Honeymoons and Me: Mauritius and Botswana; a classic combo: Part Two

Rob Morris on 01 June 2004
Little Vumbura is a private luxury tented camp in the north of the Okavango. You will find that most camps in Botswana are tented as safari camps are built sustainably and they have to be able to be removed and relocated without having left a blemish on the environment. But don’t be disillusioned, a typical tent couldn’t be further from its reality.

We occupied one of only 6 rooms in a camp eloquently interlaced in the forest canopy for our two night stay. We loved it; hard to believe that you are experiencing what you are enjoying in such remote surroundings. A real treat. From the early morning pre-safari snack, through brunch, afternoon tea and dinner, the food was fantastic and the service and welcome even better.

Our game drives started by boat through those same hippo channels that we followed on arrival as the safari vehicles could reach the camp as they normally would. It was a true privilege to feel the early morning freshness and witness the African sunrise again. The game viewing in Botswana is about the variety of species over the large herds that Kenya and Tanzania are famous for. The watery habitat of the delta is abundant in hippo, red lechwe and tsessebe as well as the famous big 5 and other predators making for some stunning sightings against the unique back drop; amazing photographs!

A highlight was gliding through the waterways and hippo channels in a mokoro; a dug out canoe synonymous to the area. This gave a whole new perspective on the habitat with tiny frogs, birdlife and insets taking centre stage. A peaceful and serene few hours alone with African nature.

Our next adventure started with another light aircraft as we said goodbye to the impressive Okavango. After a 40-minute flight that offered an aerial view of elephant and giraffe and other plains game plus unforgettable vistas of the African bush, we arrived at Savuti Camp in the Linyanti Private Game Concession, north west of the renowned Chobe National Park.

The camp sits on the banks of the Savuti Channel, the path of a river that has the ability to flow in abundance or completely dry out; for us it was the latter. I can’t say if our experience would have been better or worse if the river had been full, but what I do know is that one of the highlights of this section of our honeymoon was a magical few hours in a viewing hide in front of the camp next to the waterhole, which would not have been possible had the river been present. It felt like we could reach out and touch the animals, yet felt perfectly safe with our guide as an array of animals; including a couple of elephants who stayed around forever, were kind enough to provide a privileged game viewing experience.

Other stand out memories from Savuti Camp were fantastic dining under the stars in the superb Boma under the African night sky with such knowledgeable guides and trackers sharing their stories and experiences; one of THE best ways to spend an evening. Our guide Tito was amazing. His insight, enthusiasm and all round likeability made the experience much more than we could have wished for; we will always remember him and an his amazing walking safari and brilliant game drives.

We stayed in the impressive honeymoon suite / luxury tent which was away from the other accommodation at the camp. It felt like we had our own private piece of Africa complete with outside bucket shower and the best view I have ever and likely will ever see from the loo!

Our African safari experience had all but ended and the experience had done nothing but fuel our love of Africa and safari holidays. The customer service, hospitality and welcome never fails to impress – something everyone should experience.

Zambia:

We continued north west via a shared light aircraft flight bound for Zambia where we were first required to land in Kasane to clear Zambian customs before re-boarding to cross into Zambia for what turned into an unexpected private scenic flight over Victoria Falls providing unforgettable views. It felt like we had it all to ourselves! Transferring by light aircraft turned an otherwise uneventful road transfer into an experience, so I would recommend this if given the choice.

Our home in Zambia was the impressive River Club with its colonial heritage and prime location at the water’s edge on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River.

At the time, the luxurious individual suites were open fronted allowing the sights and sounds of the river and its large inhabitant hippo pod into our space. Their distinctive deep chortle is a fantastic memory.

Being able to sit in the upper floor of our suite with a glass of champagne watching the sunset over the Zambezi was a magical experience.

We enjoyed all that the River Club had to offer. This included a boat safari offering one last chance to enjoy the African wildlife with sightings of hippo, elephant, crocodile, monitor lizard and bee-eaters nesting in the river bank that ended as the sun set with a glass of champagne in hand. We fished but never caught anything and that didn’t matter. We walked the footpath to the falls and were absolutely soaked!

The highlight was a fantastic “Flight of Angels” helicopter flight above Victoria Falls also known as the “smoke that thunders”. The helicopter wound its way through the ravine before arriving at the falls for stunning views of one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. The helicopter collected and returned us to the River Club and was 30 magical minutes in total. One tip - take a light lunch beforehand!

The dining experience at the River Club was varied and most enjoyable. Lunch on the croquet lawn and private fine dining dinners were complemented by the theatre of a shared dining experience with post meal traditions of bugle playing and passing the port!

After leaving Zambia, we enjoyed a fleeting visit to the Cape which you can read more about as part of my blog entitled: South Africa and Me: Safaris, Sports Tours, Honeymoons and so Much More - Part Three

Our honeymoon will be something that we will never forget. We wouldn’t change any part of it; well maybe the extra pounds we both put on after 3 weeks of fantastic food! There are many accommodation options in all destinations featured in this blog and I can help you create a honeymoon full of amazing travel experiences. I would whole heartily recommend this combination to any newlyweds looking to start married life with a bang and would be delighted to plan your honeymoon for you.

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