We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Upscale, but not the best!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Belmond Khwai River Lodge

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Moremi Game Reserve
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Belmond Khwai River Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Upscale, but not the best!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 23, 2006

Khwai River Lodge is located on the the banks of the Khwai river at the edge of the Delta. Let me note that at the outset of our trip, we were looking for the best lodges to visit. This Orient Express Hotel is no exception. The lodges are in fact well appointed luxury tents. The main lodge is open and on a beautiful setting overlooking the Khwai River.

Perhaps two things disappointed us with our stay here. One, the game drive experience was not what we experienced at other lodges (e.g. Kwando Safaris). Although the Lodge benefits from having access to "community" lands, much of the viewing is done in the nearby national park, which is packed with other vehicles and campers, as well as people in their own private cars. When an animal is found, it is bound to be swarmed by many other cars.

Secondly, the lodge is too big (for Safari purposes) and full of too many wealthy people who have little interest in seeing the wildlife. Accordingly, you have meals with many others and have to go on game drives in cars of 6-8 people, which means that you can't necessarily see what you want to see and are at the whim of your fellow travellers.

Although the lodge is truly a luxury lodge, with a full time diesel generator to boot, we would have excluded this from our trip because it did live up to what we had expected at previous lodges. Lebala, the previous place, was far more rustic and smaller (but equally as luxurious), except that instead of a generator, it had nice oil laps hung everywhere, which gave it a nice romantic cozy feeling. It was also situated on a private game concession, which is key to a safari experience!

  • Liked — Luxury and Service
  • Disliked — Too big, two many annoying guests
  • Tips/Secrets — Go to a smaller place for a better safari experience.
  • Stayed September 2006
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
11 Thank gsesmart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

165 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    137
    21
    5
    2
    0
See reviews for
44
78
8
3
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (40)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Georgia
Level Contributor
40 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 2, 2006

This was our first experience in Botswana and Khwai certainly made it memorable. It is a very nice Orient Express property located in the Okavango Delta along the Khwai River. The thatched roof tents are on raised lodge poles about 5 feet off the ground and had solid teak floors. They were situated right on the marsh. We loved sitting on our covered deck in the afternoon watching the elephants bathe and hippos float right in front of us. So relaxing with a nice breeze, hammock and good book (however, the book was usually dropped either because of the elephants or a nap that would become irresistible).

The meals were wonderful and varied, always a nice presentation. The staff was very warm and the lodging comfortable. There was A/C available in the tents, which we only needed in the late afternoon. There were double sinks, a separate WC and shower (no tub). Cozy hot water bottles placed in our bed at bedtime. The grounds are not fenced, so after sundown we were always escorted....the hippos and elephants do roam at night as I found out after midnight with an elephant just off my deck.

We felt the game drives were somewhat below par with other lodges only because it seemed so rigid and we, the guests, found more sightings than our guide. Very little, if any, actual tracking. Also, if you decide to sleep in, even for an extra 30 minutes, you've missed it. They don't seem to be prepared for any type of muffin, croissant, yogurt, cereal....anything besides coffee after the designated 6:30 am. At least this was our experience.

I do recommend Khwai as an amazing destination. We did not visit the other OE camps, Eagle and Savute and it seemed that most of the other guests were making the rounds of the three. We were at the end of our travel through South Africa and Botswana.

  • Liked — The scenery
  • Disliked — Maybe too rigid
  • Tips/Secrets — When using Air Botswana, double check their flight schedules, they tend to change frequently and without notice.
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank day1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Moremi Game Reserve
16.1 mi away
Mankwe Bush Lodge
Mankwe Bush Lodge
#1 of 1 in Okavango Delta
3.5 of 5 bubbles 42 reviews
9.3 mi away
Machaba Camp
Machaba Camp
#1 of 27 in Moremi Game Reserve
5.0 of 5 bubbles 207 reviews
25.8 mi away
Camp Moremi
Camp Moremi
#2 of 27 in Moremi Game Reserve
5.0 of 5 bubbles 256 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
59.1 mi away
Sanctuary Chief's Camp
Sanctuary Chief's Camp
#7 of 27 in Moremi Game Reserve
5.0 of 5 bubbles 201 reviews
27.1 mi away
Third Bridge Campsite
Third Bridge Campsite
#16 of 27 in Moremi Game Reserve
4.0 of 5 bubbles 78 reviews
11.5 mi away
Mogotlho Safari Lodge
Mogotlho Safari Lodge
#14 of 41 in Maun
4.5 of 5 bubbles 24 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Belmond Khwai River Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Belmond Khwai River Lodge

Property: Belmond Khwai River Lodge
Address: | Moremi Wildlife Reserve, Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana
Phone Number:
Location: Botswana > North-West District > Okavango Delta > Moremi Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 27 Specialty Lodging in Moremi Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Belmond Khwai River Lodge 4.5*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sink into time-honoured indulgence as you overlook the vibrant floodplains and dramatic big game of the Moremi Wildlife Reserve. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Khwai River Lodge By Orient-Express Hotel Moremi Game Reserve

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing