Holiday review by Ken Mylne
Name: Ken Mylne
Date of trip: 22/03/2017
Number of people: 2
Highlights were elephants swimming and playing in the water, a one-week old baby elephant, lots of lions including three active hunts (none successful, but one very nearly) and a leopard. The Chobe river cruise at the beginning was lovely and gave us some of our best sitings such as hippos arguing with each other. Lots of other wildlife sitings last in the memory such as a big herd of zebra coming to drink, creating such wonderful patterns, groups of giraffe and millions of beautiful Impala. Our special personal favourites are warthogs (Mo) and Marabou Storks (Ken) - we like the ugly beasts! We also really enjoyed our afternoon in the Delta where we had the chance to learn to pole our own mokorros- discovered the real advantage of an Oxford education after 35,years - it's just like punting!!
We loved it. We were looking for a budget trip because we were paying for four people on not very massive salaries, and the mobile camping safari gave us two excellent weeks at an affordable price. Our crew were excellent and managed to find a lot of wildlife despite the fact that after an exceptionally wet wet season there was a lot of long grass and floodwater around, making some places inaccessible and animals harder than usual to find. I would also add that we asked for some extra tailor made travel arrangements so we could spend extra time with our daughter where she is living out there and then transfer to the start of the tour, and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
Tracy Edwards could not have been more helpful and bent over backwards to find us the tour to meet our needs and book the flights and extras for our extra requirements. All the paperwork and follow-up was very efficient and turned up when it should have done. One tiny error was quickly resolved. She also helped us solve an unusual travel insurance problem - your insurer was also very helpful.
Our Bushways guide, Eddie, was fantastic, and very well supported by his chef/camping assistant Kapapa. They were both always friendly and cheerful despite working very long days without a break for two weeks, very relaxed and laid back even when things went slightly wrong occasionally (eg. truck getting stuck on a log between two lions having a standoff!) Eddie's knowledge was encyclopaedic on any subject about Botswana and its wildlife and he made a real effort to accommodate the different interests of people within the group. He also knew when to be patient and wait for things to happen when the group were radiating "let's move on" which resulted in some excellent views of lion activity which we could easily have missed if he had been less patient. And he found us a leopard!!
Social & Environmental Responsibility:
Compared to when we were in Africa 25-30 years ago when most of the guides were white non-locals, it was great to see that now the main employees are all local Botswanans so that much more of the money we spend goes into the local community. This also applied to the powers in the delta, of course.
We were also impressed with what we saw of the Botswana attitude to wildlife conservation such as complete ban on hunting, active anti-poaching patrols etc, so I think they were doing a pretty good job.