Another vacation this summer?

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Feb 25th, 2006, 02:18 PM
  #1
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Another vacation this summer?

Hubby and I decided to take another trip this summer. We loved South Africa so much that we would love to return to another country in Africa. Unfortunately, we would only be able to do about 8 nights (excluding flying). What ideas do people have? I want luxury accomodations and of course, I always love a good deal! While I think it would be difficult to match our trip to South Africa, I would like it to at least come close.
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Feb 25th, 2006, 03:06 PM
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Hi Andrea,

Glad to hear that you've been bitten by the Africa bug!

With 8 nights, you could have a nice trip to Botswana -- 2-3 nights each at two Delta camps, and one camp in the Linyanti area. If you want maximum luxury, you'll want to try for Wilderness's six-paw camps: Jao, Vumbura Plains, and Mombo in the Delta, and King's Pool in the Linyanti.

I doubt that you will be able to get anything at Mombo at this point (it was almost completely booked for the summer months when I last checked, with all bookings confirmed). Mombo may not be to your taste anyhow if you don't like hard-core game-viewing, and it's the least luxurious of the 6-paw camps. However, you may have a chance with the others if you can be flexible on dates.

May or June would be the ideal time for you to travel, offering good weather with the benefit of shoulder season pricing.

As you know, Rocco has a taste for luxury as well, and he's found some very luxurious camps in Namibia near the Chobe riverfront.

www.islandsinafrica.com

3 nights Delta, 3 nights Linyanti, and 2 nights Caprivi might be the way to go.

BTW, have you gone to the Mena House in Egypt yet? I'm booked to stay there in the Palace Wing next month and was curious if you've stayed there and what you thought of it.

Cheers,
Julian
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Feb 25th, 2006, 03:11 PM
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Sorry, I accidentally cut the bit which said that Caprivi is the part of Namibia which is across the river from Chobe.

Cheers,
Julian
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Feb 25th, 2006, 03:39 PM
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Great you're going back! I would agree with Botswana for 8 nights, especially if luxury is at the top of your list. The Wilderness 5-paw camps are very lovely also and I'm sure would meet with your approval. Jasher has listed the Wilderness 6 Paws.

Here is a Wilderness camp list by area. These are the ones I’m most familiar with:

Linyanti/Savuti--King's Pool, Duma Tau, Savuti Camp

Selinda--Zibalianja

Okavango, Chief’s Island in Moremi—Mombo or Little Mombo (probably booked but you never know, cancellations happen) There is also Chief’s on Chief’s Island that is not a Wilderness Camp.

Okavango with most water activities like mekoro--Jacana (almost exclusively water) Jao, Xigera, Little Vumbura, Tubu Tree, Kwetsani

Okavango with some water activities--Duba Plains (Relentless Enemies flimed there), Vumbura . There is also the non-Wilderness Stanley’s where you can also take walks and walk with elephants.

Okavango with no water activities—Chitabe and non-Wilderness Sandibe

Then there are the Kwando operated camps of Lagoon & Lebala in the Kwando area north of Linyanti, and Kwara in the delta. These would combine nicely for a 3-2-3 stay of 8 nights.

This summer is booking up fast in Botswana. If you were happy with your agent that planned South Africa, I’d ring them quickly and ask about what they’d recommend for luxury in Botswana. Have another great trip and depending on where you go this summer and when, maybe I'll see you in Botswana!


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Feb 25th, 2006, 05:46 PM
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What is the difference between botswana and south africa in terms of game viewing?
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Feb 25th, 2006, 06:27 PM
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Dr.Andrea,

Lots of difference....it is a completely different experience.....very intimate....lots of variety of game...Red Letchwe, wild dogs, more cheetahs...

You spend as much time viewing the game as you wish....there is no rush to return home at night, as most camps are in private concessions....even the feel of the wilderness areas have the atmosphere of unspoit wilderness...there are no monstrous constructions like a Mala Mala etc etc as all camps are very small....

I concur with all the above posts....either Kwando or Wilderness options work well. Kwando guides are awesome....i have done trips with both companies on seperate trips.

I return to Botswana this August...spending 10 nights at Kwando Camps Lagoon,Lebala and Kwara Island (3,4,3)...but if you want to split this into 8 nights, i would do (2,3,3)

If i was to do the Wilderness camps (Maybe next year) and i had 8 nights i would do Chitabe, Duma Tau, Selinda (3,3,2) or even Vumbura, Chitabe and either Duma Tau or Selinda.....

If the budget is very flexible, i would do Mombo, Chitabe, Duma Tau (3,2,3)

Either way, start planning ASAP....as camps are getting booked up. I really wanted to do Chitabe...but was waitlisted for my third night....so i didnt want to take a chance and opted for Kwara......
 
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Feb 25th, 2006, 06:37 PM
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Or you can try Zambia. Luangwa River Lodge is exceptionally luxurious and from there up to Lower Zambezi where you can rent a mansion (Chongwe House) complete with your own chef and guides, then up to Victoria Falls. It's easy to get to, London to Lusaka then Zambian air to Mfuwe, to Lower Zambezi to Livingstone. The game viewing at South Luangwa was incredible and we did see the wild dogs. I'll be heading back in about 10 days.
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Feb 25th, 2006, 07:34 PM
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I woudl concur with the recommendation for Botswana for 8 days. We went to both South Africa and Botswana last June and while we saw some of the same animals, the environment was quite different. Lots of gorgeous birds in the Delta area. Plus we got to listen to the hippos grumbling (or whatever hippos do) at night. Very cool! I also loved being able to be poled through the Delta in a mokoro. A whole different way of seeing the area! We stayed in one of the CCAfrica camps - Nxabega and loved it, but I'm not sure it would exactly qualify as luxury. Probably a notch below. They certainly met our every need! The "matching" camp to that is, I believe, Sandibe. Enjoy your return!
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Feb 26th, 2006, 07:54 AM
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Since you have already been to southern Africa, you may want to try to visit East Africa, especially the Masai Mara in Kenya in August, which, based on my trips, is the best wildlife experience on the planet. I wrote "try to visit" because many of the top lodges (Governors and similar camps) may be filled already, but since its still February, its worth looking into. There are also a lot more flight options into Nairobi, and the lodges in East Africa are a fraction of the price you'll pay to stay at the Wilderness camps in the delta (which are also great).

If it were me, I'd look into a visit to the Masai Mara (three or four nights) and either (A) one other park in Kenya, such as Tsavo or Amboseli or (B) the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania (but travel logistics may make it difficult to visit the Crater on a short trip). You could also end with a few days in any of the coastal resorts (Lamu, Zanzibar, for example).

Writing this from Montreal (where its about 10 F). Africa seems nice right about now.

Michael
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Feb 26th, 2006, 07:55 AM
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Hello,

If you do Botswana, I'd recommend staying in at least one Delta camp with water activities. It will be a change from game drives and is one of the things that sets Botswana apart from other safari destinations. Whilst you may not see as much game on a mokoro or boat trip, you will have ample opportunity to experience the unique, magical atmosphere of the Delta. Two of the luxury camps I listed, Jao and Vumbura Plains, offer water activities.

Even if the 6-paw camps don't have availability, you will still be very comforable at the Wilderness 5-paw camps or the CCA camps.

Cheers,
Julian
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Feb 26th, 2006, 10:17 AM
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One other thought on Botwana, again keeping luxury in mind. Though it is probably the most expensive option in Botswana, Abu's in the delta is a TOP of the line Wilderness camp with elephant back safaris being the main attraction. I've never been but those I know who have gone have been bowled over by the experience as well as the level of luxury provided. Not for every budget by any means.
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Feb 26th, 2006, 07:09 PM
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santharamhari
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I did read one of the posts asking you to give East Africa a try......although beautiful and fascinating...particularly, the migration.......you also cannot miss the huge volume of human creatures.....although the masses of animals and cats and everything are tremendrous, your quality of sightings are no where close to what you would get in Botswana or SA......you share a sighting with tons of vehicles, while in Botswana, you may have a pride of lions to yourself for as long as you wish.......and return when you are tired or the animals disappear into areas your vehicle has no chance of going into.....

 
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Feb 27th, 2006, 11:27 AM
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Dr Andrea,
I believe at one point you mentioned some interest in gorilla trekking on your next trip, is that correct?

Just to throw some more ideas at you, you could consider combining gorilla trekking in Rwanda (I believe you have a better chance of securing permits for Rwanda rather than Uganda at this point) with a few days safari in Kenya as it's easiest to fly to Kigali from Nairobi.

Depending on what time you arrive in Nairobi, you may have to overnight or if you're arrival is in the morning, you can connect same day on a flight to Kigali. The transfer from Kigali to Parc National des Volcans takes 2-3 hours.

The best accomodations near the park is the Virunga Lodge - http://www.volcanoessafaris.com/down...o-lodges05.pdf

Three nights here would allow you to do two treks and you could fly back to Nairobi on your fourth day. I would then choose one location in Kenya for your remaining nights, the Masai Mara if you want to see the migration. Here there are camps located away from the larger lodges on private concessions where you'll see few other vehicles in the immediate area, though if you travel to the crossing points, you may still see lot of other vehicles.

If you have no burning desire to see the migration, there are many other places in Kenya you can visit where you aren't going to run into large numbers of tourists at all - Tsavo, Meru, Laikipia are just a few.

For luxury accomodations in Kenya, take a look at the following -

www.chelipeacock.com

www.bushhomes.com

www.bush-and-beyond.com

Another possible 8 night combination would be Selous and Ruaha in southern Tanzania. You could fly into Dar Es Salaam and from there, there are scheduled flights connecting both parks.

The tourist density in both parks is very low, the game viewing is supposed to be optimum from Jul-Oct, and there's the opportunity for walks and boat rides.

For accomodations, see www.sand-rivers-selous.com and www.selous.com

East Africa is more than just the migration and I wouldn't so readily dismiss it as an option.

Have a great time whatever you decide!
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