The Kwando area stretches southward from the banks of the Kwando River and encompasses pristine wetlands, grasslands and Mopane woodlands. This is a remote area criss-crossed by centuries-old migratory trails of elephant, buffalo, zebra and wildebeest which move unhindered between Kwando, the Okavango Delta to the south, Chobe and the open African wilderness to the north. Kwando is a private reserve covering 2 320km².Common game found in the Kwando area include impala, red lechwe, kudu, tsessebe, giraffe, steenbok, warthog, baboon, vervet monkeys, lion, leopard and spotted hyena. Roan antelope, sable and common duikers occur, but are not as common. Hippo and crocodiles are abundant in the river, as are spotted-necked otters. Wildebeest and Zebra are resident in the Kwando area from around May to December, with Elephants and Buffalo following a similar pattern. The larger breeding herds arrive June/July each year and stay until December. Lagoon Camp is famous for wild dog viewing as the dogs have denned near the camp for the past few years. The wild dogs are generally very relaxed in the presence of vehicles, meaning the sightings are usually at close range.
Nocturnal animals to be seen in Kwando are Selous mongoose, small spotted genets, aardwolf, scrub hares, bushbabies, civets, honey badgers and porcupines. Nocturnal bird species that are encountered include Natal Nightjar, Pennant winged Nightjar and a large variety of owls. The birdlife is similar to that of the Linyanti. Sacred and hadeda ibis are particularly common in the waterways, whilst rarer residents include slaty and black egrets, and rufous-bellied herons.
The Kwando area is reached by light aircraft. Guests fly into Lagoon or Lebala Camp from Maun, Kasane or one of the other camps. Self drives to the Kwando area is not an option.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Kwando is from June until August/September;
The African Wild Dogs begin to search for their den. Once they have denned these endangered species will be easy to find for 3-4 months as they operate from their dens. Kwando area offers some of the best dog viewing in Africa. Animals concentrate at the permanent water as do their predators.
The floods arrive in the Kwando areas, after a slow path from the wet Angolan highlands thousand of kilometres away. The leaves are falling off the trees the grasses are getting shorter every day and visibility is excellent. More and more animals congregate near the water and flood plains. Water spreads into areas where there was none the day before and the mokoro and boat trips become more exciting as new places can be accessed. Soft early morning and evening light combined with dust produces many photo settings.
The herons, storks and other birds start to congregate at the Godikwe heronry, near Kwara camp, and begin nest building The herds are getting larger and space near the water leads to tension between the breeding herds of elephant and the nights are filled with elephant sounds.
The elephant concentrate in still greater numbers as do the buffalo –this keeps the predators busy - a time of plenty for the lions.
The colors explode as the carmine bee eaters return from their winter grounds and the other migrants begin to arrive.
1. Kwando Lagoon Camp is set on the banks of a perennial lagoon of the Kwando River, under large shady trees. The small size of Kwando Lagoon Camp and its setting makes the Lagoon experience personal and intimate.
2. Kwandao Lebala camp has 8 luxurious tents have a view onto the surrounding plains from their teak decks. The spacious bedroom, intimate lounge, dressing room and en suite bathrooms with Victorian ball-and-claw bath tubs, double basins and outside showers complete the picture.
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