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Kwetsani Camp
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Reviewed 30 December 2013

We stayed 3 nights at Kwetsani Camp in late September 2013. We had already been to Kruger which was wonderful but there was something about Kwetsani that made it our favourite of all 4 camps we visited. The tent was very comfortable but a little smaller than others we stayed in but that was not a problem considering how little time you spend off safari. Our guide was GT who could not have been more wonderful. He loved all the sightings just as much as we did. Kwetsani is a small camp so there were just 4 of us in the vehicle, and only 10 of us in the camp. We all got on well and ate and drank together at meal times. BTW the meals were good. We had great animal sightings while there. It was the end of the dry season and visibility was very good. I would love to see this camp under water on a later trip to Botswana.

Room Tip: It's quite a long walk from room 1 and room 6 to the main buildings so if walking is not your thing, request one of the other rooms. We had room 1 and liked the privacy.
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank friendnz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WildernessSafaris, Manager at Kwetsani Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 3 January 2014

Thank you Friendnz for your great review.

Kwetsani is a very special camp and we really hope you are able to return during the wet season to fall in love all over again with what almost feels like an entirely different camp.

Located in the central region of the Jao Concession, Kwetsani Camp is situated on an elongated island covered with palm, mangosteen and fig trees. It consists of five furnished 'tree-house' chalets, each with its own en-suite bathroom, which are an open, airy accommodation of thatch, wood, glass and canvas. The dining room, lounge and drinks area are under a large, cool thatched roof and offer sweeping vistas of the surrounding floodplains. A walkway leads to a plunge pool with loungers.

Thank you again for your kind review.
The Kwetsani Team.

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Reviewed 14 December 2013

II spent 3 nights my myself at Kwetsani this past October. I've been on 4 safaris and this is my favorite spot. It was an amazingly intimate, cozy camp with so much personal attention. And, btw, the food is way better than more exclusive places, like Chief's Camp. Dan, the camp manager, gave me photography lessons and lent me a camera. It was so much fun! I was learning something new every day and spending time with smart, interesting, and generous people like Dan & Charmaine, the camp managers. More detail below.

VIEWS: Before you plan a trip to this part of the world, you need to realize that part of the year is dry, and part is flooded. Depending on when you go, Kwetsani will be surrounded by water (May-July , sort of the quintessential Delta experience) or will be quite dry. I went during the dry season and was initailly disapponted b/c I hadn't done my homework and expected to see much more water. However, my disappointment quickly faded when I saw the rooms, dining area, and the pool area - all of which face a beautiful open plain. It's a vista you won't see at most camps. It's so pretty and you won't be surrounded by hordes of travelers. Kwetsani has 5 little "tree house" chalets that make you feel like you're fully enmeshed in this beautiful landscape. So pretty, so intimate.

WILDLIFE: there are no guarantees on a safari. I happened to see a ton of animals, up-close-and-personal kinds of views, too, including a lioness with her 5 cubs; a male lion guarding the den; hippos making a fake show of dominance by charging the boat (it was safe, don't worry!); elephants; kudu; baby hyenas in their den; a leopard napping; giraffes; Cape Buffalo; mongoose; all kinds of birds. The list goes on. Naturally, you want to do some research before you go so you can calibrate expectations. For example, November is a great month to see babies of all kinds. If you want to see babies, go in November. Also - remember that you will be on the Jao Concession, which means you will see many of the same things if you've already stayed at Tubu or Jao. Most game viewing will be on Hunda Island (you get there by boat, which I enjoyed). I've been to camps with better game viewing, but all in all, I still prefer Kwetsani b/c of the sum total of the experience.

FOOD AND DRINK; I'm still craving that lasagna. Three meals a day - all of them great. I relaxed by the bar before dinner every night, and Dan always mixed up whatever I wanted. I also drank a lot of good wine and had lovely conversations by the fire. The food here is much better than camps that will cost you a lot more.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Full disclosure - I'm a photography dummy and still use a camera i bought for $100 5 years ago. Dan is a professional photographer, so he gave me a couple of pointers, lent me a cameara, and came out on the morning game drive with me. This is when the hippos charged the boat...you should see those photos! Amazing. I learned so much about photography and have frame-worthy pictures that will last a lifetime. What a gift. You don't need to be good at this stuff to enjoy Dan and his expertise. And, you should ask to see his out-of-this world collection of pics from the Delta - you will be impressed.

OVERALL: Every safari has different pros and cons. I loved this camp, mainly because of the Camp Managers (Dan & Charmaine), the intimate feel of the place, the cozy rooms, and the opportunity to relax and learn. I don't like being around a lot of people when I'm seeking a "nature" experience, so this little spot was right up my alley. If you go, eat some lasagna for me.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled solo
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2  Thank ritanoonan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 December 2013

Of the four WS camps we stayed in on our recent trip, Kwetsani was our least favorite. It wasn’t bad, just not as good as the others.

PROS-
Interesting, private “treehouses”
Small, quiet camp, maximum 10 guests
Manager Dan a professional photographer

CONS
Low wildlife sightings
Low water meant no boat from airport to/from camp, not a “water based “ camp as expected- we understand the low water level situation, just do not book this camp without this consideration
Grounds not as nice as expected
Electric fence around camp took away from the wilderness feel of other camps

Met at airport by “Dan” we had no idea who he was until asked. He talked very little on the 50 minute drive back to camp. Greeted be two staff members singing, which was a nice touch, manager Chimane warmly greeted us. Orientaion was a bit long and tedious. Advised Dan is professional photographer and would enjoy discussing best techniques with us.

Treehouse room small but cute, ours was farthest away from main area, which was nice. Sat outside to read before the afternoon/evening safari, but camp generator was too noisy to enjoy it. Asked Dan about wildlife photo techniques, instead he complained about the limitations of our camera(like we could go buy another in the bush) so unless you are a true photo bug- don’t bother

Guide Timothy from Jao camp, nice guy, unfortunatly evening safari did not turn up very many animals. Dinner was nice, intimate (6 guests), Chimane told a nice staory about lions in the area.

Following morning game drive started later than other camps due to hippos in water. Took short boat trip to nearby island where Tubu Tree Camp located. The other couple with us for the day were shocked as they had stayed at Tubu 3 years earlier and did not plan on being back there again while staying at Kwetsani. The day was another low wildlife day, with few good sightings. The evening safari did turn up the resident pride of one male and 2 females.

Other problem asked for hot water to our room for coffee/tea both mornings, and did not receive it

We were glad we only chose to stay two nights at Kwetsani.

Room Tip: Stay as far from lodge/main area as possible
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Seattleflyer50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WildernessSafaris, Manager at Kwetsani Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 6 December 2013

Thank you for your valued feedback, it is a great help to know about our guests experience.

Unfortunately Elephant devastation has taken a big toll on the island of Kwetsani and in an attempt to try and let the island recuperate; the decision was made to put up an electric fence to keep the big elephant out of the immediate vicinity of the camp. We are confident that this initiative will be achieved in the not too distant future, and with the recent rains we have already seen a marked difference. Once all the foliage is back and thriving, the Kwetsani grounds will be restored to its former glory including the dense foliage which makes a remarkable sound buffer against the generator - just with the regrowth that has happened now with the rain, we have experienced that the sound from the generator has been buffed considerably. It is at this time that we will also consider taking down the fencing in the hopes that no further damage will be done to the immediate area.

We appreciated Timothy coming in to help us for the short period, while you were at Kwetsani. In an amazing coincidence, Timothy happened to have been helping out at Tubu some years ago, and also guided the other couple that was with you when they visited Tubu tree - they were pleasantly surprised. We have a system where our guides bring in the hot water for the guests - we thank you for bringing to our attention that this was not done, we will certainly ensure that all the guides that come to assist us in future are well aware of our system. Please accept our sincere apologies for not getting the hot water as you requested.

Living here in the Wilderness is so exciting, each day is a new adventure - we never know what to expect. There are days when the area is teaming with wildlife, and then there are other days, when it seems slow and then all of a sudden there is action all around us. It is on safaris like these, that guests wanting to take action photographs or for example birds in flight, a significant difference can be seen with some cameras. We apologise that this was negatively broadcast to you and will discuss your comment with Dan.

We do hope that should you ever come back to Botswana, you will reconsider coming to visit Kwetsani, and experience first hand the huge difference the recuperated vegetation will have had on island, and of course we would love to have you come when it is the flood season to experience the difference of the seasons.

The Kwetsani Team

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Reviewed 21 November 2013

We spent 3 nights at Kwetsani at the beginning of November. We had a great stay. The camp managers Dan and Charmain are the best managers I have had during all my safaris and really make a huge difference. If you are a keen photographer, it is great to have Dan as camp manager for advices. Kwetsani is a small camp (5 tents if i remember correctly). That creates a nice atmosphere. The tents are a bit older than in other WS camps but they are still very nice. I think they will renovate the tents in the medium term. The food was delicious. Our guide was M.T. He was very flexible and worked so so hard for us. On our first game drive, we left at 6am and came back to camp at 1.15pm (i told him that i wanted to spend as much time as possible on game drive) and proposed me to leave at 3.30 for the afternoon game drive. Out of 3 days, we did 2 game drives on Jao island and I think 4 game drives on Hunda island. To go to Hunda island, it is necessary to take a boat. It is always nice but can be a bit time consuming (30 minutes each time). In terms of sightings, we saw on jao island lots of red lechwes, a lioness and a male lion, lots of wattled cranes, hippos, and on hunda island a few leopards and general game. The landscape on Jao is beautiful. The only thing I didn't like is the electrical fence they have put around the camp to keep the elephants away but apart from that, Kwetsani is a great place.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Dam D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 November 2013

Kwetsani was our third camp on our holiday. I would highly recommend Kwetsani, it felt like home. Dan and Charmaine the managers were absolutely fabulous! One of the highlights of our trip was Dan sharing his photographs and reading some Charmaine's beautiful poetry. Our favorite time of day was cocktails at the bar followed by an amazing meal. The lodge has such a relaxed feel. I am glad to hear the lodge getting some renovation in the coming year. Our room was beautiful, but there was a "tad" too much furniture in there. I really enjoyed our guide Flo, she took great care and attention to ensure we enjoyed our experience. The delta is beautiful and i would highly recommend this lodge. This lodge by far has the best, Lou with a view! Of all the camps we visited, Charmaine gave the best "what to expect" debrief when we arrived. She is so thorough and really wanted us to maximize our time. Don't miss the high tea, in my opinion the best in Botswana.

Room Tip: We were in tent #4, great view but close to the main lodge.
  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Spindygirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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