Absolutely incredible safari experience!

We had the most fantastic time with Andrew Harkness on our August mobile safari in Botswana – it’s hard to know even where to begin. The mobile experience itself was superb – an incredible way to get up close to the animals and feel immersed in the landscape. The tents were comfortable, the staff were courteous, professional, and extremely helpful, and the food was out of this world – I still can’t quite believe some of the dishes that the chef was able to pull together in a bush stove over an open fire, including souffles (true story) and perfectly baked breads, scones, and cakes. Genius.

Andrew himself was the paragon of what a guide should be – knowledgable, excellent company, and also respectful of when we might need time to ourselves. He also went out of his way to provide the very best service he could (including DHL-ing a Kindle we left behind in the tent!) and overall was an incredible ambassador for Botswana and the Okavango.

In terms of the safari, we spent three nights in the Khwai concession and three nights in Moremi Game Reserve – both were great, though for different reasons. The density of wildlife in Khwai was amazing, with hordes of elephants all over the place and up close and personal encounters with lions on several of the days we were there. We also had a chance to do a mokoni ride, courtesy of a company run by some of the Khwai villagers, which was a unique addition to the experience and very relaxing (even though we did need to do a bit of walking on land to avoid an aggrieved hippo!). However, the aggregation of animals along the narrow strip of the Khwai river also meant we saw quite a few other tourists – nothing like the traffic jams of the East African parks, but that was where Moremi shone through. On one of the days we were there, I don’t think we saw more than three other vehicles – it was as if we had the park to ourselves. The landscape was also extraordinary, with “islands” of trees marking the areas that are saturated during the height of the floods, and many different water sources meandering through.

I would definitely recommend visiting both sites if possible, in order to get this balance of intense wildlife viewing and an appreciation of the variety and complexity of the Okavango ecosystem. For those keen on checklists, we saw four out of the big five (didn’t really expect to see a rhino as they are rare in the Delta, and only really found deeper in) and over 120 species of birds – the only mammal we missed that we had really wanted to see was a cheetah, and Andrew has promised us one if (when!) we go back. Overall, our six nights of mobile safari were a dream come true, and exceeded even our wildest expectations, largely down to the professionalism and exceptional level of service offered by Andrew and his team.

C & J from Washington DC