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.
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.
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!
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 dÃ©cor 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 el ephant are just now moving in to trample it down. This made viewing a bit challenging.
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.
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.
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.