- Unique wilderness area
- High quality guiding
- Abundant seasonal wildlife
Kwando Nxai Pan is an upmarket yet good value safari camp with a contemporary feel, situated in the heart of Nxai Pan National Park, north eastern Botswana. Set in unique, isolated terrain renowned for abundant seasonal wildlife, Kwando Nxai offers charming, well-appointed accommodation and excellent guiding to just 18 guests.
Nxai Pan National Park is a remote, arid wilderness of flatlands and distinctive saltpans, dotted with acacia and mopane trees. In contrast to Botswana’s Okavango and Linyanti regions, the peak wildlife viewing period is during the November to May ‘green season’, when rainfalls fill the saltpans. While visitors should come prepared for some potential adverse road conditions, huge migrating herds of giraffe, zebra, springbok, elephant, and wildebeest, along with numerous predators, including lion, leopard, cheetah, and jackal are a superb draw, and birdlife during this period is exceptional.
The sole permanent camp in this area, Kwando Nxai is a one hour flight from Maun into the nearby local airstrip. The camp’s thatched and open-fronted main area is built on raised decking, and boasts great views over a nearby waterhole popular with elephants. Guest spaces comprise a light and airy lounge area with comfy sofas, a large communal dining table, a bar, and a small gift shop. Outside on the decked veranda is a refreshing plunge pool with loungers, and a tranquil fire pit area, perfect for after dinner drinks.
Activities focus on daytime game drives led by a guide and tracker, and guided walks led by native Bushmen. Note that due to national park regulations, night drives and off-road driving are not permitted. Also available are excursions to the famous Baines Baobabs, a striking cluster of ancient trees which tower above the salt plan, barely altered since they were painted in 1861 by the naturalist Thomas Baines.
The accommodation comprises eight spacious, thatched guest suites, including one family unit. Built on raised decking and linked by walkways to the main area, each airy suite comprises double or twin beds, and a comfortable lounge area. The pristine bathrooms are ensuite with twin washbasins, WC and both indoor and outdoor showers. All units have overhead fans. Sliding doors lead outside to a private veranda with seating, and delightful views of the bustling wildlife activity around the waterhole.
Children age six years and over are very welcome. There’s a two bedroom family unit comprising one double and one twin bedroom, a generous lounge area, and a spacious bathroom with WC, twin basins, and indoor and outdoor shower. Outside is a private veranda with seating. Note that families with children aged under 12 are obliged to hire a private vehicle, at additional cost, for game drives. Families have the option of hiring a dedicated member of staff who will provide young guests with a range of activities including arts and crafts, animal tracking and identification, and cooking. As the camp is unfenced and wild animals do roam through, parents are reminded that children should be supervised at all times.
Thanks for getting in touch. We had a great time in Namibia, in no particular order, some thoughts:
Oberland Lodge was the accommodation we liked the most: well designed, privacy, good setting, convenient, good food.
Etendeka Mountain Lodge was stunning, in terms of setting, and the tents were the most high end tents I’ve ever stayed in. Dennis shared some spectacular views of the night sky through his telescope which was really interesting.
All our guides were good, professional, knowledgeable, personable. Can’t praise them enough.
A highlight was the catamaran tour, both our boys had this as their top excursion I think. I’d have preferred a tour with a few less people but not a big issue.
Sossusvlei was one of my highlights, climbing the dunes was good. Actually, across the whole holiday, I’d have liked to have done more hiking / walking safaris but that’s probably down to my planning.
Mushara Lodge had excellent service and the staff performed a few African songs after dinner one night, which was lovely. The lodge itself could do with a refresh, in terms of physical product.
The Elegant Guest House was clean and comfortable. And nicely close to Joe’s Beerhouse. Plus it had the best wifi and so a hit with the kids.
The car we got (Toyota Hilux) was excellent, I’m trying to find an excuse to buy a one.
The Cornerstone Guesthouse was probably the least glamourous place we stayed (it was all clean and safe though) but actually the two owners (I forget their names now) gave some of the best/friendliest service.
Logistically everything went off without a hitch, guides showed up on time, all the accommodation was right and they were expecting us. We had some requirements around our son’s medication being refrigerated, everyone was very helpful with this.
I’ll let Sarah chime in with anything I missed and at some stage I think we’ll be in touch about a trip to Botswana Or maybe Peru.
All the best,
Philip A reviewing Highlights of Namibia - Classic Self Drive on 28 July 2022
The trip was fantastic thanks. difficult to really make any suggestions for changes.
Everything ran smoothly from a logistics point of view and all food and accommodation was great. The owner of Pure Riads came and introduced himself while he was visiting and made some recommendations for restaurants etc.
The mountain guide picked the ideal route for our level and was very informative on the journey.
On the return airport pickup from Marrakesh, we initially didn't see the transfer bus and the local contact mobile number did not appear to be in service which might be worth checking but it was no issue as the driver spotted us.
My wife is already dreaming of her next trip with a different group of friends so no doubt I'll be in touch
Chris B reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek - Value on 27 July 2022
Finally arrived back in Sydney yesterday after a great trip. We all enjoyed Morocco immensely and your organisation was top notch. Some highlights were;
Essaouira, really enjoyed this town and a great introduction to Morocco for us with a more relaxed vibe. The riad we stayed in was fabulous and the female manager Hyat (probably misspelled) couldn't of been more helpful with both suggestions of things to do, places to see and restaurants to eat at. A very friendly team in general and a lovely lady.
The High Atlas, again a real highlight despite the issues with early season snow & ice. The guest house in Imlil was great with again a very friendly owner who was keen to provide as much assistance as possible. The changes to our itinerary were well handled and in the case of the extra night at basecamp post climbing Mt Toubkal, worked in our favour. Only 3 of our group managed the climb due to the icy conditions and those of us who did the summit day needed crampons which were provided free of charge. We were the first group camping at basecamp that year and our preference to do so was accepted without complaint. The only issue I might raise was the lack of anything to sit on in camp, though I guess using the sleeping mats is closer to the Berber tradition. I brought my own mat along which was a good option. Our guide Mohammed was great and really helped us to adapt to the altitude despite some sickness amongst the group. He also managed to get us all through some very difficult ice & snow conditions, putting his body on the line on several occasions when people went flying out of control. This was both on summit day and the prior day when he had to contend with all 6 of us. The food was also excellent and the cook very friendly despite limited English. The whole team worked very well together.
The desert camp was a real experience and very luxurious. Sundowners up on the dunes, the dinners & facilities available and the camel ride were highlights. A long drive was well split by our stays at the Kasbahs which were both fabulous & highly recommended. Hassan & his offsider Khalid were good drivers, friendly and helped us enjoy the whole experience. The excursions along the way were also excellent. The full second day at the desert camp was maybe too much with very high temperatures but they moved us to another cooler camp with shade & more basic facilities during the middle of the day. Again I guess we really got to experience the full nomad lifestyle with a long hiatus during the hottest part of the day.
Marrakesh, again an excellent riad with a nice meal the first night. Good location, very friendly staff and a lovely place to retire to after a day exploring. A very interesting & bustling town.
Chefchaouen, what a wonderful place to spend some time. Another exceptional riad with some great facilities with a perfect location. Again staff were exceptionally friendly & helpful and the city was an absolute pleasure to explore. We all loved this extension & Mustafa our driver was exceptionally helpful as well. We decided to do some trekking 1 day in the nearby Rif Mountains and he was only too happy to drive us there & back through some amazing scenery. He was always concerned for our welfare and even came up to check on us while we were out exploring Chefchaouen.
Tangier, an interesting city and once again the place we stayed was exceptional with a very friendly & helpful French Canadian hostess. The town was a bit more touristy with some issues with touts, 2 nights were enough. Mustafa got us to the ferry up the coast in plenty of time.
A great trip overall and one that we all enjoyed immensely. Thanks for all your organisation & efforts especially after all the Covid delays and civil war made our trip to Ethiopia impossible.
Chris S reviewing 6 Day Toubkal Circuit on 27 July 2022