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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs B from Maidstone

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

3

Excursions taken

0

My Jun 2018 trip

Botswana between 5 Jun 2018 and 15 Jun 2018

Trip rating: Excellent
"It was superb.... totally exceeded our expectations and we found all the camps perfect. When we contacted EA (we've used them before several times) we started with some limits on our budgets but Maruska came back with a fabulous itinerary that met and exceeded all our needs.

In advance of the trip all questions were quickly and fully answered and we headed off with full confidence for the holiday. We have lots more feedback on the camps themselves but in summary this part of Botswana is beautiful and (especially) the Kwando camps are superb with all the staff a great highlight. What also impressed us was how the choices of camp reflected our priorities around viewing, the guides and being more open and in amongst it all.

This was our 3rd Expert Africa trip (Namibia and Botswana twice before) and ideally we'd always look to EA first before booking anything again - Maruska was excellent throughout.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

None at all!"

Arranged By Maruska Adye-Rowe


Okuti

Okuti

"Wonderful start to our trip at Okuti"

2 nights Arrived 6 Jun 2018
"Okuti is a beautiful camp and we had a wonderful visit there at the start of our Botswana trip. The staff are outstanding and the service excellent, with nothing too much trouble at all. It was Amanda's birthday trip (having had her birthday a few months before) and the staff sprung a lovely surprise on her (I won't reveal it as its a bit of a pattern through our holiday).

Our guide was really good (Solomon) and very knowledgeable and gave us plenty of time at each sighting. We did a boat trip on the afternoon of our first full day and this was the only reason for a slightly lower mark against the activities as we'd have skipped it if we'd been told that it was very likely to be very quiet (quite normal at this time of year). At this time of the season (going into winter) activity on the water was very quiet and felt more like a gentle river cruise that anything else....so we'd suggest checking this if you are visiting in early winter. However.... the following morning Africa did it's usual surprise trick and provided us with a wonderful leopard sighting on the move for 15-20 mins and an exhilarating encounter with Wild Dogs eating and a persistent Hyena trying to grab a snack from them, which resulted in a scrap between them all and a Hyena with a very sore backside (but it did get away with some meat). We had lesser elephant sightings but the one we did was of a massive herd of 60/70 plus some really good hippo sighting too.

Food was excellent and plentiful (and constant!) and the architecture of the camp was quite different to the usual safari style but really blended in well to the surrounding. We stayed two nights which felt about right. All in all a wonderful visit and a great camp to start the trip off!!

A small note, at the time of the year we went it was chilly in the morning and evening... so pack an extra jumper though hot water bottles are provided for the morning trip with blankets!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Lebala Camp

Lebala Camp

"Brilliant Lebala - the highlight of our trip"

3 nights Arrived 8 Jun 2018
"Lebala was the second stop on our trip and was the highlight of our whole holiday. In terms of sightings we were incredibly fortunate to have such an action packed visit. We had some sightings of elephants in very large volumes, Lebala is known for it, but on the last morning when we were dropping off two of our vehicle companions for an earlier flight... the runway was blocked by 100+ elephants and just as they were cleared, a male lion wandered out to add a further delay to proceedings.

There were many regular camp visits from elephants... one munching on bushes beside the lunch table and when walking back to our tent after lunch, 6 surrounding our tent giving a beautiful opportunity to observe these creatures from a safe distance (but still close). If you want elephant sightings, Lebala is your camp. Excellent sightings of Hyena/Lion and Leopard plus a tense standoff between 9 Lions, 2 Buffalo and 3 manic Hyena really made Lebala perfect for us. Plenty of time was allowed for us to observe the animals with the chance to really watch their behaviour. Lebala uses both a guide and tracker.. with the tracker in place to pick up the tracks that the guide can't see. The enthusiasm of both was another highlight and we were fortunate to to be treated to a real masterclass in tracking as we found lion after over an hour of hard work by the team.

The guides here are persistent in looking for the big game but not to the exclusion of birding and balanced this perfectly. Ishmaeil and Shooes (guide and tracker) deserve special mention and were knowledgeable and very free in sharing everything they knew.

The camp staff at Lebala were welcoming and genuinely made our down time fun. As with all the other camps, the team eat with guests and we felt that the whole Lebala team were a really close knit group and, whilst working, were also clearly having great fun.

The tent was lovely with an outside shower which was perfect when returning from the morning drive. We'd suggest that Lebala is great for people who have been on safari before and also wonderful for first timers.... if you had limited time to visit Botswana we'd suggest including Lebala on your list - You really cannot better it.

This trip was for my wife's birthday and the camp put on a special treat (I will not spoil it) but it was truly so special and involved some skullduggery on the part of our guide and camp staff....

Some advice we'd give is get to know the staff, they are enthusiastic, passionate about the animals and Botswana and so generous in sharing their knowledge and experiences..... the camplife matched the game viewing and sometimes combined it. Our first trip back to our room after lunch saw us greeted by 4-5 elephants outside the front door.. a true treat to see these wonderful creatures (from a safe distance) and on the the return from the last drive on the first evening, whilst everyone else went to get changed, we grabbed a drink on the platform over the fire just a a hyena wandered in .... sniffed the flames and wandered off.

Lebala is right at the top of our list for a return"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Little Kwara

Little Kwara

"Great Safari & Wild Dog pups at Little Kwara "

3 nights Arrived 11 Jun 2018
"Little Kwara was our last stop on our trip and a great end to an exciting adventure. We were lucky in that the large Wild Dog pack were denning in the area with 12 pups and we had some lovely sightings of them.... both at the den site and also out on drives. The guides were excellent, especially as we were tracking 4 of the dogs hunting... the dogs running through the bush whilst we were tearing along on the outside in parallel trying to keep up - an exhilarating experience.

The camp was lovely, plenty of sightings of elephants around the general area and directly outside our room... in keeping with the Kwando camps, it all feels very open which is great. The food was up to the usual standard and my wife (who is vegetarian) was well catered for (same applied at all camps).

Across all our camps, whilst we loved our stay it was probably not the highlight (though of course the dogs were brilliant and were something we specifically travelled for) but we put this down to Lebala which set a mid-trip standard that had little chance of being bettered..... but a great camp none the less"
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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