The Old Bridge Backpackers.
25 January 2007
We stayed at the Old Bridge Backpackers which had a real nice vibe. With outdoor showers, a welcoming bar and some front row seats at the river, they really got something good going on here.
Feel free to check out their blog at http://mokumsurfclub.com/okavango-delta-natures-maze/
1 June 2016
I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to write the email. I have once again been traveling. I just wanted to tell you how much we enjoyed our Mokoro trip with your company. We had great sightings and a lovely long walk on the second day. The guide, (galaxy), the chef, and the old man (as they called him); what a team! They made us feel so welcome and did their utmost to accommodate us in the most pleasant way.
Thank you for making a special trip for us — I really wish we could have spent more time there.
This will not be the last time we use your company!
17 August 2015
Having been lucky enough to have travelled to South Africa for safari in 2014, we never thought we would have the opportunity to experience another anytime soon. Despite this an opportunity arose of a trip to Botswana which simply couldn’t be turned down. In South Africa, we stayed in a lodge, this being the difference with our greatly anticipated trip to Botswana as we would be sleeping under canvas, in the wilds of the Botswana bush! Very excited about this prospect, albeit apprehensive.
The safari was booked with “The Old Bridge” via Lelobu Safari’s based in Maun, Botswana who arranged a package around our budget and organised a three night trip of a lifetime. We were given excellent advise and a variety of options, upon their recommendation we chose a private mobile safari to Mababe, Khwai and Moremi.
Setting off from the Old Bridge Backpackers with our guide, Chef and camp assistant we arrived at our remote and picturesque riverside camp site near Khwai. Exploring our campsite and checking out the facilities (as you do) we saw a large elephant bull through the window of the permanent toilet and shower block not twenty yards away. You could say we had a ‘loo with a view!’ Our three strong staff unpacked a table, chairs, lit a fire and told us to relax with a nice cup of Rooibos tea – As we were enjoying our tea and taking in the surroundings, our camp magically appeared around us.
The meru tent was extremely spacious and we had room to stand up in the middle, the beds were incredibly comfortable, complete with a mattress and a substantial down quilt and a blanket for those cold nights. There was towel each placed on the beds and a bowl of hot water outside of the tent every morning on wake up and also when you returned from your evening game drive. To add to this luxury we were treated to flushing toilets and a hot shower encased in a bamboo screen, which was a real treat when returning from a game drive.
We were ready for our first afternoon game drive of the trip. Weaving our way through the paths from camp into the deeps of the bush, the first thing that we were taken back by was the vast size of the groups of animals we were seeing. Especially the elephants and giraffes, as whilst we saw them in Kruger, they were usually only three or four in a herd at most.
Not an hour into the drive we spotted our first set of ears in the grass, as we got closer we could see that it was a wild dog lying in the grass. The vehicle pulled as close as it could exposing half a dozen inquisitive dogs raising their ears to listen to the goings on. This was what I had personally been hoping to see and I couldn’t quite believe that we had seen them, and so soon. A rustle from behind revealed another six as they moved over to our vantage point to join the rest of the pack quickly followed by one more from our right. Thirteen wild dogs were now moving about in the grass, play-fighting as we watched them for twenty minutes or more until they disappeared out of sight. We were told after the trip how privileged we were to have witnessed this, as some local residents said that they had never seen a wild dog, let alone a pack of thirteen.
Still amazed at what we were seeing, our knowledgable guide stopped at a pool and told us to watch the water. We glanced over to see what must have been ten or more hippos emerge above the surface to take air as others yawned away in the background. Just around the corner we saw a dozen elephants having their evening drink, which was complimented by the golden african sunset in the background with the silhouette of the animals gracefully taking water in the foreground.
As the sun set, the temperature began to drop and we were given blanket lined ponchos to wear, absolutely everything had been thought of!
As we arrived back to camp we were wowed by the spectacular sight of hurricane lamps which lit up the camp. Whilst we’d been away the chef and his assistant had been busily preparing our meal. Cooking only on the open fire and this particular evening the food consisted of a butternut soup for starter, beef stew and pap with green beans for the main and chocolate banana for pudding. Over the course of the trip we were never failed to be amazed at how fantastic the food was. We never ate the same thing twice and everything was expertly cooked on the open fire.
One of the days we travelled to Moremi and spent the whole day there on game drives. We were told that chef had prepared a packed lunch for us. Expecting sandwiches we pulled up at ‘hippo pool’ where our guide set up a table and chairs for us all and started laying out the food. Well, worlds apart from the sandwiches we were expecting, a full fillet of beef marinated in the most wonderful onion and mushroom sauce was laid out, with a feta and olive salad accompanied by a loaf of bread which again had all been prepared by chef on the open fire before we woke. We thought our lunch couldn’t get any better until a herd of zebra joined us for a lunch time drink!
Every game drive was different, the viewing was spectacular. We saw a great variety of animals and birds during our three day safari. Our particular highlight, despite it being a little nerve-racking initially (until our more than capable guide, moved us into a safe place) was a stampede of a twenty strong herd of elephants. The loud trumpeting noise they were making and the speed they travelled was quite remarkable – an experience we will never forget.
Despite this being billed as a budget safari, everything is thought of and the staff could not do enough for you. Everyone we met was so friendly and helpful. The game viewing for us was like no other experience and the whole trip was so much more than we were expecting.
We would whole heartedly recommend the ‘back to basics’ old Africa style safari under canvas. In our opinion it’s the best way to experience a true African Safari, thank you Lelobu Safaris and the Old Bridge Backpackers for the experience of a lifetime.
29 June 2015
I recently went on a day safari to Moremi Game Park with my two colleagues from work on the 07th June. We departed from the Old Bridge Backpackers and went from there to Moremi.
May I say that it was a very special day, the guide (I believe his name was Simba) was very knowledgeable and kept us informed and educated on the animals throughout the day. The light snack we had was so much more, the food was plentyfull tasty and more than adequate. We saw all bar one of the animals. We saw the lions up very close, Zebra, giraffe, impala, elephants, wildebeast, buffalo, hippos and a few crocs. We missed the Rhinos which we were told were further inside the Delta.
All in all a very good day which all three of us will be recommending to our friends and colleagues the next time they are in the area.
27 June 2015
Norval and I wish to express our appreciation for the assistance extended to ourselves when our hired vehicle had broken down, and we needed to contact their Johannesburg office, had to wait for a fax to be emailed. This occurred on the 19 June 15. Everyone could not have been any more helpful, and we are extremely grateful.
We enjoyed our 4 nights over the 2 week period that we spent with you- the setting, food and service was great!!
Many thanks and regards,
Sue Lippiatt, South Africa
6 May 2015
My wife – Jane – and I have just spent a week at Old Bridge Backpackers: one night at Backpackers, one night mokoro trip, one night Backpackers, 2 nights Moremi, last night at Backpackers. The rating? 11 out of 10.
All arrangements, amenities and management thereof were wonderful. In fact, all was beyond expectations, mainly because of Henry. You have a winner in Henry. The way he interacts with guests. The way he sorted out each and every issue we raised with him. He takes ownership of the relationship with a guest and we always felt: “When in doubt, ask Henry.” Very seldom have I as a traveler had that kind of service relationship. He does his job so well I’m sure all of the guests thought of him as “My Henry, the magic maker of my trip.” Also deserving of high praise is Bisto at reception. It’s the friendliness and helpfulness she displays that made our stay such a pleasant one. Again, she played the valuable role of being the efficient coordinator of our holiday and a friendly place to land if anything needed to be sorted out.
Then, to round off a memorable holiday, Prince our chef and Madaba our guide were of a standard beyond what we expected. The food was great and the game viewing some of the best we have ever experienced. Their friendliness added to the whole experience.
All in all, thanks for a great holiday. You run a superb ship.
Pete and Jane, South Africa.
28 December 2013
I just wanted to write and thank you for organizing such a fantastic trip for both Jane and I. It really was our dream safari (although far scarier than we imagined J). The guides you arranged for us (C-company and Moses) were both very professional, knowledgeable and friendly. They were able to track down and identify a whole slew of animals that would have been impossible for us to find on our own. They really made the trip for us and will be recommended to everyone we meet who wants to do a safari. Moses in particular was fantastic and was more than willing to share his knowledge. I think learning from the two of them and hearing their stories were the highlights for me.Jarvis was also a perfect cook! Jane and I camp quite a bit in Canada and I can tell you that we’ll likely be importing some of his recipes (if we can replicate them) and his camp setup ideas- we both loved the lanterns for example and have been thinking of ways to replicate the effect on our own canoe trips. It was really a delight to come back in the evenings to a nice warm meal and friendly conversation.I also wanted to thank the team at the Old Bridge itself (especially Jen who harangued our transfer company to Zimbabwe until they finally understood what was needed. Your staff remain some of the most helpful I’ve encountered on all of my travels and I can’t recommend your establishment more for those looking for a chill, friendly place with delicious food. (Any chance your cook could share the recipe for the beef curry?).
Leah, Ottawa. Canada.
4 January 2014
I just wanted to send this short email to say thanks again for being so helpful with booking the scenic flight, which was unforgettable, and arranging the mokoro trip for us. Spending a few days on the delta is seriously soul recharging stuff.
Lee and his team were excellent, and Nadia pointed out that with Lee as our guide she always felt safe. He’s a serious guy and takes his job seriously, which in those conditions was good to see. Lee, Cross, Surprise, chef and the others were a pleasure to be around. He was quite happy to extend our bush walk on one of the days to track elephants, which he did successfully and much to our surprise. He also surprised us with a visit to the hippo pool one evening which was an unforgettable experience.
The backpackers was great fun and very comfortable, and we’ll definitely be back (in the not too distant future).
Wishing you guys some more rain before the dry season sets in!
Greg, Cape Town, South Africa.
12 December 2005
Arriving in Maun I thought it would just be a short stop on the way to my real target – the delta. Instead of that I stayed here for 5 days. In the end the days at The Bridge and in the delta were the best time of my whole journey through southern Africa. Very special thanx to everybody who made me feel like this. I O U so much!
Hagen Christmann, Germany
26 March 2006
A lovely stay with friendly and very helpful people. We had a great two night mokoro trip, saw lots of animals even though it was not the best time of year to see them. A great experience………THANK YOU!
Katie, Milton Keynes, England.
26 March 2006
An awesome time with great people, great food and an even better bar. Keep it up and if i’m ever in town again i’ll be back. Nice work guys.
10 April 2006
Am so glad I came to Botswana. You have a great place with wonderful staff and a nice atmosphere. Thanks for making me feel so welcome and also for those amazing truffles!! Will spread the word and send friends!
25 June 2006
Fallen in by accident and stayed on purpose. Wonderful haven with all this info and great people around. Thanks for having us and good luck for your plans and your “construction site”. Love to come back and see how it goes. All the best..
Uli and Dave, USA
13 July 2006
I don’t really like repeating all the praise and glory directed at Helena and David in this too corny visitors book. Although… o.k., o.k., this place is really cool, super relaxed and the perfect hang-out to explore all the goods this area of Botswana has to offer. I (Joel) might even come back, how is that for a threat.
17 September 2006
You guys were so wonderful I came back! And I’m coming back again soon, you haven’t gotten rid of me yet. Thanks for making my stay so memorable.
Love Man, Vietnam.
6 November 2006
Don’t like this place! In fact I hate it!…cause I now don’t like home anymore.
10 February 2007
Great place, great people, great hospitality!So far our best stay in Africa. You have to train in “petanque”, we’ll come back with “pastis”.Thanks a lot, Helene, David and friends.
Denis & Marie, Montpellier, France.
20 February 2007
Best backpackers in Africa! Best mokoro trip in the delta! You guys kick ass! We love you and want to have your babies!
Kate & Stephan from Vancouver, Canada.
18 May 2008
Where do we start? Where did we start? When??? We arrived on the 5th, planned on staying a night, maybe two. ‘Tis now the 18th of May… 13 days in paradise. In a piece of Africa that will always be alive in my heart. […] So many characters, so many moments of perfect chaos and true friendship. Thank you. We leave this place loving you. I leave this place wanting to come back already.
26 December 2008
Dear all at the Bridge,
after a fantastic week here the time to head west has come upon us. New adventures to the Tsodillo Hills and in Namibia will hopefully be as wonderful as the trips here. Fitting in three different tours to the Okavango into 4 days was superb (A scenic flight, two days in a mokoro and a boat trip to Gunns Camp).
And experiencing Bloody Marys @ 8 in the morning was definitely a first!
Until the next time!
Charlie & Octavia, U.K.
28 January 2009
We would recommend this lodge to everyone who wants to have a relaxed stay with friendly, service-oriented staff, good music and wonderful food !!! If ever we come back to Maun we will also come back to the bridge. Kealeboga, Siyabonga!!
Dennis & Gigi, Holland
14 September 2009
Aloha David and Helena
Thank you for completely blowing our minds in the Delta and setting us up with the madman Martin. He added a lot to our wonderful experience with his crazy stories. You have an extraordinary place in paradise and we hope to be back to visit soon. The beauty of the Delta surpassed all expectations. You are a great group of people. Should your plans ever include Hawaii please come and stay with us. You are welcome in our Guest House any time. Thanks again for a trip of a lifetime and many fond memories.
Mahalo, Scott & Sue, Hawaii