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Reviewed February 9, 2010

Chobe Chilwero Lodge is located on the edge of Chobe National Park and offers hotel-style comfort, with a tame safari experience thrown in. The Lodge's rooms and communal areas (eg: lounge, restaurant) offer first class comfort for those who don't like to rough it too much. The staff are friendly and attentive.

The food is excellent, with a wide range of choice at breakfast, delicious buffet lunches, large tea time spreads, and most especially at night. The chef's menu includes a selection of 'game' based meals (eg: kudu, wildebeest, eland) all of which are delicious and worth trying.

Activities offered include jeep safaris into the National Park (Chilwero Lodge does later morning game drives to avoid the rush of jeeps entering the park at 6.30am) and river safaris - very enjoyable, but avoid getting caught in a storm while afloat. We didn't, and ended up soaked to the skin!

We saw a range of wildlife within the park (warthog, buffalo, zebra, wildebeest, kudu, impala, elephant, hyena), but being restricted to the main sand-covered roadways made it a slightly pedestrian experience. We saw a group of lions, but only about 200yds away and couldn't get any closer. Getting near to large groups of elephant crossing the river and drinking at the water's edge (while on the river safari) was great.

Chobe Chilwero would be ideal as a first stop on a programme, to ease you in, or if you prefer your safari experience to be more comfortable than exciting.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank SafariGirlNorthWales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 6, 2010

This was the last of four camps that we had visited. We had previously stayed at Sabi Sabi Selati and Earth Camp in Kruger Park and CC Africa's Xudum Camp in the Okavango Delta. This was by far the worst of the camps in all areas...food, service and cleanliness. The only positive aspect was the size of the rooms which are detached bungalows with large bathrooms.

Negatives:
1. Service: Where can I start? From the time we arrived the service was not only unprofessional but also amaturish. The wait staff were not friendly and could not answer basic questions about the dishes they were serving. Though there were smiles from the staff, it seemed hollow and not genuine. The ranger had little interest in sharing information about animals or fauna. After 2 days we asked for a different ranger in the hopes of getting more information from the new one. Unfortunately, he was not much better.

2. Food: We should have known the quality of the food from our first meal which was lunch. They served us buffett style a salad and two kinds of pastas...generally, pasta is the least expensive food that you can serve as it is cheap to make and serves the masses. If I closed my eyes, I could have been at a $5.99 buffet bar. Two out of the three dinners were inedible. One night, the choices were lamb, kudu or croc tail...since none seemed appetizing, I asked for pasta which they brought with a side of ketchup as my sauce. On another evening, the salmon was prepared so poorly that it was pulled from the menu. I ended up ordering 2 fried eggs instead as that seemed like a safer bet.

Cleanliness: The floors in our room was always dirty. The outdoor shower looked as if it had not been cleaned for a very long time. We saw the same dead dung beetle on the path from our room to the lodge for 3 straight days. Needless to say, we were not surprised when we found dead bugs on the room floor.

Postive:
1. Large room with lots of storage and a large bathroom.

2 There were two very nice staffers who were friendly and helpful. They provided a boxed lunch the morning that we left and also made us some sandwiches after we returned from a difficult game drive.

Speaking of game, we saw many elephants but no cats or wild dogs. Overall, we were very disappointed in the lack of game at the camp. For over $500 per person per night, we could have stayed at much nicer camps with better game viewing.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled with friends
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2  Thank DeborahN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed January 31, 2010

The room was very pleasant, with a lovely bathroom but the mosquito net only went around 3/4 of the bed - at the bed head was a wooden screen with holes big enough to let an army of insects through - lucky I slept with the sheet over my head so that when the rodent ran over me in the night, I felt it's feet through the sheet and not directly! Food on one night was good and one night fairly inedible, management didn't seem interested when they came round to ask how the dinner was and were told. Serving staff also not very interested, they just seemed to wander off when we tried to cathc their eye. You aren't on the reserve so have to travel not very far to go in to see any animals at close range - excellent view of the Chobe river, elephants and hippos in the distance but the place itself is fenced off so you won't see anything at really close range from the hotel

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Travelswithboxers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed October 22, 2009

This lodge has the most amazing setting and looks like it was an old colonial house, but is totally modern and comfortable. The food was always good and attempted to be gourmet, but the service was somewhat spotty, although friendly. The bungalows are beautiful and very special, especially the baths. The best part of this lodge is its guides, which is why you're there...to see animals. They are incredibly knowledgeable and friendly...and know the Chobe National Park intimately. Every game drive was a spectacular adventure, and while the river rides were a nice diversion and a definite "must do", they were less exciting and interesting. The pool area could have had more attention to its maintenance and the spa was not up to the standard of the rest of the lodge, but neither are the primary reason why you're there. And as with the other Sanctuary lodges, you're greeted with a cool, scented damp towel each time upon arrival which is an awesome luxury, especially after a hot and dusty game drive.

  • Stayed: May 2009
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Thank lawtraveller56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed October 17, 2009

Chobe Chilwero was our 2nd out of 4 lodges. We were there for our honeymoon.
On the positive side, Chobe is incredible with wildlife. I don´t think there are many other places on this planet where you can see this abundance of wildlife. The lodge is modern and cottages are huge. The view over the park is just stunning and probably the most beautiful we had during our trip.
Whether you like it or not depends really on what you are looking for. Chobe Chilwero feels more like a hotel on the border to a game reserve than like a camp. The way it is organized is hotel-like, so it is a bit unpersonal, you don´t sit together with other guests for dinner but at a separate table in the dining room, they have folklore shows with dancers coming in and so on. There is also a fence which keeps certain animals out. So if you want "the real wilderness" and a "family feeling", this is not the place to go. If you want to see a lot of animals, but be at a safe distance and do not want to get too closely involved with the dangerous elements that are associated with it, you will be fine.
Most guests at Chobe Chilwero are 50 +, I would even say 60 + years old - also good to know in advance.
For cleanliness, I was not perfectly happy. There are a lot of spiders in the rooms (for some reason, we had that problem less in tents at other camps which were much closer to the wild), and when I asked the staff to remove them and the spider webs close to the bed, nothing happened. I am not hysterical about spiders, but if there are too many of them and they are close to the bed, and nothing is done about it .... well, that´s not what I expect for paying the extremely high price at Chobe Chilwero. The moskito net around the bed was torn when we arrived (also another little detail which I would not have expected at this price). To be fair, it was quickly replaced when I asked for it.

To sum it up: Chobe is great, but think about whether you want to pay the high price they are asking for at Chobe Chilwero in relation to what you get. There are other places close to or in Chobe National Park that are cheaper and may still be good. It doesn´t have to be this one, except if it is exactly the kind of accomodation you are looking for.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank HamburgSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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