One Family’s Love Affair With Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe-born Neil Bradshaw had an extra special reason for wanting to take his partner and their children on an incredible family safari in his home country. Not only did he want to introduce them to his incredibly beautiful birthplace on an action-packed trip, but he also planned to ask his girlfriend, Ivana, a very special question…

We’re suckers for romance so naturally we jumped at the chance to help Neil plan the perfect trip. The brief was to keep three boys (two 13-year-olds and one aged 11) happy from start to finish (no mean feat), and strike a balance between adventure and luxury accommodations on a two and a half week trip through Zimbabwe and Botswana. Having lived and worked in Africa for over 20 years, John Spence, President of Scott Dunn USA, took up the challenge.

John’s intimate knowledge of Zimbabwe enabled him to customise an itinerary that built in time in South Africa, Harare, Lake Kariba and lesser known Matusadona National Park—a refuge for some of Zimbabwe’s last remaining black rhino. The family concluded with a five-night private luxury mobile camping safari in Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana. As a finale, a light aircraft took them deep into the Okavango Delta where they stayed at the wonderful Kanana Camp.

The secret to planning a successful safari with children is to keep game drives to a minimum but ramp up the activities. The Bradshaw family began with a private half day cultural tour of Johannesburg before moving on to Zimbabwe, where a host of activities including canoeing kept our young explorers entertained before they embarked on their classic mobile safari in Moremi Game Reserve – a safari type that’s proved a runaway success with adventurous families.

The conclusion? The mobile camping was a total hit with the kids, as it so often is with families. Neil and Ivana were delighted and are itching to go again. What about that proposal, we hear you cry! On their return, an excited Neil called us to say that he’d popped the question on the banks of Lake Kariba and we’re delighted to say that Ivana said yes. Congratulations, Bradshaw family (we look forward to planning your honeymoon!).

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