Reviews of Footsteps Across the Delta
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Fun for a change
Footsteps was quite a bit different than any of the other camps we have stayed at in the past. It was a different feeling looking at elephants and lions on the ground than in a car--obviously, from a long distance. The food was outstanding--I think it was better than any of the other camps.
The wildlife was very plentiful. If they heard of a popular animal, ie lion, wild dogs, etc, we would walk to a waiting car and they would drive us to it. It appeared the wildlife was more plentiful in the delta than the Linyanti areas with the early rains. I was a little disappointed that our guide commented on how Botswana had too many elephants and did not comment on the poaching crisis which is more prevalent in other countries. It was a missed opportunity to educated others on the illegal ivory trade.
The rooms were very comfortable. The bucket showers worked really well and were just the right temperature.
Footsteps Across the Delta review
Our guide, whose name/initials I am happy to provide if you don't have them, was uninspired, a bit weary and in general just "mailed it in." He did not bring much energy and almost no enthusiasm to the experience and provided average information and observations about what we saw.
While the walks were fun, they were shorter than we had hoped and barely allowed us to stretch our legs. We were hoping to have a more intense walking experience in the bush in terms of distances covered, terrain experienced, wildlife observed, etc. The food was surprisingly good and the staff apart from our guide were delightful: charming and warm.
A highlight - terrific walking safari
This was my husband's favourite safari. I had thought that this would be more flora than fauna; and that meals would be very basic. I couldn't have been more wrong! For this reason I have gone overboard on detail in this review.
We were met at Shinde airstrip by our guide Paul Moleseng and his outstanding assistant TH, and, because the water levels were so high, our journey to camp was part drive, part mokoro and part drive. We stayed in Tent 3 and were surprised to find we were the only guests staying at the camp. The tent was identical in layout to those at Kwai Tented Camp except that here we did have a hanging canvas wardrobe. All the tents overlooked the water and from the dining tent there was a superb view of the floating islands as they passed by. The camp has a resident elephant 'Oscar' (who passed right by me as I was sat sunbathing on a bush TV chair) and a resident hyaena 'Fat Albert'.
We walked in a close group one after the other; Paul led the way with his rifle, followed by the guests in order of height (shortest first), and TH brought up the rear. We had heard lions during our first night and Paul knew there was a good chance that we would come across them during our morning walk. Three male lions were spotted on Devastation Island (although water levels were rising rapidly this area had still not flooded). We were given strict instructions how to behave as we walked past the mound under their gaze. That evening we had our sundowners stood on Devastation Island surveying the tracks of the lions from that morning. The Land Cruiser came to pick us up and take us back to camp and on the way we met the 3 lions again, hunting a wildebeest (who managed to escape). This was not the last time that we would see them!
Meals were cooked on an open fire and baking (bread, cakes etc) was done using a large metal box. The food was superb. On our last night the staff laid out a 'romantic dinner' for us on the viewing platform with lanterns lighting the way - Champagne, pea soup, fillet steak, cheesecake and wine. We were very lucky to have visited Footsteps when Paul Moleseng was available. He works all over the place, although he is passionate about Footsteps which he regards as his home. It would be a wonderful camp for a family with children to visit.
We saw red lechwe, impala, black-backed jackal, warthog, elephant, giraffe, baboon, zebra, wildebeest, kudu, tsessebe, hippo, crocodile and lion. We saw saddle-billed stork, wattled crane, black crake, yellow-billed stork, spoonbill, secretary bird, little bee-eater, intermediate egrets, Senegal coucal, white-faced duck, knob-billed duck, jacana, grey heron, slaty egret, green wood-hoopoe, white-browed robin-chat, and ostrich. We did look at some flora - a large Python Vine twisting around the trunk and branch of a tree; and a Strangler Fig.
It Doesn't Get Better than This
Footsteps Across the Delta is my favourite camp in Africa. (this was my eleventh safari). It successfully creates on old Africa feel and provides simple yet comfortable accommodation. The food is excellent as is the guiding. Our guide was known as O.P. and was informative, knowledgeable and entertaining.
We saw male lions chase an intruder from their territory and encountered wild dogs whilst on foot as well as watching dung beetles a work.
The camp was well managed and everything ran smoothly. I cannot praise this camp enough.
The only negative that I can think of is that the Landcruisers are only open at the sides - the roofs and back are closed and this makes wildlife viewing and photography slightly more difficult. However since walking is the major activity this is no big deal.
A wonderful experince.
Footsteps Across the Delta review
The unexpected experience of finding ourselves the only guests with 8 members of staff to look after us was at times overwhelming. We'd expected other guests, up to 4 more, but this is not the policy of Footsteps. Two guests at a time is their norm.
The release from game drives in vehicles by just walking through the environment, including accompaning giraffes on their evening stroll, was wonderful. The Mokoro trip was equally memorable. However the highlight has to be Oscar the visiting 40 year old bull elephant. He disrupted our attempts at showering by forcing us to retreat into the tent. It's wonderful having an elephant so close to you that you can hear the swish of his tail and almost count the number of eyelashes.
However he also joined us for breakfast and promptly ate my wifes fruit, knocking condiments, tea and containers off the table. The camp manager was not happy and final the guide was throwing table mats at him to move him away. Our guide assured us that this was a one off visit and that they will now have to devise strategies to discourage him in future.
He so delayed us that we nearly missed our connecting flight to Kwara.
The walks were fine, but what makes Footsteps special is the exclusivity. There are no other camps in this concession, so you have the animals to yourself.
The service is a bit formal for our taste, but maybe British travelers will prefer it. That said, they conjured up a memorable private, romantic dinner for two on our last night. I still don't know how they arranged for the elephant to walk by between courses!
Footsteps-Incredible Lion Experience
Tracked & followed the most incredible saga--day fight between an intruder lion & lioness with the resident pride of 4 lion brothers. Everything from intruder lion narrowly escaping from twin lions & his lioness mate severely injured by alpha lion. Then that dusk/evening we watched the unfolding of the reunion & affection among the 4 brothers. Hearing & seeing big open-mouthed roars from 10 ft. are unbelievable! Lioness survived & slept that night 5 ft. from tent of our guide--safe haven.
Not really roughing it here-fun to experience the bucket shower & bush toilet. Outstanding food prepared in the bush "kitchen".
Brilliant time at Footsteps
Footsteps was totally amazing. We found that the smaller the camps were, the better the experience, and we liked the more rustic aspect.
The bucket shower was something we had never experienced before and perfectly adequate. Again Oscar the elephant, who considered the campsite as his territory, was very entertaining, although our guide always was very cautious and watchful of Oscars antics. Oscar tried to get into our hammock but only succeeded in putting one foot thankfully and that nearly brought a tree down!
Here we heard majestic roaring of lions at night and we were taken by jeep to see one in all his glory at close quarters! He looked magnificent, in the moonlight, stretched out upon a mound surveying his domain and roaring to call his companions of three other males who worked together hunting. As with most of the animals in Botswana, he was a picture of health!
OP and his trainee guides made so many interesting observations and basically taught us so much Africa although we realize that we have not even scratched the surface of this wonderful country.
On the whole Footsteps and Kwara were definitely our favourite camps.
Terrific experience at Footsteps with caution
We were thrilled by the Footsteps experience -- really luxury camping and hiking in wild Africa. Footsteps offers a different level of intimacy with the wild, and we were very happy to discover it.
The accommodations far exceeded our expectations for what we expected to be a more rustic camp, and the great food and opportunity to share a deeper social connection with the camp manager and staff -- we were the only guests, but this camp never has more than 6-7 -- was another unexpected plus. Hiking on foot to see plentiful wildlife -- zebras, giraffe, elephants, and even lion -- is a different experience than being in the safety of a vehicle, and has to be experienced to be understood. Game was plentiful.
But we had an unexpected event -- walking at dusk, later than we had felt was prudent, we discovered ourselves under surveillance by a male and female lion, though 100+ meters away, the female arose and began to circle us -- nothing untoward happened and we were able to return quickly and safely to our vehicle, but we felt our guide, while armed, should not have had us walking so late. Perhaps the fact that our guide was substituting for the regular guide, was not physically fit and seemed to delay this last walk, contributed to this scary experience. Fortunately the assistant guide was vigilant, very observant and spotted the lions.
Footsteps Across the Delta review
The walking safari experience was definitely the highlight of our entire trip.
Especially after a week of game drives, it was wonderful to explore a very remote and untouched area on foot, without any motor sound, and to take the time to watch the wildlife. Wildlife is abundant in the area. We particularly enjoyed sitting under a tree and watching the game and birds at the many waterholes. Meeting elephants when walking was definitely a highlight! And so were the incredible sunsets, different every day.
Paul Molesend is an extremely knowledgeable guide with a lot of experience and great passion for the bush. He made our experience even more enjoyable and memorable. Thank you!
The camp is, of course, less luxurious than the other camps we stayed at, however, this somewhat rustic character only enhances the bush feeling. We loved the beautiful location of the camp, the hammock in front of our tent, the campfire, bush shower, ... Food was very good, too (particularly the homemade chili sauce!) and the bar well stocked...
When planning our next safari holiday in Africa, we will definitely put a stronger focus on walking safaris, three days were just not enough! In particular, it would have been great to also do the Kanana Mokoro Trail, which is a combination of walking and mokoro trips in an even more remote area of the concession. That's for next time...