Abnother question on Zambia - July 2006

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Dec 26th, 2005, 08:28 AM
  #1
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Abnother question on Zambia - July 2006

Thank you for the earlier opinions re Kafunta Lodge and canoe trips. The assumption that budget is a concern is correct. My husband and I will leave for Zambia June 15 with a Habitat for Humanity building team. Will work for about 2 weeks in the Copper Belt and then end with a 2 day group trip to Victoria Falls. From the falls we return with the group to Lusaka.
We do plan to book the 5 night package at Kafunta + Bush Lodge in South Luangwa. The question is whether we should book a canoe safari in Lower Zambezi NP or for Mana Pools. Would appreciate any opinions or advice.
katt58 is offline  
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Dec 26th, 2005, 08:50 AM
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katt,

I think going to Mana Pools (Zimbabwe) will just complicate matters. In my opinion, you would be better off sticking with the Lower Zambezi (Zambia), possibly with a short 3 night stay at Kasaka River Lodge which will probably give you the best value for money @ $325 per person per night in luxurious surrounds. The managing couple at Kasaka, Hugo & Esther, are excellent and Kasaka is a great place for its river activities.

Good luck.
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Dec 26th, 2005, 11:26 AM
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I personally like the Mana Pools side of the river. I suggest you email both of these operaters below-Chikwenya is part of their schedule. Tell them you are interested in doing a canoeing safari from the Zim side. Ask if they can handle(and coordinate) transportation issues to/from Lusaka, Kariba Dam, or Chirundu. I have a couple suggestions on the transportation if it seems like a problem.

www.natureways.com
www.africanbushcamps.com/safaris/odyssey.htm

Look at the MT Beds site also. And E-gnu for Chikwenya special.

Besides, its less expensive on the Zim side and have better guides and itineraries. I did the bush camps on the Zim side and enjoyed far more then the temporary tented camps on the Zam side.

Are you working with any particular agents currently? Some just aren't aware of the options.
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Dec 26th, 2005, 01:11 PM
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I used Natureways back in 1998 for Mana Pools and was very impressed.
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Dec 26th, 2005, 01:59 PM
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Just checking out African Bush Camps site and e-news of July 2005.

'The construction of Vundu camp on the banks of the Zambezi River in Mana pools, has now been finished and has been operating since May and has so far proved to be an amazing location for lion, wild dog and leopard. The cats can be heard from the camp almost every night and has had wild dog hunting in and out of the camp. Vundu is full of the old charm and speaks of the traditional, simple old style safari camp, yet comfortable and full of character. We also run Zambezi canoeing and walking safaris alongside this safari camp.'

Wild dog, lion and leopard. Sounds like Oz. You'll know you aren't in Kansas.
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Dec 29th, 2005, 08:01 AM
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I found a travel agent(reliable company) that can arrange your South Luangwa and Mana Pools trip for you. With all the transfers. I know the person you would be corresponding with and he has been at this for many several years. He responds quickly when you email him.
Contact me at luangwablondes at juno dot com and I can fill you in on the all the details.
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Jan 4th, 2006, 08:04 AM
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As a follow-up to the posts above, I thought I would add some information I found recently as I research a future trip combining Zambia and Mana Pools.
In summary, it would (in theory) not be as difficult as I thought.

It is a 3 hour road transfer from Lusaka to Mana Pools (I was quoted a price of $180).

Alternatively, I was thinking of combining Lower Zambezi and a Mana Pools "lux" canoe safari. In this case, one could take a speedboat transfer from a camp such as Sausage Tree to the border town of Chirundu, upriver. The price for this is $250. From Chirundu, it is about and hour and a half drive into Mana Pools.

Of course the easiest route would be the ones the elephants use, just crossing the river, but the camps I contacted weren't too keen on assiting me with a mid-river "informal" border crossing....
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Jan 4th, 2006, 10:34 AM
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Fascinated to read it's cheaper to do the canoe safari in Zim...I did a 5 day trip about 10 years ago and though I was living in Zim I chose to do the trip on the Zambian side because it was far cheaper! How things change.

I just wanted to say that it's a fabulous trip and seeing the wildlife from the river gives you an entirely different perspective....it slows things down and makes you pay far more attention to the sounds, the birds and the things you can see at eye level. Wonderful I highly recommend it.
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Jan 4th, 2006, 10:45 AM
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welltraveledbrit-
I also looked into doing a canoe safari from the Zambia side. However, the only Zambian trips I could find were ones in which guests carry the supplies in the canoes and help set-up the tents, etc.

The one I am considering in Mana Pools is with Natureways and is double the price of the Zambia canoe trips. But the Natureways "lux" trip is fully supported (ie.all you do is canoe, no setting up, etc). It includes 1 night at Vundu and the 2 nights at other temporary camps downriver (tents have ensuite bathrooms, however that works).

I was able to "sell" my husband on the trip as it said the deliver hot coffee to your tent each morning and that the have candlelit dinners.
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Jan 4th, 2006, 12:34 PM
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You also need to look at where the canoeing starts and ends. The best game viewing is in the game rich areas of course. So if found a similiar trip on the LZNP side, it would be more expensive. What makes the Zambia side cheaper is the canoeing along the GMA where game is not as plentiful. That is why with Natureways(Zimbabwe) for example they include gamewalks in their program-and they are better operators. Even better yet if the trip could end at Chikwenya, which means adding an extra day onto the trip.
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