Botswana

Okavango

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The guide learns – to follow his own advice

The guide learns – to follow his own advice

The guide learns – to follow his own advice
Kalahari Skies

 

Teddy Brightman from Zambezi Traveller talks with Eddy Everaerdt, owner of Kalahari Skies, Botswana, and uncovers the magic of mobile safaris.

ZT:  How often did you visit Africa before deciding to move here?
EE: Twice for six weeks; my third visit was to start as a learner guide.

ZT:  Do you have a favourite spot in Botswana?
EE: Oh yes, but experience has taught me not to reveal it, because then it gets known and loses its exclusiveness.

ZT:  Tell us a memorable safari experience.
EE: Here is a story nobody believes: the last night of one safari, before retiring to my tent, I decided to have a quick pee behind it. Now we all tell the clients to always carry and use a torch at night but of course we guides are immortal. It was a dark night and having taken five steps behind my tent I started to do my business when just at my feet a leopard gave an angry snarl - it was not happy with my blessings. With heart pounding I slowly walked backwards into my tent, never taking my eyes from the spot where the leopard was. Once inside I promised myself never to go out again at night without a torch!

ZT: Why take a mobile camping safari?
EE: There is no better way to get into contact with nature, you get to unspoilt places, you are much more aware of what’s going on around you, and the adrenaline flows when you hear that ‘thing’ sniffing around the camp, or hear a lion. This ‘being part of nature’ feeling you only get on a mobile safari. Another benefit is that you are with the same guide for the whole trip which builds relationships; many people come back asking for the same guide.

ZT:  What type of vehicle do you use for your mobile safaris?
EE:  I have guided many mobiles for different companies, and I carefully observed all the equipment used. When developing our own vehicles and kitchen trailers I tried to combine all the goodies. In general game-viewing vehicles are open to allow better viewing but are uncomfortable when used for a transfer on dusty roads, or when it is cold or raining. For this our vehicles are closed so we can drive faster in comfort. We can use heating when it’s cold or the aircon when it’s hot. But the windows fold down and the roof goes up when game viewing, combining the best of two systems.

The extended chassis allows for plenty of leg space, and seats can recline for resting during transfers. The vehicles have four 220V plug points and two 12V plugs to accommodate the use of digital cameras, and there is a fridge for drinks. Our clients have told us they are the best game-viewing vehicles they have seen, so we are proud of them.

Read more articles from this issue:
Zambezi Traveller (Issue 13, June 2013)

Read more about the region in our destination guide:
Okavango

Zambezi Traveller Directory:
Kalahari Skies