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Trip Report Visit to BotswanaMay/June 2010

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My wife and I visited northern Botswana from 22 May to 4 June. This was our 4th visit and the best to date. Here are some brief observations and comments.

Overseas travel was by Singapore Airlines-Bne-Sin- Jnb, then the p.m.Air Botswana flight to Maun

We overnighted at the Motsentsela Tree Lodge. about a 1/2 hour drive from the Maun airport. The lodge has safari style accommodation, and is set in a game farm where non threatening species such as eland, giraffe, zebra etc. can be seen. You can walk out the air travel aches with safety, and we found it an ideal and moderately priced introduction to our safari proper.

We then spent 3 nights at each of the following camps
Tau Pan
Savuti
Tubu Tree
Chitabe

At each of those camps the standard of accommodation, service, hospitality and friendliness of all staff was excellent.

Tau Pan is in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, an area which we had not previously visited. Although we knew not to expect a sandy/stony terrain, we were still surprised by
the covering of knee high grass, bushes, and in some areas quite large trees.
Game sightings included large herds of oryx and of springbok, wildebeest, kudu, giraffe, steenbok, ostrich, honey badger, bat eared foxes and black backed jackals. We also had a distant glimpse of some very shy red hartebeest. One afternoon
other guests sighted 2 male and 2 female lions on Tau Pan, but we were too far away to get there before dark.
We had a very good guide in Dutch, and also met up with Eddie who had been our guide at Savute Safari Lodge in 2004, and remains the best guide we have ever had

At the other 3 camps we saw all the usual herbivores except buffalo. Sightings worthy of mention were

Savuti- wild dogs finishing off an impala kill, a nice herd of 10 sable, 2 male cheetahs posing on a termite mound and the Duma Tau male leopard -very large and totally at ease with safari vehicles .

Tubu Tree - game viewing was restricted by the flood, but we still enjoyed the total environment and had a nice sighting of 2 male bushbuck.

Chitabe- 2 hyenas crunching up the bones of an impala killed overnight, 3 hyena pups playing outside the den. 2 male and 3 female lions. Shortly after we left them another vehicle followed the females and saw them take down a warthog. We got there just after the 2 males took over the kill amid much growling and snarling. Next morning a pack of 18 wild dogs wandering through the mopane, apparently having just fed. They then flopped down in the shade, quite unconcerned by our presence. A female leopard resting in a tree, and periodically roaring to assert her territorial rights

As I said at the beginning this was our 4th and best trip. Our previous trips have been very good, but there has always been some niggling problem, ranging from an arrogant adolescent manager to a clapped out vehicle to a semi comatose guide. On this occasion we were so lucky that everything went so well.

Have mentioned the impact of the flood on another thread. Will be happy to answer any questions

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