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  • 5 star 49
  • 4 star 1
  • 3 star 0
  • 2 star 1
  • 1 star 1

Sort By: Date Most Helpful Rating 1-10 of 52 Reviews
Hui Ping   –  
Singapore SG
Visited: June 2024 Reviewed: Jun 19, 2024

Email Hui Ping  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: 2-5 safaris

Trusting and Reliable Tour Operator that provides us a Once-a lifetime Experience in Botswana!

It is Martin's words of assurance, his knowledgeable background about Botswana and his active communication that ends my months of searching for the right operator for our trip to Botswana. We told him what we hope to see during our 9 days 8 nights stay at Botswana and he crafted out 5 nights at Moremi and Khwai, followed by 3 nights at Mababe campsite. He took into consideration of my husband's medical concerns and suggested us flying into Xakanaxa and exit by Khwai and we were glad to be given the opportunity of our live time to ride the 5 seater plane by Mackair and we were simply thrilled. We even spotted a troop of elephants from the plane.
Once there, we were greeted by Pilot, an experienced guide and tracker who came personally to pick us and we started our game drive immediately. During our stay, his crew, namely Elena, Pauline (the talented chef) and Sruu took good care of us, ensuring that we were kept warm during winter times, making sure we have warm and delicious food and keeping our tent clean and neat whenever we returned from our game drives.
We listed what we hope to see at Botswana and Pilot gave us more than we wanted. His active communications with the other trackers as well as his years of experience of tracking animals made it possible to see more animals. His driving, to others, might seemed too fast and reckless but we knew that he did not want us to miss seeing the animals in action. That is what game drive is all about. He always checked on our safety during the rides.
We saw wild dogs, cheetahs and lions attempting to hunt, abeit failed, leopard cautioning us to stay away as he had an impala up on the tree, close encounter with herds of eleplants, cape buffaloes, impalas and visited a den of hyenas with a gamily of at least 11 living there. The list goes on. As we were staying in the tent, we had lion, elephant and hyenas visitations at night but that added further excitement to our experience. Over at Mababe, it was quieter as the animals spotted were fewer but Mababe gave us a totally different experience. The wide, vast plains were unique, raw and so remote that we felt we were the only humans walking on this side of the Earth. Over at Mababe, it was our first sightings of the African wild cat and Genet too.
Pilot and his crew gave us a treat on our last night, whipping out their local dishes, dancing and singing around the campfire.
Thank you for the unforgettable memories and excellent services.

Paul   –  
United Kingdom UK
Visited: November 2023 Reviewed: Dec 11, 2023

Email Paul  |  65+ years of age  |  Experience level: over 5 safaris

Excellent organisation delivering exactly what was promised

Martin understood immediately what we were looking for from both a budget and experience. The trip he suggested exceeded our expectations and was very good value. We went firstly to the Okavango Delta - the camp was a very authentic Safari Camp and the game viewing was brilliant- we even saw a very rare Pangolin and also our guide took us for a night drive and found a Aardvark!
The other 6 nights were Mobile Safari with a wonderful guide Pilot together with his team who could not do enough to make the trip so enjoyable! 2 different locations the Mababe and Moremi Parks. Pilot managed to find us 20 Lions who killed 7 Buffalo and 29 Wild Dogs together will numerous other excellent viewings. A perfect Safari!

Melissa   –  
Canada CA
Visited: September 2023 Reviewed: Oct 6, 2023

Email Melissa  |  20-35 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Exceeded our expectations! 10/10

Martin who arranged the trip responded quickly to our inquiry. We told him what we were looking for/ budget and he put together an itinerary that was perfect. We did a 9 night mobile safari at 3 different camps in Botswana. As outdoorsy people, we're used to camping but we were pleasantly surprised by well organized it was and the excellent service we received at camp. The food was delicious and they we're happy to accommodate my lactose intolerance and made me separate meals when necessary which I really appreciate. We had the larger tent which was really nice when we had downtime in the middle of the day and to spread out our luggage. Pilot, our guide, went above and beyond to make sure everything and everyone was take care of and his expert knowledge of the area and animals was what made the game drives so special, we saw all the animals we wanted to and more. He was also very respectful of the animals space and made sure we felt safe the whole time. We finished the trip at a hotel in Victoria Falls and they had all the transfers arranged so we didn't have to worry about a thing the whole time. Overall 10/10, great value for the money and we loved our experience in the bush.
PS. it's colder in the mornings in the open vehicle than you might expect so pack some warm clothes, I wore my wool hat almost every morning

Rose and Les   –  
Canada CA
Visited: September 2023 Reviewed: Oct 2, 2023

Email Rose and Les  |  65+ years of age  |  Experience level: over 5 safaris

Martin is prompt and efficient; a pleasure to work with.

My partner and I have taken many safaris in East Africa but this was our first time to Botswana and we loved the country and our safari. Sleeping in the tents on the mobile safari was thrilling with the sounds of hippos and lions at night. The food was varied and excellent. We seemed famished after a morning of photography and fell on the skewers of beef and potato salad like hungry leopards. Everything on the tour was well organized. This was our first mobile safari trip and we were astounded at the value and high level of guiding. Pilot, Kingfisher’s chief guide really throws his heart into searching out unusual wildlife sightings. He knows the landscape of the Okavango Delta intimately.

Marilyn and Kathy   –  
United Kingdom UK
Visited: August 2023 Reviewed: Aug 30, 2023

Email Marilyn and Kathy  |  65+ years of age  |  Experience level: over 5 safaris

Outstanding. Far exceeded our expectations in every aspect. Staff, helpful, friendly, food amazing.

Everything amazing. Cannot fault. Value for money.

Lo   –  
Germany DE
Visited: March 2023 Reviewed: Jun 17, 2023

Email Lo  |  35-50 years of age  |  Experience level: 2-5 safaris

Honest and very helpful

Martin is the guy who you will write emails with. He responded very quickly and gave us an answer to a lot of questions we had. He was also very open and honest about the rainy season and our concerns.

He works together with the tour guide Pilot which we really really can recommand to everybody. Pilot is very friendly and eager to show you all the animals out there. We even sometimes had to tell him that we were very happy with the day and that it is fine that we leave now. He once got the tip that there are lion babys and we went to the same place 3 times and than the last time he really found them in the bushes.

Sheila Cosford   –  
United Kingdom UK
Visited: March 2023 Reviewed: Mar 27, 2023

Email Sheila Cosford  |  65+ years of age  |  Experience level: over 5 safaris

Everything worked like clockwork

extremely happy with the organisation and the time spent in Botswana.
Organisation was faultless. We can recommend Kingfisher Safaris.

Daniela   –  
Germany DE
Visited: September 2022 Reviewed: Mar 26, 2023

Email Daniela  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: over 5 safaris

The review below is the personal opinion of Daniela and not that of SafariBookings.
Very mixed experience with a lot of downsides

It took me very long to write this review, but I think it´s just fair not to write only positive reviews which is of course much nicer. But we would like to let others know what we have experienced. We have been many times to Africa on all kind of safaris from budget to high-end luxury, but never left with this unhappy feeling. So lets start...
I found kingfisher safaris on this website announcing a "private" mobile camping safari operating in Botsuana. Meanwhile they changed the announcement in "shared", thats what we ended up but expecting a private safari . I still have got a screen shot of the original advertisement to proof it.
But already the beginning was difficult. We were picked up late, Pilot arrived than eventually in a hurry, the car packed up with food, equipment up to the roof etc. There was no excuse. Instead he told us, that due to a late arrival of the trip the day before he had to pack new. At this time we were still fine. But as he stopped a little later at the main road offloading us with two chairs and a cooler box, he drove quickly away. My bag with everything like passports, money was still at the backseat and could have fallen off easily from the safari vehicle. We had no idea how long it would take and where he drove to. This was the first time I felt very unhappy. The rest I will write in keywords.
First the positive aspects:
- The staff was extremely nice and welcoming. Pauline the chef did a wonderful job. Elena the host, was such a warmly and attentive person and Collin did everything that the campsite was in a perfect condition.
-The locations of the campsites were magical.
-All the equipment was good.
- Our unexpected co-travelers turned out to be very lovely persons and we appreciated their company a lot.
Now the negative aspects:
- Guiding was less than mediocre. (here I have to be more detailed) I'm pretty sure that Pilot knows his stuff, but didn't show it to us. At Khwai Privat Concession he was only at the radio and driving us from sighting to sighting which others told him. He never was reading any animal tracks, always the windows closed never listening to alarm calls etc. At Moremi as there were just a few vehicles he had to work a bit harder. We wished he would have explained us more about the unique ecosystem of the Okavango Delta and all the connections between fauna and flora. Pilot almost never stoped for birds, mangooses etc. We felt racing from lion sighting to lion sighting, but none of us four was so extremely interested in them. Once I asked Pilot to stop at the zebras which have been in a wonderful light (we are photographers) but instead he was driving to the next lions. He never really attended to our requests. Maybe the worst was, that he was teasing animals , which is an absolutely unethical behavior. For example he provoked a male hippo to attack the car several times. Another example was playing hyena calls from the mobile to a lion family with tiny cubs.
- Logistic is not the strong side of Pilot. We tried to help and let him know before what kind of beverages we like to avoid buying useless drinks. Didn't work. The first evening we were offered an already open bottle of Merlot and I did write before that the only the wine we don't like is Merlot. After half of the time he run out of gin, and to mention we are not heavy drinkers. In the end no tonic water, no Coca Cola, no white wine, no red wine..... and no excuse.
- Driving style of Pilot was fast, sometimes reckless. We had to use the seatbelts first time on a safari. Pilot general did not respond well to criticism or suggestions. In this case when we asked to drive more carefully, he reacted grumpy and kept driving almost the whole afternoon without stopping and talking to us.
Summarising this was unfortunately our worst safari experience so far even though the magical nature of Botsuana and the wonderful staff of Pilot were hard to beat.

Reply from Kingfisher Safaris
Reply from Kingfisher Safaris
Posted on Mar 28, 2023

I'm really sorry to hear you had a poor time on safari, it is certainly not the result we would like. Firstly this client did NOT book through the Safari Bookings website and at no point during the booking process did they tell us that they had seen Safari Bookings or that they were expecting a private trip and nowhere on our website does it say that our Mobile Safaris are private where it says there can be up to 6 people on each trip, as it does on Safari Bookings too and always has and we had no way of knowing this was their expectation, they simply did not tell us. It is very tricky for us to convey this message if it has not been read correctly as they booked directly with us, through our website where the description is clear, so for that we have learnt from the experience and now make sure this is 100% known before any trip begins that we have up to 6 on any one trip and to be sure they have read the terms of the trip before committing.

Sadly I believe their mistake has tainted this review and their reaction to this did not engender them well to the guide from the start as it seems they were unaware until they arrived and were thus not happy with the guide who it was that told them after i spoke to him when he collected them from the airport. To be clear they had 3 nights to themselves at the start of the mobile safari plus two nights prior to the trip in a lodge. They were joined by another two on this itinerary for the remaining 6 nights who had a different experience and are already planning a second trip with us, although they haven't booked yet.

We even offered them a private vehicle which was the one they were already using so that the other clients who joined them could have a different guide and vehicle but they refused for an unknown reason, so they could still have had a private trip, so I am really confused about some of these comments as we did everything we could to offer them the private experience despite us not knowing beforehand this is what they wanted and this would have been at our own expense, they would have paid nothing extra.

It is not my experience or the experience of our clients that our Guide, Pilot, will not stop at any sighting where he is asked to do so and with over 35 years of experience with lots of happy clients, it may just be that there was a language barrier as his first language is not English and sometimes he may struggle with accents that he is not familiar with.

It is normal for all guides in any lodge, super high end or basic, to use the radio for sightings from other guides as most people travelling on safari want to see the predators in particular and I would disagree that his driving style is reckless, he holds all the requisite permits and licenses for driving clients in Botswana and undergoes annual tests, I do not believe he would drive like this, as you can see from all our other reviews. I've known and worked with him for over 15 years and i know he will do everything within his power to make sure clients have the best possible time.

Once again I'm sorry to hear you had a poor experience but to reiterate the other clients who joined this itinerary for the last 6 nights had a very different experience and thoroughly enjoyed their safari. We did offer you an extra, private vehicle and I believe we did everything we could to accommodate you but you decided against our offer. We have implemented changes because of your comments to us privately and I thought because of that we had resolved the issue as I made it clear last year that you had never told us of your need or expectation of a private trip so I am disappointed to see this poor review some 6 months later. We will keep trying to improve our service.

Jim S   –  
United States US
Visited: September 2022 Reviewed: Oct 14, 2022

Email Jim S  |  65+ years of age  |  Experience level: 2-5 safaris

Extraordinary Tour by Kingfisher Safaris

Martin at Kingfisher Safaris developed a fantastic 3 camp Botswana safari for us on relatively short notice. Each of the three camps (Delta, Linyanti Expedition, and Khwai Leadwood) were different, enjoyable and unique in their own ways. All three were relatively small with warm, hospitable staff and superb safari guides.
What impressed us about this overall experience was the excellent and prompt communication with Martin. He responded with choices in the itineraries and once formulated proceeded to completion quickly and efficiently. I hope to travel in the future on a trip organized by Kingfisher.

Shlomit   –  
Israel IL
Visited: September 2022 Reviewed: Oct 12, 2022

Email Shlomit  |  65+ years of age  |  Experience level: over 5 safaris

Great trip to the Okavango delta with Pilot and his team

We did a 7 day mobile safary with Kingfisher/Pilot and the quality of everything was excellent. Pilot, who is the local provider, is a hugely experienced and excellent guide. He knows where the animals will go next... We had some amazing sightings of wild dogs and lions that we will never forget. The rest of the team, the camping, the food etc were all of an excellent quality. The vehicle was in good shape and comfortable.

Average User Rating
Rating Breakdown
  • 5 star 49
  • 4 star 1
  • 3 star 0
  • 2 star 1
  • 1 star 1
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