table. A small point really but I think worth mentioning.
We loved being on the boat and also mokoros , a nice change from the game drives and the opportunity to see other things.
A gem in the delta
What a special place! The staff, the accommodations, the food; all wonderful. Everybody there makes you feel special.
Having been to other Kwondo camps, it seems that the welcoming feel is a hallmark of the company. We can't say enough good things about little Kwara