Review by: Clare Marshall & Margaret Mercer

Overall Impressions

The trip of a lifetime, a wonderful amazing trip that weâ??ll never forget. The lodges in Zambia and Botswana were all first class and the transfers between each country/lodge were seamless. We saw the Big 5 and much more and our three guides, Allan, Tony and Max were so pleasant and so experienced. We just loved every minute.

Countries Visited

Zambia

We loved Livingstone and of course the Victoria Falls which were in full flood and quite spectacular. Allan our guide took us to the Falls early in the morning before the crowds descended. We took the helicopter trip over the Falls which is well worth doing as you see the full vista. We saw our first herd of elephants in Zambia which was quite special.

Botswana

We loved Botswana, both Chobe and Moremi. Our guides Tony and Max were very experienced and we saw all the game and birds it was possible to see including leopard very close in Chobe and lion in Moremi so close we could have touched them. We loved Moremi, it is a very special place. And Baines Camp is out of this world. Just wonderful!

Accommodation Visited

Sanctuary Sussi and Chuma

Our lodge overlooked the Zambesi river and was first class. The staff were so welcoming and the food was very good. We loved the pre-dinner drinks around the camp fire and thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon boat trips. One lunch time the staff set up lunch on one of the islands as a special treat which it was ... sitting under the African sky eating lunch and looking out at the Zambesi river. Magical. The game drives/boat trips were very well organised and Allan was a knowledgeable guide. The transfer by ferry to Chobe was seamless. We loved Zambia and would like to return.

Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero

Our lodge was first class. The organisation at Chobe Chilwero was second-to-none, almost overpowering! We were given a timetable on arrival that was delivered with military precision! However, our guide Tony was just excellent and extremely knowledgeable. He was responsible for us seeing leopard. There was a barbeque the first night we were there which left a lot to be desired and unfortunately we had to complain as the meat was cold and uncooked. The chef came to see us to apologise the next day and in the evening presented me with a birthday cake with the staff singing happy birthday. We werenâ??t sure whose birthday it was ... not mine or my partnerâ??s ... but we didnâ??t question it!

Sanctuary Baines Camp

Baines is extra special and if you had a 10-rating I would have put that. We loved every single second of our stay at Baines. BB the Manager, the Chefs, the waiting staff, the housekeepers are all so pleasant. And ... what can I say about Max our guide. What a special person, he made our trip. He is so knowledgeable and so pleasant and we saw so much game with him, in part of course because he is able to drive off-road in Moremi as its a concession so he can track the game successfully which he did day after day. We will always remember the sundowners in Moremi with the African red sky as the sun goes down ... very special. We had two near encounters with elephant at Baines because of the remoteness of the camp - one when the elephant charged the wooden walkway and one when we were locked in our lodge by an elephant eating outside and had to be rescued by BB in his truck ... a story to dine out on! The choir at Baines is first class and treated guests one night to a rendition of African songs followed by a very tasty barbeque. In fact all meals at Baines Camp were delicious. Max said we should go back to Baines when the delta is flooded and yes we do hope we can.

Staff Review

Nikkiâ??s organisation is quite simply first class. Everything, yes everything, worked seamlessly ... all the transfers were seamless which was wonderful as other travellers had dreadful problems with transfers - her choice of lodges, flights etc was spot-on. She suggested we upgrade to Baines Camp and she was absolutely right, our 4 nights there was the highlight of our trip. Well done Nikki and Mahlatini and thank you Nikki for organising the best holiday of our lifetime.