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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Ms A from Calgary

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

2

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

7

Excursions taken

0

My Nov 2021 trip

Botswana between 26 Nov 2021 and 7 Dec 2021

Trip rating: Excellent
"I left Canada November 24, 2021 for an amazing adventure in Botswana. Can you imagine what's happened since?? Omicron's emergence while I was in the bush, and in camps without cell service or wifi (normally a lovely digital detox), was certainly stressful and problematic.

Canada had left me with few options getting home. Even though Expert Africa had not booked my international flights, Megan worked with my boyfriend at home to try to navigate my changed travel. Wifi isn't an option at Kwando properties, but Expert Africa was able to send me messages at each camp. And I was invited to use the computer at Kwara should I need it. A big, big thank you to all who helped me get home. Although still in quarantine, I am reflecting on this most amazing trip with absolutely no regrets.

This is my second trip to Botswana, and second time with Kwando camps. I feel they are a perfect fit for me. Very nice, yet unpretentious. Focus is on wildlife experiences, and locations are second to none. The model of tracker and guide is not the norm, and is exactly what I am after.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

No improvement needed"

Arranged By Megan Green


Lagoon Camp

Lagoon Camp

"Lagoon Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 26 Nov 2021
"Lagoon is amazing.

There were more elephants seen on the first game drive, than on my entire first trip to Botswana.

The camp feels like.......comfortable elegance. Love the indoor and outdoor showers. Communal spaces were welcoming.

Hippos were always out front, and quite often munching on grass next to your tent at night. (Caution light sleepers).

The concession is amazingly beautiful, and was very green with recent rains.

My guide and tracker, Matt and Vincent, were great."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Lebala Camp

Lebala Camp

"Lebala Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 28 Nov 2021
"What an amazing return to Lebala. I love this camp.

Yes, there are a few things that maybe need sprucing up, and the tents are a little less than perfectly private. But you cannot beat this concession for predator sightings. The guide/tracker method of searching for game is rare, and with this size of concession, makes a big difference in your wildlife experience. Food is plentiful. Wine is flowing in the evening along with the stories of the day. I can still hear Wago's laugh (guide), and MP(tracker) saying Im-Pal-a!

The last time I visited, the whole area was quite dry. No need to use the bridges. This time, the "hippo path" out front, was indeed filled, and I was surprised (delighted) to have hippos come by at night. (We encountered 3 on foot going back to our tents at night!!) Many thanks Wago for keeping us safe on the walk back.

The staff at this camp is incredible. MP (we nicknamed MVP) is a fantastic tracker. Everyone from the manager, to the kitchen staff is courteous, and smiling......even in the most trying of times. Speaking of Covid......temps were taken regularly, and sanitizer was every time you entered and exited the truck. Staff are all vaccinated, and every precaution is observed. There were zero worries.

I can't wait to return"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Pom Pom Camp

Pom Pom Camp

"Pom Pom Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 30 Nov 2021
"Oh!! Where do I start?? PomPom is THE most welcoming camp. It is a definite feeling. The staff make you feel like it's been a long time since you've been home.

The tents are much smaller than others in the Kwando portfolio, but they are homey. And secure. And have the most amazing view of the waterhole out front.

My guide (Major) and tracker (Skills) took me to see a Rhino one morning. On a neighbouring concession, with permission. It was beyond what I hoped to ever see in Botswana. He is in need of a girlfriend (a bit of testosterone buildup has him a bit cranky), and hopefully a lady friend will be in his future. I mentioned what an amazing birthday present that was for me......and, well, Major must have put things in drive, as we had an amazing, celebratory evening!! Dancing and singing at Sundowners. And again at dinner, with birthday cake for all. I didn't need any such celebration, as I was travelling solo, but what an amazing, surprising night it was!

I did a walking safari one morning. Wasn't expecting much. But my goodness.....it was FANTASTIC!!

The concession is smaller, but easier to traverse. And it's beautiful. Palm fringed. Green (at this time of year). But......be warned. I expected to be able to do Mokoro and motorboat excursions, and no, November isn't a time for this (I wish I had done a bit more research, as Lagoon would have been the perfect sight to experience both the Mokorro, and the motorboat experience."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Kwara Camp

Kwara Camp

"Kwara Camp review"

4 nights Arrived 3 Dec 2021
"Kwara. A completely different feel to the last camp, but no less loved. Kwara is smart. Classic. Stylish. Classy. Refined. The perfect place to end a safari trip in my opinion. A great compliment to the whole Kwando portfolio.

I had 4 glorious days here. The food is a step up. The wine is a step up. The concession is, again, amazing. My guide, Shime, and tracker SB, were amazing. I couldn't believe some of the sightings. And these sightings were even more exclusive than usual. 2 different wild dog packs. One night, one pack trying to target a zebra foal, and having 30 adult zebras come to the rescue.

Another sighting, lionesses stalking a warthog for a half an hour, only to have one of the young cubs run out and trigger an early breakaway, ruining the hunt. What an exciting experience.

Charles, the manager, is the perfect fit to this camp. His people skills were in full evidence with the emergence of the Omicron variant, and the stress this added to all travellers. My hat is off to him, in helping us all.

Kwara is a must-do in my opinion. The perfect luxurious end to whichever start. I'll be back time and time again."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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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