This camp is located in the Moremi Reserve which has a reputation for great predators that has changed over time. Nonetheless, the primary asset of this property is the surrounding area of wetlands, plains, and forests. Beyond these assets, the property is at best average and tends to mediocre or worse.
The property views itself as a competitor to Mombo. It is not. Service is poorer and inconsistent. Guest preferences are forgotten.
The camp manager operates as a day-time office worker. Not present in the early morning or the evening. This is the only camp in ten (10) visits to Botswana where I have seen this casual approach to camp management.
The rooms are nice but certainly not exceptional. Keep in mind that this property is priced at the top end so you might have an expectation of high end luxury, space, and food quality. The property does not meet that standard.
The rooms are not tents which is fine. They are fixed structures with canvas sides for the main area which contains the bed. The bathrooms are relatively small and consistent with what you would find in a hotel. These bathrooms have a shower - no bathtub. Toiletries are in the pump type bottles that are popular with chain and low-end hotels. I am sure the property would argue that this is conservation-oriented.
Room spacing is relatively close both to the main area and to each other. Room #12 is especially bad as it is far too close to the staff village. When the wind is blowing from the direction of the staff village then noise is carried over to this room. This is especially disturbing should you choose to want a nap in the afternoon - as most people.
Food is absolutely not a high point for this property.
1. Lunch will is served at 11:30 AM and stated clearly as not a brunch - although there is hard to see a difference.
2. Lunch has a salad buffet that has almost no variation from day to day - lettuce, tomatoes, feta cheese, pickles, olives, and two salads that vary day to day. Salad dressings never change - olive oil and vinegar and a relatively sweet mustard based dressing.
3. If you order a salad with your meal it will be the same every day - absolutely no variation - lettuce, tomatoes, feta, olives, and cucumbers.
4. The chef seems to have a thing for caper sauce. I saw it the menu as the accompanying sauce for the fish over three times in three days.
5. The lunch and dinner offerings are cooked 'a la carte'. Portion sizes are small, the offerings generally limited, and tend to a standard of cafeteria food. Your best choice in general - the fish - which is almost offered as crumbed vice grilled. Example: A chicken pot pie was some salty chicken in sauce in a small pastry cup.
While the game viewing was good there can be problems with water levels. Over the years this area has seen a greater and greater level of water. This year was an average flood and while there was considerable water it was still possible to do reasonable game drives. In a high water period then this property would be severely challenged.
I had one instance where game drive etiquette was badly violated. Our vehicle moved to let another vehicle depart and then two other vehicles took our preferred position. My guide did not seem capable of resolving the situation and the camp manager was indifferent.
A measure of any property, especially one that views itself as high end, is how it handles itself when stressed by a disappointed guest. On this measure this property failed.
It was suggested I go to the airstrip 90 minutes before my flight. The drive took 15 minutes. Nobody sends their guests to an airstrip to sit there for 75 minutes. Imagine my surprise when two other guests leaving on the same airplane arrived 10 minutes before the flight with boxes lunches. No such food was offered or even a drink while at the airstrip.
Bottom line. If you are willing to accept a range of shortcomings by all means. Then again, there are more consistent, better price alternatives.
- Also Known As:
- Sanctuary Chief`s Camp Hotel Moremi Game Reserve
- Sanctuary Chief`s Camp Hotel
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sanctuary Chief's Camp is located on Chief's Island, one of the many islands created by the seasonal floodwaters of the Okavango. The island was named after Chief Moremi, the hereditary king of the area who used the lands as his royal hunting grounds. The vast number of animals who congregate here make it easy to understand why the area was put aside for the chief. It was Moremi's people, the Tawana, who turned it into a reserve where animals are protected. The guest pavilions are hidden away in a jackalberry and sausage tree woodland that is characteristic of the area. All have their own private decks and outdoor showers, as well as fully-equipped bathroom inside. Generously draped mosquito nets and traditional ceiling fans also feature. There is a communal decked living room with stunning views over the floodplains, while the dining area surrounds a fire pit on the very edge of the Piajio plains so that guests can continue their game viewing while enjoying fine cuisine and wines. ... more less