The Vice President of Yampu Tours, Monica Irauzqui, just returned from a thrilling trip to the wonders of southern Africa. On inspection in South Africa, Zambia, and Botswana, the travel guru found herself face to face with a plethora of exotic wildlife, conquered the magnificent landscapes tours around Table Mountain, and found bliss within the safari. This bliss was called the Sanctuary Retreats of Botswana and Zambia. The Sanctuary Retreats has a portfolio of safari lodges, camps, and expedition boats in the most exotic destinations in the world. With the philosophy of traveling in “luxury, naturally”, the Sanctuary safari lodges bring travelers to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Botswana. Monica was privileged to the exhilaration of staying at the fantastic properties in Botswana and Zambia. With exciting day and night game drives, relaxing evening “sundowners”, and unforgettable wildlife interactions, the Yampu co-founder not only found amazing new product for her future clients, but created amazing memories for herself!
Sanctuary Stanley’s Camp
The first lodge Monica stayed in, she was in awe with her first step onto the lodge grounds. Sanctuary Stanley’s Camp is located in a private concession in the Okavango Delta of Botswana. With 8 classic safari style tents, this luxury property provides each visitor with a great comfortable bed, desk, en suite bathroom, hot and cold water showers, and a fantastic outdoor sitting area with two chairs and a hammock. With a swimming pool, and nice common area, it’s easy to bond with fellow travelers, but also return to your room for some privacy and romance. Despite all of this, Monica found one of Stanley’s Camp’s attributes to be the most impressive; their off-road animal tracking. As the safari camp is in a private concession, there are no real boundaries when it comes to their guided game drives (of course following appropriate guidelines).
Bouncing from following leopards, to giraffes, to lions to hippos, Monica found herself amidst the true pattern of wildlife. Furthermore, most camps require travelers to return to the lodge at sundown. As Stanley’s differs from most, they bring their visitors on night game drives, allowing for exceptional wildlife exposure.On her next excursion, Stanley’s exceeded her expectations, and furthered her wildlife interaction… with an Elephant Guide! The three stars of the Sanctuary Retreats, Jabu,Thembi, and Morula, took Monica on a tour of the reserve. Joining her for a picnic, playing tricks on her (as you can see in the video above), and leading her on a walking safari, these gentle giants made the trip even more memorable. At Sanctuary Stanley’s Camp, Monica felt she had truly stepped into the wild!
Sanctuary Chief’s Camp
The second lodge was the Sanctuary Chief’s Camp, located in the Mombo Concession in the Moremi Game Reserve. In the Northwest part of Chief’s Island, this area is the predator capital of the world; which means an amazing wealth of wildlife! With 12 luxury bush pavilions, Chief’s Camp has fantastic accommodations in a peaceful and secluded setting. With morning and afternoon game drives, mokoro excursions (subject to water level), and fantastic meals and beverages, this luxury lodge provides a true African experience. Monica also found one perk that she knew her future clients were sure to enjoy. As the afternoon game drives came to an end, the lodge sets up fantastic sundowners. With tasty drinks and delicious appetizers, Monica was able to unwind from the day with fantastic views of the sunset over the reserve. Furthermore, enjoy your cocktail, and wait as your friendly drinking cohorts come to join. During Monica’s sundowner, she said a group of elephants decided to come and crash the party! It’s hard not to enjoy a luxury lodge that guarantees a date on Friday nights! (Those elephants are quite the companion)
Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero
Bordering the Chobe National Park, the Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero is a beautiful hotel. This accommodation is ideal for those who would prefer not to have constant contact with the safari wildlife. A fence surrounds the property, preventing from larger animals strolling in. However, still expect to see those adorable baboon faces each morning! The camp has 15 air conditioned, thatched cottages, which provide monsquito nets, an indoor and outdoor shower, mini bar, and en suite bathroom. Follow the true rules of vacation and relax at the full spa with hydrotherapy facilities. Outside of the luxury hotel, Chobe National Park has the largest concentration of animals in Botswana, more specifically elephants. With that, Monica said that the best thing about Chobe Chilwero was the exciting excursions on the river. All the animals come out to take advantage of the water supply so she was able to see hippos, elephants, crocodiles, and baboons (including many beautiful birds). Topping the evening off with a sundowner by the sparkling water wrapped up the perfect safari day.
Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma
Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma was the property that Monica stayed at in Zambia. It was a beautiful lodge located in the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. As a family travel expert, she was excited to see that this hotel has 2 Chuma Houses, which are ideal for housing larger parties. These houses have a private chef, plunge pool, and private vehicle. The Sacntuary Sussi & Chuma has 12 air conditioned tree houses, a treatment room with views of the river, and a swimming pool. Located on a bend in the Zambezi River the lodge is only 12 km upstream from Victoria Falls. Take a guided tour of the falls, and find yourself in one of the natural wonders of the world. The Sussi & Chuma will also bring you on exciting game drives, a sundowner cruise, and walking safaris through the national park. Combine Victoria Falls with the boat cruise for a unique and romantic experience; this is where Monica saw her top sunset of the trip! Waterfalls, sundowners, and walking safaris. . . what else could you ask for?