A challenge...African Safari...
I had planned and saved for this trip for 15 years determined to have my African safari ,my way. I chose mix and match programs for ultimate flexibility, a.scheduled Jacana Safari in Botswana and add a several days of independent safari travel in Zimbabwe. I went in late August, it's the opposite of here in the USA November and December are their hot months June and July the coldest. A 13 days Botswana/"Jacana" Safari is roughly $3,850. Not counting my airfares and, it was a bit more with the mixing of custom/scheduled,and other items.
Being on a limited budget my first leg was the "rougher" style of camping, which visits most of the same areas in the Jacana. Transportation is overland in specially built landrovers and accommodation is in small walk-in dome tents which are erected by the guests. Participants are actively involved in all camp chores and cooking. So it was quite an experience for me.
Needless to say I was enthralled with my first sight of animals as we rode along in the landrover, I felt like I was in a movie.there were sable, roan, Liechtenstein's hartebeest ,which are the more common to see until getting to .Zimbabwe's largest wildlife sanctuary Hwange National Park, situated on the western border with Botswana. Hwange is home to one of Africa's largest elephant populations and myriad other species
My main goal was to see the animals So I chose the custom part to be the Savuti channel area and the Okavango Delta in the Kalahari Dessert. My guide would be with me throughout my stay,and chose what he said was the best routes and places. Since Savuti was off the main tourist track it was easy to set up camp, and travel the less than forty miles to the animals where we could spend two nights at a pre-erected bush camp. Activities include tracking elephant, lion, leopard and buffalo on foot and by vehicle. Of course I would go only by vehicle.;-)
I was so excited I didn't know if my heart could take it. My guide George told me to be very still and quiet now and on the lookout, as we were nearing what he hoped was an Elephant herd. I was holding my breath and thought I would faint, and Goerge whispered , "You can breathe", which I did with relief and a smile. But just then our first sighting, and I almost let out a yell. A magnificent huge beast not more than 150 yards from us.
George said he was the scout, and there would be at least a family a couple of hundred yards behind him. Sure enough as we slowed down barely moving, the herd came into view. What a site! There were at least 10, 4 females 3 babies, and 3 males. This was such a thrill for me, and not until I saw my first pride of Lions could I even compare it. Later that night, watching the sunset (which is one of my favorite things to do) was enough to say the trip was a success
What an incredible experience . The natives, the mystery and beauty of Africa's landscape, it's trees flora and fauna, the wildlife fowl of every kind, the waterways and falls, Africa is everything that has ever been said about it and more . Any drawbacks are not worth mentioning in comparison to it's benefits. I shall never forget it and hope to return one day.
Eileen T. Waldron