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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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- Superb game viewing
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What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 507 reviews

(5.00/5)

  • Hi Lisa,

    The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.

    Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)

    Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!

    Best regards,
    Woan Chyi

    MissingWoan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019

  • We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
    We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
    Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
    Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
    Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
    Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
    Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
    Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
    Level of service, quality of food throughout

    MissingCatherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019

  • We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!

    The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).

    A few points:
    Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.

    Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
    They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.

    Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!

    The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!

    MissingKatrina P reviewing South Africa Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019

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