There were so many amazing experiences on this trip--and a few hiccups. Overall, I was very happy with our safari.
by far, the best part of our trip!! the first two &Beyond; camps were our family's favorite and we can't stop talking about them.
It didn't feel as effortless or safe as Botswana. And it took a lot of time to get to these places. The Old Drift Lodge was a good experience -- they knew exactly what we should do during our stay. But our Wilderness Camp seemed less prepared. It might have been in contrast to the &Beyond; experience, but our family was a little underwhelmed.
Fabulous! Food, accommodations, service were all top notch. Our guides at this camp (AK and Kenny) were very fun and engaging. The game drives were exciting and felt like a real adventure.
We went to Xaranna (Xudum had burned down). It was amazing and our best experience with guides. We had Tollen and Jakes and they went above and beyond to make the trip fun for us. We saw animals hunting and it was thrilling for the whole family. And the accommodations, service and food were all perfect.
This lodge felt a little impersonal after staying at the first two camps. And the game drives weren't quite as adventuresome as Xaranna and Nxabega. I think we should have started in Sandibe and then gone to Nxabega and Xaranna. This would have been a great camp to give us an overview of the animals and time to unwind.
A good break from the safari. We felt like the staff catered to us and made our two nights very fun. Leslie (the manager) talked to us after we arrived and came up with a good itinerary after hearing what we had already done. In addition, we went on an afternoon river cruise. We had no expectations and were so surprised to see how thoughtful the staff was. We were in the bigger pontoon boat with a private chef, captain, and butler. Everyone was laid back and fun -- this was one of my favorite experiences on the trip.
While friendly, the overall service experience was not as professional and helpful as the other camps. The attention to detail was not as high. For example, my kids didn't like to eat meals on the sand because of the ants crawling on the table. Before each meal, I had to ask for our table to be moved to the platform. It was frustrating.
Also, the game drives at this camp were underwhelming. There were very few animals on property and the concession was extremely small. This is not a place to do a game drive.
We did find success on the water. We took a river cruise and two canoe trips. These were all fun -- but not as seamless as the &Beyond; camps.
I'd like to mention that Bob (the kids' counselor) did an excellent job engaging with our family. He played cricket with the kids, showed them magic tricks, and was overall a friendly face at the camp. We appreciated having him there.
Greg was very responsive and knowledgeable. We feel like he made our trip easy to plan and the right level of luxury. And he really listened to what we wanted in the trip and gave us plenty of options.
Overall great experience! Really, the only hiccup was that the Chikwenya Camp didn't seem worth the effort and time. But otherwise, it was all great. Thank you!