Reviews of Mapula Lodge
Wildlife sightings and reviews
20 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Mapula Lodge and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"Mapula Lodge review"
The daily schedule was important to making the most of the visit. I must admit to wanting to see as much as possible as opposed to relaxing in camp. We were woken up in full darkness in early morning by a person delivering coffee and cake to the table in our tent. Then we left in dim morning light to search for whatever was moving. The morning was magical and full of sounds, smells (wild sage) and animal movements. At midmorning it was time for breakfast on the vehicle's extended table, hot coffee or tea, cereal, boiled eggs etc. We finished the morning with more game drives and landed at camp for late lunch. Later in the afternoon we left again for a game drive or mokoro activities. Every afternoon had its own sundowner, as they called it, at the back of the Land Cruiser with any drink you desired and snacks of nuts and crackers. It was great fun and adventure. We were sad to move on after three nights." See all these reviews: 11n in Namibia; 10n in Botswana
Our guide Glenn really worked on finding those elusive cats in such a large area and gave us plenty of time to get photos when we did find them. The guys who took us in the mokoras were friendly and knowledgeable and put us at ease with their expertise. B J and No No made us feel very welcome as did the rest of the staff. Food was amazing so thanks to the cook and his/her team.
Our only concern was the toilet that needed a bit of attention." See all these reviews: 9n in Namibia; 5n in Botswana; 2n in Zimbabwe
"Absolutely fantastic! Staff were incredible"
The food is excellent and the staff all go above and beyond with any request you have.
Osi, our guide, Chimms, Leo, Tintin and the female duty manager in particular were all absolutely fantastic!" See all these reviews: 6n in Botswana; 2n in Zimbabwe
"Mapula Lodge review"
There were no other visitors while we stayed at the camp which we liked; it gave us an opportunity to talk to the staff, who were very friendly and helpful.
With regards to the food, we felt they tried too hard at the evening meals; they were 'heavy' e.g pork chops, oxtail stew.
We really enjoyed our stay, but it may present a problem if the camp was full." See all these reviews: 16n in Botswana; 2n in Zambia
"a good informal lodge in a traditional style"
Its informal approach, but great welcome, made us feel immediately at home. Our guide Dix and tracker Mike were particularly good and were very helpful/informative. The manager Dudu was also very helpful and the staff friendly/communicative.
The facilities in the rooms could probably do with an upgrade, but it didn't spoil our overall enjoyment. The food was also good and plentiful." See all these reviews: 13n in Botswana; 2n in Zambia
"Mapula Lodge review"
Regarding the problems that we had in one of the rooms, I think you now understand what happened. Here is a description so you can really picture what happened. I remind you that this is regarding one of the rooms only. There was an overbooking problem, so two of my friends had to stay in a room which was not at all up to standard. According to Johannes (the manager in house) that room (1B) was built for the pilots that might sleep at Mapula. It was absolutely unfair especially if I compare it with the other two rooms we were staying in: My room was spectacular and the perfect end to my holyday. But theirs was ridiculously small and dark....all in all it was not at all a place where you want to spend any time....(and they didn't)…
Room 1A and 1B together are the size of a normal room. Considering they share the entrance, I can assure you that room 1B is less than half the size of a “normal room”. It had absolutely none of the rustic details I had in mine (no bed cover, no wooden toilet seat, no living area, no chairs, no table, no bed tables…). No ambiance whatsoever. It also had no view (just some cut bushes) because it is not even built on a platform as all the others (it is ground leveled!). The bathroom was extremely small. It had only one sink (normal rooms have two). It had no divisions from the toilet and the rest of the bathroom, no shelves, no table below the sink (just the sink attached to the wall)The nice bathtub I had in my room was uninviting in 1B, because it was next to the toilet. There was no terrace. Only a balcony but with no size to have a chair (!). It had no privacy because it is right next to room 1A (even the shower was seen from room 1A next door, which had a guest in the second night). There was no connection between the shower and the bathroom (you would have to cross the room to reach it). To walk around the room you would have to bend yourself because the mosquito net occupies almost the entire area…
I heard all the descriptions and on the last morning I decided to see the room and I just could not believe it. It was a world away from where I was staying (room 7). And it is even difficult to express the differences in words. It was a completely different kind of room and in fact there is no point in going through all the details of it. It was clean and had a bed. That was it. Not exactly the thing you look for in a “tended camp”
I also regret that when we arrived we heard the manager saying that “there have been a change in the rooms”. Maybe that was not the room that Expert Africa booked to us. Probably somebody got there earlier and asked to change, which I totally understand. I also regret that after arrival my friends asked for another room. They were told that there WAS a room available for the first night but not for the second night, because they were having a customer for the second night. I do not think this is fair for them.
And finally, in the second night, the hotel was full and room 1A also had a guest, ending with all privacy. This guest was travelling in a family of 4 and he also was “scarified” during his stay.
The room issue did had an impact in the way my friends experienced the trip. We were excited with the trip and we were looking only for two nights of relax after the camping. They hadn't had the opportunity to relax at the end and off course the worries about the room took their toll in their experience, especially if you consider those were the last two nights in the country.In the camps, the rooms are very important because that is the place you use for the night and also during the heat of the day (after brunch) and basically that room was (almost) not used.
All in all, we do consider that no guest should ever stay in room 1A or 1B. Maybe that house can be used by a complete family (for instance, 2 adults and two little children) but I am sure that the rate is splited by 4 and not charged by two only.
Regardless everything, Mapula decided to refund my friends in 30%, which showed that they were concerned with them." See all these reviews: 4n in Botswana; 3n in Zambia
By way of compensation, Mapula has offered the two guests affected a 30% refund to cover the accommodation portion of their stay. Mapula Lodge have assured Expert Africa that this was a once-off issue.
"Great Safari at Mapula Lodge"
We loved our Mokoro trip through the reeds, flowers and canals to see birds, mammals and reptiles. Our chalet on stilts was very comfortable, with a deck overlooking a beautiful lagoon. We enjoyed morning and evening game drives led by our guide Dix, and our tracker Simon, to see a great abundance and variety of birds (including 5 male and 5 female Ostrich in one gathering), as well as elephants, giraffe, tsessebe, Kudu, hippo,croc, wildebeest and, of course, Impala.
On one drive we found a large herd of zebra and gave some chase which allowed good action photos of them running through water. Our in-camp hostess Dudu made sure we had a comfortable and enjoyable stay for our 3 day visit." See all these reviews: 9n in Botswana; 4n in South Africa; 2n in Zambia
"Wonderful Stay at Mapula Lodge"
Though we saw more wildlife at other lodges, the setting, staff, and experiences made it the best! The first two nights we were the only guests, so the staff, including our guide and tracker, were willing to find out what was most important to us and make it happen. Dix, our guide, and Simon, our tracker, were great. They were so enthusiastic and seemed to enjoy the game drives as much as we did.
On the drive from the airport to the lodge, we saw many animals, including a herd of elephants. We liked the cabins, and there was plenty of hot water (though our lights got a bit dim the last day). It was great to hear hippos during the night, and see elephant tracks in the camp in the morning. We were amazed at the food that was prepared, even when it was just the two of us guests.
We were later joined by two more people, but the experiences continued to be great. Though it was harder to find game at Mapula, it was so rewarding when you did, as you had to work for it. We didn't realize until later (after staying at Kwara and Lagoon) that this was a unique experience. The knowledge and experience of our guide and tracker was impressive. The driving was difficult due to high water from the record rains, but our guide, Dix, was willing to drive wherever he could, even though he often got very wet.
We would return to Mapula Lodge." See all these reviews: 9n in Botswana; 5n in Namibia
"Mapula Lodge review"
The accommodation was also excellent (we slept soundly after the first night of getting used to the hippo snorts outside)! All the staff were really friendly as well.
The only minor disappointment was that owing to the extremely high water levels at the time, the pool was out of action." See all these reviews: 6n in Botswana
"Mapula Lodge review"
The owner seems reluctant to put money in where it is needed. During the rainy season (the camp stays open), the drivers must drive through many ponds, which is hard on their vehicle starters. The owner doles out new starters one at a time, leaving many vehicles at the camp out of service and some visitors stranded in mid game drive.. Also the wooden bridge near the entrance to the lodge is well underwater. Not only is it bone rattling to drive over, but it is sure to rot, causing a serious accident to the unlucky vehicle that happens to be driving over it at that time.
Staff appears to be disgruntled--the last remaining cook quit, leaving the camp on the same plane as us. Why was the camp our favorite despite these problems? We saw the most game here. Our fellow guests were the most congenial of the three camps we stayed in. We had the most interesting conversations with fellow guests and staff. The atmosphere of the camp is more informal than the other two camps." See all these reviews: 7n in Botswana
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