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“great staff, great location and great little lodge with a true personal touch”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Ngoma Safari Lodge

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Ngoma Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
256 reviews
155 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 319 helpful votes
“great staff, great location and great little lodge with a true personal touch”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 November 2011

This is a small very personal resort with only eight rooms.  It is a great base to visit Chobe National Park being very convenient to western side of park.  However it is a fair drive to other side of park for the boat ride and game drives in the eastern sector. 
The staff are extremely helpful and the program of activities is very flexible.
The Rooms very well appointed.  All have air-conditioning which is essential on hot, really hot days, as in October.  Therenis no wifi in the rooms but it is available in the very relaxing restaurant/bar area.
Each room has great views across the Chobe River floodplain.  You can lie in bed and watch the animals out on the plains. 
We thoughtbthat the guides were very good and vehicles very well equipped.  It was terrific to have folding chairs for outside meals, sunset etc
While is a matternof personal taste, we thought that the best rooms were 
probably 1 through 4 as they were closer to main reception.  While the others were not far away, every bit counts on a 100 degree day in the very hot sun.
We loved the restaurant setting and the service is really good. We thought that the food was good too and certainly better than implied by some earlier reviews.
Chobe itself is a truly exceptional park with the elephants being the major feature.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank BeachSwaggie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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401 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (79)
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English first
Santa Cruz, Ecuador
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 October 2011

Ngoma is a new, up market lodge just outside Chobe with a fantastic view. The newness is evident in that the staff, albeit very nice, is apprehensive. Things don’t run quite as smoothly as would be expected for a lodge in this league. I believe that these are solely growing pains and once the kinks get worked out, this has the potential to be a fantastic lodge. JJ, the manager, was of great assistance to us. He helped book last minute flights and was always around.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS go a long way. Our arrival was weird and after patiently waiting several minutes after we’d finished our welcome drink, I had to go ask to be taken to our room. That evening, we went for a game drive and saw squat. Not because it was a bad run with nature, but because the first drive is down one long lonely road known to have minimal animal activity – an ineffective time waster until it was time to head to the river for sundowners. The sundowner portion of the evening was spectacular, but don’t even bother with this first drive.

Please note that Ngoma is NOT IN A PRIVATE RESERVE and you have to drive into Chobe to see anything apart from the small strip near the water.

On day 2, we went on a FULL DAY SAFARI. This involved driving one hour in the safari vehicle to get to the launching spot for the River Cruise. The river cruise was great and afterwards, we drove through Chobe as we slowly made our way back to the reserve. Chobe has been devastated by the overwhelming elephant population, but along the river, wildlife is prolific and the scenery nice.

ROOMS were amazing, the view in particular. There was a coffee and tea station with a French press. The bed faces out overlooking the plains and river and we could see a wide-angle view of the animal life. Nothing really up close, but the spanning view was unbeatable. The massive mosquito net was picturesque and ladies – there’s a full size hair dryer.

MEALS were great but also a point of disappointment for us. Not the quality of the food which was fantastic, but the lack of options. At this price point, we felt like there should have been an option as to what you wanted to eat. We had steak one night that was lovely, but we were never even asked how we would have liked it cooked. We weren’t told what we were eating either unless we asked. The plate was just set down in front of us. This, I felt was not out of rudeness, just lack of training.

During our full day safari, we had a packed lunch served out of plastic containers. A weird combination of crackers and melted cheeses, a cold hamburger, a fried chicken leg, and luke warm slaw was not what we expected. Again for this price point, something much better should have been organized.

BEVERAGES INCLUDED. If you want a drink, just go to the main lodge. The girls were always asking if we wanted a drink. LAUNDRY INCLUDED in the price also.

LODGE SCHEDULE
(This is for the full day safari which I assume is what most people do.)
7:30 Breakfast
8:30 Departure
10:00 Riverboat Cruise
12:00 Game Drive in Chobe
1:00 Lunch at picnic spot in Chobe
Return to lodge before sunset.
7:30 Dinner

Our GUIDE was the most disappointing of all the lodges we stayed at. He wasn’t bad but he wasn’t good either. He wasn’t very personable and although he knew a lot about the animals, he rarely spoke unless we asked him something in particular. We received no briefing as to what was going on and wouldn’t have had a clue had we not overheard the other guide going over the day’s itinerary with his group.

I am sure some of these complaints seem niggling, but we had just come from a lodge that was half the price with better service. Our expectations were high and unfortunately were not met. We ended up staying only 2 out of the 3 nights we had originally booked.

ECO-NESS – Standard save your towel approach was all I noticed.

FINAL SAY – I’d wait for a few more positive reviews and give them some time to improve.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank yellowsun60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tweed Heads, Australia
Level Contributor
285 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 183 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 October 2011

I was transferred to Ngoma Lodge from their adjacent sister establishment, Muchenje Lodge, due to a reservations mix up. (See my report on Muchenje Lodge.)

Ngome Lodge opened for business in May 2011 and has been furnished with no thought to expense. The standard of the accommodation is superb. The rooms have large windows overlooking the floodplains of the Chobe river. On the morning I left a large herd of Cape Buffalo wandered past the window in the early morning light. The bathroom was spectacularly furnished with double hand basins, full size free standing bath and the best shower I have ever encountered in 40 years of international travel.

The main lodge houses the bar and dining area and guest lounge as well as a pool and excellent viewing areas over the flood plain. The tariff includes all items from the bar.

A range of game-viewing safaris is provided at the Lodge in well-maintained comfortable safari vehicles. Guests can choose from morning or afternoon game drives (or both) as well as a full day tour, which includes an excursion by boat on the Chobe River. These safari options are identical to those offered by their sister lodge, Muchenje Lodge.

I opted for the full day tour. We drove to Kasane, some 45 minutes drive before boarding the boat for the Chobe Excursion. The game viewing both on the banks of the river and in the river itself was excellent. We were able to get up close to crocodiles, Nile monitors, hippos, elephants and buffalo as well as numerous bird species. Afterwards we enjoyed an extensive game drive in Chobe Reserve. It was an excellent day and our guide was both knowledgeable and cooperative.

My arrival at the Lodge was timed to include breakfast. This was the first of three meals I had in the dining room, as well as a packed lunch. All of them were very disappointing. I ordered bacon and one egg, which took 20 minutes to arrive. It consisted on one minute piece of bacon and one egg fried within an inch of its life. One slice of extra hard toast was also supplied. Breakfast the following day was of the same standard.

The packed lunch on the full day safari was of a similarly disappointing. A hard cooked, crumbed chicken drumstick with some wilted lettuce opened the proceedings, followed by an unpleasant hamburger in a massive bun.

Dinner that night back at the Lodge was no better. There was no choice offered. First we had a small plate of cool soup. The main course was three very small thin slices of pork, with three green beans and cold, lumpy mashed potatoes. It was appalling. It wasn’t possible to pass comment to the hosts, as they had departed for South Africa shortly after my arrival.

There would have to be some considerable improvement in the standard of the catering before I would ever be tempted to stay at Ngoma Lodge again.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Richard A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Turin, Italy
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 September 2011

A beautiful lodge with a very high quality level of services. Fascinating rooms with a spectacular view on park and sunsets, furnished with with taste and elegance. The kindness of owners is unforgettable, they usually arrange with guests the proposed outside activities at Chobe park, which are great. Absolutely unique.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rossella C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aussenkehr
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 September 2011

I write on behalf of my mother and her sister (both in their seventies) that were totally spoiled during their short stay at Ngoma Safari Lodge. The two owners were personal in their approach ensuring an experience that will not be forgotten.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AntonieVH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Somerset West
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 September 2011

What a wonderful place to stay! Fantastic hospitality and spoiled by Gert and Doreen and all personnel. An experience not to be missed.

Room Tip: All rooms are fine.
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sophia B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
wanaka NZ
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 September 2011

This is the first time I have ever written a review but as we had such an excellent time at Ngoma Lodge and as it is a new lodge, I wanted people to know what a great time we had.
My husband, myself and four friends stayed three nights at Ngoma and had a wonderful time. The staff couldn't have been more helpful, meals were great, Bevan our guide was fantastic and very informative. Everything is new with the accommodation in seperate chalets, beautifully done, large very comfortable bed and wonderful ensuite bathroom. The lodge sits on a hill above the river with a great outlook. We spent 2 days with Bevan on safari and saw numerous elephants, zebra, giraffe, hippos, crocodiles and many more. Only disappointment no cats.
I would highly recommend this lodge to anyone considering going to a game lodge in Botswania.

Room Tip: All rooms are the same with the same outlook from all.
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kathywanakanz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ngoma Safari Lodge

Property: Ngoma Safari Lodge
Address: Kasane | Chobe National Park, Chobe National Park 7800, Botswana
Phone Number:
Region: Botswana > North-West District > Chobe National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 20 Speciality Lodging in Chobe National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Ngoma Safari Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ngoma Safari Lodge is a 5 star bush property located in Northern Botswana within the Chobe Forest Reserve. Accommodation available include 8 luxury suites that overlook the Chobe river and Caprivi floodplain. Designed with an emphasis on space, peace and luxury, from here you will experience the abundance of wildlife in Chobe and relax in your own secluded sanctuary, or dine al fresco on our elevated deck with panoramic views. ... more   less 
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