Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Avoid SKL Botswana - terrible service!

#SKLBotswana #AvoidSKL #BadServiceSKL #RudeConnieMbulawa #AwfulSKL
 
SKL Camps Botswana - bad service
 
Reservation service at SKL Camps is terrible. Constant overcharging due to endless recalculation of Rand:Pula exchange rates, extra fees charged for payment by credit card. Nobody responds to questions about amounts charged. Tax invoices supplied are incorrect and no explanation is given. Manageress Connie Mbulawa is plainly rude in her correspondence and can not care less about SKL's service. Replies and confirmations take ages. However SKL enjoys a monopoly on Savuti, Khwai and Linyanti camp sites reservations so there is no need to bother about service.

More opinions about SKL Savuti:

Beautiful place, campsite staff terrible


This campsite used to be a stunning place to visit, but it is ruined now since they have stuck a luxury lodge in the camp site. They have put their huge generator right in the middle of the camp site, in the ablutions, which you hear running all day into the evening. No more peace and tranquility. On one occasion, when there were no guests, the lodge staff had a noisy party into the early hours of the morning! We arrived back to the camp one eveing, 5 minutes BEFORE the 6pm curfue, only to be met by a most aggressive guard ready for a fight. He insisted it was in fact 3 minutes past, and immediately tore into us and promptly fined us all. We will never go back there again...


Lovely area, TERRIBLE staff!

The campsite itself is ok although very sandy and dusty but if you got here your 4x4 will be fine. The ablutions are fairly good and reasonably clean with limited solar hot water. Each site has a tap with running water and a fireplace but little else. There is limited shade so it gets very hot in the summer months with little chance to escape the heat. The game viewing in the area is very good and it is worth constantly communicating with other travelers to see which animals are in the area. One couple kindly led us to a spectacular lion sighting which we would otherwise have missed.

Sadly though the staff, especially around the reception area, are so rude, unfriendly and unhelpful that they almost ruined the entire experience. In my opinion they are a disgrace to Botswana as they are supposed to represent the country to foreigners at one of the more popular destinations in an important industry. There were not interested in giving advice about where to game view or what recent sightings there had been. There is a sightings board which they didn't update during the 4 days that we were there - the staff lazed around doing nothing most of the day and even polite conversation seemed to be asking too much! Sad but true.

So if you have somewhere better to go, avoid Savuti Campsite. If it is on your route and you need to go then enjoy the animals, chat to other travelers and don't expect any help or support from the staff.
Room Tip: Ask for a campsite with some shade - if the staff will even bother to listen....!

Totally overpriced for very basic camp

Finally we arrived a the campand were pretty happy as it's a hard sandy road to get there.
Luckily they had a campsite left for a family like us. But when tllling the price for a night i thought thee lady is kidding!
What is the reason that europeans have to pay4times more for a campsite then SA people?
So better drive on and visit campsites right after the gates and pay less for better facilities, service and even views.

Expensive and far from nature

We booked a campsite on Savuti for one night, because it was in our way from Moremi to Kasane.
As it is the only place to sleep in between those 2 cities, I believe the camp management settles some high prices cause they know that people have no other option but to sleep there.
We were 3, and for each person, we had to pay 50$, so basically, 150$ to put your tent in a dirty sand. The facilities are ok (hot shower, toilets, fireplace ...) but the campsites give the impression of being far from the nature (close to the gate, there's a bottle shop ...). We loved Xakanaka in Moremi way more !
It is often fully booked in advance. We were there in low touristic season (June), so we managed to book there 2 days before, from Maun, but it was the last campsite available.
We didn't see many animals in Savuti (we saw more in Chobe next to Kasane) ; but an elephant arrived in our campsite during the night while we were having a barbecue, so it was actually the only "good surprise" from this night.
Too bad it is the only possible accomodation in this area.

A RIP OFF

We spent one night a the Savuti Campsite inside the Chobe National Park which is run by SKL. They also run a tent lodge called Savuti Camp which is outside the National Park gate. We stayed one night at the campsite even if originally we found it too overpriced (50 USD per person for international traveler!) It is the only campsite n this part of the park that you can access without being part of a tour and they know it so price it very very high. The man who helped us assured us that it was really worth it so we decided to "splurge" and pay for it. On arrival, what a disappointment, our riverside campsite was along a dry river (this could have maybe been told to us at the moment of booking the site) and on top of it we had view on the staff camp (separated by a high wooden barrier 10 m from our camp), a big scrub that was hiding the dry riverbed and another campsite. Not much for an into the wild experience... Moreover the layout of the camp was really pour with a tree, a fire place and a water point but all of them spread over the whole area so that it was difficult to find somewhere to park our car!! Plus no light at night in the ablution block, i would say that it is far from the deluxe campsite that had been sold to us. Overall, we are really disappointed by the campsite and found it overpriced. It is private with no concurrence in the middle of a famous national park and the owners know it so play on it but I would suggest to people to try to camp outside of the park and do day-trip into it because we just felt we've been ripped off by this company!! By boycotting this lace, the owners would probably realize that tourists are people and not money bag... There is other national park (for example Etosha in Namibia) that are a lot better managed and cheaper and where we saw more wildlife diversity than during our time spent in Chobe NP.

Way below expectations

We were so looking to camping at Savuti after so many recommendations. The time of year was not ideal, so game around the camp was minimal, other than a few inquisitve elephants and plenty of ground squirrels. But this was not the issue. The ablutions were fairly clean, hot and cold running water was available, the campsites were neat - but the noise spoilt everything. Two generators run from very early in the morning until after 10 at night. There is a constant flow of game-viewing vehicles past the camp, with constant chatter between their guests; but the worst was the loud banter between staff at all hours in the nearby staff accommodation. One of the camp's rules states to keep conversation low, then why do the staff not heed this? One of the joys of sleeping in the bush is hearing the night sounds, but we may as well have been in the suburbs. Very disappointing.