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