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All reviews game drives sussi chuma the river outdoor shower electric blankets rooms are beautiful safari experience the main lodge the cottages first rate high tea large bathroom three night stay our honeymoon once in a lifetime dietary needs blown away
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Reviewed February 4, 2016

Firstly, the positives:

1. the quality of the accommodation is luxurious and in line with what you'd expect for the price. We did not try the spa facilities but I am sure they are equally good.

2. Chobe National Park which is only a short drive away is truly amazing and fully deserving of its reputation as one of the best parks in Africa for safari. The wildlife was abundant and the landscape amazing.

3. It is also easy to get to from Livingstone or Victoria Falls and so if you are visiting wither of those towns or Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe is logistically easy to add on and well worth doing so as in contrast to the parks in Zimbabwe and Zambia has a water-based element (though have not visited Mana Pools or Lower Zambezi so is not definitive).

Now for the negatives which I'm afraid left a bad taste in the mouth and result in a poor rating:

1. The food. We had dietary restrictions and were essentially "vegetarians though fish okay" for this trip. We communicated this well in advance but the efforts were poor and the dishes bland. I expected our meals to be fish-based but on one occasion they served up rice and lentils - as a main course. Given how much we were paying this was way below par and expectations.

2. The vehicles - some of the jeeps were poorly designed. Essentially if you were on the back row you had a restricted view. Given the whole purpose of the trip is to view wildlife and take photos, this was unacceptable and beyond belief. The guide's suggestion was that we swap around so everyone get's a decent viewing at some point!!!! But the other guests refused (and I don't blame them as they also paid $$$$ for a full experience) and we had to kick up a fuss to change the situation. Luckily, there was space on some of their other jeeps which did not suffer from the same poor design but we had half a game drive (and out of 4 in total that is a significant amount) marred.

3. We had been told when we had checked-in that there had been a spate of recent thefts from rooms and to take care of our valuables. So we made sure cash, jewellry etc was kept in the safe at all times but on checking out I noticed that an expensive brush had gone missing. When settling the bill, I raised this but it was basically met with a shrug of the shoulders (not even a proper apology or offering to waive the charge for an expensive fleece I bought from their shop). I told my agent afterwards and she followed-up with them and was informed the culprit had now been found and sacked (again no apology).

With this in mind - I cannot give anything other than a terrible rating. I would highly recommend anyone to visit Chobe National Park - just not this lodge.

Date of stay: June 2015
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank PebblesFlintstone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sanctuary R, Manager at Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero, responded to this reviewResponded March 16, 2016

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your comments, we appreciate all feedback from our guests as it helps us improve the service offered at our properties. Of course, we are disappointed to hear that you did not receive the level of service that you would normally expect from Sanctuary Retreats.

It is very unfortunate that you were the victim of a theft on our property and we completely understand that this would have left you with bad memories of your time with us. We are truly sorry for this and would like to apologise if you feel this was not properly dealt with during your stay with us.

Regarding your dietary requirements, we are sorry that our vegetarian and fish menu did not suitably address your needs. We have since worked with our Chef to create a new menu, paying special attention to our vegetarian and pescatarian guests.

Our vehicles hold a maximum of 6 guests so that everyone receives a ‘window’ seat and it is customary for clients to swap around so that everyone can see game from different angles. We did take your complaint on board but, as we had a full camp, we were unable to move you to another vehicle until several people had left. Again, we apologise that this caused you any discomfort or restricted game viewing – that was by no means our intention.

Please accept our sincere apologies for your negative experience with Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero. We hope that you will return one day so that we can show you the true Sanctuary experience.

Best regards,
Sanctuary Retreats

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2016

On a hill overlooking Botswana’s Chobe River, the Chilwero Sanctuary Lodge is privileged perch from which to observe Botswana’s extraordinary wildlife. We had arrived in mid December and had worried that the game might all be gone because of the rainy season but the rains were late this year which for us meant good luck. We saw thousands of elephant, giraffes, lions, kudu,alligrator, water buffalo, springbok, mongoose, and countless other animals, including the fascinating dung beetle. Chilwero Lodge is an extremely comfortable resort from which to observe this weatlth of wildlife. It consists of several large villas – each with its own exceptionally large dressing area and indoor and outdoor showers. Several of the villas have distant views of the Chobe River itself, but the best view of the river is from the dining terrace. (And of course from the cruise that is arranged by the lodge.) A friendly staff takes pride in serving copious meals all day long. Great cold beer in iced cold glasses and a good list of South African wines – all included in the price. But the clear high point for us was our wonderful guide, Moshe, an unusually intelligent and knowledgeable guide, who brought the area alive to us with his insights and perfect English. Moshe not only has a keen eye but an extraordinary sensibility for and to the environment and the animals. Beyond showing us lions, giraffes, kudu, hippos, alligators, ostrich and many of Botswana’s other treasures, Moshe taught us the far more subtle lesson of how to look at what we were seeing. Indeed our days with Moshe on the Chobe River where we surrounded by iterally thousands of elephants and their calves lolling about, rolling in the mud, drinking through their trunks and protecting their elephant babies will go down as some of our best ever in Africa.

Room tip: Avoid honeymoon cottage. While it has its own pool, it is FAR from the main lodge and prone to getting snakes inside the room
Date of stay: December 2015
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank leloir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sanctuary R, Manager at Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero, responded to this reviewResponded January 29, 2016

Dear Guest,

Thank you for sharing such a wonderful review of Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero - we are simply delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us and appreciate you taking the time to leave such detailed feedback.

Moshe and the rest of the team here absolutely loved hosting you and would love to welcome you back in the future (to this or another of our properties!).

If you wish to, you can keep up to date with Sanctuary Retreats by liking us on Facebook (Sanctuary Retreats), Twitter (@sanctuaryret), or Instagram (@sanctuaryretreats).

Best wishes,
Sanctuary Retreats

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2016 via mobile

When my husband proposed I asked him if he liked camping and he replied - I love sleeping under the stars ... Five stars!

This place is definitely five star - attention to the detail of everything - the welcome at the front door was memorable from the staff with a traditional song, wet towel and pimms!

We got a thorough briefing from Francois the resort manager he was warm and friendly and incredibly engaged with us and interested in what we had done.

We had the best guide Mushe who had eyes like a hawk and spotted so many animals and birds for us.

We had 2 river cruises and 1 game drive. Snacks and drinks on each beautifully presented by Mushe.

The food was amazing sumptuous is the only word that comes to mind and again staff greeted us and enquired as to our needs and Phineas the chef even prepared a crocodile dish for us.

Our cabin / room was huge with comfy bed and enormous bathroom. Loved the outdoor shower huge indoor bath and the hammock.

I cannot fault this place it was a wonderful two nights and I will definitely come back here or another Sanctuary at some time in the future.

Thank you Jeremy Francois and Mushe for the best two days of our holiday so far!!!!

Date of stay: January 2016
Trip type: Traveled with family
Thank belgaicas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sanctuary R, Manager at Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero, responded to this reviewResponded January 29, 2016

Dear Guest,

We are delighted to know that your time spent at Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero has been the highlight of your holiday so far - thank you!

The whole team here really appreciates your wonderful feedback and compliments - we will welcome you back any time.

You can keep up to date with everything at Sanctuary Retreats by following us on Facebook (Sanctuary Retreats), Twitter (@sanctuaryret), and Instagram (@sanctuaryretreats).

Best regards,
Sanctuary Retreats

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Reviewed December 26, 2015

Chobe Chilwero is just fantastic!! Huge rooms and bathrooms including a private veranda with an outside shower. Tastefully decorated. Every day there is a game drive in the morning and a river cries in the afternoon. The food was exceptional and the chef should be rated Michelin stars!!! Just fantastic. Personalized service all the way!!! We saw so many elephants!!!! Every day at about 2 PM we were visited by baboons. All food and drinks are included. Highly recommend when visiting Krueger area or Victoria Falls!!!
Thank you!

Room tip: all the same BEST!
Date of stay: December 2015
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank emka11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sanctuary R, Manager at Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero, responded to this reviewResponded January 18, 2016

Dear Guest,

Great to hear you enjoyed your time and thank you for sharing your experience on TripAdvisor.

We hope to see you again soon and until then you can keep up to date with the latest news from Sanctuary Retreats by liking us on Facebook, just search for ‘Sanctuary Retreats’.

We are also on Twitter (@SanctuaryRet) and Instagram (SanctuaryRetreats) if you would like to follow us.

Best wishes
Sanctuary Retreats

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 23, 2015

We had been sold the Sanctuary brand as Five Star and having done some research and read some reviews at booking stage it all seemed to be OK. However, two weeks prior to departure we had re-read some reviews and our doubts and fears started. Although we went with the knowledge that we were 'in the bush' and expected some insect wildlife to be present we asked our Travel agent to advise the camps of our Arachnophobia and they dutifully did this. (NB: We have experienced other Five star Game reserves and had no issue with anything in the rooms, it was the reviews that made us more dubious of these ones - we stayed at Sanctuary Baines Camp also) . Our arrival into Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero was one of the most memorable, staff singing a local 'welcome' song and strong contingent from the management team immediately made us feel very welcome. Francois was very professional and assured us that all had been done to cater to us and he confirmed that measures had been taken against spiders and insects in the room (Rm 4). Our check in was smooth and all safety measures explained succinctly and precisely, then we were led by Joyce (our lady in Housekeeping) to the lodge. Nicely decorated and very spacious with great amenities, Tea/coffee/water etc, a nice welcome note of seeds on the bed, we were then given a very thorough orientation by her and she left. It was at this point we noticed a very LARGE spider in the folds of the mosquito net!! So much for fumigation! Not wanting to kill anything, but on the other hand, not wanting to sleep with this spider in such close proximity to the bed we reached for the DOOM and it met its end. On return from our evening drive on the boat (which was fantastic and some great Hippo and croc sightings, not to mention the stunning sunset) we were greeted with yet more spiders on the walls ( we counted into double figures and stopped ) It seems the construction of these lodges was clearly below standard: we had clear half inch gaps under doors, ill-fitting windows etc .... to the point that we used a box of tissues bunging them up. Not what you expect from a Five Star resort ...... the management were quick to action the following morning when we told them of our experiences and we found the gaps sealed with clear tape when we came back from morning Game drive ( also fantastic with some good sightings, elephants too numerous to mention, giraffe, Water and Cape Buffalo, monkeys etc etc).
The main communal areas of the resort are very rustic and contemporary to the area, however we felt the evenings were blighted with flying insects making any use of the lounge uncomfortable. Some lights were turned on in the gardens outside in an attempt to attract the insects away from the building but they failed miserably due to the open sided construction and most other guests looked uncomfortable. The food, staff and service were all excellent - not Five star but good enough. Every drive we made was full of sightings but one or two were rushed and our driver was driving slightly too fast at some points causing us to ask him to slow down! Again, not what you expect ... we understand they have time limits in the NP and want us to experience as much as possible but not at a risk to life!!! We are very lucky to be able to travel but we would not say this resort is Five Star - in our opinion its more 3/4 star.

Room tip: All rooms have great views....
Date of stay: November 2015
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank David A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sanctuary R, Manager at Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero, responded to this reviewResponded January 18, 2016

Dear David,

Thank you for the very comprehensive feedback, which we of course have shared with the team. We are delighted you enjoyed your game drives and overall experience at Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero and apologise again for the spiders found in your room.

Our team loved hosting you and hope to welcome you back one day soon.

Would be great if you can keep up to date with the latest news from Sanctuary Retreats by liking us on Facebook, just search for ‘Sanctuary Retreats’.

We are also on Twitter (@SanctuaryRet) and Instagram (SanctuaryRetreats) if you would like to follow us.

Best wishes
Sanctuary Retreats

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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