Guest Reviews: The Wonder of Botswana and Vic Falls

by MMC
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Guests of Brett’s recently traveled through Botswana and to Vic Falls to experience the true wonders of these incredible places and here are their comments:

Hello Brett,

The safari experience was overall fantastic. This was my partner Robyn’s first trip to Africa and she was amazed by the variety and number of wildlife present in a country with seemingly sparse vegetation.

Amber River Camp was a real highlight, many sightings of lions up close, a lioness with her newborns, a jackal and hyena in a tug of war over the remains of an impala and even a leopard at a distance. Many other close encounters but predators are my favorite. The camp itself was very thoughtfully designed and built with excellent staff and food and we had an excellent guide in Super. Having a safari vehicle to ourselves for 2 days was a bonus. The resident elephant kept us company in the outdoor bathroom or sitting on the porch. Hippos and various antelopes took advantage of the watercourse just 50 meters away. Helicopter transfers to and from were also great.

Setari Camp is also a great setting with great staff and food, but more thought needs to be put into planning activities. Simply repeating the same river safaris does not result in quality wildlife viewing.

Another highlight of the safari was the Machaba camp, the location on the river, the excellent accommodation, food and staff, and then there are the animals – what’s not to like ! Hyenas and adults in their den, a mother leopard trying to piss off her daughter and make her more independent, a mating lion and even a lion charging at a safari vehicle – luckily not us. The River Kwai region offers a wonderful variety of wildlife to view, but sometimes the number of safari vehicles can be irritating. The “BD” guide managed to track and locate illusory wild dogs and we kept them to ourselves for a while which was the highlight. Painted dogs are truly amazing animals.

Chobe Bakwena is also a superb lodge with good food and staff, the only downside being its distance from the national park. The number of wildlife on Sidudu Island was quite low compared to previous visits (2019), perhaps because the weather was colder. The safaris offered sightings of a wide variety of wildlife, the highlight being 3 lionesses feeding on an impala, followed by one killing a warthog. The large number of safari vehicles didn’t help in getting high quality encounters but that’s selfish of me.

The transfer from Bakwena to Old Drift went remarkably well and with little delay at the border. The new Kazungula Bridge must hurt Zimbabwe financially.

Old Drift is truly an impressive establishment and a fitting conclusion to a great safari. The lodge itself is exceptional, sensational riverboat, very good food, friendly bar staff, excellent drinks, excellent accommodation etc etc. We had a great tour of the falls and a great lunch at the beautiful Gorge View Cafe, a great place. place to kill a few hours in the cool while sipping Zambezi lagers. The cafe staff treats Old Drift customers like royalty – quite a privilege. The Zambezi National Park is not famous for its wildlife, but our guide Vusa worked very hard to get some excellent sightings, including huge herds of buffalo, large troops of baboons and many clans of bare mongoose. Vusa followed a pair of hyenas and we observed them marking their territory and preening at each other to activate the scent glands in their necks. Vusa then took us to the southern part of the park and although we didn’t locate the lions, we did find a serval and got some great photos, which I believe is quite unusual in broad daylight. I would also recommend a visit to the crocodile park, if only to see the best collection of venomous snakes and constrictors I have ever seen. Who said black mambas weren’t really black? The huge ones (3-4 meters) certainly are and it’s no wonder people don’t see the vipers until it’s too late, their camouflage is incredible.

I’m done ranting and raving now, but you can see we had a very successful safari experience. A job well done on your behalf Brett.

Thank you so much,

Greetings

Brett and Robyn.

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