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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr D. from Libertyville

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

5

Excursions taken

0

My Jul 2019 trip

Botswana and 1 other country between 29 Jul 2019 and 11 Aug 2019

Trip rating: Excellent
"Overall this was one of our best vacation experiences.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Not really. Overall trip and logistics were excellent."

Arranged By Lucy Copson


Victoria Falls Hotel

Victoria Falls Hotel

"Victoria Falls Hotel review"

2 nights Arrived 29 Jul 2019
"The service at this hotel was excellent. We particularly enjoyed the evening show the hotel puts on every night with the buffet dinner. Many activities are on offer in the area, and we booked a sunset dinner cruise and helicopter ride ourselves. The only negative was the 15-20 minute walk to the Falls by road/path via the town. The shorter direct route was closed. The walk offered little or no shade, and the street vendors were plentiful and persistent. Safety here was always a concern for us.

Although the view of the Falls is more extensive from the Zimbabwean side, we were surprised by how little time it took to see all the viewpoints. We spent longer on the Zambian side of the Falls and enjoyed it more. Crossing the bridge by foot is very tricky with 2 immigration stops in each direction."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Muchenje Safari Lodge

Muchenje Safari Lodge

"Muchenje Safari Lodge review"

3 nights Arrived 31 Jul 2019
"Our first safari experience, so we did not have any preconceived expectations. Wonderful location with expansive views.

Arrived in time for a late lunch which was an unexpected surprise for just the 2 of us. We were kept busy nearly all the time, with little downtime which we thoroughly enjoyed.

Tea at 3pm, followed by afternoon game drive to western side of NP from 3:30 to 6:30pm. As we were the only arrivals today, we had the jeep to ourselves. It does take driving 15-20 mins to get to the park and back by road, but wildlife sightings were frequent even on this stretch. After dinner, we elected the evening game drive in an area close to the lodge (again just us), but sightings were few, just some giraffes and impalas. Our first full day was also just the 2 of us. We started with an early morning game drive 6am-8am, followed by breakfast back at camp. Then we elected to do the boat cruise/game drive back thru the park. This is one of the severest droughts Botswana has experienced, so the floodplain close to the camp was dry. We had to drive 50 mins to Kasane in a van to meet our guide at the dock. The 2 ½ hour boat trip was probably the highlight of our entire trip. The sheer density of animals close to the river was astonishing. With only the 2 of us on the boat, it was easy to move around for the best photo vantage spot. We stopped for lunch on the bank of the river, surrounded by several herds of elephants almost within touching distance. Back at the dock, we had a 4-hour game drive driving back thru the park. We stopped close to the river for sundowners, watching a herd of 300 plus buffalo making their way down to the water. We elected to skip the evening game drive this evening.

For our second full day, we elected to repeat the previous day’s activities. With the new arrivals, we were 8 on our boat, and six on a second boat. We did have memorable new wildlife sightings, including following a leopard.

On our last morning we chose the early morning walking safari which provided a new perspective. Then after breakfast there was time to visit the local village nearby. Although it was Saturday and no school, there were children and teachers on hand as a university student group was visiting. We got to attend a local basket making presentation. We were provided with a full lunch just for the two of us at the camp before driving back to Kasane airport for our next leg.

Overall the accommodations and food were excellent. There were power outlets in the room, but I failed to bring the correct Type M (South Africa) adapter. The manager (Kathy) was amazingly helpful providing the needed adapter, additional wi-fi connection options and other advice."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Lagoon Camp

Lagoon Camp

"Lagoon Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 3 Aug 2019
"We had to fly from Kasane to reach this camp. Due to a last-minute cancellation we were the only passengers for this 1-hour flight.

Unfortunately, we only spent 2 nights at this camp. The views of the river in front of our room were superb. There was a full charging station in the room, which included 2 Usb outlets and we were able to charge all our devices at the same time. The rooms were huge and very well appointed and food was excellent. We had early morning game drives starting after an early breakfast (sitting around the campfire) and returning for a full breakfast. After our last camp, it was nice to have some time to ourselves before tea and the afternoon game drive at 4pm. We enjoyed just sitting on our balcony and watching an elephant feeding on the river bank right in front of our room. He eventually swam over to our side of the river to continue grazing. Hippos were also in plain view, going in and out of the water.

The highlight of this trip was finding a pride of lions feeding on a roan antelope. In all there were 2 males, 2 females and 7 cubs all competing for the spoils. We sat there for ages just taking it all in. The next day, we went back to the same location so the new arrivals could also experience this sight. This was the only camp where we had a tracker in addition to the guide. On day 2 we followed lion tracks for a couple of hours without success, but did see a huge herd of buffalo. Unfortunately, we did not see any wild dogs as they were apparently denning.

We stopped by the river (with hippos) for sundowners and to watch the sunset. A full bar had been put out on a table, again an unexpected surprise. Driving back to camp at night was uneventful. The nights were very noisy with the sounds of hippos in the river.

Again, a wonderful experience with no negatives."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Chitabe Camp

Chitabe Camp

"Chitabe Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 5 Aug 2019
"We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Chitabe. The camp staff were very friendly and went the extra mile to enhance our stay. Immediately on arrival, we were served lunch set out on the deck for just the two of us. The room was extra large, with both a fan and portable air conditioner, and even a hair dryer. The extra outside shower was very refreshing. The charging station in room included all plug types, including two Usb ports. Although this camp did not have wi-fi, they mentioned that it will be installed in the future, as they are losing business by not having it. One note concerning laundry of personal items – several of the lodges provided mesh laundry bags for personal items, eliminating the need to wash those ourselves.

We were lucky to arrive on a Monday, when they have a weekly cultural dinner in the Boma. The staff sang 3 native songs during our dinner.

Wildlife was abundant despite the very dry conditions. Our guide was excellent at tracking the predators. Of note was the lion pride with cubs, a hyena den with cubs, and especially fun to watch were two lions stalking warthogs, with one narrow escape after a long chase. Unfortunately, we failed to see any wild dogs again as the breeding female had been killed the year before.

The camaraderie of all the guests was excellent, with drinks around the camp fire and dinner at a communal table including guides and manager. The food and service were excellent, with the afternoon tea an outstanding highlight.

Due to a late morning flight to our next camp, our guide made sure we were still able to go on the early morning game drive. On our account, the early morning game drive was brought forward 30 minutes for everyone. We were dropped off directly at the airstrip where our luggage awaited. The service, food and rooms were impeccable at this camp."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Little Vumbura

Little Vumbura

"Little Vumbura review"

3 nights Arrived 8 Aug 2019
"After all the dry landscapes at our previous three camps, this was a welcome change. The camp is set on an island, a 3-minute boat trip away. The setting and scenery at this camp was outstanding. It was an exhilarating experience driving thru water, sometimes with the water covering the floor of the jeep. The food and service were excellent. Rooms included a charging station (no Usb ports though) and wi-fi. My only complaint with our room was a lack of privacy from any of the other guests walking to their rooms.

One big surprise which we had not anticipated was the consequence of the camp being on an island. We could only leave the camp during daylight hours, so the early morning game drives started later than other camps, and we had to back at camp by sunset. Although we had sundowner drinks on offer, they were very hurried affairs on account of the time constraint.

The afternoon of our arrival we opted for the makoro trip as there was space available. Apparently due to the exceptional dry conditions this was the only camp offering makoro trips. They were usually fully booked due to guests coming in from other camps. A guide went ahead of our 3 canoes to ensure there were no hippos in the water. The makoro and a different boat trip are both scheduled at the same time as the evening game drive. Not sure why they cannot offer these earlier and still have an afternoon game drive.

We did experience a number of issues at this camp. No water bottle was provided until we asked for them. On the makoro trip, we stopped at an island for sundowner drinks. Despite being asked for our choice, it was not available for both us and another guest. Our afternoon game drive the second day was adversely impacted by having to pick up new arrivals coming from the airstrip in another vehicle. In addition to the detour, the guide spent a considerable amount of time repeating his talk while stopped. Had this been explained to us, we might have opted for the boat trip instead. Although this was understandable, we expected a similar game drive for our last morning with a drop-off at the airstrip. However, this was not offered to us and they still woke us at 6am! We (and another guest) were not informed of our options for a late morning breakfast.

During our whole stay, not once were we escorted to our room and back after dark. Admittedly we were close to the main lodge in the nearest room. There was little overall camaraderie at this camp. Only on one night did we have one communal dinner table. Otherwise the different parties were seated at separate tables for breakfast and dinner. Inexplicably the only jeep without a roof is assigned to airstrip pickups and returns at the hottest time of the day for the 45-minute plus journey."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Average
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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