Review by: Brian & Valerie Fisher

Overall Impressions

A well organised trip that facilitated a seamless experience. Zimbabwe was overall the best safari experience, with its diversity of Bush Camps, the warm and friendly people and the knowledge and enthusiasm of the guides and staff. It was a pity that following three years of minimal rain the water levels affected our enjoyment of Mana Pools and the Okavango Delta.

Countries Visited

Zimbabwe

See above. Whilst the game was more widespread (due to the lack of water), the enthusiasm of the guides, their knowledge of the flora and smaller fauna and their desire to share their country with you made Zimbabwe a wonderful experience for us.

Zambia

We only stayed at one camp/hotel which was faultless, except for the staff who seemed to have been drilled into responding to guests in a certain way. Very strange!

Botswana

There were a lot of animals in Botswana, compared to the other two countries we visited, but their were many more tourists. We felt at times that we were not 'in the wild' because of the numerous other vehicles we passed or saw during the day. We stayed at two camps, run by African Bush Camps, which were an interesting contrast. As a result we appreciate that the staffing and their general approach to customers is more important than the accommodation.

Accommodation Visited

Bumi Hills Safari Lodge

A great gentle start to our safari. The accommodation was really good, food excellent and our guide, a keen birder, was fun and knowledgeable. The personal attention we had from the camp manager and his kindness to us ensured the rest of our birding Safari experience was personalised.

Nyamatusi Camp

Wonderful, just wonderful. We stayed at Nyamatusi Mahogany, not Nymatusi, and Mahogany had only been open 3 days. We were the second paying guests they had. 3 out of our 5 days we were alone in camp and spent our time with Jason and Bee, our hosts, and Nick, our guide 'extraordinaire'. They gave us memories to last forever - it was such fun. This camp, in the middle of nowhere, having been in operation for only a few days, was impeccable. Nothing, not one thing, went wrong or was wrong. The food was superb and the accommodation equally so. We saw both lions and wild dogs whilst we were on foot and though we were incredibly near we felt safe and protected by our guide.

Somalisa Camp

A bit of a rocky start lead to a wonderful safari experience. The experience of seeing the elephants and buffalo at the camps water hole and the elephants at the swimming pool alone would guarantee a wonderful stay but the staff and guide were excellent. So glad we got to stay there but it was cold, so very cold, despite the ponchos and African Bush babies.

Thorntree River Lodge

The camps setting and accommodation were beautiful and we had a good experience. We wanted to have a rest at Thorntree but found ourselves reluctantly going out on evening drives to see rhino and getting up very early in the morning to see Vic Falls (which are there all day and we had seen before). The staff did provide a great lunch for us out on the river but we felt somewhat badgered on the day we did have at leisure by the staff 'checking up' to make sure 'we were all right'. The saga of the lost t-shirt..................

Linyanti Bush Camp

The worn down, shabby state of our tent was Only redeemed by the charm and courtesy of the staff. We thought, considering the excellent African Bush Camps we had already stayed at, this camp let them down. Whilst we didn't expect all the camps to be of the same standard, but sinks with rusty corrosion, tent doors that either would not open or would not close, shower heads that sprayed water over everything and a cooling unit that didn't function due to its position were not things we wanted to fight with on holiday. The staff, particularly Cassie and Maps, really worked hard to give their guests a good experience. I am glad that Maps made us go on the helicopter ride - over the Bush it was an amazing experience, The game drives provided many birding opportunities as well as cats and our guide was excellent.

Khwai Tented Camp

A lovely camp, which we think has been recently refurbished. The tents were really comfortable and the closeness of ours to the main area was convenient. Khwai was a very busy area for us after our previous experiences but the abundance of game made up for, or perhaps reflected, the abundance of us and other tourists. We had hoped to have a couple of days R and R here after 20 days of safari and before our long trip home but this did not happen. Here we found the staff to be somewhat disinterested in their guests and not keen to engage with us as people. Fellow guests also felt the same and were more scathing in their comments than us. I would exemplify this in the amount of time our guide spent on his mobile phone whilst we were trying to bird watch and taking photos of animals whilst we sat and waited for him!

Staff Review

We wouldn't have been repeating customers if we didn't have absolute confidence in what Donna could and did recommend and arrange for us.