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King's Pool Camp

Our rating

9/10

Price guide

Price rating 5

Highlights

- Stunning lagoon location
- Superb dry-season wildlife
- Boat cruises and fishing

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Overview

King’s Pool Camp is a luxurious, medium-sized lodge set in a stunning location overlooking the picturesque King’s Pool lagoon on the Linyanti River, Northern Botswana. The vast Linyanti Concession is renowned for its small number of high-quality camps and superb wildlife viewing in the May-October dry season, when large herds of elephant and buffalo congregate on the Kwando-Linyanti river front and lion, leopard, cheetah and wild hunting dogs can be seen in action. This exclusive camp is accessible via light aircraft and is a 45-minute drive from the nearest air strip.

The lounge, bar and dining areas are well set out on expansive decks with sweeping views across the wetlands and there is a small plunge-pool with an adjacent sunken seating area. There is also an open-air ‘kgotla’ (boma) for evening dining under the stars. The food is very good. Requests for private dining tables can be accommodated and on some evenings staff perform traditional dance for guests. King’s Pool has a strong commitment to local conservation projects and the environment, with 100% solar powered electricity and hot water. Note that there is no internet access.

Activities are naturally centred on the phenomenal dry-season game viewing concentrations of the Linyanti area. Vehicle safaris are offered in open 4x4 Land Rovers, each accommodating a maximum of seven people, allowing each guest a ‘window seat’. Predators are here in abundance during the dry season and it’s not uncommon to see lions and leopards. Night safaris with spotlights are also offered although these generally take place in the early evening and are sometimes rather short in duration meaning a lesser chance of predator spotting. They do, however, provide the opportunity to see some of the resident nocturnal animals including bush-babies, porcupines and genets. A particular feature of this camp are the two hides located within a 10-minute drive. One of the hides has an elevated tree-house location, the other is underground with the water at eye level offering superb up-close viewing opportunities. Walking safaris are possible (although this will depend on the availabilty of guides at the time), as are cruises along the Linyanti River in the camp’s colonial-style Queen Sylvia Barge (although note that cruises are water level and weather dependent). Birding is outstanding at King’s Pool Camp – many birds of prey such as Dickinson’s kestrel can be seen, along with waterbirds. Fishing on a catch-and-release basis is also available (seasonal) as are massage treatments in the privacy of your tent.

The accommodation comprises nine spacious, thatched, tented suites which are accessed along a network of walkways elevated slightly above the surrounding bush. There are eight twin-bedded tents and one king-size bedded tent. Twin beds can be moved together to make doubles and there is one guide/pilot tent which is smaller than a standard tent. The family tent comprises two bedrooms, each with its own bathroom and entrance and there’s an inter-leading walkway between the two rooms. All rooms have a covered balcony overlooking the water, an en-suite lounge area, and an outdoor shower. The indoor bathrooms are fitted with conventionally-plumbed basin, shower and toilet. There is no room service, but the suites do have minibar fridges which staff will stock with requested drinks and there is a safe in every room. A full laundry service is available and there are power outlets in the rooms for charging electronic equipment . Baboons can be a particular feature of this camp, so do ensure that your room is kept closed, with possessions carefully concealed! Whilst it’s true that this camp is on the large side for a property of this quality and therefore can lack a certain intimacy, it is a very comfortable place to stay, with highly professional and attentive staff, plus the wildlife is second-to-none.

Children over the age of 12 years are welcome, although the camp may accept children from the age of 6 if the entire camp is reserved for exclusive use. Although there are no specific programmes for children, staff and guides will try to tailor the experience to suit all ages. Young children are able to join the boat trips and private safari vehicles can be booked at additional cost. Walking safaris, however, are only possible for children aged 13 years or over. Note that the camp is unfenced and whilst it’s true that animals tend to stay away from tents and humans, this, coupled with the camp’s waterside location, means that children need to remain under the constant supervision of their parents.

King’s Pool is a premier camp offering a high level of service and attention to detail. Although the safari experience is perhaps more gentle than the more serious approach of some other camps in the Linyanti area, the property’s staff and exquisite riverine location certainly provide a stay that’s hard to beat. The exclusive nature of this region, with its small number of high-end accommodations and relatively low visitor numbers, mean that the camp’s price tag is necessarily high. However, the stunning wildlife viewing from the property itself and the fantastic game drives on offer make this one of the leading properties in the area.

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What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 504 reviews

(5.00/5)

  • Really brilliant being met in the airport off the plane. It got the holiday off to the right start and driver really chatty and knowledgeable. Great transfers to and from the camps with drivers that were like guides - pointing out animals and full of interesting facts. All really friendly.

    4 Rosmead in Cape Town; We loved it here. Just the right side of plush and a lovely warm, friendly welcome. Breakfast were delicious. It was a real haven to come back to and even though it was small it didn’t feel intrusive. They were also really helpful with great places to eat.

    Tours in Cape Town; Our guide, Bevan, gave us an incredible insight into the history of South Africa whilst also being really knowledgeable on wild life and nature. No question was too hard and his answers honest. He had an intern with him from a township and this allowed us a different perspective. Bevan was brilliant with my daughter. The Cape Point trip was a full on day with lots packed in. Our highlight was the penguins but we also really enjoyed seeing Cape Point and getting our first taste of the wild life to come! Our stand out experience in Cape Town had to be the tour of Masiphumelele. We’re so pleased that we did this as it gave us an insight of the lives of so many people in SA. The visibility of such poverty was tough going at times and we learned much about the harsh realities of living in a township such as how dwellings regularly burn down, TB & HIV incidence but equally we saw the resilience, warmth and resourcefulness of the residents. We loved being shown around the nursery and the library and the chance to have a very different experience. Being in someone’s home for lunch was a real privilege. We got such a lovely welcome there and the food was really delicious. The tribal dance routine felt a little forced and I wasn’t convinced there was much pride in the display. I think being shown a little more of the craft workshop or the older people’s group might have worked better. Although I can see how this allowed us have a purpose to go into the unofficial part of the township. All in all a moving experience that will stay with us both for years to come.

    Getting around Cape Town; We quickly learnt from local people it’s not actually that safe walking around Cape Town except for in the Waterfront. Uber is the best way to travel - much safer and cheaper than the local cabs. The fares are ridiculously cheap.

    Food/Going Out; There are so many great places to eat in Cape Town. The indoor food market at the Waterfront is an absolute must. A huge variety of food that is great quality. Also a great place to hang out for a while as there is always bands playing. The Waterfront overall was a pleasant way to do a bit of shopping. We got some great township art there. We ate at the Cod Father in Camp Bay. It was night so we couldn’t benefit from the incredible views. The food was incredible and really fresh. Really warm service too. The Nelson Eye? was also gorgeous for meat eaters. A slightly retro steak house but with the best meat (nor for vegetarians!). We had great steak, ribs and a divine mint crisp local dessert. We also found a lovely place on Kloof Street called the Dark Horse (its sister restaurant the Black Sheep was closed). Really excellent small plates and great selection of wines.

    Moswari Game Reserve; This part of the holiday blew us away. The safari was spectacular. From our first game drive we saw and learnt so much about the incredible bush. We saw the Big Five within 24 hours (although we appreciate that must be unusual) but it wasn’t just that we saw them we saw them in amazingly dynamic situations - lion cubs suckling the lioness, rhino doing a strange greeting, a herd of 40 elephants at almost touching distance, a leopard eating its kill in a bush and then majestically descending. I could just go on. It wasn’t just these but also the wonderful giraffe sightings, all types of buck and antelope, a rainbow of different coloured birds. This was an unforgettable experience.

    Our guide and tracker, Weinond and Bricks, were perfect. Weinond was a lovely gentle and sensitive man with an encyclopaedic knowledge for wildlife and nature. Bricks was a skilled tracker and I am certain that without him we would not have seen half of what we did. You could feel their passion for the animals and they seemed to take as much joy from a spot as we did. Whilst driving Weinond filled us with information about life in the bush. This meant we learnt so much about the habits and habitats of the magnificent animals and birds we were seeing.

    The camp and rooms were top class. It was a small intimate camp with nicely spaced lodges for privacy. The view from our lodge was stunning. The room was large, beautifully furnished and with the best bathroom ever. If there was one thing that could be added it would be would be access to drinks in your room. Sometimes you want a beer or a nightcap without having to go all the way to the main camp.

    The food was luscious. There was something for everyone and it was all of a really high standard and cooked to perfection. It was definitely restaurant standard. My only complaint is how much weight I’ve put in because I couldn’t resist!

    The service throughout was warm, friendly and appropriate. Very professional.

    We stayed for a night in the Giraffes Nest. This was a special, magical experience. The setting was fabulous and ‘nest’ itself beautifully decorated. It was winter so it was a cold night but they gave you lots of blankets and a cosy robe to help with that. Once in the best you we’re in your own but with radio connection back to the camp. Whilst we only spotted 2 animals during the night it was a special experience sleeping under a blanket of stars. It was a bit overpriced I think for what it is and I think in the winter it should be possible might to stay a bit longer in the morning ( we were collected 6 am to join our drive group) as this might mean you would see animals in the light.

    Finally, I cannot recommend this camp enough to people. A truly spectacular holiday that we will never forget. I’ve definitely been bitten by the Africa bug!

    MissingDara d reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 02 July 2019

  • We had a wonderful time! Our transfers (besides a bit of a wait when we arrived) were smooth. The gentleman that drove us to and from the airport also drove us to our hike and he was very nice and helpful, clean car and very accommodating.
    Our tour guide on the first day, Mandy, was charming and insightful. It was a slow day in the markets but we appreciated the space and gave us a chance to hear all about the Souks. The gentlemen who was with her was a wealth of knowledge and both did a very nice job!
    Our hike was awesome and our guide was great- he even took us to a cool waterfall and took great care of us; lunch in the mountains was delicious!
    The hotel was so lovely and the staff was very accommodating and helpful. The food was great and the rooms very comfortable!
    I did a good amount of damage in the market (often accused of being Berber;) and truly hope to be back next Spring... maybe a girls trip or perhaps I’ll bring my kiddos!
    Thank you for organizing such a nice getaway for my husband and I; we will confidently recommend Tourdust to our friends!!

    MissingJennifer H reviewing Boutique Marrakech & Atlas Mountains on 12 June 2019

  • We had an amazing trip. Everything was well thought out and so much fun. What a great way to truly see the country and learn the culture.

    Joseph was the perfect guide. Very kind, professional, knowledgeable and patient. The kids loved Joseph and keep asking when will they meet him again. He found the Big 5 for us which was unforgettable! Please pass along our appreciation to Joseph.

    Maji Moto was also another incredible experience. They had great customer service and we loved experiencing their culture.

    Sunbird was absolutely beautiful and I wish we had more time there. We loved the view of the lake!

    One suggestion to make the trip even better for other guests in the future would be to have a cooler with drinks and snacks in the Jeep at all times because a ton of driving is involved and it would be helpful to have a cold drink and snacks during the long trip.

    Thanks again for organizing this experience of a lifetime for us!

    MissingBrandon H reviewing Maasai Family Adventure on 12 June 2019

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