What to expect
- Sleep Quality
Last 5 reviews
Safari as it should be . No fenced estate but wide open spaces through with animals are able to migrate . No vets on hand just Mother Nature. Elephants and Lions in abundance Great Guide _ Mr Watch. excellent accommodation and reasonable food.
Of the three Belmond Safari lodges, this is the one that I liked the least, the rooms were nice but smaller than at the other properties, and the rest of the property is less scenic than the others. Also, the management catered to this loud, rude, obnoxious family from New York who acted like they were alone in the place. insisted on having their own Jeep, instead of putting them in their place. I was even asked to switch our usual morning ride to the afternoon to accommodate them, because they didn’t want to ride with anyone else! Outrageous. As for the game rides themselves, for the price one pays at all 3 of the Belmond Safari properties, they should be a little more flexible about the times; instead one is told to be up at 5:30 for the morning drive which departs at 6:30, and then again at 4 or 4:30 for the afternoon drive, a time of day which is very hot. I would have preferred later and shorter outings. The food was ok. Nothing memorable. The staff was very friendly. And we saw some great leopards, lions etc. but overall we preferred the other two lodges.
Magnificent Lodge & excellent game viewing. Amazing lion and wild dog kills. First time seeing lions kill an elephant. Can not criticize anything at this place. Definitely worth returning. November is perfect time to go.
The Lodge was quite nice, there were not beautiful views, but the elephant pond just in front of the lodge was amazing. Every evening at dinner the elephants would parade in to the water hole. They also woke me up in the middle of the night coming in to drink, I didn't mind it. The first drive out, we saw not very many animals. But with each drive after that it got better and better. . The reason for 4 stars and not 5 is because of the food, it was OK. All in all it was a great 2 days.
Great first lodge in our Botswana adventure
To set the scene, my wife and I had spent near on 3 years planning our Botswana/African adventure, and after having very differing advice and suggestions, we finally settled on a combination of the 3 Belmond lodges in Botswana over 7 nights followed by 4 nights at Tongabezi on the Zambezi in Zambia. Please see my other reviews for Khawi River lodge, Eagle Island Lodge and Tongabezi. This review will be restricted to the Savute Elephant lodge only. We arrived into Maun airport and were duly met by the Belmond representative and taken to the Mack air desk to check our bags in for the 40 minute flight, one stop on route (10 seater plane). We encountered an issue here when they inadvertently put our bag on the wrong aircraft and we had to leave for our camp minus our luggage. After a tense and stressful 45 minutes our bag turned up and we collected it on route. Unfortunately due to the delay we didn’t arrive in time for the afternoon Safari, so we took the opportunity to chill out and watch the Elephants at the water hole A nice rest after 24 hours travelling. The camp is built on the banks of the Savute Channel and should be a water based camp, however, the channel hasn’t had water since 2015 and along with the rest of this part of Africa is struggling with the drought. A small disappointment when we arrived at the camp was that we never got an orientation of the camp or room and were very much left to our own devices. Wi-fi, whilst not a huge issue is dreadful here. Onto the lodge, it has 12 “tents” all facing out towards the water hole, rooms 1-4 have the best view of it, and you can sit on your terrace watching the elephants drink and keep cool. We also witnessed buffalo/hyena/elephant standoffs each evening. The rooms are large and very nice , the beds face out to the savannah, with separate sofa and a lovely terrace with furniture. Rooms are air conditioned and you really needed it, it was over 40 degrees each day and it brought a nice relief. Ours did stop on a number of occasions, which was a little irritating, but the staff were always quick to sort it out. The main eating and drinking area is nicely laid out, with a separate bar, lounge area and restaurant. Service was always very good and the staff are very attentive. Drinks flow and are regularly refilled, most main stream drinks are available. Food on the whole was very good, my wife went for salmon one night and vegetarian lasagne the other and said both were lovely. I had chicken (very good)and pork ( fatty and disappointing). Breakfast & Lunch were both buffet style with a good choice. Game drives start early, after a 5.30 wake up call, a flask of hot water is delivered to your room for you to make tea, this was slightly disappointing and with a little a more effort could be special (previously in Tanzania we had a nice tray with tea and coffee and biscuits delivered) it’s 6am for breakfast and you head off at 6.30. Be prepared even this early it is still hot and only gets hotter. Our guide was Mighty, he is a bit of a legend, having been in the area for many many years. His knowledge or only of the animals but bird life, trees, habitat, eco issues was quite unbelievable. He never hurried us along and was guided by the 6 of us in the jeep as to how long we spent at each stop. We saw so many animals, including literally hundreds of elephants, buffalo, giraffe, lions and their cub. The final morning drive was a highlight as we saw a leopard with its kill just outside the camp, followed by a pride of lions devouring a massive antelope they had caught only minutes before we arrived. All in all a good first camp on our adventure. Ratings are tough, but to split the 4 *’s out its as follows: Camp staff 4 - no orientation Guide - 5 Camp layout /facilities- 5 Food - 4.5 Room - 4 - Air conditioning hit and miss but view amazing Game drives - 4.5 - no sundowners provided (disappointed) All in all it didn’t quite give us the wow factor we thought that Belmond would.
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