Holiday review by Iain Balch

Name: Iain Balch

Date of trip: 22/02/2015

Number of people: 2

Seeing the elephants appearing out of the river as they walked from the Namibian side to the Botswana side. To start there was nothing then two hump rose out of the water - hippos we thought - no elephants who had walked across on the river bed completely submerged using their trunks to breathe!

  • Sundowners at the ready with Tau Pan, Kalahari Desert, Botswana © Tau Pan, Kwando

    Sundowners at the ready with Tau Pan, Kalahari Desert, Botswana

  • Thunderstorm on horizon, Kwara Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana © Kwara Camp

    Thunderstorm on horizon, Kwara Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana

  • Main area at Chobe Elephant Camp, Botswana © Chobe Elephant Camp

    Main area at Chobe Elephant Camp, Botswana

  • Bedroom at Chobe Elephant Camp, Botswana © Chobe Elephant Camp

    Bedroom at Chobe Elephant Camp, Botswana

  • Game drive from Chobe Elephant Camp, Botswana © Chobe Elephant Camp

    Game drive from Chobe Elephant Camp, Botswana

  • Buffalo herd at Chobe River from Chobe Elephant Camp, Botswana © Chobe Elephant Camp

    Buffalo herd at Chobe River from Chobe Elephant Camp, Botswana

  • Exterior of Ilala Lodge, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe © Ilala Lodge

    Exterior of Ilala Lodge, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

0 1 2 3 4 5 6

Taking the helicopter ride over the Victoria Falls - It was spectacular. You get flown several times along the waterfall and the gorges then you go to the nature reserve to spot animals. We saw elephant, wildebeest, giraffe, buffalo etc. The pilot circled round to ensure we had excellent views. We took the longer (25 minute) trip - it is well worth the extra as you get much more 'value' time in the flight.

Tribes Overall:

We had a 13 day holiday to the Kalahari, Okavango Delta and Chobe Elephant park in Botswana and finished our holiday by the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.

We had spent a lot of time with Amanda to make sure it suited our needs as we both have medical problems.

The holiday was superb, each area we visited was excellent in its own right and totally different from the previous.

We went in the green season accepting it would rain but it only rained twice, once early evenng the other overnight. So we had warm but not stifling weather and saw lots of wildlife.

The organisation was excellent and although we were going from camp to camp we were always looked after until the next camp or plane took over.

Our dietary requirements were always known and alternatives provided.

Overall it was a first class experience that will stay with us forever.

Tribes Service:

Second to none! Nothing is too much trouble - an unhurried in-depth development of a personalised holiday that met every aspiration.
Amanda and her team had extensive knowledge of the places we stayed, the local agents and staff and guides.

Amanda took a lot of time to match our wishes with our budget and to ensure we got the very best holiday - she was brilliant!

Guides:

All our guides were extremely knowledgeable on the wildlife we saw whether it was animals, birds butterflies, insect, plants or trees - amazing! They were very personable and wanted you to have a first class holiday.


The places you stayed

Sundowners at the ready with Tau Pan, Kalahari Desert, Botswana © Tau Pan, Kwando

Tau Pan Camp

Kalahari Desert

Excellent all round - accommodation large and comfortable, food very good. Verdasco was incredibly knowedgeable and wanted us to share his knowedge. The highlight has to be the Bushman\'s walk which showed us how to make a fire from rubbing sticks, getting drinking water from a tuber dug up before our very eyes! Making soap solution to wash clothes and yourself (and drinkable!). Making and setting traps - we could go on, it was the best and most genuine cultural experience we have ever been on.


Thunderstorm on horizon, Kwara Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana © Kwara Camp

Kwara Camp

Okavango Delta

Yes Kwara is faded but that doesn\'t matter, it blends in with the surroundings and is well laid out. The food was very good with good variety. The tents are very comfortable and it is quite an experience to hear a lion roaring the other side of the canvas... One night we had to go by 4x4 to the dining tent even though it was only 100m as the lions were about!! We felt the staff were somewhat jaded which matched with a lack of attention to detail. For example - and these are small things but these are expensive camps - broken light, toilet seat falling off, only a cold tap on one sink which sprayed .. On our last Sundowner my special low alcohol beer had been forgotten so I had to go dry - hmmm.

The guides were good but seemed more comfortable chasing game even though we saw more when we took our time and watched birds as well. Ther last morning ended on a high when we had a canoe ride round the lake and saw the Painted Reed Frogs.

Well worth staying here in spite of our reservations, it just needs a bit more focus on quality control and getting things right.


Main area at Chobe Elephant Camp, Botswana © Chobe Elephant Camp

Chobe Elephant Camp

Chobe

Absolutely first class we were welcomed by all the staff singing us a welcome and it got even better, as you walk in you look through the lounge area and see the whole Namibian plain laid out in front of you. The camp is pretty new and has really enthusiastic staff. The food is excellent and the lodges are well laid out. But the lodges are a fair walk away from the main building up hill. Our guide was incredibly knowledgeable on all aspects of nature and the boat ride along the river was unforgettable.


Exterior of Ilala Lodge, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe © Ilala Lodge

Ilala Lodge

Victoria Falls

A great hotel about as close to the Falls as you can get but it is still a walk. Food was excellent and the tourist site booking service first class - we were up in a helicopter 45 minutes after enquiring! The room was extremely comfortable with all the facilities you need including tea making but bring your own tea bags for a decent cup. A lovely relaxing place to end a wonderful safari.