Finkelstein Family Safari

Sep 19, 2011

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Finkelstein Family with Cheetah

Our trip – organized by Explore – to Botswana and Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe in late June was perfectly planned by Elizabeth providing us a myriad of animal life and creature comforts that could not be improved upon.  We – family of 4 with two older children – stayed at four locations: three in Botswana – Pom-Pom Camp, Gunns Camp, and Chobe Safari Lodge and at the Elephant Camp in Zimbabwe.  Each was spectacular yet different from one another.  All provided both wonderful experiences with the African flora and fauna along with terrific food, lodging, and interaction with the staff. The abundant animal life at Pom-Pom is a highlight we will not forget.  Seeing 7 lion cubs and 4 adult females eating the remains of a giraffe on the very first jeep ride was shocking yet amazing.  Gunns is a smaller camp but our most relaxing stop.  Chobe Safari Lodge is a fine hotel and its design more familiar to us but we enjoyed the camps more.  The Chobe National Park is a treasure but one only needs two jeep rides and one boat trip (lunch boat trip was more fun than the evening one).  We had three days there and spent some time reading by the pool and watching the monkeys try to steal our Fantas.  At no time were we bored.  Lastly, we traveled into Zimbabwe and stayed at the Elephant Camp which was our favorite lodging.  The tent rooms are luxurious and the setting spectacular.  Seeing and interacting with their pet cheetah is a memory we will all cherish.  Getting into Zimbabwe is a pain but worth it despite the visa cost for four people.  Victoria Falls is great fun and the town curio shop prices quite reasonable.  We kept away from the crafts market and the many street hawkers (although I nearly traded my Explore cap for a bowl).  If I was there without my children I may have been a bit more curious.  At no time did we fell unsafe.  All of the camp guides (one or two assigned only to your group) and staff are knowledgeable and go out of their way to assist.  At the Chobe Safari Lodge it is a little different as each trip into the Park is staffed by a different person so the individual connection is somewhat lost. At each stop, the camp/hotel was expecting us and the small plane flights/auto rides to the next location always on schedule.  All of the journeys into the bush or river at the camps/lodge are perfectly timed. We had two point and shoot cameras (Canon, Olympus) both with up to 80X that took fabulous pictures/movies so spending over $500 ($1000!) for a SLR with a powerful telephoto lens is, in our opinion, not necessary. ~K. Finkelstein

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