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Reviewed 18 May 2016

Thompson, Mama Jo, Kris and all the staff made our experience at Chitabe complete. And special thanks to our wonderful guide, Ebs. Patient and knowledgeable, he really was the perfect guru for our wanderings through this marvelous area. Our game sightings far exceeded our expectations and we'd enthusiastically recommend Chitabe to any of our friends considering at trip to beautiful Botswana.

  • Stayed: May 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Adam M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WildernessSafaris, Manager at Chitabe Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 27 May 2016

Dear E2363ODstephenl,

Thank you for the wonderful review we are overjoyed to hear how much you enjoyed your stay with us and that we could help make it such a memorable birthday celebration for your whole party. Also glad to hear Nadia and Jacques were on hand to help when you weren’t feeling well and will be sure to pass along your kind words. We hope you will all visit us again soon.

Kind regards
Wilderness Safaris

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Reviewed 5 May 2016

Chitabe camp, Mar 26 - 29
A small aircraft with room for six passengers (there were four passengers) picked us up to fly to Chitabe Camp. At the airstrip we were picked up by Chitabe Camp person and after 40 minute drive made it to the camp where we were greeted by the staff with a song. Very nice. This seems to be the usual safari greeting. We had three nights at Chitabe.
After tea we met our guide Duke for the afternoon drive. Unfortunately it started to rain heavily after about a half hour of the drive. Duke gave us ponchos but we still got wet from rain getting on the seat. After awhile we said that we were soaked but Duke had nothing to say and did not change what we were doing. He never asked us what we wanted to do, such as drive on or go back. We are not sure why Duke kept driving on because it was obvious that the drive was a bust. After what seemed like a long time we finally headed back to the camp. We saw lions in the rain as we returned but we could not do anything, such as take pictures or follow them.
Before the next morning drive began we mentioned that our seats in the jeep were still wet from the previous night. After about an hour we mentioned that our pants were wet. At this point Duke produced out of a box two dry cushions. Why these weren't offered at the beginning of the drive is a mystery. We did see a male and female lion for awhile. After the lion sighting, Duke decided to drive off road through very heavy brush knocking over trees and bushes looking for cheetah foot prints. He never found any and he ignored other animal sightings. He even ran over a tree that had a large nest in it. This went on for maybe an hour. Duke never asked us what we wanted to see. At one point I told Duke that we had enough of the off roading and Duke asked me if I was frightened in a rather patronizing way. He laughed with the other couple in the jeep who were apparently from Botswana and were not speaking English. Duke never told us what they were talking about. Really rude. When we returned to our room I was in tears.
The next morning drive the animal sightings were tremendous. This morning Duke was merely a taxi driver because all of the animal sightings were found by the other guides. We started off with a pair of lions who were mating. We watched the show for 45 minutes. We asked to see the hippo pond that we had heard about yesterday from people who were actually seeing animals instead of knocking down trees like we were. So we went to the hippos and spent some time there. Next, Duke heard on the radio of a leopard sighting. So we raced to get to a tree, ignoring some jackals that we saw in the distance on the way. The leopard was observing some impalas from a high tree branch, and at one point it appeared that he was going to hunt. But the other guides and Duke moved their jeeps closer. This movement disturbed the leopard, and he jumped down out of the tree and disappeared into the brush. We spent another 30 minutes looking for him.
After the leopard sighting we headed over to where cheetahs had been sighted. On the way we asked Duke about the jackals that we had seen previously and he said that they were behind us and he said nothing else about it.
We arrived at the cheetah sighting, but the jeeps were all together on one side were we could not see the second cheetah for awhile. Not sure why Duke did not move the jeep to get a better view. Eventually, both cheetahs started moving into the brush because there were some impalas on the other side of the brush. So the jeeps moved over so that the impalas were in view, expecting the cheetahs to attack. But, after awhile, it was apparent that no hunt was going to happen soon. Duke said that we had to move to allow another jeep to come into the area because only three jeeps were allowed at one time. It was our understanding that the number of people was limited in a private concession so that it was not a traffic jam around animal sightings. Isn’t that one of the reasons that we pay such a large nightly rate for these camps? It's unfortunate that we have had so much mis-information about this safari.
Next we came across several elephants. At one point, as we were driving, the elephants were in the road. There were a lot of mommies and babies. Duke, the reckless one, chose to drive through the herd. He even said afterwards that that was not a good idea to do. After the elephant adventure Duke did stop for the first time to observe some birds. He had been speeding past birds, even when we asked what the bird was. Ostriches were seen but Duke did nothing about it.
This was our last drive with Duke. We had no sundowners with Duke or at Chitabe during our three nights there.
We opted not to complain to management about Duke while at the camp because of the possibility of retaliation. We are in a camp in the middle of Botswana at the mercy of the staff. Our scathing review was dropped into the tip box as we departed and did not have our name on it, in case that they could tell the next camp about us (we did tip the staff for their excellent service).
It turns out that the rains came late this year which caused the grass to grow later than normal and made for lots of bugs. So, the grass was high and there was lots of pollen. Our eyes felt like they had sand in them. The high grass made animal sightings difficult, also.
The room at Chitabe was much more luxurious than our previous camp, with a very large bathroom with two sinks. The walls and roof were canvas and the floor was wood. Linens had some stains and the towels had frayed edges but were thick and large. The canvas roof of the tent got hot early because of lack of shade. Our room featured a nice outdoor shower, but we did not utilize it because of the many mosquitoes around us in the morning and afternoon. The staff here at Chitabe was very friendly and accommodating. At one point they organized a nice outdoor lunch complete with linen tablecloths under some trees. The staff also took great care of our laundry. Laundry service is included at the camp. This camp also provided netting around the bed which was greatly needed with all the mosquitoes.
A safari is mostly about the animals and the guide who takes us to them. The animal sightings here at Chitabe were the best of the three camps. The accommodations, although luxurious, and the numerous animals sightings are not sufficient to overcome the horrible guide experience that we endured at Chitabe. The food was only average here as well. We are giving Chitabe three stars and we can recommend Chitabe only if Duke can be avoided.

  • Stayed: March 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank Nicole W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WildernessSafaris, Manager at Chitabe Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 9 June 2016

Dear Nicole W,

Thank you for your feedback both online as well as directly in camp. We truly appreciate your detailed account of events and have investigated the matters raised with those in camp as well as our operations teams.

We are sorry to hear of your disappointment during your stay with us and wish you would have mentioned it at the time so that action could have been taken. We can assure you there would in no way have been an incident of retaliation our main priority is to ensure our guests are happy at all times. If you would like a full account of our investigation please do not hesitate to contact our customer care department or your agent directly.

Kind regards
Wilderness Safaris

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Reviewed 26 March 2016 via mobile

This lodge is fantastic the staff went out of there way to accommodate my husband who has a disability. The rooms and food were excellent.

We saw all the big cats and a large pack of wild dogs.

We saw a Male lion on a kill and we found his brother some way off calling for you the sound of which sent chills down your spine.

Cheetah sitting next to a ant hill pausing for the cameras. A beautiful male leopard walking along the road and wild dogs lying out in the open warming up in the early morning sun.

Wonderful place to stay

Stayed: March 2016, travelled as a couple
Thank Susab W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WildernessSafaris, Manager at Chitabe Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 15 April 2016

Dear Susan,

Thank you for your wonderful review and we are delighted to hear that even your husband was able to relax and enjoy his stay with us.

The wild dog are slowly moving and we are glad you were able to see them during your stay after the recent elusive activities. On the few sightings we were lucky enough to have, we can estimate that there is a pack of 18 who seem to be spending the majority of their time in the northern part of our concession but we are hopeful and based on the keen tracking skills of our guides that they will soon be moving deeper into our area allowing us more regular sightings.

Thank you again,
The Team at Chitabe

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Reviewed 25 March 2016

Can't say enough about Chitabe and the staff. We stayed at 3 camps in Botswana in March 2016 and Chitabe was by far the best from all standpoints. We saw many animals (lion, cheetah, leopard), the camp was immaculate and so welcoming. Staff was wonderful, great food. Would love to return and can't recommend highly enough.

  • Stayed: March 2016, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Kfischer123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WildernessSafaris, Manager at Chitabe Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 15 April 2016

Thank you Kfischer123, for your amazing review. We are delighted to hear all your happy memories and cannot wait to give all our great staff the brilliant bragging rights with your high recommendation.

We have been enjoying some truly great sightings recently, with the waterholes being full they are magnets for large herds of buffalo, elephant, zebra, impala and other common game quenching their thirst, cooling off their bodies and playing in the mud as the daytime temperatures escalated.

We hope you will be able to return soon,
Wilderness Safaris

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Reviewed 17 January 2016 via mobile

Chitabe Camp, with its elevated walkways, left me feeling like I was staying in the trees. The views from my charming and beautiful room were gorgeous; especially in the heat of midday when the baboons came out to play, what fun to watch them searching for food and cuddling their young right outside my windows. My guide, Ebs, was incredible at finding the wildlife from wild, or painted, dog pups at play, to lions, to a huge flock of Pelicans coming for a morning of bathing and showing off in a nearby lake. We saw all the old standbys as well, elephants, hippos, crocodiles, jackals, etc, as well as many colorful birds. The food at Chitabe was always so good, with many choices. The staff was warm and friendly and eager to do whatever I might require to enhance my stay. I CAN HIGHLY RECOMMEND this camp if your safariing takes you to their area of the Okavango Delta. Enjoy!

Stayed: December 2015, travelled solo
Thank bogartazul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WildernessSafaris, Manager at Chitabe Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 1 February 2016

Dear bogartazul,

Thank you so much for sharing the details of your recent experience at Chitabe and recommending it so highly - it is greatly appreciated. Knowing that you had a superb wildlife experience and your needs were taken care of, will delight Ebs and the rest of the Chitabe team as they certainly take great pride in what they do. When designing our camps, every effort is made to ensure that our guests feel connected with their surroundings while still having the necessary comforts to hand - so if you felt like you were staying in the tree tops at Chitabe, especially with the baboon family in attendance, then job well done!

Kind regards
Wilderness Safaris

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