This is a guest post by Patrick Hamilton. He is a specialist in travel to Southern Africa and safaris in particular.
Africa is not the only destination for Safaris, but obviously it has the greatest variety both of accommodation and of animal and bird species available to the traveller. From the Masai Mara in Kenya to the Okavango Delta in Botswana to the Kruger National Park in South Africa, the choice is bewilderingly wide. Real luxury is available on safari, if that is what you want, splash pools at every chalet, wine cellars and other trappings which are regarded as necessary by some to make a complete holiday. There are truly magnificent Lodges, but my preference on safari – and I have done a few – is to get a little closer to nature.
A personal favourite
Mosetlha Bush Camp, situated in the Madikwe Game Reserve just on the South African side of the Botswana border is a personal favourite of mine. The reserve itself is very special having been developed out of farmland less than 25 years ago. It is the fourth largest reserve in South Africa, (76,000 hectares or 188,000acres) is malaria free, is only 3.5 hours from Johannesburg Airport, and boasts the BIG SEVEN, the normal FIVE of Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Buffalo and Elephant plus Cheetah and Wild Dog. Situated as it does between the Highveld and the Kalahari Desert, it also boasts both Kudu (indigenous to the Highveld) and Gemsbok and Springbok (Kalahari) as well as a number of other species from both regions. It also has a very special feature and that is that two of the Lodges are owned by the local population who also have access to the reserve to collect firewood for resale to all the Lodges and who benefit from a levy from each guest.
Eco-friendly, something really different
Mosetlha is perhaps the only authentic bush camp and genuine eco-lodge in the Reserve, offering a true wilderness experience. Without either electricity or water on tap but with facilities which are pristinely clean and user friendly, the camp offers its guests the opportunity to get away from the trappings of civilisation without foregoing their creature comforts. With over 340 species of birds and the richest possible diversity of game, the drives in open safari vehicles and guided walks each with one of the very skilled Rangers in attendance are the centre-piece of the safari experience. There is never a rush to return to camp especially if the sightings are in any way out of the ordinary. And with a maximum of 18 guests at any one time, the service from the Lucas family and their staff is exceptional.
How safaris are meant to be
The web site says it is how Africa is meant to be, with the smell of coffee and wood smoke when you wake up in the morning to the call of the crested francolin....In a world dominated by corporate tourism where you don't really get to see anything authentic, this is about as down to earth as things get.