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“One River, Two Countries, Scads of Animals”
Review of Chobe Game Lodge

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Chobe Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 25, 2012

Our room at the Chobe Game Lodge opened onto a sloping lawn leading down to the Chobe River. The far bank is Namibia, another country. You see no signs of human occupation there but lots of the local fauna, most especially elephants. A morning river cruise provided close-up views of the wildlife, including a sunbathing scrum of hippos in various sizes. Game drives served up lions, zebra, giraffe, Cape buffalo, monkeys, and more antelopean species than I can remember (besides impala and the magnificent kudu). The Lodge grounds are home to baboons, wart hogs, and a tribe of spotted mongooses, which may be viewed along a new promenade deck that looks out on the river (and is where afternoon pre-drive tea & coffee is served). This is the only accommodation in the park, which avoids the daily in and out drives (along twisty sand tracks) that guests at the exterior lodges in Kasane must make. One may wonder if being the only one inside the park means this is going to be some semi-seedy government operation with a lackadaisical staff. Nothing could be further from the truth. Staff are uniformly pleasant, helpful, and enthusiastic (while the lodge's shop sorely needs a better selection of post cards, the clerk obligingly made changed a $US20 bill into four fives -- tipping in dollars is fine). Food is very tasty; if I recall correctly, main courses at lunch and dinner are served a la carte from a menu (good degree of choice) and the other items -- soups, salads, desserts, etc.-- are presented buffet-style (there was even a cheese-board section!). There are open-air tables in the lodge itself (which also offers ample seating areas for just relaxing), plus (on our second and last day) al fresco dining at lunch and dinner. Rooms are clean and spacious, and there's an in-room safe. A smallish swimming pool is steps away.
The only quirk is that our plastic room key-cards had our room number written on them in magic marker. I'd never seen this before and think it kind of defeats the security that such cards afford if they fall into the wrong hands. I mentioned this at check-out, but I doubt it made much of an impression.

Room Tip: There are two levels of rooms and the lower-level ones open directly onto the lawn. Both levels hav...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MikeHoulahan5832
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JamesInChobe, Director of Sales at Chobe Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded October 30, 2012

Many thanks for taking the time to share your review on tripadvisor. We’re very happy to hear the game viewing and location exceeded expectations. Indeed we are very blessed with our location as the only permanent lodge in the Chobe National Park. It really adds to the experience of being the wilderness and enjoying the best that this park of Chobe has to offer from both the Chobe River on our game viewing boats and on the game drives. Happy to hear the kitchen cooked up some great food as well! Chef will be happy. Thanks for the feedback regarding the keys and postcards. We do realise a better selection of postcards are in order and working on this for next year. Concerning the keys. We used to have the room numbers printed on the cards but we changed this because of feedback such as below. We subsequently received feedback from a number of guests who then asked for labelled keys as they sometimes forgot their room number as previous properties had keys with the room number on as a key ring. We then reverted to labelling they room keys. The lodge security is very safe but we’ll bring this up in the next staff meeting and perhaps come up with a system where guests can choose. Many thanks for staying with us and for the feedback. Warm wishes from all the team and we hope to welcome you back to Chobe Game Lodge soon!

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Reviewed October 23, 2012

This is the lodge located directly inside the Chobe National Park. That makes the lodge very special. There were many advantages which I really appreciated....the service includes everything - accommodation, all meals, game rides, drinks, even room bar. The staff is very friendly, courteous, experienced and professional. The hotel is with no doubt perfectly managed. Everything worked perfectly. Everybody is warmly welcomed after the arrival, during welcoming drink one gets all information and the programm for the whole stay. Everythings goes perfectly in accordance with the programm. The place of the lodge is very romantic just by the river Chobe, but be prepared for a lot of insect...it is a wild nature. There are insect screens in the room windows, nevertheless one would feel better with anti- insect net above beds in rooms, because insect is able to get to rooms easily through doors. The rooms are very clean, the service perfect, the fridge in room is always full. There is no TV in rooms and the internet is more than expensive. But one is very tired after all game rides and boat trips. There are many animals around, be prepared for exciting experience in the nature. Game rides are operated in very strong open cars for around 10 people. Group rides are good, but I would also appreciate the private game ride for a special charge. It is not offered, though. One minor disadvantage is that the rides are not operated in all parts of the park. The park is huge, but there are other places around the lodge which might be also interesting. The lodge offers delicious cuisine! The choice of food is unbelievable at the place where the lodge is.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank justbig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JamesInChobe, Director of Sales at Chobe Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded October 24, 2012

Dear guest, thank you so much for your review and feedback. We are really glad you enjoyed the lodge, safari, cuisine and service we offer. It was a pleasure! Regarding some points mentioned: Due to our remote location the internet is satellite connection and extremely costly for us. The network would not support free Wi-Fi access at this stage which is the reason for the $ 6.00 charge per half hour ($10.00 for 1 hour) for those guests looking to connect. We are looking at a better Wi-Fi solution for guests, though, so we’re grateful for the feedback. Regarding the rooms, yes they all have fly-screens and we keep them well clear of insects during room service. The fans/air-conditioning tend the keep the mosquitoes away. We don’t seem to have a problem with insects in the rooms but some guests feel more comfortable with mosquito nets so we are looking at the possibility of introducing them next year. Finally, the routes we chose for game drives/safari cruises are structured around where we will encounter as few other vehicles as possible. With our location as the only permanent lodge inside the National Park, by travelling to the Western parts we tend to enjoy much fewer operators, great sightings and a better quality safari. Warm regards from everyone at Chobe Game Lodge and many thanks for staying with us!

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Reviewed October 12, 2012

Chobe Game Lodge was our first Lodge that we stayed at for our trip to Botswana.
A magnificent oasis alongside the Chobe River, with a great boardwalk to view the surroundings.
Beautiful timber creating a warm luxurious feel. The food plentiful. Rooms lovely
Maggie greeted us with so much warmth, we immediately felt at home. We were treated to a romantic poolside dinner for two, which was another personal touch.
Madibu was our guide and she did a wonderful job, allowing us to see all that we could see.
The wildlife was amazing, from giraffes necking to the wonderful prides of lions, leopard, zebra, giraffe. the list goes on and on. An amazing first experience. WOW!!
Thankyou for a lovely, wonderful experience

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank gizzbo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JamesInChobe, Director of Sales at Chobe Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded October 24, 2012

We are delighted to hear you loved your stay! We passed on the message to Modibu and of course to Maggie at Guest Relations. We love the new boardwalk too and with it leading to the viewing deck at the far end of the property it has had some exceptional animal sightings recently including lion and wild dog! Our facebook page has some of the recent sightings and news on there. We really appreciate the review and glad you enjoyed the dinner – we do our best to give every guest a personal touch in some way and we hope you can visit us again one day. Warm regards from all the Chobe Game Lodge team here!

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Reviewed September 23, 2012

Arriving from Livingstone after a morning drive we entered Chobe Game Reserve. From the outset we saw wild animals upfront and personal. This was only a flavor of our following three day stay in Chobe Game Lodge. It came well recommended and thoroughly lived up to it's expectations. A very warm welcome from our hostess Maggie followed by an excellent lunch we set off on our first afternoon game drive. Our driver was completely adept at mastering the very difficult teraine as it was the dry season. We were extremely lucky to see a leopard within 30 minutes. This set the standard for the following twice daily drives. Back at the lodge the staff at every level were so friendly and helpful. The food was excellent and on the last night were treated to an African barbecue. Our rooms were of a very high standard and the free laundry service was great. We met the manager of the Lodge who took time to show us the viewing timber walkway and explain the many animals we encountered. Ten out of ten for Chobe Game Lodge.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Denis E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JamesInChobe, Director of Sales at Chobe Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded September 24, 2012

Hello from Chobe and thank you so much for sharing your Chobe Game Lodge experience on Tripadvisor. The game viewing in Chobe National Park is quite special and its always great to see the elusive leopard. We’ve seen him around quite a lot at the moment which is great! We’re very happy you enjoyed the boma evening and the great new boardwalk and viewing decks by the river (amazingly it is actually made using recycled plastic as part of our new Ecotourism rating – the highest rating available in Botswana). We will pass the message on to Maggie and the team and from all of us here thank you for coming to Chobe Game Lodge and we hope to welcome you back some time! All the best, Chobe Team!

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Reviewed September 22, 2012

Our stay at Chobe Game Lodge was amazing! The first thing I would have to say about this place is you'll never go hungry. They offer so many meals and snacks and have so many options. The lunch menu is a full menu with starters, salads, a main course and dessert. The wait staff was also very attentive. They change things up every day serving you dinners and lunches either by the deck, in the main restaurant or even setting up private dinners. Our game drives were also such a great experience. Our tour guide Lynn was so amazing. She went above and beyond to make sure we had a great time and saw everything we wanted. She was even able to find one of the rare Leopards in the park for us! She made our experience truly wonderful. I would love to come back again.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Salma C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JamesInChobe, Director of Sales at Chobe Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded September 23, 2012

Hi there and thank you so much for this lovely feedback. We do pride ourselves on what a great team we have here at Chobe Game Lodge and we do our best to keep it unique and exciting for our guests when it comes to dining and other experiences. We appreciate the feedback about Lynne and will pass it on – we are the only lodge with an All-Female Guiding team and very proud of some of the guiding talent here. Many thanks again and we sincerely hope to welcome you back to Chobe Game Lodge. Warm Regards, Chobe Team!

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Reviewed September 20, 2012

We stayed at Chobe Game Lodge two weeks ago with friends from England. What a treat for them (and us) to see so much game just driving TO the lodge which is about 30 minutes into the park from the entrance gate.

All rooms have private verandah's from which to view the river and there is a long extended decking amongst the trees and above the river bank so when you have had your fill of grrrr type bush driving (we went self-drive) you can relax with a drink and quietly watch the animals come to the water. This decking is undervalued by some previous reviewers because they fail to mention that visitors stand a chance of seeing some of the many nocturnal animals and birds, especially owls, that we all otherwise miss due to park rules which do not allow vehicles to drive around during hours of darkness. Some of the smaller animals seek refuge from predators by drinking near the lodge so can sometimes be visible from the decking.

One evening the dinner was served on the raised grass terrace not far from the water's edge and two buffalo, which had crossed the river from Namibia, chomped grass and kept beady eyes on us, sitting safely out of reach. It was a good reminder of how close we sat to nature.

The river cruise gave us a different view of all the animals as they came down to drink and Paul, our guide that evening, could even give the Japanese guests the name of every animal and bird in their own language as they saw them. Though they appeared impressed it wasn't translated back later into a tip - I couldn't help noticing!

The rooms are well equipped with real coffee, reading lights, air-conditioners and very comfortable beds and all sorts of luxurious dressing gowns and wotnot.

And if it happens to rain - there is a full-sized snooker table to enjoy. Imagine that - in the middle of the bush! What a pleasure.

Room Tip: If you have recently broken your ankle/have a cranky knee ask for a room not too far from the bars a...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Flea F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JamesInChobe, Director of Sales at Chobe Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded September 23, 2012

Dear Sir/Madam, thank you so much for taking the time to share your favourite experiences at Chobe Game Lodge. We remember the evening with the two-large male buffalos eating grass by the far-deck at dinner. Not long ago we had a whole breeding herd of elephant wandered right under the deck and along the river past the lodge during dinner. Wonderful! The river safari cruises at this time of year are very special too with deep red sunsets and large numbers of animals down by the river! Thank you so much and we hope to welcome you back again in the not too distant future. Warm Regards from the Chobe Team!

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Reviewed September 13, 2012

Truly magnificent. We arrived at the park and immediately saw herds of elephants, giraffes, zebras and even a leopard on the hunt. This was so impressive to see. We had stayed at Kruger before arriving here, but this was unbelievable! The Lodge was every level of comfort you can have. The rooms very clean and the beds super comfy!
The meals also were very satisfying.
A typical day at the lodge is a safari each morning, waking up at 5AM, but before leaving coffee, muffins and croissants are waiting for you before hitting the morning drive. Upon returning to the lodge a beautiful breakfast is served. You relax, lunch, tea, then maybe a river cruise on the Chobe river, and then again on an evening safari, dinner and before retiring you could take a walk along their beautiful deck where elephants, hippos and maybe lions can be heard.
What I enjoyed most at the Chobe National Park was seeing the herds of elephants, the pod of hippos, the dazzle of zebras, a tower of giraffes, herds of water buffalos and much more.
This was our last stop in Africa and even though we had a fantastic trip, we did save the best for last.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank LilianaEmilio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JamesInChobe, Director of Sales at Chobe Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded September 23, 2012

Thank you so much for the wonderful review about the delights of Chobe Game Lodge. We’re certainly blessed with a wonderful location inside the park so we can enjoy the exceptional game viewing and safari experiences to be had here! And yes…watching the enormous herds of elephants down at the river from the new boardwalk and deck is a spectacular site. Thanks again and we hope to welcome you back one day. All the best, Chobe Game Lodge team!

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Additional Information about Chobe Game Lodge

Address: Chobe River, Chobe National Park, Botswana
Location: Botswana > North-West District > Chobe National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 21 Specialty Lodging in Chobe National Park
Price Range: $193 - $1,942 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Chobe Game Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 47
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Picturesquely situated 100 km west of the Victoria Falls, overlooking the Chobe River and the Caprivi floodplains, the iconic Chobe Game Lodge is the only permanent safari lodge within the Chobe National Park. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Chobe Game Hotel Chobe National Park

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