Written on: January 09, 2014
I visited in November 2013
Botswana is a MUST!
Every part of our trip was grand and I heartily recommend Africa Tours 2000,
Husband & wife team, Gill and Graham Maskell. Gill (pronounced Jill) and I set up the itinerary and her husband Graham was our guide throughout our two weeks. Gill was super to work with and Graham a wonderful guide and they both are now friends of ours! They are South Africans and are smart, funny, fun, knowledgeable and efficient.
Briefly the key aspects of our trip:
• The six of us family members had our own land cruiser with a guide/tracker at each camp along with Graham who was with us from touch down in to flight out of Johannesburg. If you go with them, arrange to have Graham as your guide. He's also an expert photographer and has unending jokes - some real groaners - and tons of info about all life forms, etc.
• Our first stop was Zambia at the Islands of Siankaba - a lovely resort to refresh and have fun. We white water rafted on the Zambezi, went for other rides on this great river in various kinds of boats...with sunset stops for sundowners, perhaps the Brits best contribution to Africa. We also went to Victoria Falls from here - and we walked with young lions and rode elephants!
• Flew to Botswana and stayed in three different camps in a huge private Concession which has other camps but we chose three of them in the northern part. The camps are Kwara, Lebala and Lagoon.
• Camp is a relative term as each one was more luxurious than the last. All comfortable, lovely, own bathroom, etc.
• Each camp provided a driver and tracker for our entire time there and each pair was really informative, very entertaining, and dedicated to finding every sort of critter we wanted. You end up being sad to say good-bye to them when you moved on.
• We saw virtually everything except the very beautiful and shy cheetah (saw lots last trip) and rhino. Botswana banned hunting last year so they are beginning to re-introduce rhino to certain areas. The Botswana military's main job is stopping poaching. The policy is simple - If you think someone is poaching, shoot him. Seems to be working.
• Our routine was:
o Up at 5 for tea/biscuit and out on game drive 5:30 - 10, 11 or 12 depending on what we were seeing.
o Wonderful brunch then siesta in hot part of day - noon to 4
o Tea/refreshment at 4; back on game drive 4:30 to 8, 9 again depending on what we found; can't forget the Sundowner stop just before sunset in some great place in the vastness
o Dinner on our return; they really cater to each person’s dietary needs/desires
Get up and do it again!
Often during siesta time we asked Graham to do an animal/bird/geology/cultural "lecture" and one day the history of apartheid. All lectures were excellent.
Of interest to me was all the coverage when we returned to Johannesburg the day after Nelson Mandela died-it was amazing. I had read lots about him and especially his Long Road to Freedom, which I've given many friends over the years. Shortly after apartheid ended I was in Cape Town and went to Robben Island where he was prisoner for 17/18 of his 27/28 years. If you have time, go!
Anyway, this is a lot, but as you can tell, I encourage you and your family to put Botswana at the top of your travel list..and encourage you to contact the Maskells at Africa 2000 Tours as a great tour company.
5 family members had 12 nights on safari in Botswana only, and 3 nights at Vic Falls. Ages 18-71. Cold morning jeep drives were fascinating, siestas in camp were perfect, afternoon drives always full of wildlife just at sunset. Gill asked our priorities, and then matched them perfectly to the camps she chose. She is knowledgable, detail-oriented and fully familiar ...
My wife and I contacted Gill to help plan our 20th anniversary trip two years in advance. After many emails with Gill we decided to move the trip up a year because we became so excited to go. Gill was the perfect person to work with as I am the son of an ex travel agent and it is very hard for me to give up control but working with Gill was so easy. We put together...
In November, my husband and I and my in-laws toured Botswana, Zambia, and South Africa. We have traveled and lived in different places all over the world. Thanks to Gill and Graham at Africa 2000 Tours, this was the best holiday ever!! It was a truly wonderful adventure from beginning to end! Every place that we stayed along the way was excellent and unique in thei...
My wife and I had used Africa 2000 Tours in 2009 to organise a trip to Victoria Falls and Botswana which was great and will be one of our top five best trips EVER.
We had some experience of Africa when we worked in Zambia from 1976 to 1981 and had always wanted to experience Namibia. Given their wonderful service previously with us and other friends we consulted G...
Our trip to South Africa had been planned in outline for some years. Having made contact with Gill & Graham, our plans quickly crystallised based on the areas and sights we wanted to see combined with Gill's recommendations.
We specifically chose a Tour Company that specialised in South Africa, we also wanted a company that was based in South Africa for that ext...
What an experience we had in Africa. Gill and Africa 2000 tours did a fantastic job of putting together a vacation of a lifetime for us. It was wonderful having Graham with us us on the first leg of our trip. He oriented us to South Africa, culture, politics, cuisine, history and sights. He got us in and out of the airport without a glitch. We had a slight issu...
Our tour group decided to do a safari prior to The World Golden Oldies Cricket Festival in Cape Town. After searching a suitable travel itinerary in Australia we found Gill and Graham and decided to ask their advice. Gill and Graham put together a package and with some tweaks and adjustments over several months and tailored the tour to suit us. Did it ever! We had ...
This trip was a such a memory maker and we cannot thank Africa 2000 Tours enough. From the moment we received our first response from Gill, we knew that we were in good hands. Every detail was covered. We did a 4 day hike up Mt Meru, then a 7 day safari in Tarangire, Ngorongoro, and Serengeti. The tent lodges were perfect for what we wanted. We loved going to ...
I highly recommend Africa 2000 Tours who we used to organise and book an 18 day trip in Botswana with an add on to Victoria Falls in June 2014.
We had a fantastic trip. The organisation was excellent and all done on-line. Dealing with Gill was a real delight. She made excellent suggestions about how to tailor our itinerary to maximise our time in Botswana. Gil...
I do not have a photo--just assume I am a really cute blonde!!
Anyway, we have traveled to about 60 countries. We are always being asked which is the most memorable. This trip to South Africa, Botswana, and Zambia ALWAYS rises to the top. We planed for over a year (via knowledge gained from International Travel News). There were 6 of us to please. Gill and ...