Lebala or Kwando Lagoon Camp?

May 25th, 2008, 12:06 AM
  #1  
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Lebala or Kwando Lagoon Camp?

Late September we will be in Botswana and our agent has come up with these two places for 3 nights stay. They both get very good reviews but would like to hear from anyone who has stayed there recently. Thank you.
Rundu is offline  
May 25th, 2008, 05:00 AM
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Game viewing should be much the same from either. Lebala should be marginally more expensive as the camp was remodeled last month.

Plus for both... wild dogs have denned between the two over the last decade.
mkhonzo is offline  
May 25th, 2008, 02:03 PM
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Calling Hari, calling Hari. I know he has a slight preference.
atravelynn is offline  
May 25th, 2008, 02:11 PM
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Lebala was my favourite... especially if you can get Spencer as your guide. Either way, I dont think you would be disappointed.

Richard
richardfh is offline  
May 25th, 2008, 06:27 PM
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Like Richard, Lebala would get my vote - unless I was looking specifically for dogs!

- Lynn knew!
HariS is offline  
May 25th, 2008, 11:21 PM
  #6  
mv
 
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Both camps will be very good in September.
Lagoon camp is at a small Lagoon where you will probably see lots of Elephants in /near camp during the afternoon, which I like.
Just like Hari my personal preference is Lebala but both offer outstanding game sightings.
They have both been refurbished/upgraded recently and I have not been (yet) after the work was done so I can not comment on the current accommodation.
Michael
mv is offline  
May 25th, 2008, 11:56 PM
  #7  
sniktawk
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As Hari says Lebala unless you wish to risk looking for dogs for 3 days, you would probably be too early to see the Carmine Beeeaters nesting from the boat.
Leballa has been refurbished so you may be asked to pay the increased rate for 2009.
No refurb at Lagoon other tan the addition of two new tents the "family" unit.
 
May 26th, 2008, 03:02 AM
  #8  
 
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Stayed at both camps in June 05 and found game viewing at both to be very good, although we saw no leopards or wild dogs at either.

Lagoon has a very pleasant sunset boat trip up the Kwando river, whereas Lebala has no water activities. I felt that the tents (only 6 then, now 8) were too close together at Lagoon and not as comfortable as Lebala.

Much depends on the guides, trackers and camp management and staff.
almac is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2008, 11:43 PM
  #9  
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Hi All, Thank you very much for the replies. It has been a bit difficult to make decision as to which camp to stay. So we have decided to stay in both camps, as MOST of you suggested, 3 nights in Lebala & just 2 at KLC.

We also added two other places to our trip, 2 nights in each Mapula & Muchenje Lodge. The main reason for going to Muchenje is to go on a river cruise to see Elephants and Hippos.

Few questions ?

Is Muchenje a good place for this or would it be better if we went somewhere near Kasane on the Chobe river front ?

Or would we get to see the big herds of E & H at KLC as good as on the Chobe river then we don't have to go to Muchenje and perhaps stay the extra days at KLC or Lebala?

Transfers between camps by air or road?

Which is the best way around to do the trip, Mapula- KLC- Leabla- Muchenje or Muchenje-KLC-Leala -Mapula?

One more question regarding Mapula Lodge:

I have read this somewhere in a forum BUT can't remember where though, "WHEN CHOOSING TO STAY AT MAPULA, FENCING MUST BE TKAEN IN TO A CONSIDERATION" Is this mean the lodge is near a buffalo fence or other type of barrier? How ever a guy called PredatorBiologist on this site rates the lodge and its guides very highly. Any info on this greatly appreciated.


Thanks very much
Rundu is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 01:00 AM
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Lagoon to Lebala or backwards is a game drive road transfer - probably scheduled during the morning drive, where you meet your transfer vehicle half way ....... Kasane would approx be a 45 minute charter hop from L or L.

What does your agent have to say about transfers?


With your camps - I would start or end with Chobe area. You can fly out of Livingstone back to JNB.

An alternate you can look at is Chobe Game Lodge - meant to be one of the best for river viewing activities and something that offers good value for money.

I personally don't like 2 night stays - it is too much rushing around and you don't get any idea or feel for the area.



HariS is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 01:08 AM
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PS: Late September? How late?
HariS is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 03:57 AM
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woukld support hari's input except for the lodge. i would prefer chobe chilwero - but it's a matter of preferences....

http://www.sanctuarylodges.com/downl...0June%2006.pdf
divine54 is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 04:02 AM
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regarding kwando camps:
i would definately have chosen both camps - lebala and lagoon. landscape wise it's completely different and also in view to game.
we saw leopards while staying at lagoon (the river bed was bone dry when we stayed there in 2003) and a 13 individuals wilddog pack at lebala.
but game viewing is never perdictable at any camp - just appreciate what you see.

i found the tents at both camps a far too close together especially taking into consideration that they have gotten plenty of ground/space available.

divine54 is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 06:30 AM
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I think it's the recent ultra-modern changes to Botswana camps that makes us look at tent spacing and the like.

I still respect one's views as to the spacing issues etc etc., as everyone is entitled to their opinion.

Infact, I think Lagoon has a certain one of a kind charm and it's probably the last of it's kind in Botswana.

HariS is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 09:00 AM
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I didn't notice the proximity of other tents to mine at Lebala.

I did, on the other hand, notice the proximity of several elephants to my tent in the middle of my first night there.
DonTopaz is online now  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 11:18 AM
  #16  
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Hi All, Thanks for the info. It will be arriving in Maun around midday on 20th Sep. As for return flights we are flying to WDH so it will have to be Maun.
Our agent said it will be fly -ins, but I just wanted to find out if it is possible to take a ride in or out when possible to reduce the cost a little bit.

I am not that much bothered about the proximity of camps and also could do without his and hers wash basin with mono bloc taps etc!! As long as they have basic comforts and warm water to clean oneself, that will do me fine!

I am looking forward to those elephants rubbing their buttocks against the camp in the middle of the night!!!

So, do you all think that Chobe Lodge/Chilwero is a better bet for elephants than the Muchenjie ?
Rundu is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 01:29 PM
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Rundu: the national buffalo fence does run through the Mapula concession and they have driving areas on both sides of it. The fence is in wonderful disrepair and seems to do nothing in this area to restrict the movements of animals. I think it to be an absolute non-factor with the game viewing. The only negative is I hate to see a fence on a game drive but the driving area is huge and typically you only see it when they do a drive to cross to the other side. I have been told that they expect the fence to be removed at this location but I have no idea when or if that will occur.

I did find the game viewing to be outstanding and the guiding is exceptional with all 3 guides at my time great, no weak link as there is at many camps. The region where the camp is contains the river bushmen and the Bayei (sp?) tribe who learned from the bushmen and you will find at places like the Kwando camps that a large proportion of the guides and trackers come from the Mapula area and they all profess that the area is very strong for game viewing.

As for your order I would normally prefer to go to the public park area first and end in the private concessions. However, you will likely be a little late to see wild dog pups at the den but if history holds up Mapula and Lagoon will likely have packs that are slowed by young pups and even being a week earlier might help with them not travelling as far and making them easier to locate. If you were a couple weeks earlier I would definitely recommend that strategy but for your timing it probably doesn't matter much with either order.
PredatorBiologist is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 06:34 PM
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Rundu,

Looks like we might cross paths! I'll be at Lebala Sept 26th! Can't wait!!!!!

Cheers
Hari
HariS is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 08:22 PM
  #19  
 
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Sorry - I just saw another thread, where you seem to be planning this thread for 2009. I assumed 2008
HariS is offline  
Jun 4th, 2008, 02:13 AM
  #20  
 
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Just 114 days until you're at Lebala, Hari, but who's counting?
DonTopaz is online now  

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