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Botswana Wildlife Safari BW

Trip Duration 15 Days
 

Reviews for Botswana Wildlife Safari

Travellers were asked to provide a review of the trip, including highlights and tips.

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Botswana Wildlife Safari reviews verified by reevooReevoo

80 reviews

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Botswana Wildlife SafariScores 9.0 out of 10 based on 80 reviews
(10 out of 10)

Jacqueline

Crawley
This was a brilliant tour with so many highlights: drifting down the Okavango listening to birdsong and elephants browsing ; San rock art in the Kalahari; seeing a kill as soon as we entered Chobe National Park; juvenile male elephants mock fighting; elephants swimming; young giraffes sparring; wild camping under starlit skies surrounded by the sounds of the bush; hippos, lions, hyenas and leopards to name a few. Victoria falls viewed from both Zambia and Zimbabwe- two countries in one day!

Every day was packed with up-close encounters-including two separate sightings of wild dogs - one large pack in their den with pups and a second group hunting, shadowed by a hyena. The long drives were well worth it and pitching camp in four different locations meant we saw a variety of landscapes and wildlife. Solomon was a great tour leader with a real knack for tracking. Douglas and Bofana provided great food in camp, tea and coffee with muffins baked on an open fire and plentiful hot water for a bucket shower every afternoon. The sunsets were spectacular too!

Go with an open mind and a sense of humour - plus a good head torch - and a light to hang in the tent as early starts meant packing in the dark! The nights were chilly and sleeping bags provided of variable quality so take something warm. I had a fantastic time. Despite some reservations about simple camping before I went, the seven nights in the bush made the trip for me. Not sure how I will top it.
Confirmed traveller: 13 August 2017
Published on: 17 August 2017
(10 out of 10)

David

London
We could not have asked to see a greater variety of wildlife than we did. Too many wildlife highlights to mention. There were some long, bumpy rides through uninspiring scenery but the destinations made up for this. Bibi was an excellent guide : hardworking, knowledgeable, resourceful, calm in sometimes difficult situations and cheerful. The support staff worked hard and produced great food in limited circumstances. All in all a great trip.

Tips :

- The optional walking safari in Zambia is particularly recommended, as it is the only
chance to walk near the animals and is the only opportunity to see rhino.

- Be aware of the $50 visa fee for Zambia.

- If you are going during the Botswana winter (May-August), be sure to take some warm
clothes for the early morning starts and the evening camps.

- Take loo wipes for the camp toilets.

- Be prepared for your clothes to be full of sand in the camps.

- Be prepared for your luggage to suffer damage in the trailer - some of the roads are
terrible.

- No need to bother with antimalarials during the winter - I didn't hear one mosquito.

-If you have a transit in South Africa, some rand are useful for buying coffees etc although they take dollars.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 06 August 2017
Published on: 12 August 2017
(10 out of 10)

Janet

Lewes
It was a really great trip and our guide, BiBi, was excellent in every way. The three days on the houseboat were lovely, a very peaceful interlude with much to see. The food was super, and facilities good.
The two nights at the Waterfront were very comfortable indeed and the Victoria Falls memorable.
The seven nights on the camping safari were magical. BiBi managed to find us much to see every day. It was hard to imagine that the previous day's sightings could be bettered but they often were. I appreciate that there was no guarantee that we would see the 'Big Five' but we did, in fact we saw five different leopards and two kills. The camping facilities were more than adequate and BiBi and his team made sure we were comfortable and well fed. How our cook managed to prepare such varied, satisfying meals of consistently high quality on an open fire showed incredible skill. Always cheerful, they had our tents ready for us when we arrived at camp and broke camp efficiently each time we moved on.
The highlights, amongst many great experiences, were watching Alpha male and female wild dogs at their den with their pups, seeing elephants swim across to an island, two giraffes fighting, a walking safari with rhinos and observing hyenas and wild dogs at a zebra kill while the leopard watched from above.
However, the person ultimately responsible for the success of our holiday was BiBi. He was thorough in his preparation and able to cope confidently with any eventuality. I always felt 100% confident despite an altercation with an angry bull elephant and our vehicle getting stuck in water. He really was absolutely fantastic and made our trip so special. He worked very hard all the time but clearly loved his job and is dedicated to preserving the animals and showing them to us.
Confirmed traveller: 06 August 2017
Published on: 10 August 2017
(8 out of 10)

Mike

Oxfordshire
Great animal experiences and real value for money - the houseboat was lovely, the camping a memorable experience and the hotels good. The Victoria Falls were brilliant - but 2 hours inadequate for getting the full experience!
The compromise was the transport. The Toyota 'Land-Cruiser' may have been OK for the safari, but an open vehicle travelling at 120 kph on a chilly/cold morning was not enjoyable. Even with blankets it was extremely uncomfortable - and bouncy! With 12 people someone always had to travel in the cab - three had to be bounced around on the back seat and the two at the front had limited foot space. In my opinion the vehicle was unsuitable for use throughout the whole trip. (But I realise that cost would have been far greater if various vehicles were involved.)
For a July trip take warm clothes, thermal gloves and hat, a scarf, fleece, and down gilet. A torch is essential, wet-wipes, binocilars, spare camera batteries, silk liners for the sleeping bag and a good-sized towel.
Confirmed traveller: 30 July 2017
Published on: 03 August 2017
(9 out of 10)

Hilary

Bedfordshire
My first time to Africa and had a fabulous time. Saw everything I wanted to see and more. Yes, there are long, dusty, 'bucking bronco' type road trips but it is all forgotten when you see wild animals almost within touching distance. I found our guide, Bibi, to be competent and knowledgeable, and went out of his way to enable us to see extraordinary things, such as a cheetah. If you can't do without your luxuries, choose another trip. If you have ever had the smallest desire to see African wild animals up close and in their natural environment, just book this tour! It is so worth it. I chose to do the walking with rhino optional excursion in Zambia, and the Chobe River excursion and both were well worth doing.
Confirmed traveller: 23 July 2017
Published on: 29 July 2017
(9 out of 10)

Iain

Portsmouth
A trip which will get you close, and occasionally very close, to wildlife, experience wild camping under huge African skies and experience the immense spectacle of Victoria Falls. Be prepared for some long road trips on very bumpy roads / tracks. It can be very cold and windy in the back of the wagon and when it's your turn for the back row, you will spend some time airborne! We were 8 in our group and not sure I would enjoy it as much with more in the truck, which would be "cosy".
Riverboat was a great opportunity to get to know each other, see fantastic birds and we had close encounters with hippo and croc. Livingstone hotel was very nice (more so than Sedia Hotel in Maun) and recommend the walking safari to see the Rhino (and baby). There is an argument for extra day in Livingstone if you want more opportunity for activities but at the expense of a camping day and game drives which could be the ones where you would have seen the Leopard, Cheetah etc. We also did the optional Chobe river cruise and the scenic Delta flight and both were excellent.
Campsites were great. Don't expect any luxury but do marvel at the sounds, the stars, the visitors (hyaena, hippo etc) and the delights of bucket showers in the afternoon. The lads (Sam, Rasta, Luke and Macha) worked tirelessly under the guidance of Bibi and looked after everyone very well. Food was plentiful and very tasty. Campfire chats of an evening with a cold beer or glass of wine a great way to end the day.
Explore notes didnt mention the $50 visa fee to enter Zambia. Also they suggest there is a charging facility on the truck for camera batteries - it is an invertor which connects to the truck battery at the end of the day and handles one, possibly two battery charges per go. Strongly recommend bringing enough spare batteries and memory cards. You may also wish to bring your own sleeping bag liner and an extra (inflatable) pillow.
Our tour guide was Bibi, a chap who has been doing this for years, seems to know everyone in Botswana, and fills the roles of leader, guide, driver, cook, mechanic, fixer, etc. He has a knack of finding wildlife and the skill to get you in the right place for the best photo opportunity.
Confirmed traveller: 22 July 2017
Published on: 25 July 2017
(7 out of 10)

Chris

London
This is a good tour but with a few changes it could be improved. An extra day or two should be added at Livingston, with the opportunity of viewing Victoria Falls from Zimbabwe as well as Zambia. In late May you don't get a good view of the falls from Livingston. I would however recommend the 20 minute helicopter flight which was fantastic. There were a lot of optional activities in Livingston but they were expensive and we only had the name of the activity, no explanation of what it involved. We chose not to do any other than the helicopter flight, and relaxing at the hotel was very pleasant. The camping was great, really nice to unwind for a few days, but I do think 7 days is too long. Our best game drive was the very first one, and sometimes we would drive for an hour without seeing anything much. The roads are very bumpy! Camp life was pretty good, lots of food and we got used to the primative conditions. Highly recommend you pack light, you can get washing done in Livingston and also do it yourself in camp. Do bring a warm fleece, the truck is open and it gets cold. Do be aware the tents are very small if there are 2 of you in there, and the beds are low down. The truck by contrast is very high up so if you have any mobility issues you will have problems. Recommend you bring an external powere source to charge cameras etc in camp. We did the flight over the Okavango delta but not sure it was worth it, just lots of greenery, a bit of water and a few herds of animals but nothing spectacular. Finally try and get your bags checked all the way through, there is a bit of a scam going on in the baggage retrieval in Johannesburg. They pretend your bag is lost and then when they find it they demand a tip.
Confirmed traveller: 03 June 2017
Published on: 12 June 2017
(9 out of 10)

Jonathan

Dubai
Amazing trip and Bibi was a great tour leader. Everyday there were highlights and pleasant surprises.
Confirmed traveller: 03 June 2017
Published on: 09 June 2017
(10 out of 10)

Amy

Brighton
This trip was amazing. LOVED it. The river boat was really comfortable and peaceful. Such a beautiful place. We were lucky enough to see big crocodiles and lots of hippos while there as well as loads of birdlife. Lovely guides KayKay, Sam and Rusta on the boat. On to Zambia; pictures and words don't do the falls justice. Lots of activities to do there; I did the Rhino Walk which I would highly recommend with the lovely guide 'Skinny', saw 2 baby rhinos with their mums. On to the safari part - Chobe and Mauremi. Wildlife paradise! I went in the rainy season and so it was very green and scenic. We were really lucky, with help from our skilful guide, to see everything you would want to see on safari, including 4 Leopard encounters. He also tracked a whole pack of wild dogs for about a mile; they are rare and we were lucky to see them. So many elephants, giraffes etc.. The camping really is in the wilderness - you will lie in your tent at night and hear hyenas scuffling about, elephants trumpeting and hippos grunting - you can't beat it. I felt very safe in the camp with BiBi, Ron and Obi, even went to the toilet on my own at night (never saw more than a hyena which was a relief). The guides go out of their way to make the camping as comfortable as possible, especially with the toilet/shower situation. The food they rustle up on a campfire is amazing - even fresh bread! Make sure you take a head torch, baby wipes, and lots of camera batteries. It got a bit chilly in the open 'safari limo' at times so take a fleece/hoody. I'm vegetarian and had no problems - all the guides very considerately prepared separate veggie meals that were very tasty (pasta, rice, jacket potatoes etc...). I cannot speak highly enough of our main guide Bibi. He was friendly, funny, professional and always conscious of our safety. Even when a member of our group was being extremely rude and aggressive to him for no good reason, he remained calm and professional. He clearly has a huge amount of knowledge, and a genuine passion for his country and the wildlife there. He made sure that everyone in the 'limo' had a good view of the animals. Some of the roads were flooded while we were there and he very skilfully navigated these in the 4x4. If you want souvenirs I would buy them at Victoria Falls as there aren't many other opportunities (haggle!). Take US dollars; you don't need Zambian or Namibian currency. The only thing I would change about this trip is the date of the trip to the Tsodilo Hills. We passed the hills on the way to the Okovango Delta and then the next day spent hours driving back to them - would make more sense to stop on the way to the Delta. There are several long drives on this trip however the guides make them as comfortable as possible with lots of stops - -and it's worth it!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 30 April 2017
Published on: 13 May 2017
(10 out of 10)

Elizabeth

I've been waiting to go to Botswana for almost 10 years and it did not disappoint! The trip is packed with fantastic experiences and amazing sites. It is a very busy trip; the days start at 6 during the camping portion and you do two 3-5 hour game drives over rough roads a day. There are also a few days with pretty long travel times, but you do get stops for bush toilets and tea.

Bibi, our main guide, was incredible (along with everyone else; KK, Sam, Rasta, Obi and the poor kid whose name I can't remember right now). He made sure that everything ran smoothly and on time. 6 AM means 6 AM! He was also able to find us pretty much every animal that you could hope for on safari, despite it being the tail end of the rainiest season ever and the grass being pretty high. We had 4 different leopard sightings, 3 lion sightings, 2 wild dog sightings, elephants every day etc etc. He managed to track a pack of wild dogs for about a mile over soggy terrain!

Food was by and far fantastic, given that it's entirely cooked over a campfire. Dinners were generally a stewed or roasted meat (beef and chicken), a starch (pasta or potatoes) and fresh veg (typically a mix with cauliflower frequently since it keeps well). Lunches varied from sandwiches with salad, macaroni and cheese and tuna with pasta. Apples were always available as well. I camp a fair amount and the level of effort to prepare what they made every night was amazing. They also made completely separate meals for the two vegetarians on our trip.

A few tips on camping if you don't do it frequently; pick up a canister of DOOM on one of the grocery stops. If you're not traveling in the hot season, 2 liters of water a day is a little overkill. Extra biscuits make some of the longer days a little more fun. Learn to use your camera before you go - this is not the time to be fiddling with settings. Rotate where you sit on the Botswana Limo - you won't always be the one right next to the leopard, but you'll be the one right next to the lion the next time. There's really not a bad seat on the jeep. The bush shower is extremely refreshing, but bring wet wipes as well. Toilets, even flush ones, will not have toilet paper. Plan ahead!

Unfortunately, you can't always pick your traveling companions and we had one group member that made the experience pretty uncomfortable for everyone. He was downright abusive to Bibi and complained about every aspect of the trip. I would highly recommend disregarding his review unless you are a miserable human being who complains about everything while you're on holiday. Just go and enjoy your trip, and be nice to the people around you. They could feed you to the lions!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 30 April 2017
Published on: 12 May 2017