Phenomenal! Our agent presented me with several options within my group's budget and steered us toward what became the ideal itinerary. After a visit to Cape Town for business, we flew to Hoedspruit where our Kapama Buffalo Camp guide and spotter/tracker collected the 7 of us and drove us to camp. It was an all-inclusive experience (including alcohol to our pleasant surprise) mid-range yet luxurious resort and within 24 hours of our arrival we saw the big 5. The rhinos (a family of 3) were the first, followed by an extensive drive following a lioness who'd just been in a bit of a scrape as evidenced by some minor flesh wounds. We saw many lions, had close encounters with elephants nearly brushing by our vehicle, and glimpsed a shy leopard or two. Soaking in the large (private) tub in our room was decadent and thoroughly warming after the first night on the game drive. Our guide and tracker also took the 7 of us on a walking expedition during which we tracked white rhinos. The food was fantastic but over the top with morning snacks, full breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and snacks, sundowning beverages and snacks, and a huge dinner. After 3 nights and a morning drive we were collected by a guide and driven (cost-cutting at our request) 4 hours to the Botswana border where we were met by our Mashatu Tented Camp guide. After crossing the border and entering the reserve we were almost immediately surrounded by 4 hyenas (drooling and appearing to be sizing us up)-fantastic! The tented camp was slightly less luxurious but wonderful and practically bug free this time of year (July). Meals were fantastic and they accommodated every dietary need for the tomato averse to gluten sensitive to lactose intolerant. Our guide and our tracker/spotter were exceptional and took care of our every wish for sightings: leopard and her cubs feeding on an impala and trying to drag it up a tree (success in the night after removing some weighty innards), mating lions, cheetah adolescents playing, leopard cub and mom playing, more hyenas (bloated and lounging in/near the water after gorging on a kill), honey badgers, black backed jackals, bustards, wildebeast, elands, more lions (and a very ripe eland kill)....the only wish they didn't grant was to see a whale! After 2 nights we were driven to the airstrip where we met our hosts who drove us to another camp for our Kgothla experience sleeping under the stars. Walking safaris treated us to many kudu and impala, numerous bird species, a large puff adder, and a small horned adder. Our host fed us like royalty and we slept comfortably though sporadically given the sounds of the nearby night life. After our 3rd night at Mashatu Tented Camp and last sunset drive we were driven to the border where we were again met by our driver who helps one couple in our party change their flights out of Polokwane Airport. In all we could not have been better cared for in preparing and planning the trip or on the trip itself!
Everything about the Mashatu Tented camp, drives, staff, sightings, and the Kgothla night under the stars!
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