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 V from Belgium

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

3

Excursions taken

0

Let's do it again !!!

Botswana and 1 other country between 30 Oct 2012 and 7 Nov 2012

Trip rating: Excellent
"We cannot wait to embark on a second safari soonest possible. We would most definitely like to have an experience similar to the one we had with Kwando. The same spirit, not too polished and with emphasis on quality rather than on luxury.

Expert Africa has been attentive to all of our needs and requests. Thanks.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Great job ... keep it that way !!!"

Arranged By Tracy Lederer


The Elephant Camp

The Elephant Camp

"Relaxing stay at a top-notch camp"

2 nights Arrived 30 Oct 2012
"We specifically picked out the Elephant Camp based on tripadvisor's laudatory reviews and we were not disappointed at all. The facilities are splendid and each semi-permanent tent (a canvas tent on a concrete floor) is equipped with an outdoor shower, an outdoor plunge pool, an en-suite bathroom with shower and bathtub, a mini-bar replenishable at will and AC. Each tent enjoys a wonderful panoramic view. Ours (tent #6) overlooked the waterhole. Laundry was included in the rate, which turned out to be very practical given the early November heat and prior to a safari in Botswana for which we had to pack as little as possible in a squishable light-aircraft-friendly weekender. All of the meals were well-prepared and tasty , and drinks (sodas, booze or beer) could be ordered at will at the bar.

Jonathan, the manager of the camp, made us feel comfortable from the very beginning and we were systematically greeted by him or his colleagues Camilla and Hilda on our way to and back from the activities. The latter are numerous either at the camp or in the vicinity of the Victoria Falls. We did the zip-line (a cable suspended over the Batoka Gorge), the (inexplicably pricey) Elephant back safari and the morning stroll with Sylvester, the camp's habituated cheetah, and Ed, Sylvester's guardian. All activities were wonderful but our preference definitely goes to the morning meeting with Sylvester. It was simply awesome to be able to explore the concession until the Batoka Gorge accompanied by a playful and adorable Sylvester. Ed is passionate about her job and she is keen on sharing her extensive knowledge of cheetahs and the African wildlife with guests.

The Elephant Camp is owned and managed by Wild Horizons, one of the two companies with Shearwater to operate activities at Victoria Falls, e.g. rafting, canoeing, high wires, etc. To a certain extent, Victoria Falls could be compared to Queenstown in New Zealand as it has multiple wild activities on offer. Though the camp is not situated in the "city"/township of Victoria Falls, it only takes 10 minutes by car to reach the VF Park entrance. Transfers can be organized when guests see it fit.

The management is attentive to all of the guests' needs. For instance, Jonathan moved us to another tent without us asking for it because the AC system was acting up. All of our moves within the camp past dusk were only possible if accompanied by a guard. The concession has a local resident fauna (no predators if I am not mistaken though) that roams freely around the premises. We were once woken up by a small group of buffaloes that insisted on scratching their horns against the canvas of our tent in the middle of the night. Elephants crossed the camp each evening, esp. after sunset, as we were having dinner on the patio. This first unforgettable experience boded well for the remainder of our Southern African escapade."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Lagoon Camp

Lagoon Camp

"Staggering safari in an awesome camp !!!"

3 nights Arrived 1 Nov 2012
"After a rather smooth car transfer from Victoria Falls through the Zimbabwe-Botswana border, we boarded an 8-seater Moremi Air Cessna at Kasane airport. The flight to Lagoon Camp was far from being uneventful as I got sick despite the anti-motion- sickness pill I took preemptively. I managed to peruse the astounding landscape between the numerous bouts of nausea. The excruciating ordeal took 55 minutes and I was relieved when the old crate finally touched ground. We were welcomed by Paul (guide) and Julius (tracker) who briefed us succinctly prior to making it to the lodge.

The grounds of the camp are amazing and located on the banks of the Kwando River. Elephants and hippos could be seen from our deck overlooking the river. The tents were renovated in 2011. Although they are equipped with a huge bathroom and an even bigger bedroom, we found them too spacious and less comfy than the tents at Little Kwara. The food was always very tasty. I particularly liked the porridge served in the wee hours of the morning and cooked over the fireplace. All meals are taken at a communal table with the management and guides. This kind of interaction might not be to the liking of everyone but we enjoyed sharing our daily adventures with the other guests.

Each party is assigned to the same guide and tracker for the whole duration of the stay. Ours were efficient and keen on sharing their knowledge with us. It is my understanding that in order to work as a guide/tracker, they have to undergo a 6-12 month long training and attain a 75% success rate at the final examination. All of the camp's trackers were going to great lengths to spot lions, wild dogs, leopards or hyenas. They are in constant radio contact with each other and inform each other of their respective sightings. I appreciated the fact that the four cars being used in our part of the concession (the largest one in Botswana) were taking turns to get close to the animals. The most captivating of them, i.e. felids, wild dogs and hyenas, seemed indifferent to our presence and we were therefore able to get as close as it could get.

We got to see them all ... sometimes after considerable effort and time though. For instance, we drove for no less than 2 hours to track down the wild dogs pack. It also took us two hours to drive back to the camp ... but it was well worth it. Needless to say, the driving was bumpy and the guides did not hesitate a single second to enter the thick mopane. Brandnew cars were delivered to the lodge on the day of our arrival. We had the privilege of using them throughout our stay at Camp Lagoon. All cars were stripped of their canopy, something which Kwando takes pride in as it rightfully so enables keen photographers and birders to take pictures of optimal quality.

The day at Lagoon Camp is typically divided as follows: you get woken up at 5:00 a.m., join the other guests at the communal fireplace for breakfast at 5:30 a.m., head out for the first safari activity at 6:00 a.m., have a light snack consisting of cookies/tea/coffee around 8:30 a.m., proceed with the safari until brunch time at 10:30-11:00 a.m., relax in your tent until high tea at 4:00 p.m., leave the camp at 4:30 p.m. for the second safari activity only interrupted by the sundowner around 6:30 p.m., head back to the camp for dinner at 8:00 p.m. It should be noted that the length of the "siesta" is necessary due to the extreme heat at that time of the year, which forces animals to take refuge in the shade. This type of army-like regiment is well-functioning and you quickly get used to it. We also had the possibility of doing a boat safari on the Kwando River but chose to do it at Little Kwara instead. We liked the fact that guests could freely access the fridges behind the bar desk and help themselves to cold beverages, be it soda, beer or booze. While on safari, each car had a cooler with water and cans of soda. All possible contingencies were provided for. Also, laundry was included in the rate and all of our clothes were promptly returned to our tent the following morning or at the end of the very same day.

All in all, a flawless stay during which we met personable people, saw a considerable amount of various animals and enjoyed the camp's facilities, services and approach to safari."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Little Kwara

Little Kwara

""

3 nights Arrived 4 Nov 2012
"After two 25-minute long wrenching Cessna-hops, we gracefully landed on the Kwara airstrip where Dutch (guide/driver) and Chester (tracker) greeted us. We were escorted to our tent by Lizzie, the manager on duty. The 5 canvas tents are all on wooden stilts and overlook the savanna. Although the view from our tent at Camp Lagoon was more appealing, the tents at Little Kwara were more to our liking as they were smaller, with a lower ceiling and therefore comfier. They are all equipped with a nice bathroom, including an outdoor shower. Unlike in Camp Lagoon, they are strangely enough devoid of any ceiling fan. Given that the temperatures rose to as high as 43C° during the "siesta", such an equipment could have assuaged our daily discomfort. All meals, equally tasty each day, were taken communally with the guides at a big table. We were treated to a typically Botswanan dinner on Monday consisting, among other things, of pap (maize meal) and seswaa (grounded beef meat). Delicious !!!

As is the case at all Kwando camps, guests are accompanied by the same guide and tracker throughout the whole stay. Dutch happened to be Paul's cousin, our guide at Camp Lagoon. Dutch's driving skills are second to none. Guides at Little Kwara drive faster than at Camp Lagoon, most probably because more uniform roads ensured a less jouncy ride. Dutch and Chester were equally good at tracking animals. We saw a flurry of lions, most notably a pride of 4 male lions feeding on a dead elephant cub, and a pride of 3 lions which we photographed by one of the wooden bridges. The apex was reached when we finally spotted the coalition (yes, that's the word) of 3 cheetah brothers dozing off in the shade of a mopane tree in the middle of a big prairie. Once again, we were thankful to the close "radio" cooperation between the 3-4 cars driving in the concession for this unforgettable sighting.

We were under the impression that there were fewer antelopes, buffaloes and elephants at Little Kwara than at Camp Lagoon. I recently read that the Kwando concession has more resident elephants than in the whole of South Africa, hence the inevitable impression. On the other hand, lions were plentiful at Little Kwara, which explains why we did not see a single leopard there. The most memorable moment was undoubtedly when we spotted a big lion just after sunset in the middle of the prairie. It started roaring crescendo and we could feel the vibrations passing through our bodies. Each night was punctuated by roaring sounds, some closer than others ... lions are not a rare sighting in the camp.

We did the boat safari one afternoon after high tea. This was a nice change to the usual herky-jerky ride. We had a paramount sundowner at the heronry together with hundreds of noisy nesting birds. Unlike most guests, we chose to stand on the roof of the flat-bottom boat to get a better sense of the Okavango Delta's shape and features. I regret not being able to spend more time in the Hippos Pool because one of the older female guests felt uncomfortable in the presence of a rather small group of hippos. Once we had reveled in the majesty of the African sunset while sipping a perfectly prepared Gin & Tonic, the guides decided to return to the pier before it was pitch-dark. We were in for a special treat with the boat hastily slicing through the bugs-loaded air. One piece of advice: close your mouth and use your sunglasses.

The day at Little Kwara is organized in the same way as at Camp Lagoon with an earlier return to the lodge after the morning safari. Here too, free access to the bar was the rule and all sorts of beverages could be had at will. The only drawback at the camp, a minor one though, is that some of the clothes that were returned to us smelled like fire. We could live with that.

In conclusion, once again an impeccable stay at a Kwando lodge. "You gotta like the Kwando spirit". My feeling is that to get a sense of completeness and wholeness, one should ideally combine Camp Lagoon with Little Kwara as one location offers what the other one does not propose."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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