Our luxury safari expert just returned from Chindeni – read what Sophie has to say.

I dropped my belongings off in my tent which is absolutely beautiful, even in the dark (I arrived a little late to Chindeni) where you can’t see much. They use Luci lamps which are these small solar powered lanterns, and they give off a pretty warm glow. In the middle of the night I woke with a start due to a hyena in the vicinity being incredibly vocal. Most likely after some scraps from the BBQ they’d had that evening.

Waking up at 5.30 is worth it. The sunrise was beautiful. The camp faces out onto a huge lagoon, home to many a hippo and crocodile. The communal area was stunning, weaving its way around huge African ebony and mango trees raised over a part of the lagoon. I met two lovely dutch gentleman, a German couple and an Australian couple.

Introductions all over and done with, we climbed aboard one of the trucks and headed off out into the bundu. The Dutchman made sure I sat in between them so they could protect me from anything dangerous that may attack… Well that’s what they said!

We found a spot to stop, all hopped out and started our walking safari. Lone hippo crossed our paths, warthog running scarce off into the shrubs, more Impala.

The night before, the Australian couple came face to face with an elephant on returning to their tent; climbing the stairs they turned round to see a pair of ears flapping wildly at them. Think both ellie and people jumped out of their skin!

We returned from our walk and had the most delicious brunch, before I had to nip off to the next camp; delicious coronation chicken, fresh salads, home made leak and – something I can’t remember! – quiche, all down on the deck overlooking the lagoon. Just delicious.

Just before I left, a huge croc emerged below the deck to show off his smile and and an Ellie came to the waters edge for a drink – obviously my leaving party.

My bags were then loaded up onto the truck and I said my goodbyes and off we went, onto Bilimungwe.