The journey was fairly arduous: through Johannesburg (great airport) to Maun (glorified shed). Thankfully we were met by two great NWS reps at Maun who helped with our baggage put us at ease and got us on to our tiny 4 seater connecting flight to Shinde. I am not a great traveller - I get car sick easily, and so I recommend taking stugeron for these small aircrafts - but what a treat, the views were spectacular and a great way to see the lie of the land and larger wildlife. There were even lions by the runway as we landed at Shinde.
We were greeted with friendly smiles and a cold drink and driven in an open safari vehicle to the lodge where the staff were all waiting to sing us in – surprisingly un-cheesy and moving. With the main part of the lodge being built up in the trees connected by walkways it is magical and beautiful. It was also very hot in November! But a dry heat and so even though it hit 40◦C + it wasn’t too uncomfortable and we are both fair-skinned wimps! And joy of joys no mosquitoes at that time of year! There was also a plunge pool overlooking the plains which was lovely to cool down in after lunch – in fact we thought an elephant was going to get in it on our last day – he was pretty keen!
After showing us our tents (lovely stilted canvas accommodation) and getting us some lunch, Adam our guide took us out on our first drive – we saw a troop of chacma baboons, elephants, giraffe, impala, reed buck, burchell’s zebra and tsessebe in the first afternoon. Game was abundant; Adam our guide was informative and enthusiastic. He got us really close to the wildlife, helped position the vehicle for great photos and was generally lovely. The following days revealed a great deal more wildlife some with young and no signs of any fences or other people, it was idyllic. We even tracked a leopard and watched her silently for about 15 minutes as she crept up on a sleeping impala in the long grass and made a kill. We saw lazy male lions attempt a kill and some amazing birdlife.