Holiday review by Ruth
Date of trip: 26/03/2016
Number of people: 2
I could go on all day about Footsteps - it was such a wonderful experience. To be hauled out of our dinner to stand 5 metres away from a lion sitting on the viewing platform where we had sat just hours before, chewing the camp chairs! The lively football. The pellet gun team battle. Sitting around the fire. The welcomes both there and at Chobe. Chobe was a very pretty camp and we saw vast numbers of animals there. It was lovely to see the family groups and the very young animals. The birds were very varied there too. Across the two camps there was a lovely rhythm to the day with lots to do and also a lot of attention to our needs. We agreed our highlight in Victoria Falls was the elephant ride. The elephants all had characters of their own and although it could have been a "circus" type event, it was actually very educational. It was lovely too to meet Silvester, the cheetah and be so close to such a lovely animal - again learning a lot about cheetahs at the same time.
It surpassed our expectations. We had a wonderful time. It just got better and better. At each move we were anxious that we might be disappointed because the last bit had been so good but Footsteps Camp was just a wonderful way to finish.
The pre departure details were very clear and Sinead answered all my questions in a very helpful way. It helped that she had some personal idea of what the kids would like. All the travelling arrangements worked like clockwork.
We have only one slight suggestion: the lady from Safari holidays who met us in Maun was very nice but had very little to do. However the one thing she could have done for us is get us to complete the transit forms we had to present with our passports to save us arriving at the passport desk and then being sent away to fill them!
The guides were excellent - in Chobe: Joel and in Footsteps: OP. Not only was OP very knowledgeable and clearly excited by the wildlife but he was so good with the kids.
Social & Environmental Responsibility:
From our point of view, certainly. At Chobe we were taken to a village and we talked to a cattle farmer as well. Joel told us a lot about life in Botswana. In Footsteps we were able to talk to all of the staff about their lives and see many interesting things, such as how the cooking was done. Everyone was very open.
I guess tourism is very important and necessary to them, so in that way we are beneficial. It felt low impact tourism and I hope it doesn't damage their environment too much, although it was disappointing to see so much of the food had clearly been imported. Having safari tourism must mean that they can preserve their beautiful wild areas. We also heard that they felt isolated and wanted to be better known in the world and it can only help that we come back and rave about Botswana.
The places you stayed
A more understated place than some of the hotels we saw at Vic Falls but the better for that. The French doors from our rooms opened onto an area where mongeese and warthogs visited.
Too much food in the portions! And the least good of the food we had - perhaps it tried too hard- and service was very slow.
Very nice helpful staff and a good stay.
Again lovely staff and it was nice that the guides joined us for meals. The chalets were simple and we loved the outdoor showers. There were lots of touches in the rooms we liked, such as the bead rings on the taps to show hot and cold water. The pool area was beautiful, though we didn't get much time to spend there!
Perfect! So simple, so close to nature. It was so funny having hippos snuffling (roaring actually) round our tents as they fed. Hearing how the camp was managed and seeing how simply we could live was an eyeopener - particularly to see where our lovely food came from. The kitchen was amazing and they were clearly very proud of it. They were such a nice group of people. They read us perfectly: I had worried that our kids might not be engaged by the activities but there was no need for concern. I think they would have done anything for OP!