We have completed our journey and I thought I would put pen to paper and comment about our Kiboko trip and places visited in Kruger. Our arrival in Johannesburg Airport was not what we expected with two international flights arriving together and only two immigration personnel on the counter. After nearly 2 hours we just made the connecting flight to Capetown where our transfer and welcome were excellent. On arrival at ‘Portswood Hotel’ we opened our window and under it flew a red winged starling who then perched on the frame and proceeded to serenade us for 5-10 minutes with its beautiful song. It was a delightful welcome to South Africa by its wildlife so we took that as a good omen of what was to come.
1 – The Kiboko trip was very interesting and educational throughout. Our daily mileage varied between 200 km and 500 km + but that was expected by the participants whose ages varied from 79 to mid 20’s. That placed demands on our Zimbawhean driver/ guide Misheck who was simply brilliant and made the trip! He was totally professional in everything he did while having to cope with so much plus different individuals and authorities to get the best for his clients. He had a prolific knowledge of tribal systems, local communities and their history, as well as the geology, animals, birds and the environmental factors affecting the regions we passed through. After a short time on the trip he was like a long time close friend and when we finished at Victoria Falls, all of us felt sadness that our journey was over. We have already recommended the trip to friends in NZ and others we met along the way with the proviso that Misheck is the guide! We saw much scenic beauty starting in Capetown, lots of animals despite the dry conditions, as well I was pleased we had educational tribal visits in Kgalagadi NP and Namibia plus a good 3 hour walk through the Namib Desert.
2- Kruger Park – Our driver from Nelspruit to Rhino Post was interesting and some of his manoeuvres were not in the best interests of anyone either inside or outside the vehicle. I think he was having a bad day. In all other transfers the drivers were A++. When greeted at Rhino Post by staff we casually mentioned our drive. We were somewhat surprised when the manager later said he had spoken to Sable about it and my wife ended up with a bottle of beautiful SA wine which was shared with others when we got to Plains Camp. If anyone wishes to experience Africa similar to the early inhabitants then Plains camp walks are a must whether with or without seeing a lot of animals. My wife and I felt very at ease when taking those walks and the guide Doug and tracker Amos were both excellent in info and their expertise.
3- Waterbuck Lodge (Thornybush) was similarity excellent and although the prolonged dry conditions are affecting animal numbers we viewed all the big species, leopard being very good as was seeing both rhino species. Our guide Franco(we have much in common, rugby and wildlife photography) and tracker Lodrick were excellent with their knowledge and answering my questions concerning the wildlife situation within Southern Africa which is of interest. They positioned us well to view all we saw, while having an extra day there (and Rhino Post) was a plus. It was good to see a conservation effort in place there also. Your suggestions and choices were top notch and thank you for that, they were very appreciated. We were describing the arrival in Johannesburg to our Kiboko guide who quoted, “You’re in Africa now” and he was right, just go with the flow and enjoy the experiences – so true.
If you have further contact with both camps or Kiboko I’m quite happy for our comments to be articulated to them on our excellent experiences.