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Reviewed October 21, 2018

The location of Khwai River Lodge, between the Moremi and Chobe game preserves, is the primary reason to stay here. The lodge and cottages directly overlook the river, enabling incredible wildlife viewing without ever leaving the property -- though of course the game drives are not to be missed. With fifteen cottages, Khwai River is larger than the other two Belmond safari camps, which we also visited (see separate reviews), and consequently it can feel slightly busier. Our cottage was comfortable and had a nice porch; its dark wood furnishings gave it a cave-like feel, dim but cozy. We were told that this camp is due for refurbishment in the next two years, which will do it good; it generally feels as though it needs refreshing. Nevertheless, we liked many of the features, especially the large swimming pool adjacent the main lodge (very refreshing in the hot weather), the "treehouse" game-viewing lounge, and the generally strong internet. The menus at meals were also diverse and the food was very good. Staff in the dining room and at the bar were very friendly and accommodating. One note: as this is an unfenced camp, be alert at all times of day for animals passing through, particularly elephants. This is their home and we are the visitors. We look forward to returning.

Date of stay: September 2018
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank BrynMawrBK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LouisePheiffer, Manager at Belmond Khwai River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded November 15, 2018

Dear BrynMawrBK,

Thank you again for another super review and highlighting all the marvelous experiences you had at the lodge. We look forward to your return, and this time we hope to a newly refurbished lodge.

Warm regards
Louise

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Reviewed October 17, 2018

Went here with a Tauck tour and it was nothing short of wonderful. Excellent local guides who knew their stuff and truly wanted to share. You truly live among the animals--and need to exercise some care! Once in a lifetime!

Date of stay: October 2018
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank CMSCLS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LouisePheiffer, Manager at Belmond Khwai River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded November 15, 2018

Dear CMSCLS,

Thank you for such a special review, thank you very much for recognizing the staff and the wildlife that make this lodge so special.

Warm regards,
Louise

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Reviewed October 12, 2018

We recently stayed at the Khwai River Lodge for our honeymoon, and what a treat it was! After 4 flights we finally arrived at the Khwai airstrip, and were then greeted upon arrival by a choir of singers - a nice touch! The host staff were very welcoming and seemed to genuinely care about us, and impressively learned our names and never forgot them (same for all other guests too) - this was very meaningful and felt like we were appreciated.

The lodges are luxurious, and we were treated to the honeymoon suite which had an outdoor plunge pool, bath and shower, fronting right onto the Khwai river with its abundance of hippos, elephants and birdlife. Simply amazing walking out of our front door to that every morning, truly special.

Our guide Jimmy was a legend, always patient and calm, very knowledgable. He would make us set goals and try and fulfil them every time we went out in the 4x4. Sundowners (drinks and snacks) in the African bush as the sun sets are something you will never, ever forget. When we arrived home on the first evening the staff had prepared a special romantic dinner for my wife and I up in the private animal viewing hide. We were treated like celebrities and it was amazing.

Sue and Ruan were the managers on site, with help from Barcos, and all were very helpful, respectful and authentic. The lodge is a gold standard for safari and anyone who wants to see abundant, diverse wildlife, while at the same time being treated to African luxury, should consider staying here. My highlight was tracking down a female leopard with Jimmy, using just pawprints in the sand and the alarm sounds of nearby birds/squirrels. It made us feel primal and connected with nature.

One other thing worth mentioning is that there is air conditioning in every room - don't underestimate the importance of this! It was 38oC every day, and cool air was very much welcome. Thank you to Jimmy our guide and all the staff at Khwai River Lodge for welcoming my wife and I, treating us like stars, and making us feel special in your beautiful part of Botswana. 10/10, loved it.

Date of stay: September 2018
Thank Alexander K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LouisePheiffer, Manager at Belmond Khwai River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded November 15, 2018

Dear Alexander K,

Thank you for celebrating your honeymoon with us in Botswana, and we are so pleased that you left with lasting memories of your time spent with us.

We will be sure to pass your compliments to all the staff you mentioned, thank you for recognizing them, in particular, your time with Jimmy. Thank you for making us feel special too.

Warm regards
Louise

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Reviewed October 12, 2018

Belmond is worldwide renowned for high luxury standards and perfect services. I must say that this lodge was the only one i wish we would not have been to. First, the camp ground is ok, but not the usual luxury standards. The Bungalows are like bulky Swiss chalets. i did not see the tents/canvas that some people mention.. maybe they are hidden in the other part of the camp?... Our chalets were "enjoying" the constant buzz from the power station. The main dining area is ok but nothing special. The food was okay but nothing special. The rides around the camp are ok and our driver was really trying hard to make a good experience and we saw some elephants, hippos, monkeys and impalas, zebras, and hyenas. But basically, it did not made up for the average standard of the camp. And most annoying is that the area is overcrowded with other camps so expect to be 15+ cars chasing one leopard.

Room tip: ask for a room further away from the power station
Date of stay: July 2018
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Alice_the_wonderland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LouisePheiffer, Manager at Belmond Khwai River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded November 15, 2018

Dear Alice_the_wonderland,

We are truly sorry that you had such a disappointing stay with us. The African sun and the roaming wildlife does take it's toll on the lodge, and since the marvelous refurbishment of out other two lodges, Khwai is due for a refurbishment in due course too, and we are very excited for this possible revamp.

Khwai is located in a shared concession, but at times the game viewing can become a little clustered, however our guides are well trained and excellent trackers, so we able to veer off path to find the wildlife, without disturbance.

We hope to welcome you back again soon and you are welcome to keep up to date with the latest news from Belmond Safaris, find us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and search for @BelmondSafaris.

Warm regards
Louise

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Reviewed September 11, 2018 via mobile

Thoroughly enjoyed every moment spent at this wonderful lodge. Beautiful appointed tented accommodation of the highest glamping standard, with additional extras of elephants in the grounds and hippos on the steps to our rooms. We loved it!
Staff are exceptionally attentive, food delicious, our guide Richard was fantastic and knowledgable managing to find Lion, leopards, wild dog, hyena aswell as elephants, zebra, all kinds of buck. He also makes a wicked G&T! Great Boma on the first night, very atmospheric in the heart of the bush.
Thank you River Khwai Lodge for a truly memorable stay.

Date of stay: August 2018
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Thank Kazlawson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LouisePheiffer, Manager at Belmond Khwai River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded November 15, 2018

Dear Kazlawson,

Thank you for your special review, we appreciate your feedback and thank you for sharing your special sightings with us.

We hope to welcome you back again soon for a few more G&T"s! and you are welcome to keep up to date with the latest news from Belmond Safaris, find us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and search for @BelmondSafaris.

Warm regards
Louise

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