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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr H from Vancouver

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

2

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

8

Excursions taken

0

Our second trip to Botswana, 6 years later.

Botswana between 25 Sep 2013 and 5 Oct 2013

Trip rating: Excellent
"Altogether we had a wonderful trip and generally loved every moment of it (some minor exceptions, will be forgotten).

In spite of (in our opinion) generally less animals and smaller herds, we had many good sightings, very good photography.

Many thanks for organising it and the camps we asked for in spite of rather short notice.

Thank you again for a great safari vacation!

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Your trips, service and help are excellent (we got used to that).

One minor thing - maybe update your Botswana brochure re.: tips. We took US cash as per recommendation, found that the local (camp) brochures raised tips to $15/day. Your brochure is the same as 6 years ago."

Arranged By Megan Green


Little Vumbura

Little Vumbura

"Return to Little Vumbura - 6 years later"

2 nights Arrived 25 Sep 2013
"We liked Little Vumbura in 2007 and liked it just as much this time.
The re-built camp is very good, well organised.
We had some very good animal sightings, our guide tried really hard.

Sadly, compared with last time, there were at least 30-50% less animals to see. The small pride of lions has no senior males, no cubs. We were told about the safety fences for protecting cattle from a pulmonary disease - maybe that is one of the reasons?

Throughout our whole Botswana trip we didn't see a single large (even medium) buffalo herd; elephants only in small groups."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Little Kwara

Little Kwara

"Little Kwara review"

3 nights Arrived 27 Sep 2013
"We liked Kwando camps in the past and we liked this one too. We actually prefer them to the (lately) more artificially showy Wilderness Safari camps. The camp is simpler, emphasis is on the safari experience rather than luxury.

Our drives and guide (Paul) very good, interesting sightings. We saw leopards, followed a pair of cheetahs for two days, saw them feasting on their kill, the clean-up by vultures, jackal, etc.

The Kwando method of having a guide/driver and aalso a tracker works very well indeed, helps finding animals."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Chitabe Lediba

Chitabe Lediba

"Chitabe Lediba - many sightings"

3 nights Arrived 30 Sep 2013
"This very good camp gave us probably the most sightings of our trip, leopards, hyaenas a (very small) lion pride, a very old male lion and the usual antelopes, etc.
Our guide, Paul, was very good and tried really hard. That he is also a photographer helped

The only flaws appeared at the very end of our stay, due very obviously to some problems in camp management/communications, which, together with problems in Wilderness Air left us for 3 hours+ in the noon heat at the air strip and nearly cost us the p.m. drive at Duma Tau.

The camp manager, Mr. Mooal....? (large, used to be at Duba Plains, very important in his own mind) spends most of his time driving friends around; asst. mgr., M.s Charity (very educated, in camp for 3 monyhs, her first amin. job) is mostly in charge; *very* assertive. Arranged for us to finish a.m. drive at the airstrip (against recommendation by our guide). In the meantime Wilderness Air, after the usual time changes had problems with two planes. There was no timely communication from camp; our guide tried repeatedly to get some answers - a plane was supposedly fly to Maun and then pick us up. It never happened. Two planes landed (with space), no luck. Camp manager drove by, said hello & left. Our guide tried to contact camp general manager, was told to "take message & stand by" - nothing for an hour. No contact, no info for 3 hours.

Eventually a plane came, we got to Duma Tau; no time for lunch, but we got to p.m. drive."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
DumaTau Camp

DumaTau Camp

"Duma Tau - beautiful camp"

2 nights Arrived 3 Oct 2013
"Very beautiful, modernised camp, great location near water.

Mocs, our guide is obviously a senior guide, very experienced. He was quite obsessed with the local group of wild dogs, so we spend most time looking and following them (they were hunting), while by-passing many other animals. Camp has a local big leopard, but we went looking only once.
Wild dogs are of course endangered, but so far, every camp had them.

This was our prettiest camp, superb friendly staff, but with the least variety of sightings."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

First Safari - 4 Camps. Would go back to 3

Botswana between 23 Sep 2007 and 3 Oct 2007

Trip rating: Excellent
"First of all, many thanks for your help and all the arrangements you made for us. We would be happy to recommend you to anyone interested. For a photographer it was an extraordinary experience, I will be processing images for some time.

Altogether, our trip was wonderful - so much so that we are beginning to think of a repeat (if possible), perhaps in 2009. We would seek your advice sooner , we were told that a year ahaead is reasonable. We really liked L. Vumbura and the Kwando camps (thanks for suggesting them).

The time of the year seemed to be just right (although at Jao we were told that we missed the wildlife by 2 weeks)."

Little Vumbura

Little Vumbura

"Little Vumbura"

3 nights Arrived 24 Sep 2007
"Superb. Our first experience with Widerness Safaris - the camp runs like clockwork, the team - Lawrence, Molly, Uno - as well as Kay, our guide, were just wonderful. Food was excellent (we learned that the L.. V. chef is well known for that). We met several people who were there multiple times and keep coming back.

We expected a lot from the drives and our expectations were exceeded. We were also very fortunate to get to a pride of some 8 lions about 5 minutes after they killed a buffalo; we watched & followed them for 2 days. Of course we saw a lot of other wildlife. Found a cheetah on our last drive. Also a group of wild dogs who had just arrived.

L.V. is just about the perfect combination: small enough, great drives, friendly. Lots of good images, our guide was very helpful in positioning the car."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Jao Camp

Jao Camp

"Jao Camp"

3 nights Arrived 27 Sep 2007
"Very different indeed. First of all, they seemed to be unaware of our arrival (no names), checked & questioned at the airstrip, etc. The camp is of course very beautiful; also very formal. The pre-requisite for being on the "management team" seems to be upper-class public school English and, preferably, a lack of any sense of humour. Local people seemed to be trained as servile butlers.

For our first drive a boat trip was "planned" for us (nobody asked), so we were driven for an hour between the reeds, didn't see a thing. (We could easily arrange for an aluminium motor boat and reeds not far from where we live :-)

The guides were very pleasant (obviously educated; again, perfect English) but, somehow their heart wasn't really in it. The drives were quite short, repetitive, same standard roads. Got lots of great Kingfisher images as we drove by the same ones twice a day. We saw of course the local lions (old Freddy is always there for the tourists), elephants, etc., etc. Once, there were two leopards in a tree; so our guide took off at full speed towards them: they did of course what comes naturally - disappeared in the underbrush, never to be seen again. We almost heard them laugh ;-) (We had a very different, better experience at Lagoon).

We learned that Jao is not really a Wilderness Safaris camp, they just market it. It shows. It is supposedly owned "100% by the citizens of Botswana" - read one citizen.

There was also an information booklet in our room saying that Jao is a Ngabiland Adventures Safaris camp. It contains misleading information, particularly regarding antimalarials - dosages seem to refer to Lariam (once per week) without naming it and potentially dangerous if applied to other drugs, advises not to drink coffee or alcohol as these are "dietetics" (sic), etc.

The tent was luxurious; towels re-arranged 3x per day, although some things did not work; menus beautifully printed, there was an attempt for supposedly French cuisine. Unfortunately the result was meat or fish equally cooked to shoe-leather quality. The general impression from Jao: Beautiful area & camp, pretentious and wholly artificial. Wilderness drives are more or less a side show. Don't forget your jewellery in the evening."
Poor
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Poor
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Average
Facilities
Good
Lagoon Camp

Lagoon Camp

"Lagoon Camp"

2 nights Arrived 30 Sep 2007
"*Great*. Well run, efficient, friendly people, very good food, everything worked.
Excellent game drives, superb knowledge of wildlife behaviour, very good spotters. Once there were tracs, we just drove off-road to follow the game.

Kwando camps were the only ones that had night drives, although night drives are advertised by Wilderness Safaris. The afternoon drives were not time-limited, we just went on as long as there was anything to see, also for quite a while after dark.

At Lagoon our guide was the manager, Jonah.He is absolutely outstanding; Plenty of animals, wonderful birds, we got really close for photography. We spotted a leopard in a tree, watching a buffalo heard; Jonah approached with infinite caution - we watched the cat in the tree, coming down and going up another tree, for quite a while and quite close. Wonderful."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Lebala Camp

Lebala Camp

"Lebala Camp"

2 nights Arrived 2 Oct 2007
"At Lebala we were also very fortunate, our guide was Alwyn and the two of us were the only ones in his car. He is quite remarkable; incredible all-around knowledge, (BTW: also a photographer). We learned a lot about Botswana, animals, etc., etc.

We followed and watched 3 lionesses with their 8 cubs, saw them crossing the water, going to hunt. Alwyn went out of his way to show us as much as possible and to get as close as possible. (F.Y.I. Chris, no, didn't see a Caracal - but got some shots of a very pretty Serval after dark at Lebala, also a White-faced Owl). There seemed to be somewhat less wildlife at Lebala then at Lagoon - but that may be also a matter of luck.

We still miss the sound of the hipos and the little frogs outside our tent at night at Lebala."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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