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“Relaxing and different” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Meno A Kwena Tented Camp

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Meno A Kwena Tented Camp
Private Bag 053 Maun Botswana, Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, Botswana   |  
Hotel amenities
Bangkok
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Relaxing and different”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2011

Tents and location on the now-flowing Boteti River are lovely, and the general ambience is relaxed... very relaxed, welcoming and homely. We felt we were treated as real guests and were so very comfortable with the people there. However, people there seem very personal and I strongly suspect unfriendly and moaning guests did not receive the same service we did. The people here will make or break the stay for you. There is lots of space to slouch around and chill out - in front of your tent or in the communal areas if you would like some company. The hide is really nicely done and great for photographing the elephants enjoying the water. Since there is a bed and hammock in there you can take down some water and stay for hours - napping at the times there are no animals to watch.

The activities have been affected by the river level and so you won't get into the National Park until after 8, and perhaps later, so if you are primed for a dawn start to wildlife watching and expect the same as at a Delta camp, you will be disappointed - the same goes for the very pleasant and informative but not necessarily exciting walks.

Take it as it comes. This is not a place to rush around and it is not a place to demand this and that. Read up on it and see what it is and what it offers and go with the flow when you get here. Walk and game drive your heart out before you come and then relax (it is 100% perfect as a rest stop for a couple or even four days in the middle of a mobile safari or at the end of an adventurous trip - whatever that may be to you). We did that and we all three of us enjoyed it very much. I would have liked to do a bit more, but I'm a hyperactive person on safari - always running around with my camera... taking some time out was good for me and there are beautiful shots to be had here too.

My mother absolutely loved it here and so did my wife. They were treated like very, very special friends from first to last. Personally I grade it very good, but by two votes to one it is five dots for us.

Room Tip: The honeymoon tent is the best - come on honeymoon!
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  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Brisbane, Australia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2011

Comfortable tents, outdoor shower and toilet, viewing platforms overlooking the Boteti River (where the zebras came in their hordes to drink) and a walk with the Bushman - this was a unique experience. From pickup to departure our hosts (Doc Tor and Tsogang) and their staff made us so welcome and our guide was just marvellous. We loved the picnic on the river bank and the nightly meals together. We felt like we were in the bush without its attendant discomforts.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2011 via mobile

We had a good time at the camp, but the problem I feel they're having right now is providing value for money. Make no mistake, staying here is NOT CHEAP. So, you expect a service comparable to other similarly-priced Botswana lodge-type accommodation. The expectations were probably too high, based on the bill. Which admittedly, is subjective. Details like the always-green swimming pool, only the most basic beers and cheapest wines offered (if you're not a Castle or Hansa drinker, tough luck!) nothing available for random acts of hunger-combating during the day (we were begrudgingly given a plate of nuts after pleading with the grumpy staff at 3pm). And most of all, the barely-adequate amount of water the staff fill the bucket shower up with *only at specific times* each day. They won't fill it full for some reason (I checked the level myself- they gave us about 3L for 2 adults), and you have to make an appointment to get it brought to your tent (so much for spontaneity on holidays). 2 days in a row someone in our party was left standing in the shower with a head full of shampoo and no way to rinse! Women with long hair, beware!!
The tents are EXTREMELY close to each other with little to no vegetation between, so you WILL hear everything, including your neighbour's earth-shaking snore All. Night. Long.
Also, don't go expecting romance & ambiance, if you're on a couple's getaway- all the tents have single beds except the honeymoon tent which they keep off limits if you're not on an official honeymoon (yet the camp was practically empty when we were there), and it's that kind of accommodation where at meals you are forced to all sit at one big table and socialize with everyone else plus the camp manager at mealtime and suffer through forced friendliness and small talk lest you get the evil-eye for not playing well with others. I'm not saying that other tourists don't dig the concept, but sometimes you just go on holiday to get AWAY.
The food was fine- again only served at very strict times, and simply "fine". Breakfast was standard B&B level - cold cereal and/or eggs.
The honor bar is vital especially in summer, when it's 45 degrees & there's no shade in your tent area (and of course you can't just grab a quick shower), but there was no ice. I understand and appreciate the unique "electricity-less experience" of the bush, which also accounts for the shower issue, but surely some ice could be made during the generator hours?? Blocks maybe?
Otherwise, yes, the location is very special, especially with the Boteti River flowing so rarely. The tents are nicely decorated and elephants are great, etc., but I get the feeling the camp is resting on past laurels and could make a few upgrades (or major changes) to really match the price you pay.

  • Stayed March 2011
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2011

We stayed here at the end of our trip and were absolutely delighted with this unique and wonderful camp. Our private tented enclosure was luxurious with unbelievable views of the river down below; kudu, zebra, hippos and elephants were regular visitors. Going to sleep to the sound of elephants playing in the water is unforgettable. It's worth going down to the hide at dusk to see the elephants and hippos close up as they cool down at the end of the day.

We were fortunate enough to have two guides in the National Park (including the legendary Max) and having two sets of experienced eyes spotting animals and reading tracks was fantastic. At the end of our second day in the park they found a small pride of lions with whom we were able to spend more than an hour. I felt so privileged to be so close to these amazing animals.

The camp itself is very relaxed and nothing is too much trouble for the staff. The quintessential Meno a Kwena experience has to be lounging in the plunge pool with a cold drink in you hand, watching the animals playing in the river.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2011

Meno A Kwena was our last stop in Botswana and a great way to wrap up our trip. We loved our tented room with covered porch. The bed and linens were pure luxury and the adjacent private restroom was beautiful. From every tent you have a view of the river and can see and hear the elephants and hippos throughout the day and night. Our tent #8 (the honeymoon room) was very private and had a family of monkeys living in the tree right outside. The game viewing was excellent but since we were there out of season we didn't get to see any cats or Buffulo. There were many many many zebras, hippos, elephants, ostrich, antelopes of every shape and size and giraffes. Our guide Max was excellent and we were lucky to be able to use the new ferry to cross the river. It just went into service the first day we were there. The ferry will make the access to the park area for future guests much easier.

The lodge owner, David, comes from a safari and game family and has created a unique atmosphere at his lodge. The design and decor is beautiful and whimsical with a fun nod to the old time traveling safaris. There are great photos from David's life throughout the public spaces.
The food was not the best that we had on our trip, but still good and the dining experience was very pleasant. The cookies that they keep in the tea area throughout the day are fantastic and I wish I had thought to ask for the recipe before we left.
We really enjoyed our stay at Meno A Kwena and wish we could have had more time while there to sit and enjoy the game viewing from the blind.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Milan, Italy
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2010

We stayed in meno a Kwena camp for he last 2 days of our honey moon. We thought to have seen everything before arriving there (we stayed in Chobe and Okavango), but this wasn't true. What you can see from your tend in Meno a Kwena Camp is really unique, fantastic, no words for describing in the right way the emotion when you see a lot of zebra, elephants in the boteti river.

The tents are beautiful, in an old style.
The cuisine is good, people is friendly.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cavan, Ireland
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2009

This place is fantastic. We arrived to find the Boteti river flowing for the first time in 16 years and herds or zebra and eli were coming to drink daily. You could watch them from your private kraal, the hide or the plunge pool with a drink in hand. We loved this place with its laid back atmosphere and furniture either made by the local carpenter or imported from India. Our late night drinks round the fire listening to the lions roar are some of the best memories of Bostwana. Dave Dugmore who owns the place has a walk in policy for local folk which seems to be really unusual for the safari business and the many pics of local school children suggest that he has a real commitment to the community. We went on a early morning walk and a mokoro ride, when we were in camp - these activities might not suit nervous safari goers - there's no rifle. We were lucky enough to be taken out for a night into the salt pans by Dabi, whose company (and laugh) helped make our holiday really special. The camp has 8 tents and takes only 16 guests. Everyone sits around one long table and is fed great food and copious amounts of wine if you want it. Its a great place to finish a trek around Botswana and 3/4 days including a trip to the salt pans would make an ideal stay.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Meno A Kwena Tented Camp

Address: Private Bag 053 Maun Botswana, Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, Botswana
Location: Botswana > Central District > Makgadikgadi Pans National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 9 Specialty lodging in Makgadikgadi Pans National Park

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