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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Ms A and Mr W from Calgary

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

3

Excursions taken

0

First time....but not the last

Botswana between 26 Nov 2019 and 5 Dec 2019

Trip rating: Excellent
"The trip exceeded our expectations in every way.

Having 3 very distinct geographical regions, starting with the desert, was intentional (to help us absorb a 9 hr time difference), and then to experience the most of Botswana.

Loved each area and camp for very different reasons, but have to give the special mention to Lebala Camp and their staff. This was supposed to be a "once in a lifetime trip" for a milestone birthday........but plans to return to Botswana started before coming home.

Many thanks to Expert Africa for a wonderful introduction."

Tau Pan Camp

Tau Pan Camp

"Beautiful start in the desert"

3 nights Arrived 26 Nov 2019
"Tau Pan is perfect for starting the adventure. It is a lower game-dense area than most, so you have to temper your expectations. We were looking to ease into safari life, while absorbing a 9 hour time difference, and we found the sunsets, the sunrises, the stargazing, the people and the service to be amazingly helpful.

We also found more animals than we were expecting. A lone male lion on our first game drive, and the rest of the Tau Pan pride was located each day as well. Really appreciated our guide/tracking team of PK and Jakes. Jakes stopped at everything we wanted to see. He also automatically placed the vehicle in the right light, and correct angle for a photographer. We found the most insects of our entire trip here (surprisingly), so do not skimp on the repellant.

Because of the dry conditions/age of the flooring, there were many spots for insects/spiders to enter the chalets. Simple mosquito netting might solve this, if they wanted to make a slight improvement. Dinners were wonderful, cheerful evenings with stories and wine flowing. We loved our Bushman walk, and found it to be fun and informative.

The lions roared in camp 2 out of the 3 nights. And the resident lone bull elephant walked behind our chalet these same 2 nights as well. (making quite a bit of noise as he munched on bushes during his trek to the water hole). The last morning, I wanted to take pictures of his tracks, and discovered a leopard print on top of the elephant print. OP (the camp manager) was nearly always present, and when she wasn't, Florence (her 2IC) was. All the staff went out of their way to make sure you wanted for nothing.

It was an amazing start to the adventure."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Kwara Camp

Kwara Camp

"Beautiful, smart remodel"

3 nights Arrived 29 Nov 2019
"What a beautiful, newly finished camp. The rooms were heavenly. The mosquito netting over the ceiling fan gave us our first complete sleep. Having 2 separate pool areas, along with big common areas with views gave you the feeling you were the only ones in camp. Looking out across the grassy field to see elephants every day was magical, even though I was to find out that this area is normally completely under water. The last 2 years of drought have taken their toll.

I have to confess to being disappointed at the amount of game. Perhaps it is that our expectations were so high after chatting with guests that had just come from Kwara at the previous camp, or perhaps it was just a misalignment with our guide. But we found he would just drive around......only stopping at animals if we asked. And even then, he would "come in hot", meaning, he would 90 percent of the time scare them away, unless it was something he considered worthy. (leaving us to photograph the backsides of animals). He did not show the same consideration for angle, and position, and lighting as the other 2 guides as well.

At the time, I figured I would just "go with the flow", and was more forward with requests to stop as the days went. But now home, and after reflection, I wished I had approached the camp manager to request someone else more aligned with our expectations. He was great fun, and we had many laughs. I would actually enjoy spending time with him......but I wouldn't have him for a guide again.

Don't miss the river boat cruise. It was so picturesque, peaceful, and informative. (our guide actually shined here) Management was excellent. Charlie was present, attentive, and professional, and Cecilia was bubbly and helpful. I found the food good and plentiful, and you never had to ask for a top up on your wine glass.

While we were there, the CEO of Kwando was there with many travel agency representatives in advance of a convention on Botswana tourism in Kasane. We had the absolute pleasure of meeting Sally-Anne from Expert Africa, with whom we had exchanged a couple of emails prior to the trip. It 100% confirmed in my mind that we made the right decision in choosing Expert Africa to coordinate the trip, even though we are from Canada. Their knowledge, and experience is unmatched, and everything flowed very smoothly."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Lebala Camp

Lebala Camp

"Saved the best till last"

3 nights Arrived 2 Dec 2019
"Lebala Camp was amazing. A great mix of terrain, and animals everywhere. Our transfer day had us going out for the evening game drive on what was my birthday. What a present to be able to see the weeks old lion cubs of the Wapoka Pride as they suckled. Upon returning to camp for dinner, they had baked a birthday cake for all for dessert, and sang and danced. What a precious memory for me. And then, upon retiring for the evening, more surprises. Just, wow!

In the following days, we would follow the 19 strong pack of lions. Just extraordinary to watch their interactions. Many "teenagers" and sub-adults with their antics made for great photo opportunities. I must mention that at this camp, we had a private vehicle and guide/tracker. KK and MP were absolutely wonderful, teaching us many things, and allowing us to fully participate in the search/tracking. When I mentioned that I hadn't seen any "nice" elephants yet in my stay (all had been males in musth so far), the following morning, he found us a "parade" of elephants heading to the water. There had to be 40.....all very relaxed around us. And many with young ones. Another favourite moment.

If I had one small criticism, it would be the lack of privacy in the units. Being mesh on all 4 walls, and spaced fairly close together, we found you could hear even whispered conversations in the next tent. Other than that, they were very lovely, with a pleasing layout. It was always warm enough during our stay for the outdoor shower, but I did wonder if it was June or July, would I be happy with that as the only option.

On our final night, the staff surprised us with a private dinner. It was absolutely unexpected, and was so touching how they spoiled me on this milestone trip.

The service, the food, staff, superior guiding, the camp, and the terrain and wildlife made this camp a must for any return trips for me. It put it in a league of its own. And......as if to make it even more special......on our final morning on the way to the airstrip.......we were witness to the lion pride bringing down a cape buffalo and feed. Right in front of us. Remarkable."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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