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“Lions up close”
Review of Chobe Game Lodge

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Chobe Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 May 2014

Chobe Game Lodge was the third of our two night stays in Botswana. This site was larger than previous sites visited in Botswana with a lot more rooms and more places outside to sit and relax. There was a much larger selection of foods at mealtimes. We arrived after lunch having traveled since 8:00am and were grateful that the the staff reopened the dining area for us. Our ground floor room was ordinary but nice and had a reasonable view of the river from the balcony. We could recharge our electrical devices in our rooms and access the WiFi internet connection from the near the bar. The pool looked excellent, however we were too occupied with game drives etc. to use it.

Staff, including the guides, were friendly but somewhat reserved. The game drives were conducted on the plains behind the river and we saw larger herds of impala, giraffe, elephants and zebra than we had at previous lodges as well as some wilder-beast and buffalo. Warthogs ran about everywhere! Quite a lot of the game drive involved the 4WD's racing around after each other when one of them reported seeing a carnivore. This often made the roads in the National Park look like a crowded car park, however as a result, we did see both a male lion and an adjacent pride of lionesses and cubs - the only lions we sighted during our week in Botswana.

The river cruise was certainly an eye opener as a herd of elephants were very busy and visible on the river's edge and it was good seeing them walk out to the nearby island and compete for space with the hippos and crocodiles. We had an enjoyable time; the lions were the highlight for us.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Malcolm B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VincentinChobe, Marketing Executive at Chobe Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 23 May 2014

It is truly wonderful to read your review of our Chobe Game Lodge and our wonderful team..!

Thank you so much for sharing your Chobe adventures with the Tripadvisor community and we hope that you will be back one day to create new memories with your Botswana family here in Chobe.

Our very best wishes,

Chobe Game Lodge Team.

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511 - 517 of 913 reviews

Reviewed 4 May 2014

We visited at the end of March, just before the high season started. There were only 19 guests (max is 96) so we were treated to a very special dinner one night. They set up our dining table in the middle of the courtyard w candelabras and luminaries for just my husband, son and me. It's such a personal touch that seems to be throughout Botswana. This place is for those that don't really want to rough it too much but want a safari experience. The animals were plentiful and easy to find. The cruises on the river were wonderfully relaxing, especially at sunset. The accommodations were more than we expected, clean, large, well appointed. I really liked that all the guides were women - the only place in Botswana that had women guides at all.

Room Tip: we liked walking out of our room onto the grass with easy access to the boardwalk. The warthogs hang...
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank PamS922
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VincentinChobe, Marketing Executive at Chobe Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 23 May 2014

We would like to thank you for your feedback and review. While the lodge does have more rooms than our other lodges further south in Botswana we do believe Chobe Game Lodge is a special place and we do the utmost for our guest experience all the time.

The Chobe system is a very unique ecosystem and the combination of River Safaris and Game Drives offers a very special combination that is different from the Okavango Delta. We are the only lodge with an All-Female Guiding team and very proud of some of the guiding talent here.

On behalf of all of us here at Chobe Game Lodge we thank you for staying with us and hope to meet again in the future. Best wishes, Chobe Family

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Reviewed 18 April 2014

First of all, going beginning of March is probably not the right time to be there. We did see a 50-60 herd of elephants on a jeep safari, but not the huge herds, The bush is lush and it is hard to see thru. We saw a few zebras, lots of baboons and impalas. A few giraffes, a few kudus, lots of birds, some hippos in the water. While on a boat safari we had the wonderful experience of watching elephants playing in the water while baboons were at the same 'beach' as well as impalas and a crocodile. That was an incredible experience.
The staff was very friendly, especially in the restaurant. BUT the safari guide was uneducated, boring and did not make any effort. We complained after wasting 1 of our 3 days and the next guide was way better.One of the problems is that Chobe Game Lodge has only access to certain roads in the park and cannot go everywhere. The other part is for private lodges.
The lodge itself is very tastefully decorated , but the rooms need some updating. Coming from 7 days of being in very small luxurious, private safari lodges (6 to 12 tents/cabins only) in South Africa with very knowledgable guides , this was actually a bit of a disappointment. But I have to admit that the weather was not playing along as we had a big rain and lots of cloud and a bad safari guide makes or breaks it.
The deck overlooking the river is awesome and we watched elephants nearby.
The boat safaris are always the same route, because Chobe game lodge can only go to the left from their property. They are prohibited to go to the right side towards town which is frustrating again if you spotted an animal nearby. But the boat safaris are fun and you get a nice view of a larger piece of landscape.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
1  Thank E B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VincentinChobe, Marketing Executive at Chobe Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 6 May 2014

We would like to thank you for your feedback and review.

While the lodge does have more rooms than our other lodges further south in Botswana we do believe Chobe Game Lodge is a special place. The Chobe system is a very unique ecosystem and the combination of River Safaris and Game Drives offers a very special combination that is different from the Okavango Delta. Primarily the impressive elephant herds along with very large concentrations of other game along the river. We are delighted to hear that the staff and the effort put into the experience here was appreciated.

We have discussed this feedback with the environmentalist in charge of the guiding team and dealt with this feedback and guide appropriately.
Just to address a couple of the points raised:
There are no parts of Chobe National Park reserved for private lodges and Chobe Game Lodge is not restricted to certain parts of the park. This must have been a misunderstanding.
We made a company decision to keep CGL activities to a westerly direction where we can make the most of the location of being the only lodge inside the Chobe National Park riverfront by travelling away from incoming lodge operators/vehicles to quieter more exclusive parts of the park. The game viewing along the floodplains and riverfront in this westerly region is magic and a more superior experience.
We will travel right if there are any exceptional sightings on the edge of the floodplain (close to our property) but once again we choose not to go towards town where many more boats and other operators dilute the experience and the beauty of the Chobe riverfront enjoyed further west.

Once again many thanks for the feedback and for staying at Chobe Game Lodge.

Warm wishes from all the Chobe team!

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Reviewed 18 April 2014

Chobe Game Lodge was the second stop in beautiful Botswana. The indo african decor surrounded my senses to feel Africa from inside out. Hospitality abounds with plentiful food and beverages to suit every taste bud -pity I couldn't feed and store like a camel. And speaking of animals; the game drives & river cruises provide a smorgasboard of nature up close and personal. The guides can tell you about every tree, every grass, every flower and how it plays its part in the great outdoors equally enjoyed by the many magnificant animals and birds encountered in the expansive Chobe National Park. Personal service at the lodge is delivered with true inner spirit and it is imposssible not to keep smiling at the wonderful staff who with their natural gift to lift westerners to an unexpected level of an appreciation and awareness of what is important in life. Memories forever and a yearning to return. Go tla kwano go tlaa go solegela molemo.

Room Tip: All rooms face the luscious green grounds.
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
1  Thank donna q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VincentinChobe, Marketing Executive at Chobe Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 6 May 2014

Dear guest, we appreciate the review and the time taken to provide this feedback.

Glad to hear that our team were very welcoming and we are very proud of our hard working and passionate team here at Chobe Game Lodge. These make for wonderful memories of a true bush experience. We hope that these memories will lure you back to once again join us for safari out here in this special part of Botswana.

Indeed coming here was worth it as you will cherish the memories for ever.

Chobe Game Lodge and our family of staff await your return…!

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Reviewed 17 April 2014

Chobe Game Lodge provides lovely, clean rooms, excellent food and service. From the moment you arrive to a warm and hospitable welcome, to the moment that you leave, your every need for service is met. The game guides are very knowledgable and take every opportunity to provide you with a memorable experience on game drives and river trips. I really enjoyed my time at the Chobe Game Lodge,

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Northerner123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VincentinChobe, Marketing Executive at Chobe Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 6 May 2014

Dear Chobe Game Lodge Friends,

Thank you so much for your wonderful review about us. The team here will be surely waiting for your return…!

We genuinely appreciate the time you have taken to tell us about your experience at Chobe and we are delighted that you have had such a wonderful stay here. We strive to give our guests the best experience, exceptional service and special memories during their stay with us.

We send warm greetings from all of us at Chobe Game Lodge.

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Reviewed 17 April 2014

After waiting twenty years, our dream of staying at Chobe Game Lodge finally became a reality - unfortunately the reality was a major disappointment. We were met at the airport (late) by a totally disinterested guide who was down right rude and unfriendly. We shrugged it off but when we passed a beautiful solitary Kudu, a breeding herd of elephants amongst Warthogs and antelope, our guide appeared oblivious and did not say a word - unacceptable!

The welcome at the lodge was friendly and all the staff we encountered were helpful and courteous, even the handyman, who never failed to greet us without the broadest smile in Botswana. The rooms and location are stunning and the viewing deck a must. Unfortunately, this is where the lack of front of house management becomes glaringly obvious - I spent a lovely morning sitting on the deck watching the animals come down to the river whilst my wife was pampered in the spa for Mother's Day yet was never approached once for service. If you wanted a drink then it was self service only. This was not a one-off as meal times became a challenge to get any drinks - when you did attract attention your glass was half-filled (is there a policy in force?). But the biggest disappointment was the sub-standard food. It was as if everything was pre-cooked then left to stew for the duration of the meal resulting in very unappetising, overcooked food. We were at Chobe for the last weekend in March and it was not just us who found the food unappetising - the surrounding tables also found the food far below an acceptable standard. No one seemed to care.

The game drives and river cruises were fine with attentive and informative guides making the most of a stunning location.

We had spent the previous four days in the same group's (Desert & Delta) camps in the Delta which were very basic in comparison to the splendour of Chobe, but where the staff and service was fantastic, even with the rudimentary facilities - says volumes about customer service.

Chobe Game Lodge - wake up!

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Sascoenv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VincentinChobe, Marketing Executive at Chobe Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 6 May 2014

Thank you for feedback.

We have set with front of the house as well as our cuisine teams and discussed this feedback.
Delighted to hear, however, that you enjoyed the lodge and facilities. As the set-up on the far deck is a new addition we are still in the process of putting systems in place. Kitchenette facilities and a dedicated waiter/barman for the deck is planned soon.

The feedback is of real concern to us as. The quality of food and the attention to detail and friendly service of all staff from waiters to guides to groundsman is normally an area of very positive feedback from guests.

We appreciate this and hope that we can welcome you again to Chobe Game Lodge in the future.

All the best from all of us.

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Reviewed 17 April 2014

The facility itself is well laid out. There was little down time to enjoy the amenities though. The activities were perhaps a little too organized.
The second boat trip was a repeat of the first boat trip. Having said that there was lots of animal activity near the water on the afternoon trip compared to the mid morning boat ride. A 5 am wake up call would have sufficed rather than 4:30 am for the morning safari.
Overall the staff were friendly, helpful, and seemed eager to please. I didn't get the same feeling from the food preparation staff. They didn't try to greet you when you approached or explain the dishes.Most appeared uninterested. Lunch buffet was just okay. The President of Botswana was there at the same time and perhaps the staff were trying to impress. Thosu(sp) went out of her way to ensure we saw the lion cubs and their mothers before park closing. The female guides are definitely "Chobe Angels".

Room Tip: The rooms on the upper level have a lovely balcony and seem to get more sun- with less chance of a s...
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank 19,491,955
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VincentinChobe, Marketing Executive at Chobe Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 6 May 2014

Thank you so much for your beautiful message and kind words.

Guests are welcome to be woken at any time which suits them. Most guests choose 4:30 (in the summer – 05:00 in the winter) to allow them time to get ready and come and have coffee and light snacks before the game drive. Some guests like a wake-up call closer to the time of departure.

Staff are always encouraged to chat to guests to help them with their food choices. Perhaps they felt you were comfortable but we have reiterated to them to come forward. The President and other high dignitaries are frequent visitors to the lodge and the staff would never pay less attention to our guests for this reason.

We are so pleased to read how special your stay at Chobe Game Lodge was and we look forward to the opportunity to welcome you back very soon..!

Thank you for taking the time to write this wonderful review about your stay- it means so much to us all!

Until next time,

The entire team at Chobe Game Lodge

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Additional Information about Chobe Game Lodge

Address: Chobe River, Chobe National Park, Botswana
Region: Botswana > North-West District > Chobe National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 22 Speciality Lodging in Chobe National Park
Price Range: £129 - £1,370 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Chobe Game Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 47
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Picturesquely situated 100 km west of the Victoria Falls, overlooking the Chobe River and the Caprivi floodplains, the iconic Chobe Game Lodge is the only permanent safari lodge within the Chobe National Park. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Chobe Game Hotel Chobe National Park

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