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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr J from Ealing

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

3

Lodges stayed in

4

Excursions taken

0

My Jun 2018 trip

Botswana and 2 other countries between 6 Jun 2018 and 17 Jun 2018

Trip rating: Excellent
"Absolutely fantastic and has got me addicted to safaris

As Botswana is the "best" safari destination I knew it was the right choice for my first time, and I'm glad I set a high budget as that ensured I saw remarkable wildlife on a regular basis. Next time Mombo!"

Khwai Tented Camp

Khwai Tented Camp

"Felt like home in the wilderness"

3 nights Arrived 7 Jun 2018
"This was my first time in Africa, and a brilliant introduction. I was on a safari car ten minutes after my plane landed, and the very first thing I saw was a huge bull elephant not ten metres away. Less than an hour later we saw a pack of wild dogs hunting which was fascinating.

I can't list all of the wildlife encounters, but the highlights were leopards everyday, 2 x lion hunts, and the many, many close encounters with the elephants who are totally relaxed around humans. We saw a minimum of fifteen elephants a day.

My guide Sinka was an absolute professional who was confident in any situation, and found wildlife long before the other guides. He explained the complicated ecosystem to us, and was kind enough to take me on a night drive alone which was extremely exhilarating, included a serval sighting and also taught me a lot about hippo behaviour. The atmosphere in Botswana at night is tense and exciting, and I am grateful to Sinka for showing it to me.

The atmosphere at the camp itself is totally relaxed and only disturbed by elephant trumpeting, hippo grunting and songs in Setswana. All of the staff are members of the local community and know the area extremely well. My tent was remarkably comfortable, spacious and had all amenities provided including charging ports and USB. I had total privacy at all times and my own viewing balcony where I spent many hours watching and listening to the hippos who were about 100m away and partied all night long. The meals were excellent and served in a very personal manner at a dinner table by the fireplace under the stars until everyone was ready for bed. One thing to note - the staff live offsite, wake up at 4am and have a journey to and from the camp but are too polite to mention this, so please don't keep them up all night if you do visit.

Highlights of the camp itself were the Boma dinner, conversations with the staff especially Kennedy the host, and checking the sand outside the tent for footprints from nocturnal visitors. The camp is the perfect size to be luxurious while still being familiar and cozy, and is surrounded by atmospheric wilderness."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
InterContinental O.R. Tambo

InterContinental O.R. Tambo

"InterContinental O.R. Tambo review"

1 night Arrived 7 Jun 2018
""
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Splash Camp

Splash Camp

"Guaranteed top wildlife viewing"

3 nights Arrived 10 Jun 2018
"Splash is a highly polished operation run by Kwara who are experts in the field of wildlife viewing. The standard of the house (yes house) I stayed in was incredible, and felt like it could have survived an encounter with an elephant. The ceilings were very high, everything is made of wood, nothing creaks or bends, and there are high quality fittings everywhere. This is a luxury hotel in the middle of remote wilderness. I had total privacy and far more space than I needed, and a view of a waterhole with resident hippos. The additional outdoor shower is a nice touch for feeling connected with nature.

Every game drive included excellent sightings, with the highlights being a relaxed leopard mother with two very young cubs, a wild dog den, and two close encounters with the two resident male big lions. Herds of buffalo and wildebeest were seen every day, and we were lucky enough to see the cheetah. The encounters with the elephant were unique - the family groups were defensive and the males were eager to see us off, which taught us a lot about their behaviour and body language. Highly recommended if you want to see what an irritated elephant looks like.

The Kwara concession is HUGE and extremely game rich, and the atmosphere on the mokoro and boat trips is great as it's deep in the heart of the Okavango. There was lots of time spent travelling and enjoying the scenery, as although there are lots of animals about they are very spaced apart.

Camp staff were very friendly and welcoming, food was varied and delicious. The camp itself felt a bit crowded at times with groups of 20+ including the staff, but the game drives were always very personal and had no competition for game viewing as this is a private and very large concession with viewing rules. This isn't a great camp for night drives or walking safaris because of the concession size and density of the plant life which makes tracking very hard, and because of the unpredictable nature of the particular elephants here preventing a safety risk. Walking safaris for examining the ecosystem and smaller animals would work, but you're not going to get any great big game viewings on foot.

Highlights include atmosphere near the water, close encounters with hippos, and the quality of the lodgings. The sheer number of elephant families, hippo families and giraffes was also great, and only possible in a top safari camp like this."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Victoria Falls Safari Club

Victoria Falls Safari Club

"The best views in Victoria Falls"

3 nights Arrived 13 Jun 2018
"If you're seeking a luxurious and quiet hotel slightly removed from the bustle of the town, this is it. It's a five minute taxi ride to the town and the same to the entrance to the Falls, but has an uninterrupted view of the Zambezi game reserve which is not fenced and easily accessible for animals and humans alike. The park genuinely stretches as far as the eye can see. There are no markers for where the hotel ends and the wilderness begins, which really adds to the wild feel.

The room was high quality with all amenities including bug spray, but the location is the real selling point. There are routinely baboons which come to visit the balconies and although they are hungry as long as you don't feed them or encourage them they will pass by quietly. The two sliding doors is a nice touch - one is double glazed glass and blocks everything, the other is more perforated metal which blocks baboons and insects but not sound so you can still hear the wildlife from the park while viewing the sunrise and sunset. Bushbuck and warthogs were regular visitors on the hotel grounds, and were totally relaxed.

The Siduli Hide is highly recommended, although it doesn't seem to get much attention. Nothing is guaranteed but you are likely to be extremely close to wild animals including elephant families and even buffalo - it's a convenient and good value way to get game viewing from a unique perspective, as the animals don't view the hide as a threat and are either indifferent or curious. Alternatively, the view from the excellent Club restaurant is directly onto the Hide waterhole and the surrounding park.

If you're looking for a place which is the most convenient for the Falls themselves then perhaps look elsewhere, but how many times are you going to be viewing the Falls themselves? All of the other VF activities are spread out, and this hotel is well positioned for many of them while also being in the wilderness on an enormous and beautiful private site far away from curio sellers and noisy commotion."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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