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mdoyle9999
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Back from Botswana
      #1563662 - 01/30/14 03:39 PM (72.221.106.187)

We had a wonderful trip! Zambia, Botswana, and ending in Cape Town.
A previous trip to Kenya was our best trip ever. But, this one equaled it and then some for very different reasons. In Kenya, we saw large herds. In Botswana, we saw a lion interacting with a leopard, played with merekats, and petted cheetah.
We began our trip in Zambia at The River Club, just above Victoria Falls. The facility's staff, rooms, location and food were all spectacular. It was a perfect reintroduction to Africa.
After two nights of pampering and a trip to the falls, we flew to King's Pool in Botswana. A camp of exceptional beauty, luxury and fabulous staff led by Olivia. Our room was a very private building, unit one, with exceptionally spacious living quarters, plunge pool and gazebo with queen sized resting couch overlooking a lagoon populated by hippos and crocks. If that wasn't heaven, not sure what is.
Our bush guide was Odie. He is the best - by far. Knowledgeable, friendly and very, very funny - he's the man. He showed us the tiger and lion mentioned above and the haunting view of an older, solitary lioness attempting to kill a wounded wart hog. Sadly, she failed and went hungry for yet another day. The camp was surrounded by large groupings of elephant, buffalo, giraffe and hippos.
The staff treated us to a traditional African night of singing dance and food. They were wonderful.
We were always greeted by smiles, courtesy and grace. An extremely well run camp that will always be remembered as one of our favorite places on earth.
Next was another Wilderness Safari camp (as were King's Pool and The River Club) called Vumbra. Physically, the camp was also beautiful. Located in the Okavango delta, the camp featured cottages nearly as nice as King's Pool but not quite. They were merely 5 star while King's Pool was off the chart. Our guide was very nice but more quiet and reserved than Odie. We saw less game and had long periods of seeing very little. This is apparently very unusual for the delta. The food was not particularly good and the staff was more suited to a frat house than a luxury camp. On our last day, we took a helicopter tour and gained a spectacular perspective of the delta.
Then we were off to Jack's Camp on the edge of the Kalahari desert. The camp was a true safari camp. All tented accommodations, no electricity, lanterns at night but really lovely outdoor showers and a real feeling of intimacy with nature. The landscape was unlike anything we had ever seen.
The mess tent was a throw back to the days of British safari luxury. A museum of the origins of mankind surrounded us as we dined on very fine cuisine. The guides were educators who taught us about our origins and our place in the universe. It was an experience more than a destination.
It was at Jack's Camp where we spent an afternoon interacting with merekats. They were completely at ease with us but alert to all else. They approached us, touched us and sat on our heads. We will never forget it.
Our final two days were spent in Cape Town, a beautiful, vibrant and classy city at Africa's extreme southwest coast. We were escorted to Cape Hope, toured the wine country and visited a cheetah reserve where we were able to pet cubs.
Cape Town was a perfect ending to a perfect trip.
A big thank you to Fish Eagle Safaris who helped us plan all of this.

--------------------
Mike
"The journey is the thing." Homer

Edited by mdoyle9999 (01/30/14 06:22 PM)


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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Back from Botswana [Re: mdoyle9999]
      #1563664 - 01/30/14 03:46 PM (71.101.47.199)

Thanks for the report! We loved the River Club. Have always heard great things about Kings Pool. We did not particularly enjoy Vumbra either. I guess that is the same camp that previously was called Little Vumbra?? ..or maybe not. In any event, we didn't see much there. We haven't been to the Kalahari or to Cape Town, but both sound lovely!! Hopefully there are some pictures in our future???

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mdoyle9999
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Joined: 05/16/04
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Loc: Villa Euphoria Leverick Bay, P...
Re: Back from Botswana [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1563707 - 01/30/14 06:35 PM (72.221.106.187)

Hi Carol. I think that the Vumbra camps are now referred to as North and South. We were in the North Camp.

--------------------
Mike
"The journey is the thing." Homer


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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Back from Botswana [Re: mdoyle9999]
      #1563708 - 01/30/14 06:43 PM (72.63.75.13)

OK, we were there in 2005, so things can change, for sure. Back when we were there, Little Vumbra was a water camp. Is that the case, of the camp you went to?

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mdoyle9999
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Loc: Villa Euphoria Leverick Bay, P...
Re: Back from Botswana [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1563729 - 01/30/14 08:07 PM (72.221.106.187)

Yes, but we were at the larger of the two.

--------------------
Mike
"The journey is the thing." Homer


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