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“Perfect for a First Time Safari”

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Belmond Khwai River Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Manila, Philippines
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Perfect for a First Time Safari”
Reviewed 9 May 2014

ROOMS
Beautiful "Tents" - The only tent-like features are the walls which are made of heavy nylon. There's a real roof over your heads, wooden, and raised floor, tiled shower, plumbing, and a/c and heating. There's also a little porch that overlooks the river.
Rooms are perfect if you're looking for a more rustic but luxurious type of camp. It's very different from some of the other premier lodges that have a more modern feel.

CAMP
There's a river right in front so you'll see elephants and hippos everyday. In the evenings, my family members and I have heard a cheetah and a lion outside our tents. It's perfectly safe as long as you're inside. As in all camps, you're advised not to walk to and from your tent without a staff member when it's dark.
The pool looked pretty but it was winter so too cold to go for a swim.

The main lodge was spacious and comfortable and had a great view of the river.

GAME
Excellent! We saw lions, elephants, and other small game the 1st afternoon. The next few days our driver and tracker found hyenas, cheetahs, giraffes, hippos, more elehants, and more lions. The jeeps all had sun roofs, which were great for afternoon game drives.

SERVICE
Excellent. What really made our stay memorable at Khwai River Lodge was the staff. They went out of their way to make us feel welcome and to get to know us. We spent a few nights around the campfire with the staff and the trackers who shared their hilarious stories on living in Botswana, working at different lodges, etc, as well as, insightful facts about Botswana as a country.

FOOD
There was a lot of food served but nothing great in terms of taste and quality. I can understand though it's probably difficult to have to transport food to the middle of nowhere.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank thefloralist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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177 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (42)
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Jasper, Georgia
Level 6 Contributor
103 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 April 2014

We enjoyed our stay here, but in January the game vieiwing was poor. The rooms are supposedly "air conditioned" but it did not make a dent in the heat - in fact it was warmer in the room than outside. The lodges without air conditioning do a better job with cross ventilation, so the rooms are actually more comfortable. The food was plentiful but it was nothing great, not bad but nothing special. The staff and guides were very friendly and overall we had a nice stay - but next time we would choose a different lodge.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank mountainhomegirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LouisePheiffer, Manager at Belmond Khwai River Lodge, responded to this review, 23 May 2014
Dear guest,

Thank you for your review, but we wish you had a better safari with us in Botswana.

January is known for extremely hot conditions, and I think our air conditioning units were not coping. Game viewing is never a guarantee in the bush, and with the extreme heat, they tend to hide away under trees trying to stay cool.

We have had a few problems with getting supplies to the camps, but we to try offer our clients fresh and 5 star meals at all times.

Your below average experience at the camp is not our service standard and we apologize that you did not have the holiday you had planned.

Best wishes,
Louise Pheiffer (on behalf of Karin van Zyl, General Manager)
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
midlands
Level 6 Contributor
127 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 March 2014

Our first stop in Botswana. We were pleasantly surprised ! Lovely comfortable lodges ...well maintained, very friendly staff who remember your name and make a point of addressing you by your first name which was good ...considering the large number of travellers passing by every second or third day .The game drives were good although we were told that due to the untimely...excessive rains, the grass was too long that it will be very difficult to see much. But we were extremely lucky to see every thing including a young leopard learning to hunt and 2 fantastic lions plus all the other game expected.the views from the lodges are lovely of the river . There were plenty of hippos in there with crocs as well. I can't say the food was very good.....it was average.so overall it was a lovely experience...a nice , friendly couple managing the camp.Carry on the good work Charlotte.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank deeeeMidlands
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wausau, Wisconsin
Level 5 Contributor
90 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 December 2013

We arrived on a Cessna Caravan onto an airstrip that is minutes away from the Lodge. The staff was very welcoming and helpful. Our luggage was already there when we got to our "tent". #13 was lucky for us with a large deck looking out onto the reserve. The room was large with a king size comfortable bed, great bathroom and shower facilities. Meals were taken as a group in the open dining area and the food was excellent. The highlight, however, was the game viewing from open Landcruisers. On the Lodge's own game reserve the vehicles go off-road, through impossible bush while driving through rivers to follow the game. We spotted a leopard and followed her with great awe and excitement. Lions observed within 5 feet of the vehicle as a herd of 7 females kept watch on a herd of impala at dusk. Our guide Ness was incredibly knowledgeable and informative.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank GoWithGrace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 November 2013

Expert local guides, intimate game viewing, comfortable accommodation, friendly knowledgeable staff and good food: Khwai River Lodge has it all. Luggage restrictions are necessary because the plane to get here is very small (pilot and 5 passengers maxm) but you don't need elaborate camera equipment because the guides can get the vehicles very close to the animals. Your room is referred to as a tent but fear not, it's actually more like a cabin on stilts with canvas walls and comes complete with a king size bed, air conditioning and a very civilised bathroom. Dry season is the best time of year for game viewing but the dust levels are cruel so always wear glasses to protect your eyes and pack allergy tablets if you're susceptable to dust. It's hot people so dress cool. We didn't notice the mozzies (it was dry season) so ordinary insect repellent, short sleeve shirts and shorts are fine. However there is some malaria so it's probably better to be safe than sorry with the tablets.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Stacey_Ewin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kirkland, Washington
Level 5 Contributor
86 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 November 2013

This is the largest, though not by much, of the three Orient Express camps in Botswana. It is in a great setting, on the river, with wildlife to view from the deck of the main lodge, as well as from each room. No fence, so escorts are necessary after dark. One night an elephant decided to do some tree trimming next to my tent.
The staff is great with Charlotte and her husband welcoming guests and following up regularly to see how things are going.
The food was excellent with a good selection for each meal.
And the guides do a great job of tracking animals. We saw a fascinating interaction between lions and hyenas over who got the kill, with other predators watching from a distance to move in later on.
Tent cabins are well appointed and very comfortable including air conditioning.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank ratch37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 November 2013

We were on a tour which took us to Kuwait river lodge so we didn't choose it. It was part of the package but we loved it. The "tents" had everything we needed and were very comfortable. The balcony overlooking the little river and land was ever changing. We could count on something beautiful and interesting to be within our sight. From our room we saw hippos, elephants, lions, warthogs and a variety of birds. The staff was tremendous. Very friendly, accommodating and knowledgable. Free laundry and delicious food were not expected but received.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Wooish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Belmond Khwai River Lodge

Property: Belmond Khwai River Lodge
Address: | Moremi Wildlife Reserve, Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana
Phone Number:
Region: Botswana > North-West District > Okavango Delta > Moremi Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 29 Speciality Lodging in Moremi Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Belmond Khwai River Lodge 4.5*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sink into time-honoured indulgence as you overlook the vibrant floodplains and dramatic big game of the Moremi Wildlife Reserve. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Khwai River Lodge By Orient-Express Hotel Moremi Game Reserve

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