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“Book Us In Again” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Elephant Valley Lodge

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Elephant Valley Lodge
3.5 of 5 Lodge   |   Lesoma Valley | Kasane Forest Reserve, Chobe National Park, Botswana   |  
Hotel amenities
Wiltshire
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Book Us In Again”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2009

Have just returned from an absolutely fantastic stay at EVL. Having read some of the previous reviews but having an open mind (as not everyone's perceptions are the same) we were a bit nervous about the tents. How wrong we were, they are spacious, clean and very well appointed. All the staff are extremely polite and anxious to please, none more so than the experienced safari guides who made every excursion a really educational and fun trip. Travelling light, the free laundry service was most appreciated. Plenty of wildlife at the water hole both day and night and dining in the boma in the warm evening air was an absolute privilige. The food was well cooked and presented and was complimented very well by the wine list. Sean and his team have obviously put right any previous niggles as our stay proved to be the highlight of our African holiday. There's a free internet cafe for those who can't leave the world behind, hair driers on demand and even a sweetie placed on the bed during the evening maid service turn down.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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151 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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USA
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2009

The tent was OK. The linens were exceptional, but the shower area was poorly lite so it was hard to see. I appreciated the electric blanket at night. I love good food, but I did not feel that the food had any imagination or taste. Our guide for the boat rides and game drives was Patrick and he was excellent! The water hole was almost dry (due to the time of the year?), but we did have some visiting animals. Our dinners were held outside and it was very cold. I finally asked to eat in the dining area and that was granted. It made the dinner more enjoyable. Many of the guests joined me as they felt the same way. I do ask for services that I want. I am not shy.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
So. California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2009

I stayed at Elephant Valley Lodge for 3 days/2 nights, and found it to be mediocre in most all respects. The tent was modestly furnished, and the bathroom was dark and dank. On most occasions the food was so-so, and on at least one occasion downright terrible. One really irritating aspect was that there was a charge for all water and soda, except for the water handed out on the game drive. One plus: there are electric blankets on the beds, really welcomed on the cool evenings and mornings.

Within 15 minutes of checking in, my binoculars went missing. As would be expected, the management refused to believe they had been lifted, insisting instead that I had dropped them somewhere or left them at my previous lodge. However, they were a small pair that I always wore around my neck, and I took them off upon first entering my tent and put them on the dresser. When I next checked for them, they were missing. After much complaining, the management finally agreed to lend me a pair while I was there to use on the game drives. But of course, that didn't make up for the lack of binoculars for the rest of my trip.

All told, my experience at EVL was not a great visit, and I will definitely find another lodge next time I visit Chobe.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotland
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2009

Having been to lots of safari lodges we chose this one because of the setting and the waterhole. This did not disappoint ... ask for a tent overlooking the waterhole ... and you can sit on your veranda at midnight when it is floodlit or at 5 am if you want and watch the action. The hide below the restaurant area was also lovely to sit in and get closer to the animals. Dinner in the boma overlooking the floodlit waterhole is atmospheric, the food variable but acceptable.

However the game drives go out later than usual at 08.30 and back at 1 or 1.15 for lunch which is at 1, then out again at 3 pm until 7ish so there is little or no time to relax or use the pool. There is a long drive of nearly half an hour on rough roads to reach the Chobe entrance gate during which we sometimes saw animals but usually not. But my main grouse is the number of people in each vehicle on the game drives. NEVER before have we seen three people in a row with someone in the middle seat so that not everyone has a clear view to one side or the other and space to move and take photographs. Here the maximum is 10 so that you can be in 3 rows of 3 people and one by the driver - to me a nightmare and totally unacceptable especially if you have noisy people spoiling the experience as we did. When my husband told the manager John that we would not like to find ourselves in a row of 3 with someone blocking our view and preventing photography he did make sure that we always had a row to ourselves.

  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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Edinburgh
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2008

We spent part of our honeymoon at Elephant Valley Lodge and absolutely adored every minute of it.

The staff and management were so welcoming and so professional throughout it really made for an enjoyable stay. Halfway through our stay the weather turned bad and there was a mini-hurricane and ours along with many others had tent and water damage. The guys were so quick though and had the tent fixed within 45 mins and our beds changed as well that had got wet from the rain being blown in the door.

We had just got married in Sabi Sands a few days ago at quite a luxurious camp but we found the tents absolutely fine and they had everything you need. In terms of a bush experience this was better than our wedding venue although not as comfortable.

I would agree with some of the other people that the game drives were not the most exhilarating but we still enjoyed them. We really liked the morning boat cruise and this was the best way of seeing large amounts of animals. The evening game drives were a bit repetitive but our guide – Dan – was superb and had an answer to every question thrown at him. Plus every day there was new people in the van so we think this may have curtailed Dan’s movements on the drives. If we had the same group for the 3 days we probably would have gone different routes. The drive from the camp to the park is 30 mins but nothing to worry about, strike up a conversation with the other guests or Dan and it was over before you know it.

Always wanting to finish on a high the food at the camp was exceptional. From the first lunch to the last dessert everything and I mean everything was first class. We have stayed at more luxurious camps before but never have we had such wonderful food. I would go back just for the food!!

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jakarta, Indonesia
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2008

The lodge was very nice in a terrific setting. There is a large watering hole right on the other side of the fence. A large number of elephants came every day, as well as a variety of other animals. The bar and dining areas have a great atmosphere and are very relaxing.....

The tents are very nice, filled with amenities. I was pleased with the electric blanket and coffee making supplies, as nights were very cold when I was there.....

The food is OK - nothing great, but acceptable.

The one drawback to this resort is the game drives. Animals are easy to spot, so they don't need to hire highly experienced guides. Our's was basically a driver with a few animals facts at his fingertips (he had attended a 6 month training program). He was completely insensitive to viewing from both sides of the jeep (one day I saw nothing because I was on the left side) They don't head out until 8:30 in the morning, missing the early morning opportunity to see night animals and the stirring of day game. We came back for a quick lunch and then headed out again, with no real time to sit, relax and enjoy the lovely lodge. By the end of my stay, I was skipping the drive all together. The resort is at least 30 minutes drive from Chobe, so much time was spent driving back and forth.

The most disappointing part was the sundowners. Instead of enjoying a glass of wine in a beautiful setting - we were offered cans of beer, in the parking lot, after dark!!! Standing around a darkened parking lot, drinking beer from a can is not the African experience - it the high school underage drinking experience! It sounds petty, but this alone would prevent me from going back to this resort.....

  • Liked — The watering hole, the bar atmosphere, the tents
  • Disliked — The game drives, the scedule, the sundowners (or lack there of...)
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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Elephant Valley Lodge
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2008

wow wow wow - this is pretty much the only way i could possibly describe this magnificient place.

From the moment we arrived at Elephant Valley Lodge we were welcomed and made to feel relaxed. We had had a problem with our transfer which was done by another company so we were expecting a problem. This was not to be the case.

Elephant Valley management and staff are so well presented and trained that it makes it difficult to complain about anything at all. The manager Shaun was so unbeleivably astute on how to deal with clients and even though the hotel was full he managed to keep everyone happy.

Being a well travelled person and stayed at numerous hotels and safari lodges i must say that this was by far and i mean by far my best experience ever.

Everything was perfect.

  • Liked — the heater blankets
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed August 2008
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Elephant Valley Lodge

Address: Lesoma Valley | Kasane Forest Reserve, Chobe National Park, Botswana
Location: Botswana > North-West District > Chobe National Park
Amenities:
Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 20 Specialty Lodging in Chobe National Park
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Elephant Valley Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 20
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Elephant Valley Hotel Chobe National Park

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