Our trip was wondrous, truly, thanks to our tour designer and safari travel company. He provided my wife and me with impeccable service, advice, and logistics. Most of all, he took the time to understand our interests and tailored an incredible journey for us. We received the name of this company and that of another company from Zicasso. I wrote both companies within 24 hours, indicating that my wife and I had travelled and lived extensively in Africa. That included backpacking across the entire continent and visiting more than 20 African countries in 1980, living for four years in Kinshasa, Zaire, and for seven years in Rabat, Morocco. In 1998 we had also been on safari in Botswana and done a self-drive safari throughout Namibia. So our request for a specially tailored trip was based on our desire to do something very different this time, to visit the most remote parts of Namibia, and to see some of the wildest parts of southern Africa. Our safari tour designer responded 24 hours later with a complete sample itinerary and a price quote. He was that responsive throughout our planning process, answering all our emails and queries in 24 hours or less. The other company said their Namibia specialist was out of the office, and we should set up an appointment for a week later. By then it was too late, as our tour designer had convinced us he knew exactly what we wanted and would work tirelessly to set up the best trip for us. We were excited that he had visited all of the camps he had proposed in Namibia and Botswana, and understood our interests to go far and deep, given our long history of travel in Africa. We asked to have a telephone conversation with him, and he gladly set up the time, and then answered our many questions. Clearly, this tour designer knows southern Africa intimately, including Botswana, Namibia, and Zambia, as well South Africa. He had many excellent suggestions as to the camps we were interested in, and the right amount of time to spend at each. For example, he insisted we spend at least 3 nights at Serra Cafema in northern Namibia. He was right, except in hindsight we could have spent 4, 5, or more nights there. Our final itinerary included Tubu Tree in the Okavango Delta (Botswana), and Desert Rhino Camp, Hoanib Skeleton Coast, Serra Cafema, and Little Ongava in Namibia. All of the camps except the last are run by Wilderness Safaris. Our trip was full of wonder, and we can hardly believe we're back home. We would go back to Namibia and Botswana tomorrow if we could, and we would only organize our travels with this safari tour designer and his company.
The remote desert camps in northern Namibia, on the Skeleton Coast and in the Namib Desert, were magical. We stayed at Wilderness Safari camps, Desert Rhino in Damaraland, Hoanib Skeleton Coast, and Serra Cafema. Each was special in terms of the uniquely adapted desert fauna and flora, and the amazing desert landscapes, as well as the exceptionally hospitable and generous guides and staff at every camp. Wilderness Safari offers an impeccable safari experience and we would gladly visit more of their camps in Namibia and Botswana. We loved going back to Botswana, if only for 3 nights, and seeing our first leopard in more than 37 years of looking for one! The sunsets and big skies in southern Africa are unforgettable, especially with a glass of white wine in hand and kind people hosting. We also greatly appreciate Wilderness Safari's mission of promoting conservation, in terms of protecting the fauna and flora as well as leaving a zero carbon footprint, and of engaging and supporting the local communities who live in the concession areas.
Everything was outstanding logistically. If possible, we would try to charter a Wilderness Air plane from Maun, Botswana to Windhoek or Doro Nawas, Namibia. We didn't know it was possible when we organized our trip, as regular commercial flights from Botswana to Namibia had been cancelled a year earlier. Instead, we flew from Tubu Tree Camp in the Okavango Delta, to Maun, to Johannesburg, to Windhoek, which took most of a day. Instead, a direct flight from Maun to somewhere in Namibia would take only a few hours. Wilderness Air said they could organize a charter directly from Botswana to Namibia. Otherwise, we would not do anything differently, except stay for a few more weeks. The time flies when you're enjoying the wonder, beauty, and solitude of undeveloped Africa, and after being home for only two days we miss it already.
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