I have photographed wildlife in 28 countries and met many guides along the way. Stretch, as host and guide, ranks in the top two and possibly eclipses the other who operates on the Brazilian Pantanal because with Stretch you get up close to animals which can be dangerous. What makes Stretch the best guide I have experienced in 30 years of traveling in Africa is that he does not waffle the same old theory from dawn till dusk, he gives you a practical experience in approaching animals, and yes he does know the theory. His explanation about their behavior towards other animals and towards humans is great and often the lessons are learnt a few feet away from the animals. More importantly, it is apparent that this is not a job but a labour of love and Stretch is noticeably happy and enjoys the experience and especially when he sees you enjoying the experience. Whilst there I met a lot of really nice people either visiting the camp or operating as tour operators as most people want to speak to Stretch and he affords them time. There is no Gung Ho, macho behavior with numerous weapons slung over his body. If you have not been to Africa before and this is your first visit please note the following warning. Visits elsewhere might in future appear mundane. Getting to the lodge can be a bit expensive because International flights to Harare are expensive and you will most probably fly in to the lodge so my advice is to do this trip well. Do not spend 2-3 nights there as you will be sad to leave. I spent 8 nights there and felt that it was too short. The staff are really helpful and polite, the scenery is great and you will want to return.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Goliath Safaris has operated and run walking and canoeing safaris in Mana Pools National Park for over thirty years. All safaris are tailor-made to suit the guests in camp. There are no set routines, only wish-lists fulfilled. The camp sleeps a maximum of 12 guests in luxury twin-bedded East African tents with ensuite facilities, all nestled amoungst the trees on the banks of the Zambezi River. Activities include game drives, walks, canoeing and fishing. ... more less