Don and Debbie’s luxurious Africa expedition


Don and Debbie from Colorado share their 2BWild Safari adventure with us

Safari description: Fly-in, luxury to wild Big Five reserves.

All travel arrangements, route and itinerary planning, bookings, flights, transfers and accommodation by 2BWild Safaris.

Itinerary: Okavango Delta and Linyanti area – Botswana; Hwange National Park, Stanley & Livingstone Hotel in Victoria Falls – Zimbabwe.

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Hi Viv,

We had a fantastic trip and game viewing was exceptional. Plenty of great food and wonderful accommodation. Also lots of miles (not the really good part – but we saw a lot of country).

On the Botswana / Zimbabwe portion:
First, we were beyond impressed on the smoothness of the hand-over from one location to another. Someone was always there waiting for us and took good care of us whether getting us to an airplane, across the border or to a park.

Accommodation at all four locations was very good. Rooms were very clean, very comfortable, well furnished, and very attractive and appealing. Calling them tents may be technically correct but certainly misleading. Staff were fantastic.

The Delta was WET!! – but plenty of animals and a great guide and we would certainly return. The food service here was the best of any game camp we were at either in the Botswana/Zimbabwe area or South Africa. The staff here were also the most accommodating. We enjoyed the hippo ‘party’ outside our room the first night and were mildly disappointed that the party did not continue the other nights (of course the absence of a party made sleeping easier).

The Linyanti area was dry of course – and again a great room. The food here was wonderful but not as great as it was in the Delta. Again good staff. Not as many animals as at the Delta but we did witness a leopard stalking and ultimately succeeding with a kill within a few feet of our vehicle. Very impressive.

Hwange also had great rooms – and a view – as did the rooms at the Delta and Linyanti. The cook here went to a lot of trouble making special meals for us and they were very well received. I was quite surprised at the lack of game but I guess the weather had a major impact. We did see the pride of lions (Cecil’s pride minus Cecil of course) and we upset a sleeping old bull elephant who was lying down. For a few moments it was exciting because the elephant wasn’t happy and couldn’t decide whether to charge or leave. The driver stayed in reverse with the engine running and said he was very concerned because the elephant was not behaving normally.

The charter flights were enjoyable and comfortable. The flight from Victoria Falls International airport to the bush airport (ie a dirt airstrip) was in a 4-seater Cessna 206 – with the returning flight on a much larger Cessna Caravan which was very comfortable.

The Stanley & Livingstone hotel was first class and highly recommended. A good trip to the Falls – and of course we were soon wet through from the mist. Certainly a magnificent sight.

And then back to Joburg and a relaxing night repacking in the Intercontinental. We decided that the Intercontinental at the airport is the place to stay waiting for a flight. Service there is first class. The staff checked on us to make sure our room service was satisfactory, when we didn’t talk to anyone after our wake up call someone knocked on our door to make sure we were up (can’t have the residents missing their plane).

Thanks for everything Viv! Finally, what do you have on walking with the Gorillas? Debbie wants to include that area (activity) on our next trip probably next year.

All photos: Debbie

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Dr Kate examines Gonarezhou

GONAREZHOU – Place of the Elephants

By Dr Kate

An unforgettable excursion to a little-known wild and remote corner of Africa

The Gonarezhou National Park, meaning “Place of the elephants”, is one of 11 national parks in Zimbabwe and is situated in the south-eastern Lowveld of Zimbabwe. It covers an area of approximately 5 000 km2 and was proclaimed a national park in 1975, although some sections were already designated as a game reserve in 1934. The reserve forms part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park.

HOW DO I GET THERE? 2BWild Safaris will work closely with you to plan your personalised itinerary, providing you with routing, and undertaking all your reservations, including guided self-drive adventure trails in the area.

 

Our party of six adults, three children and three 4WD vehicles were advised to stay in Punda Maria, northern Kruger National Park, by 2BWild Safaris, for our first night in order to exit through the Pafuri border post the next morning – destination Mabalauta Camp, Gonarezhou, Zimbabwe!

This route took us along the north-western edge of Mozambique, across two major rivers – the Limpopo and the Nuanetsi – making two border crossings en route, to Chicualacuala. It took us MUCH longer than we’d anticipated and we were quite anxious as the border post closed at 6pm – but we made it! (Moral of the story: allow plenty of travel time leeway in your escapades). The Mozambique side was super easy and the Zimbabwe side very friendly, albeit somewhat longer to process.

It was getting dark as we headed into Zim. The park staff were so friendly and radioed ahead to Mabalauta to let them know we were on our way. We were shown to our campsite and they had kindly lit the “donkey-fire” for us so that we could have a warm shower. Our campsite was right on the banks of the Nuanetsi river under a huge canopy of trees. We heard very odd noises only to discover they were made by a massive fruit bat. Nyala were grazing just down the bank and we heard hyena which sounded very close.

The next morning we headed for the exclusive Hlaro Camp (exclusive camps cannot be used by any other visitors, nor may anyone enter the campsite). Again, darkness was falling as we drove into camp. We were getting quite adept at putting up camp in the dark. We could hear hippo nearby with one lying on the river bank about 200 metres from camp. The next morning we were greeted with the sound of lions roaring and the amazing sight of the sun rising over the Chilojo Cliffs. A little later we saw two young male lions on the riverbank downstream.

We headed down to Bhenji Weir, passing the one and only car we saw the ENTIRE time we were in the park! We saw two baby jackal frolicking in their den as well as a number of elephant. Bhenji Weir was a great viewing site comprising a double-decker viewing platform enabling visitors to see all the way down to the weir and up the valley. We were privileged to see a large herd of sable coming down the valley to drink. After a tasty brunch we set up our hammocks and had a snooze in the shade before heading back, crossing the Runde river at Bopomela then driving up to the Chilojo Cliffs viewpoints which provide a magnificent view of the entire Runde valley. The highlight here was our sighting of a pair of Verreaux’s eagles.

The next day we started a slow trek towards another exclusive camp, Chitove. We enjoyed a scrumptious breakfast at the west viewing point of Chilojo Cliffs and from our vantage point we saw plenty of game including buffalo, kudu and elephant. We carried on to the east viewpoint and saw about six different herds of elephants amongst the Mopane forests and on the plains. The Chitove campsite was breathtaking, right on the river, which was patrolled by resident crocs and hippo. Fishing is allowed in Gonarezhou and the guys decided to try their hand in one of the pools upstream, managing to land a fair sized Tiger fish.

The following day, we headed off towards Machaniwa Pan and saw a plethora of game – eland, warthog, zebra, baboons and a large elephant bull. The pan was stunning with plenty of birdlife – African jacana, white-faced ducks, herons and many more. Here we cooked up a delicious meal on the skottel before making our way across the Runde river towards Gayiseni campsite and the confluence of the Runde and Save rivers. The road to Gayiseni turned out to be little more than an elephant path, completely overgrown with palms, and without Tracks4Africa telling us we were there I’m not sure we would have known! From here we headed back via Tembwahata Pan and again saw loads of game with many rafts of hippo! The weather was quite cool, so many of the hippo were in the shallows which made for some great pics. The baobabs around here were stunning. We crossed back over at the Chitove water crossing after seeing more game.

The following morning we struck camp and headed back along the river, the highlight of the drive being a sighting of three young lions! Lunch at Chilojo Cliffs picnic site with a sighting of large elephant bull and also a large herd of ellies with very small calves coming down to drink. As we neared the Chipinda Pools camp the amount of game increased and we saw herds of elephant, zebra, impala and kudu. The sun was again setting as we headed down the final hill to Chipinda, giving us a stunning view of the Runde valley with the broken bridge way off in the distance. The campsite at Chipinda Pools was very well appointed with newly-refurbished ablutions, hot water and a thatched lapa dining area. We were welcomed by a small Mozambique spitting cobra but he soon moved off. Great excitement – two of our party nearly walked smack bang into the resident leopard as they were leaving the bathroom!

Next day we were really sad to leave. Heading south across the Runde crossing to extend our adventure and following Tracks4Africa to try and keep off the main road as much as possible, we stopped for an obligatory “G&T” under a baobab along the way! We were welcomed at the Elephant and Lion Motel, although it felt very strange not to be putting up the tents!

This safari was a truly fantastic experience – a trip of lifetime. And the staff in the Park went out of their way to make our stay as enjoyable as possible.

Our huge thanks to Viv at 2BWild Safaris for all the bookings and advice – you really made our trip unforgettable and hassle free!

CHECKBOX

HOW DO I GET THERE? 2BWild Safaris will work closely with you to plan your personalised itinerary, providing you with routing, and undertaking all your reservations, including guided self-drive adventure trails in the area.

 

BEST TIME OF YEAR
The ideal time is June to August when the Limpopo is at its lowest and temperatures are mild to warm.

SELF-DRIVE
You will need to be completely self-sufficient. 2BWild will book a self-drive 4×4 for you if required, as well as provide you with a comprehensive Trail List with everything you will need, depending on where you choose to stay, and the time of year.

FLY-IN
For overseas or local visitors wishing to fly in to Chilo Gorge 2BWild will book your flights and accommodation and arrange transfers.

From Pennsylvania to Southern Africa – a trip of a lifetime!

USA and Pennsylvania State Flag - old postage stamp

From Pennsylvania to Southern Africa – a trip of a lifetime!

Deena and her family from Pennsylvania, USA made a dream come true in August last year – thoroughly enjoying a luxury fly-in safari to some of the wilder parts of Southern Africa, as well as some of our beautiful cities such as Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Click here to start your African adventure

A family member had referred her to Viv at 2BWild Safaris for assistance in all aspects of the planning and booking of the entire trip, including all internal flights, accommodation, hotel and airport transfers. A specific request was that there was to be no driving during the trip, only air travel between destinations.

A high level of communication between Deena and Viv throughout this process resulted in the ultimate safari – which ran like clockwork to the delight of the family.

Deena and family, on safari from Pennsylvania - June 2016. That's Viv at the back.
Deena and family, on safari from Pennsylvania – August 2016.
That’s Viv at the back.

img_1284-deena“I can’t thank you enough for all of your hard work, help and guidance in planning and organizing this trip,” said Deena in her email. “It was truly a trip of a lifetime!”

Their 14-day itinerary took them to a 5-star hotel at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, where they took in the beautiful sights the Mother City has to offer, as well as undertaking a cultural tour of a nearby township and doing the wine route. Their next port of call was Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe – one of the seven wonders of the world. After flying back to Johannesburg for a brief family visit, they flew out again to a luxury private game lodge adjacent to the famous Kruger National Park to spend four unforgettable days and nights in wild Africa, amongst the Big Five (elephant, lion, leopard, rhino and buffalo) and other wild game with their own ranger and tracker.

img_1202-deena img_1113-deena img_1000-deena img_0983-deena img_0812-deena img_0723-deena img_0617-deena img_0243-deena img_0223-deena img_0222-deena img_0147-deena img_0064-deena img_5717-deena

The European connection: …

The European connection:
Frankfurt > Johannesburg > Waterberg> Cape Town > Johannesburg > Frankfurt

Most of 2BWild Safari’s business is generated by word-of-mouth through referrals by happy clients.

Manfred’s safari is no exception, having been referred by Kayt, a colleague of Manfred’s.

Having relocated recently to South Africa, Manfred planned to treat his wife and children as well as inviting brother-in-law Steven, his wife and children from Germany to an unforgettable visit to South Africa.

river-lodge
Waterberg

Once again, Viv from 2BWild was soon in top gear building an itinerary in close consultation with Manfred and Steven, and going on to complete all bookings, flights and transfers.

wildlife2011-04-13-109“Our vacation was absolutely thrilling. In particular, the lodge in the Waterberg was phenomenal. We can blindly recommend this lodge to everyone. Also Cape Town was great and is always worth a special trip.Manfred & Steven 2017-DSC03190 Manfred & Steven 2017-DSC02768 Manfred & Steven 2017-DSC02931 Manfred & Steven 2017-DSC02286

Many thanks for all your appreciated and professional support making this vacation one of the best ever!

Cheers
Manfred”

—-
ct-hotel“Hello Viv,

The Safari was one of the greatest experiences in my life and also of my wife and children.
This will be on the lifetime memory lane!
Thank you ever so much for finding and booking this. It was much better the expected, the lodge, the people, the game drives just everything. THANK YOU! It was worth every single penny.

ct-hotel-bedAlso the Cape Town luxury hotel was great, too. But after the safari nothing could get ever get near to that standard.

I wish you all the best for 2017 and hope to get in contact soon.

Cheers, Steven”

Graeme & Rowan’s luxury surf n turf trip

The brief from this charming UK couple, (he a captain on British Airways) :

“Plan and book a trip for our family of four in the best luxury accommodation: 1. in a reserve with the Big Five guaranteed; 2. followed  by a few days of diving in Mozambique (we’re all PADI qualified); 3. finishing off in another reserve on the way back to Johannesburg. We’ll self-drive in a 4×4 – if you could please source and book that too.”

graeme-route

 

The result:

September 2016

We had an absolutely wonderful time thank you Viv.

What I particularly enjoyed was several times in Moz and then in Tembe we had South Africans saying “how did you know to come here?”. Each time I would say I used a local agent and they would nod in understanding and appear only slightly miffed that we might be the vanguard of “foreigners” about to spoil their more hidden (and more cost effective) tourist gems. In that regard it was fascinating to have the comparison between Shonga and Tembe.

Spotted in Kruger. Photo: Rowan
Spotted in Kruger.
Photo: Rowan
A mid morning 'Tail back' Photo: Rowan
A mid morning ‘Tail back’
Photo: Rowan

 

I was very impressed with the hired Toyota, loved the profusion of wildlife in Kruger but hope they get decent rain soon, would do more walking safari’s, and pleased we were not in Ponta de Ouro as that would not have been us. We enjoyed Malongane Tented Camp 6km north and the dive centre was excellent with launching and recovery through the surf an added bonus. Looked like it would be very crowded Dec/Jan from the number of camp sites among the milk wood trees. I really enjoyed the Tembe experience with its atmosphere and said to Ro I could easily just relax in the camp for a week without needing to do the game drives. And I do like the thought of the $ helping the local community directly so look forward to more of the same.

Returning from our family dive. Photo: Rowan
Returning from our family dive.
Photo: Rowan
The dive was awesome! Photo: Rowan
The dive was awesome!
Photo: Rowan

 

 

Armed guides taking our bush walk in Kruger. Photo: Rowan
Armed guides taking our bush walk in Kruger.
Photo: Rowan
Dawn in Mozambique. Photo: Rowan
Dawn in Mozambique.
Photo: Rowan

 

 

 

 

 

 

The beautiful Malongane bay where the beach stretches for kilometres.

Thanks once again for being the instrument of such a lovely family holiday Viv and it has certainly given us the confidence and desire for more and longer.

All The Best, Graeme

The Dirty Dozen visits Gonarezhou! – 06-2016

The Dirty Dozen visits Gonarezhou!

Crossing the Limpopo
Crossing the Limpopo

Thank you, Terry, for your wonderful review of this very special part of Zimbabwe!! :

“Thanks for putting this trip together for us, Viv and John – we had a fantastic time! Just perfect for a large bunch of guys undertaking our annual foray into the wild! We loved Gonarezhou, its remoteness, great campsites – and Hlaro camp was especially good.” Just be wary of “Arnie”, the huge resident baboon who can break into a locked trommel, which is what happened to Terry and party! “Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge was an excellent interlude for a touch of luxury and a good clean-up before heading back!”

4-Chilojo Cliffs 3-Sunset silhouette 2-Jackal and vultures 6-GRZ Waterhole 10-View from Hlaro 9-River from Chilo Safari Lodge 8-River crossing 2 7-Kudu ewe 5-Central road GRZ

Chobe, Caprivi and the Okavango Delta – simply untouchable!

24 July 2016

FELIX HACKER-06-2016-Mokoro trip in Okovango
Mokoro trip, Okavango Delta, Botswana – an unforgettable experience

Yesterday Felix wrote to Viv at 2BWild – ecstatic about his trip just completed, to the Chobe National Park, the Caprivi strip, and the Okavango pan-handle in Botswana.
The natural beauty and proliferation of African wildlife in these regions is truly exquisite. Such a trip requires careful planning and specific knowledge about where (and how) to go, and what, when (and how) to see. This is what Viv at 2BWild does so very well.

FELIX HACKER-06-2016-Crossing the Limpopo
Crossing the Limpopo
FELIX HACKER-06-2016-Chobe sunset 2
Sunset over the Chobe River, Botswana
FELIX HACKER-06-2016-Chobe Elephants
Chobe Elephants
FELIX HACKER-06-2016-Mokoro past Hippo
A view of Hippo from the Mokoro – a little calm adrenalin for the African day

Typically, along with the vibrant African sunsets and never-ending bushveld, vleis and riverine forest, one will be sure to encounter large herds of Elephant with their young lazily crossing the Chobe River; Buffalo congregations of 400 and more browsing in the reeds, more often than not with a pride of Lion lurking in the vicinity plotting the kill; the elusive Lechwe antelope; the majestic Fish Eagle; large pods of Hippo exchanging their constants snorting of jokes; important herds of the rare Roan and Sable antelope; the unusual Puku; the shy and rare Chobe Bushbuck; with a bit of luck or good spotting eyes – a Leopard snoozing in a jackalberry tree; and most importantly – an abundance of birdlife.

FELIX HACKER-06-2016-Elephant on island hike
Elephant on the island hike
FELIX HACKER-06-2016-sunrise over the okavango delta
Sunrise over the Okavango Delta in Botswana

Included in Felix’s group’s activities on this trip was:
-A Mokoro (traditional African canoe) trip, poling through quiet inlets and estuaries of the Okavango River, closely exploring the riverine areas in search of the secretive Pel’s Fishing Owl and the diversity of other birdlife. Hippo and Elephant observations from this water-level-vantage-point are undoubtedly a lifetime experience, never to be forgotten.
– And an island hike on the pristine game-filled terra-firma of the Okavango Delta.

FELIX HACKER-06-2016-Catching the Tiger
Tiger fishing in the Okavango Delta – a must for the fisherman’s bucket list

Felix and his group comprised a party of seven adults and two children,

travelling in three well-equipped four-wheel drive vehicles.

Click here to let us plan your itinerary and book your accommodation in Chobe, the Caprivi and Okavango Delta now.

 

This is what he had to say!

From: felix
To: viv.2bwildsafaris@outlook.com
Subject: Wonderful holiday
Date: Sat, 23 Jul 2016 06:42:52 +0000
Hi Viv
 
We’re back in SA and had a WONDERFUL trip in Botswana. All worked out well and we enjoyed some of the new things we did. I have attached a few photo’s for your records.
 
Thank you sooo much for the trip advice, planning and booking – it was much appreciated by the whole group.
 
Kind regards

Felix

[All photos by Felix Hacker]

 

Kelly’s self-drive trio visits Moremi, Chobe and Vic Falls

April 2016. Kelly and Sarah on a mokoro outing on the Okavango Delta on their first ever safari into Africa.

Kelly, Sarah, and Kelly’s Dad Dennis, went off on their first ever African safari adventure  in April.  Setting out from their home in Johannesburg, the trio  visited the Moremi Reserve, enjoyed the “once-in-a-lifetime” flip over the Delta, went on to the unforgettable wildlife sightings of the Chobe waterfront, and soaked up the awesome views of Victoria Falls  – before heading home two and a half weeks later.

2BWild took care of all accommodation bookings, planned their itinerary and plotted a suitable route for them well in advance; and also booked their fully equipped Toyota Hilux vehicle for the trip.

“This trip was so amazing. We just can’t wait to start planning our next safari!,” said Kelly.

Kelly, Sarah and Dennis’s Elephant-back safari
Dennis, Sarah and Kelly. Nata Lodge, Botswana.
Zip-lining across the Zambezi near Vic Falls
Their sunset cruise on the mighty Zambezi River

 

Okavango, Moremi and Chobe safari – Kayt went wild !

Viv recently planned, routed  and booked a 2BWild overland safari for her client and fellow Honorary Officer friend, Kayt Murphy, her Mom and her daughter – to the Okavango Delta in Botswana for April 2016.

Kayt and family ready to take a flip over the Okavango Delta in Botswana

Kayt and her family  travelled in their own 2×4 vehicle, and Viv specifically selected roads and routes appropriate for the vehicle.

Viv pre-booked their accommodation, to suit their needs and pocket, well in advance (usually one year ahead).

Their safari took them from their home in Pretoria, South Africa,  through the length of Botswana to the Okavango Delta, then via the wild and big five Moremi Game Reserve and wilderness, up to the magnificent Chobe River waterfront. From there back down south via Nata and home.

Chobe River waterfront (photo: Viv, 2Bwild)
Chobe River waterfront (photo: Viv, 2Bwild)

“This was such an awesome trip,” said an ecstatic Kayt on their return. “I’d simply love  to go’n live up there! What an amazing trip. Thank you Viv!”