Long-standing Members Club participants and wildlife photographers Mietsie Visser and her husband are avid wildlife aficionados, and haven’t wasted a moment of 2021, comprehensively immersing themselves in our wilderness areas after last year’s restrictions…
I was born in Namibia, while my husband was born and raised on a sheep farm in South Africa’s Free State. I guess this is why we both love the great outdoors and want to spend as much time as possible in nature.
We started birding in the 1980s, and after ticking all the birds in the national parks in South Africa, we simply had to travel to neighbouring countries to extend our list. This took us to the Moremi, Chobe, Hwange, Etosha, and many other areas. By now we had fallen in love with these places, and were fascinated by Botswana’s Okavango Delta and Savuti Channel.
In 2009 we heard that the Savuti, which had been dry for almost 30 years, had started flowing again and the water had passed Wilderness Safaris Savuti Camp. We just had to see this miracle with our own eyes. We had always dreamed of going into the Okavango Delta and one of its majestic islands, so we decided to do a once-in-a-lifetime trip and went to Little Vumbura in the Okavango, as well as Savuti Camp in the Linyanti Wildlife Reserve.
What a life-changing experience! What was supposed to be a once-only trip, became like an addiction. We had to see and experience more. Other areas just appeared so interesting. We eventually joined the Wilderness Safaris Residents Programme in 2013. We have since visited almost every camp in Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia. We have returned to many camps and hope to continue to do so in the future. The camps in the Wilderness portfolio are all unique, each with a special ambiance, all set in the most pristine wilderness areas, with low-impact guests.
Compared to other areas in southern Africa (where there is a highway and a shopping mall just around the corner, as one of the managers once joked), Wilderness camps are extremely remote and exclusive. And this is what we love – being in areas that are really still wild and untouched, small camps with caring staff, and being with an excellent guide who teaches us new things every time.
Due to the travel restrictions last year, we could not visit any camps, but made up for it this year by visiting Wilderness camps four times – in Namibia, twice in Botswana as well as Zimbabwe. Hope next year will be a great year for travel!
Written by Mietsie Visser