Holiday review by Doctor Philippa Crehan
Name: Doctor Philippa Crehan
Date of trip: 31/08/2019
Number of people: 2
Our trip was packed full of exceptional wild life experiences. Whilst staying at Camp Xakanaxa we spent some time at a spot where 2 male lions had killed a buffalo. We watched while first one lion had a good meal, then a leopard appeared and stole a piece of meat followed by a wild dog who then disappeared at the sight of a lion This all occurred in the space of about 2 minutes. We were fortunate to have regular sightings of lion, leopard and wild dog as well as a couple of sightings of cheetah and of some of the rarer antelope, roan, sable and eland. The staff and guides at all of the camps were exceptionally friendly and seemed genuinely happy to be working there. We enjoyed the pre dinner singing put on by the staff at Camp Xakanaxa.
The holiday was fantastic and far exceeded our expectations, lived up to our dreams.
I had done a fair amount of research before contacting Tribes , Alex understood what I was looking for and made sure we got the right combination of places to stay. The pre departure information was sufficient.
I was very pleased to be able to speak to someone out of hours easily when ( incorrectly) advised that our flights had been cancelled.
All the guides had excellent knowledge, they took time to find out what we were interested in and made sure we had just the right amount of time to see things, we were pleased that all the guides had excellent knowledge of the birds as well as the animals. The information they gave us made the trips more enjoyable also. The driving was of a good standard. We felt safe.
Social & Environmental Responsibility:
We found the staff in the lodges to be wonderful and friendly. We did not have contact with other local people. We were able to contribute to one of the charities by taking some goods with us. The vulture experience at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge was contributing to vulture conservation. Overall the popularity of photographic safaris is deterring hunting and poaching.
The places you stayed
This is an excellent base for wildlife lovers wildest visit in Victoria Falls.. There was a stream of animals coming to the waterhole to drink and also quite a number of birds. We wanted a base to relax after a long journey from the UK and this was perfect. We did a guided tour of the falls which we enjoyed and a sunset cruise which again made a good start to our wildlife experience. We had our first sightings of swimming elephants. The lodge also had a vulture experience which was worth going to where the vultures were fed and there was a talk on how vultures were endangered. The lodge was very comfortable and the food excellent.
Chobe & Savuti
Excellent quality accommodation and food. We had a full itinerary of 3 activities each day. We found our guide to be very knowledgeable and she also did very well to spot a leopard which had come down to the river to drink. We also saw lions and brown hyena. We saw quite a few groups of elephants swimming in the river.
We were treated to a romantic dinner for two on a private area of the boardwalk on our last night.
Excellent quality accommodation. Large comfortable rooms. The outdoor shower was very welcome in the heat in the middle of the day! Nice setting by waterhole where animals came to drink although it was probably more distant than usual due to the drought. Wildlife could wander freely through the camp especially during the night but we we escorted by guides and felt perfectly safe.Very friendly staff. Food very good. Guide KLB excellent. Had a mokoro trip which was very enjoyable and relaxing. Saw lions, leopard, wild dog - 8 adults and 13 puppies as well as Roan antelope and the more common wildlife. Our guide was excellent at showing us all the wildlife and not just the predators.
Moremi Game Reserve
This was probably my favourite camp. Moremi reserve was beautiful, more picturesque than the other areas, and the wildlife encounters spectacular and just kept coming! At Camp Xakanaxa the tents were more traditional but very comfortable and close to the wildlife. There was an electric fence to keep out elephants but not other animals. A hippo and bushbuck were regularly in camp. Also buffalo at night. Two elephants right outside our tent one night made such a noise moving in the water of the lagoon and eating the reeds it did disturb my sleep a little... but only added to the experience! I also enjoyed seeing a porcupine coming out from under our deck.The staff and guides were extremely friendly and put on a little show before dinner each night which was very entertaining. Food was excellent. Same day laundry service worked well. Our wildlife sightings included following a pack of wild dogs run under a tree in which a leopard was relaxing and then coming across 2 lions before retreating. On another occasion 2 other male lions had killed a buffalo the day before near the camp. In the morning we watched while first one lion had a good meal, a leopard lurked in the background until the lion left and then came to the kill to eat and take away a piece of meat and at the same time a running pack of dogs appeared, the lead dog spotted the lion then ran off. We also thoroughly enjoyed a boat trip getting very close to elephants in the water as well as seeing plenty of birds. I cannot praise our guide, Zak, highly enough
Lovely camp with a lovely setting by the river where animals come to drink. We saw sable antelope from our deck. The accommodation was spacious and high quality. Food excellent. Our guide Johnson was great. We asked if we could see some rarer antelope like roan, sable and eland and managed to see all three. We saw wild dogs and lions, including lions crossing water but probably our best was saved for last. We spotted a dead antelope just across the path from our room whilst we were on our way to early morning breakfast. Tracks indicated that it had been killed by a female leopard and had probably been disturbed by the staff starting to prepare breakfast! Straight after breakfast the trackers set out and we tracked for about 2.5km until we found the leopard following for a short distance until it jumped into a tree to rest on a branch in classic leopard pose. A great end to our safari and start to our journey home!