Reviews of Little Kwara
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
A truly wonderful experience at Little Kwara
Little Kwara was our second safari camp (and also our second Kwando Safaris camp). After leaving Kwando Lagoon Camp, we were not sure how things could get better as we had such a fabulous time there. Well, Little Kwara (LK) managed it. The 3 days there were truly the best 3 days holiday of my life, and my travel companions (sister and 12 year old niece) are in complete agreement. It was not just that the wildlife viewing was incredible, it was the whole camp setup, the staff, the food and drinks, the other guests... really, everything was beyond compare.
Starting with the camp itself. We were expecting it to be similar to Lagoon, and in many ways it was, but there were enough differences to make it just that little bit different. It felt that Kwando camps were not clones of each and were individual, which we really liked. We also felt that LK was slightly more relaxed than Lagoon - one wasn't better than the other, it was just different. The bar area in particular in LK was really relaxing (I fell asleep there several times during siesta!) with a fantastic view. An elephant came into the camp several times which was really exciting.
As with Lagoon, the food was excellent and plentiful. We are not adventurous with our food so the choices were good, although the staff were happy to provide local specialities where requested. As we had one room with an extra bed, we were more cramped than Lagoon, however we were hardly in our lodge so it was not a problem. Again, like Lagoon, the rooms were beautifully appointed with lovely furnishings and fittings.
The game viewing was outstanding in LK. We saw lions several times and lost count of the number of other species we saw. My personal favourites were the night game drives, as the smell of flowers and grasses was released (especially jasmine) and we saw some nocturnal animals that I was really not expecting to see. We also very much enjoyed the mokoro and walking safaris, and the boat safari - all the activities were so different that we felt we had packed 2 weeks holiday into 3 days.
What makes LK stand out for me is the quality of the staff. Like Lagoon, they came across as genuinely friendly and keen to ensure we had a fantastic holiday. They were absolutely wonderful with Kirsty (12 year old) - one of them taught her a card trick and the others very kindly allowed her to show it to them all - I have some great photos of this!
All the above factors were going to ensure this was a wonderful experience, but what turned it into a life changing experience was the guide and tracker, Hobbs and Chester. Their attitudes, abilities to track, knowledge, skills, enthusiasm and the fact that they are genuinely all round lovely people made this an experience that will be hard to match.
Wonderful animal sightings at Little Kwara
Our wildlife experience at Little Kwara was generally excellent with just one small disappointment that we will mention last as it did not affect our overall enjoyment.
We had hoped to see cheetahs, in particular, at Little Kwara and so we very pleased to come across three sleepy cheetah brothers on our first afternoon. Overall, there was a very good variety of wildlife: highlights, apart from the cheetahs, being close encounters with lions at day and night, following a pack of wild dogs and the motorboat trip to the storks roosting area. Guides were excellent - we had Dutch most of the time who was very informative.
The tented accommodation on stilts was very comfortable, clean and spacious with a welcome outdoor shower (in the heat of the day especially).
Food and service was very good.
The only disappointment was that we were unable to fit in a Mokoro trip. The reason was that a scheduled motorboat trip to the heronry had to be delayed from our last afternoon to the following morning when we had expected to do the Mokoro. This was due to a problem with the Little Kwara boat and the need to arrange to borrow one from Kwara). However, although early morning on the water was cold we probably had more daylight than if we had gone on an afternoon trip. The heronry (actually large numbers of storks and ibises) was wonderful and not something we would have wanted to have missed.
Overall, an excellent experience at Little Kwara.
The best camp of our whole trip
This was our favorite camp because of its combination of first class tracking, wild life, intimacy with nature, small size, lovely rooms and really friendly service.
Right in the Okavanga Delta and on an island, Little Kwara offers real intimacy with nature and the local wild life. We had Elephants right outside our room and heard lions prowling around quite close to our tent during the night. We saw a hug variety of game within a few minutes of leaving the camp. No mosquitoes when we were there.
Excellent - spacious, comfortable, cool with fans and 24/7 electricity, good hot water, inside and outside showers and a bath, plenty of storage space, safe and a huge bed.
The camp is very well run in a quiet efficient way and all the staff are very friendly and really care about making your stay as pleasant and memorable as possible. Guiding and tracking first class.
Plentiful and good if not quite four star. Can get a bit repetitive.
Great. The huge plus point about this camp is that the drivers and guides will always go "off road" to find game. We saw a huge amount - Lions, three Cheetah brothers, Leopard, Elephant, Hippos, Giraffe, Wildebeast, Buffalo, Crocs and large and small birds. The boat ride to the Rookery is not to missed. We also enjoyed the the Mekoro boat trip through the reed beds.
Safari at little kwara
Excellent game, we had an excellent guide called Hobbs who found fantastic animals but his people skills were poor. We were also paired with 2 Americans whose needs were very diverse from ours. They would not take turns in the front seat. I was dismayed that they did not have rooves on their jeeps - but after several requests they put it on for us, as they also did with the other jeeps.
Loved the evening boat ride and the maroco canoes. This was the only camp without a fan in the room which was very hot in the day time. We had the best room, overlooking the lake which was fantastic.
Special Little Kwara
The whole experience at Little Kwara was fantastic. The staff were very friendly and welcoming from the moment we arrived and we were greeted by Liz the manager with a refreshing drink in hand. With only 5 tents the camp was small and intimate in a lovely setting, each tent was on stilts which was probably because of the close encounters with the elephants who liked the nearby trees! On the way back from dinner the first night our guide had to encourage a big elephant out of the way so we could get back to our tent! That was certainly a new experience!
The tents themselves were very well equipped, the beds extremely comfortable and large, and plenty of hot water supplied by a gas heater. There was even a bath as well as the outdoor shower. The staff gave us hot water bottles at night for the bed in case we were cold which was a nice touch!
The food was very good and plentiful and pleasantly served by the staff, T Bone always made a good starter and dessert! We really enjoyed the early morning porridge and muffins by the campfire too.
The guides and senior staff joined us for brunch and dinner each day and it was good to talk to them and get to know a bit about themselves and the way of life in Africa.
Our guide Hobbs, and our tracker Mike, were very courteous, professional and friendly and went out of their way to give us a special safari experience during our stay. We saw lots of game and birds on our drives, we especially enjoyed our first views of elephant, giraffe, zebra,red lechwe, tsessebe and impala. The morning we visited the Wild dogs and their puppies was amazing - we watched the pups huddle together for warmth before they began to play. The adult dogs were well camouflaged and we did not realise they were there at first! Many photos were taken that day.
One morning our coffee break was taken at a small lake which was home to lots of Hippos, luckily they stayed in the water during our visit but they kept a close watch on us, as we did them! - another extraordinary experience!
We saw a lioness and her cub twice, also 2 very sleepy male lions. There was a family group of 3 young cheetahs which we encountered twice and got very good views of them and their behaviour. Going off road following the game was all in a days work for Hobbs but a very exciting for ourselves!
There is an abundance of birdlfe in the Delta and we enjoyed seeing all the different species from the very large to the very small, all too numerous to list but one of our favourite was the Lilac Breasted Roller, very colourful and bright!
Hobbs and Mike took us on a boat ride into the Delta, through the channels between the immense reed beds . There was not another boat in sight and it was very tranquil. We visited some nesting Marabou Storks but were a little disappointed we didn't see more species, we were a bit early in the season (it was August) and most would arrive in the following few weeks.
We had our sun downer on the top deck of the boat and the view was glorious with the sun setting over the water. We speeded back through the channels before complete darkness set in with excellent boat skills from Hobbs and Mike on the way!
We have no hesitation in recommending Little Kwara, we enjoyed every minute!
Little Kwara review
See previous comments regarding drives and food - however, we enjoyed the food at Little Kwara the most of the three camps, although I cannot give specific reasons why we felt it to be better here - the sausages were still not very warm.
Previous disappointments (cats) were quickly dispelled and we had a wonderful 4 days here with lovely sightings of lions seeming to pose especially for us and our final drive not only having cheetahs, but including them making a kill. The sight of the hyena carrying off the impala's intact stomach a little later will live long in the memory (I don't suppose the photos will win any prizes though!) Wild dog puppies came out to play - lucky to see this. Very much enjoyed the variety offered by the motor boat cruise and mokoro.
Staff at all the camps were very good - helpful, friendly ... but special mention should be made of Anderson for his bar hosting/waiting skills and Kassie for her unfailing cheerfulness/friendliness/ability to remember names.
Perfect stay at Little Kwara
We had a great guide, Dutch, who knew a lot about the area and was very enthusiastic about the wildlife.
The camp itself was perfect. More simplistic in style compared to Lagoon or Lebala, but this seems more fitting in the bush.
Little Kwara review
Our guide, T.J., was amazing and taught us so much.
Everything was excellent except that morning coffee was not ready on time, and held us up from early morning safari departure.
Great guiding at Little Kwara
This is where we saw the most game.
Little Kwara (Kwando) has a policy of providing a tracker (who sits on the front of vehicle)and a guide and all the guides work together if they spot something. Our guide (Duke) was very knowledgeable though driving was a bit bumpy.
Last Chance for Sighting
This place was fun and turned out to be great for seeing the largest variety of animals. Our guide, Dutch, and tracker, Mike, found everything we hadn't seen yet as well as the things we had. Their childhood experiences served them well in tracking and delighted us with the information. Dutch has great potential to accomplish more in his career and would benefit from someone mentoring him. T.J., a guide, and Anderson, a food server (?) could also go a long way with the proper guidance.
Little Kwara was a delightful place to end our journey to Botswana. The dancing and acapello singing on our last night was fun.