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This lodge is sited on a hill above the Chobe River. It is very near the entrance to the national park, and about an hour away from Kasane. This was our first time getting Wi-Fi since we left Maun and I was able to call my family. There are positives and negatives to this, of course. The lodge is more modern, more ‘developed’ than where we were before.
We had a long room with windows before the beds as in all other lodges. Here we looked over the Chobe River. There was a small courtyard and a ‘soaking’ pool which we enjoyed one afternoon. This room also had a bar with drinks, coffee, etc. The walkway to the chalet was of stones rather than dirt, and the landscaping was cared for, not as wild. The bathroom, however, was up some stairs above the beds and open to the room. The only problem is that there were stairs on only one side, which meant walking all the way across the room and up the other side to the shower.
Timothy was our guide. He was a bit of an encyclopedia. Ask him a question, and you get a paragraph. He was of good humor, pleasant, and had a nice personality. He was helpful, and set up a nice picnic lunch after a boat ride on the Chobe and game drive. He also did a short night drive near the lodge with a full vehicle.
The lodge was well run. Diners sat at their own tables, food was selected from a menu, the dining room/tables were beautifully decorated. A large veranda looked over the hillside, and was nicely lighted. Very pretty! Breakfast was buffet, but at single tables. There was a bar area. The hotel itself was lovely, and used their setting well. The manager was always there to solve problems, make sure that things were going well. She was very friendly, and very competent.
We went to the national park more than once and drove along the river. This was amazing. Every 60 to 100 feet there was a different group of animals going down to the river, or coming back up! It was a natural zoo! First elephant, then zebra and giraffe, then impala, and baboons, and Cape buffalo, and waterbuck! All were there, and all in large numbers! The elephant particularly. On different routes, however, animal life was harder to spot. We fully enjoyed the river boat: elephants bathing, water birds (kingfisher, fish eagles, cormorants), hippos hanging out, etc. It was a highlight of the trip. Fully enjoyable!
We stayed at Ngoma for two days. It was the right amount of time for seeing what we saw. In terms of Ngoma, I felt we were always a little rushed in terms of doing everything, starting when we arrived late afternoon and had to dash to make the evening outing; I think one almost needs three days there to enjoy the overall experience in a more relaxing way.
Margaret Tsitouris, May 2016
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