Working on planning 1st safari. Looking for some feedback from all of you who have visited southern Africa, especially if you have been there in December.
If you were going in the first half of December and you want at least one camp/lodge (they could be at the same place or different places for each of the items listed) where you could do or have:
- a walking safari
- get on the water in a boat or canoe to view wildlife
- go on a night drive
- get up close and personal with the animals watching from a hide
- sit on a deck at camp/lodge and watch elephants or giraffe (or other wildlife but those would be our favs) walk through
- great game drives with experienced, knowledgeable guides
- feel like you are really experiencing what you envision "wild Africa" to be
- great African décor or quirky, fun accommodations
Which of the following places would be your favorites --- both reserves/parks and feel free to share if you have favorite a camp/lodge that you have stayed at there?
Botswana - Chobe National Park
Botswana - Mashatu Game Reserve
Botswana - Moremi Wildlife Reserve
Botswana - Okavango Delta
South Africa - Kruger National Park
South Africa - private reserve near Kruger (if so, please say which one)
Victoria Falls (stay on the Zambia or Zimbabwe side? And stay in town or on a property that also has wildlife?)
Zambia - Lower Zambezi
Zambia - Mosi Oa Tunya Park
Zimbabwe - Hwange
Zimbabwe - Matusadona
Feel free to add a park/reserve if there is one we should consider but not on the list, especially if you have a camp/lodge you recommend there. I ruled out Mana Pools in Zimbabwe because of the time of year we are going but am open to considering it if others have gone in December with good wildlife experiences.
We are looking for different experiences at each location and probably 4 different reserves/parks staying 3-4 nights at each. The focus is wildlife but also would like different accommodation experiences such as one with a tent, a tent on a raised platform, a hut/cabin, and/or a lodge but all with en suite toilets and at least sinks for washing up. Outdoor shower would be fine. We are not interested in mobile camping, really want the place to be more permanent. Hoping as it's the green season we can also find some good deals with cheaper prices or free night special. We do have a budget but I am interested to hear what places you would rank among your top choices, where you think you can get great value and where it may be worth splurging a little for a few nights. Thanks in advance.