Barbara Bilgre review 22 Jan 2019
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?
Too many to pick from: unattended lion cubs right next to the road; hyena cubs checking out the tires on the safari vehicle, painted dogs, being surrounded by over 200 elephants and 500 buffalo.
2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?
We had a lot of rain end of December & early January. Make sure you have rain gear and organize your belongings to make sure you have some dry clothes/shoes. Make sure you purchase enough drinking water for the days remote camping.
3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
I didn't really get the sense that we benefitted local people with this specific trip. The fees do go to the park for conservation purposes. I was a little concerned
that our driver in Moremi and Chobe did take us off-road a few times, once blatantly. But for the most part, the guides were really adamant about respecting
the wildlife and protecting the environment.
4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?
I found out guides to be very sociable, knowledgeable and friendly. After a poor experience with a previous tour company I booked through Responsible
Travel, I was delighted at the quality program I had with this different tour company.
Read the operator's response here:
Hi Barbara, many thanks for taking the time to review your vacation with us.
The guides used in Botswana are local qualified Motswana guides. Our offices in Maun have 20+ staff and they are all paid from the proceeds made from this tour. When going into the Okavango Delta we again use the local polers. These polers live in the Okavango Delta and the tour operator sending groups into the delta creates job opportunities for these men and woman that would otherwise not have any income. With its local Botswana SOS (Save our Sausage Tree) fund the tour operator has consulted with the community and they have agreed that should a poler buy a fibreglass mokoro, then the poler will pay 50% of the cost and the operator the other 50%. When the poler is not working he/she rents out the mokoro to another poler that does not have a mokoro thus generating additional income for his/her family.
Many of the lodges are owned by, or largely staffed by, local people. Leftover food is shared with local people, and our tour leaders give large containers of water to people in Namibia. We are actively involved in environmental projects, and encourage those on their tours to participate. Visiting game parks and areas such as the Okavango Delta that are focused on conservation contributes to conservation efforts.
With regards to the instances of off road driving, I am sorry to hear this. We will follow up with our offices in Maun and have them talk to the guide that ran this tour to ensure this does not happen again in future.