Postcards from Africa

October 21st 2020  |   Unique Experiences, Miscellaneous  |  by   Francis Naumann
Postcards from Africa
Photo: Chem Chem Philanthropy & Safaris

While we’re hunkered down here at home, it’s lovely to be reminded that the endless cycle of life goes on as ever in Africa’s wild places. We’ve enjoyed seeing pictures of a lion sleeping beside the fridge at Splash Camp in Botswana, an elephant inspecting the vehicles at African Horseback Safaris, and so many other examples of wildlife moving into the spaces that we humans usually occupy across their habitats in Africa.

An unsual visitor in the kitchens at Splash Camp!

Aardvark Safaris has been working hard to find ways to help our clients travel and several have enjoyed wonderful holidays just lately. The national parks are near deserted and the wildlife as exciting as ever: it’s all there, ready and waiting for you!

Here are some snippets of recent feedback, from clients, lodges , and guides, which illustrates how incredible Africa is.

Kenya – client
“We have had an absolutely wonderful time. After the surprisingly stressful experience of organising such a last minute safari (jabs/insurance/covid testing), it was seamless. Certainly all your help made it as easy as it could be and was much appreciated. As we hadn’t been on safari before, the whole experience was gripping from the moment we set off from Nairobi until we left. It was completely immersive and certainly 100% effective at taking my mind off work. A bit like having a first ski trip with fresh powder and blue skies – I doubt we will truly be able to gauge just how lucky we were to experience it without any other cars in sight! Certainly not unless we go again and see it as ‘normal’.

The wildebeest migration in full swing at Offbeat Mara Camp where these clients were staying

David was fantastic: I have no doubt that the exceptional number of animals we saw was thanks to his skills.
On our last day the team were incredible, organising a candle / fire-lit dinner under the stars in the bush for Mum’s birthday and giving her a Maasai blanket before we went out for a night drive. It was a complete surprise and I know Mum absolutely loved it.

Another great memory will be running with David through the savannah. I should have brought my trainers but even then nothing would have made up the speed! What a lovely way to stretch the legs before a long flight and after being in the safari vehicles. Thank you again for organising a very special holiday. I now have to think about how I can possibly make it back there again!”

Keeping up with your Masai guide is always going to be a tall order.

Kenya – camp manager
“On arrival they saw the two cheetah brothers, and they’ve already had three different leopard sightings. There was the drama of watching a mama topi chase hyena away from her baby, seemingly oblivious to the jackal who was trying to drag the calf in the other direction.

Lion relaxing near Offbeat Mara Camp

Today they are still out on their morning drive but I’m aware that they have seen part of the Offbeat pride that has five cubs very close to camp, just when they drove out at 6:30am. There is masses of plains wildlife and they have taken some amazing photos.”

Kenya – lodge owner/manager
“We had a great time with Mats: some good long rides with bush breakfasts and picnics exploring lovely valleys, and some great sundowners. He stayed a night in our hide and saw hyena, a white tailed mongoose eating a puff adder, and a leopard hung around for most of the night. On Sunday he then opted to explore the Suguta valley with the chopper and Andrew dropped him off at Sosian at the end of the day. So he had a full-on time here! He was such a great guy, thank you so much for our first international guest of the season!”

Wildlife viewing with a difference at Ol Malo

Zambia – guest
“We had a fantastic few days at Mfuwe Lodge! The wildlife viewing was spectacular. The lodge looks stunning, and the spacious rooms were so comfortable that we didn’t feel like leaving! The staff were very friendly and accommodating, and looked after us so well. The COVID protocols in place made us feel very safe, without being intrusive. We’ll be back!”

No need to leave the verandah at Mfuwe Lodge

Kenya – marketing agent
“I must say travelling to Kenya my eyes have been quickly opened to how incredibly prepared Kenya is for this pandemic, it puts the UK to shame – I knew this already but it’s good to see this all first-hand. JKIA, Wilson, Safarilink and the lodges are so prepared and I know I’m much safer here than in the UK. With the migration in full swing now is the time to be in the Masai Mara and a golden opportunity, I’m heading there next week!”

Elephant Pepper Camp family

Tanzania – guests
We stayed with our family (children of 20, 15 and 12) in August 2020 and Little Chem Chem was magical! Watching zebra, elephant, Cape buffalo, ostrich, wildebeest and antelope walk up to the waterhole, from a chair outside our tent or from the dining area, was so memorable.”

Great wildlife viewing at Little Chem Chem

Zambia – lodge owner
“What a fantastic time to visit Zambia. A vast, unspoiled country, with thriving wildlife reserves, dramatic landscapes and the astonishing Victoria Falls – and right now you can have it all to yourself. No need to worry about social distancing here – you can be all alone with the river, the waterfall, some of the best game viewing in Africa and your own private safari team.”

It’s a great time to visit Victoria Falls say the team at Waterberry Lodge

Rwanda – guests
“Your constant care, love and passion was clear to us. Your thoughtfulness and kindness was humbling. You went above and beyond to make this trip for our family so special. Thank you for taking such great COVID precautions. We will never forget the magic of the gorillas on our adventure, the beauty of the lodge and the friendships we made here! Thank you!”

En-route to the gorillas at Bisate Lodge

Kenya – safari guides at Cottar’s Camp
MAKO – “It was great to reopen camp in August and to welcome our first international clients to the Bush Villa. Being able to get back to guiding was amazing and my clients got the best by seeing the migration and crossings in full force, without being surrounded by many other visitors in the reserve.”
LETURA – “It’s great to be back! On my first game drive of this year we came across the ‘Sand River Pride’ eating a wildebeest – we sat and watched for two hours on our own.”
WILSON – “After months of Covid-19 we reopened camp and the good news was that nature was still kicking on. With my first group of clients, we were privileged to follow ‘Henry’s Pride’. They are looking very healthy, better than when we left them earlier this year.”

Cottar's 1920's Safari Camp guides

The team at Cottar’s 1920s Camp and Bush Villa, delighted to have guests back again

What Next?

If you would like advice or to chat about booking a safari please get in touch by phone or email.  We will be delighted to assist you.

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