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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr G & Ms N from London

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

7

Excursions taken

0

Zambia / Botswana Oct /Nov 09

Botswana and 1 other country between 23 Oct 2009 and 7 Nov 2009

Trip rating: Excellent
"excellent"

Toka Leya Camp

Toka Leya Camp

"The perfect start to a safari"

2 nights Arrived 24 Oct 2009
"Toka Leya s location inside the mosi o tunya np is the ideal first camp for a southern african safari.The stunning Zamezi riverside location gives you the feeling of being immersed in the bush yet you are close to livingstone and the falls. There is plenty of local wildlife ( both elephant and rhino were around and in camp during our stay) Plenty of worthwhile activities with good equipment and equally good guides ( we had Amon ) for those that want activity - yet comfortable tents and camp facilities for those that just want to rest.
The river and game drives are ideal introductions to what the bush has to offer and the three wild dog that seem to have made mosi o tunya their home for the moment add a bit of spice to game drives.

The camp is well run and friendly. The food was excellent.The staff went out of their way to make what ever you wanted happen."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Muchenje Safari Lodge

Muchenje Safari Lodge

"Ideal lodge for chobe riverfront"

2 nights Arrived 26 Oct 2009
"Muchenje has a spectacular location over the chobe floodpains to namibia - probably the best lodge setting in or around chobe NP. For those that worry about its remote location to the west this is the lodges greatest asset. The west of the NP is more remote, has a wilder feel and in our opinion is more scenic than in the east. The game densities seemed at least as high as further east yet the vehicular densities were very low - and indeed the only other vehicles we saw were from muchenje until well east of Ihaha.

Muchenje take their game viewing activities both seriously and enthusiastically and pack a lot into a day if you want it - not only in quantity but quality. The guiding is to a very high standard. (we had Lips and presley who were excellent ) We were particularly impressed with the way the full day was planned - an early morning drive 5.30 - 9.00 so as not to miss any early morning action at the riverfront then breakfast back at the lodge and out 10.30 for the journey to the boat trip. The rendevous with the boat at 12 is perfectly timed to have 3-4 hours of the best bit of the river for action to yourself with families of elephant coming to drink and cross to namibia. The 3-4 hour game drive west out of the park back to the lodge completes a true perspective of this part of the chobe riverfront.This dry season a pack of 12 wild dogs has been active along the whole riverfront which has been a bonus for those visiting.

The night drive after dinner - like all night drives is hit and miss - but the lodge has a good little stretch of riverfront and gets good activity there ( a huge herd of bufalo crossing the river and plenty of elephant the night we went and a lion kill occured only a few nights before )

We requested a game drive transfer from the lodge to kasane airfield on our last morning taking breakfast with us which gave us a further opportunity to drive the riverfront almost in its entirety from ngoma to sedudu - this was much appreciated and was terrific - and as ever was provided with support and enthusiasm by the management team.

The lodge is extremely well run and the staff are local and obviously very happy .When we were their one of the lodge owners (sean )was staying - and having spent a couple of days in sean s company it is easy to see where the comfortable atmosphere and positive culture of this lodge emenates from.

The lodge facilities , food and chalet rooms are all to a very high standard - but if you are keen on your game you will not see much of the lodge or your room here.

If I had one suggestion for Sean it would be to provide 2 smaller and faster boats ( the 8 person aluminium ones ) for the boat trip and split the trip group in 2 - this would provide a more intimate river experience which would then match the intimacy of every other aspect and activity that muchenje offers."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
DumaTau Camp

DumaTau Camp

"A Top Botswana Camp"

3 nights Arrived 28 Oct 2009
"Whilst a little larger than most Botswana Camps it did not feel that way - even with a full camp and a large tour group. Our experience at Duma Tau was nothing less than exceptional

The management team lead by Miriam and Vasco are very very good indeed - not only in what you see them do - but what you do not see them do - and even with a big tour group in camp - who demanded a lot of attention - they were well prepared for individual arriving couples and very alive to the preferences and requests of those couples.Karen and Keke completed the management set-up and were also great fun as well as very good at their jobs.The camp is currently so obviously a happy one and it shows.

If you want it - the enthusiasm and can do attitude of the management and guiding team to maximise your time out in the bush or to set out early for a particular interest was exceptional and was much appreciated by us and will be well remembered by us.

We were priveleged to have the legendary and remarkable Thebe ( Mr T ) as our guide - Thebo s knowledge of the area his sheer enthusiasm as well as patience and skill in reading the wildlife resulted in 3 days of superb game sightings and experiences. Excellent Cheetah lion leopard and wild dog sightings - plus spectacular elephant herds .Thebe - Thank you.We will be back for more as soon as we can.

The savuti channel area has undergone a complete transformation which is quite remarkable in such a short period of time and the game patterns accordingly are adapting - but there is a lot of game as ever and now in truly stunning scenery.There is a rich diversity of terrain to be explored from duma tau and this makes it particularly interesting. The short boat trips into the lagoon also offer a different perspective of your immediate environment.

The camp itelf is wilderness quality throughout and the rooms are large very comfortable and well positioned with good views over the lagoon.

The public areas are likewise v. comfortable - great little plunge pool right by the lagoon.The food is to typically excellent wilderness standard."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Little Kwara

Little Kwara

"small but too relaxed ?"

1 night Arrived 31 Oct 2009
"We had 1 night at LK and 2 nights at Kwara due to availability.

The camp is small and intiamte - the tents roomy and comfortable.The atmosphere of the camp in our view suited a more laid back approach to activity and action than the main Kwara Camp.

Our experience here was mainly good and admittedly limited due to the 1 night stay only but we had the following comments -

despite pre-arrival requests to Kwara / Little Kwara from the UK we did not have the same guide and tracker for the whole 3 days - especially as we had paid for a private vehicle for the whole 3 days with friends who were traveling with us.

Our morning game drive was cut short as the guide had to pick up incoming guests from the airstrip - in light of the fact we had paid for the private vehicle this was disappointing . Kwara and Little Kwara are 500m apart and we could not see how both of the above points could not have been better organised - especially as kwando had been advised of these beforehand."
Average
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Kwara Camp

Kwara Camp

"good eatablished delta camp"

2 nights Arrived 1 Nov 2009
"Kwara is a long time favourite of ours and the atmosphere of the camp remains good.The camp itelf , especially the tents are probably due a refurbishment but they are still comfortable.( just extending the outside decks would give more useable outside space and make the accomodation seem roomier )

The game patterns had been affected here as elsewhere in the region following the exceptional flood this season.The guiding was as passionate and enthusastic as ever and long days out in the bush with combinations of boat and vehicle are catered for with real enthusuiasm. The long trips out to tsum tsum were both great fun, incredibly scenic and rewarding - good lion and cheetah tracking.

Skillful tracking by the guide and tracker ( izzy and KB ) enabled us to intercept 5 of the coilition of 7 males at night patrolling and roaring - terrific stuff - and the guiding teams were quite prepared to stay out and return for a late dinner.

The management team here seemed more settled and the very effective.Thuso runs a well motivated team.The food and service were good."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Lebala Camp

Lebala Camp

"kwando flagship camp"

2 nights Arrived 3 Nov 2009
"Thabu was our guide at Lebala and was terrific - knowledgable and enthusiastic.The lynyanti pack of dogs were in town for the duration of our stay and so made for exciting game drives with some terrific dog / hyena interaction and tabu was quite prepared to stay out and get the best of it

The communal areas and tents are all very spacious and luxurious with great decks and views. The food was simple wholesome and tasty.

A few nigly points that ought to be sorted out - there always seems to be a high turnover of management and relief management between camps at kwando and this does leave gaps in the service if you are caught in the transition.

An example of this was as follows -

we got caught a long way from camp after sunset in a ferocious storm - our vehicle then broke down and took a further 30 mins to be rescued - then a further 30 mins back to camp - with the storm raging the whole time - this is africa - you get storms and vehicles break down - that is not the issue - the issue is on return to camp we were wet through and very cold - there was no-one on hand just to hand out some towels - there was no-one around to walk us back to our tents - ( we had to wait 10 mins for our guide Thabu to re-appear and take us ) - and despite informing the camp before we left that our electrics had failed and requesting kerosene lamps and / or candles as a back up in case they went again or couldnt be fixed - neither was actioned - so very difficult in the pitch dark soaked through to get dry and change ! - this was poor preparation and organisation by a camp of this standard- just when you needed a bit extra - it simply wasnt there - dissapointing.

we were going on up to lagoon after our stay at lebala - and despite at first being told thabu would come with us this did not happen - the guides in lagoon were also first class - but it would have been nice to have had the opportunity to have had the benefit of longer with one guide - which we know from previous visits is possible - especially as we were travelling with friends and had our own vehicle

we will return but please kwando put candles lamps or a back up torch in the rooms and sort out your management and guide logistics better - you have some fantastic people but they are being being undersold by too much chopping and changing and a little more attention when things deviate from the normal.

As lebala is kwandos flagship camp i will make a general comment about kwandos uri vehicles here.They are in our opinion ( and it seems the many others who have made similar observations ) inferior in nearly every respect to virtually every other camp / operator in botswana who use either specially adapted toyotas or landrovers. The vehicles are especially cramped when there are more than 4 to a vehicle - there is no rating for vehicles / equipment but if there was it would be average / poor. Any possibility of the replacement of these vehicles in the future im sure would be welcome by many."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Lagoon Camp

Lagoon Camp

"wild lagoon camp"

2 nights Arrived 5 Nov 2009
"Lagoon camp continues to retain a tangible feel of being in true wilderness set as it is in this northern extreme of the kwando concession and continues to have a very positive laid back but can-do atmosphere

The good management team of Labu and keoni clearly motivated their team and provided excellent service in a friendly and laid back way throughout.

The guiding team were also excellent - we had Dishu and James who were extremely impressive skillfull and persistent trackers.Their dedication and enthusiasm for setting off early rewarded us with some fantastic experiences with the lagoon pack of dogs including excillerating hunts.

The camp really are dedicated to maximising your quality time in the bush and go out of their way to make what you want happen.

The camp itself is comfortable and the tents beuatifullly set beside a lagoon just off the main linyanti channel. This camp does not need to be any bigger or more luxurious than it currently is other than the tents are now a bit worn and im sure they will be replaced by Kwando in the near future.

The food was wholesome and plentiful ."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good

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