Encompass Africa hosts a handful of Air Safaris in Africa each year with Air Australia and guests recently returned from the Southern Africa Explorer. Here’s the report from the Australian Senior Tour Leader, Diana Kozicki who travelled with the group of 10).
When John offered me the chance to lead the 2012 Air Safari to Namibia, Botswana and Zambia, I could not believe my luck. It was the trip of a lifetime.
Every aspect of the trip was an exotic experience: the scenery, the exquisite lodge accommodation, a variety of African themes, the caring and enthusiastic staff who looked after our every need and of course the range and number of beautiful animals and birds; dozens seen each day.
So a few of my personal highlights:
- The ‘lime washed’ light on the Namibian landscape over the dramatic dunes of the Sossusvlei
- The impromptu surprises we were given by lodge staff: dinners served in the heart of the bush, with beautifully set tables and all the trimmings under a full African moon and complimented when lodge staff burst into performance of African song and dance
- The three small faces of lion cubs peeping at us around a tree just three feet away and then continuing with boisterous play of biff, cuff and tumble
- Watching baby elephants less than a month old learning how to be elephants; experimenting with wobbly trunks and being shepherded along by a guiding mum’s trunk – meltingly wonderful moments
- The familiarity of the wildlife to the presence of our small and sictreet vehicles, which meant that they did not run away from us, but carried on unperturbed, allowing us to sit and watch for as long as we wished
- My Botswana species check list of 27 mammals, 42 birds and 3 reptiles plus lots that in excitement I probably forgot
- The flash of rainbow colours from the exquisite ‘Lilac Breasted Roller’ said to be Africa’s most dramatic bird and possibly soon to be Botswana’s national emblem
- The companionship of my 10 fellow travellers who were the very best of company – thank you so much.