Any advice for Botswana trip?

Reply

Dec 7th, 2003, 12:36 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 252
Any advice for Botswana trip?

In planning for May 2004 travel to Botswana, I welcome any suggestions for an itinerary. My tentative plans include 3-5 days with African Horseback Safari, then several days each at Sandibe and Nxabega. Both concessions are run by CCAfrica and I've enjoyed my stays at other CCAfrica properties (Londolozi and Phinda). This itinerary concentrates on the area surrounding the Moremi Game Reserve. I wonder if it would be worthwhile to travel up to the Linyati area, as well (King's Pool). Any suggestions are welcome!
girlpolo33 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 8th, 2003, 04:32 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 55
Hi. I just got back from Botswana. I did a 6 day fully serviced camping safari in the Moremi and Okavango delta region. Any specific questions email me at [email protected]

Regards,
Aarti
aarti is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 8th, 2003, 04:50 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 315
Aarti, give us all some news and report. I recall you asked questions here before your trip and you got some nice responses so now is your turn. Help us out. Give us more. We are planning our Botswana trip. Please and thanks
earlxx is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 8th, 2003, 06:15 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,153
Oh yes Aarti - I was wondering whether you'd gone yet - please do share a trip report here and let us know all about your holiday!

Girlpolo, are you definite you want to stay only in CCAfrica properties or would you consider mixing with Wilderness Safari places? I don't ask because I think one is better than the other (I only have experience of one) but because I can, at least, offer feedback on the WS stuff, but not on CCAfrica.

My itinerary for this June takes in the Delta, Savuti Channel, Makgadikgadi Salt Pans and Namibia.

Last time I concentrated only on the Delta and Namibia and also had a wonderful trip.

Kavey
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 8th, 2003, 07:29 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 55
Hi Earl and Kavey.

My trip to Botswana and South Africa was wonderful (thanks to friends and fodors). I think I have location hangover ! Will be glad to post a trip report but im jetlagged and way tired after the looooong flight. Should be here with something in 2-3 days. In the meantime, im willing to be of help to anyone with specific questions.

Aarti
aarti is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 8th, 2003, 08:18 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,153
Wonderful! Hope the jetlag wears off soon, that post-holiday blues doesn't kick in too strongly, and that you'll be able to share the trip with us soon.

Welcome back!
Kavey
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 9th, 2003, 08:49 AM
  #7
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 252
Kavey: After a bit more research I've discovered that the Wilderness Safaris concessions are the best in Botswana (the CCAfrica properties in South Africa are excellent). SO, I'm currently deciding between Little Vumbura, Chitabe and Kwetsani. Any feedback from fellow Africa-philes would be helpful!
girlpolo33 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 9th, 2003, 12:56 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,153
I'm working and going out evenings too for next couple of days but if I get any down time I'll post on Chitabe and Little Vumbura plus some info about why/ how we chose the camps we'll be visiting in May 2004.

If not I'll do so this weekend.

Kavey
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 10th, 2003, 06:51 AM
  #9
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 252
aarti I look forward to reading about your trip!!!

Kavey: Thanks in advance for posting your impressions of Chitabe and Little Vumbrura.
girlpolo33 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 17th, 2003, 01:30 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,153
Girlpolo

Sorry for delay.

Little Vumbura

We loved the two nights we spent here. The camp itself really had an intimate atmosphere and the journey there made it more special: We flew to the camp's airstrip, took a jeep as far as we could and then transferred to a small, flat-bottom power boat.

Staff were superb here and we particularly enjoyed the meals too.

We really just loved the water activities. Infact, we did one game drive, and I personally would recommend not to do even that. If you're including other land-based camps, let this be about the water.

Chitabe Trails

Chitabe and Chitabe Trails are next door to each other, but separate, as far as guests are concerned. We were in Trails, with the tents on the ground. The main camp tents were identical except they were raised off the ground and connected by raised walkways.

The tents were fine, similar to other WS properties, likewise meals.

Personally we found the staff/ service here just a touch less polished than at other camps. We were the only arrivals that day, there were two other couples who had been there a few days, and we were disappointed that management had agreed to alter the schedule for the day according to their requests without waiting to check whether it suited us too. It didn't. But because the camp's second vehicle was not working we couldn't do a thing about it. My feeling was that if some guests were not happy with a change from the regular schedule that they should stick to the regular one, at the very least wait for all to input before making the decision.

Anyway, we also weren't impressed by the guides on the drives here, though they were perfectly nice people. Of course, game viewing at any camp is variable so I do appreciate that we were perhaps just unlucky, though it's clear too that guiding skills do play a part.

I don't want to exaggerate, the camp staff were still very professional and did arrange a romantic meal outside our tent for us on the last night (we were the only guests in camp). They were also friendly and polite.

That said, I think Thit-cho or someone else who posts here has also been to Chitabe and had a great experience.
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 17th, 2003, 01:40 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,153
Oh I was intending to say how I chose camps wasn't I?

2001 trip I didn't really get as involved in choice - my dad did most of the planning as he and my mum had taken a trip there two years previous to mine and he'd already researched. In retrospect they do have slightly different preferences to us so this time it made most sense for me to plan our 2004 trip myself.

So I basically asked my agent for printed WS brochure, (I like their operation, their camps, their service etc so was happy to use them as our main operator again) and read everything on each camp in detail. I also searched the net for any feedback from recent travellers. I narrowed the list down quite quickly but it was hard finalising the choices - Jacana or Xigera? (I went for Jacana but both look wonderful), Savuti or one of the other four camps in that area?

I used various sites on Botswana to help decide what areas of the country we wanted to include this time, hence adding in Savuti for 2004 and also decided that we wanted to visit Jack's Camp.

Our trip overall is currently looking like this:

6 Cape Town
2 nts Western Winelands
1 nt Hermanus
1 nt Swellendam
1 nt Oudtshoorn or Calitzdorp
1 nt Hell
3 nts Knysna area
2 nts Addo
Fly to Durban
1 nt Durban/ Ballito
2 nts Umfolozi
2 nts Hluhluwe
2 nts St Lucia wetlands
2 nts Ndumo?
3 nts Ithala
1 nt Hazyview/ White River
3 nts Kruger
1 nt Jo?burg
3 nts Savuti Camp
3 nts Jacana Camp
2 nts Tubu Tree
1 nt Gudigwa Camp
4 nts Little Mombo
4 nts Jacks Camp
1 nt Hilltop House
4 nts Wolwedans Dune Lodge
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 17th, 2003, 09:19 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,153
Because I'm particularly senile I managed to confuse this thread with a trip report about a recent SA trip! (DUH). Anyway, I posted some info on LV on that thread also!

BLUSH

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34461999
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 18th, 2003, 05:59 PM
  #13
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 252
Kavey: THANK YOU for posting your impressions of Little Vumbura and Chitabe. It was much appreciated. It looks as though my choice to stay at L.V. receives 'thumbs up'...I appreciate your impressions of Chitabe and will research that one a bit further. Thanks, again!
girlpolo33 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 19th, 2003, 12:18 AM
  #14
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,153
You're welcome...
I know it's been a while since I was at either.
But, I've posted my feelings about LV here since that trip and others have chosen to stay there too, providing more up to date feedback, and my recollection is that everyone has loved it.
I only recall two of us having mentioned Chitabe, myself and, I think, Thit_cho.
Don't dismiss it on my account alone!
Keep us updated on your planning, I'm all ears!
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 19th, 2003, 07:11 AM
  #15
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,916
I visited Chitabe (not Chitabe Trails) in August 2001, and had a great experience. I initially selected the camp based on its reputation for wild dogs, and I was not disappointed. On our first game drive we encountered a pack of wild dogs hunting impala, and they ran alongside our truck for several miles. We also encountered the same pack several times over the next two days. We had great lion and leopard sightings, and followed one leopard for around 20 minutes. Also elephant, giraffe, tsessebe, babboons, python, etc. The lodgings, food and guides were terrific, and they were very accomodating -- they certainly didn't dictate our itinerary or plans or restrict our activities based on the preference of others.

If you are interested in wild dogs, I would recommend Chitabe. If not, I think all the Wilderness land camps are generally the same as to food, lodging, guides (except for Mombo and Jao which are for the more style conscious).

I also visited Savuti Camp and had some incredible sightings -- wild dog, lion, serval, caracal and aardwolf (in fact, the only caracal or aardwolf I have seen on five safaris), plenty of elephant, large kudus, etc.
thit_cho is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 19th, 2003, 11:37 AM
  #16
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,153
We selected Chitabe for the same reason - the WS brochure at the time we booked made a big deal and said sightings of wild dogs were virtually assured. They removed that the very next edition of the brochure.

Anyway, we went in June 2001 and saw no wild dogs at all but luckily did see them at Mombo. I do understand that signtings are not guaranteed but the brochure we'd booked from said that the pack was resident very close to camp so we were surprised not to get any glimpses at all.

I refer to Chitabe and Chitabe Trails together as they were connected - we walked from Trails to main in a couple of minutes for a quick see around.

I am looking forward to Savuti immensely as it's on my 2004 itinerary. Fingers crossed.
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 19th, 2003, 07:05 PM
  #17
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 252
thit_cho: Thanks so much for your input regarding Chitabe. My travel planner heartily recommends it for game viewing. After a week of Horseback Safari, the relaxation of game drives will most likely be a welcome experience!
girlpolo33 is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:24 PM.