5 day trip from Gaborone??

Old Sep 20th, 2009, 07:18 AM
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5 day trip from Gaborone??

My friend and I are both doctors spending six weeks living in Gaborone, Botswana from the states. We have 5 days off coming up in about a week and a half and are looking to come up with a fun (relatively inexpensive) trip. I have travelled fairly extensively in Botswana so we were hoping to go somewhere abroad-- e.g. Malawi or Mozambique. He is traveling to Namibia in October so that is not an option. I am going to Cape Town in October so that is out as well.

We are VERY open to suggestions as to what would be feasible and interesting in this short period of time. We like interesting towns/culture, animals, not as into beach. Our budget would be to keep the week under $1000 all included, if not cheaper. May not be possible, but if anyone might have an idea I figured the knowledgable folks on Fodors might be able to help us out...!

Jen
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Old Sep 20th, 2009, 12:24 PM
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Madikwe woulkd be easily reachable from Gaboronoe. And the following accomm is nice and favoropuble:

http://www.thebushcamp.com/

Maybe a combo Madikwe and JNB. The latter has great B+B for relatively small money, Cradle of humankind close by, museums, shopping.....

Happy planning!

SV
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Old Sep 20th, 2009, 03:52 PM
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Do either a canoe trip on the Lower Zambezi or a bush camping walking safari in Mana Pools. http://safarizimbabwe.webs.com/stevepopesafaris.htm
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Old Sep 21st, 2009, 03:58 PM
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If you want to go on safari, I would suggest Mashatu tented camp - it's in Bots, but we loved it. You can drive from Gabs, and tented camp is very reasonable (and all food is included).

Madagascar? Zambia is close enough for a short trip, but I don't know about pricing.

While in Gabs, you might be able to get better suggestions at less than US prices.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2009, 09:17 AM
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FYI--I've looked into Madagascar trips from Joburg and they're not cheap. I recall from my research that it was almost cheaper to fly from the US, through Paris, to Madagascar than it was to fly from Joburg to Madagascar. Maybe it's cheaper now, but I was really surprised at the cost.

jenelyse--you also might want to look into Pilanesberg, since it is close to Gaborone.

I've done self-drive trips to Kruger within your budget. You might even be able to fly there from Gabs and stay within your budget. There are lots of other South African national parks that may be closer to you that are probably worth a visit, too.

You mentioned Mozambique--I think you could do a short visit to Maputo and surrounding area in a short time period within your budget. I found Maputo to be an interesting city, worth maybe a 2-day visit. I'd combine it with a beach visit (Inhaca Island?) to make it worthwhile. I know you're not a beach person--I'm not much of one either, but I did try a Maputo/beach extension to a Kruger trip last year. Just throwing that out there as an idea.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2009, 09:35 AM
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I'd second the suggestion of Madikwe - a very short drive (maybe 30km?) from Gaborone, non-malarial area, excellent animal viewing, and a good story. We've stayed a couple of times at Buffalo Ridge - http://www.buffaloridgesafari.com/ - and enjoyed it very much. It's a community-owned operation, something of a pioneer in community empowered tourism, and a class act. You can see the lights of Gaborone from most of the rooms.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2009, 11:26 AM
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Gardy
Yes you are almost right - it's 50ks from Madikwe - seen the lights at night.

SV
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Old Sep 23rd, 2009, 02:11 AM
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I would head for Zimbabwe. Some great deals there, and from what I've heard great wildlife viewing. There are the house boats on Lake Kariba as well as the options Luangwablondes mentioned.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2009, 08:45 AM
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Are any of the Madikwe places within the price range that was mentioned?
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Old Sep 24th, 2009, 07:48 AM
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I know of one tour operator who is a specialist in Gaborone. Please go to www.garcinsafaris.com. Personally i would advise Mokolodi Nature Reserve which is in the out stkirts of Gaborone about 10km. Since you highlighted culture as one of your interests, here you have the opportunity to see local people dancing the traditional dance. There is also a chance of seeing a white rhino here. You can enjoy day trips on villages surrounding Gaborone. Please go to mokolodi.com and see more.
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Old Sep 25th, 2009, 04:08 AM
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Gritty - the bush camp is - reason I posted the link knowing too well that the others won't fit into the budget.

SV
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