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“Our favourite African experience by far”

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andBeyond Chobe Under Canvas
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 16 June 2012

We stayed at Chobe Under Canvas for 3 nights in early June. This was the first of 3 safari camps in Botwsana (the others were Kwando Lagoon and Xakanaxa) and it turned out to be our absolute favourite by a mile. In fact when we arrived at our next camp, we looked at each other and said: I miss Chobe. The accommodations were simple, but of a high quality and very comfortable (feather quilts, soft linens, good quality toiletries and a hot water bottle at night), but not over the top luxurious as was Kwando Lagoon Camp (where we had a freestanding bath!). In our opinion, the simplicity gives you a more authentic safari experience. The food was also excellent. How they manage to cook such delicious meals in a mobile camp is beyond me.

What made this camp stand out to us was it's intimacy. The small size of the camp means you get to interact with the staff and other guests more so than you would in a larger more impersonal lodge. We had a fabulous time with Reuben and Kabelo (KB) who attended to our every need. They were warm and funny and didn't make us feel like they were "serving us", which would have made us uncomfortable. We felt like a big happy family, especially with the other 2 guests who were there at the same time. Hi MJ & Marg if you're reading this!

Meier was our guide, tracker and driver and excelled at all 3. We were spoilt by his knowledge of animals and birdlife. He went above and beyond to ensure that we had the best safari experience and boy did he succeed. His ability to locate animals was uncanny and we got to see some amazing things and elusive animals such as a leopard with it's kill, black sable, mating lions, ostriches, 50 elephants crossing the highway in front of us and 2 jackas trying to catch a new born red lechwe. We also saw amazing birdlife and the usual suspects (giraffes, zebra, elephants, buffalo, hippos, red lechwe, kudu, jackal, warthog etc). Every time we went out on safari we saw something that we hadn't seen before, whether it was a new animal or a new animal behaviour. It was just brilliant. We will never forget his dulcet tones welcoming us with "This is Chobe, it is only the beginning".

As we were safari virgins our safari companions (MJ & Marg) gave us the best piece of advice. Wild animals are unpredictable and mobile. They will not be just sitting by the side of the road waiting for you to turn up to take a picture, so if you are dead set on seeing a particular animal you may be disappointed. Be interested in everything. If the animals are hiding or scarce, look at the birds, if the birds are not around look at the landscape. There is always something beautiful and interesting to see if you open your mind and your senses. That being said, we experienced the greatest amount of wildlife at Chobe. It was significantly more abundant than at the other camps we visited.

We are definitely coming back to Africa and will definitely be staying at Chobe Under Canvas again. It was a dream come true for us.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Essy K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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67 - 73 of 83 reviews

Reviewed 7 June 2012

My husband and I just got back from our honeymoon and our first safari camp was Chobe Under Canvas. I can't say enough amazing things about this camp, the staff and the entire &Beyond experience. On our transfer from Victoria Falls to Chobe, we were in a van dropping several other guests off at their respective lodges. Each of them looked unimpressive and right in town. We were the last to be dropped off and then had another hour and a half drive into the national park from there. We really were in the middle of Chobe, away from civilization and immersed in the beauty that is this part of Botswana.

The tents are beautiful, full king size beds, battery powered lights, hot water and full flush toilets (!!). This is "glamping" at it's finest. We were treated like royalty, drinking out of cut crystal stemware, open bar and fantastic food which is even more amazing since the chefs are making all of this over an open fire in their cooktent. The entire experience is very intimate as the camp only accommodates 10 guests maximum per day, so you really get to know your guides (even having dinner with them) and the other guests, which was very nice.

The game viewing was stellar - we saw all Big Five (except rhinos, they don't live in Chobe) on our first day amongst lots of others. The landscape is stunning.

All in all, it was a fantastic first stop in Botswana!

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank boxonillas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 March 2012

We stayed two nights at Chobe Under Canvas as part of a 14-day trip in South Africa, Victoria Falls and Botswana. The other nights were in lodges but we wanted to have the "under canvas" experience and these two nights are the first stories that we share with our friends. The people were fabulous---Robson took care of every need with a huge smile and warmth. Dishon was a fabulous ranger/guide that made every game drive fun, adventurous and an education. The food was fabulous---all cooked over a fine. We could hear the elephants and hippos from our tents. This is a mobile tent site---not a fancy permanent tent site--so it may not be for everyone. Do your homework so you are well informed. This is camping with someone else doing all of the work, great food, flush toilets and an amazing game viewing experience. Two nights was just right for us. Again, &Beyond booked our trip and we would use them again!

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with friends
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6  Thank CP12345Washington_DC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 November 2011

It was my idea to spend one of our three lodge/camp visits in Botswana and Zambia "under canvas" but my first thought after driving up to five tents plopped in the middle of blazing hot sand and leafless trees was, "Oh $%@#! What have I done?"

I should have had no cause for concern - this place turned out to be the highlight of our trip. After staying at high-end lodges on a previous visits to South Africa and then Baines Camp and Savute Safari Lodge in Botswana, I felt that our three nights at Chobe Under Canvas allowed us to experience the true essence of the African bush and - aside from the en suite, flushing toilet :) - took us to another era. Think Hemingway's travels to Africa.

As other reviewers have said, this is a small mobile camp that moves every week - but not while the guests are in residence. The tents are surprisingly large with big comfortable beds, sisal carpets, toilets, bag showers, battery powered lanterns, hanging shelves to unpack and cotton bathrobes. All meals are cooked in a large tent and at night food is packed away in a truck to not attract animals. (We did have a honey badger banging pots and pans one night though - and elephants munched on nearby trees another night.) The food is surprisingly good - including fresh vegetables, baked goods - and plentiful. Same with the wine/beer/liquor/juices/water/soda. Meals are served under a large, billowy tent in the center of camp and at night a boma fire and lanterns make the camp glow at night.

The highlight of Chobe Under Canvas though is the team and their effort to make this remote bush camp effortlessly luxurious and civilized. The tents are cleaned, carpets swept and beds are made everyday and turn down service happens every night. They'll even help you get rid of a few millipedes if that's not your thing.

The game viewing in this part of Chobe National Park is also spectacular - and because the camp is actually situated in the park, the guides can get you out and spotting animals at the crack of dawn instead of needing to drive 45 minutes or so into the park. They have the same restrictions in this part of the park like staying on road and being back at camp by 7 pm (at the time of the year we were there) but this did not impede our game viewing in the least.

Our guide, Meier also seemed to be the first to spot "the good stuff" before other jeeps arrived and appreciated our desire to stay away from any sightings with a ton of people. (That is one drawback to the area is that it can be crowded - but the game viewing is so diverse and the landscape including the Chobe River is beautiful so I can understand why it's popular.) &Beyond also has a boat so one afternoon/early evening was spent on the Chobe River where we saw hippos - out of the water - and elephants, crocodile, lizards, countless birds, buffalo, giraffe, impala, zebra. Great pics!

Nice touch: the team met us in the middle of our last game drive to make us a hot breakfast of eggs, bacon, beans over an open fire as we watched elephants, zebra, impala, buffalo graze on the banks of the Chobe River.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Zooeybear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 November 2011

This was our third "And Beyond" travel destinations in Botswana, and the only one which wasn't a lodge. Chobe under Canvas is a small mobile camp site that by law must be moved every five days. Despite the frequent requirement to change location, this is not a "roughing it " kind of camp. While you do sleep in a canvas tent, you sleep in a king sized bed under comfortable blankets, have electric lights (powered off a car battery), a flush toilet and hot showers on request (the staff heats the water for you and has it ready after the evening game drive). The floor is carpeted and the tent is kept very clean. The food, while more limited because of the lack of refrigeration, is very tasty and served in generous quantities. The staff is kind and looked after us well.

The gem of Chobe are the many animals you'll see while visiting here. As this is an unfenced site, you might even see elephants pass close to your campsite, as we did, or who knows what else? It was a wonderful experience. I'd certainly go again.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with friends
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2  Thank drfumblefinger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 October 2010

'Chobe under canvas' was our first stop in Botswana. We stayed here for three successive nights and we will keep this in our hearts forever. Sleeping in a ' tent' which was very luxury, means you are always right in the middle of where the action takes place. Especially at night, where you better forget to have a stroll just by yourself :-) Sitting around the campfire at night, sipping a chilled Chardonnay where you and other guests (5 tents max) share 'war stories', have proven to be such wonderful moments. What an experience it was.

Although the entire crew pampered us in many ways, we would like to take the opportunity to thank our great guide Disho, who put up so much effort to show us all we wanted to see. Last but not least a special thanks to Aaron and Jameson, which were always there to pamper us when we got back from the game drives.

And the game drives we did in Chobe were simply incredible. Two eyes just ain't enough to see all the action. Thank you @ Beyond for this unforgettable experience!

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank Zucchero8591
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 October 2017
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  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
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Thank Gerard M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about andBeyond Chobe Under Canvas

Address: Chobe National Park, Chobe National Park, Botswana
Region: Botswana > North-West District > Chobe National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 21 Speciality Lodging in Chobe National Park
Price Range: £129 - £1,285 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — andBeyond Chobe Under Canvas 2.5*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
At andBeyond Chobe Under Canvas, mobile safari tents with ensuite bathrooms (with flush toilet and steaming hot bucket shower) are positioned at secluded sites in the game-rich wilderness of Chobe National Park. One of the top wilderness areas in the world, Chobe is home to one of the largest concentrations of elephant on the African continent. ... more   less 

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