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Our impression of our Zambia Holiday
Please find below our impressions of our Zambia holiday
Johannesburg: We found the Safari Club to be very comfortable in the garden cottages. Nice lounge and honesty bar. Food was fine, thought a bit expensive but it is Joburg. Was met at airport OK and delivered back there the following morning without any hitches.
Lusaka: Met at airport by your handling agent and escorted through Immigration and Customs. Trouble free. Met up with Edmund Farmer who flew us up to Kasanka NP. Good flight up but took 2 hours due to wind.
Kasanka NP: Met at airstrip and driven to camp. Met up with Ernst and Bastian + Rhoda. Accommodation in Rondawel was comfortable and clean. Lighting basic battery power but was adequate. Hot showers delivered by bucket but they were fine!!! Food was very good, cooked in an old wood burning stove. Basic facilities but it is a “wilderness” camp and should not be changed. Our guide “Webby” was very good.
Shoebill Island: Even more basic than Kasanka NP but it is what it is and that is how it should stay. NO electricity at all except 1 light in dining room. Food cooked on an old wood burning stove but was good. Staff were very friendly and helpful. “Webby” came with us from Kasanka as there appeared to be a shortage of guides at Shoebill. Accommodation was in a bamboo-sided building covered by a thatch roof (not a tent as in itinerary). Comfortable and clean. Showers by buckets of hot water. Good selection of drinks and wine. Saw the Shoebill at close range which was the objective, plus several other Endemic species. Large numbers of fishermen there who liked loud music. They didn’t bother the birds though.
Flight to Mfuwe: Brad flew us down (Edmund Farmer busy) in 70 minutes.
Mfuwe Lodge: Met at airport and driven to Mfuwe Lodge. Extremely nice accommodation (we were upgraded to a house), very friendly staff and great food. Great facilities all round. Our guide “James” was superb. I got a morning with him just birding for free (had to give a donation to the Conservation Fund). Really enjoyed the SECA play on the last night performed by local people. We did really well for game viewing – 8 lions, 3 cubs, 2 leopards + all the usual giraffe, elephant, etc. Comfortable game viewing vehicles. Met some nice people.
Flight to Lusaka: Good flight down with ProFlight. Met at airport and helped with check-in for SAA to JHB (didn’t expect that).
Overall opinion: We thought that this was a very good itinerary for what we wanted, good birding throughout and game viewing at Mfuwe. Might not suit those only looking for the “Big 5”. Apart from the journey from Kasanka to Shoebill (we said this was an experience not to be repeated), everything else was exact to the letter which is what we like.
Make sure that people are aware that no electricity at Shoebill so to charge up their batteries previously. Quite cold in mornings so a woolly fleece with long sleeves is an absolute necessity.