Travel reviews by Mr B from Zurich
Total number of trips
Lodges stayed in
My Mar 2013 trip
Botswana between 9 Mar 2013 and 22 Mar 2013
Arranged By Megan Green
Tau Pan Camp
"Tau Pan Camp review"
"Little Kwara review"
"Lagoon Camp review"
Botswana between 4 Dec 2007 and 18 Dec 2007
"Kwara Camp review"
Sandibe Safari Lodge
"Sandibe Safari Lodge review"
"Lebala Camp review"
"Selinda Camp review"
There is a 'guest PC' available in the camp for this purpose - and Selinda's sister-camp, Zibalianja Camp, also has the same facilities.
Meno A Kwena
"Meno A Kwena review"
Re: the wheel nuts. Safari vehicles usually work a lot harder than city cars. Any good safari lodge will regularly maintain their vehicles, and Meno a Kwena is no exception. Despite this, problems can occur – so guides and managers will always keep an eye on their vehicles between services. In this case, the guide noticed that the wheel nuts were coming loose – so he fixed them before they caused a problem.
We regard this as part of a good guide’s job. David tells us that there has never been a serious breakdown with a vehicle at Meno A Kwena. However, as a emergency precaution, each of the camp guides carry a satellite phone.
Re: the vehicle’s license disc. This was not displayed on the vehicle’s windscreen as it should have been because the vehicle had been fitted with a new windscreen a few days previous. (After a bird had flow into it, and cracked it!) The police questioned its absence, and were happy with this explanation. This vehicle did have an up-to-date tax disc, it just wasn’t on it at the time.
Re: the water issues. We’ve never had any problems reported on this before, but David has discussed these issues with the camp’s manager, and measures will be taken to ensure that these issues are rectified for future visitors.
In general, we are very clear: ‘If you have difficulties of any nature whilst on your trip, it is imperative you let the agent, or lodge manager know exactly what the problem is. If you only voice problems to us on your return, we are powerless to help.’ Had this traveller asked the manager to ensure the water for their bucket shower was warm, and requested that the wash basin was filled regularly, then we feel sure that these issues would have been solved there and then.
Re: the long drive to game-viewing spots. Wildlife is unpredictable as it moves and migrates in search of better feeding grounds and water. This is especially true in the Kalahari, during December, when the herds of zebra and other animals follow the localised rain storms over a vast area. At Meno A Kwena there is always some wildlife to see in the vicinity, although many of the herds will move away after the first rain fall. The possibility of this happening at this time was described to these travellers when planning their trip.
Once the zebra herds and other wildlife move away from Meno A Kwena then the activities offered by the camp range over a larger area. These might include a day trip to Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, about 30 minutes’ drive away, or to Nxai Pan National Park, 45 minutes’ away. These trips follow the zebra migration as well as spending time searching for other interesting wildlife along the way.
This client commented that, in their opinion, walking safaris without a gun are not safe. We completely understand this traveller’s feelings, and have some empathy with them. We are pleased that this traveller opted not to walk, and that they drew this to our attention. When we put the question to David, he commented: "With regards to walking with/without a rifle, I trust guides with wildlife, but do not trust anyone with a rifle. My experience growing up with a hunting safari guide father, my time in the Rhodesian bush war, and over 20 years in the safari business has taught me that a rifle is the biggest danger to us when walking in wildlife country. Most injuries and death on safari involve rifles than not. When I ask my Naro Bushman guide if he would be happier carrying a rifle, his answer is, why? I have never had an issue with a single guest in my safari career decline a walk because we do not carry weapons. If they cannot trust us in the bush without a rifle then they should not even come on safari.”
Whilst this is quite an extreme view, we also have a lot of empathy for the view that rifles can, sometimes, cause more problems than they solve. So we believe that David does have a point here. He continued to comment: “Our walks are not about seeing the animals so much as experiencing being on foot in the bush with a guide who shows them aspects of nature other than the lions, elephants, buffalo etc. They are about the plants, insects, spoor, and how native Africans live with nature for food and survival, making fire with sticks, digging for water in tubers and bulbs, making francolin traps, and avoiding situations where survival is compromised by dangerous wildlife! The trouble with rifles is they give the guide and guests a false sense of security that allows them to enter a situation of danger and take chances they ought not to make."
So there are two sides to this coin…
Having said that, we had believed that Meno a Kwena’s walking safaris were only led by armed guides, so we are very grateful that this traveller drew our attention to this. As the result of these comments, we are taking this issue up with Meno a Kwena in more detail – and are suggesting that our guests should not to walk at Meno a Kwena if walks cannot be carried out with an armed guide.