Reviews of Shinde Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Wonderful stay at Shinde
We completely fell in love with Shinde. It was exceptional. The staff were so warm and welcoming, the accommodation was superb, beautiful tents and bathrooms and lovely living areas - all with a slight colonial feel to them. The food was delicious.
Shinde went out of their way to make this memorable - sundowners laid up by the river, a meal down by the river with all the guests one evening with dancing and singing round the fire from the Batswana. The Okavango is stunning - we saw very varied game and followed a pride of lions over a few days which was fascinating. Lots of bird life too and boat trips.
Absolutely amazing. Can't wait to go back one day....
Botds at Shinde
The best in terms of luxury and facilities, with beautiful views. Wide range of animals spotted. Special bush walk with excellent guides.
Food, service and ambiance were perfect, with very relaxing evening campfires.
The Best of Botswana!
The first thing that impresses at Shinde Camp is the quality of the people and the welcome they give on arrival. Following a musical greeting the staff introduce themselves individually, taking care to hear, repeat and remember your name. The rooms are beautifully appointed and very comfortable. I loved the hot water bottles to warm the beds at night.
The management team and the guides make sure you have an individual experience and are happy to do what they can to ensure that you get what you came for... really good game viewing. The guides have one eye for the animals and one eye for the guest. Everyone is looked after, animals and people!
You will not go hungry... breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks are generous and the home cooking offers plenty of healthy options. The bar is always open and you can help yourself to a Bloody Mary heart starter to nightcaps before turning in. Sundowners while out on Safari are a real treat.
Shinde Camp review
Glad to be there after Lagoon Camp! Staff good but not as friendly as Kanana. No complaints re management.
Guides ok but had to be questioned often rather than offering information. Good game drives though.
Shinde Camp review
We loved Shinde camp. It was different then the other camps and offered new vistas of Botswana.
The people were very friendly and we had a great time there.
Shinde Camp review
Fantastic setting in the trees - very pretty and the best structure for a camp during our stay. All facilities are excellent and the staff wonderful. Loved the singing as they welcomed you and also the pre-dinner singing on a couple of evenings.
Game viewing was excellent - super leopards and on the final morning lions. Well-informed guides who were friendly and articulate. Trips on the Moroko boat and river boat through the delta were great fun - and we saw a Sitatunga on the riverbank from the Moroko which is apparently very rare and caused a lot of excitement on our return to camp!
Being English ladies of more mature years we really appreciated the early morning call with tea and the sherry provided on our return in the evening! Food was excellent - my friend though it was the best on the trip. There was a problem with our vehicle - which broke down on several occasions - once in front of a tree with a leopard in it. This did cause a few delays - especially to those in the other vehicles who had to give us a tow. And on the last day our vehicle, in turn, had to give another vehicle a tow. I guess this is part of the safari experience, and we didn't mind, however others were getting annoyed.
I was also surprised at a french gentleman in our car who on several occasions fell asleep and started snoring!! Our guide/driver was coped very well with this - although it was a first for him! How he slept over all those off road bumps I'll never know.
Great camp, good location, needs renovating
The location and camp are good on the Ocavango delta . However rooms are a bit run down and need renovating.
The food was good at all three meals. Staff hospitable and welcoming.
The guide although very knowledgable, had an attitude problem and was a bit offish with us.
The night talk on the southern sky was very good.
It is unfair to compare but what I say is based on comparison with our previous two camps.
This camp seemed to be rundown and leaderless. The service seemed to be routine and we missed the large variety of foods the we have come to expect. Pierre was the temporary manager and he was like lighting bolt of energy, delightful, but contrasted with the ho-hum atmosphere by the staff.
We were lead to believe that Pierre was there to give the camp a facelift and the work was to start soon. I know that he will be successful, but my experience would lead me to not recommend this camp until the facelift is complete.
Pleasant staff and wooded feel
The lodge and Room
Upon arriving at the lodge, I immediately felt like it was quite a bit larger than the others (too large for my taste) and lacked a certain ambiance. It's main feature is a large wooded deck, which houses the common areas (dining room, sitting area, fire/tea break area). It is covered by trees so I found myself not wanting to hang out there very much as it was very cold that week and the trees obscured the sun. The common area has a computer with dial up internet access, which was much appreciated in a region without cell service.
The walk to the room felt a bit like a KOA campground in the States. There wasn't a charm about it. The room was a tent-based permanent structure with a great shower. The small deck was shaded by trees and didn't offer much of a view. I heard a couple hippo sounds during the night but generally animals were not wandering through the camp, a feature I quite enjoyed in other lodges.
The managers and staff were friendly and meals were eaten as a group, Food was very good.
Wildlife and Guides
Unlike my other lodges, Shinde doesn't limit the jeeps so that everyone gets a "window seat". I skipped the drive on my first day, in part, because I thought the jeep would be too full. Ultimately, I only went on 1 game drive. The landscape is beautiful there. Bee, the guide, seemed very experienced and impressed us all with an outstanding sighting of a leopard. I still don't know how in the world he saw it! Beyond that, though, it didn't seem like there was as much concentration of game there as I had in Zambia. Also, they don't seem as keen about the night drives. They play them down and don't even have a separate person manning the light.
Given that this was my only wet camp, I was quite excited about taking a break from the game drives to do water activities. I did both the speedboat and makoro. It was lovely to be on the water..very tranquil. We didn't see too much..one tree frog, a few cool birds, pretty vegetation, 2 hippos and 1 elephant across the two outings. It was very nice, although in talking to other safari goers at my next lodge, I think there might be other wet camps that offer better bird and animal sightings from their waterways.
Superb Shinde: needs met;thoughts anticipated
We chose Shinde (our 3rd camp) to give us the chance to experience mokoro and motorboat rides, together with a shortish walk (about 1 hour). A couple of game drives were also provided. The mokoro ride was a lot more comfortable than I had anticipated, as the craft have been adapted for tourists. I got an excellent close-up shot of a painted reed frog, after my guide Patoki had very patiently pointed it out with his pole. My wife and daughter were in a separate mokoro with a guide called Colin. Both guides manoeuvred and glided so that we could take photos of each other. This experience is so peaceful and relaxing.
The previous evening we had a motorboat ride and on our way back, news came over the radio of a sighting of lions. We were asked if we wanted to try and see the lions. When we agreed we made a bee-line for the water's edge, landed and quickly transferred to a waiting vehicle. We then sped off in pursuit. This was a true James Bond-like experience. It also showed what lengths this camp will go to make your stay fulfilling, of which more below. We found the lions just before dark and were able to use an infra-red lamp to light them up. They were unbothered by this and we had another great experience.
On our walk, our main guide Aubrey explained the nutritional significance of the different grasses and trees. And the effects of elephants on various types of tree. We also learnt about the relative efficiency of the digestion systems of elephants, zebra and giraffe. Later we were instructed in how lions digest and excrete the remains of a meal; this after we came across a pile of fur which had once been a red lechwe.
A special mention to Jono and Justine, the camp managers. They are excellent. Nothing is too much trouble for them; they treat everyone individually and their attention to detail is a lesson for many hotels. One example is the provision of a decanter of sherry and glasses in your lodge prior to evening meal!