Botswana, Zimbabwe & Zambia | Wildlife & Waterfalls

Nessy Rayner

07 Aug 2013

Africa Safari Review

On arrival to Khwai airfield in Botswana, our first encounter with elephants and giraffes came whilst en route to Khwai Tented Camp. We where pleasantly met by our tour guide Mwamo, who served us with refreshing drinks, whilst we took in the surroundings and enjoyed the surreal thoughts of being in Africa. As we drove into the camp, we where pleasantly surprised by a traditional welcome dance by the staff, which took us by awe.

Our stay in Khwai consisted of 3 nights and four days where by we had early starts and late drives to find all the game we could. This also consisted of watching a wild dog fight with a hyena, and observing extraordinary birds, with rainbow coloured feathers. Our main aim was to search for a leopard which had been spotted a few days prior to our arrival. After a long afternoon of searching for the leopard, we had started to give up, when we discovered we had a flat tyre. Out in the bush with a flat tire with the nature carrying on around us, was an experience one would not imagine. The tyre was quickly fixed and off we set again to finish our drive. Mwamo our guide was quick to spot the leopard in the far distance, which we spent a good hour taking photos and watching the leopard eye up his dinner, just in time for sundowner. Back at the camp, we where warmly welcomed by the staff who were lead by Quest, the manager. My family came to the agreement that Khwai was by far the most prodigious start to the holiday.

Next was Chobe, where we stayed in Muchenje Safari Lodge, which had an incredible view of the national park from our rooms. Our stay in Chobe was short, but long enough to experience a river cruise and witness a herd of elephants crossing the water, whilst hippos and crocodiles laid out in the sun. Overall our Botswanan experience was truly exceptional. 

Zimbabwe was next on our travels, The Elephant Camp just outside of Vic Falls is a beautiful camp which looks after elephants and even has a domesticated cheetah called Sylvester, overlooking acres of land and the sprays from Vic Falls in the far distance. First up on our schedule was a helicopter ride over Victoria Falls, so we could experience the Falls from an ariel view. This was a stunning way to experience the Falls. Next was a trip down the Zambezi River where we enjoyed a morning of White Water Rafting with the team from Shearwater, followed by a BBQ for lunch. With the experience the guys had with the rapids and the grade 5 rapids themselves, we where set for a cold and wet but amusing day. Whilst my dad, my older sister and I enjoyed the Zambezi, my younger sister and mum chose the dryer option and set out for a horse ride around the falls and came back glowing with unimaginable photos. Jonathan the manager and his team, provided us with unforgettable memories.

Zambia was last up on our tour across the African wilderness, driving just outside of Livingstone was the perfect way to finish our travels. The Islands of Siankaba is where we stayed for our last 3 days. Siankaba was stunning and we had the opportunity to visit the village and spend a morning with the children from the Sinakaba Pre School, which was truly spectacular. The children where all so smiley and fascinated with playing with my camera, as well as a game of football.

Siankaba also offered a walk with Rhino's, which we had not yet seen, which lasted roughly an hour but gave us enough time to track 6 Rhinos. In order for me to do a Bungee Jump off Livingston bridge, we had to cross the boarder again back into Zimbabwe, where I embarked a 111 meter jump of the bride, and my younger sister and dad went for a gorge swing which allowed them to view the gorge from a different perspective. All in all our trip across Africa was spectacular, having fallen in love with the African way of life, I hope to return in my gap year.

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