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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Dr J. from Washington DC

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

3

Excursions taken

0

My Jun 2021 trip

Botswana between 23 Jun 2021 and 2 Jul 2021

Trip rating: Excellent
"Our trip was amazing. Finally glad to travel as Covid postponed our 2020 trip.

After having reviewed the camps prior to booking, I was pretty certain that the itinerary provided was going to live up to my expectations.

Megan took over my booking after Richard Ball retired. She was as attentive as he was in getting the information needed prior to travel. Would recommend anyone use her if traveling to Botswana."

Arranged By Megan Green


Chitabe Camp

Chitabe Camp

"Chitabe Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 23 Jun 2021
"Our stay at Chitabe Lediba was an amazing start to our 10 day safari. The first night was incredible to hear lions calling on both sides of the camp, baboons on high alert all night barking, herd of buffalo and elephants marching through the flood plain surrounding the camp.

Room was very nice and comfortable despite morning temps in low to mid-40's in late June. Food was amazing and lots of variety. There was plenty of food and they never ran out (like one of our camps). They brought us lunch and prepared a hot meal in the bush one afternoon too.

Best part of this camp is the game. The first morning, our guide followed tracks of lions right out of the camp and found them within 10 minutes (9 total). We stayed with them for nearly 1 1/2 hours as they hunted. We saw them nearly catch an impala but just missed. What a way to start a safari. We easily found cheetah, lions, (including males), wild dogs out and at their den (18 total), hyena and their little ones out of the den, side striped and back striped jackels, elephants, hippo, civet, porcupine, many birds, and on and on. Goodman was our guide and he was amazing. He taught us so much and would recommend him to anyone staying at Chitabe Lediba."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Splash Camp

Splash Camp

"Splash Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 26 Jun 2021
"Splash was a little bit of a disappointment when compared to the other two camps we stayed. We were picked up at the airstrip by someone that wasn't even a guide. An hour basically wasted driving to the camp. If this had been our first camp, we wouldn't even know some of the different antelope seen during our drive to the camp. Food was ok; however, they had one main, two sides and terrible breads. Thankfully, the blue cheese was tasty and had that at lunch and dinner just to fill up. Twice I wanted a little more and nothing was left. Whatever is set out is all they make. Neither of our other camps did this. There breakfast was terrible too. Muffins and toast, yogurt, the local porridge, and cereal everyday were mediocre at best; however, it's hard to sustain yourself on this for 6 hours until lunch at noon.

The only people at Splash that got to know us a little was the guide. At all the other camps, I knew at least 3 people by their name. This camp didn't have any service that made you feel special.

The room seemed dirty. There were lots of spiders and "things" in the room. I realize that I'm in the bush in Botswana and there are bugs; however, they didn't seem to make any effort to clean or remove them. The outdoor shower was dirty every day. There was baboon poop that wasn't cleaned from one day to the next without me asking. This isn't something that I should have to do. Best part of the room is that the lighting was actually decent. I'm really finding it hard to say something nice about the room.

This camp had the set up of "tracker" sitting on the front of the truck and "guide" sitting in the truck driving. We often couldn't hear the tracker because he was so far away. The driver and tracker would be talking nearly the entire day about who knows what and it was really annoying. They did a fair job in tracking; however, the other camps did as well and only needed one person that would speak with us. I think the guide/tracker combination is truly unnecessary. The two people tracking at Splash didn't do as good of a job as the single guide at the other two camps.

The guides attitude towards the elephants was a bit of a turn off as well. He would accelerate towards the elephants in most situations to make them move. At the other camps, the guides would approach, wait for them to move and then proceed. That being said, we did see a lot of really cool things at Splash. Despite this, I wouldn't return or recommend this camp to anyone."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Poor
Activities
Good
Rooms
Average
Food
Average
Facilities
Average
Zarafa Camp

Zarafa Camp

"Zarafa Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 29 Jun 2021
"This was our last camp and far and away our best experience. The team at Zarafa really make you feel special. The attention to details and willingness to do anything to accommodate and make you more comfortable was clearly present. We stayed in the Family Suite (Dhow suite) and were completely separate from the main camp. We had our own private chef and guide each day.

With our own chef, we were presented nearly anything we wanted. He would make suggestions and make it happen. The food was delicious and plentiful. He made a hot breakfast for us in the bush one morning. How fun to sit at a table with white linens in the bush....truly pampered. We never ate dinner in our room at the same place. One evening, dinner was on the lower deck, another by the fire pit where my wife and I shared wine each evening, another was next to the pool, and the last on the top deck just outside our living room. Even our 15 and 16 year old girls loved the food.

Being in Botswana in June/July is cold and often into low to mid 40's every night. It was nice to have a gas fire place in our room to turn on in the middle of the night when the temps started to really drop. The room was very nice. It's hard to believe you're in a tent with the lovely wood planked floors, recessed lighting along the walls, lovely furniture fitting of the locale. In between the rooms was our living room that overlooked a sunset flood plain with hippo, elephant, warthogs, baboons and red lechwe right outside our room nearly every day.

Game drives were outstanding. Our guide, Name (short for his Botswana name), was amazing. He found so many things that we didn't see at our other camps. Having already seen all the other main predators at the other camps, we really wanted to see leopards. Another Zarafa guide found an impala hanging in a tree and we sub sequentially arrived to find the leopard that put it there. She was beautiful to watch. We saw her even climb back up the tree to eat and rest. On our last day, we spotted a male leopard and Name tracked him through the thick mopane trees and watched him steal his warthog kill from a very large hyena that had stolen it from him earlier and climb into a mopane tree to secure his food (very exciting).

We were having a great time and didn't want to leave. We splurged and Frank (Zafara's manager) helped us cancel two flights, arrange a private transfer from Selinda to Gaborone the following day , and were able to spend an additional day at Zarafa. This was truly an extraordinary experience and feel privileged and grateful to have met the team at Zarafa allowing them to take such good care of us. Would strongly recommend this camp to anyone."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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