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“Top place for serious wildlife photographers”

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Chitabe Lediba Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Moscow, Russia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Top place for serious wildlife photographers”
Reviewed December 2, 2010

I have been all over the world and I can say it's a perfect place for wildlife photographers. If you are lloking for fine cousine or nice amenities you may look for premier camps in Botswana but if you want the best game sights possible than choose Chitabe. In short, it four days we have seen wild dogs kill, five leopards, two of them with kills including a mom and son with a killed impala, a pride of lions with puppies, and lots of other staff. From all the camps that we have visited, including the more expensive ones, Chitabe was simply the best when we speak about wildlife. And for me it’s the only criteria in Botswana. I plan to be back to Botswana and though I rarely return to places that I have already visited, I will be back to Chitabe. They also have perfect staff. If you are keen on wildlife photography ask for earlier rides and ask for Ibs. He is a ranger who talks little but exactly knows where to bring you for a great shot.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
8 Thank Kholopov
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Boston
Level Contributor
66 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
Reviewed August 18, 2010

This camp was selected as part of a 2 week Africa trip with help from Craig Beal at Travel Beyond. He knew we wanted to experience several different ecosystems during our brief stay and he suggested this small camp (5 tents) for our large group (7 people in 3 tents), as an opportunity to see the acacia and mopane woodlands as well as grassy floodplains with palms. Ordinarily in winter this camp, closer to the Kalahari, would be “drier” than a camp more northerly on the Delta, but during our time, the floods were record breaking and we got to see plenty of water here as well as drier more desert-like habitats. This small camp was on of our favorites! First, we spotted some of our favorite animals here, including several cats, and hyena. Second, because of the small camp, we really had the opportunity to get to know and enjoy the company of the owner/partners, managers and small staff. And third, the landscape here seemed so “typically” African (I’ve learned that “typical” is not possible on such a huge, varied continent, but this place looks like the landscape of Africa that exists in Westerners imaginations!)


Location:
This camp is located not too far from Moremi National Park, in the private Chitabe concession and is run in partnership with Wilderness Safaris. It is pretty far south in the Okavango Delta. It shares an area with Chitabe Camp, and we did see a few more people out on our drives, when large predators were spotted, but never more then 2 or 3 other Rovers and rarely at other times.

Service:
We enjoyed the staff here, they were eager to work on their English and please us. Because there were so few staff in the small camp, we felt like we got to know them a bit. The managers here were very engaged with our group, including one who assisted our girls with words during an epic scrabble game! Our guide, Thuso, was excellent, once he knew we had been in Botswana for a little while, but hadn’t had the chance to see many predators or the small mammals we were interested in, he made that his priority to help us find them, and as much as any guide can…made it happen. We joked that after each exciting animal encounter, that it couldn’t get any better, and then it did!

Dining:
<Disclaimer: I am probably not the best person to review food, as I am a food for fuel person, but we had a diverse group; a vegetarian, 2 “foodie” adults-one a Brit, and 3 teens-one not so adventurous, and the food was positively reviewed by everyone in our group, and everyone found plenty to enjoy at every meal!>
This camp is rated by WS as “Classic” so meals are buffet style, with eggs cooked to order at brunch. We enjoyed the food here, which felt more “family style” than buffet because of the small camp. We were continually amazed at the ability of the chefs to make such fresh, tasty meals seemingly in the middle of nowhere, where not much of an edible nature (for humans!) grows. It must be a project to get food to these remote camps; while at Chitabe Lediba we saw a Rover laden with boxes of food coming from the airstrip…one was emblazoned “peas” so we knew what would be on the menu that night!!

Rooms/tents:
5 tents, 2 on one side of the public area and 3 on the other. These seemed more “tent-y” than other camps we stayed in, the tents were on platforms with a private deck, outdoor shower and zipper windows. The exterior reminded me of the platform tents my Girl Scouts camp in. But the similarity ends on the outside! Inside was also a bit smaller than the other camps where we stayed. The tents had a very comfortable bed under netting, with night tables and lamps and a chair. There was a storage/room divider, with a small bath on the other side equipped with a shower, toilet and sink and a vanity/mirror area on the back side of the storage divider. As with all the camps, we had more than enough room to store our things and spread out.
Activities and Game:
This camp like most WS Camps operates a schedule whereby guests are awoken by their guide bearing coffee, very early (how early depends on the season, how light it is) and later are escorted by the guide to the dining area for breakfast before heading out on a game activity. During the activity, you will stop for coffee and some light refreshments. Usually, you will return around 11:30 for brunch, which will include hot food and eggs cooked to order. After brunch there is time to relax in your tent or around camp till about 2:30 or 3 when tea is served. This is usually snacks and drinks before you head out on an afternoon activity at 4. During the afternoon game activity, there will be a stop at sunset (in winter) to enjoy drinks and refreshments and then return to camp for dinner outside between 8:00 or 9 PM. After that, many guests head for bed, but some may stay up at the bar for a little bit.
On our first night at CL, our guide, Thuso, had explained to us that in the morning they had seen a pride of lion and a leopard with fresh kill. He knew they would move on or hide away for a while after that, so he encouraged us to head out early on our first game drive to be sure we will get to see these beautiful cats before they move on. He succeeds in getting us to the right spots to have an amazing experience watching these beautiful big cats and view what is left (skin and bones) of their prey. He further delights us, by making an effort to help us locate some of the smaller mammals our group is interested in and over 2 days he helps us spot, 4 different mongooses, (mongeese?) and at night he locates- tiny bush babies high in a tree, an unidentifiable genet, a springhare, a scrub hare and a hyena.
Had we had more time in Chitabe Lediba, we would definitely have taken advantage of a night in the hide. One in our party brought a night scope and all would have enjoyed seeing the smaller mammals moving around at night.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank familygoBoston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 24, 2010

2009 was our second visit to Chitabe Lediba - and will be on our list of "must visit agains"

On our first visit in 2008, our guide was Newman (not Nelson). A living legend in the guiding field. He not only guided us, but taught us what he looked and listened for as a guide. Unfortunately for us he has retired from full time guiding at CL. But Wilderness Safaris states in their newsletter that he may be available as a private guide in the future.

In 2009 our guide was Phinley. Exceptional guiding and personable fellow. He made quite the impression on our 13 year old nephew. The fact is that all of the guides at Chitabe Lediba and big camp (Chitabe) have great reputations.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank travelinV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 2, 2009

Citabe Lediba is a beautiful, small camp. There are raised walkways between the rooms, and ours (the hoenymoon suite) had four a poster bed and an outdoor shower (as well as an indoor one if you wanted it). If you can get Nelson as a guide you are going to see EVERYTHING - he helped film Planet Earth!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mswann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chitabe Lediba Camp

Property: Chitabe Lediba Camp
Address: Botswana
Location: Botswana > North-West District > Okavango Delta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #26 of 71 Specialty Lodging in Okavango Delta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Intimate Chitabe Lediba is a perfect game viewing base for families or small groups. A lediba is a lagoon that has become a waterhole, where a variety of wildlife comes to drink. Chitabe Lediba's dining area, lounge, and pool all overlook just such a vista. The sister camp of Chitabe, it lies on the other side of the same tree island and echoes many of its sibling's qualities. The same well-appointed canvas tents are raised on decks with uniquely styled interiors, but the smaller nature of the camp offers a more intimate experience, ideal for small groups or families. Highlights: Chitabe Lediba sports that classic Okavango Delta scenery, from palm-dotted floodplains to open savannah and woodlands. This mix of Okavango (water) and Kalahari (land) makes for an excellent home to an abundant array of herbivores: giraffe, buffalo, red lechwe, tsessebe, impala and elephant, which in turn support the larger predators: lion, leopard, spotted hyaena, cheetah and the rare and charismatic wild dog. The Camp is composed of 4 Tents (including 2 Family Tents): Spacious en-suite Meru-type tents, individually styled; outdoor shower with a view; family units withadjoining en-suite bedrooms. Experiences Include: Day and night game drives and Guided walks (on request) ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Chitabe Lediba Camp Botswana/Okavango Delta

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