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5 nights to split between Chobe National Park and Victoria Falls

5 nights to split between Chobe National Park and Victoria Falls

Apr 10th, 2012, 04:17 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 357
Right now we're doing 2 nights in Vic Falls, 4 nights in Hwange, 2 more nights in Vic Falls and 3 nights in Chobe. Any thoughts?
mcbg1 is offline  
Apr 11th, 2012, 03:23 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,085
That's a lot of time in Vic Falls! I would spend two of those four nights (3 would be better!) on the houseboat that ShayTay recommends. We spent two nights on the Ichobezi in 2008 - skip to page 30 of the following report for photos and a written account of our time on the houseboat - highly recommended. CR

canadian_robin is offline  
Apr 11th, 2012, 06:15 AM
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oh the boat looks great but it is way out of our price range. 2 X 2 nights in Vic Falls doesn't look too long for us. 1 day to see the falls, we want to do some canoe on the Zambezi, maybe do a walking safari or the walk with lions excursion, walk around town, etc. We're saving a lot of money this way to afford staying at a lodge in Chobe and in Hwange.
mcbg1 is offline  
Apr 13th, 2012, 08:35 AM
Join Date: Feb 2012
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Definitely do the Safariboat. I have been on it a number of times and it is amazing. I would do 2 nights in Vic Falls as you will then have 1 full day to explore and then 3 nights on the Ichobezi Safariboat.

Owner - Taga Safaris Africa
Taga_Safaris is offline  
Apr 15th, 2012, 12:43 PM
Join Date: Apr 2012
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We did these stops last summer at the same time of year you are going. We did not go to the Zambia side based on the info we read beforehand- that Zim side was better. We spent about 3 hours there and had plenty of time. A few pieces of advice: if you are "into" photographs, plan to be there toward sunset (getting there maybe 3 hours before) so that you have a nicer view of the falls. As is turned out, my hubby accidently ran our video camera incorrectly so we had no footage of our visit, but I took plenty of photos. We stopped again on our way back through and this was earlier in the day. It was okay for video but photos were not nearly as nice. The water will be blownout due to the harsh light and not look as nice. Also be prepared to get a little wet so take along hooded jacket and something to protect your camera.

We stayed at the Rainbow Inn (Zim). The first stay was on their "el" (extension) and these rooms were very nice. On our way back through we stayed in the main part of the hotel and these rooms were not nearly as nice. Just FYI.

We took the sunset cruise on the Zambezi but honestly found this to be quite boring. The boat went VERY slowly but we did see a few animals. The sunset photo ops, however, made the cruise but we wouldn't pay to do this again.

If you go to the outdoor markets you can often exchange almost anything for their goods. (not necessarily $) You'd be surprised at what you could exchange if you take along $1.99 flip flops from the States! The curio shops downtown are pretty "touristy" and more expensive. The open market is just outside of town and has more "authentic" goods and more reasonable prices.

We also did the helicopter flight over the Falls and would absolutely recommend this. *Well* worth the money. You can get by with taking the shorter flight (there are 2 options). If you are going with someone (not just yourself) make sure you both know how to run the camera and video. There will be 1 person on the helicopter (6 passengers total as I recall) who will be in the middle and thus limits being able to use these. Getting there early makes no difference because they weigh you and you are seated accordingly. If you have a seat by the window, open the window to take photos now and then because the windows are scuffed enough that it does inhibit photographing a bit. I realized this as we took off so just sat up a bit higher to take photos. Keep in mind you will need a reservation for this. You may get in later that day but not likely you will get in within an hour or two so plan accordingly.

Chobe was AWESOME! You will enjoy yourselves there. Plan enough time at the border crossing as it can be very busy there. In Kasane we ate at a combo Indian/Chinese/pizza place and the food was good. As always remember you are "on Africa time" so patience is key. There is also a HUGE buffet at Chobe Safari Lodge. It is nightly (and also at noon if hotel is busy enough). I believe this was like $20 each.

If you are staying in Kasane, you will take either a sandy road that runs parallel to the river or the sandy road that runs along the river. If you are driving yourselves (i.e. not doing a regular tour and have a say in the matter) take the parallel road first so you can end your day along the river. Nicer for photographs and animal viewing. You will drive one way then make a loop around to come back to Kasane. (There aren't multiple roads going to and from the park.)

While in Botswana, have some Pula, Rand and Dollars. Especially with meals and park fees (not to mention your hotel) they have different conversions, which many place change daily. If you memorize the conversion you will be able to assess your best method of payment. This saved us several hundred dollars while we were there (but takes a few minutes each time obviously).

I can't recommend enough taking the boat cruise at Chobe as well. Our boat left from our lodge (Chobe Safari Lodge). We had our own boat for the 3 of us (reserved that way) and it was nice so you didn't have to have people's arms or heads in the way. We saw animals nonstop on this ride and were disappointed when it was over.

You are going to have an awesome experience! Remember there is no such thing as too many photos and be sure to keep a journal of your experiences. The little details are quickly forgotten but so fun to remember!
ValerieV is offline  
Apr 15th, 2012, 04:24 PM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 6
I forgot to mention Hwange now that I see you also plan to go to there. We were also there last year. We traveled to the main lodge several times while we were staying at a hunting camp nearby. I also did a game drive one morning. If it is possible you might want to consider spending a day or so more at Chobe and less at Hwange. Zim is a very poor country and its facilities are not what you'd find other places in terms of upkeep and resources. Hwange park itself is trying to recover (from what I understand) but based on our time there I have to say that there wasn't a lot of game viewing. Certainly some but I think you would be disappointed to stay there several days. We saw more animals on our way to and from camp than I did at the park itself. VF is nothing like Hwange in terms of its resources and amenities. I am reluctant to put out this opinion because I would love to see Zim get back on track and have more $ coming in from tourists but I'm just being honest based on our experience. I would have wanted to know that before we planned our trip. Every area has different species to offer- in Chobe you will see a lot of giraffe, LOTS of elephants, buffalo and hippos in particular. Hwange will offer a few different species than what you'd find in Chobe but as far as animal viewing time you will see MUCH more in Chobe (based on our experience). In fact when we rode along the river we didn't have a time where we weren't viewing something. Its a special place.
ValerieV is offline  
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