We booked out of Thebe River Safari in Chobe and took a drive through to Senyati Safari Camp to see if they had any available accommodation or camping space as we knew they had no accommodation availability a few days ago.
We had heard great reviews about this camp from the owners of Island View Lodge where we’d stayed at in Namibia. We had chatted to a few of the tourists at the border post while entering Botswana and the majority of them were booked in at Senyati Safari Camp as they’d heard fantastic stories about the camp. We were very excited to visit it for ourselves.
To get to Senyati Safari Camp from Thebe River Safaris, we turned left into President Avenue, which is the lower ring road that runs through the town of Chobe. This road joins up to the A33, which is Upper Chobe road where we turned left, towards Kasane. The road comes to a T Junction where you could turn left to enter Zambia or Zimbabwe, or right which takes you to Nata and Francistown. We turned right onto the A33 as Senyati Safari Camp is roughly a 15-minute drive from the T-junction.
The camp is to the left off the A33 where you take a reasonably good conditioned gravel road, with some natural speed bumps for about 10 to 15 minutes to reach the camp.
In the picture below, on the left, Ian is standing outside the reception office. The top right is the restaurant/bar and watering hole view deck.
They have a photographers dream hideout, a bunker, which is a room that’s dug into the ground with an opening viewpoint just popping out from the ground, just above ground level which allows you to be a few feet from the main waterhole and hive of activity. This bunker is booked out to photographers or tourists for them to experience an up close and personal time.
Senyati Safari Camp can make arrangements for you to be able to partake in the usual tours in the area, like a trip to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, a boat cruise on the Chobe river otherwise game drives through the National Park or their camp.
On arrival at Senyati, we were pleasantly surprised to find that they had a cottage available, the rest of the park was fully booked. It was an offer and an opportunity we couldn’t refuse! We were treating ourselves to a cosy cottage with a spectacular veranda with its view across the waterhole and the vast wildness beyond. They cautioned us not to take any walks around the park as they have plenty of predator animals that roam about.
Our cottage was so quaint with its thatched roof and so comfortably equipped with all the self-catering necessities that are needed.
The braai/fireplace was situated a few metres in front of the cottage. The elephants at times took a short cut through the area between our cottage and braai/fire pit. We had a few close-up encounters with these magical mammals.
There are times when it’s easiest to tell the sex of an elephant, as in the picture below.
These two below were big buddies, enjoying a drink together.
Elephants are very entertaining to watch as they rub themselves on anything hard like a tree or branch to have a healthy scratch.
The elephants made their way to the softest sand areas after drinking from the waterhole. They had great fun sucking up the soft sand, into their trunks and spraying it all over their body.
While sitting on the veranda, you can’t help but be on the lookout for the next lot of animals who’d be visiting the waterhole for a refreshing drink. It’s a kaleidoscope of wildlife as they alter and change their habits to each other. The calmness of nature, the peacefulness of the Bush and tranquility it gives, is beyond breathless.
Peace and tranquility at its wildest best.
The evening brought about an unusual event we’ve had the privilege of experiencing. We were sitting on the veranda having a warm cuppa before bed when in the distance, we heard the sound of hooves stomping the ground, creating a soft rumbling of sound. As the herd grew closer, it became a thunderous roll of hooves stomping which was echoing through the bush, getting louder on their approach to the waterhole. Ian and I looked at each other and had no clue what we were going to experience. There was a dust trail drifting off into the night sky behind them which we saw before we saw “them”. We were in absolute awe to see a couple of hundred Buffalo chasing the last of the elephants away from the waterhole so that they can take up all the space for their drink.
Due to movement, light and distance, it was incredibly difficult to capture this event.
The buffalo herd left all at once.
We made sure to sleep with our curtains open, just in case we were going to miss any action during the night. The evening sky was full of stars here in the wild, away from the city lights.
We were wondering if the Buffaloes would return and they did, just like they had the night before. I was a little bit more prepared but still the lighting was too difficult to capture all of them everywhere. The ones that were closer to where the lights were off, closer to the restaurant area were easier to capture with my camera on the tripod while filming from further down by our cottage. It was incredible to hear the elephants trumpeting so loudly as they made their way away from the waterhole to allow the Buffaloes their time there.
On one of the mornings, Ian took Gem to be checked out at an extremely helpful garage, just a few kilometres from the Namibia/Zimbabwe border post. We’d been hearing a bit of a thumping/knocking noise coming from the back of Gem while driving over a pothole. In the picture below you can see just how freely the mammals wander around. The love to cross the roads and do so. They have open areas of no fences, forming a passageway within the wilderness for them to be able to roam from place to place.
You can see what our problem was in the picture below! The garage went the extra mile to ensure we got the parts needed and refitted within the morning. Our drive was going to be a lot smoother again from now. Khaudum National Park had been incredibly hard on our car due to the driving conditions.
Sunrise in the safari camp was spectacular with its soft pink then orange hues of colour, combined with the birds chirping, the mammals meandering to the waterhole for their morning drink and the wildlife waking as we were all welcoming in a new day.
Leaving this place is hard! We needed to be on the road again. To head back into Namibia where we were in for yet another life enhancing wildlife experience to cherish forever.
We can highly recommend this Safari Camp and suggest that you book in advance if you’d like to visit it for yourself as the word is out with the local and foreign tourists that it is ‘a must place to see’, where you are bound to have an excellent and adventurous wildlife experience.
For the traveller who appreciates “staying connected” via the internet, Senyati Safari Camp offers their guests the use of their satellite connection.
Senyati Safari Camp contact information:
Telephone number: +(267) 7188 1306 or +(267) 7182 6709
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org