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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Ms B & Ms L from New York

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

7

Excursions taken

0

My May 2014 trip

Botswana between 17 May 2014 and 3 Jun 2014

Trip rating: Excellent
"This was to be the trip of a lifetime. It was something I had dreamed of since I was about 7 years old, and hours went into planning and information gathering. We looked at other travel companies, famous and expensive ones. Expert Africa had the most informative website that seemed unbiased. As long as the expectations are clear in advance, there are only positive experiences.

Maruska, the Expert who booked our trip gave all of the information that I requested, which was extensive! Maruska was patient and gave us the benefit of having spent years in Botswana. She was empathic, realizing that not having been there before, I was not certain what precautions were needed. She assuaged my fears with accurate information and patience. She explained all aspects of the travel and elicited confidence. She accommodated a very custom tailored, complicated itinerary, and was indefatigable! I must say that all of her hard work paid off for us. The Botswana experience was far better than I could have hoped or imagined. Everything was perfect would be an understatement. The trip was beyond my wildest dreams.

Bostwana is a spectacular part of the world. The ecosystems are unique, the beauty is unreal, the wildlife was up close and the people are the loveliest of all.

Our trip was wonderful in every way. The people who lived and worked at the camps were filled with humor and kindness, and loved a good surprise. I would like to thank every one.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Please keep doing exactly what you do!"

Arranged By Maruska Adye-Rowe


Royal Tree Lodge

Royal Tree Lodge

"Perfect start to our adventure"

1 night Arrived 17 May 2014
"The manager, was friendly and warm with a wonderful sense of humor. He took great care of us, and even joined us at our meals. At home this would be slightly intrusive, but he was so charming and it felt right - the beginning of the family style safari dining tradition.

The service was friendly and excellent, the food was delicious, the tent style room was luxurious and well appointed. The zebras, ostriches and giraffes were delightful, and it was lovely to be able to stroll around the grounds, since there were no predators.

It was also great to have phone signal and internet - our last connection for the rest of our stay in Botswana."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
San Camp

San Camp

"Wonderful and more wonderful!"

2 nights Arrived 18 May 2014
"San Camp was breathtakingly beautiful, like a mirage! The location and decor are storybook romantic. It felt like being transported to another more elegant era.

The managers are lovely people- knowledgeable intellectuals who are interesting and informative. I learned a great deal from our conversations over meals.

The tents are fabulous, luxurious and I would like to have the same decor at home, especially the furniture (specifically the small elephant table in the mess area, and the chairs, trays) - everything was picture perfect. I adored the Moroccan tea room, and the yoga tent was so picturesque I asked to be photographed in front of it. The view was spectacular and we could see zebras, wildebeest and spring bok from the main tent.

The guide is interesting, knowledgeable and fun- and handsome! The highlights were the meerkats, of course, and especially meeting the Zu/'Hoasi Bushmen tribe.

And Charlie, the young, beautiful manager even had a real Pims Cup with cucumber and mint waiting for me after our activities, which happens to be my favorite!

PS- We were not offered the quad bike activity, but we didn't miss it- even forgot all about it until much later!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
DumaTau Camp

DumaTau Camp

"Beautiful, exciting, indulgent luxury"

3 nights Arrived 20 May 2014
"Duma Tao means Roar of the Lion, which was delivered- one lion and two lionesses! The camp is situated on the Savute channel with a spectacular view, across the channel to Namibia, where we watched several dozen elephants crossing sans passport of visa! When the elephants came, we were offered to slip out onto the water on a boat that was more like a floating lounge! The sunsets were the most beautiful I'd ever seen, with purple clouds mirrored in the glass-like water. The rooms had every amenity, even a private pool!

The highlight of Duma Tau was our guide, Tank, who is matchless in skill, knowledge and insight. Tank not only found the lions and all of the wildlife, but he knew exactly how to situate the jeep to set up the best shot! It was a privilege to have him as our guide, and lovely to spend time with him.

The staff made special accommodations for me to try the local cuisine (pap and morogo), which I requested. I so enjoyed it that I requested it at every meal for the rest of the trip!

Although Duma Tau is owned by Wilderness Safari, it is unique and has its own character. The management is superb, and raises the bar for luxury safari. We were treated like royalty- kings of the jungle!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Vumbura Plains

Vumbura Plains

"A spectacular place to which I will return"

3 nights Arrived 23 May 2014
"Vumbura Plains was unsurpassed in luxury and indulgence, yet still felt relaxed and intimate. The charming manager greeted us with facility and innate friendliness while anticipating our every need. The layout is stunning and romantic and the tents are luxurious beyond imagination. Every detail is thought through and the tasteful and despite all of the creature comforts we were still in the midst of the wild, with elephants wandering by and kudu waiting by the path to the pool.

Our guide, Emang, was scholarly in his knowledge and affable. He led us to some of the most breathtaking and spectacular sightings, including three magnificent cheetahs and a noble sable in the evening's golden light. My only regret was that I did not get to say goodbye to Ernest, the representative from the community who accompanied us, which was a great addition to the trip. Another highlight was the mokoro ride amidst the painted Angolan reed frogs. I loved hearing about the lily pads and the dangers of securing the edible roots and using the tube as drinking straws. It was a magical day..."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Khwai Tented Camp

Khwai Tented Camp

"Natural Beauty"

3 nights Arrived 26 May 2014
"The greeting when we arrived at Khwai was unforgettable, but I mustn't spoil the surprises!

Our guide, Essie, was determined to thrill and amaze us. When we first met, I mentioned all of the incredible animals that I had seen- lions, cheetahs, elephants, giraffes, sable, and more, but told Essie that I had not seen a leopard or a bush baby... By the end of the first day, I saw a magnificent leopard with eyes like fire. By the next night, the bush babies were hopping in the treetops! The following day we saw another leopard, unperturbed by us as she devoured an impala. There were more surprises as well- wild dogs and hyenas to name a few, and one night the hippos took over the entrance to our camp so we had to go in by the back route!

The tents were more basic than some of the over the top luxury camps, but we were always perfectly comfortable, with a deck overlooking the water with majestic birds of all shapes and sizes flying to and fro.

The staff were so warm, friendly and good natured, making us feel at home and bringing us into their world with song, dance and laughter. The highlight was the African dinner, with my favorite- pap and morogo! It was a warm, wonderful place and I am so happy that we had the good fortune to visit!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Motswiri Camp

Motswiri Camp

"Unsurpassed Adventure"

3 nights Arrived 29 May 2014
"Motswiri fulfilled the dream of horseback riding in Africa! The horses were excellent and responsive, the guides are pros and the landscape is breathtaking.

The riding is not for wimps! The first afternoon, introductory ride was a lovely, serene way to ease into the Botswana riding scene for about five minutes, at which time, our guide received word that the wild dogs had made a kill. Off we went at full speed to see the spectacle. The dogs devoured a kudu as the horses grazed nonchalantly. They were so at ease, you'd think the dogs were domestic, until you saw them rip the flesh off a carcass. The dogs seemed slightly curious toward us, but somewhat unsure, when they came closer and flinched back again, as the horses munched away unperturbed on the choicest grass.

The next day, we had a long ride through the flooding landscape, sometimes cantering on land around holes and often swimming on horseback. We rode right over a python, which our guide picked up in his bare hands to show us, despite the unfortunate odor, and we rounded hippos, and passed elephants bathing. Finally on he way back, as my horse was about to swim across a channel, some splashing caught our guide Topper's attention. "Nile crocodile", he elucidated. "Ah, do they like horses?" I asked before taking the plunge. "Only the little ones, it's ok", he replied with such assuredness, that I led my very large horse to swim by as the croc receded...

It was a fantastic adventure! Delicious food, knowledgeable staff, lovely people and a beautiful setting made this camp unforgettable!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Baines' Camp

Baines' Camp

"Baines' Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 1 Jun 2014
"Baines was unique in many ways. We were greeted at tea with irresistible pastries and a quick tour before we were encouraged to move out in search of three young lions...

Our guide was like a Motswana Crocodile Dundee- he even wore a croc rimmed hat! The lions were spotted and we watched them curiously, waiting, still and silent as the sun sank and we realized that a huge heard of Wildebeest were being rounded up for the kill. A few hundred stunned looking eyes were staring out at us and suddenly the entire herd took off, full speed past us in unison. Two of the three young lions chased all but three wildebeest, who stood motionless, dumfounded, as though processing their imminent future as the lions' supper. But the lions didn't partake. They plopped down to relax in the grass- apparently it was just a practice run...

The dinners were superb, under the stars by the the water's edge. Steve, the chef was charming and let me believe that they forgot that I didn't eat meat until he presented me with the most delicious vegetarian meal I can ever remember. I would go all the way back just to have that dinner again!

Tiny, the manager has a giant personality, and by the end of only two days there, I felt that we were friends. I did not get the chance to say goodbye or exchange contact information, but if I knew of a way I would...

Baines was the only camp that had bungalows instead of tents, but they still felt like part of the wild. and the presence of wild animals precluded walking unescorted on the boardwalks after dark. The rooms are lovely and the decks outside are spectacular. If offered the chance to sleep out under the stars, do not hesitate- these were the most amazing nights surrounded by infinite stars, feeling like floating in the heavens but with the bushbabies scurrying nearby, while falling asleep to the lions' call and the leopard's saw like sounds not far off in the night... Steps were slushing by in the water surrounding the deck, but whose? These were the two most wonderful night's sleep I shall never forget...

The elephant excursion, an add on option at Baines, left a permanent impression. I always knew that elephants are intelligent, with long memories and that they are known to mourn their young. I did had not previously experienced the depth of their understanding and elephantality- this was not anthropomorphic. They were unique beings in their own right. Three elephants had been orphaned and were taken care of by an American couple who were knowledgeable and had a connection with the elephants that was like family. I was concerned that the interactions would be like circus tricks, and the elephants did perfectly respond to verbal commands, but they were clearly there voluntarily mostly it seemed for the oranges, treats and affection. They could wander off at will. They were free, but appeared to enjoy the attentions and, of course, showing off.

We were encouraged to walk with an elephant, trunk in hand. I walked with Jabu, the greatest of the three, and when I though that t I should let someone else have a turn and let go of his trunk, he held on to my hand and we kept walking. He liked me- and the feeling was mutual. It was clear when they were amused. They even smiled, and when one wanted the lime light you'd know it. They are able to speak at a wavelength that we are unable to perceive, but they understand us. They are magical, intelligent, magnificent animals, original, with a depth of emotion that was unmistakable and endearing."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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