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Kwando Lebala Camp

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Highlights

- Superb game viewing
- Excellent predator action
- Vehicle and walking safaris
- Spectacular birdlife

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Overview

Kwando Lebala Camp is an elegant, tented camp set in the vast flood plains of the Linyanti Marshes of northern Botswana. Lebala means ‘wide open spaces’ in Setswana and the camp’s setting affords superb 360 degree views of the stunning surrounding wetlands. Kwando Lebala is one of a small number of high quality camps in the Linyanti area offering a high-quality safari experience. During the May-October dry season, superb concentrations of wildlife are found here, with large herds of elephant and buffalo congregating on the Kwando-Linyanti riverfront. Predator action is phenomenal, with lion, leopard, cheetah and wild hunting dogs in action. The camp is accessible via light aircraft and is frequently combined with a stay in the Okavango Delta to contrast water-based safari with the spectacular game drives in this area.

The camp is accessed via a small wooden bridge leading over a permanent channel of water. The attractive main area or ‘boma’ is raised up on stilts and has a large lounge and bar area with and a light and airy dining space. There is a plunge pool and a game-viewing hide on site, plus a fire pit in the mornings and evenings. There is no internet access so a stay here offers a real chance to ‘switch off’. There are around twenty attentive staff to cater to guests’ needs, although the camp does have a relaxed, ‘help yourself’ feel. The food, although more ‘home cooked’ than ‘gourmet’, is generally very good.

Activities are naturally centred on the abundant wildlife and the private nature of the Kwando Concession means that game-drives are possible both day and night. The Linyanti region is known for its serious approach to safari guiding, with a clear focus on major predator action – this can make for a somewhat demanding visitor experience, although any tiredness is far outweighed by the thrill of spectacular wildlife viewing. After dark, nocturnal sightings of elusive species such as leopard, mongoose and aardwolf are possible; the birdlife is spectacular at night, with a large variety of owls and nightjars in residence. Game drives are undertaken in custom-designed, open-topped vehicles which seat no more than 6 guests at a time so everyone gets a ‘window seat’ with second-to-none viewing and photography opportunities. Kwando Lebala Camp provides a professional guide and a tracker for every vehicle meaning that guests are very well informed and no sightings are missed. More leisurely walking safaris offer visitors the chance to get even closer to nature and can be tailored to individual preferences, although note that these are day-time only and may be limited during the dry season due to the large elephant population in the region at this time.

The pristine accommodation is attractive and simple in style and comprises 8 spacious tents raised on teak sundecks, each with a viewing deck, an entrance foyer, and a large bedroom and living area. All tents have bathroom areas with hot and cold running water, bath, flush toilet and outdoor double shower. Note that it can be very cold towards the beginning of the dry season but hot water bottles are provided for extra warmth. For hotter months there is a ceiling fan above the bed. There is also a family chalet with two smaller twin-bedded rooms accessed from a shared bathroom.

Children aged 6 and over are welcome although families with children aged 6-12 years are required to book a private vehicle for game drives for which there may be an additional charge. Note that the camp is unfenced and whilst it’s true that animals tend to stay away from tents and humans, children need to remain under the constant supervision of their parents.

Kwando Lebala Camp combines a laid-back accommodation style with a single-minded focus on game-viewing. Although this property is perhaps less refined than some of the other camps in the area, it does offer a high level of comfort, with attentive staff creating a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. The exclusive nature of the Linyanti region, with its small number of high-end accommodations and relatively low visitor numbers, mean that the camp’s price tag is necessarily high so this is not an option for those with a limited budget. However, for an uncompromising safari experience with abundant wildlife on tap, a stay at this property is worth every penny.

Suggested Itineraries for Kwando Lebala Camp

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 501 reviews

(5.00/5)

  • Hi Lisa

    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,

    Phil

    MissingPhilip A reviewing Highlights of Namibia - Classic Self Drive on 28 July 2022

  • Hi Lisa,

    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

    Many thanks

    Regards
    Chris

    MissingChris B reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek - Value on 27 July 2022

  • Hi Lisa,

    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.

    Best regards
    Chris

    MissingChris S reviewing 6 Day Toubkal Circuit on 27 July 2022

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