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About VicUK

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    Gloucestershire UK
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    Love wildlife and wild places.

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  1. Hello Everyone, I have just managed to convince my Wife that we should go to Botswana for the first time in May 2019. I realise it is a long way off but I am already doing some extensive research, and would appreciate any sharing of the wealth of knowledge on these forums. We only have a few objectives these are: 1 Wild Dogs, I understand that there can never be any certainty with them, but I would like to stay somewhere that can give me the best possibility to see them. 2 Active Waterhole (Elephants), My Wife loves Elephants, and it would be nice to stay somewhere were we can see them from the camp. 3 Okovango Delta, We would like to experience the delta, and stay somewhere where we can explore on both land and water. We are all about the wildlife and environment and we are not worried about the level of luxury. At the moment I have two possible itineraries and would appreciate any feedback 1) Kwara Camp x 3 nights Hyena Pan Camp x 4 nights (does anyone have any experience of this camp? it appears to particularly good value with an active pan for Elephants. Lagoon Camp x 4 nights 2) Shindi Camp x 3 nights Selinda Explorers Camp x 4 nights Savuti Safari Lodge x 3 nights Thanks for your time
  2. Hi everyone, I stayed at Sausage Tree Camp in Balule for 5 nights last May. I had some concern leading up to the trip, as Balule is not one of the more popular areas in the Greater Kruger for safaris. Here are some of my thoughts: The camp is small with just 5 tents, and they run 1 game drive vehicle with a guide and tracker. The staff we found to be excellent, as it was a smaller camp the service was more personable. Guests all had breakfast and lunch together around a big table on a beautiful deck. I know some people are not so keen on this, but I found it a good way to get to know the other guests. Evening meals were set in the boma area around the fire. The food quality was very high, and the portions were generous....which I appreciate Kevin our ranger joined us for all meals. He had a friendly manner, and was happy to answer any of the guest questions. I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of wildlife we encountered. We saw the big 5, including a wonderful evening sighting of watching a Leopard go to a watering hole and drink. We also saw a Black Rhino Calf and Mother interact with some young Lions. I had the most amazing Elephant experience of my life as we waited by a watering hole, and watched a herd come for a drink, followed by the matriarch checking our vehicle out, and smelling me with her trunk.....that moment will live with me forever! Our tracker Themba was truly gifted was happy to show us tracks during our drink stops. The owners were on site and had a friendly manner. One night it was just my Wife and I staying at the camp and after a lovely dinner, we drank Amarula with the owners late into the night.....we were talking and laughing, and we noticed at the end of our stay that we did not get charged for any drinks that evening. It is a shame that they do not offer bush walks at present, but talking to the owners they hope to change this in the near future. I hope they keep the camp small, because it's strength is its excellent personable service. When it came to the end of our 5 night stay, I did not want to leave! I consoled myself with the fact that we were of to Sabi Sands, which I believed would be even better. Unfortunately I was wrong (please read my Elephant Plains review if interested). The expensive (for us) lodge in Sabi Sands, only proved how good the staff at Sausage Tree are! Sausage Tree is a relaxed friendly place, with a guide and tracker who have a wealth of knowledge which they are happy to share. There is some special sightings to be found, and if you enjoy tracking the animals (which I do) then this place is for you. It has left me wanting to go back because I enjoyed it so much, although I know I have so much of Africa yet to discover! I hope this helps.
  3. Hi everyone, I have only just discovered this website and this is my first post! so please be nice I went on my first safari to South Africa in 2013, and like everyone on here, I have had heart there ever since. My wife and I worked hard and saved, so we could finally go on our 2nd safari last year back to South Africa. We chose to stay at Sausage Tree Camp in Balule and Elephant Plains in Sabi Sands. I was very excited leading into the trip, but had higher expectations for Sabi Sands. I will write in more detail about our stay in Balule later, but it was lovely! you felt part of the bush, and I had some very good sightings including the big 5. We had a memorable Black Rhino sighting, and we were fortunate to have a ranger who was passionate, and worked hard to get good sightings. Our stay at Elephant Plains very much reflects the OP thoughts. We were fortunate to have some good leopard sightings but that's where the positives end. Our ranger was only interested in finding lions, even when we passed other interesting animals. Our tracker was getting paid for doing nothing, I don't recall him finding us one animal. Most of the guests just seemed happy to dress up in their fancy clothes, and did not seem that interested in the animals. Staying at EP felt like staying in a big hotel, that could have been anywhere in the world! These are my thoughts, but obviously some guests must really like the place as it continues to get good reports on Trip Advisor. If you want to feel part of the bush and be around others who are passionate about Africa then avoid this place!

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