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“Terrible Management”
Review of Planet Baobab

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Planet Baobab
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 15, 2013

Great bar, lovely pool (though absolutely freezing), wonderful rooms but the service is terrible. I was with an overlanding group (families might be treated differently) and we were camping for two nights. We drove in, our leader went to reception and we set up camp (as upgrades were a ridiculous US$125 a night a room for two) and all was good, UNTIL the next day at lunch time when another group of travellers turn up telling us we have to move as we are in there spot that they booked a year in advance (we had also booked in advance). We stood our ground but management was useless, only giving us the option of either moving our tents or upgrading at a discount, ie paying them for their mistake. We would've left at that point but the next night was paid in advance and they didn't allow refunds.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank ExcitedtoExplore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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176 - 182 of 326 reviews

Reviewed July 28, 2013

This was one of the stops on a camping adventure overland tour.

The campsite was very spacious. I usually hate sand, but I liked this sand (hard to explain!)

The pool was very nice and clean and clear. The water was cold, but it was a nice area to lounge and relax in with the sun shining so brightly above us. The grounds have lots of lit paths winding through them, leading to lots of baobabs, which always tower around you. They are lit up at night, and it was very pretty. The baobabs themselves are very majestic. Some of the group climbed them, and we also tried the seeds of the baobab pods.

The showers were HOT and the water was clean and drinkable. The laundry area was a great thing to have, and the surrounding trees made great clothes hangers.

You may hear animals at night, but as long as you stay in your tent, you're fine ;)

I never went to the bar, but others in the group did and there were no complaints there either.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank mpavan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2013

My family and I recently stayed at Planet Baobab and we found the rooms to be comfortable, clean and tidy. The bar area is unique with a curved bar, beer bottle chandelier and really comfy seats and great atmosphere. We found the staff to be very helpful, we went on a great sundowner bushwalk with Bika and Caltex, both were really knowledgeable about the local plants and animals. We also went quad biking, saw the meerkats and camped out on the pans. When we arrived, our camp was set up, a delicious BBQ dinner was being cooked, our first class swags were set up and all we had to do was have our dinner, chat and enjoy the sunset.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Pip M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2013

I have had many a drink in their fantastically original bar but have never had the pleasure of staying over until this trip. The huts were spacious and clean and having read previous complaints about the state of the rooms I was pleasantly surprised by the neat and clean state of the shower as well as the bedroom area. You must not expect to be in a clinically clean and perfectly sealed room as the style of the huts as shown on all the web photos etc is definitely rustic and being that the lodge is 'in the bush' you are going to encounter bugs, mozzies and other wildlife which may get into your room. The food was average but the service made up for it. The Baobabs are amazing and are well worth a walk around.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank lulu008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2013

I stayed here only one night - more's the pity as it was fabulous. We were on a G Adventure Overland trip and really enjoyed our time at Planet Baobab camping in the shadow of the Ancient baobab trees that are sprinkled about the property. The stars at night - in the absence of any light pollution - are absolutely astonishing.
It has a lovely pool area and a really cool bar area. The whole property is beautifully maintained and I strongly recommnend it.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Bozeman-Dublin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2013

I try not to write anything negative unless it's really warranted, and in this case, unfortunately I feel an obligation to warn my fellow travelers. We were booked for two nights at Planet Baobab, en route for us between Vic Falls and Maun, which we had planned as an experience to see the magnificent baobab trees (which we did) and a trip out to see habituated meerkats (which sadly we didn't). We arrived around sunset and there was no electricity. Not the fault of the lodge obviously, but there was clearly no back up plan --- no generator, no gas lanterns or candles to provide to guests, etc.. And apparently it was the third or so day of power cuts at the same time of day (6-8ish pm) -- you'd think they'd be prepared by then. We checked in (sort of, in the dark), and drove around to our bungalow with no light. No offer of assistance, no candles, lanterns, or anything to help us find our way around the room and carry our luggage in from the car --- pitch black at this point. We wanted to give our children a shower before dinner -- totally cold water, so that lasted about 2 minutes. We were told the hot water problem was because of the electricity cut. Dinner was passable -- nothing special. Service was average, fine. Electricity finally returned around 8:30 as we were getting ready for bed. The night, sleeping, was the major challenge: mosquito nets over the beds with holes, animal droppings all around the room, not very clean overall (especially floors), old sheets with holes in them. The traditional structure of the hut included a thatched roof and clay type walls. No problem -- often nice in lodges when done well. Except that there was a huge gap between the thatched roof and wall which allowed a variety of creatures to enter in during the night! I woke up at least 3 times yelling and shooing out some animal (squirrel? rat? who knows?) that was eating the old apples left in a bowl for us. In the morning we woke up (exhausted from battling mosquitoes and critters), and found half the apple eaten by little teeth with bits all over the table. Wasn't very charming. The next morning -- STILL no hot water. Very unhappy children (and parents) taking full shower in cold water. We decided it wasn't worth a second night and we would pushed on to our next hotel in Maun and added another night there instead. In sum -- my take on the place is that its a good 20+ years old, and in need of investment and upkeep. No excuse for holes in sheets, holes in mosquito nets. It would be really simple (and inexpensive) to put some metal mesh/screen in the gap all around the wall between the thatched roof, to keep out unwanted critters and minimize the mosquitoes through the night. Would not recommend Planet Baobab -- and its a shame because it is placed in the center of massive, gorgeous and very old protected baobab trees which are impressive and beautiful. Hopefully the owners of this place will make the necessary improvements and return it to a decent place to stop over on a road trip through Botswana. To their credit, they did refund us the second night based on our unfortunate experience.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank LMCalnan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 3, 2013

Visited on an overlanding camping trip. I really liked this place and wished that we had more time here. We pulled in as the sun was setting and only had a few minutes to enjoy the nicest and largest pool I saw anywhere in Africa. But that was OK because we could go enjoy the bar for a bit afterwards. We didn't have any time to engage in any of the activities on offer as we left before sunrise the next morning but I talked to some folks who did take advantage of the tours on offer and I really need to go back here sometime.

The camping area was set up pretty well so we didn't have to camp right on top of one another and the facilities were pretty spread out. The only negative was that the bathroom had no lighting at all and was open air. The open air aspect was nifty, but as we were there during off-season, it meant that they had not been paying very close attention to maintenance and the drains in the showers were a bit backed up with leaves and other stuff that had fallen in. There were places in the showers to put your lights, so we took in all our headlamps and flashlights (we ignored the gender segregation so we could up the lighting level in one shower) and had what kind of felt like a candlelit shower. We probably would have stayed longer if our shower wasn't threatening to flood the entire bathroom due to the aforementioned detritus in the drain.

Nifty place but please get some sort of lighting for the camping bathroom and clear the drains once in a while. It's hard to properly use the facilities and wash your hands when you're holding a flashlight in your teeth!

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank mullydad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Planet Baobab

Address: Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, Botswana
Location: Botswana > Central District > Makgadikgadi Pans National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 9 Specialty Lodging in Makgadikgadi Pans National Park
Price Range: $28 - $56 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated close to the village of Gweta, 290 km from Francistown & 200km from Maun, this family friendly camp accepts children of all ages. Planet Baobab combines style with comfort while remaining true to its African inspiration. Accommodation provides different options at all price levels. Traditionally styled, beautifully painted Kalanga Huts with en-suite bathrooms or the shady campsite. The Africantastic ‘shebeen’ style central mess features a tasty bar menu, and when it heats up, cool off in the biggest coolest pool in the Kalahari. Activities on offer all year round include: guided bush walks; traditional cattle post and village visits; incredibly friendly habituated meerkats; historical baobabs. Dry season (25th April to 31st October) activities include quad biking on the saltpans; a sleep out under the magnificent Makgadikgadi night sky. Wet season (1st November to 24th April) activities include the spectacular zebra and wildebeest migration experience. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Planet Baobab Hotel Makgadikgadi Pans National Park

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