This was my first foray into a safari and by no means was it an exercise in “roughing it”. I decided to go to Camp Hwange in the middle of Chobe national park in Zimbabwe. Let me tell you it’s absolutely wonderful. Not only is the setting stunning, but the guides and the staff are also all top notch.
There are a total of 8 cabins that surround a watering hole that is teeming with wildlife. During my stay, we had 2 excursions a day. The first started at around 5:30 to 6am right as the sun was coming up and this lasted for about 6 hours. We would then come back for a fantastic lunch and a bit of a rest before our 2nd safari which would start around 4pm and last into the night. We would the come back and have a wonderful meal around a large communal table as we traded stories of the day and got to know each other better. Needless to say, we became very close very quickly. The wonderful thing about Camp Hwange is that the have 3 guides and 3 vehicles with a maximum of 7 per vehicle. This meant everyone had a front row seat to view the animals and hear the guide.
I will say this. If you do plan on going on a safari, don’t go in with any expectations. Remember that these are animals in the wild and not in a zoo. Just because animals live in the area don’t mean that you’re guaranteed to see them. Of course everyone wants to see lions, cheetahs, etc. and witness that National Geographic moment when something amazing happens. But if that’s your idea of a safari, you’ll be sorely disappointed. For me the enjoyment was in the wait. Going out and driving around for hours to see some amazing animals was the fun. Sure, it would have been amazing to see all the big 5 animals but if you don’t, that’s just another reason why you’ll have to come back.