Andrew’s safari was at the same high standard that we have enjoyed on previous trips
Mr & Mrs D from Strathaven
Our mobile safari started in Savuti for 3 nights and then went to Khwai and Moremi for 2 nights each with the terrain becoming less and less dry as we proceeded. It turns out that all the glowing reviews we had previously read about Andrew Harkness and his crew are absolutely spot on.
Andrew, a Brit who has lived in Africa for just about half his life, is amiable, a great guide, and a terrific mobile safari manager. His team included, among others, Kene who interacted with us most often, Tiny who performed housekeeping duties including laundry, and Alec, the chef who created wonderful meals on his wood fire stove. Every detail was attended to including breaking down and setting up the camp each time we moved with our having to do nothing more than pack up our stuff and drive to the next location.
We had multiple honey badger sightings (at least 6); 2 leopard cubs 2-3 weeks old which the mom had stashed in a hollow tree for safekeeping; adolescent elephants playing with each other in the water; multiple roan sightings; 5 lion cubs as their mom came back from hunting, rushing to be reunited with her. I could go on, but you get the picture.
Ms B. from Cambridge
Andrew Harkness and his team are just amazing.
Given all the reviews we read in advance our expectations were high, but they managed to completely exceed them all. We travelled together for 7 days through Savuti, Khwai and Moremi and it was a huge success. No “buts”. Each location was more private and gorgeous than the last. The food plannning and preparation was unbelievably good. While we ate well at each lodge, the mobile safari food was the best. Varied, plentiful and delicious paying attention to the several dietary constraints of our group of 4 with ease. The tents were spacious, with attached “room” for bucket shower and long drop toilet as well as towel rack, “shelves” and mirror.. The camp beds were very comfortable with plenty of warmth (supplemented by hot water bottles) on cool nights. The linens and towels were nice quality and changed each time camp moved. Amazing service. Andrew is both an extremely experienced guide, having run his own operation now for years, and clearly a good leader of his smooth-running team. He is low key and deals with each situation with ease and confidence, as well as good humor. We had great sightings and got lots of background and explanations which made the trip extremely rewarding. Andrew seemed to have a sixth sense of where the animals (especially lions) would move next, and would position us perfectly to see them as they did. Lots of great observations of young lion and leopard cubs as well. We highly recommend Andrew. But plan well in advance as he and his favorite campsites are booked well in advance.
Mrs M from Mill Valley, CA
Honey Badger Heaven with Andrew
We had read really good reviews of Andrew private mobile safaris, and we weren’t disappointed! We had a wonderful 8 nights with him and his team in Khwai and Savute. Andrew’s knowledge of the wildlife and landscape was really impressive and his relaxed and friendly approach was underpinned by great attention to detail and an ability to adapt to his guests and understand their level of safari experience. We called this the Honey Badger trip. We had never seen one before and with Andrew we saw ten. The best sighting was the two who decided to come and do some foraging outside our tent in the middle of the day.
We were the only two guests. We spent 4 nights in Khwai, where we were near the the river; and then moved to Savute and a very different landscape. Andrew’s team of 5 moved ahead and set up the camp. It was a very well-run operation and a lot of work went into creating a seemingly simple and old-style camp. Our meru tent was comfortable, with solar lamps in the evening; and an integrated bucket shower and long-drop at the back. It was attractive to passing wildlife too. There had been very little rain this year and so the elephants were particularly interested in our bucket shower and one looked over the top when we were in it! In Savute, hyenas came at night to drink from the canvas washbasins outside our tent. There was also an open-sided tent with a sofa for lounging in the middle of the day; some interesting old books on Botswana and its history; and, of course, the drinks cabinet.
The food was truly amazing, with menus chosen by Andrew’s wife Pippa, and cooked by Alec over an open fire or in a metal box under the ashes. He produced a huge range of dishes, from tasty game stews, to Okavango fish, and delicious puddings, cakes and bread every day. Kene announced the menu each night; Tiny looked after the tents and washed and ironed our clothes (using an old-fashioned coal iron); and LB and Julian made everything run smoothly. It was a friendly, informal and tight team and we learned a lot from talking to them about their lives and plans for the future.
There had been very little rain and so the game was concentrated around the water. In Khwai, we saw many hippos and crocodiles on the river and elephants, zebras and giraffes coming down to drink. A highlight was the pride of lions feasting on a buffalo. There was a wide range of antelopes; vervet monkeys and baboons; and we had a glimpse of a leopard. We came across quite a few other vehicles in Khwai and there were other mobile camp sites nearby but Andrew was very good at finding his own routes and own sightings. You can walk in Khwai and we spent a great morning with Andrew pointing out the small stuff that you can never see from a vehicle – although we did also get close to a herd of zebras.
The drive to Savute was long and took us into very different landscape with rocky hills and dried up lakes, with water pumped into the few water holes. We pitched camp on a ridge on the edge of an escarpment. It was a leafier environment and we were miles from any other travellers. The huge and beautiful dried-out marsh held a very wide range of wildlife. We spent an hour watching the King of the Marsh Pride walking across and then lying in the shade by our vehicle. Lion sightings were generally good here and included a pride of females with 5 young cubs, who were completely at ease with vehicles. We also saw wildebeest, jackals, elephants, giraffes and hyenas. And we should mention the birds. Andrew was an amazing spotter and we saw 63 different species on this trip. As you can tell, we really recommend this trip!
As we were there in winter (end of June), it was really cold in the early mornings and quite cold at night. We had taken lots of thin warm layers and a woolly hat and we were fine with those plus the hot water bottles that were provided in the beds and in the open vehicle on the early drives.
Mr H & Ms E from London
One of the best experiences ever. Andrew was superb, we will return!
T&B from Birmingham
Our trip with Andrew Harkness and staff was the most memorable experience we have ever had. We have been fortunate to travel a lot, but have never experienced such marvels before. Everything was top rate, professional, informative and worth every penny.
Andrew was able to find hidden animals, birds, and plants, track animals, and share history of the area, country and continent. He catered to everyone’s interests with ease and congeniality. The transportation, accommodations, amenities and staff were also top notch. We have never had our clothes not only washed but ironed! I don’t even own an iron, let alone one that is heated with coals.
Everything had attention to detail about it, for example, the fancy jams every morning at breakfast, the fancy cookies at morning tea, the nightly bush babies in our beds, the hot water at morning and night and the cool water in the afternoon, etc, etc. I cannot start to say how incredible the food was. Every meal was a gourmet feast. I do not know how Alex managed the complexity of cooking the many delights we enjoyed over the campfire. We all gained weight on his delicious meals as nothing could be turned down. We were so fortunate to see such a huge variety of animals including many babies.
Andrew was very astute about safety, and kept us informed of daily events/activities.
Mr R. from Cuenca
Fantastic experience with Andrew
Loved everything about the mobile safari. I am not usually a camper but this was the best way to experience the land and animals in a remote wild wilderness.
I enjoyed waking up each morning from my comfortable bed as the staff gently called good morning and filled our basin with warm water. Andrew is a very knowledgeable guide that led us on driving and walking safaris. I was amazed at the daily fresh bread and gourmet meals prepared on the campfire.
In the evening, the stars and milky way captured our attention as we sat around the campfire and listened to the discordant metallic ting of bell frogs, roar of fighting impala, grunts of hippos, and huffing of lions.
The trip was both relaxing and exhilarating with sensory overload.
Ms C. from Timberlake
Botswana Private Mobile Safari review
This was an amazing experience. Our guide, Andrew, was very personable and knowledgeable. We were collected from Khwai airstrip and taken to our remote camp which was set up and waiting for us. The tents were light and airy with comfortable beds. The camp team made sure that everything was just right, they were all friendly and keen to make our safari special. We all agreed that the food produced by Alec was superb, especially since it was cooked over a fire. My unusual diet was well catered for. The drives were full of anticipation and Andrew found us many animals and birds. Our bird recognition improved as the time went on.
Next we drove to Savuti. The camp team expertly packed up camp and managed to get ahead of us and set up the new site. We, meanwhile, meandered through different landscapes on our route which meant that we saw a variety of wildlife. For the first time we saw hills. The camp site was in a beautiful, quiet position. The channel was dry but there were still many animals to see.
We enjoyed sitting by two cheetahs as they rested and seeing three male lion brothers laying out together early in the morning. But most unusual for us was to see several Carmine bee eaters escort our vehicle across the grasslands so that they could catch the insects we disturbed. One night whilst drinking by the camp fire we had a visit from two lionesses. We followed Andrew’s instructions and sat still. Eventually they skirted around us and exited the camp, it was the closest we had been to lions when not in a vehicle.
We all considered this to be the best way to experience a safari, we felt close to nature and enjoyed a wonderful guide. We thoroughly recommend this safari.
Mr & Mrs C from Herts
A huge thank you from all five of us for a fabulous trip, which went so well.
Your recommendation of Andrew was brilliant: he was a great guide and we loved his approach with his mobile safari, the staff and the meals, and particularly the campsites he took us to, their remoteness and beauty. We had amazing luck seeing most of the bigger mammals in the first couple of days – the great sightings carried on through to the very end of the trip with Andrew.
He was also great at birding, my recent passion, so we had funwith that too.
Dr. W from SaffronW – UK
The private mobile safari with Andrew was SUPER and definitely the best experience of our holiday in Botswana!
Everything was top! The tents, the location, the service, the food, the safari….etc…
We had a very authentic feeling. With Andrew we had a very real safari experience, alone in the middle of Moreni NP.
When we go back to Botswana we will certainly do it again!
D party from Belgium