Vumbura Plains Camp – 06 May 2007 I was bubbling with so much excitement about my first trip to Botswana and the amount of adrenalin that was pumping through my veins only allowed me to get proper sleep in until 05h00 in the morning.
Upon landing at Vumbura Plains airstrip Russell (my guide) informed me that a pride of lions had just taken down a buffalo and had started eating on it… we drove straight to the spot and sat there watching them fill their bellies.
Vumbura Plains Camp have big chalets with private plunge pools, it would have been an ideal destination if I was on honeymoon!
As I walked back to the main area of the lodge I saw an elephant making his way towards the trees that were aligned along the pathway that I was walking on - I started walking a bit faster than usual!
On the afternoon game drive we saw a hippo out early busy grazing, normally they wait until the sun has gone down properly before they come out of the water to feed, not this guy he was way too hungry to wait for dinner time. After our sun-downer drinks we did the evening game drive and saw loads of general game.
Kwetsani Camp – 07 & 08 May 2007
Wake up call! Came at 06h00 am had a quick cup of coffee and a rusk before heading for the morning game drive, we drove back to the spot where we saw the lions the day before, but they had moved on… it looked like the smell of decaying meat had lured the hyenas and they came and cleaned the dinner table as there was nothing left of the buffalo carcass not even a bone.
But minutes later low and behold a cheetah! The wind blew from the direction where the lions had taken down the buffalo and he became very uneasy and started moving faster to higher ground to scan the perimeter better… Once on the termite hill he saw that the coast was clear and plopped himself comfortably on the hill.
I saw a lot of general game from Zebras, Kudu’s and Red lechwe etc and started heading back to the lodge for breakfast. After breakfast we headed to the airstrip and were surprised with a helicopter transfer to Kwetsani!
It was a brief 15 minutes flight from Vumbura to Kwetsani Camp, but the memory will live on forever. Kwetsani Camp, this was my favourite of all three lodges that I visited in the Okavango Delta, the hospitality, chalet, and food were all great.
As I walked to the main area of the lodge I saw two lionesses stalking red lechwe but unfortunately no action took place. On the afternoon game drive we saw loads and loads of elephant herds, general game, and about 28 different bird species from the African Fish-Eagles, Red-billed Francolins, and Saddle - billed Storks, Red-billed Francolins, Malachite Kingfisher, Grey -hooded Kingfisher, Red-billed Firefinch, Coppery-tailed Coucal, and Woodhoopoe.
Back at the lodge before dinner time, as everyone settled in the lounge with their drinks the staff entertained us by singing traditional songs.
Next morning we boated out to Hunda Island as most of the game move there when the seasonal flood plains start moving in fully. After the game drive I went on a site inspection of Jao Camp and Tubu Tree Lodge. Jao is an excellent family and honeymoon destination, their characteristic animals around the camp are leopard, lion and alot of general game.
Duma Tau Camp - 09 May 2007
Today instead of a morning game drive we went on a boat ride. After breakfast we flew to Duma Tau Camp via Selinda Camp where I did another site inspection, Selinda’s location is perfect for alot of big cat activity especially leopards and lions.
After the light lunch at Selinda Camp we then boated out to Duma Tau Camp, as we were getting closer to the lodge an elephant crossed through the water right next to us and he headed in the same direction as we were heading, we had to wait until he got out of the water and passed the land-rover before we could get to it.
Arrived at Duma Tau Camp and it wasn’t long before we headed off for the afternoon game drive. This time we saw alot of elephants, hippos and general game.
River Club Lodge 10 May 2007
After the morning game drive and breakfast we headed to the airstrip for our flight to Zambia via Kasane, we flew over the Victoria Falls and the pilot made sure that everybody in the aircraft was able to view it, it was amazing!
With a short road transfer and a 10 min boat ride we were at the River Club Lodge. I dropped my bags off in the room, and headed to Tongabezi for a site inspection. All their rooms are beautiful with great views.
After the site inspection it was time for the afternoon boat ride on the Zambezi River, where we saw alot of hippos and crocodiles. But mostly just took in the breathtaking scenery, the guide stopped the engine at a certain point and let the current push us back all the way to the River Club.
Since the River Club is so rich in its British history, I ended up playing a game of crochet with other guests after dinner, it was great fun! For me the River Club is a great place to start or end your safari with.
Zambezi Sun Hotel 11 May 2007
This morning the wake up call came at 07h00, and after breakfast I headed off to go see the Victoria Falls, came back very wet but I couldn’t get enough of its splendour, the driver then dropped me off at the Zambezi Sun.
After checking in, I got into a taxi and headed off to The Royal Livingstone Hotel and Zambezi Waterfront for some more site inspections, The Royal Livingstone Hotel was stunning. The Zambezi Waterfront is an average establishment, but there are also great views.
This part of my safari ended with a flight back to Johannesburg.