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Alison’s Safari Notebook: Mombo, Vumbura Plains, Chitabe Lediba


Here is part #2 of Alison's epic journey to Botswana at Wilderness Safaris Mombo, Vumbura, Chitabe Lediba, and Abu camps, led by one of AAC’s favorite guides, Brooks.  


My adventure started as soon as I landed, when I was met by Brooks who would be my specialist guide to the four different camps in Botswana's Okavango Delta: Mombo, on Chiefs Island in the Moremi Reserve, Chitabe Lediba, which borders Moremi, and Vumbura Plains, and Abu Camp.

 

As soon as I get in the vehicle, Brooks starts tracking – listening to the calls of baboons he knows where predators are lurking, and he takes off in their direction. He’s an amazing tracker, one of the best in the bush. At Chitabe we find usually elusive wild dogs. At Vumbura Plains, we track a cheetah and found where it had taken down an impala, a rutting male oblivious to the danger of the hungry cat headed towards him. Another time he hears a kudu’s alarm calls and arrives in time to see a leopard slinking into the dusk. 

 

 

 

While Brooks and I were out in Botswana, we saw 4 leopard and 3 cheetah (including at Mombo). All fantastic sightings! Also at Chitabe, we saw a young leopard hunting. He was trying to catch a mongoose that fled up a smallish tree. We watched as the leopard growled and rattled the tree – but the mongoose got away and ran up the dead tree next door! Again the leopard flew up the tree in chase and in haste the mongoose fled with a desperate jump down from the end of the branch - and swiftly made off.

 


 

One of the highlights of my Botswana safari, and a completely new experience for me, was a helicopter flip across the Gomoti River. The small helicopter seats just 4 passengers including the pilot, and flies low over the water which gave me outstanding views of hippos both feeding out of the water and also gathering in pods in safety of the water, crocodile basking out on the banks, elephants feeding in the marshes – a completely unique perspective. It felt almost like a balloon safari as I floated over the Delta.I would definitely recommend it to clients so they can get this unusual take on the wide watery Okavango Delta for themselves.

 

 

 

My take on the camps:

 

Vumbura Plains:  Stayed in North Camp this time where Alex is doing great things as Manager.  The ambiance in the rooms is a lovely outreach to the Delta waters outside. Enjoyed the evening soup stop the first evening after a wonderful sighting of their must see - a majestic sable antelope. Huge variety of wildlife and fantastic one stop camp.

 


 

Mombo Main Camp: Stayed in tent #5 again which was looking very safari chic. So pleased to meet up with all the familier guides in camp like Tsile, Doc, Moss, Sefo, OB and Cisco. Huge anticipation in camp of new rhino translocation.  Saw a cheetah in two separate sightings and also 2 leopard sightings of Pula and Big Eyes.  Enjoyed a new wow experience, a wonderful afternoon high-tea spread under two large Acacia trees. 

 


 

Chitabe Lediba:  Love this place for both wildlife and camp friendliness. Believe it or not, was there again to experience Monday boma night - the dancing and singing rocked as usual.  The wild dog sighting was extraordinary; as was another cheetah sighting enroute to Gomoti Camp.  My best 2 leopard sightings ever.  The photo artwork in the rooms by Dave Hamman are exquisite!

 


 

Abu's Camp - coming in part #3



10-Day Call of the Wild Safari to Botswana


Shared Mobile Tented Safari to Moremi and the Khwai Concession

Program highlights:
- Enjoy an exclusive experience within the Khwai Concession (bordering the Okavango Delta) and the Moremi Reserve.
- This safari is paced for those who really want to concentrate on photography and game viewing from a vehicle.
                                                                                                                 
Limited walking is offered plus one full day in the Okavango Delta game viewing by boat.
- You use shared luxury mobile campsites in each area, which lessens your eco-imprint and enables you to meet other interesting travelers during mealtime .

This safari to Botswana began with the non stop Delta Air Lines flight from Atlanta to Johannesburg. I spent the evening at the Southern Sun O. R. Tambo hotel - comfortable accommodation and a very tasty breakfast. The next morning I met with two of our clients and that I had booked on the safari and we made our way by hotel shuttle to the airport. The shuttle was quick and efficient.


We met up with another client and we flew to Maun, Botswana. Air Botswana has a new plane with comfortable leather seating. The overhead bins are VERY small and my back pack back barely fit. Our AAC bags were checked plane side as they are too big for the bins. We arrived in Maun and the Capture Africa reps were there to take your bags and assist us to our charter flight. A quick 25 minutes and we landed and were met by the one and only - Nic Polenakis.

Nic Polenakis on 10-Day Call of the Wild Safari to Botswana

We began game driving to camp around 1:00pm. I was still in my traveling gear so as ked Nic to stop by a tree to change. Pulled on my safari gear and we drove to enjoy two bull elephants eating tree branches. 

About an hour into the game drive I realized that my pants were missing - I had placed them on the floor of the vehicle and they had bounced out. I said ' Nic, I think I have lost my pants' We back tracked to no avail and Nic radioed Dave Carson, who found my pants about 50 feet from the elephants we were watching. 

We continued game driving to camp and arrived just after sunset - by our choice.

Food and drink were very important to us
Food and drink were very important to us

The camp was set up at the Bodumatau site - a path lit by lanterns and dinner awaited our arrival.

The nights in the camp were very active with a lone hyena passing through every night, hippos snorting and gurgling and lions roaring in the background. You did have to work harder for the game in Moremi. 

Bodumatau was his favorite camp.
 Sitting around the fire at 5:30am                                                     Bodumatau was his favorite camp.

How could I forget the 7 hour cheetah vigil - eating lunch in our laps - waiting for him to come out from the bush. After about the 4th hour we were all suffering but could not leave the sight, after all if we left the cheetah would come out.

We moved to Kwai after 3 nights by a LONG road transfer starting with the boat ride on the Delta. The Kwai region is flooded in areas and resembles a land water camp.


There is a very large hole to the right -which we avoided There is a very large hole to the right -which we avoided
There is a very large hole to the right -which we avoided

Kwai delivered - big time. Wild dog, roaring lions, leopa rd, hyenas mating in our kitchen, wild dog at sunset appearing at the pop of the champagne cork, viewing elephant splashing in mud hole. Kwai offers walking with the guide and we walked through mopane in search of elephant. Through the thick leaves

Nic's keen eye spotted water glistening on elephant skin. We were off - power walking through low trees to find the elephants. Can you hide a two ton beast behind a 5 foot tall Mopane? - Yes you can! Nic got us very close. We sat and watch the elephants play in t he mud and splash each other cooling in the heat of the day.


Enjoying a morning coffee and walk to see elephant
Enjoying a morning coffee and walk to see elephant

There he is!
There he is!

Nic "Now if the elephant turns and walks this way, just enjoy it!" Well he did turn and "walked this way" and our handy national park escort was no where to be seen, crouched behind a termite mound.

10-Day Call of the Wild Safari to Botswana


Going Green in Botswana


January 2014
There have been some amazing specials as incentive to travel in Botswana ’s Green Season: November thru mid-April. This is the Wet season when there is more daily rain, and afternoon and overnight thunderstorms are to be expected. Ironically, this is also the low flooding season as the waters have not made it to the Delta from Angola yet. Yet, these amazing rates have lured wildlife enthusiasts in their non-Peak season. I was going for a firsthand look during this time period.

Botswana ’s Green Season, this is a big tree

I flew via London to arrive into Johannesburg early enough to connect with the flight into Maun, Botswana and onwards to my first safari camp. A preferred method for many travelers from the US is to go directly into Johannesburg, spend the night and then continue the following day. This routing allowed me to also see first hand some rest areas in London and Johannesburg.

In Johannesburg I had a pass to one of the many club lounge areas, in particular the Bidvest Premier Lounge.  This is a great place to kill a few hours with access to showers, appetizers and snacks, and wide range of drinks (alcoholic and non).

Onwards to Maun…

I arrived in Maun and was surprised to find out that there was free Wifi available (for 10 minutes) so it was my last bit of communication before connecting with my flight to spend six days in the Okavango Delta and Linyanti areas of Botswana. In this time I would stay at a different camp each night in Wilderness Safaris’ portfolio of Classic and Premier level camps.


Arrived in Maun  Arrived in Maun
Arrived in Maun

My trip included a night at each of the following camps: Vumbura Plains North, Little Tubu, Xigera, Chitabe Lediba, Mombo Main and Kings Pool. I was also to get a look at Little Vumburra, Tubu Camp, Chitabe and Duma Tau. They are all in the Okavango Delta except for Kings Pool and Duma Tau, which are located in the Linyanti.

My introduction into both Botswana and the Okavango couldn’t have been better than my first camp, Vumbura Plains (North) Camp! This is a premier level camp in which the rooms are not so much a tent as it is a compound! As you enter your private area you immediately see un-obstructed views of the Delta. On further investigation one will notice outdoors sala with an L-shaped couch, private plunge pool and small breakfast table. Oh year, there’s also an oversized tent. As you enter there is another sunken lounge area with minibar stocked with your preferred beverages, king-sized bed, open shower (with optional drapes for privacy), bathroom, desk and dressing area as well as bathroom. If that isn’t enough you also have a second outdoors shower. This is a Premier Camp for good reason.


Vumbura Plains (North) Camp - rooms are compound, L-shaped couch A breakfast table - Vumbura Plains (North) Camp
A leopard brings a baby leopard Elephants are walking in the river plains

The staff was attentive and my guide, Moronga (aka Mork) has been guiding for over 10 years. The game viewing was very productive and we found a pride of 4 lions on a zebra kill on our first afternoon game drive. Mork spun a tale about a larger pride of 8 that was split up the week before, presumably by a buffalo. In any case, two sister lionesses each with two offspring (1 boy and 1 girl each) had been split up and each lioness ended up with her sister’s youngsters. According to Mork, if they don’t meet up again soon they could end up as their own prides in their respective right, in which case they could be confrontational. It’s these dramas that unfold in the heart of the Delta that are only made known to you by your guide.

After my morning game drive the following day and finding the lost sister and two other cubs on a kill of their own, I was off to my next camp… Little Tubu!


Little Tubu Camp - an open area bedroom Little Tubu Camp - outside chairs
Meeting new friends a little green frog

Little Tubu Camp is a brand new tent that only opened June 2013! Just like Vumbura the two different camps are connected by a single boardwalk, but that’s about it. Little Tubu only has three tents and is great for small groups or a larger family. The bar is made of an old tree and fits beautifully into the camp making it a natural congregational area. The tents are large for the Classic Level standard and includes all the usual details you find in the type of rooms – writing desk, outside chairs with great views, en suite and double basin vanity, and of course, an outdoor shower.

The camps are located on Hunda Island which renowned for their population of leopards (if this is on your game wish list). This is also where we had our Boma night! This is a festive occasion that happens at all the Wilderness Camps every Monday night! There is lots of singing and joy in the air as you enjoy your evening cocktails before your special dinner. This is an experience that will put a smile on any face.

I continued by charter flight again to my first of two camps in the Moremi Game Reserve, Xigera Camp. This is a great camp to begin or end with if you are on a small circuit of camps around Botswana . Xigera is a water-based camp that offers lots of great water experiences including game viewing by boat and makoro rides. The camp has a very relaxed atmosphere that I think is partly due to the management team I met – Neuman and Rauve. There are a lot of trees that offer ample shade and the breezes that come through camp make it a nice place to miss a game drive and read a book or sleep in. This camp is run on an advanced system of solar panels, purpose-built batteries and generators (just like Mombo, Duma Tau and soon Vumbura Plains).


game viewing by boat and makoro rides game viewing by boat and makoro rides

I said farewell to my new friends and continued to the eastern part of the Delta at Chitabe Lediba.

The camp is a beautiful and open with what is now the “standard” sweeping views of the Okavango Delta. The camp is shady and just like all the other camps I’d visited I was given an introduction with safety briefing. Part of this is the relaxed philosophy to help yourself to a drink behind the bar if there isn’t anyone around. This kind of attitude makes you feel like you are at a friend’s house and feels inviting. This is something conveyed by the staff as well.


Delta at Chitabe Lediba Delta at Chitabe Lediba
a leopard resting air game drive

My guide here, Gordon, was stellar. He is another cool character that is relaxed in his manner and elaborates and enunciates perfectly. However, if a guide is well-spoken but can’t find any game, then it’s not enough. However, this was not the case with Gordon. As we did our afternoon game drive we explored the area finding playful hippos in the water, herds of elephant drinking and foraging as well as reading animal tracks and listening for tell tale signs of predators in the area – animal alarm calls.

We were enjoying sundowners as we noticed a tower of giraffe slowly meandering our way out of the bush. Oh, I almost forgot to mention each and every place had the most stunning and spectacular sunsets that literally changed in color from moment to moment. Purples and oranges blazing in the sky as you start making your way back to camp for pre dinner drinks and dinner. Dinner at all the camps was communal and very jovial. I did not have a bad meal at any of the camps.

The next day we found a beautiful leopard resting in a tree after a long and unsuccessful night of hunting. You see a leopard it feels like you have won some sort of karmic prize. These elusive cats are elegant and seductive. Spending time here was one of my highlights. From here it was off to find a pride of lion, lots and lots of elephant, hippo, and more.


I next flew to the famed Mombo camp. Of all the places I was visiting this is the one that I was holding the highest expectations for from all the feedback I’ve heard over the years from clients and colleagues. All I can say is… Believe the Hype!


Welcome to Mombo Camp Mombo camp
Wild Dogs resting Some lion watching while the one lion is jumping over the water

From the moment we got off our plane our guide told us to be quiet and quickly get in the vehicle as there was a pride of lion right by the runway… are you kidding me?!?! Awesome! We got in and made our way to spy on these relaxed beasts. In fact every moment spent in that game vehicle was amazing.

Our specialist guide, OB, who is now based out of Mombo, has 17 years of experience. The two most used phrases he used were, “Oh my god” and “Wow!” Here is someone who has been doing this for a long time and yet he gets as excited as a first time safarier. He embodies passion for his job and gets you excited.

There were so many highlights here but the other one that stands out was finding and following a male lion completely in his prime and oozing the confidence that only a male lion can. He was roaring and letting it be known to those unwanted intruders that this was his home, and they’d better leave or come and talk to him about it. I’ve never experienced hearing a lion roar so close to me. It vibrates in your chest and in the floorboard of the vehicle. It is equally impressive and unnerving and reminds you of your own vulnerability and still gives me goosebumps when I think about it.

Game viewing aside the rooms here are very long and comfortable. There is an outdoors day bed, indoor and outdoor showers, comfortable bed and everything else you could hope for. The rooms are elevated so the game viewing doesn’t just have to happen in a vehicle, it happens out your back door.

The camp is number one when it comes to details from the coffee beans on your bed that spell out, “Welcome to Mombo” to the little mason jars of snacks you can bring with you on your game drives. The staff is genuinely friendly. They are proud to be there and it shows. However, accommodations and service aside, you go to Mombo or Little Mombo for the unparalleled game viewing.

My last stop on this whirlwind tour was Kings Pool. This was the final leg on my stop and apart from Vumbura and Mombo the only other Premier Camp. Kings Pool definitely had the biggest “wow” view as you enter into the camp after getting out of your vehicle. You arrive into camp and walk up two or three steps only to see this beautiful river. As your eyes wander down closer you can see this very big and inviting semi-circular couch that could sit around 20 people with a fire pit in the middle and a hippo filled river just in front.


Semi-circular couch in Kings Pool Kings Pool Boat
Some wild dogs sleeping hippos playing hide-n-seek in the river

These rooms were also large and my second favorite after Vumbura. Instead of it being long like Mombo it was like a large square with two shower heads, bathroom area, lounge area and outdoor private plunge pool and day bed. From here you can hear and see the hippos playing hide-n-seek in the river. It’s a great water and land camp. For my evening activity we went out on a two tier barge where we had our sundowners and cruised amongst the tall grasses and pods of hippos.

The following day on my way to inspect Duma Tau we found a pack of 18 wild dogs! This was another one of my highlights. They are much more active than lions and leopard from a game viewing point of view. They are forever moving, adjusting, scratching, getting up and laying down in a different spot. If you made a noise they would look to see what that was. Other activities you can do from Kings Pool are fishing, viewing elephant from a hide and nature walks.


Kings Pool Outside Kings Pool Dining Outside
A small boat and big boat one lion versus group of wildebeest

This was the perfect way to end such a short and sweet trip. Botswana in the Green Season is awesome.

The other amazing thing was all the babies we saw. Baby warthogs, hyenas, elephants, lions, hippos, tons and tons of baby impala and more. There were more types of birds than I could count. If I lived around here I could easily become a birder.

The last thing I learned on this trip was to never say goodbye. It’s not because of cultural differences or anything like that. It’s simply because you don’t know when you will run into these people you meet on safari again. On six of my seven charter flights I had the same pilot whom I sat next to. She was a great Australian girl who had been on the reality show Bush Pilots. We had great conversation and shared a few laughs. Another was a couple on their honeymoon, whom I ran into on four separate occasions. I learned that in Botswana it’s never about goodbyes, but what’s next.

On top of everything else I mentioned, a huge incentive for many people is that traveling this time of year can potentially save you thousands of dollars per person. If you want a premier level safari trip at a fraction of the price with world class game viewing, then there is no question about doing this, but when.

Go… you’ll thank me later.

- by: Ian Carlo Flores


Okavango Delights - Alison Nolting inside scoop on the latest food trends from Botswana


Our very own Alison has just returned from a wonderful trip where she not only saw Pula and her week old leopard cub at Mombo, but also she had the pleasure of samp ling many tasty food delights. The culinary delights featured from Jao, Vumbura and Mombo that can be sampled when traveling on our 11 Day Premier Wing Safari to Botswana - for more information, visit our website: http://www.africa-adventure.com/safaris-items/11-day-signature-wing-safari-to-botswana-premier-camps-may-dec-2014

The team at Jao will go out of the way to giving you an incredible dining and hospitality experience. Getting your feet wet for a surprise champagne breakfast in the wilderness is certainly something to write home about after a morning activity!

Incredible dining, getting your feet wet in the wilderness at Jao

There's nothing like a good breakfast in the bush to start off the day and the setting a t Jao is perfect for Cindy Swart, the high -energy, bubbly executive chef. A sampling of menus included the 4:00pm High Tea of spring rolls, melt - in- your mouth quiches, tartlets, and divine fudge (yum!) right before setting off on a boating excursion thro ugh the waterways.

Breakfast in the bush

Brunch at Vumbura is always a treat, with a buffet of fresh and healthy options coming out of the splendid kitchen. Vumbura Plains Camp comprises two separate seven -roomed North and South camps, each with its own raised dining, loun ge and bar area tucked beneath a canopy of cool, shady, indigenous trees. The sister camp is the delightful Little Vumbura - an oasis island retreat!

Brunch with a buffet of fresh and healthy option at Vumbura

The dining deck at Mombo overlooks the floodplains. The view is nothing short of spectacular! Kenny the chef cooked up some dream menu items. High tea included ostrich meatballs on sticks and mini chicken pot pies. Had surprise sundowners with fried bream. A dinner menu consisted of a choice of starter of cream corn soup or a salmon gravlax; followed by a combo platter of Chicken Wellington and Kudu with a peppercorn sauce. One of my favorite desserts was a Banana Sorbet. Breakfast included a basket of still warm freshly baked passion fruit muffins, each in their own paper parcel.

The dining deck at Mombo overlooks the floodplains

One of the dining experiences at Mombo (be there on a Monday night!) is dinner in the Boma - an unforgettable experience for guests with entertainment put on by the whole camp staff with singing and dancing and storytelling - a highlight for me is watching the characters transform from daytime jobs to night-time performers! A huge appetite is needed for the spread that is on display. The staple menu item, served in a three -legged-iron pot, is Seswaa, a savory Botswana beef stew which tasted delicious with added spices of curry powder, ginger, and chutney. Other dishes on a Boma night may include a kudu casserole, couscous, pumpkin, cream spinach crepes, local ground maize meal with tomatoes and onion. Enjoy the delicious Cape Brandy Tart for dessert.

dining experiences at Mombo (be there on a Monday night!) is dinner in the Boma

Pula found a perfect den- a hollowed out tree trunk to hid her new born cub Alison does leave this thought- what does Pula have on her dinner plans today to ensure that her young cub is going to survive?

Pula(leopard) found a perfect den


Kyle Witten in Botswana and Kruger Private Game Reserves


Mix in four camps in Botswana, four lodges in private game reserves near Kruger, throw in three different hotels in Johannesburg, a journey on Rovos Rail and the Indaba travel show in Durban and you have a whirlwind adventure through Southern Africa.

I flew on Delta via Atlanta. If you can't fly business then seat 31G is best - Economy Comfort. I got to Atlanta early and stopped at One Flew South - great sushi and Thai restaurant in Ter minal E. 14.5 hours later (we had a tail wind) I was back in Johannesburg. My first night was at Fairlawns in one of the villas. The room is huge and the breakfast spread the next morning was abundant and fresh.

Fairlawns

Back to the airport and onward to Mau n, Botswana. My first camp was Abu Camp. Abu is pure luxury in terms of food, service and accommodation. It would have been a great place to finish, but for me I was just the beginning.

123 Abu Camp Lane
Please let me change my address to 123 Abu Camp Lane

The focus at Abu is on the amazing group of elephants. You can walk along side on your walking safari or ride. I choose to walk. You can touch and feel these magnificent creatures. Cathy is the matriarch, then Sherini and the new little Warona - He is a ball of energy, ready to romp and play s just like a 2 year old - trouble is he weighs over 200lbs and doesn't know it.

Watch out Warona is coming for you. New little elephant
Watch out Warona is coming for you

 the amazing group of elephants

Mombo was the next stop and its legendary game viewing did not disappoint. I saw the famous lone wild dog that had teamed up with a jackal, and the lioness with a full male' s mane. Hyena and leopard were next on the list as well as elephant and buffalo, and it was only on e hour into the afternoon game drive.

Mombo
I hope this mane will fool those lions approaching
Mmmmm I hope this mane will fool those lions approaching

Kings Pool - stop number 3. I really liked Kings Pool. The main area was huge will lots of places to tuck away and relax. But relaxing was not on the agenda. I drove to the new Duma Tau site and it is going to be stunning. All of the rooms look out onto the deep lagoon. I did get one game drive in and managed to find two leopard and a lioness moving her cubs - one in her mouth and the other tagging along behind.

Linyanti Leopard    /   Breakfast in the bush at Kings Pool
Linyanti Leopard    /   Breakfast in the bush

Selinda was the final stop for Botswana. General game viewing was a little quite - but hard to judge with only one day. Wild dog are top on my list and they had just denned so the guides new exactly where to fin d them. Thanks to Liz and John for making the experience at Selinda so special. I was glad to see you can still grab a piece of toast off the fire in the morning. The wine tasting event after the night drive was great fun as well.

General game viewing at Selinda
The annual inundation of water is on its way- bags off the floor your going to get wet

Wild Dog at Selinda
Wild Dog at Selinda

Back to Johannesburg and this time a night at The Residence. This is a real gem of a property in the Houghton area..

My first Kruger reserve camp was Tanda Tula. Tanda Tula is a small cozy camp in the Timbavati a short 1 hour transfer from Hoedspruit airport. Lions, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and giraffe it's all there. Tanda Tula is tented accommodation which is not common in the Kruger area.

Farewell at Tanda Tula Bush breakfasts everyday
Farewell at Tanda Tula Bush breakfasts everyday

I then flew to MalaMala. The landscape of MalaMala is so diverse from open plains in the northeast corner to woodland further south and bush country that is perfect for leopard. MalaMala I s the largest game reserve and in two game drives I experienced the big 5. The best was warthog piglets trying to out run a leopard - they won. I was spoiled with a private guide. Matt was amazing, friendly and knowledgeable and excited to show you everything MalaMala has to offer. I spotted great Rhino at Tanda Tula and MalaMala.

Tanda Tula Rhino MalaMala Rhino
Tanda Tula Rhino / MalaMala Rhino


Mom and baby rhino at MalaMala
Mom and baby rhino at MalaMala

A short road transfer and I arrived at Lion Sands Ivory Lodge. If you want total privacy and luxury Ivory Lodge fits the bill. On arrival we had to wait for an elephant to finish his lunch by the pathway before I could get to my room. The room is a real retreat . I took a couple of hours to myself, ordered lunch, which was delivered via a hatch in the living room wall cupboard.

The food was so good - Impala kabobs and curried shrimp. Time for an afternoon game drive - again with the leopard! Next up lion and a few elephant sprinkle in a few kudu and you have a great afternoon drive.

Lion Sands Ivory Lodge A lion I think this shot looks like a painting
No where are you welcomed like you are in Africa I think this shot looks like a painting

Last up was Elephant Plains, a lodge that is priced at a more budget level . The treat here was leopard and wild dog!

leopard and wild dog

I returned to Johannesburg and onto Pretoria for an overnight at 131 Herbert Baker, one of the best hotel experiences I have had. The final leg of my journey was an overnight trip on the luxury Rovos Rail from Pretoria to Durban. The day began with champagne and snacks at the Pretoria station. We were shown to our rooms, which were small but hey it's a train! The food was outstanding and wine selection even better. It was very interesting seeing the landscape of South Africa change from urban Johannesburg, to beautiful farm land finishing up with the rolling hills of Durban. It is a little tricky shaving while the train is moving - but it was great fun getting dressed up for dinner. The staff was so accommodating and friendly and Rohan Voss the owner of Rovos Rail joined our journey!

 Rovos Rail   Rovos Rail


- by: Kyle Witten


Monica Kowalski - Safari to Zimbabwe and Botswana


On my recent safari, I experienced the wonders of Zimbabwe, and was able to return to one of my favorite places, Botswana. Our group of six traveled to a number of varied places, and we had most of the camps to ourselves!

We were a group of six eventually. Four of us set off on the international non -stop flight from New York to Johannesburg, and were so pleased to spend a night at the African Rock just outside of Johannesburg. It was a short 20-minute drive from the airport and a nice respite in the suburbs. Collette welcomed us with open arms and the property has a nice, cozy feel to it, with a lot of beautiful African artwork, sculptures and touches. We had a nice leisurely afternoon with some friends after the long flight and were treated to the most amazing dinner by Chef Christine that evening.

African Rock just outside of Johannesburg

The next morning we were up early and eager to get into the Zimbabwean bush! We flew to the Victoria Falls airport where we met up with our other two friends, and without a hitch, our bush pilot was waiting for us to fly to Hwange National Park. We were greeted by none other than Nic Polenakis, and his welcoming committee - a pair of ostrich and a herd of zebra at the airstrip ! We headed towards our camp - Somalisa Acacia - where our 40- minute drive turned into a two -hour game drive. We saw kudu, ostrich, impala, sable, roan, giraffe, mongoose, baboons and vervet monkeys, owls, wild dog, and a buffalo herd that numbered around 800. The elephant t hat we saw here were literally by the hundreds. They drank daily from the plunge pools at camp! Another highlight was walking with Nic in search of lions. We followed their tracks and the roars. While we never did see them, it kept the adrenalin pumping! The camp itself was intimate with only four tents. They were quite spacious and had the most comfortable beds! Listening to the sounds at night was a treat! The food was delicious as well. We feasted on fresh locally-caught fish, delicious soups, vegetables and salads and a great barbecue on the last night! We had gained a couple of pounds by this point already.

Somalisa Acacia Camp
herd of elephants drinking

After three nights we sadly said goodbye to Nic, and flew back to Victoria Falls and stayed for two nights at the Victoria Falls Hotel. It truly is a classic. The hotel beautifully displays its historical facets wherever you look and the view of the falls from the back patio is unmatched . Two nights at the hotel gave us an evening to relax on the Sunset Cruise on the Zambezi and a full day to tour the Falls with Esther and experience an elephant -back safari! The cruise was nice and we got some great shots of the local hippos and the sunset! The tour of the Falls was amazing. The Falls themselves had been impossible to imagine; they were truly awesome, especially with the water levels so high! Esther is so knowledgeable and gave us the complete history (and a predicted future) of the Falls. The elephant back safari was one of the highlights of the entire trip! You get to pet them, ride them and then feed them treats. Can you tell I love elephants?

Elephant Back Safari & Beautiful Victoria Falls

From Victoria Falls Hotel, we were transferred by a mini -bus to Kasane airport. Along the way, at the border crossing, we were able to stretch our legs to break up the near -two-hour drive by getting our passports stamped. From Kasane airport our bush pilot escorted us on our flight to Duba Plains, one of the most remote camps in the northwest Okavango Delta. We arrived at the airstrip with Moses , our guide, waiting for us, a nd arrived at camp to the singing of the welcoming staff! We were briskly whisked off to the lunch table that overlooks the plains for a feast of Botswana beef, lots of fresh salads and warm 'bush' bread , which just added to our weight gain . On our evening game drive, our first encounter was with a pride of nine lions that were just starting their nightly hunt! After the first lioness took the lead, they followed each other, one by one, through the deep waters, stopping to look and listen after every few steps. The birding was quite good, and we saw many raptors, owls, and water birds in the area. Hippos were plenty, as were grazing animals , especially red lechwe , although the buffalo had already moved out of the area.

evening game drive & a pride of nine lions
Red lechwe and African Birds

The next flight was into the Khwai area of Botswana, where we had our mobile camping experience! What good fun! Our guide Andrew greeted us at the airport, and we were presented with cool towels and drinks by the friendly staff at the campsite. W e quickly settled into our comfortable tents and were amazed at the fact that the staff had erected the entire camp in the afternoon the day before our arrival. Andrew took us on some great game drives where we saw a large herd of waterbuck, and one morning, a pride of seven lion s till feasting on a kill from the night before. On a late night game drive, we saw an African wildcat and two separate genets, plus a mother hippo and her baby grazing on the grass. Walking through the dead tree forest was a highlight, where we tracked so me hippo and some zebra, before encountering a bull elephant. From a safe distance, we watched the elephant eating his breakfast and then eventually meandered off. Another highlight was the mekoro ride. It is the most serene and beautiful outing. We watched as African Fish Eagles hunted for food, elephants browsed along the shoreline and fish made quick appearances at the surface of the water. Water lilies were in full bloom and plentiful, giving the jacanas new paths in which to search for food. Back at camp, Florence the chef, made the most incredible meals - soups, lasagna, chicken pot pie, and even the most incredible beef roast - all on the campfire. We still couldn't fathom that she baked us a cake on the campfire' but she assured us it was true. Regardless, we managed to put on a few more pounds.

Lioness having rest  mekoro ride encounter an elephant
Khwai Camp  mekoro ride

The three nights in the Khwai passed quickly, and soon we were back on a charter flight, this time to Zarafa in the Selinda Reserve. David, the camp manager, and Foster, our guide, picked us up at the airstrip. It was about a 40 - minute drive to camp, however, it turned into a bit longer as a large herd of elephant were feeding and cooling themselves off along the lagoon. The 'African traffic jam' set us back about 20 minutes, but we didn' t mind. Soon we found ourselves in the lap of luxury! This camp is all about the special details and is a place to really decompress with their relaxed approach to safari. The tents are huge with a separate living area, a n oversized king bed, and a bathroom area complete with a fire pit, copper tub, shower, double vanity sinks and a separate toilet and outdoor shower. Also outside along the deck is your own plunge pool! The main lounge overlooks the lagoon, and at any given moment, you can look out and see hippos, or elephant nearly completely submerged with only their trunks up and doubling as snorkels, or monitor lizards swimming across the lagoon! The view is just stunning. David and Foster hosted a fun trip on their pontoon boat where we did some wine-tasting, the African way! We had so much fun we decided to go on the boat a second time! Once again, the food did not disappoint, and there was an abundance of delicious meals waiting for us every time we stepped into the main lounge. All of us barely managed to squeeze into our clothes towards the end of the trip! On our last night we were treated to a magical dinner out in the bush, complete with dozens of lanterns and a roaring fire . The entire staff was there to celebrate us, and likewise, we were there to celebrate them for all the wonderful things they did to make us feel so special. It was the perfect ending to a perfect safari!

Zarafa in the Selinda Reserve
Hippos at Selinda Reserve
Herds of elephants walking at Zarafa at Selinda Reserve

- by: Monica Kowalski


Kyle Witten - Safari to Botswana (Moremi and Linyanti 2013)


This safari to Botswana included six camps in six days. I wanted to explore several camps in Botswana that are operated by different companies looking at how camps vary in terms in guiding, food, accommodation and guest experience. I flew on the South African Airways flight that departs from JKF. The economy cabin offers more le groom and seat pitch than Delta Airlines. The flight arrived early in Johannesburg and I passed through International Transit Immigration and Security and connected straight away to the South African Airways flight to Maun, Botswana. On arrival I was met a nd jumped on board the charter light to Xakanaxa Camp.

Kyle Witten - Safari to Botswana

My game viewing experience at Xakanaxa Camp was productive. I saw leopard and lion on the first game drive and then next morning we came across wild dog that were in the third bridge area of Moremi. The tents are classic Meru style tents, the front of the tents zips open to a large and comfortable bedroom and the bathroom is out a back door but part of your tent. The food was simple and wholesome.

Xakanaxa Camp Comfortable bedroom in Xakanaxa Camp

My next camp was Chiefs Camp situated in on Chiefs Island in the Moremi Reserve. I was greeted by the staff singing and welcoming me to camp. I settled in for a delicious lunch and prepared for an afternoon game drive. A large bush fire moved through parts of the concession in late March and some of the area is quite dusty. The afternoon game drive was quiet but the morning game drive gave us an interesting fight among hyena and wild dog!

Bathroom in Chiefs Camp  Comfortable bed in hiefs Camp situated in on Chiefs Island in the Moremi Reserve

I flew north to Kwando Lagoon and again arrived just in time to settle in for brunch. The Kwando Lagoon rooms are big and very comfortable. The décor in the camp is lacking inspiration and contributed a bit t o the lack of atmosphere during meal times. The guiding was excellent hosted by Carlos and his tracker Aaron. We were rewarded with a wild dog hunt. The next morning we spotted all sorts of general game, the tall grasses we still high as the buffalo and elephant are just now moving in to trample it down. This made viewing a bit challenging.

Wild dog looking for something

I continued and flew south again this time to experience Camp Moremi. This camp is a little gem and set in a green oasis. The staff was spot on in terms guest experience I was impressed with how welcome I felt. Meals were very good and the game viewing was productive as well. The down side to the part of the Moremi is the game viewing roads are in bad shape - the worst I have exp erienced in some time. Consequently the guides have to drive slow to avoid bouncing you out of the vehicle.

 Kwando Lagoon rooms are big and very comfortable  Kwando Lagoon rooms are big and very comfortable

I then flew to Dumatau Camp a brand new property from Wilderness Safaris. I first stayed at Dumatau about seven years ago. The old camp was closed and this new camp moved to a sight on a deeper lagoon. I was blown away by this camp. The managers are doing a superb job. The food and beverage were beyond what was expect ed for a Classic camp. The camp viewing was exceptional. We spotted wild dog and a pride of lion with cubs on the afternoon drive, and five male lions on the morning drive. Lots of elephant in the area and one was even eating grass right outside my room.

Dumatau Camp a brand new property from Wilderness Safaris
Dumatau Camp Bed room Dumatau Camp Stairs going down for a great sight seeing 
pride of lions in botswana

The final stop was Mombo. I visited Mombo last year and was anxious to experience the changes I have heard so much about. The guest experience at Mombo has been taken to a new level. Personalized attention to detail, beautiful table settings of scrumptious foods at breakfast - they are doing things right. All the vehicles stopped for a sundowner and everyone's favorite cocktail wa s waiting along with lots of snacks. There is talk that Mombo will be offering bush walks and night drives in the near future - I can't wait to experience this - just what the concession needs.

That final sunset was beautiful as the orange glow o f setting sun reflected on the waters just beginning to creep into this part of the delta. I was guided by my old friend Ollie who I have not seen a few years but we remembered each other and had two great game drives.


final sunset was beautiful as the orange glow o f setting sun reflected on the waters

- by: Kyle Witten


Lynne Glasgow in Okavango Delta, Botswana


TRANS-OKAVANGO, BOTSWANA TRIP REPORT
May 2011

After an early breakfast at the Johannesburg Intercontinental (the ideal hotel for overnight, when arriving in the late afternoon and leaving again early the next day) we boarded the Air Botswana flight to Maun. This is always an interesting flight, as everyone on board is setting off on an adventure! On arrival, we were met by our Wilderness Air pilot and flew south to Kalahari Plains camp. After a quick freshen up, it was time for our fir st game drive! We were not disappointed, as there were lots of oryx and springbok, and I saw my first honeybadger in daylight! Dinner was scrumptious; tomato soup, rump steak, potato augratin and cauliflower; all hot and tasty and accompanied by good South African wine.

Oryx at  Kalahari Plains amazing honeybadger

Next morning was a 5.30 wake up for coffee and light breakfast before driving to Deception Valley for a day of game viewing. A wonderful picnic lunch brought out from camp and set up for us. In the late afternoon we returned to c amp for a cultural walk with one of the Bushmen. We learned how to made fire, snare a rabbit, make a bow arrows and how to communicate using the Bush Telephone! After dinner we had a great lecture from the senior camp guide about how the Kalahari formed and the river system that feeds the Delta. Kalahari Plains is a great camp, in a very unique ecosystem, and well worth the journey to visit and stay for a few days.

 Lion closeup

We were up before sunrise in order to set off on our scheduled charter flight to Chitabe for a site inspection of Chitabe and Chitabe Lediba Camps. Our next node of transport was a helicopter which whisked us to Banoka Camp. This new camp in the Kwai Concession area is a great example of reducing the carbon footprint, as the camp generates much of its own power from solar panels, has a super water filtration system and operates a rigorous re-cycling program - all behind the scenes, but available for viewing by interested guests. After a bush lunch at the edge of a lagoon, our helicopter took us off to the Tsodilo Hills, a UNESCO World Heritage site with over 4,500 rock paintings over a 6 square mile area.

helicopter which whisked us to Banoka Camp a UNESCO World Heritage site with over 4,500 rock paintings over a 6 square mile area

Our overnight stop was at the newly refurbish ed Vumbura Plains North Camp. Wow! This is a Premier Camp with all the bells and whistles - it took me 10 minutes just to find all of the light switches in my gorgeous room.

Next morning we were up and on the move by 5.30. Our helicopter ride over the Delta gave a good perspective of the water inundation. This is the third year of what looks to be part of a 25 year cycle of great water flow into the Delta, and many of the camps are reorganizing their game viewing to accommodate more water activities.

aerial view of water in delta  motorized boat game viewing

The next part of our adventure would be by motorized boat, expertly guided by Lawrence, who has grown up in the Delta and whose knowledge of the channels, the birdlife and animal behaviors was incredible. The full day boat trip included a stop on an island for lunch and swim. In the afternoon there was fi shing from boat, without much luck! We had a quick stop at Jacana Camp for quick site inspection. This camp has 10 beds including a family tent which is a double with inter -connecting twin which makes it I deal for families. We arrived at Xigera Camp just after sunset and had a very interesting lecture from Map Ives, Wilderness Safaris' Environmental Officer in Botswana.

beautiful sunset from Xigera Camp Xigera Camp

Today we took our boat at sunrise and headed to Chiefs Island, landing at Mombo Camp . We were ready for some game viewing on dry land and Mombo Camp did not disappoint! Our game drive was only jut over an hour, but we managed to see two prides of lion, many giraffe, letchwe and zebra. Mombo Camp was full but the staff still managed to serve us an exquisite lunch before sending us off on our way to our final camp. This time, we experienced the Okavango at its pristine wildness. A fly camp had been set up with individual dome tents , a full bush kitchen and mess tent. Drinks around the fire, time to reflect on a wonderful visit to the Okavango Delta and a great sleep ! I am already looking forward to my next visit to this beautiful, diverse and ever changing land.

Mombo Camp and letchwe with zebra
elephant at okavango delta

- by: Lynne Glasgow


Allana Botha in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana


SOUTH AFRICA, ZIMBABWE AND BOTSWANA
I recently returned from a fantastic adventure to southern Africa which included my first safari to Botswana!

My trip started with a wonderful weekend in Durban, South Africa where I caught up with family and visited the Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks. Recently refurbished, this hotel is beautifully situated on the beach offering luxury accommodations and excellent food.

Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks

After spending a night in Johannesburg at the Southern Sun Tambo International Airport Hotel, I departed for Victoria Falls. My reception on arrival at the Victoria Falls Hotel was welcoming with a warm face cloth and drink. The bellboy took me through the main entrance and my breath was taken away with the beauty of the bridge and the Fall's mist bellowing high in the air. - just lovely! After a light lunch on the hotel patio, I enjoyed a guided trip of the Victoria Falls by Esther (Africa Adventure 's exclusive local guide). The water levels were very high and mist came from everywhere leaving us soaked.

In the evening I enjoyed a s unset cruise on the Zambezi followed by a relaxing dinner under the stars at the hotel's Jungle Junction

The Victoria Falls Hotel Victoria Falls view with a rainbow

The next day created fabulous memories at the Elephant Interaction camp and in the evening lots of fun and good food was to be had at the Boma (which is located next to the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, about a 10 minute drive from the Victoria Falls Hotel).

With excitement I left Victoria Falls and transferred by road t o Kasane on the Botswana border. I was promptly met by lodge's vehicle and driven to Muchenje Safari Lodge on the border of Chobe National Park . The view is the first thing that hits you on arrival at Muchenje - the Chobe River flows directly in front an d is stunning! You feel like you have arrived home . Great people, home cooking and lovely accommodations. My first game drive was exciting as we viewed giraffe, buffalo, various antelope, baboons and lots of elephants (they were at the camp's front door ).

Our 12-Day Best of Southern Africa Safari visits Victoria Falls and Chobe.

12-Day Best of Southern Africa Safari visits Victoria Falls and Chobe. 12-Day Best of Southern Africa Safari visits Victoria Falls and Chobe.

After breakfast we drove back to Kasane and departed by a scheduled chart er flight for Savuti Camp, located in the Linyanti Reserve (which is an extension of the world famous Okavango Delta). The game viewing was especially good and our guide and during our day and night game drives we saw elephant, giraffe, zebra, antelope, h yena and even wild dog! I thought the staff and hospitality at Savuti were outstanding. One morning I visited Kings Pool, a premier level camp in the Linyanti Reserve which offers incredible luxury.

Savuti Camp, located in the Linyanti Reserve Wild dogs

A scheduled charter flight took me to the heart of the Okavango Delta and m y next stop was Jao Camp. This premier camp is stunning! Between game activities I enjoyed incredible luxury, water views and outstanding service (and for those who really want to indulge can arrange for a massage on their priva te deck).

I was fortunate to explore two other camps in the region which included Kwetsani, where I enjoyed my first mokoro ride (a dugout canoe that glides through the Delta waterways) and Jacana Camp.

Our 11-Day Botswana Wilderness Wing Safari visits 3 camps&regions in Botswana

11-Day Botswana Wilderness Wing Safari visits 3 camps&regions in Botswana 11-Day Botswana Wilderness Wing Safari visits 3 camps&regions in Botswana

Ready to experience a different region, I flew to the edge of the Moremi Reserve and Chitabe Camp. Technically within the Okavango Delta, this camp offers big game viewing and Chitabe didn't disappoint as it was here that I got to see m y first lions! Between game drives I thoroughly e njoyed a siesta at the camp's pool and a traditional boma dinner. All guests enjoyed the singing and dancing by the staff - a memorable evening for all.

11-Day Botswana Wilderness Wing Safari visits 3 camps&regions in Botswana 11-Day Botswana Wilderness Wing Safari visits 3 camps&regions in Botswana

My last stop was Banoka Bush Camp located in the Khwai game concession . I could hear the welcoming song of the staff before we saw the camp. After warm introductions I checked out my tent and loved the endless view of water and grasslands.

Part of the adventure of visiting Botswana during this time is the annual rising water levels and I got to witness the beauty first hand. On a practical level, it is impressive how prepared the Wilderness Safari camps are for the rising water. Supplies and food are well-stocked and ready at a moment's notice with a replacement vehicle if a Land Rover gets stuck during a game drive. Dinner was served under the stars with magical lanterns sc attered around. It was just magical and what a lovely camp to end my African adventure!

Our 07-Day Awesome Value Safari to Botswana visits Banoka Camp

07-Day Awesome Value Safari to Botswana visits Banoka Camp 07-Day Awesome Value Safari to Botswana visits Banoka Camp

The next day I flew to Maun for my connecting flight to Johannesburg and home.

- by: Allana Botha


Safari to Makgadikgadi and Okavango Delta


This vacation began with a text message 'all of your flights are cancelled'¦..this is no joke'. The Iceland volcano was set to spoil a vacation that I planned for a year and a half. Thankfully I booked by my flights with AAC and Bill jumped into action and rebooked us on Delta, last minute.

We spent two nights in Johannesburg due to the flight change. The first night at African Rock Hotels, the rooms were clean and fresh, the host was very homey and the food was delicious. It is a great one night stay. The second night we spent at Athol Place - in my opinion the place to stay if you arrive in the morning and leave the next day. The rooms are huge and the food and service are outstanding . They drove us Melrose Arch for lunch and some people watching.

The next morning we flew to Maun, Botswana and a further 1 hour charter flight to Jack's Camp situated in the Makgadikgadi Pans region of Botswana. Upon landing I knew we were not in Kansas anymore. The landscape is VAST and no picture or description can do it justice.

Standing at the edge of a Salt Pan the size of Switzerland!
Standing at the edge of a Salt Pan the size of Switzerland!

Safari to Makgadikgadi and Okavango Delta

Green season was off and running with the zebra and wildebeest migration - the last in southern Africa. They were everywhere, felt a little like the Serengeti. The late afternoon storms delivered the most amazing sunsets and a thrilling night as the canvas tented breathed with gusting winds and lighting fired up the night sky.

Hyena scent marks on a blade of grass - great eyes Super!
Hyena scent marks on a blade of grass - great eyes Super!

Our guide was Super Sande and was an awesome guide, he could spot a hyena marking on a blade of grass from the safari vehicle, at 25 miles an hour.

Family of meerkats standing on Kyle Witten Family of meerkats standing on Kyle Witten

One of many highlights at Jack's is the opportunity to visit the habituated family of meerkats. We drove out after an early morning breakfast and sat on the mounds by their wholes and waited for them to wake up. They want to be on the tallest object to look for predators and now you are the tallest thing around. The photos say it all. The camp has a very relaxed attitude, no staff and guide uniforms, everyone is dress ed in whatever is comfortable, it does not feel like a corporation. If felt like a n old world safari camp - including the toilet! My only criticism is that there is no where to kick back an d take that much needed 2:00 pm snooze. Antique furniture is not made for 21st century bodies.

Safari to Makgadikgadi and Okavango Delta Safari to Makgadikgadi and Okavango Delta Safari to Makgadikgadi and Okavango Delta

The drive to the Masai Mara was long and extremely exhausting, but thanks to our tra veling companions an Aussie couple and a British Dad and daughter, made the long drive less strenuous. Our guide Stephan was a bit quiet and non talkative at first, but we quickly started joking with him and brought him out of his shell. The first Swahili words he taught me (at my request) were 'pole'¦pole', I found myself saying this on a daily basis. His answer was always 'Akuna Matata'.On our very first afternoon game drive, the first animal we saw was a lioness!! Now I realized why our clients keep coming back over and over, the feeling of respect you get from being so close to such a magnificent creature is second to none.We saw all the animals that were on our list, elephants, wildebeest, giraffes, zebra, lots of baboons, impalas and buffalo. In a way it kind of spoiled it for any future game drives as we found ourselves

The one animal we did not see in the Masai , but were lucky enough to see in Lake Nakuru was the black rhino. Our game drive was cut sh ort due to bad visibility and floods. Fortunately enough, seeing the black rhino made up for the bad weather and other expectations.

The next camp was Vumbura Plains in the Okavango Delta. The food at this camp was amazing. Wayne, the chef was new and dazzling everyone with his creations. Benjamin the assistant manger in training prepared a special private dining experience, lots of candles, lanterns, great food and sounds of Africa just beyond the deck. We did not see any lion or leopard, the grass was too tall, but we did lots o f elephant, hyena, giraffe, plains game, even a ground hornbill flying! Lots of babies and even a charging 3 month elephant - we could not help but laugh at him.

Charging baby elephant
Charging baby elephant

Safari to Makgadikgadi and Okavango Delta
A herd of beautiful Sable
A herd of beautiful Sable

We bid farewell to Botswana an d enjoyed Cape Town for a couple of nights at the One & Only. We stayed in the Island Suites. The rooms were amazing but , no view whatsoever. If you stay book a room in the Marina Rise building, with views to Table Mountain. We had a memorable dinner at Maze and Nobu (don't forget to take the cardboard off the knife) . On our full day we took a cab to Table Mountain, followed by a pool side lunch at the hotel and an afternoon of more relaxing.

The next day we went to Majeka House in Stellenbosch after enjoying the Cheese Festival in Stellenbosch. Not much cheese in Stellenbosch, so hit Le Cottage From age for a healthy dose of fat and cholesterol as only South Africa can deliver!

The room a Majeka was comfortable, nothing over the top, but perfect the one night. The dinner that was cooked just for us was amazing. I was really impressed with the quality and presentation.

The following morning Thomas drove us to Bushmans Kloof - the place to end a long trip. One tip brush up on your Afrikans! The lodge room, food and service are beyond top notch. There is so much do at Bushmans Kloof including mountain biking, hiking, bow and arrow target practice, canoeing - none of which we did. We did move further than the kitchen on an afternoon hike to the rock paintings and never left the room after that - expect to eat. We booked the Riverside Suite which is basically a house, with three verandas and a private infinity pool, living room, bath and bedroom. It was heaven for 3 days!

Fluffing the pillows on one o f our verandas This was the spot for an afternoon snooze
Fluffing the pillows on one o f our verandas                     This was the spot for an afternoon snooze

The one day we actually moved.
The one day we actually moved.

- by: Kyle Witten


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