There is so much in the news at the moment with regards to Rhino Poaching. It’s hard to work out if we are winning the war or losing it, but there certainly are many people involved in fighting this terrible trade. I was in a book store over the weekend in Cape Town and there, on [...]
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Hello Friends!! Well, we have been back for a while now, and I have just finished cleaning up after the second set of guests since arriving home. And the boys have finally forwarded their pictures to us. So I am finally taking some time to reflect on our wonderful two weeks in Africa. Let me begin by saying thank you, thank you. The trip you planned for us was amazing. We saw so much, and there are so many of these experiences that are imprinted on my soul. In reflecting back, our time in the Kalahari was probably our favorite. Everything about that camp was amazing - the food, the guides, Michael and Cam (managers) and especially the meerkats!! One of my favorite memories is my son Jesse laying on the ground with a meerkat on his arm and another, pregnant, meerkat standing in the curl of his body. The bush tribe were great too - they were as curious about us as we were about them. We had a great time at the delta too. The floating lodge was good, but by that time, I think that we were just exhausted. The next time you plan a trip for us, remind me to keep it to 10 days, ok? The kids will probably fill you in on the first week of our trip, but it was truly amazing. Lou and I officiated a western wedding, helped to negotiate a lebollah (dowry) danced and sang african songs - what an experience! While I know you were puzzled Jeff about why they scheduled the first few days at Tau in the Madikwe, it had its charms. A great place to schedule a destination wedding. The staff were lovely, and they went way out of their way for us. We saw lots of animals there, and the accommodations were very comfortable. The food was good, and they even had a disco dance floor. Camille - I just have to say that all of the transfers were spot on. Lou was amazed that we didn't wait more than a few minutes for anything. You guys hit a home run, and I'll be happy to recommend you at any time!! Thank you again from the Loosbrocks!!
It was an absolutely great trip and we loved every minute of it. It was so worth it to upgrade and the accommodations were excellent and all our guides were superb! I am very glad you used you and will absolutely recommend you to everyone I know who will want to see the gorillas!
Gabriella: I have worked with Jeff and Liesl on our annual "Around the World Gang" for the last 5 years and during that time there was NEVER ONE tiny detail left undone. Both Liesl and Jeff are enthusiastic, thorough, dependable, very knowledgeable and committed to their profession. From my experience, they are "above & beyond" anyone's expectation and you will find no one that could surpass their performance. Dee Phillips
Hi Sarah, Xaranna was the most remote place we visited while we were in Southern Africa. It's about 45 minutes by air from Maun to the Pom Pom airstrip, then 10+ minutes by vehicle to the landing and 30+ minutes by water to the camp. The + depends on the wildlife one encounters en route. Our tracker and guide met our plane and the safari began as we drove away from the airstrip. The tents, lounge and dining area were well-designed and decorated, well-maintained and very comfortable. (Special treat: hot water bottles in the beds at night!) Meals were delicious and served beautifully. I am a vegetarian and was impressed with the vegetarian options. Service in all respects was first rate: we were very well cared for. Despite the casual, laid-back feel of the camp, everything ran like clockwork. They were completely flexible about activities, dining arrangements, etc. Our tracker and guide were knowledgeable and did an excellent job. Although, as I understand it, game in the delta at this time of year is not concentrated and still a little leery of vehicles, we saw really good variety on land and got very close to birdlife(and hippos) on the water. & Beyond/Xaranna are involved in a project to relocate hippos to Botswana (Hippos Without Borders). A PhD student from the UK working on the project for the next two years is staying at Xaranna and provided a wealth of information about her research and the project. There is nothing to keep wildlife out of the camp, and wildlife do come through, during the day and at night. While we were there one couple encountered a young elephant on the path outside their tent at mid-day; we had kudus eating leaves from branches just outside the screened wall of our tent in the middle of the night, and on our last evening a hippo grazed alongside the dining deck during dinner. Talk about a real wildlife experience! The warmth and good humour of the staff really struck me. On arrival at the camp we were greeted by perhaps 10 of the staff who were on the dock singing a welcome - in fact, we heard the singing before we saw the dock. Throughout our stay we were treated with warmth and there was lots of laughter. It felt like a large happy family welcoming us to their home. Because the camp is remote, the staff put on the boma entertainment themselves and all the staff participate. They even managed to get the guests up dancing and singing! The manager and all staff are indigenous Botswanans and welcomed questions about their country, their culture and their lives. We were seen off, as we were welcomed, by the staff singing on the dock and waving. It was very touching. I'd go back in a nanosecond. Sincerely, N. Smith
Hi Liesl, Sadly, our African journey has come to an end! Everything was flawless as far as arrangements. We loved absolutely everything we did. The apartment was great in Cape Town; loved the ostrich farm. African Perfection is worth recommending in Jeffrey's Bay. LOVED Bukela Lodge at Amakhala (very intimate experience, with easy access; though can't be compared to a Chobe, for example - two very different, but positive experiences). Zambezi Sun was great, although that was the only place Jim got violently ill one night from food we imagine, and Olivia had a scary high fever which came and went for 3 days. In Zambia we did the rhino walk and elephant back safari, both of which we loved. The kids and I did the village tour to Makuni Village which was far more authentic than I could've imagined. The guys had fun on their half day fishing. Olivia and I hired a driver and gave out more toys to an orphanage and kids on the streets. Wish we had time to pop into Zimbabwe for the day. LOVED Chobe Game Lodge... worth every penny to have splurged. Phenomenal animal sightings. Not many people were at the lodge (about 20 out of a capacity of 80) so once again it felt very intimate. Bush Tracks was an excellent company who showed up everywhere for every transfer on time and professional. Thanks for your superb planning with me. I wouldn't have changed a thing! Kim