My husband and I have just completed what was planned to be a 9 night camping safari from Maun, Botswana to Chobe National Park – involving nights at Nxai Pan, Chief’s Island (in the Delta), Moremi Game Reserve, Magotho, Savute, Linyanti and Chobe. I had read a good review of Steenbok Safaris on TripAdvisor and so emailed Moabi to ask if he could include all these places on a mobile camping safari. To his credit, he agreed to do all we asked for, but it did end up being too long (my fault) and disappointing for several reasons.
Please be warned that most of the roads in these areas are extremely rough with deep sand, corrugations, holes and trees to avoid; it is not a comfortable ride and there is considerable chance of vehicle breakdown in remote and potentially dangerous locations. Moabi’s vehicle had bench seating, no hand rail and limited leg room, and this became a big issue for us given we were being jolted around for 6-8hours a day (morning and afternoon game drives and travel between parks). We also encountered a major problem with regards the food supplied on this trip. We did not expect anything special, but despite requesting to be involved in grocery shopping for the trip, this was ignored and the amount, variety and quality of food was most unsatisfactory – eg one loaf of bread and 18 rolls for 4 people for 7 days, and a choice of tinned pilchards or tinned beef with the same basic salad most nights. Be warned – there is virtually no food supply after leaving Maun until almost reaching Chobe. And the fridge barely worked the entire journey. No matter with whom you choose to travel, insist on checking the food and seating arrangements before heading off.
We were thankful that Moabi did arrange some additional food to supplement our supplies towards the end of the trip which we decided to cut short by 2 days with Moabi’s blessing - Linyanti scrapped and Chobe for 1 night only. We do appreciate Steenbok accommodating our change in plans, and arranging our stay at Chobe Self Catering in Kasane which was an absolute god send. Owner Trish Williams, her staff and our comfortable, spacious room with kitchen and ensuite, located close to shops helped us recharge our batteries at a very affordable rate.
On a positive note, Moabi has eyes like a hawk and was relentless in his efforts to find animals – and we saw plenty of impala, elephants, giraffe, buffalo, baboons, kudus etc. His delightful and caring assistant Shaa was ever accommodating, and his skills at setting up camp and cleaning up after meals in virtual darkness (because there was only one torch) were a sight to behold (if only we could have seen him!).
We spent one afternoon and evening on Chief’s Island in the care of Oscar and his wife from Nxumu Adventure Safari. We had a great time getting to and from the island by mokoro( thanks Emmanuel). Chief’s Island is the one place visitors can walk instead of always being in a vehicle. Oscar’s entertaining bushman walk, campfire stories, morning walk (following animal tracks on foot) and delicious meals were most enjoyable. The whole Nxumu team were most attentive and made us feel very special.
On this trip we wanted to supply a few schools with soccer balls and we must acknowledge Moabi’s help in organising visits to do this. We would suggest any visitors to developing countries check the ‘Pack for a Purpose’ website to find suitable items to donate – it is very satisfying seeing the joy on the children’s faces.
On Day 9 Moabi and Shaa drove us to the Zambian border to start the next leg of our adventure. We were impressed by their genuine interest in our thoughts about the trip. Moabi actively sought our feedback, good and bad, and we were left with the impression that he is keen to improve the quality of his tours going forward. He said he had already made enquiries about hand rails, foot rests and seat belts to improve the safety and comfort of future clients.
Now that the trip is over, we find it quite humourous looking back – but do remember the road conditions are very rough! We broke down twice and are very grateful to those who stopped to help – especially Brad and Kate from Cape Town, (travelling in their Lund Rover – not misspelt!) who were so helpful; Brad was resourceful with his bag of Odds & Ends and Kate was bubbly and full of camping tips. Sabine and Karl also stopped and the breakdown was actually quite a pleasure with such company.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.