Reviews of Footsteps across the Delta
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Though the experience was more rustic, as we expected, we enjoyed our stay, especially as we were the only guests.
We were well looked after by staff and our guides.
Small-camp experience bowled us over
From the first exciting game encounters on the drive back from the neighbouring airstrip (the local one was waterlogged), this delightfully intimate and personal camp never disappointed.
Our chief guide Paul and his assistant Kenny were highly experienced and professional in everything they did. Our two girls built an immediate rapport with the whole camp team, and we always felt perfectly secure when out on walks, mokoro trips or game drives. The Young Explorer Programme was a great introduction to the bush and the kids were kept busy during the mid-day siestas with complementary activities like making bows and arrows, lighting fiires or learning how to shoot an air rifle.
We must make a special mention of the food, which was exceptional given the limited facilities in the kitchen (essentially a tin box heated by coals). By the way, the Kerr & Downey game spotting notebooks that we were all given here were a very useful and fun way of recording all of our sitings throughout our trip - we were very surprised that none of the other camps provided anything similar.
Nichols at Footsteps
We were lucky enough to be staying at Footsteps on our own so all the activities were geared to our interests. Obviously the main attraction at Footsteps is the walking and this did not disappoint. Andrew, the guide, knows his stuff and was able to point out and explain all sorts of things which we would have otherwise missed. The walking is in no way strenuous; it didn't feel much more than a gentle stroll, but being on foot gives an entirely different feel to game viewing. You don't get as close to the animals as in a car but it's an entirely different experience.
Although I was very pleased with the camp and the facilities, it has to be said that they wouldn't be to everyone's taste. They are, deliberately, very simple and basic, so if you don't like having to use a hole in the ground as a toilet, or having to use a bucket shower, this isn't the camp for you. But if you want to feel a bit closer to nature, I would strongly recommend it. The staff do try to make it as comfortable as possible; the food is plentiful and tasty and the cool box is always full of drink.
With Dougie Wright at Footsteps
Having Dougie Wright as our guide, and having him to ourselves (we were the only guests) was the highlight of our trip - he knows the bush and the wildlife better than most, and his enthusiasm about it is very infectious.
Accomodation and facilities are simple, which is part of the point (and the charm) of Footsteps. The meals at Footsteps are prepared over a glorified fireplace - but the food was still every bit as sophisticated and tasty as at the luxury lodges we stayed at before and after.
It was exciting for us (and for Dougie) that we managed to spot a Pel's Fishing Owl family, including a chick, not to mention 100-odd other kinds of birds, lots & lots of elephants, antelopes, warthogs and a couple of lions.
A great contrast to be in the real wild and on foot. Guide Andrew was exceptionally good.
We had a great time, exceeded expectations. We were particularly impressed by all the camp staff at Shinde and Footsteps.
Our guide Andrew Harkness at Footsteps was exceptional and I now have met a lot of good guides over the years. We were privileged to be the only guests at camp so it was even more special.
Some small criticisms that really are suggestions in possibly advising future guests.
The camp at Footsteps was a little more basic than my wife had expected...the drop loo lacked a certain style compared to other bush thunder-boxes and did not feel particularly safe to visit at night. A battery powered light as on the shower would be a good idea and more carefully secured awnings helpful. The walks were wonderful.
Footsteps is a rare gem of a place. The camp manager / guide Paul was the best guide and host we experienced and the food at footsteps is miraculous when you see the "bush kitchen" its prepared in. If you want to get up close with Africa and can live with a long drop toilet for a couple of days then this place has to be top of the list of anyones visit.
Whilst you don't see as much game on foot as you do in a vehicle. There really is nothing like several hours of walking in the African bush with just the sound of your footsteps and the workd around you for company. We had excellent game sightings at other camps of the more glamorous and famous game. However, I shan't ever forget walking across Pauls pan in the setting sun with elephants, impala and Giraffe in view. Then being followed by a journey of Giraffes for an hour or so before finding our sundowners set-up at four rivers (quite the most beautiful spot of the whole tri).
Our stay was topped off after being mock charged by an elephant in the camp itself.
Words don't really convey the feeling at footsteps, its Africa with all its beauty and rawness there for guests to experience and I hope it never changes.
Raelly enjoyed it with an interesting guide. Nice to walk
You learn more walking than driving
Great Bush memories at Footsteps
For our third camp in Botswana ( 2 nights) we wanted the 'bush experience' with hurricane lamps, no electricity ( solar generator for battery re-charging), drop toliets and bag showers. As well as the opportunity just to walk from the camp and see nature from a metre rather than the back of a safari vehicle. We were not disappointed with the experience.
Finding the full skeleton of an elephant on the morning bush walk was an education. Seeing hundreds of carmine bee eaters leaving their ground nests, following a 2.5 metre python ( what a beautiful creature) into the base of an old tree were also very memorable. Going the opposite way to a black mamba was sensible! Seeing the male and female leopard on our return to the air strip was also very special.
We were amazed by the quaility and variety of the food on offer at the meal times, especially given the bush kitchen location. We needed the walks to lose the calories the camp was piling on us ! Home made bread and cakes, freshly made mushroom soup, quail casserole, chicken madras ,etc etc. Hot water delivered to your tent side bowl morning and evening. Hot water for the bucket shower on demand.
Sitting by the bush fire with a cold drink ( and yes they could even produce ice cubes) listening to the night sounds. Terrific !
Travel light as possible - like most camps there is a daily laundry service.
Highly recommended as a contrast to the ' more pampered bush experiences'
Walking is by far the best activity at the camp. Game drives were good and educational. Not the best location we had seen for mokoro.
Great walks with TT.
Fantastic sundowner by a lagoon with 10 hippos.
Amazingly luxurious when considering the basic basic set-up as remote camp outside of basic infrastructure. Food was excellent, service very good. The most important for us: the manager and leading guide TT and his assistant guide Aubrey were super-good, skilled and very knowledgeable – and most intelligent and entertaining dinner company, too. We had so good time there, that we really do miss the place already.
On our walks we encountered situations that really test the skills of the guides: black mamba crossing our path just in two meters, 5 male lions sighting us behind the grass in just 20 meters and some more. Even in such extreme situations everything our guides told us and how they reacted and managed the situations confirmed: perfect professionals!
We were sorry to leave the Footsteps! We loved every minute there and could have spent few more days. This is Africa as we like it.