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“The lion roars tonight ......” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kwara Camp - Kwando Safaris

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Kwara Camp - Kwando Safaris
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3.5 of 5 Cabin/Campground   |   P.O. Box 550 | Maun, Botswana   |  
Hotel amenities
Ware, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
59 hotel reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
101 helpful votes 101 helpful votes
“The lion roars tonight ......”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

We stayed at Kwara for 4 nights from 26 May 2013.

The camp was a 60 minute hop from Kasane with a change of planes with a 15 minute transfer to the camp.

The Camp is open to its surroundings with a lagoon to the front - with its resident hippos - with the remaining surrounding area being grassland. This means animals pass through the camp on a frequent basis and as a result guests are escorted to and from their tents by the guides after dark. During dinner one night a lioness sauntered through the camp just on the edge of the lights.

The accommodation is in large permanent tents. We stayed in number one which has a view of the grassland rather than the lagoon. Ours had 2 single beds, storage areas, a toilet and sink behind a canvass screen and an outdoor shower. There is no direct electricity in the room with power for lighting being provided by large batteries. Air conditioning is providing by opening and closing flaps. There was a covered veranda with 2 chairs for chilling between drives. The accommodation whilst not being lavish was more than adequate. A torch is a must for this type of accommodation.

The food consisted of 2 main meals - brunch and dinner - with porridge and rusks along with hot drinks before the morning drive and afternoon tea served before the evening one. The meals were tasty and different with some traditional beef and lamb dishes which were really good. In addition on the drives there were stops in the morning for coffee and biscuits with alcohol and savouries at the evening stop. It is very unlikely that you feel hunger pangs during a stay at Kwara.

There is a large lounge area with comfy chairs where people tended to gather for afternoon tea and to share a drink and tall tales before dinner. As the tents do not have a direct electricity supply this is where all the electronic devices necessary for modern living are charged. As ever with a camp like this one bring spare batteries to avoid disappointment.

The dining room consists of one long table which accommodates the guides and guest together. With good food and wine the conversations roamed over personal and other topics of great importance. Great way to get to know people.

In the main because of early starts most people were heading for their tents by 9.30 and like us tucked up with our hot water bottles by 10.00. The wake up call provided by your guide normally came at 05.30 just as it was getting light.

Enough of the accommodation as we came for the game and the experience.

Kwara camp is within a concession which basically means there are few restrictions on the game drives and therefore a key experience is the night time drives which often didn't finish until after 8.00 in the evening.

But Kwara is not restricted to land as the lagoon leads into the waters of Okavanga and sunset cruises are organised that take you through the waterways. On our second cruise most of the party took the opportunity for a bit of fishing at sunset.

There are also early morning game walks that start with a crossing of the lagoon by mokuro which is an experience in balancing with the guide at the rear punting you across the shallow waters. The walks concentrated on the tree and birdlife and gave an introduction into tracking by identifying footprints in the sand plus an analysis of dung!

Throughout our time whilst we had the same guide - Masters - we had a range of different people for company - but never more than 6 to a vehicle which allows everyone to see the game.

We went in May and it was very cold on the game drives with hot water bottles being provided in the morning in addition to blankets and many layers of clothes. I would suggest a balaclava would be in order.

So what did we see? Hppos, crocs, lions - eating a hippo, mating (animal voyeurism) and sleeping, cheetahs - 3 young males eating antelope, a female hunting and one caught in the light at night, elephants, wild cats, a honey badger and just loads of other stuff on 4 legs and with feathers. There was never a dull moment and with only 3 vehicles allowed around a sighting there was never a crush and the animals never looked to be intimidated.

Our stay at Kwara more than lived up to and exceeded expectations and gave us the best wildlife experience possible. Thank You.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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110 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
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English first
Luton
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2013

Kwara was my favourite camp of the three that I visited on my safari. From the moment that you touch down you know that you are in a remote and special place. The friendly staff and the design of the communal area make you feel like you on an adventure with a group of friends.

You really feel close to nature - impala, warthogs and lechwe wander through the camp. At night there is in the occasional chorus of grunting (from the hippos on lake). An elephant browsed on the Jackalberries next to our tent. Lying in bed we saw his massive silhouette pass the front of our tent in the first glimmers of light.

You are woken before dawn, but a breakfast of fresh coffee and hot porridge warmed on the camp fire soon gets you alert for the new discoveries the day will bring.

The tents are spacious and provide everything that you need - no luxuries, but then you do not go to the Delta to lie around your room. The guides and trackers are excellent - if it is there they will find it!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Del Mar, California
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2013

I think the other reviewers have said almost everything, but I was not impressed with the food. The snacks were not appetizing and the buffet aspect resulted in overcooked vegetables and greasy meats. With that said however, one does not travel to the African bush for the food. The game viewing is fantastic and the guides are excellent. The tents are getting a bit worn, but they are still fine.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luton beds
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2013

Kwara was our favorite camp for a true "Bush" atmosphere without actually having to pitch a tent! The tents are not luxurious but we weren't looking for that, they have a great real bush feel but the beds are very large and very comfortable and bathroom facilities are fine. I enjoyed the outside shower .
Sleeping with the storm flaps up across the front of the tent was a great experience (there is a gauze sliding panel so no worries about insects etc). We could see silhouettes of Elephant and Hippo and heard Impala grazing just outside our tent it was magical!!! Kwando camps are all staffed by local people, Kwara's Manager was Hilda who has risen through the ranks from Waitress and is doing a fine job, a lovely lady. Food and drinks are excellent at Kwara all home cooking and 4 meals a day you won't be hungry! Sundowners out in the bush are great fun. Our personal team of guide, Tom and tracker, Justice were fabulous. Their combined skills of tracking and knowledge of wildlife was at times astonishing. They successfully tracked Lion (several times), Cheetah and Wild Dogs (twice) the tracking was a fascinating experience and thrilling, speeding across wild country in hot pursuit of our goals. We saw many other animals including, Porcupine, Sitatunga, Red Lechwe, Steenbok amongst all the usual animals you might expect to see. Tom has a particularly good knowledge of birds and in 3 days we saw 76 different types. We were sad to leave Kwara we really got into the rhythm of an African Safari here and could have done everything we did again and again. Thanks to everyone at Kwara, from Mandy, Louis and Fiona

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2013

Kwara camp set in the Delta offers a variety of game spotting, on land and from the water. The staff work tirelessly to ensure you see what you came for, the game. We were already in camp when word went out a leopard had been spotted. It was one of the best leopard sightings I have ever seen. The tented 'bungalows' are fabulously appointed and the bed 'dressed' in a variety of designs .... makes you smile even more when returning from a game drive. The outdoor shower is private as is the tented room. The guide was knowledgable, articulate and worked tirelessly to give us what we wanted. When our plane was delayed he immediately took us, unasked, on another drive ensuring that not a second of our time at Kwara was wasted. The chef produced delicious meals for the gluten, dairy, nut and meat free guests. Nothing was too much trouble. By the way, the local baboons can open the sliding doors to the rooms - best keep them locked.

Room Tip: All are private, well appointed and fabulous
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kendal, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
64 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2013

Kwara offers a first class safari experience, on the assumption you want lions, cheetah kills, much tracking and off road driving..... in other words, a brilliant Wild Africa experience! If you are more interested in the vintage of the dinner wines and make of the china, pay twice as much and go elsewhere. The Camp itself is super, traditional and large tents, with great views, across hippos, elephants etc. the food , staff and especially the Guides and a real asset, Trackers are superb. Botswana is however not Florida or the South of France....if your only concern is luxury rooms and silver service go to the Tarmac of Kruger or to a camp in Botswana that maximises the camp at the expense of the safari experience....feel free to rush back for wine tasting if you want... I go to Botswana for the best safari experience in Africa.

Room Tip: Just remember the camp is open to all visitors, including hippo and elephant visitors! If nervous a...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • 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.
Lisbon, Portugal
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

This was my second stop on a 10-day / 3-lodge safari, and I spent two nights at Kwara Camp. This camp belongs to Kwando, who own several other properties around Botswana and aim to offer an authentic bush experience with a big focus on game viewing, which is why their vehicles have no rooftop canopy and there is a tracker in the vehicle (seated on the hood), in addition to the guide.

In total I had six game drives and the wildlife sightings were high in quality but very low in quantity.

During one night drive, we had a once in a lifetime sighting of three young lions playing around with a curled-up pangolin, which eventually disappeared into the night. Even my guide (Alex) said this was only the second time in his life he saw a wild pangolin, and the first time was in 2008!

We also had a great sighting of a male lion resting one evening, and got up close without bothering the animal at all. A hyena was also seen during one of the night drives.

For the rest sightings were rather disappointing. We tracked the three male resident cheetahs for hours several times but never saw them. Also, no sign of a leopard near or far. I did not see any wild dogs while I was at Kwara, but a group that stayed one more day and who I met again at Lebala Camp reported that they saw a big pack of wild dogs the day after I left, and even followed them as they tried hunting impala.

To my great surprise, even the more common game was present in far fewer numbers at Kwara than at my other two camps (Sango and Lebala). But please consider that I only stayed for two nights, these are free roaming animals and I was just probably unlucky, because this area is renown for excellent wildlife. But as always, luck plays a huge part in what you will, or will not, see.

The camp itself is nice, located right by the river (great views from the main area, observation deck and the tents). The tents are spacious, nicely decorated and the beds very comfortable. The bathroom is also appropriate for a safari, and the outdoor shower was great. My only complaint would be the actual tents, which are quite old and it shows. Not that this bothered me in particular, but at the prices you pay, you can expect better tents. For your reference, I think I paid exactly the same price at another Kwando property (Lebala) where the tent was of a much higher standard.

Food was always good and plentiful, with a simple breakfast served before the morning drive and more elaborate buffet lunches and dinners later in the evening.

Hospitality at Kwara is 5 stars, everyone I encountered was great from the camp manger to the ladies who clean the rooms. A big shout out also goes to my guide Alex and the tracker Master – they really worked very hard to get the best sightings for us and the fact that we didn’t see much is certainly not their fault. If we did not see many animals, it probably means they had just moved to much more remote areas of the reserve while I was visiting.

I booked this safari through Safari Specialists (Botswana) and made two more stops, namely at Sango Safari Camp and Lebala Camp. You can read those reviews too here on TripAdvisor.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Kwara Camp - Kwando Safaris

Address: P.O. Box 550 | Maun, Botswana
Location: Botswana > North-West District > Okavango Delta
Hotel Style:
Ranked #37 of 66 Specialty Lodging in Okavango Delta
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Kwara Camp - Kwando Safaris 3.5*
Number of rooms: 5
Also Known As:
Kwara Camp - Kwando Safaris Hotel Okavango Delta
Kwara Camp - Kwando Safaris Botswana/Okavango Delta

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