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Servaas V
Windhoek, Namibia

Beautiful Gondwana Camp on the Chobe

3.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 03 Apr 2021
This was the last camp we visited on our four river trip to the Kavango and Zambezi. It takes a short while to reach from the main road over a dirt track but no 4x4 is needed. The camp is beautifully situated on the Chobe river opposite the Chobe National Park in Botswana. The camping spots were excellent, best of the 4 places we visited on this trip and consisting of a central tented lapa with ablution, kitchen and seating space around which tents/vehicles can be deployed. Camping 1 has the best view. The rest of the camp has tented rooms and guide rooms. Part of the camp was flooded because the river was high, but there weren't many guests anyway. There is a central tented building with reception, restaurant, comfortable bar and a small curio shop. The service here was average. While staff was friendly and very helpful there was room for improvement. The pool was green bordering on unsafe to swim in (many of us had skin problems upon coming home). There is no excuse for this. The other guests complained about the food in the restaurant which was not good and being put in a room far from the restaurant and deck even though there were no other guests. The wifi was flaky. The main disappointment was the boat cruise. Despite booking the day before the guides had left for the weekend and 2 groups (of about 15 black tourists) were lumped together on one boat in clear violation of covid-19 regulations. This boat was driven by an assistance manager who had been a guide once upon a time but clearly had lost his touch. He wasted time, couldn't find the game and caused dangerous situations by getting stuck in crocodile and hippo infested waters. This was all the more odd since there was another boat available which was taken out by staff (all white) at the same time. Now this was probably not by design and maybe there was no authorised guide among the people on the other boat but the impression this left on our group was not good and Gondwana can be expected to be more sensitive to these dynamics. Luckily the "staff boat" seemed better at game viewing and called our guide when they found big game, so we did get to see some elephants. Snacks were very scarce for such a big group (we saw platters diverted to the "staff boat") and only served towards the end of the trip. Sorting out the bill on departure was such a schlepp that we told them to send it to the next lodge when they figured it out as we had to go. In short a beautiful camp that needs better management.
Date of stay: March 2021
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
3.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
2.0 of 5 bubblesService
3.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
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Bernd Grahl, Owner at Chobe River Camp, responded to this review
Responded 08 Apr 2021
Thank you very much for your feedback in regards to your recent stay at Chobe River Camp.
Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconveniences that occurred during your stay and please be assured that we are doing our utmost best to constantly improve our product offerings and customer service for our guests.

We have forwarded your concerns to our Lodge manager and the team on the ground for review and improvement. Upon ordering chlorine for the swimming pool, our supplier notified us of lack of stock, thus we had to order from a different supplier. The chlorine arrived after two days and the problem was solved.

The reason why some guests were allocated to rooms further away from the restaurant, was due to the flooding concerns, that we have experienced with the recent rainfall. However, upon request these guests were moved to room 10.

For the boat cruise, all guests were separated into two groups. The boat is a double decker with a capacity to hold 24 guests. Due to covid-19 regulations, a total of 13 guests were boarded (7 guests at the bottom, 6 guests at the top.) Seats were spaced out; all guests were asked to wear masks and a sanitizer spray was present.

During the same time, another boat was prepared for a cruise. These occupants, however, were not lodge guests, but all employees of Gondwana Collection, including marketing members and photographers from the Head Office in Windhoek. An effort was made to consciously separate these two groups, in order to adhere to our covid-19 regulations, and the group only went for a short cruise to capture the lodge area from the water side. That group was guided by our maintenance manager, who is not a guide but jumped in to assist due to the lodge being understaffed. Each boat was provided with the same snack platter.

The boat did get stuck once, as abandoned fisher nets drift in the river and on rare occurrences like this, the net got stuck in the engine. It was removed swiftly and without any problems. All activities that are conducted on the Chobe River lead towards the Chobe National Park and we do our utmost best to present our guests with the game and wildlife in the surrounding area. As nature cannot be foreseen nor controlled, it does happen sometimes that we are unable to view any animals. The guide that was present on the boat has a 6-year guiding experience and is highly knowledgeable.

Upon sorting out the bill, the guest relations team did come across some technical issues, which were reported to our IT Department. We apologize for this and will request more training to be conducted.

We do hope that you still had some enjoyable moments with us, and we look forward to welcoming you back to one of our lodges, sometime in the future.

Kind regards
The Gondwana Collection Team
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Reviewed 8 February 2021 via mobile

My wife & I spent 2 nights at the Chobe River Camp. The 1st night camping and due to very heavy rain decided to upgrade to one of their tented chalets.
They only have 4 campsites and they are very well appointed with solar geyser, electricity, own bathroom and undercover area for shade and shielding against the rain.

The Camp has very friendly and accommodating staff and made it a pleasure to stay there.

In both cases you have nice views of the Chobe river.

Wifi is available throughout the main restaurant and bar area, as well as the pool area.

A must is a sundowner cruise with Baxter who is a very capable and knowledgeable guide. We saw easily more than a 100 elephants, lions, crocs, hippos, waterbuck, zebras, giraffe, etc and a big variety of birds.

Downside: The road getting this time of the year is muddy and and wet and quite an adventure by itself.

Date of stay: February 2021
Trip type: Travelled with family
1  Thank Pieter_Mari
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Bernd Grahl, Owner at Chobe River Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 24 March 2021

This review is exceptional! Thank you for taking time and sharing it with us Pieter_Mari. We are pleased that you were happy with the overall service and we cannot wait to have you back.

Kind regards
Koney

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 January 2021

It was absolutely breathtaking, I am definitely going back. We had some much fun. Loved canoeing experience. The many bird species in the river, the flood was delicious. The staff are extremely friendly. Kudos to the manager.

Date of stay: January 2021
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Magdalena N
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Bernd Grahl, Owner at Chobe River Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 3 February 2021

Reading this kind of review is very rewarding! Thank you for sharing it with us maggynangolo. We appreciate your compliments to the staff and we are incredibly proud that you will be returning again.

Keep well and happy adventures ahead!

Kind regards
Koney

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2021

first of all, we booked and pay months in advance, when we got there our campsite was given to someone else, you upgrqaded those people to rooms, and gave us our campsite back, thilthy. fire was made on gras and place was disguisting. the staff is not very bright. the other guests rocks up with bottles of castello, left all their stuff lying around. you dont cleant the tables after guests left. the music of the places around you was so loud we didnt sleep after 1000km drive. cars in and out all hours of the night - will never reccomend you for anyone

Date of stay: December 2020
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank ellabok
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Bernd Grahl, Owner at Chobe River Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 19 January 2021

Dear Ellabok

We apologize sincerely for your unfortunate stay with us and the inconvenience caused. We thank you for taking the time and reverting back to us. Please be assured that we have taken note on your comment in regards to the state of your booked campsite, it was prepared and cleaned for you according to our Gondwana standard.
We apologize for the fire that was made on the ground of the campsite, by previous guests, with great concern, as every campsite has a dedicated braai stand. The noise and littering made by our walk-in guests were personally addressed by the manager and we have forwarded it to the concerned department, as well as the respective lodge representatives for further review and action.

We hope that you still had a memorable time with us at Zambezi Mubala Camp and we look forward to welcoming you to our other lodges, soon.

We always strive to provide our guests with the best customer service and your comfort and safety is our priority.

Kind regards
The Gondwana Collection Namibia Team

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Reviewed 13 December 2020

A great lodge, very beautifully situated. The tent is spacious and well equipped. We only had trouble with the hot water. Very atmospheric, comfortable and excellent dinner in the garden on the bank of the river and by the open fire
Friendly and helpful staff and excellent guides for various tours like a game drive or canoeing. A place to return to.

Date of stay: November 2020
    • Value
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Thank jangK3137RB
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Bernd Grahl, Owner at Chobe River Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 3 February 2021

Thank you for the great feedback jangK3137RB. We are excited to hear from you! Please know that your feedback is extremely valuable to us as we strive to improve with each and every stay. We hope that you will give us another chance and visit us again.

Kind regards
Koney

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Reviewed 6 December 2020

Stayed one night here in another lodge from the Gondwana collection.
Warm welcome, nice tented chalets (only 20) good sleep comfort and nice views from the terrace. Nice food . Professional staff.
We pre-booked as well a sunset boat cruise on the Chobe river but due to the low water level this trip was cancelled and replaced by a game drive. Encounter a lot of game and quite some different species of birds. Nice trip

Location: 4 km from Ngoma border post
S17 48 21.69 E25 08 48.68

Date of stay: January 2020
    • Location
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1  Thank 208erwinh
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Bernd Grahl, Owner at Chobe River Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 3 February 2021

Dear 208erwinh,

Thank you so much for taking time to leave us this amazing review. We are thrilled that you have enjoyed your time with us. Please come back again when you get the chance!

Warm regards
Koney

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