Botswana Private Mobile Safari

Reviews of Botswana Private Mobile Safari

Excellent(100%) From 19 travellers
Excellent
19
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Below are independent comments from 19 of our travellers who have visited Botswana Private Mobile Safari, and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts.

They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Bertie
Arrived on: 7-May-2017 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Camping in the Bush

Our private mobile safari was based at the Khwai Community concession. Our guide was Andrew Harkness, an English guy who has adopted Botswana as his home. Andrew runs his own company, Harkness Safaris with his wife Pippa. They both have huge experience of working in the lodges prior to setting up this mobile business.

We were delighted at the level of accommodation provided and amazing food, all cooked on a bush oven. Andrew's knowledge of the area was outstanding. He is really happy to listen to his guests so that he can tailor the activity to what you are really interested in. Andrew picked us up from Maun and drove us to Khwai, which gave us amazing insights in to how the local people live as we spotted various villages along the way.

Andrew only provides safaris to private groups, so that he can tailor the holiday. No juggling what everyone wants to see. We were particularly interested in birds (we saw 61) but also saw big game including leopard with cubs and wild dogs.
We would highly recommend Andrew and his lovely team. Nothing is too much trouble. We have visited Botswana before and stayed on lodges so were a little apprehensive. However the camping experience is amazing being so close to the wildlife. We are tempted to go back again, this would make it our third visit to Botswana!

Only note of caution. One of us got a tick, which also happened to a previous guest.

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Ms I. from North Berwick
Arrived on: 11-Mar-2017 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Botswana Private Mobile Safari review

Andrew and his staff coped very well with the challenges generated by the bad weather that preceded our visit. Clearly the area had been flooded but it barely rained at all during our stay.

The food was outstanding. I have no idea how Philemon, the chef, created such good food from his pit oven. The whole set up was an "Out of Africa" experience. My group have all been campers and hikers and we adapted readily to camp routine. I personally loved dining outside all Deeted up for breakfast and dinner.

Andrew miraculously never got stuck despite the conditions and water flowing over the bonnet. I have a Landrover and off roading experience, and i would not have driven my vehicle through some of the water Andrew took on.

Some of the drives were a little quiet on the wild life side but this gave us more time to enjoy the unique scenery including the devastation caused to the trees by the elephants. We also had superb drives including close observation of elephants, baboons, wild dogs and lions. We followed the dogs for a long time, which was great. I served our sun downer on the move and am pleased to say that I did not spill a drop!

Having lions roaring around the camp and resting within about 150 yards of the camp on the last night was an unforgettable experience. This was my first mobile safari and i am very glad we did it.

Minor issues arose in relation to the lack of duvet and pillow slips on the bed. My bed was not terribly comfortable but i have camped on much worse. The lights in the tent consistently failed, but i had two torches with me and generally use very little light when camping to avoid attracting insects anyway. I suspect that we suffered teething problems with the camp set up as this was the first camp of Andrew's season.

I wish him and his gang every success going forward. He is very well informed and enthusiastic about the environment and the natural world.

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Mr M. from Bow
Arrived on: 11-Mar-2017 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Glamping is Great on a Mobile Safari

We chose a mobile safari based on prior experience in the Serengeti - the thrill of nighttime predator roars and calls in close proximity to our camp. Andrew Harkness provided us with a great experience in difficult viewing conditions (tall grass, low mopane, and local flood conditions).

We spent just three nights with Andrew, so we camped in one area only. Contrary to our expectations, we never actually entered the Moremi Game Reserve. Our guide indicated that entry into Moremi occurs only on six-day or longer trips. Had we known this during the planning stage, we might have chosen another camp instead. However, that was before we met Andrew.

The advantages of staying in the Khwai Conservancy, as we did, is that bush walking, off-roading, and night driving are allowed. Consequently, we were able to observe and follow a pack of wild dogs as they roused themselves from a siesta and began an evening hunt and to go on an informative mid-morning hike.

See comments by Ms I. from North Berwick for additional details on our shared vacation.

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Peacocks/LC
Arrived on: 28-Aug-2016 Stayed for: 6 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Andrew Harkness Six Day Mobile Safari

This was our first mobile safari in Botswana, but we had been spoiled by superb private guiding in Zimbabwe on two previous trips.

Our standards were extremely high.

When Expert Africa suggested a six day mobile with a thirty three year old guide and his crew we felt it would be difficult to measure up to our previous experiences. Wow! Were we surprised.

Andrew Harkness grew up in England, but in the years since he emigrated to Botswana he has walked hundreds of kilometers in the Delta and back country, apprenticed with the "old school" private guides, and built a really fine mobile safari operation.

Andrew is fastidious. He attends to every detail with patience and a great sense of what will create a unique experience for the client. He manages his team with a firm but kind touch, and his spouse Pippa creates plans that are flawless.

We have stayed in some fine fixed camps in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana, but none have come close to the quality of cuisine and preparation delivered by Andrew's team.

His overall knowledge, sense of fun, tracking and safety ability, and execution are second to none. We are in the process of booking another week with Andrew and Harkness safaris for next August. He's that good.

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C & J from Washington DC
Arrived on: 6-Aug-2016 Stayed for: 6 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Absolutely incredible safari experience!

We had the most fantastic time with Andrew Harkness on our August mobile safari in Botswana - it's hard to know even where to begin. The mobile experience itself was superb - an incredible way to get up close to the animals and feel immersed in the landscape. The tents were comfortable, the staff were courteous, professional, and extremely helpful, and the food was out of this world - I still can't quite believe some of the dishes that the chef was able to pull together in a bush stove over an open fire, including souffles (true story) and perfectly baked breads, scones, and cakes. Genius.

Andrew himself was the paragon of what a guide should be - knowledgable, excellent company, and also respectful of when we might need time to ourselves. He also went out of his way to provide the very best service he could (including DHL-ing a Kindle we left behind in the tent!) and overall was an incredible ambassador for Botswana and the Okavango.

In terms of the safari, we spent three nights in the Khwai concession and three nights in Moremi Game Reserve - both were great, though for different reasons. The density of wildlife in Khwai was amazing, with hordes of elephants all over the place and up close and personal encounters with lions on several of the days we were there. We also had a chance to do a mokoni ride, courtesy of a company run by some of the Khwai villagers, which was a unique addition to the experience and very relaxing (even though we did need to do a bit of walking on land to avoid an aggrieved hippo!). However, the aggregation of animals along the narrow strip of the Khwai river also meant we saw quite a few other tourists - nothing like the traffic jams of the East African parks, but that was where Moremi shone through. On one of the days we were there, I don't think we saw more than three other vehicles - it was as if we had the park to ourselves. The landscape was also extraordinary, with "islands" of trees marking the areas that are saturated during the height of the floods, and many different water sources meandering through.

I would definitely recommend visiting both sites if possible, in order to get this balance of intense wildlife viewing and an appreciation of the variety and complexity of the Okavango ecosystem. For those keen on checklists, we saw four out of the big five (didn't really expect to see a rhino as they are rare in the Delta, and only really found deeper in) and over 120 species of birds - the only mammal we missed that we had really wanted to see was a cheetah, and Andrew has promised us one if (when!) we go back. Overall, our six nights of mobile safari were a dream come true, and exceeded even our wildest expectations, largely down to the professionalism and exceptional level of service offered by Andrew and his team.

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Mrs J and Family - Dunmow
Arrived on: 21-Jul-2016 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Botswana Private Mobile Safari review

This was a lovely spot to camp and the park was teeming with wildlife. Andrew was a very imformative guide and you always felt very safe and secure particularly when facing up to a bull elephant or having a leopard pace right next to the truck. He was very happy to do whatever we wanted and found lots of game including lions and wild dogs with a litter of puppies.

We went on several walking safaris to stretch our legs and had some incredible sun downers.

The hyenas and lions were very noisy outside our tent at night and my husband had an elephant stroll past whilst he was having a shower!! All great experiences.

Our chef and his team were always smiling and produced some amazing food from their camp fires.

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Mr C & Ms B - Colorado
Arrived on: 18-Jun-2016 Stayed for: 6 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Botswana Private Mobile Safari review

Totally chuffed...it doesn't get any better than this! How does one exceed a camp crew with Rifle as your cook (chocolate mousse in the bush!), TC as the driver, and Pro and Zulu as the rest of this efficient, tight, and happy crew.
Andrew's selection in NG 32 (with Makoros) with Waco as a guide is a fabulously subtle addition. Waco is a superlative low-key guide, and one must not ignore Lydia as the rear-view eyes in the bush. NG 32 is also especially delightful because of its isolation; you're pretty much there with no one else.
Our next camp in the Khwai River concession, NG 19, is unforgettable as well: night stars through the mesh, elephants drifting through the camp, green spring-hare eyes at night, etc. Tragically, this is where our safari ended due to the medical emergency. Not that one wants to test it, but Andrew's emergency response was immediate, decisive, and reassuring.
As the guide, Andrew is a low-key accomplished, competent professional, who pays attention to his environment and is responsive to the needs of his clients. He is extremely knowledgeable, knows his birds and plants, and is completely in love with his job. He is bloody fine company in the bush! We highly recommended him, and we would go back with him tomorrow. One day, we hope to finish our planned safari to Savuti et al.

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Mr & Mrs Maitland - Kent
Arrived on: 27-Sep-2015 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Botswana Private Mobile Safari review

Andrew is very personable and his enthusiasm is contagious.

The food was wonderful - a bit too plentiful for us to begin with but we are probably small eaters!

I felt safe and cared for without being fussed over.

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Family L - Lagos
Arrived on: 27-Mar-2015 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Great Safari in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve

Andrew is a great guide. His camp was comfortable and he was attentive to our group's needs.

He even took the kiddos for an afternoon so that we adults could have a rest.

We really enjoyed our time with him and the lion sightings were excellent.

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