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Sanctuary Chief's Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 8, 2009

I don't find myself normally inclined to write a review, but I felt compelled to do so in the case of Chief's Camp. My wife and I spent 3 days there during the first week of Feb. In short, our experience exceeded our wildest expectations. The facility is beyond belief given the remote location - beautiful lodge and guest rooms, incredible food and impeccable service. You will not be disappointed.
My main reason for writing a review is to debunk a myth - namely that the rainy season is not a good time to visit if you want to see lots of animals. Granted, you will not see large herds congregating around waterholes as you would in the dry season. What you will see is smaller groupings of healthier animals with lots of babies (we saw a group of 3 lionesses with 7 cubs at a distance of 20 feet) . That in itself makes visiting in the low season worth the trip. Also, everything is fresh and green and incredibly beautiful. I did not feel that I was shortchanged in the least in terms of game viewing by coming during this time of year.
Finding the "big 5" becomes a little tougher during this time of year, but that's what your guide is trained to do. If you want to see your guide put all of his skills to work, this is the time to visit. Our guide was Poniso (ask for him by name). In one day, we saw all the big 5 - which is hard to do in any season, but even more so when the grass is tall. He had an uncanny ability to know when a cat or rhino was close and find it.
Two other comments: maybe it was just luck, but our weather was beautiful - occasional showers but nothing that disrupted our activities. The other thing worth noting was that the lodge was empty - only two of 15 rooms occupied. We had Poniso to ourselves for 3 days and got a very personalized safari experience. Not sure whether this is because of the economy or the fact that it was the low season. Regardless, we were treated like royalty and got to know the staff on a personal level, as they did us.
Chief's Camp is really that good. The animals love it too as we had many opportunities to view them while eating dinner. A couple hyenas actually came into the lodge one evening, which made for a memorable experience. We hope to visit again, but this time with our kids.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank SAfan2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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189 - 195 of 234 reviews

Reviewed October 23, 2008

My wife and I visited Chief’s Camp in the Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana, for four nights in mid-September 2008. We were delighted with every aspect of this camp. The initial greeting and check in process was very professional and welcoming. To our delight, there was an elephant in the way while being escorted to our tent so we had to detour around to get there. Our tent was large and luxurious. One of the aspects of Chief’s Camp that is very enjoyable is the abundance of wildlife right in camp. We had several elephant visits in camp throughout our stay, baboons and monkeys, of course, and our last two nights we had a large pride of lions come through camp at 3AM or so. One of those nights a large female lion walked just in front of our tent deck. One evening at dinner we enjoyed watching a hippo feeding 20 yards away. Also, there were a dozen large fruit bats in the open air dining area to keep us company. Fantastic!

The service at Chief’s Camp was great. Food was excellent, including the afternoon tea. The staff were all very helpful and responsive to our needs. Most importantly, the game drives were beyond our expectations. Giraffe and elephant were everywhere. Zebra in huge numbers. Many, many lions. Rhino, hippo, many types of antelope, wildebeest, and on and on. We had the rare opportunity to see two African wild dogs and were able to track with them while they hunted and took down an Impala. Our guide had the viewpoint that we would go anywhere to see game so we often took off across rough country through dense brush in pursuit of game at a moment’s notice. Chief’s Camp offers Mokoro canoe trips which are a must. You get to experience the Okavango Delta right at water level, gliding through the reeds.

One small concern for us had to do with seating arrangements at mealtime. We were expected to dine with our safari vehicle group and guide which was fine except that it inhibited us from spending social time with others in the larger guest group. At a couple of breakfasts we were alone since no one else was assigned to our guide at the time. At the “boma,” or group barbeque, we had chance to mingle, however.

Summing it up, we’d definitely select Chief’s Camp again. The camp itself was great but it’s location was a key aspect of our decision. Right in the middle of the delta in the Moremi reserve. It was easily reached by a Mack Air Cessna out of Maun. While flying over the delta to and from the camp at a low altitude you get to see large herds of elephant and giraffe.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank GlobalExplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 5, 2008

We visited Chief's Camp for three nights and it turned out to be the best part of our safari. Wildlife was in abundance. We saw lions, including a big male, lionesses, and cubs; leopard, zebra, giraffes, elephants, warthog, a rhino, wildebeast, impala, kudu, etc. In terms of getting up close to the game, this camp provided the best experience of the trip. We were concerned by a prior review of the camp but we found predators ever-present and we developed a great relationshship with our guide Rex as well as other guests. The accomodations were very nice as was the main lodge. The tents/structures in which we were accomodated were classic Africa but in a very luxurious sense. The food was a good as any we had on the trip, as was the service. The camp boasts a wonderful setting and many animals walked by the camp while we were there.

  • Stayed: September 2008
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1  Thank BigBrion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2008

Although Chief''s camp is totally luxurious, it rather proved to be a 5-star "tourism factory" than a 5-star african lodge. There is absolutely no intimacy between the staff and the guests, and we never had the impression ot be treated personally. the food was good, but not extraordinary at all !
Moreover, it seems that the time has gone when Chief Island was the capital of the predators. During the dry season, it is almost impossible to see any cheetah or wild dog. Although we did have a fabulous game during our 2 days, no leopard had been seen during the previous week. Linyanti has now become the place to go !

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
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3  Thank CarnetDeVoyageur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2008

My husband and I went to two Sanctuary lodges in Botswana, and Chief's Camp was by far superior. Every detail of our stay was perfect. We loved that the tents were luxurious, but at the same time, you had the "feel" that you were on an African safari.

The customer service was unlike anything I have seen. There are 50 people on staff for only 24 guests, so everything is very personal. All of management made a point to know the guests' names and our preferences of beverages and foods. We were awakened every day with coffee and tea and greated in the evenings by our favorite cocktails.

The wildlife around Chief's Camp was very abundant, and our guide, Anthony, was a walking encyclopedia. We saw just about everything, including a pride of lions mauling a giraffe.

From great food, warm company, the wildlife, and the lodge itself, this was the perfect safari.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank ccnolan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 10, 2007

Totally disappointed. The management were all new. None of them seemed experienced. The staff (although nice) were absolutely useless. Food was totally unacceptable. I don't think that their is a chef. Thank goodness for the excellent game viewing. Its the best in the Okavango. Sanctuary Lodges (all over the Delta and Chobe Chilwero need to spend some money on their lodges - or stop charging as a luxury 5 star lodge).
I wouldn't use a Sanctuary Lodge again. They must have hired a good photographer for their web site.

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled with friends
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7  Thank StarPANAMA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2007

I’ve stay in this lodge for two nights and simply loved it, It’s the best lodge I’ve ever stayed.

The room is very large and very well decorated, the facilities are outstanding, and the staff is very nice, specially the managers.

Game viewing is nothing less than spectacular, lots of lions, hyenas, giraffes, zebras, gnus and a large variety of antelopes, I’ve seen also seen rhino, leopard and elephant, although no buffalo.

The thing I’ve enjoyed less in the camp was dinner, although the lunch was very good, dinner couldn’t match it, in our first night, despite the dinner ambiance, served around the boma, the food wasn’t the kind of food expected in such a luxurious lodge.

  • Stayed: August 2007
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4  Thank verbo_ir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sanctuary Chief's Camp

Address: Chief's Island | Maun, Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana
Phone Number:
Location: Botswana > North-West District > Okavango Delta > Moremi Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 29 Specialty Lodging in Moremi Game Reserve
Price Range: $996 - $4,884 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Sanctuary Chief's Camp 5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sanctuary Chief’s Camp has twelve luxury bush pavilions, all with their own private decks as well as both indoor and outdoor showers. When visiting Sanctuary Chief’s Camp you’ll see why Conde Nast Traveler consistently rates it as one of the top safari destinations in Botswana. The camp is part of the magazine’s exclusive “Platinum Circle” in recognition of its inclusion in the prestigious Gold List for the last five consecutive years. The split-level main deck offers expansive views over the floodplain while the lower level of the deck houses an exquisite swimming pool to cool off after a day of exciting game viewing. The main area houses a bar, curio shop, library reception and dining area. For a rejuvenating pampering session, choose from a range of treatments at the camp’s treatment room. The twelve guest pavilions are nestled in a jackalberry and sausage tree woodland that is characteristic of the area. Each guest pavilion boasts an indoor and outdoor shower, a spacious seating area and a private game viewing deck overlooking the surrounding floodplains of the Okavango Delta. Sumptuous four poster beds with generously draped mosquito nets and traditional ceiling fans also feature and for your convenience, the rooms are equipped with a hairdryer, ceiling fan, room safe, emergency intercom and minibar. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sanctuary Chief`s Camp Hotel Moremi Game Reserve

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