Our owner-and-managing-directer recently spent two weeks with his wife in Zimbabwe and Botswana visiting a number of lodges and going on exciting game drives. This is what he had to say about his amazing time:
Following on from last week’s post, I’ll start this week’s one by picking up right where we left off. After having a fantastic time in Zimbabwe, my wife and I then moved over the border to Botswana. Although we were only there for over a week, I managed to visit 20 safari lodges and was lucky enough to have stayed at seven of the best.
We started in Kasane, where we spent a night at The Old House. The guest house is simple and reasonably priced, with its very own mooring onto the Chobe River. It was great to have some time to be able to sit back and relax, and fully enjoy the beauty of Botswana. Safaris are great but the five o’clock mornings can be a little wearing after a while!
I was fortunate enough to visit both the Zambezi Queen and Chobe Princess, two luxury houseboats operated by Zambezi Queen Collection. Despite its name, the Zambezi Queen actually operates on the Chobe River. The distances that the boats travel are rather limited but they do act as fantastic water-bound safari vehicles. View our Cruise Safaris website to see more about these luxury houseboats.
After a lovely time on Chobe River, we then moved on to Chobe National Park. The park is absolutely massive with a variety of lodges and plenty of animal sightings. Staying at Chobe Game Lodge, we enjoyed an exciting safari along the Chobe River in a small boat. It was a truly incredible experience; we were able to enjoy some brilliant wildlife sightings that we would never have been able to see from the land. One of them being a large herd of elephants swimming from one side of the river to the other, their entire bodies submerged under water except for their trunks and the tops of their heads!
I always go on these familiarity trips to learn about the destination, and this particular trip taught me that Botswana is a country of innovation. I say this because we had the fortune of going on one of the first electric safari vehicles when staying at Chobe Game Lodge. It was a wonderful experience to be transported around the wilderness in utter silence, as compared to the usual loud rumblings of the normal safari vehicles. This also made it much easier to get closer to the animals.
From here, we then moved on to Chobe Savanna Lodge. The lodge is situated on the opposite side of the river and forms part of the Caprivi Strip in Namibia. Once again, we went on a brilliant water-based safari along the river and were able to have the boat entirely to ourselves!
We then went back into Botswana and caught a charter flight into Moremi National Park. Here, we were treated to some spectacular views over the national park below. We spent the first night at Camp Xakanaxa, a luxury tented lodge with accommodation situated right in the bush.
Thereafter, we took an eight minute flight to Xugana Island Lodge, a tented lodge situated on its very own island deep in the Okavango Delta. The bird life was simply incredible and would have to be seen (or perhaps heard!) to be believed. Our tent had the most incredible views over a large lagoon that forms part of a waterway, which was constantly filled with the sight and sounds of twittering birds.
The final leg of our trip saw us catch an hour-long flight to the Makgadikgadi Pan where we stayed at Leroo Le Tau Lodge. The game viewing from our room was the best I have ever seen on all of my travels. Standing on our private deck, we overlooked an expansive waterhole and sand bank visited by a plethora of wildlife. We stopped counting zebras when we got to 200.
Because we had to see so many lodges in such a small space of time, we were forced to spend only one night at each lodge. Of course, I would suggest guests spend at least two to three nights at a lodge to fully enjoy it. Nonetheless, it was a superb trip that taught me a lot.
One of the few challenges of working in South Africa has been dealing in USD. Thankfully, we now have a U.K. sister company based in Worcester complete with online credit card facilities and an ATOL licence. This will make it much easier for us to deal with USD, which in turn makes it easier for our guests as well! We are ready to start organising some great trips, so please do visit our Botswana website to see some of our suggested destinations, lodges and itineraries.
Please also visit our Facebook page to see more photos from my trip!