I am not a diver. (I keep meaning to learn to dive. But I never spend enough time at a beach resort to do a PADI course. ) But I do love to snorkel… Most of South Africa’s waters are too cold for brightly colored tropical fish species except for KwaZulu Natal. So this is an area I head to whenever I can. From Sodwana Bay and northwards, you have some stunning areas for diving and snorkeling. In a previous blog post, I mentioned two excellent coastal lodges. One in South Africa – Thonga Beach Lodge – and one just over the border in southern Mozambique – White Pearl Resorts.
At both lodges you can get a good quality snorkeling experience right from the beach, which I like. I don’t have to pay extra for a special snorkeling excursion, if I don’t want to. I can snorkel for as long as I want. And, when my kids were younger, I didn’t have to ’um and ah’ as to whether my kids were old enough to be able to snorkel from a boat without getting scared.
White Pearl Resort has an epic, additional attraction – the Mozambique ocean experience where you can swim with the dolphins if you are lucky. Nothing is guaranteed! But there’s a pretty good chance of seeing them (70 %) and even if you don’t, you still have some excellent snorkeling to look forward to…
Like any job, mine has its upsides and downsides. A Botswana safari in the Okavango Delta at the start of one of the best floods in recent years was definitely one of the upsides!
I was being hosted by Ker & Downey which is a well-established Botswana safari company focusing on the 4+/5 star market. I visited each of its four camps in the Okavango Delta – Shinde Camp and Footsteps Camp in the northern Okavango, Camp Okuti in the Moremi Game Reserve and the Kanana Camp in the watery southern Okavango Delta.
One of the things I liked about the Ker & Downey safari camps was that each was very different – no “cookie cutter safari” here (which is what we call it when you go from one tented camp to a very similar tented camp over and over again). Yet each demonstrated the same high service ethic with friendly and obliging staff and the standard of guiding was also uniformly good.
Here is a photo blog of a few of my amateur shots from a recent safari to Victoria Falls and Hwange in Zimbabwe. I think it’s useful to show how close you can get to the wildlife. And also the sort of shots that are possible by amateurs (I have included a couple of shots from Mark Butcher, our host on the trip).
I haven’t described the lodges as the camp links take you to our full description. Rather, I aim to give a sense of what it’s like on safari.