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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr E from Canada

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

4

Excursions taken

0

Our Trip Feedback

Botswana between 6 Dec 2011 and 18 Dec 2011

Trip rating: Excellent
"It was spectacular. I am still amazed by the wildlife and the environment in general. Everything worked as planned which reflects very favourably on your services (within reason each camp was a rather different ecosystem, all connections worked as planned incl the transfer to Vic Falls, no abundance of other travelers and every camp was in a stunning setting).

I had some reservations about visiting this time of year (it was originally anticipated for October), but it appears we saw every species that can somewhat reasonably be expected; and more than one sighting for almost all of them. We did have rain in Botswana, but all in all we were not much affected by it: at Kwara they installed roofs on the Land Cruisers after one really wet game drive; at Nxai Pan there was rain during one game drive and the roads were really gutted and muddy but both were OK, at Lebala we got really wet once (no roof) and really lucky on a few other drives. [Not sure if the amount of rain we encountered was typical, or whether we hit a relatively dry spell; we encountered no rain in Namibia which is having a late start to the rainy season this year].

Even on our subsequent travel in Etosha (and elsewhere in Namibia) we saw incredible amounts and variety of wildlife, including rhinos, leopard, aardwolf and hyena. (Here we had to do our own guiding and tracking though ;-)

Thank you for your services and input. I have recommended you.

Suggestions for improvements:

Satellite phones might have come in handy with Profile Safari's plane mishap/crash in Etosha as well. [Nothing to do with you or us, but it happened when we were there]."

Nxai Pan Camp

Nxai Pan Camp

"Open landscapes and knowledgeable staff"

3 nights Arrived 7 Dec 2011
"At Nxai Pan I think we were still a little early for the bigger zebra (and giraffe?) migration: it was very nice to see that literally every game drive we saw more zebras; but I understand that at prime time the field in front of the camp (for example) is filled with zebra. That would have been really special; probably impossible to plan from far away (staff was saying mid-January). But Nxai Pan was by no means 'low' on wildlife. We saw cheetahs on our very first game drive (and also on subsequent drives); ran into elephants 1 minute after we were picked up from the airstrip, saw active lions with playing cubs, best sightings of Kori Bustard and Secretary Bird (alongside Etosha). Moreover, the trip to the Baines Baobabs was really good, with many sightings and a special landscape. In general the landscape was so much more open than in the Okavango; this really set Nxai Pan apart.

We did hear some people complain that the wildlife is further away in Nxai Pan. While this is true, this is not purely bad (at least if you can combine it with the closer sightings in the Okavango): for example it was great to see the cheetahs 'roaming' through the field and observe their behaviour (less aware of our safari jeep coasting in the distance).

Vasko in Nxai Pan was the very best guide/driver; with Keso a really proficient tracker. Janet and Carlos were fantastic at hosting, and really created a good atmosphere (with Janet being very outgoing and sharing great stories). Highly recommended."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Kwara Camp

Kwara Camp

"Stunning wildlife & a truly special excursion"

3 nights Arrived 9 Dec 2011
"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)."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Sandibe Safari Lodge

Sandibe Safari Lodge

"Stunning wildlife plus a wonderful setting"

3 nights Arrived 12 Dec 2011
"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: Sandibe (wild dogs, leopards). Truly impressive.

From a pure camp (design, built) and comfort perspective Sandibe was probably the winner. Their main lodge was really nice, so was the verandah of our hut. We had elephants going through the camp (in a somewhat controlled way).

The food in Sandibe was best, mostly for two reasons: 1) they served more 'local' food, like our first Kudu steak (whereas Kwando seemed to have rather neutral 'western' food; nothing wrong but not special), 2) we asked for one of the dinners to be served on the verandah of our hut (built into the papyrus); very special! (I think you talk about it in your brochure, so you are fully well aware).

Suggestions for improvements:

When we arrived on the airstrip in Sandibe there was no-one to pick us up; waited for about 30 minutes. We waited for some 30 minutes before anyone arrived. At Sandibe a little sorry would have been nice…. Our pilot (Ed) was great. Moremi Air might improve by purchasing some satellite phones."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Lebala Camp

Lebala Camp

"Very memorable thanks to great staff"

3 nights Arrived 15 Dec 2011
"The only reason we have not rated this camp as Excellent is purely based on limited wildlife; this may be very seasonal.

At Lebala the game was the least impressive. Both in total number and in the uniqueness (though we did track a caracal spoor at some point, without actually encountering any; also went looking for wild dog and leopard without luck). We even went to the far west end of the concession during a full day game drive. But even Lebala offered some unique sightings (bush babies, roan antelopes and a fleeting sight of some elands).

From a staff and atmosphere perspective both Nxai Pan and Lebala were significantly more special than the other two. The tracker at Lebala (“Mr. Play”) was probably our favourite (he did not at all appear to be the reason for the relatively limited sightings); driver Alex was great as well (but he fell ill after our first day). Charles (management) did a great job in hosting us."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent

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