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“Great, but book activities”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Mankwe Bush Lodge

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Mankwe Bush Lodge
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Okavango Delta
Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
Level Contributor
39 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Great, but book activities”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 January 2014

We booked ourselves into a fully catered stay at Mankwe after a camping trip in Moremi
We really liked it and the front of house man who looked after us was exceptionally nice as was our guide
We love staying in safari tents safe from the prowling hyenas outside

We would just suggest you book quite a lot of activities in advance as once there you cannot change your programme and we got a little bored!
We always enjoy bush walks. The game viewing in the reservation was certainly poor in July so take the offer of trips into Moremi with an experienced guide. The night drive revealed nothing ...

The food was simple and good - except instant coffee! The whole team including bookings office were great as were the surroundings and atmosphere
If you prefer not to camp and staying in the delta is too much for your budget then this is the answer

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Elizabeth M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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44 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
Pamplona, Navarra, Spain
Level Contributor
14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 October 2013 via mobile

Other hotels were full, so we had to spend the night here. Placed 45 minutes away from the park, it takes forever after having spent the whole day on the car...

Once there you can find big tents for each couple. You can spot some wholes between the wood floor, but we couldn't find any insect on our tent, so it's ok. They only charge batteries at the bar. Swimming pool was unusable.

Food was unexpectedly good. Don't have high hopes but everything was tasty and we could try some of the traditional local food.

Hearing the animals during the night and weaking up while listening to birds is very nice. Moreover, early in the morning we could see the tracks left by two leopards who visited us overnight.

Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
Helpful?
3 Thank Alex T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kendal, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 October 2013

this lodge i would say warrants maybe 2 stars.the location was ok although we did have quite a long drive to start the game drives.the barman come handy man come waiter worked his socks off but im afraid the service at breakfast was a bit of a farce.late to serve a cooked breakfast that was cold.they hace a leopard that comes to drink at night but we didnt see it.sat around a camp fire after our buffet dinner comparing notes on the days events was a highlight

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank John R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Enschede, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
118 reviews
94 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 July 2013

We camped here for one night. Staff chopped firewood for us. Our campsite was very far from the reception. 20 minutes driving! So it was very remote and the campsites are not fenced off. We were a bit scared for wild animals so went to bed early.

There was no hot water in our abolution block.

Room Tip: Try to get a campsite closer to the reception.
See more room tips
Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank Baskotter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Okavango Delta hotels

dayton, ohio
Level Contributor
78 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 June 2013

Really nothing good to say. First of all, it's location is not convenient for Moremi park which is what it's claim to fame is. It is just as close to drive up from Maun unless you want the north gate side. It's a one hour drive on a very bad road to get to the south Moremi gate. Since we were the only people staying at the camp they wouldn't take us on a game drive as the minimum is 4 people. We had to self drive and that made for a long hard day. They were also quite unhelpful regarding where to go or providing directions to and in the park. We felt lost on our first outing to get to Moremi as their directions were most confusing. Secondly, the tents have seen their best days and several rips and holes were evident. Squirrels and or mongoose(s) had been in and eaten some of the soap. Luckily we did not have them at night. Meals however, were pretty good. There is no real way to charge electronics other than at 4:00 or so to about 6 or 7 pm. There is no wifi. Shower was cramped and small and hot water was inconsistent making a shower more of a sporting event. The final rub though was upon checkout they asked for a 5% fee to use a credit card! This was not advertised prior to our stay nor posted anywhere at the camp. So we opted to use cash but the exchange rate for Pula to Rand was horrible. Additionally they asked us to check out very early as "they had to prepare for a large group". Funny as we were the only ones in camp. How long does it take to clean a tent? Finally, the pool was quite dirty and appeared to have not been cleaned in weeks. I would go out of my way to not recommend this place.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank buckeye-dude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level Contributor
292 reviews
78 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 240 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 June 2013

After a long hot drive from Savuti campsite we eventually reached Mankwe Bush Lodge where we were due to stay at their campsite for one night.

We were welcomed by the lovely Gigi and before anything else, we ordered a well deserved cold drink. We then quickly decided not to camp as we felt we needed a little bit more than that - especially after our horrid stay at Savuti public campsite the previous night. We asked Gigi how many guest were staying with them that night only to be told that there were none, but that there were only 2 other couples camping at their campsite quite a distance away.
We asked how much the tents were for one night and were told some quite high figure in Botswana Pula {can't recall exactly how much now} but she lead us to believe that the amount she'd quoted was for the tent on a full board basis. We asked to see one of the tents before we made up our minds, and without problems or fuss, she showed us one. After seeing it we decided to go ahead, but bearing in mind that they had no other guests there, we asked if she could do us a deal. She wasn't able to 'negotiate' and said that she needed to talk to her manager and proceeded get him. Tear, {lovely name!!} the manager came over and it was only then that he told us that Gigi had made an error and that the figure she'd quoted was per person per night on a full board basis - and not per tent.
After some serious bartering, he came to the conclusion that half the money was better than no money at all, and agreed to let us stay for the original price quoted. A result we thought and much appreciated too!!

The tent was made ready for us by the cleaning ladies and so after 15 minutes or so, we installed ourselves in the large tent with its own private facilities and a little outside deck which had a table and 2 chairs.
We parked our 4x4 camper van as close to the tent as we could, and all was well.

We even went for a swim in the little pool, and relaxed on the sun loungers with a book and a beer each.
Dinner was a quite formal affair, we had a nicely laid table {for 4 people} with crisp white linen and napkins, a little flower, candles and good cutlery and pristine clean glasses. We thought we'd be eating on our own, but Tear and Colin {I think his name was} the ranger.
The waitress proceeded to inform us what was for dinner, which was very nice.
Afterwards we sat round the fire with a drink and regaled our stories of our long African trip.

Back at our tent and ready for bed, my husband spotted a huge brown spider.. well dear readers! when I say a huge spider - this thing was on steroids!!
We thought that the staff would still be there clearing up, but there was nobody around, so It was up to me to catch it, and with a towel in hand and hubby standing by with a torch, I just managed to grab it.. The following morning we were informed that it was 'just a house spider'.. just!!! not knowing anything about big African spiders {it could have been poisonous! perhaps it was and they didn't want to scare us} but nevertheless, I was quite reluctant to have been given the task of getting rid of it.

Tent: large with good space to move around in, 2 bedside cabinets, wardrobe with blankets and a large table housing a flask with hot water to make tea/coffee and glasses for water

Beds: they were very comfortable - blankets came in handy as it was quite cold during the night

En-suite: a clean flushing loo, a clean basin complete with plug and with all the condiments of shower gel, shampoo and soap - there was even a little pot with washing powder! The small shower cubicle was clean and the water was powered by a gas geyser, the towels too were good.

After a good breakfast we said our goodbyes and made our way to Maun to do some more shopping for our next camping experiences at Nxai Pan and The Makgadikgadi Pan

I have to say that all the staff were extremely helpful - we enjoyed our stay.
Thank you!

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Baby-Babble
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RSA
Level Contributor
21 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 June 2010

During November/December 2009 myself and a companion spent five weeks travelling through Botswana staying at various 4-5 star lodges. Having made use of the excellent camping facilities at this lodge a few years ago, I had no qualms in recommending staying at the lodge for a couple of days. Through the booking office in Maun, who assured us that this was a luxury tented lodge, we made a booking for two nights at the lodge, two nights on an island in the Delta returning for one night at the lodge.

On arriving at the lodge, tired after a day of driving, we had to put up with the manager's wife filling us in on her family's divorces, trials and tribulations before we were even shown to our accommodation. The shower did not produce any hot water, and when we complained to her about it before dinner her reply was that we just had to learn how to work it. The shower problems were only sorted out by the last night of our stay. The dinners, and the breakfasts we were served were equivalent to the fare in the cheapest B&B that I have stayed in. In no way can one consider this to be equivalent to 4 star fare (which the lodge claims to be). The packed lunch and breakfast for our day trips around the lodge and to the Delta also left much to be desired. A few boiled eggs, some slices of toast and if I recall correctly, a very bland pasta salad, with a few fruit juices, carbonated sodas and water as refreshments.

Furthermore, we had to put up with the managers' "when we" discourse ( for those that don't understand this: "when we were whites in power in Rhodesia and no longer are because we have been forced to leave by the blacks"), winging, and implicit and overt derogatory remarks about the locals and staff, some of whom were either dining with us or were responsible for providing and serving the food. As a South African who has moved on from this colonialist frame of mind I found it highly embarrassing and deeply disturbing that they had so little concern for the feelings of their fellow employees.

The sheets were of the cheapest polyester kind that one would get at the discount merchants and the towels were threadbare.

The area around the lodge is spectacular, especially near the Kwhai river. Wildlife in abundance, great bird watching opportunities and a chance to see giraffe, elephant and hippo at close range. But also, as is the case in Africa, it does require a fair amount of travel and a good picnic box to sustain one for an 06h00 start returning at around 18h30-19h00.

The highlight of this part of the trip (and I would say the whole 5 weeks we spent in Botswana) was the two night excursion to an island in the Okavango Delta. We were transported from the lodge to the island, through Moremi, by our very competent guide. However, I have to agree with picoullet that the lodge is really just to far away from the Delta. It took us nine hours by road and boat to reach Mboma Island. However, once we were there the experience was AMAZING AND UNFORGETTABLE. The guide, chef and boat guide were absolutely fantastic and really knew what they were doing. The food was extraordinary and we had the most amazing fillet steak for dinner one evening. All of you old enough to remember the movie "Close encounters of the third kind' , well this place puts a whole new perspective on that idea. We had the most amazing close encounters, and as someone who spends a lot of time in the African bush, this definitely was the highlight of my life. I have been to and seen many places in the world, but this island I would rank as a MUST DO BEFORE I DIE, a definitive for the bucket list. My advice, book the trip to the island with a transfer directly from Maun and fore go the forgettable experience of Mankwe Bush Lodge, unless you are planning to make use of their camping facilities.

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank ReneHoenderdos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mankwe Bush Lodge

Property: Mankwe Bush Lodge
Address: Sankuyo Village, Botswana
Region: Botswana > North-West District > Okavango Delta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Okavango Delta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated between the Moremi Game Reserve and the Chobe National Park, Mankwe Moremi Game ReserveMankwe Bush Lodge is an ideal gateway to exploring this area. Moremi is undoubtedly one of the most famous Parks in Africa. Moremi Game Reserve is the only officially protected area of the Okavango Delta, and as such holds tremendous scientific, environmental and conservation importance. Moremi Game Reserve is situated in the central and eastern areas of the Okavango, and includes the Moremi Tongue and Chief's Island, boasting one of the richest and most diverse ecosystems on the continent. This makes for spectacular game viewing and bird watching, including all major naturally occurring herbivore and carnivore species in the region, and over 400 species of birds, many migratory and some endangered. Both Black and White Rhino have recently been re-introduced, now making the reserve a 'Big Five' destination. Contained within an area of approximately 3900 sq. kms, where land and Delta meet to create an exceedingly picturesque preserve of floodplains - either seasonally or perennially wet, waterways, lagoons, pools, pans, grasslands and riparian, riverine and mopane forests. This terrain makes driving Moremi's many loops and trails both delightful and, at times, totally inspiring. Overlooking the bush and mopane forest, Mankwe's tents offer comfortable accommodation. The 10 safari tents are set on wooden decks overlooking a small valley. Each tent has an en-suite bathroom with shower, wash basin and flush toilet. The camp is run on solar power. Walk in tents are furnished with either two x twin beds or a double bed, chair, bed side tables, water pourer, glasses, safari chairs on patio, steel clothes and hanging space, large open mosquito gauze windows, and front door. Towels and bathroom guest amenities are provided. (please bring swimming towels). Trips can be arranged between Mankwe Bush Lodge and the Mboma Boat Station up into the Okavango Delta, offering the visitor a unique safari tour with a full day's game viewing in between. Or combine a stay at Mankwe with a game drive tour of Moremi, and an overnight at Xobega Island Camp - offering a true Okavango Delta water based experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mankwe Bush Lodge Botswana/Okavango Delta

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