"Absolute professionalism with a desire to have your safari be exactly what you want it to be!"
I can’t even express how amazing the safari that you helped put together for us was. It truly was everything that I imagined it would be, and more! I told you that I had wanted to do this forever and finally bit the bullet and was so happy that I did it. I went on this adventure as a once in a lifetime trip, and it may very well be that, but I am going to try to do everything in my power to go again! As you said yourself, it can become an obsession!!
I loved everything about the safari and Botswana! The landscape, the sky (which is huge and goes on forever), the local people that worked at the camps, the other travelers, and of course the amazing animals that we were so fortunate to see were beyond my expectations. All of the camps that you had us stay at were wonderful. All the people that worked at the camps, from the manager and guide down to the wait staff, were all so friendly, warm, inviting and really made me feel right at home. Most specifically, the managers and the guides all interacted with us and got to know us. The guides were all phenomenal. They seemed to know the answer to all our questions, never got tired of answering us and gave us so much information. At Sango camp, there were 6 of us who all wanted to see a leopard and we were hounding our guide Frank to find him. He was very good natured about it. We weren’t seeing much that am but all of a sudden he saw a leopard standing in a tree quite a distance away and we got to see this young guy up close! He went up in another tree, walked right by us and just gave us an amazing show!
Footsteps was unbelievable. I’m glad that you suggested we stay somewhere for 3 nights and I’m glad we chose that one! Sandy and I were the only guests for the entire time!! It was definitely the most rustic but wow, so fantastic. On our way from the airstrip to the camp we had to take a mokoro ride due to the high water and had a bit of an incident with a hippo. He didn’t want us to pass. Noah (our guide) and the other guy ended up bringing us back to were we started and they yelled and threw some sticks at him and he eventually moved back. At no time did either myself or Sandy feel threatened. About 10 mins before we got to camp we came over a small hill and there were 3 folks from the camp who had set up lunch for us (it was about 2 or so and I was hungry). There were 3 tables, one with food, one with drinks and one with plates, glasses and silverware. We were so surprised and amazed that they did that for just us! There was also a ton of food. The setting was beautiful, we were near a pond and if I remember there were some hippos in the water and some Impala drinking. Mpho, the manager, was just lovely! Since there was no electricity she charged some stuff for me. Noah was the most amazing guide! On our night drive we went out in search of the lions that we heard late in the afternoon and we saw 2 of the males!! They were not bothered by us in the least and weren’t aggressive. One of them was walking toward us in the road and just walked right next to the truck and by us! The second one was laying in the road so we stopped maybe 10 feet from him. He was unfazed and then started roaring 4 or 5 times, looked at us, yawned and put is head down! We guessed he tired himself out and wanted to nap!! It was just mesmerizing! The opportunity to do the walking safari was beyond words. To be walking on the same ground that all these amazing animals are walking on is inexplicable.
Chobe Bakwena lodge was quite a gem. When we got to the gate, we had trouble getting someone to open it up. After a few minutes someone did and boy were we surprised at what was in store. We were greeted with warm towels and someone to take our luggage. We were then brought into the lovely lounge are which was so homey looking and looked out on a beautiful lake. Op is an amazing manager. She made us feel right at home. She and her staff took wonderful care of us. The room was so lovely and we had a hand written note addressed to the 2 of us. Starting here was wonderful since it was a nice step down from the 5 star Ilala lodge and Chobe national park afforded us the opportunity to see so many animals!! The staff sang and danced for us at our first night of dinner and then explained what the song meant in English. Op also told a bunch of us about their culture and their ways. Truly wonderful. We also got sung to when we returned from our game drives and given those wonderful warm towels!
Going to Victoria Falls ahead of the safari was a great suggestion! The falls were so powerful and phenomenal and again, beyond words! There is only one suggestion that I would give to others that want to go white water rafting and that is there is a very steep gorge that you have to go down and then back up to do this! I am not a nervous person about doing crazy things but I was a bit nervous, especially going down. There are no railings and nothing to really hold on to, other than some trees and rocks. The ground is quite slippery b/c there is a lot of dirt and small rocks that slip under your feet! I loved it and would do it again but a heads up to folks would be suggested. The guides at wild horizons were amazing and helpful and I loved it!!
I can’t thank you enough for giving us the selections you did so that we could pick out the trip that we did! I went on trip advisor for all the lodges and gave rave reviews!
I love everything about Botswana; the people, the scenery, the landscape, the gov’t seeming to want tourism to thrive and the fact that they are the only country in Africa that has outlawed poaching makes them number 1 in my book and I will suggest Botwana to anyone that wants to go on Safari. ! hope to be back there one day and I will be in touch if/when I do!!
Thanks again for everything Sangeeta.
I will send pictures soon as well but wanted to get this to you!~