User Reviews – Botswana
Email M Howard | 35-50 years of age | Experience level: first safari
Amazing but now the government has reinstated elephant killing - tragic
We chose Botswana as a destination worthy of the additional expense due to their conservation and reputation. Safari Bookings and Desert and Delta were both top notch with excellent service. Tragically however the government has just reinstated elephant killings. These are smart and emotionally intelligent animals that understand who is attacking them. This is a safety issue in addition to the vulnerable status of African elephants. We will not return or support the decision to reinstate elephant killing.
Email Catherine | 50-65 years of age | Experience level: over 5 safaris
One lodge was more than expected but the other was less.
I have seen much more wildlife in the Serengeti and Masaai Mara and even Kruger. I was extremely surprised at that because I thought Botswana was going to have many more animals. My one lodge Mapula was terrific. Great food, staff, amazing tracker/guide, beautiful room. It was 41 degrees on one day and 39-40 on the others and the was little to help the heat. The fans in the room were over the seating area only. That could be improved, but otherwise lovely place.
The second place (crocodile teeth? in the local language) was much lower level. On our orientation in this semiarid place we were told that there were a number of big scorpions seen in the camp and that we were to be careful because they were extremely poisonous. I understand we are in Africa, but I would have thought there would be more responsibility on the camp staff to be watchful to rid the camp proper of scorpions. The tracker/guides were not great; the least knowledgeable and least excited guides/trackers of any safari I have been on. (An I have been on a good number throughout Africa). The food was not very tasty at all, edible but nothing exciting. We had to travel 2 hours from the airport and 2 + hours each way to get to the animals. That was a lot of driving. Also, we had lunch in a place that turned out to have ants in the sand and many of us had many ant bites with very itchy feet that swelled from the number of bites. I expected much more from Botswana given the hype and the cost in comparison to other great safari experiences.
Email Barbara Bergfield | 65+ years of age | Experience level: 2-5 safaris
too basic for my taste.
My guide and the staff at the camp were lovely and very accommodating. The highlight of the trip was visiting the local village where many of the staff live. It was primitive (no running water or electricity to the individual huts) but the women of the community was very cordial, everything was orderly and the children were quite happy. The Delta had the most amazing array of beautiful birds i’ve ever seen. It was fun to see elephants and rhinos peacefully roaming so close to the camp.
However, the accommodations were basically fixed, elevated tents. The cold running spicket and toilet were outside of the sleeping area. It had a gravity feed shower that was impossible to work, so I bathed under a faucet. There was no electricity in the tent! A small solar lamp and lantern were the only sources of lightly night.
Beautiful country and very bad people
This is a formal complaint concerning the service provided by Waterlime Mobile Safaris during my trip "6 Days of Moremi Game Reserve" which took place between 29.August - 3 September (programme provided by the organiser of the safari).
The service performed by Waterlime Mobile Safaris employees selected by Ms Mosa: Frank and Katee was below proper standards and did not meet my expectations at all.
The most serious was that they: Katee and Frank lied to us telling that we cannot reach Xakanaka because the road was flooded by the Okavango, and without our consent they changed the programme of the 4th day of the trip and drove us to the south end of Moremi, 1.5 h from Maun.
Other offences in service include:
I. Waterlime Mobile Safaris guide/driver Frank:
1. Offered me to spend nights with me in my tent (“either me or Katee can sleep with you”) which I consider as personal offence. He never apologized for this.
2. As our guide, he never informed us about daily plans and never gave us any information about the area or animals we saw on the way and -in fact- was very bad at tracking them. I personally learnt more during 1 hour mokoro safari from a contracted guide than during the whole trip from our guide Frank
3. Instead of driving along the paths for vehicles in the National Park, Frank drove across the bush chasing animals, including a female elephant with a baby causing stress to me and the animals
4. Repeatedly refused me to use his telephone to call either Ms Mosa from Waterlime Mobile Safaris or my Botswanan friend from Maun when I needed contact, consultation and support (I offered to pay for the calls). Since our mobiles did not work at all we were totally dependent on their good will and cooperation. It did not take place.
5. Was arrogant and aggressive towards us. For example:
-When I asked if we were going to the camp because it was getting late, his reaction was: “who do you think you are to tell me what to do”
-Almost always he did not answer any questions and did what he wanted to do. Even in situations when me and my companions were asking him eg. to stop the car.
II. Waterlime Mobile Safaris guide/cook Katee:
6. During two last days of the trip, he did not provide us with proper food. On day 5 of the trip, for breakfast we got rice and a slice of beef, no lunch at all, and in the evening spaghetti with potatoes, onion and carrots. On the last day of the trip we only got black coffee for breakfast.
7. He refused to give us fresh water and insisted that we drink the plastic smelling water which was bought 6 days ago. He also refused to make fire on the last night saying that he had no more money left for buying wood. I had to give them some money to buy us water and/or wood.
When communicating with Ms Mosa from Waterlime Mobile Safaris they never spoke English so we did not know what they were telling to Ms Mosa and could not react.
My request sent to Ms Mosa from Waterlime Mobile Safaris to compensate financially such bad service was never answered.
Sincerely yours, Danuta
50-65 years of age
Being "poled along" like a gondola, the thousands of stars & evening constant animal noises (frogs).
After a month travelling overland with Acacia Africa from Nairobi on route to Capetown, we hit Botswana. I was expecting more animals as the travellers we met heading north who had just left here had reported plenty to see. But alas not for us. But this is Africa (TIA). It is not a zoo as we humans are privileged to be in the animals natural habit. While a disappointment, I will remember Botswana for:
- lying in and being poled along in a mokoro, a dug out canoe. Listening to the bird and insect life with the reeds being brushed aside. Thank goodness we had a modern fiberglass mokoro as the wooden ones made out of single sausage tree that takes 80 years to grow, but only last 5 - 6 years leak! We had to take everything in and then take out again everything including all of our rubbish. The sky was blue, few clouds and the sun was rising. It was a simply a magic feeling moving along at a gentle pace. So different to the truck travel.
- On the bush walks saw more homo sapiens from other overland groups moving across the open plain than the few animals - zebras, buffaloes plus bird life.
- The evening will be remembered for the brilliant display of stars with a little light spillage plus hearing the hundreds of frogs croaking away ...
- To cap off our visit, the flight over just a small part of the 16,000 sq km Okavango Delta where the 360 degree vista from above rewarded me with my pictures of "textures and colours". We saw elephants and wildebeests from above. It was well worth the US$60 cost. To cap it off, as we left on the last flight, it was sunset as we headed back to Maun airport.
So ... yes, I was a bit disappointed with both Chobe National Park and Okavango Delta re seeing animals living in their natural environment, but I still have many wonderful memories to take away with me: being "poled along" like a gondola - the thousands of stars and evening animal noises.
Read and see my Botswana photoblog at: