Botswana Private Mobile Safari

Reviews of Botswana Private Mobile Safari

Excellent(100%) From 25 travellers
Excellent
25
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Below are independent comments from 25 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.
Mrs G & Mr M from Canada
Arrived on: 24-Aug-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

Sublime Okavango

We knew our trip to the delta would be a beautiful and educational travel experience but we couldn't imagine just how beautiful it actually was until we started to experience it.

We are seasoned campers. We thought we had lived well on previous trips to the bush (in Canada) but we have never had such luxury in such remote wilderness as we did on our mobile camping trip. In fact, we hadn't imagined so much luxury could be created while staying in a tent. All of our needs were met, the meals were extraordinary, the vehicle and all camping equipment (linens, tent, etc) were in immaculate condition. We felt safe and we felt pampered and it was clear that Andrew and his staff wanted us to have a special experience.

Andrew is an interesting and knowledgeable guide who was open to our requests for stops along the way. He was clearly safety conscious and respectful of the animals and the park rules. He gave great attention to detail. His staff were wonderful .

I loved our isolation at the two campsites we stayed at because of the bird activity in the morning and the animal activity so close to us at night. And I would recommend the mobile camping safari to anyone. I would also recommend Andrew Harkness safari to anyone. I would go again next year if I could. Maybe one day.

Truly a sublime experience.

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Peacocks/LC from USA
Arrived on: 16-Aug-2017 Stayed for: 5 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent

Harkness/Khwai Mobile Camp

This was our second safari with Andrew Harkness and his team (see our review from August 2016). There are several advantages to a private mobile safari:

1. Value - you get a unique experience at very favorable rates;
2. Expert guiding - Andrew is one of the best young guides in Botswana:
3. Food - Again we had the best cuisine prepared by Andrew's crew (over the fire); The quality was better than in any of the "sophisticated" camps:
4. The small details -- Andrew and his team show up on time, do what they say they're going to do, attend to all the small details, and produce a wonderful experience. He also has a wicked sense of humor.

The Khwai Community concession has "self-drive" tourists who can fail to maintain the "bush etiquette", but the wildlife viewing is consistently excellent. Lions, elephants, Painted dogs, leopards et al. We'd recommend combining a Harkness Safari with camps on the private concessions. The overall experience becomes a more authentic safari.

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BJB from Los Angeles
Arrived on: 24-Jun-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

Harkness Mobile Safaris

As we deplaned at the Khwai airstrip after over 24 hours of traveling, we were greeted by the ruggedly handsome and personable Andrew Harkness. Sorry girls, he's happily married with two young sons.

This was the beginning of a fantastic four days in Khwai. As other reviewers have indicated the camp is nicer than many of the permanent camps throughout Africa. Our tent was spacious and the beds were comfortable. Each night Andrew's team formed our towels into a different animal including giraffes, birds, and elephants. There was a separate sitting tent with a trunk housing a full bar, love seat, and chairs to relax at your leisure.

The meals prepared by the team were outstanding. Pippa, Andrew's wife, provides the recipes and coordinates the meals. We are picky eaters and Pippa managed to surpass our expectations. Patrick, the chef, and his capable team execute her recipes that include quiche, vegetable lasagna, curry, and fresh bread baked over the fire. We didn't have to lift a finger. Harkness Mobile Safaris is "glamping" at its finest.

These travellers commented about their private guide:

Experiencing the guiding of Andrew is equivalent to being a treasured guest in someone's home. Every detail of the camp and game drives was outstanding. As other guests noted, the camp and meals are as nice as the high end camps throughout Africa. With our goal of photographing game in the bush, we spent a day following the "wild or painted dogs'. While tracking two female lionesses, Andrew climbed on top of the vehicle with binoculars to assure a photo op. With his vast knowledge of birds, there were many opportunities to photograph birds resting or in flight. While we are not campers, the experience was fantastic and not one to miss.

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EB from France
Arrived on: 5-Jun-2017 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

Unforgettable trip in Khwai Reserve

The mobile camp experience was great. Staying at a campsite rather than a lodge, we felt that much closer to nature, with elephants browsing on the trees right next to our tents, and just the right level of thrill during the night with hippos grunting and lions roaring nearby, while feeling safe in our campsite with the careful way the tents were organised and the guide and the team also in camp. The conditions were very comfortable, much more high-end than I had expected, but still retaining the best aspects of camping - drinks around the campfire, eating outdoors, sleeping under the stars (well, in a tent of course!).

Andrew Harkness was an excellent guide, very informative about the animals, the country and the culture, and the Batswana team that helps at the camp worked really hard to make everything as comfortable as possible.

On the safari drives Andrew was very responsive to our reactions, always stopping and turning off the motor at anything we found interesting, and able to name virtually every species of bird or animal we saw. We enjoyed his company, felt very safe in his care and learned a lot.

I recommend him and the mobile camp experience wholeheartedly.

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Ms K from Oakland
Arrived on: 5-Jun-2017 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Botswana Private Mobile Safari review

Andrew was a pleasure; knowledgeable, passionate, responsible and altogether enjoyable.

The scenery and wildlife were also amazing. Our mobile safari experience exceeded our expectations in every way.

Andrew's wife (menu planner!) and staff (Patrick especially) deserve a special mention for their efforts and amazing cuisine.

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Mr & Mrs H from Surrey
Arrived on: 17-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:
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Great time with Andrew Harkness

This was the highlight of our holiday. Andrew is an excellent guide - very attentive and informative and the game viewing could not have been bettered. He runs a very good operation with excellent staff.

The chef, Patrick, produced some outstanding food from his bush kitchen - the best of our holiday.

We would highly recommend this private mobile safari as a way to experience the bush of the old days. Our tent was very spacious and comfortable.

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Bertie from UK
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
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Facilities:
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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 from USA
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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