Firstly, the staff at every stage were courteous and professional. We were travelling with my paraplegic mother who cannot walk or even take one step. Sue & Sikeleli Safari staff ensured ahead of time that the considerable challenges of getting her on and off small planes & boats & jeeps were met with grace, good humour and kindness.
Shinde camp was a highlight. From the game drives and seeing many elephants, lion, hippo, giraffe, various antelope & zebra herds… and after concerted efforts by the guides also a young leopard…to the peace and beauty of the canoe ride, to the 007 water boat through the delta…back to camp and gin tonic and supper under a hung yellow moon. Quite magical. The upshot is that mum on her 75th birthday got a ‘real deal’ experience, which was the aim of the exercise.
Not a cheap trip, but we were last minute over Christmas, so no complaints. I think we got more bang for the buck than if we had booked with a “non-local” agent and Sue explored every avenue to make it happen.
The riding section I must say is for beginners…it is not a “riding safari” experience. Still, I have a bad hip problem and so a full-on galloping with herds would not have been feasible on this trip, so a couple of days at the lodge was just fine.
Ironically, the tents at the riding lodge and Shinde, as simple as they are, were more wheelchair accessible than at Victoria Falls, which stated that is was wheelchair friendly. The staff, again worked with us to find a solution and the duty manager (never say die), Newone (household manager) and a lovely young lady who personally helped my mum saved the day.
Overall this was a great experience on any level, and thanks to Sue Bainbridge for even making this happen given the last minute and difficult nature of our enquiry. Again, the absolute highlight and frankly, the saving of the day as far as getting my mother as authentic an experience as possible was placing us with the establishments with staff who just simply made mum’s birthday Christmas delightful. I’ll be back!