This is my 5th trip to the Delta and I've only stayed at Wilderness Camps (7 to be exact) and can tell you Kings Pool (KP) shouldn't be missed. This is THE concession to see the wild dogs. Wild Dogs exist elsewhere in the delta (Chitabe and Vumbura Plains), but I think this place is the best. The manager, Malcolm, is on top of all the details. I can't imagine him or the staff not catering to your every need. The management stayed doesn't seem forced either. This concession is shared by Duma Tau (I've stayed there 3 times and it's a wonderful camp too; just less opulence). The food is fabulous at KP and if they don't have what you like, just ask, I am sure they will provide. Even better if you call ahead and let your travel agent know. I always stay 7-10 nights at each camp to eliminate the stress of bouncing back and forth between camps. Plus you get to know the staff better and learn about their lives. And you also get to know the movement pattern of the animals. If you are in and out for 3 nights you only really have 2 days of game drives. Having stayed at several wilderness camps, they are all great and if you stay at one or two for 7-10 nights you'll still have a great experience. Please don't bounce around the delta at 4 camps for 2-3 nights each because you are really just chasing an experience that can be found at all wilderness camps.
Advice for photographers: The guides at KP are experts at animal behavior. They are local Botswana people that have been doing this for 20+. Plus most of them grew up on the land. Meaning they know how to set you up for the shots that you want to get. I like that Wilderness hires local guides for them to show us their native lands. Not having them guide would diminish the experience. They know what the animals will do before they do it do you can get set up with your camera to get the shot. You should know your camera well so that when you get to KP you are ready. There will be a lot of opportunity for great photographs and you have to be ready ALL THE TIME! I was amazed at how my guide Khan knew how to position me to get wild dogs running at us and the leopard photographed with a Baboon. The Male Baboon was trying to kill the leopards cub and if that would have happened, Khan would have had us positioned to photograph it. All you have to do is have your camera ready and they will position you. I took the D4 and D800 with the 70-200mm and the 200-400mm lens. That's about all the zoom you need unless you want the extreme bird shots then I'd take the 400mm f/2.8 with an extender. The ride gets kind of bumpy so you'll need a beanbag or some sort of monopod support system. Especially if you have a 400mm lens.
I loved it so much I've already booked to go back for 22 Days in November (10 Days at Kings Pool and 12 at Abu Camp).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- : Historic safari base in the middle of Africa's highest density of elephants. This stylish camp, named for Scandinavian royalty, overlooks the oxbow-shaped Kings Pool Lagoon. The lounge and dining areas are set on expansive decks that echo the natural spaces, and there is a pool and an open-air 'kgotla' (boma) for fine evening dining under the stars. End the day with sundowners on the elegant, colonial-style Queen Sylvia as she cruises down the Linyanti River. Highlights The area around Kings Pool is home to large elephant herds that traverse the area - especially in the winter months - together with wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, waterbuck, steenbok, warthog and roan. Predators such as lion, leopard, spotted hyaena and wild dog all follow. Two hides, one with the water at eye-level, are perfect places to spend your siesta: elephant feet and trunks almost within touching distance. 9 Tents: Well-appointed canvas and thatch; large en-suite bedroom and lounge; veranda with private plunge pool; sala; outdoor shower Experiences: Day and night game drives Guided walks (on request) Unique sunken hide Barge cruises along the Linyanti River (seasonal) Catch-and-release fishing (seasonal) ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Kings Pool Camp Hotel Linyanti Reserve
- Wilderness Safaris Kings Pool Camp Botswana/Linyanti Reserve