Review by: Beverley Cowan & Carolyn Stewart
- Countries Visited: Botswana & Zambia
- Holiday Type: Holiday
An incredible adventure, particularly the Okavango Delta - wonderful wildlife up close with the most amazing landscapes and sunsets that we have ever seen (there is nothing like an African sunset especially with the added bonus of the sundowner G & T!) Delta accommodation at Sandibe and Xudum was first class and the hospitality of the people was like nothing we have ever experienced before anywhere else in the world. The trackers and guides in all of our camps were incredibly knowledgeable about absolutely everything from the biggest animal to the smallest termite as well as the flora and fauna. Being up close to leopards, cheetah, lions and elephants was an incredible (if slightly hard stopping at times!) experience that we will never forget. Botswana has captured our hearts for sure...
Everything about Botswana is amazing - the wildlife, the flora and fauna, the sunsets, the landscape, the accommodation, the fabulous food and the incredible people - it has stolen our hearts! The fact that there are not as many tourists (very few vehicles compared to other African safaris) also made this a true experience in the African wild - cannot recommend this country enough - there is only one place to go on safari and that is Botswana!
While only here for two days, first impressions are that Zambia is a place we would like to explore more of - wonderfully friendly people, great service at the beautiful Royal Livingstone and of course experiencing the breath taking beauty and magnitude of Victoria Falls we will never forget.
A wonderful start to our holiday in a plush hotel on the edge of the Falls - rooms, grounds and pool all immaculate. We particularly loved the bar and afternoon piano sessions as well as the wandering monkeys, giraffes and zebras! You can walk to the Falls from the hotel (15min) - a particular highlight was having the whole area to ourselves on the Zambia side - incredible to have a private viewing of a UNESCO World Heritage site!
Chobe Under Canvas is a great idea - benefits include being in the national park and having a head start on everyone else first thing in the morning. The land at this time of year is a little bit barren but the sunsets and rises were still striking over the dusty landscape and there's plenty to see - also sitting round the 'bush tv' as the lightening lit up the sky beyond was an incredible experience. The tents however do need upgrading (this is really more camping than glamping so you do need to be prepared for that) and we had serious issues with our toilet which prompted a serious fly infestation which was unfortunate. Two nights max I think for this particular experience.
Hands down our favourite lodge - loved the African village theme and the rustic feel of the place. The individual huts with the veranda overlooking the grassland and water was incredible - sitting with a glass of wine and watching elephants graze close by was wonderful. Loved the outdoor shower and the whole open feel of the bedroom area - really felt like you were sleeping outside. The staff were also amazing and our tracker and guide incredible. Really loved this place!
The most luxurious of our rooms - wonderfully designed lodge with incredibly large rooms - actually they're more like wooden chalets - upstairs lounge area was great - overlooking the Delta and watching Xudu roam freely was just great. Also you have a fantastic bath area (stand alone bath and both an indoor and outdoor shower) - very modern design. Outdoor lounge area with private plunge pool was a great touch. The main area of the lounge is absolutely beautiful - the food here was absolutely fantastic and again the staff were simply incredible. One of the great things about this lodge is the way in which they cleverly recycle materials - the oil drum private bar in your room, the tyre and beer can tables were something else!
Greg's enthusiasm and passion for all things African and the time he took (and patience he had!) in helping us choose the right holiday was second to none - haven't enjoyed booking and organising a holiday this much in years - using a luxury travel specialist like Mahlatini made such a difference. The trip was incredibly well organised and everything went like clockwork ( bearing in mind you are travelling to different places via plane every two or three days) - if you are planning a safari or indeed any trip to Africa don't look anywhere else - go to Mahlatini!