1st Time Safari Help

Jun 23rd, 2008, 06:10 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 212
1st Time Safari Help

Hi there, I am planning a safari for mid-April 2009. We'd like to go to Botswana, and are hoping to pay somewhere in the neighborhood of $500 pppn for about 6 nights.

I have done some research, and the following camps look like they might be in our budget at that time of year and look good:

Xakanaxa
Xigera
Khwai River Lodge
Savuti Camp
Nxabega Camp
Chitabe
Sandibe
Mapula Lodge
Deception Valley Lodge
Kwando Lebala

Any advice? Which areas would offer the best game viewing at that time of year? What's April like?

We don't need real luxury, but I'd like a classic safari feel (if that makes sense.) A broad range of game, and a chance to see some different areas (the Kalahari, delta, etc.) 3 lodges, 2 nights each probably. Or should we choose 2 for 3 nights?

It's so hard to choose and narrow down the choices. Any help would be great.




sealstep is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2008, 06:28 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
2 nights is useless ...... 3 nights minimum!
HariS is offline  
Jun 27th, 2008, 12:45 PM
  #3  
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Thank you, I'll take that under advisement. Do you have two camps that you might recommend? Desert and Delta Safaris has a package for Deception Valley Lodge, Delta Camp, and Mapula Lodge that I was eyeing. If you had to choose two camps, any suggestions for April? Thank you again.
sealstep is offline  
Jun 27th, 2008, 03:04 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,715
Sealstep: Mid-April is shoulder season, still likely wet enough from rains that animals are dispersed and the bush is lush so you may need a little patience while game viewing but you will still likely have some very memorable sightings and see a large number of species at a good value price compared to high season. I have been to DVL, Mapula and Delta and wrote about all of them in the following report.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=35092404

DVL will likely have thick bush in April so there in the Kalahari you will difinitely need to have patience but it usually produces great rewards for those with a proper expectation for desert viewing. Delta Camp is all walking and mokoro, no game drives. It is an excellent place to walk and has a very unique style so I would recommend you read my write up on that camp and see if that is a fit or not for what you like. Mapula is my favorite and although April is definitely a shoulder time the viewing should be on par with most of the better Delta area camps. All of those should have a rack rate of $525 for your time of year so right about on budget but of course you will need to figure on paying a bit for internal flights.

Kwando Lebala is a bit more pricey but would also be a good contrast to a camp in the Delta if you decide to forego DVL. You will miss the desert species but you will see a lot more animals. I think those are the best choices for your budget.

Chitabe and Savuti would be good too but I would guess they will cost a good bit more money. Xakanaxa delivers some good sightings but it is crowded in with a couple of other nearby camps and is located inside the Moremi reserve, which I believe means some road restrictions and no night drives so it is not as appealing to me. Khwai River Lodge is large by Botswana standards with 15 tents and with a spa/gym/and communications center with t.v. and internet it's certainly not 'classic safari feel'. Sandibe is in the concession with Chitabe but does not have nearly as impressive game viewing in the reports that I have seen. Xigera and Nxabega are best thought of as water camps -- especially Xigera has a lot of fans if you want to focus on the Delta water experience but that tends to be light on big game viewing but for sure is a great contrasting experience.
PredatorBiologist is offline  
Jun 27th, 2008, 06:13 PM
  #5  
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 212
This is wonderful, I just read through your report. They all sound so wonderful - I'm thinking if we can swing it two nights at DVL, two nights at Delta Camp, and then three nights at Mapula would be great. Your detailed experiences are really great. Thank you so much.
sealstep is offline  
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