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Back for 2 weeks and already planning 2008 trip...Zambia! Thoughts?

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I somehow went on a two year hiatus with no Africa (ok, Asia and Australia are also nice and deserve 3 week visits) and now having been back from Botswana for 2 weeks I can't stop thinking about it. I have to go back in 2008!

We loved Bots but I think we will go back to Zambia this time, depending on what quotes I get. We always travel in late Sept/early October, and I thought I might try another Zambia safari before they become as expensive as Bots!

Here's the two options I am looking at. We want to go to new lodges this time (but I am having separation anxiety from Kaingo, love the hides there).

3 nights Tafika or Kaingo
3 nights Luangwa River Lodge
3 nights Old Mondoro
3 nights Chiawa


OR

Since we have never been to the Lower Zambezi (just SL), maybe:

3 nights Chongwe
3 nights Old Mondoro
3 nights Chiawa
3 nights Ruchomechi (there must be is an easy way to get across the Zambezi River to do this!! Anyone? Please??)

I keep hearing everyone talk about their TAs but no names (I know that is hard to do here). At the moment, I am just sending messages to the lodges as that is what I did on our last trip to Zambia in 2004, which was fine since it was only SL. As these itineraries require more flights though, I am thinking a TA would be great (if I knew a good one based there).

If it helps, eles (for me) and cats (for DH) are important. Game viewing is number one, then comfort. (We liked Kaingo over Chichele for that very reason). A mix of bush camps and nicer camps is welcome!

Are the properties on the Lower Zambezi too close together? If I can't get over to Ruchomechi without it costing a zillion, is there another camp I should consider down there? I am just thinking that getting between SL and LZ is too much of a pain?

Please get out your red pens and start tearing the itinerary apart. Thanks in advance!

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