After staying in mainly small lodges offering a very personalised experience it was a bit of a shock arriving at a large resort-style hotel, catering to many tour groups/large parties. When we booked (3 months earlier) we were told that there were no Safari or River rooms available (we booked a rondavel instead), but when I enquired again on arrival, we were told that a Safari room was indeed available so we upgraded (there seemed to be plenty of availability during our stay so I don't know why we were told that these rooms were unavailable when we booked). The receptionist (Miriam?) was friendly and helpful - and presented us with much needed welcome drinks (delicious chilled fruit juice).
Our Safari room was very comfortable - large, stylish, with aircon, and a viewing deck overlooking the river (a pair of warthogs grazed regularly on the grass in front). The only minor quibble was that the hospitality tray was very meanly stocked! The safari rooms are more spacious than the river rooms (which are the same price), and all have views (some of the rondavels are tucked away at the back and don't have a view).
The location on the Chobe River is wonderful, with plenty of wildlife about - we were able to watch elephants on the opposite river bank while enjoying a sundowner. The dining area and bar area overlook the pool and the river.
All meals are served from a buffet and feature a pretty wide variety of dishes catering to different cultural preferences. The restaurant was always busy but we didn't see any evidence of pushing at the buffets as others have commented.
All the staff were very warm, chatty and friendly - with one glaring exception. The woman in the activities office (we booked a sundowner trip on the Chobe River, and a day trip to Victoria Falls) couldn't have been more indolent and less interested if she'd tried. Another couple we met had a similar experience.
The sundowner boat trip on the river was a mixed bag - lots of people on a large boat meant that some people didn't have a particularly good view (especially as a large party had pushed past everyone else to grab the best viewing positions at the front of the boat). Strangely, all the chairs were placed with their backs to the river. All drinks were charged for (and were expensive). The viewing itself was pretty good. - lots of elephants, giraffe, kudu, buffalo, crocodiles and many birds. I guess we've been spoilt, having previously only experienced personalised trips on small boats.
The trip to Vic Falls is well worth doing (and lunch at the Victoria Falls Hotel in Zimbabwe is highly recommended!)
Overall we thought Chobe Safari Lodge was very enjoyable - but be prepared for a busy resort hotel rather than the intimate tranquility of a lodge. The accommodation itself is good value, however, the cost of meals, drinks and trips is rather expensive, so be prepared for the total outlay to be high.
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- Also Known As:
- Chobe Safari Hotel Kasane
- Chobe Safari Kasane