Review by: Victoria & Chris Porter
- Countries Visited:
- Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa & Zimbabwe
- Holiday Type:
We had an absolutely brilliant honeymoon in Zimbabwe, Botswana and Mozambique. Our first stop in Victoria Falls was beautiful and the Victoria Falls Hotel was very charming. The room was perfect and the service at the hotel was great, we enjoyed visiting the falls and relaxing with a cocktail or two on the terrace watching the resident Warthog lawnmowers chewing the grass with the view of the mist rising above the falls in the distance. Next stop was beautiful Botswana and our first camp in Chobe National Park. Chobe proved to be the greatest location in terms of animal sightings and the camp at Chobe Under Canvas was truly fantastic, they made us feel very special and it was my favourite of all the accommodation. We enjoyed numerous sightings of lion, buffalo, elephant, giraffe, numerous antelope and a variety of bird life, crocodile and hippo by the river Chobe as well as a thrilling kill by a pack of rare wild dogs and a glimpse of leopard. Our second stop at the Okavango delta was lovely, the animal sightings were less frequent but we had elephant and hippo in the camp and saw fantastic leopard and hyena as well as many sightings of zebra, wildebeest, giraffe and elephant. We loved the speed boat trip and romantic mokoro trip through the reeds to look for frogs and the sun-downers we enjoyed watching breath-taking sunsets. Nxabega Camp was lovely and we were looked after throughout our stay. Our last stop in Botswana was the spectacular Makgadikgadi salt pans which really were an awesome sight, nothing as far as the eye could see in any direction. We spent a very enjoyable day hunting for meerkat which was brilliant fun (we found a lot of them) and we had a great bush picnic overlooking the vast expanse of the twetwe pan. Back at camp we loved the vantage point overlooking zebra and elephant drinking from the Boteti river. Our time on safari was amazing, a truly memorable experience. After a night in Johannesburg airport it was off to Benguerra Island in the Bazuruto Archipelago off the coast of Mozambique. We enjoyed a helicopter transfer for the short hop to Benguerra Lodge which was the ideal spot for a few days relaxation. Our Cabana was spacious and private and the staff really looked after us. We enjoyed snorkelling in the beautiful two mile reef and a romantic castaway picnic on the secluded north point of the island. Benguerra Island was beautiful and the perfect place to enjoy the crystal clear turquoise waters and untouched white sand beaches of this relatively untouched part of Mozambique. All in all, we had the perfect trip.
Beautiful Botswana. We loved it and would love to return one day. The Okavango Delta with its stunning sunsets and landscapes, Chobe with its abundant wildlife and the Kalahari and salt pans are like no other place on earth, a vast expanse of nothing which really is a sight to behold. Throughout Botswana we found people freindly and helpful.
The little we saw of Mozambique was lovely, but perhaps not representative of the real Mozambique. The Bazaruto Archipelago is breath takingly beatiful, turquoise waters and stunning white sand beaches. The people were friendly and we did not experience any hassle from the local people on Beguerra Island who were nothing but friendly and unintrusive.
We only saw Johannesburg Airport so not really the real South Africa. Everybody was friedy and helpful during the little time we spent there.
The little we saw of Zimbabwe was lovely, but perhaps not representative of the real Zimbabwe as Victoria Falls, with it's high levels of tourism and foreign visitors is quite different to the rest of the country. We did experience the road tranfer from Vic Falls through the Kasane and we saw some spectacular scenery on the way. The local people in Zimbabwe were freindly. There were young men selling a variety of wares close to Vic Falls National Park but this is typical of any tourist hotpsot in a struggling country. We did not experience any threatening behaviour and usually found that a firm 'no' was enough to make them move on. We would have no hesitation in returning to Zimbabwe.
The Victoria Falls Hotel was lovely. We enjoyed the colonial old world charm. Our room (237) was perfect, very spacious with a huge comfy bed, large sitting area and all the things needed such as hair dryer etc. The service was excellent, staff were friendly and polite. The restaurants were good, breakfast was plentiful, we enjoyed high tea on the Terrace and a lovely seven course tasting menu with matching wine in the Livingstone Room for dinner. The only fault we found with the hotel was that they don't ever seem to have change if you pay in cash, however small a note you use. This is not a problem if everything is put on your room account and seems to be more a symptom of the Zimbabwe as a country than the hotel specifically.
Chobe Under Canvas was amazing, we loved it. There were five tents set around a camp fire with a communal dining area and bar. The tents were spacious with comfy beds and en-suite bathrooms. The staff were so friendly and welcoming and their moto 'a home away from home' was spot on. We could not fault this camp in any way, our stay was truly memorable and the staff made us feel so special. We were lucky enough to have the camp to ourselves on our last night and we returned from our game drive to a nice hot shower and bottle of champagne in our room. Dinner under the stars was something we will remember for a very long time and the food was fantastic throughout our stay. We would like to say a very special thank you to all at Chobe Under Canvas including Meyer our guide, Robson the camp manager, Prince the chef and Jameson, John and the rest of the team for looking after us so well.
Nxabega camp is located in a beatiful pot deep in the Okavango delta. The drive from Pom Pom airstip is a game drive in itself and we were looked after very well by the team at Nxabega. The food was excellent and plentiful and the activities were varied including speed boat trips, mokoro trips, walking safaris and the usual game drives. We enjoyed dinner under the stars on the camp terrace, a lovely BBQ prepared in the open away from camp and also a romatnic dinner for two served ont he terrace of our tent by our very friendly and attentive butler BK. The tent was luxurious with lots of space. The bed was compy and the shower was fantastic (the best we had on our trip). We throughly enjoyed Nxabega and the team including Boffa the camp manager, Maxwell our guide, BK our butler and Didi all deserve a special mention.
Meno A Kwena Tented Camp 5
Meno a Kwena was great. Geoff, the camp manager was very freindly and a very interesting guy to talk to. We loved the work that Meno A Kwena are doing for conservation in the area and it was great to learn a little about the on-going struggle between cattle farming and protecting the precious wildlife of Botswana. We would have loved to stay a little longer here. The camp at Meno a Kwena enjoys a beatiful location over looking the Boteti river. Our tent had a private view point area with chairs to overlook the beatiful view or enjoy a drink under the stars. The tents are not en-suite but each has its own private bathroom and the showers are great, quite a unique form of bucket shower out in the open which is a great way to wake up before a game drive. The bed was huge and comfortable and the tents were nicely set up with a variety of authentic items. The food was again delicious and all the team were very helpful and friendly. Cell our guide and Sarah the chef/waitress deserve a special mention as do the whole team at Meno a Kwena who really looked after us during our stay.
We stayed at City Lodge OR Tambo which was perfect for the one night stay. The hotel is part of the airport complex making it easy to get to and from the terminal building. The staff were freindly, room was spacious and comfortable and breakfast was plentiful.
Benguerra Lodge is set in a beautiful location on the beach. Our Cabana was very spacious and private with its own sunloungers and gazebo for shade. The Cabana also has a small pluge pool on the deck and a hammock to relax in. The food at Benguerra Lodge was good and very fresh. Breakfast was good, although less plentiful than the safari camps we had visited previously. The staff were very friendly and helpful and looked after us throughout our stay at Benguerra. We were on the full board package which included breakfast, lunch and dinner each day. Our only complaint was that the full board option did not include any drinks at all, not even water with the meal. This was fully explained on arrival; however, given the price of the accommodation, we were a little surprised that complimentary water is not available to guests (unless on the all inclusive package); particularly given the hot climate. The service overall was good, Meg and Phillip looked after us and our butler Jose was helpful and attentive. Overall we enjoyed our stay but perhaps feel it offered slightly less, in terms of value for money, than the safari accommodation that we had experienced in Botswana previously.
Staff Review 5
Adam was extremely knowledgable, friendly and helpful throughout, from our first discussions right through the booking process. We are very happy witht he service received and would not heistate to use Mahlatini again.