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April 2014, Teri Thomas
14 Day-Safari to the Chobe National Park – Botswana Safari to Hwange and Matobo National Parks in Zimbabwe Visit to Victoria Falls

14 Day Botswana and Zimbabwe Classic Safari **** SELECT **** **** SELECT ****

Overall Trip Experience Rating: 

Countries Visited: 

We thoroughly enjoyed our Africa trip. Thank you for your help in finding properties that fit well with our family, private drivers, and transfers. It met my expectations and the kids said “it’s as good as Galapagos” (and that was by far their top trip so far, so a HUGE compliment)…

Guide Experience Rating: Excellent

…We found Amalinda architecturally interesting and our guide, Paul, was AWESOME. We did in fact see rhino, completing the Big Five, and we found the cave paintings and rocks interesting. Also visiting the natural history museum in Bulawayo was a nice change from game drives. We visited the orphanage also—the flexibility with Paul was fantastic. It felt very much like a family atmosphere and was a good way to round out our trip.

Accommodation Experience Rating: 


The accommodations were wonderful and we can’t say enough about the warmth of the staff. I felt like I was leaving family when we left and was so sad to go. However, one thing helped us be ready to go—a mix of super cool and exhausting.

The flight to Davisons Camp was great. Davisons was by far the best part of the trip. At first I was nervous, seeing how high the grass was, but I knew it was that season, and thought if nothing else, we’ll enjoy sleeping in a tent. Was I wrong! We saw tons of game—comparable to East Africa at times, and had TONS of lion encounters. They told us that it was very unusual for us to see lions multiple times per day…

Our guide was wonderful. We actually saw a leopard CLOSE UP. We were driving down a road that had fairly thick vegetation and came up to a termite mound right next to the road. I turned my head and locked eyes with a leopard only 6 feet away, at eye level!...My husband didn’t get a great photo of its face because he had too large of a zoom lens—caught is ear and shoulder!

The final night of our stay at the camp, the lions arrived at camp at dusk. We were escorted to our room and instructed not to leave, and the staff left us a bedtime story called, “How the Lion Got its Roar.” As I was reading this to our children, the lions helpfully provided sound effects to the story. And did that all night long. We know they were hungry as we could see the bones sticking out of the hips of the cubs, and the leanness of the adults, and we’d seen them stalking eland, but not successfully. As we heard them roar, moan, and even breathe at midnight, 1am, and finally a big ruckus around 3:30, the lions who had been circling our tent seemed to have made a kill. We saw them early in the morning and they left the camp area by 8am. We learned that they had taken down a buffalo during the night, and the cubs now had bulging bellies. The prints in the sand around our tent made it clear why we could hear them breathing and roaring all night. They really liked our tent area, at the farthest end of the camp. That was cool, but we needed to get a good night’s sleep after that experience.

AAC Experience Rating:
AAC Trip Planning and Organisation: 
Thank you for arranging our trip for us.

Kind regards.