I was lucky enough to be part of a select number of Traveller’s Choice travel agents to be invited to visit Zimbabwe and Botswana. What an incredible experience! It’s hard to put into words what it’s like to be so close to the incredible wild animals of Africa. We were fortunate to see not only the famous animals, Elephants, Lions etc. but we also found animals which are rarely seen, such as the painted dogs. The absolute standout for me was being about 3 metres from the most beautiful Leopard, as it was relaxing in a tree and incredibly well camouflaged. Thanks to our safari guides who were extremely skilled at spotting the animals in the wild.
Our trip included canoeing on the Zambezi River and cruising on the Chobe River. These are huge rivers, the waters are filled with hippopotamus and Nile crocodile. An afternoon cruise on the Chobe River is something very special, the African sunsets reflecting on the water, the local fisherman in their fragile looking canoes, it was like a scene out of a movie.
We were accommodated in 7 different Imvelo Safari Lodges, which were all very unique, and all incredible! Some of the lodges are located in very remote areas, there are no fences and the wild animals of Africa roam around freely on the grounds of the lodges. These lodges offered the highest standard of accommodation, the service, the food and the game drives were all first class. The beauty of staying at the lodges is that guests have exclusive use of the property, you don’t come across any other people or safari vehicles. It’s different in the National Parks, which are open to the public, and consequently there are lots of people and vehicles. It’s not as private an experience, although you do still get to see lots of animals.
Africa is certainly a special place and if you appreciate the natural world, it’s a place you need to see!
My travel tip for Africa: Take a good camera!
Astrid Dare (International Travel Consultant)