anyone been to kwando lagoon or lebala camp?

Old Mar 31st, 2006, 10:43 PM
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anyone been to kwando lagoon or lebala camp?

Hi all,

Going to Botswana late August 2006 with 2 nights Vumbura Plains, 3 Mombo, 1 Kwetsani, 2 Duba Plains, and 3 Kings Pool. Would spending 2 nights at Kwando Lagoon, or Lebala, be redundant along with my stay at Kings Pool?? I realize the concessions are adjoining, but has anyone stayed at both Kings Pool and one of these Kwando concessions, and if so, do you feel they would complement each other, or basically be simila environments and habitats??

Ending with 3 nights at Londolozi Pioneer camp. Anyone been there, and any comments on this as well. I realize the south african camps have a much more manicured and tame feel to them as opposed to the botswana camps, but thought the leopard and cat viewing would be worthwhile.\\
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Old Mar 31st, 2006, 11:33 PM
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Hi Safariguy,

Yep...i've been to both Kings pool and all Kwando camps. Kings Pool is similar to Lagoon. You'd be better off doing Lebala. It is a great camp and known for it's wide diversity of predators.

Also, if you are looking for wild dogs, they can be anywhere in the Kwando/linyanti system at a given time. If you spend 3 nights at Kings Pool and a couple of nights at Kwando, that obviously increases your chances. Kings Pool however, is not particularly great wild dog area, although you can't discount the possibility. If you can do it, i recommend 3 nights to make the most out of Lebala. This would also allow you to go up to the Lagoon game viewing area, if something interesting is happening there......

Maybe, we bump into each other if you do make it to Kwando.

Good luck

Hari
 
Old Mar 31st, 2006, 11:36 PM
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Also Safariguy, saw your itinerary....yoy have a good possibility for cheetah at Kwando.
 
Old Apr 1st, 2006, 10:23 AM
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i have been to both kings pool and kwando as well. i think the terrains are different enough to warrant a trip to kwando. its the best place i have been to to see wild dogs. plus i have found their night drives to be much better than wilderness safaris so u will get to see some different stuff. what are your exact itinerary dates, as i will be duba plains and mombo the last week of aug/first week of sept. we are also going to chitabe and duma tau.
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Old Apr 1st, 2006, 03:41 PM
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I've been to both Lagoon and Kings Pool. Very different areas. The accomodation at KP is among the best in Botswana, whereas Lagoon is not. When I was Lagoon I had bad experiences with guides, the management and the vehicles suck unless you can swing a private one. My experiences at KP where wonderful, my favorite Botswana guides Brian and Chantel are based there.
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Old Apr 1st, 2006, 06:32 PM
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Napamatt,

Hi! Sorry your experience at Lagoon wasnt too great. Who were the managers then? During my trip, we had Anita and Jonah. Jonah is one of the nicest ppl i have met, a great photographer and he did share a lot of his work during the long boring lazy afternoons, when i dont take siestas. Anita, i only met her briefly as she was going away on leave and i can't comment on my short experience.

But, yes, the tents at lagoon dont compare to Kings Pool. However, the tents at Lebala are very nice. The area around lebala is very different.

Hari
 
Old Apr 1st, 2006, 08:57 PM
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would you go to either Kwanda Lebala or Lagoon over Ngala tented camp in the timbavati preserve, given the choice??
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Old Apr 2nd, 2006, 12:06 AM
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Safariguy,

Lebala anyday.......particularly, if we are talking about August........lots and lots of game and diversity of predators. You can also see sable and roan. I doubt if the overall experience can be compared to ngala.

Hari
 
Old Apr 2nd, 2006, 12:12 AM
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Safariguy,

I've been to lots of camps across Africa. Overall, i rate Lebala #2 next to Mombo in terms of overall experience. The game viewing outstanding, camp managers Harry and Monique some of the best ppl.....great Kwando guides and service. Also, the lebala camp views are stunning and the tents are amongst the best that Kwando has to offer.
 
Old Apr 2nd, 2006, 09:57 AM
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Hari, thank you so much for your information. I really appreciate it. I'm checking now on availability at Kwando for the 2 nights I have open. If Leballa camp is booked, would you still recommend a stay at kwando Lagoon, along with my 3 nights at Kings Pool??

Also, ever been to londolozi, and any comments about it. Yes, I will be on safari the last 2 weeks in august into early september, so i think the game should be excellent then at all locations in botswana, and s. africa.

Thanks again.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2006, 10:47 AM
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Hari

The managers at Lagoon didn't even bother to introduce themselves, in fact I couldn't even work out who the managers were. A great manager will make a great difference to a camp experience, but if the experience is drastically different when they are not there, then they are failing in their jobs to a certain extent.

I was also unhappy about the way a number of vehicles crashed around in tall reeds trying to flush out a very nervous young male Leopard.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2006, 05:56 PM
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Napamatt,

I'm sorry about your experience. The only reason i am returning to Kwando is because everything was perfect on my previous trip. The flushing out the leopard is not good......

Safariguy,

Yes, i would still go to Lagoon if Lebala is not available. Because it is one concession, they do drive you between the lagoon and lebala game drive zones regardless of where u are staying to see something special.

Londolozi or anywhere in the Sabi Sands IMO would be unparallel Leopard viewing. If you want a good chance for wild dogs/cheetah you need to go to the Kwando concession. I took a look at your Botswana itinerary and your chances for dogs/cheetah are not very high at the moment. They used to be seen in Mombo a lot, but Mombo now has a very high concentration of lions and hyenas.

Maybe we bump into each other....i start with Lagoon Aug 22 and shift to Lebala Aug 25 for 4 nights

Take care
Hari

 
Old Apr 3rd, 2006, 12:22 AM
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Hari,

Thanks again for your thoughts. Just received notice from Kwando that Lebala, and not Lagoon, is available for the nights that I have open on August 29 and 30. So Lebala it will be after Kings Pool. After your glowing comments about it, I'm excited that this will be the place. Seems Lagoon would be more similar to Kings Pool anyway, both being on the Linyanti river.

I've been to Mombo twice before, and always saw Cheetah there. Have things changed in the past years?
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Old Apr 3rd, 2006, 12:46 AM
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Safariguy,

Hi! Good choice.......you will enjoy lebala......we miss each other by maybe minutes.....i leave lebala on Aug 29 to Kwara Island. Glad it worked out this way, as Lebala is better than Lagoon.

Yes, Mombo had cheetah....in particular the famous steroid bros. One of them were killed by lions last yr and the other guy relocated someplace. Cheetah are more scare now at Mombo because of the very high lion density at the moment.

Enjoy!
Hari

 
Old Apr 3rd, 2006, 06:14 AM
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safariguy-
Since we disagree on Phinda, I wasn't sure if I should share my experience w/ you on the Londo camps but I'll throw in my two cents anyway. ;-)

I've not stayed at Londo Pioneer but have stayed at Londo Tree & Bateleur camps.
Pioneer is at a different location while not too far from the rest of the camps.
For leopard/cat viewing the Londo concession is great. I've enjoyed many sightings there and was able to spend a good amount of time with the cats during each sighting.

I've also encountered a lone wild dog chasing an impala who was being chased by a leopard. Quite a comedy of errors.
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Old Apr 15th, 2006, 04:21 PM
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Hari,

Sorry we'll miss each other at Lebala. I think it looks great. Someone did mention that one drawback is that the jeeps have two rows with 3 seats across, they seat 6 to a jeep, so that someone is sitting in the middle, which is not very desirable. On all my game drives anywhere else, its always been two people to a row so that everyone is on the edge.

Have you had problems sitting in the middle of two other people at your stays at the Kwando camps? Is it akward and confining?

By the way, where are you from? Im in Phoenix, Arizona

Glenn
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Old Apr 15th, 2006, 04:30 PM
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Glenn

The vehicles at Kwando are the worst I have experienced at any concession in SA or Botswana. Indeed if you are at the maximum advertsied six people per vehicle, you will have no room for anything but yourself. If you are a photographer, you might as well forget it under such circumstances.

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Old Apr 15th, 2006, 06:16 PM
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Glenn,

Sorry, for my late reply. I am in Krabi, Thailand at the moment........

I will make this quick......yes, two rows of three seats. The way they advertise is, that Kwando doesnt think 3 rows is good as ppl in the back row cant hear the guides......i hv never had a jeep to full capacity.

However, i am considering a private vehicle for my august trip.....as that period is so busy....

Hari
 
Old Apr 22nd, 2006, 06:55 AM
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napamatt....hi you amaze me! we had outstanding guiding, tracking, hospitality at ALL kwando camps. and we (ALL our fellow guests and the vast majority of fodorites) were particularly happy at lagoon. found jonah+anita AND the guides superb....still tastes vary thank goodness. btw.....we prefer the seating configuration of 2 x three seats too! AND a lot of us enjoy even simpler camps.....
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Old Apr 22nd, 2006, 07:14 PM
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Glenn,

I missed your question....i am from India.

Judith,

I like Jonah a lot........he is a terrific person. Have you got him to show you all his videos and pics during the long and boring afternoon siesta times??? If not, i suggest you do so next time. He will be glad to show you all his footage, which is unbelievable........

Cheers
Hari
 

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