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“Great intro to Botswana but cold...” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Nxai Pan Lodge

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Nxai Pan Lodge
Nxai Pan National Park, Botswana   |  
Hotel amenities
Bristol, England
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Great intro to Botswana but cold...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

We stayed here in August and had a lovely time. Only downside was how cold it was on mornings and evenings. I ended up buying a fleece jacket and hat from the shop to keep myself from freezing. Great service, food and star gazing! Even had elephants visiting just outside our room one morning - not sure how good the electric fence is....

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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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24 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013

What a beautiful lodge in a very special place. We were treated like royalty and the lodge itself is stunning. The watering hole is the focus of the lodge and they have a beautiful plunge pool to cool off in while watching the elephants drink. Our room was spacious with a large indoor bath and also an outdoor shower, that was great after a dusty game drive.

Our guide, Donald and his bushman partner, Shoes, tracked an amazing array of animals for us. We watched 2 cheetah stalk a springbok and bring it down, and saw bat eared foxes plus the usual array of beasts. The drives were all a little different including driving out to Baines' Baobob Trees. Stunning!

Our food and drink were top notch and we wish we could have spent a couple more days in this lodge!

  • Stayed November 2012, 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
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Bruxelles
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013

Nxai Pan was our first stop in Botswana and we really loved this camp! The game drives were great: we saw a lot of animals (lions, cheetahs, a leopard, zebras, springboks, elephants, giraffes, oryxes, a lot of birds, etc.) and the colors were absolutely breathtaking! The lodge is beautiful and all the staff were very efficient and welcoming. Our guide Mogali and the tracker Scarra were both very professional and friendly. On top of that the food was excellent! We had a wonderful time in Nxai Pan, that's a place we'll never forget!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 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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NYC
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2012

My husband and I just visited 3 Kwando camps (including Little Kwara and Lebala) and were really impressed with Nxai Pan. First, when we arrived and walked into the stunning main lodge for our orientation, we could barely focus on what the manager was saying since there was a herd of 12-15 giant elephants drinking at the watering hole just outside. Talk about a welcome! The lodging here was our favorite of the 3 camps- the structures were graceful curved buildings (kind of like adobe with thatched roofs, chic minimalist furniture) with one whole wall of sliding screen doors looking out onto the watering hole- don't be surprised if you hear the elephants trumpeting in the night. Our excellent guide Vasco and tracker Shoes made our first safari experience very memorable- there's another watering hole a bit outside the camp that was like a scene from The Lion King- big groups of springbok, wildebeest, zebra, ostriches, etc all gathering together. For first-timers on safari who really didn't know what to expect, this was a great way to start. Great staff, yummy meals, and the Pan itself is stark and stunning, very different ecosystem to the Delta. One main difference between Nxai Pan and the other Kwando camps is bc this one is inside a preserve, the jeeps cannot go off-road, must stay on the path, but we still got really close to a lot of the animals, including 3 cheetahs with their kill and a huge herd of elephants who gathered at sunset at another watering hole.

Room Tip: These huts were spaced very far apart so lots of peace and privacy. Each has a lovely deck so you ca...
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  • Stayed May 2012, 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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Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2012

This was our first stop in Botswana after two long flights and two shorter ones. We were very tired and hot when we arrived. We were warmly greeted by Janet the manager and felt at ease right away. The lodge is lovely, open on one side to the views across the pan. Our room was a large thatched chalet with both an indoor and an outdoor shower and with the same beautiful view as the main lodge. There were sliding screen doors to our own deck. We saw lions on our first game drive. From the perspective of three further weeks spent in Botswana and Zimbabwe I think the game drives were the best of any of the lodges we stayed at and they have hot water bottles as well as blankets for those cold morning drives. The stargazing around the campfire in the evening was amazing as well.

  • Stayed May 2012, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bellingham, Washington
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2012

Nxai Pan is a all inclusive safari camp run by Kwando Safaris. It sits on a broad expanse of dry lake bed with the nearby waterhole easily viewed from the broad comfortable terrace. Elephants seemed to always be at the waterhole and the camp's telescope really put you in the middle of them.

The rooms are large and comfortable with wide views of the vast plains from nearly any location within the room. A large inside sitting area, big near king sized bed, private toilet, twin sinks and inviting shower at the room's major features A nice wooden deck outside with two chairs and table round out the mix.

All the shampoos, soaps and lotions you could want are provided, as is laundry soap. General laundry services are provided by the camp's staff, but you must wash your own undies (it's a cultural thing in Botswana) hence the laundry soap.

Since the camp's electricity is totally solar powered the lighting the room is adequate for most functions but can be a bit anemic for reading. If you need to recharge your laptop or camera batteries the camp mistress (Janet) will take them over night and charge them for you returning them to you at breakfast.

The food is abundant and flavorful. As with most safaris in this price range there are three full meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) and two snacks ( morning coffee break and afternoon tea) as well as "Sundowner" drinks. All drinks both hard and soft are included and seem to be without limits.

The staff goes out of their way to make you feel comfortable and will try to accommodate any wishes you may have. The camp mistress, Janet runs a nice relaxed camp. The camp's waitress K.C. is a kick and the cook does great things in the kitchen.

Nxai Pan was the first camp I stayed at that had both a driver and a game spotter in the vehicles. Generally the driver has to do both jobs and some how does it remarkably well. The extra pair of trained eyes really did improve my experience though. I had been on safari for nearly two weeks by the time I got to Nxai Pan and was hoping for something different from the myriad of Zebra, Impala and elephant by now. On the last drive of the day, Kaser, the spotted whispered "Cheetah" and the driver stopped. Kaser had sen just the cat's ears above the grass and I don't think the driver saw this. I liked the idea of the additional eagle eyes on the vehicle. Speaking of the vehicle it was a near new (1 year old) Toyota Land Cruiser. A very nice vehicle.

The cheetah was the height of the stay, but the side trip to Bain's Baobobs was well worth the time. It takes up the entire morning and some of the afternoon. The lunch was a nice picnic lunch of salad and fried chicken under the millennium old trees. We got back around 1:30 and I decided it was enough driving for the day and skipped the evening drive.

he thing that impressed me the most was this - One of the guides became ill and they airlifted him out to a hospital. The Land Cruisers were right there and the drive to Maun is possible, but Kwando Safaris airlifted him to Maun for medical care. If they are this concerned for their staff's well being, I can only imagine how concerned they are for their guests.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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motril
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2012

 
Excellent different location although initially disappointed with the news that as the camp was sited in a National Park it was necessary to keep to the roads. We thought this would restrict our sightings but this was certainly not the case and I think we saw more different animals here than at any other camp. The accommodation is really first class here and with the view of the waterhole we saw lots of animals without leaving our room. Again excellent Kwando staff here really looked after us well.
The optional trip to Baines Baobabs was also very good and well worthwhile.

  • Stayed February 2012, 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.
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Additional Information about Nxai Pan Lodge

Address: Nxai Pan National Park, Botswana
Location: Botswana > Central District > Nxai Pan National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty lodging in Nxai Pan National Park

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