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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Scott & Sue from USA

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

3

Excursions taken

0

Awesome first trip to Botswana

Botswana between 3 Jun 2014 and 10 Jun 2014

Trip rating: Excellent
"A few small hiccups but otherwise our trip was once-in-a-lifetime-memorable. We're really lucky to have done this!"

Chobe Under Canvas

Chobe Under Canvas

"Rustic setting with tons of elephants!"

2 nights Arrived 3 Jun 2014
"The staff here was great. First class operation. Well organized game drives and boat cruise. Lots of wildlife viewing. Good food (Savute under canvas was better)."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Savute Under Canvas

Savute Under Canvas

"Savute was phenomenal"

2 nights Arrived 5 Jun 2014
"Everything was great here! Our chef (Thebe) really bent over backwards to prepare gluten-free meals for us. They were delicious. I forgot one item in our tent and it magically appeared at the airstrip just before our flight came as well. Just shows how well organized and well run &Beyond is!

The game drives were great too. Saw several leopards, a large pride of lions and tons of other game all around. We were at Savute in June so it was quite cold, particularly the few days we were there. They provided blankets but those weren't windproof but the warm water bottles helped a lot! Bring layers!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Khwai Tented Camp

Khwai Tented Camp

"Khwai was nice but not all that different"

3 nights Arrived 7 Jun 2014
"We had a nice time at Khwai after four days in Chobe and Savute. We had set our expectations on a few things: it's in the delta (meaning: water activities), outside Moremi Reserve (meaning: walking safaris, night drives, off-roading). While the staff really tried hard, we found that this experience wasn't as different from Chobe and Savute as we thought and the operation wasn't as top notch.

Activities: We couldn't do walking safaris because the grass levels were too high and the guides felt it was too dangerous. Understandable. Night drives were merely a continuation of the afternoon drive, which was a nice add-on but not an activity in and of itself. Off-roading allowed for some closeups that we couldn't get in the reserves, but was also an add-on rather than the bulk of an activity. As for water stuff, it was awesome being in a tent that's just a few meters from water where hippos are doing their thing around the clock. But otherwise, there wasn't much of a water element to the activities. We did a 1-hour mokoro cruise but it was more of a novelty than an actual activity.

While we were right outside Moremi, we never actually entered the park. Our guide is a local Khwai resident and suggested that we stick to the Khwai concession. He knows that terrain extremely well, but we couldn't help but wonder what if anything we might have missed in Moremi.

We really had expected some elements that didn't exist at the Chobe camps (e.g. walking, water activities) but those didn't materialize. We did have a chance to visit the Khwai village and meet our guide's family which was a nice change from non-stop game drives.

As for the staff, they were very friendly. Terry runs a great kitchen and the team did a great job prepping our gluten-free meals. Our room and laundry was great. But compared to &Beyond, we felt that there was a bit of finesse missing. The operation was well run, but not clockwork like we had been spoiled with at &Beyond. It lacked the military precision. We noted a lot of staff turnover while we were there (many staff work for 3 months at a time, then get 3 weeks off) so the teams were in a state of flux. We also noticed that the two game vehicles they had were sharing one spare tire. Each car should have two spare tires all the time. We also noticed that our guide's vehicle had radio trouble intermittently with no backup handset. It's the little things like this that stuck out.

Overall we felt there was some polish missing that we had expected at this price point! We brought this up to the camp management and they tried their hardest to make our remaining time memorable. The highlight was a bush dinner where it was just us in the wilderness. It almost felt like a scene from The Bachelor complete with song, dance, and candlelit dinner surrounded by rhinos and elephants!

I'm glad we had this experience at Khwai. Looking back, if we were to do this again, we'd probably combine Khwai with only one other land-based camp (rather than two), or we'd combine the other land-based camps with a true water-based camp deeper in the delta. Khwai offers a little bit of everything but we didn't feel that it excelled at one thing in particular."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Average
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good

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