Kruger Park, Botswana and Victoria Falls with the Netherlanders

Kruger National Park – Botswana – Vic Falls

 

When meeting our clients for the first time, we were very excited to hear that it will be their very first time in Botswana and Zimbabwe. All the way from Netherland, they are here to see and experience Africa to the best of its abilities.

 

On this tour, our experienced guide, Ettienne Froneman took them to the biggest national park in South Africa – the Kruger National Park. From there they crossed border to Botswana and visited a few lodges and had a beautiful sunset cruise on the Chobe river. After Botswana, they once again crossed the border to Zimbabwe where the visited the world famous Victoria Falls.

 

Day 1: En route to our beautiful lodge in Hazyview

Our journey started very early as on today’s itinerary we had the beautiful Panorama route. The Panorama route is a beautiful and scenic self drive route well know for its beautiful and historic landmarks.

Firstly, we stopped at The Blyde River Canyon. It is the second largest canyon in Africa and the largest green canyon in the world. Right next to the canyon, is The Three Rondavals. It is three mountain tops which looks like they were strategically placed next to each other (which off course they were NOT). They are named after the Pulana Chief, Maripe three wives. The highest point is named after the chief, Mariepskop.

 

The Three Rondavels

Blyde River Canyon

After these two beautiful landmarks, we visited Bourke’s Luck Potholes. This is a landmark where the two rivers – Blyde river and Treur river becomes one. Because of the two rivers emerging, whirpools are formed. Due to years of whirlpools forming, it caused erosion and massive holes were formed.

 

Burke’s Luck Potholes

 

We had a quick lunch at Bourke’s Luck Potsholes. Afterwards we stopped for refreshing drinks at a beautiful restaurant next to the river called Potluck’s Boskombuis.

 

Potluck’s Boskombuis

 

Our last stop was on the top of a hill overseeing many many kilometres of African fields. This is truly a remarkable site and the opportunity to take many photos were completely abused!

 

View spot on the Panorama Route

 

We arrived at our beautiful lodge for the next few days, had some time to freshen up and enjoyed a delicious three course dinner next to the boma fire. We had a night cap and went to bed as tomorrow is another early start.

 

Day 2: Kruger National Park

 

After a good night’s sleep, we had a delicious breakfast and headed to the Kruger National Park for a full day game drive. Although we didn’t spot the Big 5, we had other beautiful sightings which included hippos, crocodile, buffalo, wildebeest, kudu, impala, giraffe and many birdlife. We stopped in Skukuza for a delicious lunch and to shop some souvenirs and made our way back to the main gate and ultimately to our lodge in Hazyview.

 

Crocodile in Kruger National Park

Herd of buffalos

Hippos in Kruger National Park

 

Day 3: A day in Hazyview

 

On our third day we had some time to relax and do an extra activity. After breakfast, we decided to visit the monkey and bird sanctuary. We found many different and exotic species. One of us were even lucky to hold a lemur. It was very nice!

 

We head to a nice Italian restaurant for a delicious pizza and a refreshing drink and made our way to Pabeni Gate for an afternoon game drive in the Kruger National Park.

 

After a relaxing dinner and some post  dinner drinks at the boma, we make our way to bed as tomorrow we start our day early, taking the long road to Botswana.

 

The “Bush Bistro” where dinner is served

 

Day 4: On our way to Botswana

 

We start our day early with coffee and take on the long road to Botswana. It is a very straight and very long road, yet extremely beautiful. Our lodge in Hazyview spoiled us with a packed breakfast and we stopped for lunch at a typical South African “padstal”(little shop in the middle of nowhere) next to the road.

 

We arrived at the border and went through easily and felt welcomed in the beautiful Botswana. The faces are friendly and, the scenes are spectacular and all is well in the country of Botswana.

 

On the border to Botswana

 

We arrived at our accommodation in Palapye called Desert Sands. We had an hour or so to freshen up and headed to the restaurant. Here we had a choice of delicious Indian and Italian cuisine. After a delicious dinner we made ourselves ready for the lunar eclipse. From Botswana, this was extremely beautiful.

Full moon

Partial eclipse

Almost full lunar eclipse

Full lunar eclipse and also blood moon

 

Day 5: Nata and Elephant Sands

 

After breakfast, we headed to Nata Bird Sanctuary. We had a quick stop in Francistown to buy some refreshments. It is about a four hour drive to Nata Sanctuary. In the Nata Sanctuary, we had the privilege of seeing the spectacular salt pans. These pans are about 15km² which is amazing to see! At the pans we had a delicious lunch and a glass of wine. The ambiance was perfect.

 

Nata pans filled with water

 

After lunch, we headed to our accommodation – Elephant Sands. It is known for the hundreds of elephants that make their way through the lodge. The rooms are built around a man – made waterhole.

 

Restaurant and bar area at Elephant Sands

 

We freshened up and headed to the bar/restaurant area. Here one can sit and relax for hours watching the elephants play on the water and drink some of the fresh water.

 

Pool area

 

We had one amazing buffet dinner and while eating, elephants were playing in the background. After dinner we made our way to the bonfire with a glass of wine and watched the elephants literally a few meters from us.

 

Elephants playing at the waterhole

 

They switch off all electricity and water at 10pm. It is literally only you and nature that is left.

 

The view from the rooms

 

Day 6: Panda Rest Camp

 

After a night filled with nature’s sounds, we enjoyed a delicious breakfast and because we only had a 100 or kilometer to travel to our next stop we decided to spend the morning relaxing at Elephant Sands. We had a delicious lunch at the restaurant and left the beautiful Elephant Sands.

 

On our way, our guide, Ettienne took us to another “secret” water hole where we spotted many elephants and giraffes!

 

Along with our guests, we arrived at our next lodge early, settled in, freshened up and went to have a drink while chatting about Botswana and Zimbabwe.

 

Our guests had a tasty meal and made their way to bed.

 

 

Day 7: Big 5 Chobe Lodge

 

We woke up peacefully, went for breakfast and made our way to our next lodge. The drive is short but very beautiful. We saw vast amounts of open land where farmers do their thing. On the other sides of these fenced grounds, large amount of elephants where seen walking freely next to and over the highway.

 

We arrived at Big 5 Chobe Lodge a bit early, so we went to the nearest town – Kasane to show the Netherlanders around. We bought a few snacks, went back to the lodge and had a delicious lunch next to the Chobe River. Sounds of birdlife and hippos were all around.

 

The time came to check in. Our guests had a room right next to the river and had one beautiful few!

 

We freshened up quickly and made our way to reception for a sunset boat cruise on the Chobe River. How exciting!! On the boat cruise we saw everything from hippos, crocodiles and elephants to buffaloes, baboons and impala. We also saw a big variety of bird life.

 

Elephant next to Chobe River

Hippo next to Chobe River

Close up of a crocodile

 

On our way back to the lodge, we saw one of the most beautiful sunsets ever!

 

Sunset on the Chobe River

 

Back at the lodge, we had a delicious dinner. When one of our guests made her way to her room after dinner, she encountered a massive elephant bull in front of their room! She was literally star-struck! But couldn’t stop talking about their experience.

 

Day 8: En route to Zimbabwe

 

Our guests woke  up early to go on a game drive in Chobe National Park. Here they spotted many animals of which the leopard was their favorite! They could now tick of the last animal the big 5 list.

 

They had a delicious breakfast and made themselves ready for Zimbabwe.

 

From here we handed our guests over to another very capable company to accompany them in Zimbabwe.

 

Day 9 – 11

 

Our guests from Netherland had one amazing time in Zimbabwe and couldn’t stop talking about their experience. Victoria Falls (which was luckily filled with water) and the sunset boat cruise on the Zambezi River was off course on their favorites list! They were also spoiled with a delicious dinner on the cruise.

 

Finished and back to Johannesburg

 

Our guests had one amazing time in Botswana and Zimbabwe and flew straight back to Johannesburg. Safari With Us picked them up at the airport and dropped them off at their accommodation. They were EXTREMELY happy with their unforgettable trip and for days after, they couldn’t stop talking about it.

 

Thank you Wim and Carolien for making use of Safari With Us for you trip!

 

If you are interested in a trip such as this one, contact us today! Or have a look at our other Victoria Falls and Botswana tours.

 

 

 

 

 

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Did You Know?

Young Lion cubs are vulnerable to predation by hyenas, leopards and black-backed jackals.