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“Upscale, but not the best!”

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Belmond Khwai River Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 24 September 2006

Khwai River Lodge is located on the the banks of the Khwai river at the edge of the Delta. Let me note that at the outset of our trip, we were looking for the best lodges to visit. This Orient Express Hotel is no exception. The lodges are in fact well appointed luxury tents. The main lodge is open and on a beautiful setting overlooking the Khwai River.

Perhaps two things disappointed us with our stay here. One, the game drive experience was not what we experienced at other lodges (e.g. Kwando Safaris). Although the Lodge benefits from having access to "community" lands, much of the viewing is done in the nearby national park, which is packed with other vehicles and campers, as well as people in their own private cars. When an animal is found, it is bound to be swarmed by many other cars.

Secondly, the lodge is too big (for Safari purposes) and full of too many wealthy people who have little interest in seeing the wildlife. Accordingly, you have meals with many others and have to go on game drives in cars of 6-8 people, which means that you can't necessarily see what you want to see and are at the whim of your fellow travellers.

Although the lodge is truly a luxury lodge, with a full time diesel generator to boot, we would have excluded this from our trip because it did live up to what we had expected at previous lodges. Lebala, the previous place, was far more rustic and smaller (but equally as luxurious), except that instead of a generator, it had nice oil laps hung everywhere, which gave it a nice romantic cozy feeling. It was also situated on a private game concession, which is key to a safari experience!

  • Stayed: September 2006
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
11  Thank gsesmart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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148 - 154 of 179 reviews

Reviewed 3 September 2006

This was our first experience in Botswana and Khwai certainly made it memorable. It is a very nice Orient Express property located in the Okavango Delta along the Khwai River. The thatched roof tents are on raised lodge poles about 5 feet off the ground and had solid teak floors. They were situated right on the marsh. We loved sitting on our covered deck in the afternoon watching the elephants bathe and hippos float right in front of us. So relaxing with a nice breeze, hammock and good book (however, the book was usually dropped either because of the elephants or a nap that would become irresistible).

The meals were wonderful and varied, always a nice presentation. The staff was very warm and the lodging comfortable. There was A/C available in the tents, which we only needed in the late afternoon. There were double sinks, a separate WC and shower (no tub). Cozy hot water bottles placed in our bed at bedtime. The grounds are not fenced, so after sundown we were always escorted....the hippos and elephants do roam at night as I found out after midnight with an elephant just off my deck.

We felt the game drives were somewhat below par with other lodges only because it seemed so rigid and we, the guests, found more sightings than our guide. Very little, if any, actual tracking. Also, if you decide to sleep in, even for an extra 30 minutes, you've missed it. They don't seem to be prepared for any type of muffin, croissant, yogurt, cereal....anything besides coffee after the designated 6:30 am. At least this was our experience.

I do recommend Khwai as an amazing destination. We did not visit the other OE camps, Eagle and Savute and it seemed that most of the other guests were making the rounds of the three. We were at the end of our travel through South Africa and Botswana.

  • Stayed: August 2006, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank day1
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Reviewed 4 May 2017 via mobile
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Stayed: May 2017, travelled with friends
Thank GuWi2010
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Reviewed 11 April 2017 via mobile
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Stayed: April 2017, travelled with family
1  Thank Javierdpc
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LouisePheiffer, Manager at Belmond Khwai River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 26 April 2017
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Reviewed 5 April 2017
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Stayed: March 2017
Thank Micheline D
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LouisePheiffer, Manager at Belmond Khwai River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 26 April 2017
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Reviewed 13 February 2017 via mobile
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Stayed: February 2017, travelled as a couple
1  Thank 65corrado26
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LouisePheiffer, Manager at Belmond Khwai River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 26 April 2017
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Reviewed 27 November 2016 via mobile
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Stayed: November 2016, travelled with family
Thank MarineMaxheimMalard
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LouisePheiffer, Manager at Belmond Khwai River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 30 November 2016
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Additional Information about 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: £3,097 - £3,659 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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