This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more

Skip to main content

Talk to an expert 1-800-242-2434 Lines now closed

User menu

Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Ms B from Florida, US

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

5

Excursions taken

0

My Oct 2021 trip

Botswana and 1 other country between 8 Oct 2021 and 20 Oct 2021

Trip rating: Excellent
"This has been our fourth trip to Southern Africa. The excitement of seeing animals in the wild hasn’t worn off. So, it won't be our last. We have become addicts, so to speak.

All three lodges are, in our minds, highly recommendable. But, as I said to my wife, it looks like we saved the best (Kwara Camp) for last. This is not in any way to diminish the experiences we had at Muchenje or Lebala.

It’s no secret that we had spent 12 days in Zimbabwe (organized by a different tour operator who granted us a voucher for a trip cancelled in 2020): 2 days in Harare, 2 in Kanga Camp, 3 in Nyamatusi, and 4 in Somalisa Camp. That was also very enjoyable, but I’m mentioning this here for one specific reason. In Zimbabwe, at mealtime we were always given the chance to have a table by ourselves, whereas in Botswana they followed the tradition of having the guests sit together at one big table. Well, we didn’t get sick, so everything went well, but just as an aside, we sometimes dreaded the kind of small talk we had to engage in when communicating with other guests. Maybe we were just unlucky this time.

This was the first time ever that we did an exclusive fly-in safari, which is very intense. It’s non-stop action, and thanks to the wonderful camps we did not fall victim to a sense of fatigue that we anticipated.

We chose to do it this way because we didn’t have the courage to do self-drive during the corona pandemic. But our worries were not necessary, because everywhere we went, the people dealt with the dangers of corona in impressive ways. Masks were worn by nearly everybody, shops and airports greeted you with a temperature check and hand sanitizer (!). Anyway, under normal circumstances we like to combine the fly-in with a self-drive, and that’s what we have planned on doing next year. In our experience, you get to see a bit more of the people and the land, and spending some time on the road is quite relaxing.



Not really. Everything worked quite smoothly from start to finish, which I can’t say about our daily life in the good old USA. Maybe that’s to be expected in this luxury travel segment, but still, I think it’s worth mentioning.

Since the Lebala airstrip was closed for repairs, Lucy in fact contacted us in Chobe to offer us the opportunity to switch to Kwando Lagoon Camp, since this meant that our ride from the airstrip to Lebala was going to be around 2.5 hours instead of the usual 15 minutes or so. After a short discussion among ourselves we decided to stick to Lebala."

Arranged By Lucy Copson


Batonka Guest Lodge

Batonka Guest Lodge

"Batonka Guest Lodge review"

1 night Arrived 8 Oct 2021
"We stayed here only for one night on the way from Zimbabwe to Botswana, so our insights are limited.

For instance, we didn't take part in any activities that the lodge might have offered. But the decent sized swimming pool was a highly appreciated experience."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Muchenje Safari Lodge

Muchenje Safari Lodge

"Muchenje Safari Lodge review"

3 nights Arrived 9 Oct 2021
"Overall, this lodge excels most with its magnificent location high on an escarpment on the south side of the Chobe River, providing fantastic views over the flood plains.

The game drives were great fun, and so was the cruise on the Chobe River. Due to the pandemic and the concomitant lack of guests we often enjoyed the luxury of being alone in the car or boat with our guide Ali.

One particular sighting really stood out from the rest: A group of five youngish lions showed some interest in a bunch of buffaloes, and they even launched a half-hearted attempt to attack them, but then the tables turned, and the hunters became the hunted. In a few moments, all the lions went into hiding in the bush. No-one got hurt, thankfully.

Another thing I would like to mention is that the guides are prohibited to do off-road driving, which is the rule in National Parks all over Southern Africa. However, our guide more than once disregarded this rule and thus afforded us some sightings that would not have been possible otherwise.

Also, due to the fact that this is a National Park, a small but noticeable number self-drivers were also seen. For instance, the one and only leopard sighting we had was sort of spoiled by the fact that in no time the poor animal was surrounded by 8 jeeps, and some of them actually pushed themselves in front of the queue. Of course, this was not the lodge’s or our guide’s fault.

The rooms were really pleasant, and one thing that we enjoyed very much was the fact that they had air condition, and unlike in even better hotels in the US, it made no noise.

To summarize, our stay was really enjoyable, and I would like to recommend this lodge to anyone coming to Botswana for the first time. I say this also because this lodge is much less expensive than some of the camps in the Okavango Delta."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Lebala Camp

Lebala Camp

"Lebala Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 12 Oct 2021
"Our visit to this camp started in a spectacular way: we saw one leopard on our way from the airstrip to the camp, and another one on our first game drive that afternoon. They both were doing what leopards are known for: hanging out in trees. And unlike our experience in Chobe NP, we were the only guests watching them, so our guide Elvis could drive around and provide the best possible angles for photography.

Other than that, our activities were really focused on lions, and for big cat people like us that was really a joy.

At least one tour operator in the UK rates this camp as the best for lions in all of Africa, based on long-term observations. This was one major reason to visit this camp, and the other one was that we have become fans of Kwando Safaris (see my review of Kwara Camp). While we had plenty of lion sightings, we didn't see any cubs or many females. We happened upon several lion matings, which are always a memorable sight. Our guide Elvis assured us that this camp "has too many lions". According to him there was a territorial "war" going on between competing males, which is why a large pride of females with their cubs retreated into the hinterland.

We also were lucky in meeting one male lion to perform a roar a few meters from our vehicle.

I would also like to mention that, on the morning of our departure, we sat on the veranda of our tent, and out of the blue, a lion pair showed up engaging in a lengthy rendezvous approximately 50 to 60 meters away. In between matings the lioness showed some interest in us and moved closer to the tent. That was the signal for us to retreat back behind our screens. We were in fact picked up by a staff member in a car, although the walking distance between the tent and the main area was perhaps only 100 meters. As soon as we entered the car and slowly drove away, the lioness walked towards the tent, briefly went under the veranda and sniffed it out. But it was of no particular interest to her, as she quickly returned to her loverboy.

Another thing that puts this camp and the others of Kwando Safaris in a different league is that they utilize a driver and a tracker in their cars. Based on our experience, this often increases your chance of finding predators.

The room, the food and the facilities were all exceptional, as we came to expect from Kwando Safaris.

Taken together, I would recommend this camp wholeheartedly, particularly to those with a strong interest in the big cats."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Kwara Camp

Kwara Camp

"Kwara Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 15 Oct 2021
"This was our third visit to the Kwara Concession, and we don’t regret it for one second.

A special touch of this camp is that they actually assigned the two guys to us that we had the pleasure of having as our guides twice before: Big Tom and ATee. And this time they even gave us a “private” safari, even though we hadn’t booked one. Anyway, these two are outstanding, they always went the “extra mile” in providing us the best angles and perspectives without even having to ask.

I realize that I gave the other two camps mostly 5 stars, and if I had the chance I would rank this camp’s rooms and activities with 5+ or 6 stars. The degree of luxury provided was more than we need. For example, the rooms were at least 1.5 if not 2 times larger than anything we had encountered before. And it continues to amaze us how, in the middle of the bush, they can cook such delicious lunches and 4-course dinners.

Anyhow, on to the more important aspects. Our first afternoon activity was hard to beat in terms of highlights. First there was a lioness with her one cub, and they put on quite a show for us. This was followed by a pack of wild dogs who were busy feeding on a reedbuck they stole from a leopard. We watched them for about an hour or so, until not much was left of the animal. To conclude the first day, after sunset we met a leopard “Splashgirl” at a waterhole, and it was particularly nice as we had seen her before in 2018.

In the same context I’d like to mention that we saw a male cheetah we also encountered in 2018 and a lion coalition called the “Zulu boys” that we saw for the first time in 2016!!! Back then they were like 3 or 4 years old, and now, according to our guides, they were having issues with a bunch of challengers.

On our last morning drive, shortly before we had to leave for the airstrip, we encountered a female cheetah with her two cubs who were posing for us on a termite mound.

Another memorable sighting was a tsessebe antelope with her young and another calf that she was babysitting.

I can’t praise this camp enough for the sheer variety and quality of sightings, so much so that we are planning to come back here next year."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Thamalakane River Lodge

Thamalakane River Lodge

"Thamalakane River Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 18 Oct 2021
"We had planned to stay here only for one day, to wind down from all the excitement, but thanks to our airline we had to postpone the return flight by one day.

The rooms, the food and the service were all immaculate, and they arranged a taxi for us to take us into town. And the location on the river provided some really nice views."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Average
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good

Login to Expert Africa

Sign in with password

Sign in with email link


New to Expert Africa? Create an account

Forgotten your details?

It's free & quick to set up

  • Order a brochure
  • Save your wish-list
  • Send us an enquiry
  • Pay online for your trip
  • Subscribe to our newsletter
  • Give us feedback on your trip
  • Full site benefits of the site

Need some help? Talk to our team