Family Holiday : Africa Rock – Nottens Bush Camp – Elephant Camp – Savute Elephant Camp – Khwai River Lodge – Olive Grove – Kulala Desert Lodge

Dear Liesl…

I just want to thank you again for a wonderful trip! Everything was so smooth… We always had confidence in the logistics and we always knew we were heading to great places with wonderful people.

If I were to do anything differently (and maybe we considered these things – it’s difficult to remember since we booked so long ago) – I would do more of a “wet” lodge like eagle island or something nicer and skip Savute Elephant Camp. Savute was v nice and we saw a ton of wildlife… But everyone we met said we should have done more into the Okavango Delta…. We actually tried to rebook while at Kwai River but they only had one night and it wasn’t worth it

The river and the water really transform the safari experience. There were also different activities like boats and fishing… By the time we got to Savute we were weary of driving. I think it would have made a difference also if the trip had proceeded as planned and we had done Savute first… Khwai River was by far our favorite place and then Savute seemed slightly dry and stark in comparison.

The other change would be to stay an additional day at the Elephant Camp in Vic Falls. There was so much for the boys there! They loved it… They like zip line and repelling stuff… We all really wanted to do the rafting but did not have enough time.

So to take it place by place:

Johannesburg. One day plenty.., forced ourselves to do city tour which was unremarkable except the apartheid museum which was one of the best museums we have ever been to -easily! We all loved it.
Also loved the funky African Rock Hotel… It was quirky in the best way and the people were so kind and helpful. I was so glad we stayed one more night near the end again.

Then to Nottens… I have absolutely nothing negative to say. It’s gorgeous… The people were phenomenal. The food was spectacular. We saw everything and the guides really worked so hard for us. Loved loved being able to go off road because it was private – another small drawback in Savute. The Nottens people made our birthdays really special with cakes and singing it was so so fun… Def I would recommend… Felt so over the top luxurious and yet outdoorsy also.

Next The Elephant Camp. We had such a great time. Some people probably think meeting the elephants and cheetah is cheesy but we all had a great time and the boys especially liked. The people there worked so hard to make sure the boys had fun… They were mostly young men so that helped. We did a village tour and the boys did a sunset hike and we did a sunset cruise… It was a fun part of the trip and broke up the driving stuff well.

Then to Kwai River. Def our favorite. Sitting watching the wildlife frolic in the water right in front of our deck was unforgettable. We saw so much. Food was awesome. Place so special.. Would go back.

Next was Savute… Normally we would have loved and we did really like it- we had a great guide there. But paled in comparison to the natural settings for Nottens and Kwai River.

Overall Botswana is really the best place for safari… Could just do all there! Loved all the people we met and their attitudes about poaching and conservation were educational and interesting!

Then onto Namibia which I wasn’t thrilled with doing but you talked me into it and I am grateful. We all loved hiking the dunes and the quad bikes and the nature and sunsets and sunrises…. We had an incredible guide for that stay… She was so perfect for us… Funny and kind and lively and I can’t say enough… Her name was Richal.

Also the Olive Grove Guest House which was also a fun quirky little interlude. Would have liked one day in Windhoek the history interesting to us and wanted to hit up some of the famous German beer halls. Actually the safaris in northern Namibia sound pretty amazing too…

Then onto the Seychelles which was so crazy beautiful over the top. So relieved I did not do the North Island resort. Sure it’s beautiful but the boys appreciated the liveliness and more varied options at a bigger place. Also did an amazing island tour with discovery agri tours given by kind of a locally famous character… Very into the flowers trees and animals.. So fun. Did scuba diving but the hotel was sososo spectacular had to hang therefor a day or two to appreciate!!

The flights were all fine… So much easier than we thought and really nice planes with great touch screen videos on the long ones.

The only thing that got to be a slight grind was the driving… Am surprised that the lodges (except the elephant camp in Vic falls) don’t have more options between the drives. When we travelled this way in with America and also Australia… Sometimes there would be wildlife lectures or history or geology talks.. So in the heat of the day there was something for the restless. My kids aren’t much for naps and it was chilly for the pool although they did do that…

But a small detail.. I was happy enough with a good book!!

And again… So awesome and invaluable the help you provided during that kerfluffle at the beginning of the trip. It was tidied up as best as I could have imagined and is barely memorable now!!!

Thanks again!!! For all!!!
Already considering Uganda!

One thought I left out….

In Namibia we stayed at Kulala Desert Lodge. It was nice and I would not have changed because we met so many nice people… But we did go see Little Kulala Lodge (they had the quad bikes) and it was a nicer property. But like I said … I would not change my experience.. The boys said the food options looked better at LKL so I just thought I would mention it.

Thanks again…

View Notten’s Bush Camp
View The Elephant Camp
View Khwai River Lodge
View Kulala Desert Lodge
View Olive Grove Guesthouse