At last I am getting back to you.
Well between us both we organised a great itinerary! Thanks for making it all happen and all the advice you gave me along the way! Yes we saw the big five & many more. I have a small but reasonably good pocket camera, Panasonic Lumix ZR1 8x opt Zoom. I was able to get good pics (& some movies ) of 20 animals, 14 birds & 2 reptiles. We also saw more of each especially the birds . What a variety! It is quite a thrill to get so close to them.
A leopard attempted to charge us but fortunately we had a quick acting guide. Also an Elephant let us know in no uncertain terms that we were on his track but the guide moved us FAST. All part of the fun. The Accommodation varied greatly but that was good.
Peermont Nice and comfortable with all the facilities we needed and helpful when we needed anything . Simbavarti. Very comfortable and Elmarie was very welcoming and helpful . I have sent her this message: “Thank you all for the delightful, interesting,comfortable & informative time we spent at the Simbavati from August 16. We did appreciate your hospitality . Please thank Christoff and Daniell for the wonderful safaris they took us on. We found Christoff to be very knowledgable & Helen says to add “charming”.” I must add that Christoff was quite young, probably 21 or 22 but he knew what he was talking about & as I said earlier was quick to act when necessary and he looked after us very well. We thought Simbavarti was great value for money.
Casa do Sol was an interesting and nice place to stay with a good variety of food. While there we went on a day trip on the Panorama route with South African Safaris. I sent Tracey Meaker this message: “Helen & I were delighted to be escorted on your Panorama tour. It was great to be in a car and your Guide, Doug is an interesting and informative person. We are not sure which was the best, Doug’s “potted history of South Africa” of the tour itself. Anyway we certainly learnt a lot and enjoyed both greatly.”
We also went to the Elephant Sanctuary’ As you said this was a must but I am not sure that Helen liked being kissed by an elephant but she agreed to it!
On to Chunduwka. A bit different and although not up to the standard of Simbavarti was very enjoyable. The evening river trip was a good experience but we only saw a few animals. We did the Flight of the Angels, very good. Then on to Livingston Island for a close look at the falls & Eggs Benedict for brunch. An experience not to be missed. Then on to the other side of the falls. Aren’t they great. Our trip to Chobe next day again was not to be missed, especially the river trip with so many animals and birds. I wasamazed at how they co-exist. crocks & birds & buffalo etc.
Charmaine (the manager) also arranges a tour of the genuine native village Muke where most of the staff come from. Her guide Levy is also a village elder & he showed us around. Really we were impressed. It is still very much a basic native village but the people seem to be very self sufficient. No unemployment benefits & do not expect it, they help each other but I am sure you would be aware of this in Zambia. They are getting water to the village & hope build a preschool as it is too far for the little ones to walk 5km to the school. They are doing this themselves but would like some outside money but did not ask for it. We would like to send them some provided we can do it safely without costing a lot in fees. Is it possible to transfer money through your Zambian office to Chunduwka who would then pass it on?
I sent this message to Charmaine: “Thank you for the informative and interesting time we spent at Chundukwa. We did enjoy the time we spent there and all that we saw. It was great to go to Chobe and see so many animals and birds. The Flight of the Angels, Livingston Island and of course the Falls were all spectacular. Please thank Levi not only for the sunset river trip but more importantly for showing us around his village. We felt privileged to be taken there and to see how they live, how they organise themselves and seem to live in harmony. It is impressive how they are helping themselves with their water and the preschool with only a little outside help.
We enjoyed the riverside room but if we may make a constructive comment, you should get the owners to change the shower. When Helen used it in the normal way there was nearly 3cm of water over the floor.” Charmain replied that she was forwarding this to the owners.
There was a downside, I became quite ill from a stomach wog while on the plane from Nelspruit to Johannesburg. It continued on at the Hotel where the paramedic advised that I be taken to hospital which she arranged. With treatment there I was able to leave after a couple of hours. Apart from the plane hostess who did not want to help at all. I cannot speak too highly of all the others who helped. The Peermont paramedic, the ambulance officers and all the people I came in contact with at the ARWYP Medical Centre emergency department. I have no idea where I got this “wog’, it may have been lying more of less dormant from when I left home. I have only added this episode to let you know of the good help I received, without that I could have been a lot worse off but was able to continue to Livingstone the next day.
Again thanks from Helen & me for all your help .
Guest stayed at : Peermont Metcourt ,Simbavati River Lodge ,Casa do Sol,and Chundukwa River Lodge