- This was our thirteenth trip with Explore & one of the best. Yes, the distances are long & dusty & it can be very hot, so come prepared & pick your time of year if this is an issue for you. It's hardly surprising if temperatures are high in November! in March/April, after the rains, it's cooler and the vegetation greener. Although animals are harder to spot then, we enjoyed wonderful views of groups of elephant in all the parks, lions in two, a cheetah with cubs in Etosha & herds of antelope everywhere. The birdlife was fantastic as were the families of hippo in Chobe. We were also enthralled when perhaps four hundred Cape Buffalo emerged from the forest to drink at the waterhole in front of Hwange Safari Lodge.
Although initially somewhat surprised at the large size of our truck/bus (Dugga Boy) it proved spacious & comfortable & was superbly driven by Ishmael throughout the 5,500 kilometre journey.
The group was great fun (12 of us) & Charles & Ishmael were always cheerful, patient, knowledgeable & informative on both the wildlife & the lives of the local people.
The accomodation was generally surprisingly comfortable and, eg, at Toshari Lodge, quite luxurious. Droksky's is also superb.The only disappointment was the rather noisy (road traffic) & less well run in Kwalape Lodge in Botswana.
Four countries in three weeks was a wonderful learning opportunity and in all four countries we found the people warm & welcoming.
Highlights were many & varied but Namibia stood out for its magical desert & coastal landscapes, interesting history from the ancient Khoisan rock carvings to the Herero march in Swakopmund & of, course the wildlife everywhere but perhaps especially in Etosha. As mentioned by a fellow traveller, the elephant experience while walking to breakfast at White Lady Lodge will live long in the memory. Victoria Falls (again do your research regarding water levels at different times of year) was quite simply breathtaking & tea at the Victoria Hotel a fitting end to a wonderful tour.
I think the itinerary would be truly excellent with a different hotel for the Chobe section & the addition of a cultural element, either with the option of visiting one of the cultural museums or possibly a visit to a village or even a homestay such as is on offer on some other trips.
Published on: 24 April 2016