2 weeks RSA and Botswana

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Jul 21st, 2013, 05:49 PM
  #1
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2 weeks RSA and Botswana

Hi....first time Africa visitor. Have done much research with several companies but wanted to put it to the experts here for advice. any initial thoughts or outrage at this possible itinerary?
travelling from NYC.

day 1: arrive JNB 840. fly to Maun 1140. 7 day botswana safari, ending again in JNB.

day 8. arrive early in JNB, stay the day.
day 9: drive JNB-Kruger. Stay 3 or 4 nights in Arathusa or Elephant plains.
day 12 or 13: either drive or fly back to JNB. overnight again. next am, JNB back to USA.
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Jul 21st, 2013, 08:26 PM
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Hi There,

What time of year? My recommendations will depend greatly on the timing. Camp selection is especially important in Botswana where some places vary tremendously throughout the year in the quality of the animal viewing.

Why Kruger last instead of first? I have my opinion but would like to hear why you have it this way.

Craig Beal - owner - Travel Beyond
2011-2012 Travel & Leisure A-List agent for Botswana and Zimbabwe
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Jul 24th, 2013, 05:51 PM
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It's a fine itinerary. Not sure about your budget - Bots is expensive, and then going to the less expensive camps in Sabi Sand (greater Kruger, not Kruger!!). Just know that you will likely have full safari vehicles, up to 9 people!, after being in Bots where they will not likely be full. There are very few rhino in Bots, so definitely add someplace where you might see them, like SS. Why drive?

Just a little confused about why you are budgeting the way you are.
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Jul 25th, 2013, 01:43 AM
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It all depends on what is on jpNY's list in Bots, christabir.

If it's some lousy water camps and then some lodge in the center of Kasane, driving around in only the busiest part of Chobe, then he/she's still going to have a wonderful time in Sabi Sands. It will be the highlight of the vacation at that point. ;-)

Throwing Sabi Sands (or Timbavati or Klaserie) into a first-time safari itinerary is almost always a good idea, as it's THE place were both leopards and rhino are easy to be seen close up. At least if you pick the right camp and if it fits into your itinerary (ic if your "hub" is Johannesburg, and not somewhere in East Africa).

Also, for a first-time visitor, I'm sure a "full" vehicle in a private reserve will not be a problem. Every seat is still a "front row seat" with any animal sighting. Quite different then being in a (often less well adapted) vehicle that drives around on the roads in the National Park itself).
I assume it's different if you're into (semi-)pro photography and/or if safari trips have become your "hobby" and not just a holiday. Still, both things are the case for me, and I didn't have a problem with EP. I had room to put my bag, and was able to take good photographs at every sighting. Also; the vehicle was never completely full. Typically 7 or 8 people, but not 9 or 10. This is because most lodges only max occupancy rates of 85-90%; the last room is always difficult to sell as it's availability often does not fit completely into the potential customer's itinerary.

Ciao,

J.
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Jul 25th, 2013, 04:43 AM
  #5
 
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For expert advice on all of the camps and lodges of the Kruger National Park area, consult Sherreen McLintock locally based, independent and owner of Pride Lodges, who will find something to suit your budget and your likes! www.pridelodges.com
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Jul 25th, 2013, 06:25 AM
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Why do people start threads and then never come back to check on the advice being offered, provide any follow-up, or thank anyone for their time?

Craig
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Jul 25th, 2013, 08:37 AM
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J - I am not against full vehicles. Some of my favorite game drives were shared with 9 "friends" (yes, chock full at a camp mentioned by the OP). I just don't know what is included on this itinerary - it's vague. I tend to forget that Bots can include some "non-exclusive" camps. Not my idea of Botswana.
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Jul 25th, 2013, 12:34 PM
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"Why do people start threads and then never come back to check on the advice . . . ."

Maybe jpNY needs another week?

But agree, too many impolite, ungrateful people around. Wonder if they've ever heard of they "Golden Rule?

regards - tom
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Jul 28th, 2013, 02:53 PM
  #9
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I apologize to those offended for not returning to this thread as quickly as I intended. An unexpected week. I appreciate the feedback and will take additional time at the drawing board based on your suggestions. I will probably focus more on one destination or the other. Will report back, with many more questions of course. Thanks all.
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Jul 28th, 2013, 03:20 PM
  #10
 
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jpNY - A couple of years ago we flew in the same route except we landed in Livingstone, Zambia, did Victoria Falls and on to Botswana and back. The one thing that we found was that there weren't a lot of flights daily from Botswana to Jo'burg and even fewer on weekends. So, when you say 'arrive early in JNB, stay the day' you should check the regional airlines (usually SAA) to see if that is possible before you design your itinerary around it.
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