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August 2014, Harriet and John Olson
14 Day-Private Specialist Guided Safari to Botswana’s Khwai Reserve and Zimbabwe’s Hwange, Mana Pools and Victoria Falls

07 Day Botswana Call of The Wild Photographic Safari 3 Day Extension to Victoria Falls 4 Day Safari to Mana Pools

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Frankly, superlatives fail me. Didn't think it was possible to top our 2013 safari, but this certainly did.

Guide Experience Rating: Excellent

The biggest factor in our rave review is Nic Polenakis. His skills as a safari guide are without equal, as is his love for the wildlife and the land. How do we describe tracking three lions, then having them walk out of the bush right in front of our vehicle? Or watching dozens of elephants of all ages drink, play and relax at waterholes? I could keep going on - every hour was a new adventure - but you get the idea. In addition to the extraordinary wildlife viewing, Nic's encyclopedic knowledge of the wildlife and his extraordinary ability to communicate (he's a real "people person" as well as wildlife expert) added immeasurably to the experience.

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We stayed at three different tented camps (Khwai Tented Camp in Botswana, Somalisa in Hwange National Park, and Rukomechi in Mana Pools). All three were very nice and we would definitely recommend any of them. As before, Somalisa was our favorite - just the right combination of comfort, a "real" bush camp experience, plus small enough that you could interact with other guests and large enough to have other guests. Also, the meals at Somalisa were particularly good.

The Victoria Falls Safari Club was excellent. Can also highly recommend the Makuwa Kuwa restaurant next door at the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge. Based on our experience, would probably recommend the Victoria Falls Hotel for first-time visitors, the Victoria Falls Safari Club is better for repeat visitors who just want to relax...

We also enjoyed our tour of The Ann Van Dyk Cheetah Centre, near Pretoria…In addition to cheetahs, the Centre has painted dogs, serval, caracal, and many vulture species, all of which we were able to view close-up.


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