Holiday review by Mrs Janet Van Den Berge

Name: Mrs Janet Van Den Berge

Date of trip: 25/03/2015

Number of people: 2

My first day, seeing 7 lions lying just beside the track on the way to the lodge at Nxai Pan; the effects of bumpy plane journeys were instantly forgotten! At Tau Pan, 2 lionesses with cubs of 5 and 7 months old, who played in front of us for ages, and another day 15 giraffes passing right beside us. Being used to the safari vehicles, some seemed to quite enjoy seeing us! It's good when it's that way round too! The Baines Baobabs were special, and so were the herds of kudu and colourful birds such as the rollers and bee-eaters.

  • Tau Pan

     

  • Tau Pan aerial view

     

  • Tau Pan veranda and view

     

  • Tau Pan pool

     

  • Thamalakane River Lodge terrace dining

     

  • Guest chalet at Thamalakane River Lodge

     

  • Thamalakane River Lodge pool

     

  • Ilala Lodge terrace and falls spray

     

  • Executive suite at Ilala Lodge

     

  • Victoria Falls is a short walk from Ilala Lodge

     

  • Swimming pool at Ilala Lodge

     

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Tribes Overall:

Weather apart (it was unseasonably wet some of the time) the people, places, fellow travellers and of course the animals were all great and I really appreciated the variety of places in the itinerary.

Tribes Service:

It was really helpful to have advice on tricky questions such as weight allowances, packing, tipping etc from Amanda who already knows the country well and first-hand. Also the itinerary, which is the most important thing for me, was more comprehensive and varied than I would have had going with other companies.

Guides:

Dux at Nxai Pan was exceptionally knowledgeable and on the bush safari Eddie was unfailingly cheerful despite at least 2 days of very difficult driving, with a lot of tracks under water or very rutted. The Land Rover did well too! Dux, Ishmail (Tau Pan) and Eddie all looked after everyone very well, had much of interest to tell us about the animals and environment, were good at finding animals and enabling photographs. All their support teams in the Lodges and Camps were also excellent.

Social & Environmental Responsibility:

Botswana has provided so much space for wild animals and clearly enabled people to have first-class training for guiding safaris and providing well-developed tourist facilities, it is good (and very rewarding)to go there and help support their efforts. Slight regrets that there was no opportunity to see any of their local crafts such as wood carving.


The places you stayed

Nxai Pan Camp, Botswana © Kwando

Nxai Pan Camp

Nxai Pan

Excellent facilities in the rooms, which were clean and spacious. Meals were always very good and it was very kind of them to do a birthday cake the day I was there. A good view of elephants at the waterhole from the main building, plenty of snacks and complimentary water and drinks always available. From the welcome on arrival onwards, I felt really at home. Having an extra (third) night would have been well worthwhile.


Tau Pan

Tau Pan Camp

Botswana

Excellent facilities in the rooms, which were clean and spacious. Wonderful views from the lodge over the surrounding landscape, including seeing lions one morning at the waterhole, and sunrises. Meals and snacks were always plentiful and very good and the complimentary water and drinks very welcome. Again, for the welcome on arrival onwards, I felt really at home. Having an extra (third) night would have been well worthwhile.


Thamalakane River Lodge terrace dining

Thamalakane River Lodge

Botswana

A very comfortable room in attractive grounds and setting beside the river. The water, coloured brown from the tannin in the local supply wasn\'t a highlight but inevitable and the laundry I had done was returned in good order and very promptly. I didn\'t have dinner in the restaurant but the breakfast was OK.


Ilala Lodge terrace and falls spray

Ilala Lodge

Zimbabwe

Excellent facilities in the rooms, which were comfortable and spacious. A lovely swimming pool and attractive grounds, also visited by warthogs (just passing through, not in any way a nuisance - the swimming pool was at a higher level). Interesting prints on the walls everywhere and beautiful flower arrangements. A good restaurant and an easy walk to the shops and to the Falls - $30 admission charge to the Falls.