Written by: Wolfgang Schleicher
As our Botswana experience came to an end, Lelobu Safaris recommended that we spend our remaining time at a picturesque eco-lodge situated near the village of Pandamatenga, bordering Zimbabwe. We had never heard or read of this place so it shows the importance of having a local travel agent that knows Botswana.
On arrival at Wildtrack Safaris Eco Lodge we were welcomed by the entire staff with a traditional welcome song and dance. Once all the formalities were dealt with we were shown to or our rooms.
As we walked through the lodge to our room, it was hard not to be impressed at its beautifully appointed and striking attention to detail and quality.
As with the rest of the rooms, ours was in the charming style of a rondavel (a traditional round building), with a thatched roof. The rooms were beyond sumptuousness with possibly the most gigantic bed I have ever seen! We were later told that each of the rooms were carefully planned and built around the trees, which were incorporated into the design, allowing for beautiful outdoor rain showers.
Once settled in, we returned to the open plan living room where a selection of homemade sweet and savoury treats was on offer. It was quite surreal to sit enjoying afternoon tea while watching the the coming and going of animals at the waterhole situated in front of the lodge.
Later on in the afternoon we were treated to a game drive. Our guide Brandon was wonderful at pointing out tracks, animals, plants, and trees as we came across them. Just before the sun started to set he found us the perfect spot on the pans to enjoy our sundowners, accompanied with some yummy cheeses.
On arrival back at camp we were greeted with hot towels to wipe our dusty faces, and a roaring fire which had been lit in the boma. Dinner that evening was a wonderful three course meal, finishing with the most delicious apple crumble which would have given my nan a run for her money.
From morning walks before breakfast, to game drives and sundowners on the pans, each activity was flawlessly planned. However, despite all of these activities on offer, we found taking time out to enjoy the tranquil surroundings of the wildlife that visited the waterhole just as magical.
I was truly impressed with the lengths that the family-owned and run lodge goes to to conserve their magnificent surroundings. Andrew and Brandon were keen to explain how, from the building of the lodge to the water conservation, even down to the power consumption, everything had been carefully considered.
Our second evening at the lodge was spent enjoying another delicious three course meal. However, our dining tabled had been relocated so we had the perfect view of the waterhole, with lanterns and candles illuminating our new dining room, it was the perfect setting for our last night in Botswana.
Beyond the charming setting and lavishness, the eco-lodge also works with the local community on numerous projects ranging from fundraising to community gardening and cultural tours. Other initiatives include ‘Pack for Panda’ which encourages guests to pack 1kg lighter, and bring stationary, clothing, etc. for those in need in the community, and ‘Wild Child’, which encourages children, through projects at school, to take an interest in conservation. Those who excel will be awarded the opportunity to experience the lodge environment and accompany guests on activities.
The lodge is also actively involved with the building of a new school in the village. The directors donated the land, and are assisting with the planning and implementation of the project.
Throughout our stay, the entire Wildtrack team were attentive, helpful and friendly. As the whole team assembled to sing us a farewell song, we were truly saddened to leave. The holistic experience was indeed an enchanted one, and we can’t wait to return to this little piece of heaven in Pandamatenga.
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