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Zambia. Zimbabwe or Botswana?

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Need help deciding where to spend 3 days.I will be visiting Vic Falls in June and after seeing the sights there, I will have 3 extra days before heading to South Africa. I would like to go to a good camp or lodge in one of these three countries. If I need to fly to get there, that is okay. We will already have seen big game in Kenya (I hope), so a different type of experience would also be interesting to us. Please help

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    You might consider Jedsons Camp, which offers superb guided walking in the scenic Chizarira Game Reserve in north-western Zimbabwe. It is a small owner-operated camp where Sonia and Jed Robinson provide an old-fashioned level of personal service, low guest to guide ratio and superb quality of guiding. The camp may be reached by charter flight direct from Victoria Falls.

    Another option would be a camp in the Okavango Delta. I would suggest something like Jao Camp, a superbly appointed camp built in the style of a Bornean Long House. The rooms are huge with en-suite bath, outside shower and private gazebo. The main lounge is an architectural show-piece filled with Balinese furniture and whimsical design elements. The area is typical of the Okavango Delta floodplain with a mosaic of lushly vegetated islands, lagoons, waterways and seasonally inundated grassy plains. Activities include game drives, walking and mokoro outings. To get there from Victoria Falls, one needs to take a road transfer to Kasane and a charter flight from there.

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    Hi Nancy

    My advice depends on where you will be staying at Vic. Falls. We stayed at Tongabezi, on the Zambian side. I have never been more impressed by any lodge or hotel in my entire life. It is a bit of a trek from Vic Falls, but an incredible experience.

    I would recommend the houses - which all have three walls, so you are looking directly onto the Zambezi. Even the toilets have a bird's eye view of life on the river.

    The bath in honeymoon house is enormous, again with a stunning view. I sat one day and watched elephants swimming while monkeys were running around our sundeck. The service is incredible (4 staff per guest) without being over the top. The food, whether you choose to dine alone or with the other guests, is outstanding.

    There's lots to do like going for a picnic - which involves heading off on a boat with a guide to find a full service meal set up for yo when you arrive. The sunset boat trips are spectacular - we came across a herd of 40 elephants crossing the river one evening. It was a stunning sight.

    They also have a camp called Sindabezi on an island in the middle of the Zambezi. We did not stay there - just stopped for Gin & Tonics, but we are booked to stay in October.

    Their other camp is called Sausage Tree, which is also supposed to be excellent, but a flight rather than a drive away.

    Although you will have done the 'big game thing' in Kenya - you should not rule out doing something similar in Zambia. It is a totally diferent experience, just because there are so few people there. We saw a lion kill in Busanga Plains (northern part of Kafue National Park)within 5 feet of our landrover. It was just the 2 of us and Jonathan, our guide. No teams of tourists competiting with one another for photos. It is difficult to describe the exclusivity and isolation of it.

    If you have any other questions, feel free to e-mail me directly. You might have guessed that I am totally smitten with Zambia. I surprised myself taht IO loved it so much because I am not your 'outdoors type', I love my Ritz-Carltons and Fours Seasons type luxury. But there is something very special about Zambia. I can recommend a superb travel agent, or give you the direct contact details of some of the lodges, if you prefer (they will pick you up by private charter if necessary).

    Hope you have a wonderful trip !

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    Hi Nancy -
    I would second the recommendation for the Okavango Delta. The wildlife is incerdible and the lush delta is really beautiful. You either travel in Mokoro (canoe) or on foot so it is a great way to see the environment up close and personal. If you are looking for a high end tourist camp, I would recommend Delta camp. If you are looking for a fun, offbeat low end camp, I would recommend a place called Oddballs. Flights go in from Maun. They are run by the same person. Anyway, good luck and enjoy!

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