Our mobile, tented Botswana safari was one of the best travel adventures we've ever experienced. Lots of big animals, of course, and we could rave about the guide and service, but the most surprising part of the trip was the birding. We are not "birders," but we've done a little on other trips and told Joe, our guide, that we'd like to see some birds as well as the standard fare. He promptly laid down the challenge - we would identify 150 species before the end of our ten day trip. And for Joe just seeing a bird fly by and having him tell us what it was did not count as "identifying" it. By the end of the trip we'd counted 162!
Loved Botswana. Its a country that really seems to have its act together. They have made conscious decisions to maintain their environment and from our little exposure it seems that the government has been able to avoid much of the corruption and inefficiencies of many other African countries.
Seeing only Victoria Falls (the town and the falls) doesn't tell a traveler much about the country itself. The town is not at all representative of the rest of the country. While the falls themselves are well worth seeing, the political oppression that has racked the country and ruined its economy is very disheartening.
We slept on cots in tents and moved every three days, so the accommodations can't be compared to a hotel. Remarkably comfortable, and having hot water delivered to the washbasins first thing in the morning and before dinner was a delight. And hot water showers in the middle of the bush - Ahh.
The rooms were very pleasant and the staff was friendly, but we should have taken Greg's suggestion and stayed at The Victoria Falls Hotel instead. I thought that having just come from ten days in the bush that being at VFH would feel very stuffy, which it probably would have, but the location and views are so spectacular that it's the choice if you are staying at a high end location in Victoria Falls.
Greg was great. Period, end of discussion. I was initially a bit concerned working with an agency thousands of miles away, but soon realized that it was as if he was next door. Good suggestions without being pushy and very attuned to our needs and interests. I have recommended Mahlatini to our friends.
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