Kwara was a good place to start off. We were fortunate in having George as our driver/guide - mature, very well informed about all the wildlife and with a good sense of humour. As there were four of us we mostly went on drives on our own with George and a spotter, although the camp was full. The rest of the staff were very helpful and friendly. The accommodation was very adequate and certainly a far cry from our first safari experience in 1985, with electric light, running water and flushing loos now! The food was fine - although the Christmas turkey was the size of an average chicken and meant to feed about 20 of us! Plentiful wine and all sorts of spirits though.
We enjoyed the dance/singing routine before dinner (twice), which was just as much for the staff's benefit as the punters'.
There were plenty of animals to see - lots of lion, elephants, giraffe etc. at close range to the camp and, of course, loads of birds. The river safari was good once they had got the boat working and fortunately the punters at little Kwara (friends of Matthew's) came to our rescue several times when the boat stalled!
Lebala and Kwara are both amazing camps where we had great sightings. It was a real privilege to experience the skills of the trackers who managed to find (far from the road) three cheetah on the hunt, following by a kill, and also a huge male leopard who was also on the move. Our requests for early morning drives rather than walking or other activities were accepted so we were really able to make the best of our availabe time in both camps. It really makes a difference to be able to get off road, which is the main difference with these camps compared to Muchenje, and again it was great fun when the guides were being put through their paces to move the vehicles around some dense bush and having to jump out occassionally to free us from inconveniently placed tree stumps etc. And even when we were supposed to be chilling out between game drives there was so much to see in both places - what with all the birds and herbivores just wandering past the lodges.
I can't say that I have even any constructive criticism in respect of our stays at these camps - just wish we could go back sometime to enjoy not just the wonderful game viewing but the marvellous hospitality that we were shown everywhere we went.
Thanks so much for organising our trip, and as always I will continue to recommend you to friends and family.
We had the most fantastic trip. Botswana was amazing and your recommendations of Kwara and Lagoon were great. We loved the fact they both had trackers and guides and we could drive off road - indeed the highlight of our holiday was waking up at 5am every morning and tracking down cats. Whilst Kwara was rustic and charming, Lagoon was luxurious and wonderful. Being next to the river to see elephants and hippos cross over whilst having a shower was a special experience.