11 independent reviews for Namibia and Botswana safari holiday

Reviews for Namibia and Botswana safari holiday

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review 27 Jul 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Difficult to say - it was all very varied and exciting. We enjoyed the whole experience but particularly enjoyed the Chobe River trip, because we saw such a variety of wildlife at close quarters. The plane trip over the Okavango Delta was also a highlight because it gave a wonderful overview of the area.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

If you travel at the same time of year that we did (July), remember that it is not only the dry season, but also winter in that part of the world. So although the days are warm, dry and sunny, the nights and early mornings can be very cold. At those times it is important to wear several layers of clothing, including a fleece (or two). A woolly hat and gloves are also useful. As far as currency is concerned, South African Rand seems to be most useful, as it is usable in Namibia and Zambia and easily exchanged for Botswana Pula.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Certainly the money we spent on local handicrafts, etc. must have benefited local people to some extent; all lodges must provide employment for local people and particularly the Dqae Qare San Lodge is run by the local San bushmen. I doubt that travelling to Africa by plane and travelling around in a truck reduced environmental impacts, but the lodges at which we stayed all seemed concerned to keep their environmental impact low. The income from tourism must have a beneficial effect on conservation, because it will act as an incentive to preserve the national parks.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

This holiday was very much an adventure. The early starts and long distances travelled made it tiring at times, but the sheer scope and variety of the trip made it very worthwhile. We had never been to any part of Africa before, but now we feel that we have seen a sizeable portion of the continent, its people and wildlife. The necessity for the group to help with meal preparation and washing up helped foster a team spirit. Our two guides were very experienced and provided excellent and friendly leadership.

review 8 May 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The Okavango Delta was incredible, but so was Victoria Falls, Etosha game drives, Dune 45 - and of course the quad biking! All of it was terrific!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Bring a 400mm plus lens for the animal game drives.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes. In the Delta we only left our own footprints - everything we carried in, we carried out with us.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

I absolutely loved every minute of it! Our tour operator does a great job, our guides were terrific - professional, knowledgeable and fun to be around.

review 21 Aug 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The guides - Shadreck and Fanwell from the holiday provider were excellent - organised, knowledgeable and above all fun. We spent three weeks laughing. Their willingness to share their knowledge of Africa and stories told around the campfires made the areas we visited come alive. The flight over the Okavango Delta at 150 metres with no doors on the helicopter - the view of the animals was amazing.The cruise in Chobe The Victoria FallsWalvis Bay with thousands of flamingoes, pelicans and Dolphins Seeing lions and cheeters in Etosha. The list is endless.....

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Don't think too much about whether to go...just book it. Pack half the luggage you think you need. Enjoy everything!!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes. We had the opportunity to visit local villages, learn about their lives and contribute financially to their communities. Wild camping in the Okavango Delta was expertly managed with no lasting environmental impact made. The holiday provider's and clients' donations support the replacement of wooden Mekoro with fibreglass canoes so I was able to assist local communities protect the natural forests.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent. It couldn't have been better in any way.

review 24 Oct 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Observing the behaviour and inter-relationships of the variety of animals at the water hole at Okaukuejo in Etosha. The sheer number of elephants that we saw there and their familial behaviour and the exuberance displayed when bathing. The sand dunes in the Namib desert were also stunning.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

This is an adventure for any age group - Embrace it and go for it

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

The benefits to the local people were many and varied. Money was spent in the local shops providing finance for local employment, development and education. The links between villages / lodges in the Caprisi strip, the San lodge, in the Kalahari and poler's in the Delta provided employment / money which could be used for family support and their personal development. This holidays helps rather than hinders the environment. It clearly shows how we can enjoy, preserve and conserve our environment whilst providing wider opportunities for the local people.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent. Far exceeded expectations and one of the best holidays we have been on

review 11 Sep 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Chobe national park.... unbelievable. Dune 45 and Deadvlei in Namib desert. Rafting and Devil's pool in Victoria Falls... and of course Etosha park

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Take a good camera so many animals and places for photos

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

We have tried to buy things and eat in local businesses....

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Great experience...I want more. Africa, I will come back.

review 30 Nov 2015

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

There were so many memorable moments it's hard to pick just one, walking up Dune 45 early in the morning ,watching the animals at the water holes in Etosha, staying in a tree house!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Travel light (clothes can be washed and dried overnight), and be flexible

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes we did benefit the local people, especially in Okavango where a group of local villagers accompanied us camping and there we also supported the conservation of sausage trees, by helping the polers to buy fibre glass mekoro boats which last better than wooden boats. In the Central Kalahari we stayed in a lodge owned by the San Bushmen, enabling us to learn more about them and for the bushmen to continue their way of life.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Brilliant

review 20 Aug 2015

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

We had fantastic animals encounters in several places including Mosi oa Tunya, Mahango, Etosha and Chobe. The walking safari in Mosi oa Tunya was very special, we got great views of giraffe and white rhinos on foot. The landscape and animals at Etosha are just breath taking, we saw lions there and many other animals and birds. The desert landscapes at Twyfelfontein and Sussosvlei are stunning beautiful, with sandrivers and huge dunes. The makoro trip with local people to camp on an island in the Okavango delta for two days was special, and the helicopter ride at the start of the trip gave us fantastic views of animals and of the delta. The boat trip in Chobe gave us the best views of elephants, and close views of many other animals.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Get good travel insurance, there is no ATOL certificate when booking directly with companies in South Africa and Sunway don't take credit cards. Check Itinerary careful. This trip covers nearly 6000km, the holiday provider does make this clear in their itinerary, but there is quite a bit of time on the road. We spent around £500 cash per person, you could easily spend more.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, mainly in the Okavango where we camped with polers, to a lesser extent at Kwando village and at lodges.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Very Good. We felt that holiday providers were well organised and well lead. The vehicle was comfortable and reliable. The guides were fantastic, they worked very hard to make sure everyone enjoyed themselves and were genuinely passionate about the places we visited. Namibia, Botswana and Zambia are fantastic places - visit them if you can.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you for travelling with us. We are very glad you had a great time travelling with us. For the last 21 years we have created holidays of a lifetime for many travellers in Southern Africa. We do our utmost to make sure that our holidays offer good value for money and follow as many responsible travel principles as possible. As you point out we are not a member of ATOL, due to the fact that we do not offer flights inclusive packages or sell flights at all. We are solely a ground operator in Southern Africa. Also, ATOL is for UK based companies sending clients out of the UK. By booking through RT.com you’re booking through a responsible travel channel, IE directly with the company in Africa. As a South African based company we do not register with the UK based ATOL, we instead register and are a member with our local association, SATSA (Sunway Safaris membership No. 520) the Southern African Tourism Services Association, which ensures that we are financially viable, fully insured, and correctly licensed for our tourism operations we conduct in Southern Africa. We do not have credit card facilities as we very seldom take credit card payments for our bookings and therefore the cost associated with the credit card fees is saved, making the operation more cost effective. All of our journeys in Southern Africa include a portion of vehicle transport. This is part of the holiday and is clearly noted on the itineraries we present with an indication of the mileage we will cover and the estimated time it will take to cover the distance. Some of these distances can be quite long, however where we have a substantial drive on one day we will usually compliment it with two days in an area to explore. We do put emphasis on getting out and experiencing Southern Africa by including various mountain walks, mokoro excursions, game walks, game drives and cultural activities. We believe that you have to get out of the vehicle and meet the people and smell the aromas, and taste the food, and feel the sun on your back if you are going to truly experience Africa. Once again we appreciate your custom and are pleased that you enjoyed your journey with us. We look forward to seeing you in Africa again soon.

review 30 Jul 2015

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

There were many memorable moments- too many to mention them all here but one of the most exciting bits was the boat cruise on the Kwando River when 3 hippos rose dramatically out of the water at the river bank as we were passing and appeared to rush towards us ( the guide did explain they were trying to get to deeper water which was of course under our boat! We got some amazing photos!) We also had quite a close encounter with an elephant on the same trip. The wildlife was just superb and the guides brilliant so felt exhilerated but safe. The Namib dunes were another spectacular day - climbing Big Daddy was fantastic..took longer than Dune 45 but not really any harder so if in doubt - go for it! The local staff at White Lady Camp singing round our camp fire under the amazing night sky was very special too. Camping in the Delta was superb...the list is endless as it was all excellent.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Don't take too many clothes - you can rinse clothes out easily overnight or use lodge laundry services. I could easily have had just 2 sets and alternated and taken one set of something else for a night out. Torch very useful and a small powerful binoculars a must - so much to see.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, we made sure we bought a few items of local crafts everywhere we went - they were inexpensive and beautiful. We also heard about various conservation projects.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Fantastic! We loved every minute of it. Guides were lovely people, very good at their job and we enjoyed the team working aspect of group participation in cooking and camp activities. We would definitely like to go on another tour by this holiday company in the future.

review 18 Nov 2014

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The operator, their kindness to us and their knowledge of regions, wildlife and flora. The Namib Desert and its towering sand dunes. Etosha National Park and its many wildlife. Camping wild in the Okavango Delta.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Don't think twice about it... just book and enjoy every minute in this spectacular part of our world.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, our operator incorporated where ever possible that local people would benefit from the tour. At all times precautions were taken to conserve and reduce impact to the environment.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

I am a frequent traveller and have done many overland and organize trip in the past, by far these were the best I have used. The countries visited were more than I could have ever imagined and the people I met along the way will always stay with me. It's a 10 out of 10.

Read the operator's response here:

Dear Cathal Thank you so much for you wonderful feedback! Reborn and clearly inspired. It would be terrific to see some of your pictures from tour, we love seeing the tours from our clients perspective. I will pass on your kind words and positive feedback to the whole team. Once again, thank you for taking the time to do the Responsible Travel feedback. All my best Jayne Harley Marketing Manager Sunway Safaris

review 28 Oct 2014

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Seeing sable and roan antelope in one day - twice! and the walk up Dune 45

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be prepared for one or two long journeys - but the bus really is comfortable, wherever you sit, and have a go at everything you can

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

It benefited local people in that the lodges, tents and other services came from locally based people or orgnisations, not multi-nationals

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent trip with a huge amount packed into the 21 days and good value for money

review 10 Sep 2014

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Namib desert and Chobe National Park, as well as the excellent tour staff.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

For older people (like us), the camping in the Okawanga Delta was NOT a lot of fun. There should be an alternative stay in a lodge and just trips around the delta.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

To a very limited extent.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Really very good - about 9.5/10

Read the operator's response here:

Dear Joe Thank you so much for taking the time to give your feedback, we value your time and comments. We pride ourselves in delivering quality affordable tours with exceptional guides and we are thrilled that you enjoyed your holiday so much, would recommend us to other travellers and that your guides obviously did an excellent job. I would like to address your two comments in questions 2 and 3. The Okavango Delta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This unique and truly rich wilderness area is normally seen as a very special experience. There are limited options for budget accommodation in the delta and the wild camping in the Okavango is usually loved, being a highlight and part of the adventure. I am sorry you did not enjoy this part of the trip, as mentioned, alternatives are extremely limited and usually a flight is necessary and costly. While you didn’t enjoy this section of the tour I hope you are happy that we camp using community campsites and all of the polers are from those communities. By camping and using these communities you are contributing to the livelihood of the communities and supporting locals. With regards to your comment that you felt the holiday did not particularly benefit local people, reduce environmental impacts or support conservation, I have detailed out exactly how the tour does in fact impact all of the above. I think perhaps the guides did not explain this in enough detail and we will definitely incorporate this into our guides training more and impress the importance of informing clients how they are positively contributing to conservation, communities and reducing environmental impacts. On this tour you visited the below National Parks and community projects. By supporting the National Parks you are contributing to conservation. By using local guides and community projects you are supporting locals and ensuring revenue goes directly to the communities. List of National Parks and community projects. - Victoria Falls - The Mahango Game Park is a protected area in Namibia within Bwabwata National Park. - Etosha National Park - Brandberg Mountain Nature Reserve is part of the Tsiseb Conservancy. This conservancy is linked to a number of other conservancies along the West Coast creating one of the largest conservation areas in Southern Africa - San Rock Art – the walk to see the San Rock Art is a community project and we use local guides - Cape Cross Seal Colony is in the Cape Cross Seal Reserve and is home to one of the largest seal colonies in the world. - Soussusvlei and Namib Naukluft National Park - Ghanzi – Bushman experience. This is a community project and the walk and Bushman experience contributes to the Bushman communities - Okavango Delta - UNESCO World Heritage Site - We use community campsites and locals out of the communities as our polers into the delta - Nata Bird Sanctuary is a community project and protected reserve - Chobe National Park So you can see that almost every place that you visited was either a National Park, conservation area or community project. We plan all of our itineraries to ensure we support local communities and national parks as much as possible. Therefore contributing to conservation. I hope this gives you more detail as to how you had a positive impact on the communities and areas you visited. Once again, thank you for your positive feedback and we do hope that you will travel with us again. Kind regards Jayne

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