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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr S from Surrey

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

4

Excursions taken

0

Botswana 2012

Botswana between 19 Dec 2012 and 2 Jan 2013

Trip rating: Excellent
"I went the wrong way, should have done Lebala and Lagoon first as Little Kawara and Kanana really raised the bar. Meg was fantastic all the way through.

I would have preferred a bit more electronic stuff and less paper (same with your brochure which I prefer online as I am a greenie)"

Arranged By Megan Green


Little Kwara

Little Kwara

"Little Kwara is a diamond"

4 nights Arrived 20 Dec 2012
"Arriving at the airstrip in a little 6 seater plane to find you are the only guest in camp, albeit only for a day, makes you feel a bit special. Picked up from the airstrip by my guide Dutch and tracker Kenny, a quick checkin at the bar which is fused with the open sided eating area. This is wood and canvas but plush dark wooden floors give it the feel of opulence of african adventures of old. My room has a double facing large sliding doors which open to reveal a few hippo and red lechwe. Out on the balcony and the afternoon heat is too much to be able to sit out but the view from the bed is amazing. The outside shower looks great and having tested even at 5am it's never too cold to stand outside naked.

Off for the first game drive and the first 15 minutes I am wondering what I am doing here, not a single animal. Then the first impala and a few zebra, then an owl, giraffe, jackal and hippo. We haven't been out long and we come across two of the seven lion brothers and drive up so close I worry about driving over their tails. Engine off and I am sure I can hear them breathing. Over walks a female, giving a low grunt to announce her arrival to the two males. The sun low in the sky and this is the golden hour for photographers as the evening sun cascades from the lions mane to accentuate the majestic beast in all his glory. It's then off for a sun downer at the local hippo pool and a glass of red watching these great lumbering beasts at a distance the nervous might find a bit unnerving but I enjoyed. The sun sets and the drive back to the lodge is an adventure on its own. Serval and a wild cat then what I like to call a kalahari kangaroo and we arrive back just in time for the heavens to open with a lightning show the like of which takes your breath away. Day one is over.

Day two and I am still the only guest so Dutch asks if I want to try and find the cheetahs. My enthusiasm gets the better of me and I say yes please. The game drive vehicles are open topped which is great as the eagles and hawks fly on the thermals 30 feet above you which is an amazing sight but you have to be aware of the heat. Hat on and factor 40 suntan lotion applied every hour and we find the tracks of the cheetahs about 11am. Kenny jumps off the front seat every few hundred meters to check the tracks and we soon spot 3 male cheetahs under a tree, as we approach they mark the tree and move off into the bush, lost forever, or so I thought. Now when you are told that the vehicles go off road you don't quite realise what off road really means, we drive though what appears to be impenetrable bush following the cheetahs as they mark the boundary of their territory. Finally we enter the open marsh lands of the delta and the trio split ready to hunt some red lechwe so we hold back and allow them to hunt. They get close but sadly no kill today.

We head back for the camp at about 2:30pm and I think the day could not get any better when we stumble upon a small herd of elephant doing what elephants do - feeding. We pull up about 10 feet away from a 40 year old female who is digging up a root with her feet. I take a few pictures then put the camera down as she starts to move off then she turns towards the vehicle and very slowly moves towards me. She seems to cover that 10 feet in what feels like an eternity and gets closer and closer, and closer and closer, and closer until she is less than a foot away from the vehicle. Dutch turns on the engine and she stops so close I could have touched her were I not frozen with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. She slowly turns left and ambles off as I turn to Dutch and Kenny with a tear in my eye and mouth "wow".

Not every day is like this, when I was joined by a great Canadian couple and told them how good it was our next game drive we saw very little, but that's what safaris are all about and the next morning we had a great drive.

The food was superb and meals were great fun with conversation both from other guests and the guides. Room service was amazing, having left all my clothes on the floor the first night I arrived back on the second day to find everything laundered including socks and pants, on day two the same despite me leaving them folded on the chair. After a morning drive I was asked if I wanted a drink in the room, a glass of red please, "why not take the bottle" came the reply.

I know good game drives normally bump up the perception of a camp but I have seen more wildlife in Kenya and Tanzania. What they offer is the chance to get close and spend time watching these animals. It's not for those easily bored and I would not recommend for those with young children but I would return in a heartbeat."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Kanana

Kanana

"Kanana at xmas"

4 nights Arrived 24 Dec 2012
"Kanana is a little more modern than the other camps I visited, and by that I mean that the wood looked a little newer but overall the set out are all similar. On arrival from the airstrip Amos, my guide, had an ice cold flannel and a cool drink waiting. While on the drive in we managed to spot a jackal and 3 cubs out playing in the mid-day sun. Arriving at the camp I am greeted by six staff members singing a traditional song, very nice but I feel a bit awkward with all the fuss.

This is a small concession but don't let that fool you, there are animals aplenty here. So many giraffe and elephants and there are cats here as well. The first afternoon drive and at the far end of the concession there are bush fires, sounds dramatic but are not dangerous and travel at what looked like an inch an hour. This is where we find our first leopard within 40 feet of the fires sitting on a log watching the world go by.

Kanana also does proper night drives, going out after the evening meal for a few hours. We managed to see a few lions and a selection of the smaller animals so well worth doing. Then your morning wakeup is accompanied with a tray of fresh coffee (or tea) before it's off on another safari drive. I also went on the boat safari which was great, very relaxing and you get close to the hippos. We saw a baby croc but it's the heronry that will amaze you. Perched on small islands of thick bushes are perched hundreds of juvenile birds from storks to herons which don't fear the boat at all. This allows you to get within 10 feet and experience an amazing sight so close.

I was there for xmas day and our evening meal was out in the bush. We drove out about 15 minutes to an area filled with kerosine lamps on the trees, a near full moon and stars I never normally see and the sounds of wild animals all around. The staff sing for us before yet another fantastic meal in the bush and a few to many red wines.

Overall a great place to stay, very friendly and lots to do and nothing was to much trouble."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Lebala Camp

Lebala Camp

"Lebala Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 28 Dec 2012
"Ok this was my third camp and I had been spoilt by the two in the Delta. I was transferred from the airstrip to a game drive already in progress. I feel for the guests that had to wait around for me instead of going in search of wildlife and would have been more than happy to go direct to the camp. Once I arrived I was made very welcome but seem to have got one of the less desirable rooms which I guess somebody has to have but its views were not great (room 7). The accommodation itself is great and well laid out, love going for a pee looking out over trees with birds singing in them.

Now my main aim was to see the wild dogs and this is why I perhaps would not rate so highly as the other camps. Because I was traveling on my own I was in the vehicle with a great German family but it seems I was stuck doing what they wanted or rather had to do. On the second day they were transferring to Lagoon in the morning so wanted to do a walking safari on their way up. Now I really didn't want to do the walking safari but also because they were transferring there was no chance of seeing the wild dogs which were in the other location. Ideally these transfers should be done out of game drive times so people like me don't waste a morning doing things they don't want to do. I did think that as I would be the only person in the vehicle in the afternoon that we could go looking for the dogs. Sadly I was moved to another vehicle as going out with just one guest isn't done (unlike Little Kawara who were more than happy with this). Thankfully the group I joined wanted to see the wild dogs and a concerted campaign persuaded our new guide to go looking for the wild dogs. To be fair he was great and we saw a lot and were very very lucky and ran into, quite literally, the dogs on our way back. On another afternoon drive we came across a dead impala stashed for later consumption but to my surprise we neither staked it out or even bothered to return later to check out the kill and see what had done for the poor little impala.

Overall the staff were great and food was fantastic but I sometimes felt what I wanted wasn't always what was scheduled and despite asking to see the dogs at every chance I got we only once got to actually look for them. I am not keen on the transfer process where guests have to go to the halfway point on a glorified taxi run when they have paid to be on game drives."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Lagoon Camp

Lagoon Camp

"Lagoon Camp with views"

2 nights Arrived 31 Dec 2012
"Coming from Lebala which was a just ok this place was a revelation. Set on the river with hippos the rooms were bigger than some places I have lived. The view from the comfy double bed was to die for and I wished I had spent the days at Lebala here. Indeed add a kitchen and interweb and I would not have left.

Game was great and despite having a change of guides both were great and we saw the wild dogs twice in two days. A mock charge from a tuskless female elephant was fantastic as was the zebra with the skin missing from its front right leg, our guide suspected the wild dogs were just not strong enough for this almost fully grown zebra but nothing more down to earth than how slender life is in the wild.

Overall a great camp and would love to go back. The flight back to Maun with just me and the pilot was an experience I loved as well, just be sure to tell the pilot you love flying and you get an amazing flight."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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