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Any information yet on &beyond's new Xudum in Botswana?

Any information yet on &beyond's new Xudum in Botswana?

Feb 24th, 2009, 06:36 AM
  #1  
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Any information yet on &beyond's new Xudum in Botswana?

Hi, we're scheduled to visit &Beyond's (old CCA) Xudum in September. I haven't seen much feedback on this board about any experience with this new lodge and I was wondering if anyone has been there and, if so, what the wildlife viewing is like. We've stayed at various CCA properties in the past and we know the facility, service, etc. will be good, but since this used to be a hunting concession, we're just not sure if they are seeing much wildlife yet. I've looked at the Wildwatch newsletter and the sightings from the camp, but it's hard to get a good feel for what to expect. The property is expensive and we aren't interested in staying there unless the wildlife viewing is up to par with other Botswana properties. We do, however, enjoy the tracking aspect of the game drives, so if the animals are there but just take more work to see we'd probably be fine. If the animals just aren't there yet, I think we'd be a little frustrated and we'd rather switch out to another camp or lodge. I'd really appreciate any feedback. Thank you!
debwarr is offline  
Feb 24th, 2009, 08:02 AM
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It's absolutely S T U N N I N G !

BUT based on the fact that it is in a location which hasn't been used for photographic safaris for ages game is very shy.

The Camp is extremely well done. Staff as usual at &Beyond places is extremely attentive - make you feel being the first and only guest.

approx. 80sqm chalets with very sophisticated African artefacts and bits and pieces.

The only thing is the lack of sightings.

That "report" is from a friend who stayed there in late Jan 09. That friend is an extremely experienced safarista and spent 3 nights there after a couple of weeks in Sabi Sands. So the experience was more of a "easy going" as she had already been stuffed with animals and leopards in particular.
She enjoyed the camp tremendously.

And based on the time of stay the water levels had also an impact. The mokoro rides where fantastic and added to the experience.

But you should not expect to watch the big cats there or other big game!

SV
spassvogel is offline  
Feb 24th, 2009, 04:49 PM
  #3  
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Spassvogel,

Thanks. This is pretty much what I was expecting. We're going to some other places and we may be okay with a place to just chill out and take whatever comes, but it's a pretty high price tag for just a wonderful camp. It's a hard decision and I appreciate your feedback!

Debbie
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Feb 24th, 2009, 05:33 PM
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Jeff Rann is still operating with his website in use. I don't know if he has stopped his hunting operations in the concession?
HariS is offline  
Feb 24th, 2009, 06:01 PM
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Gosh, it's hard to believe that &beyond would share a concession with a hunting operation. Thanks for letting me know this. I'll definitely check this out with our travel agent!
debwarr is offline  
Feb 25th, 2009, 04:28 AM
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NO WAY they allow ANY hunting!
Debbie, September might be much better in view to sightings when it has dried up a lot compared to Jan 09.

I am sure If you send an email with your questions directly to [email protected] she will revert to you in a honest way - both regarding the game viewing expectations in Sep and particularly in view to the hunting!
Ask Jeanine also for their "specials" till Dec. : "4for3" and "8for6" (any combination of their BOT camps) which is a 25% discount.
Of course the price tag is one to chew on. But compared to some of the other comp. with comparable service etc. it's not too bad.

By the way: I was told they don't allow hunting in their concessions.



Happy planning - further

SV
spassvogel is offline  
Feb 25th, 2009, 04:29 AM
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Hari

could you pls provide the link to the hunter's website. Google didn't bring it up.

Thank you for that!

SV
spassvogel is offline  
Feb 25th, 2009, 04:40 AM
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What did you google?
HariS is offline  
Feb 25th, 2009, 04:44 AM
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Btw, Spassvogel - are you posting under a new screen name these days? I know it's not my place to ask you this question, but, since I am asked a question by you - I would like to know if I am chatting with someone who used to post under an old screen name and has recently changed accounts.........

Cheers
Hari
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Feb 25th, 2009, 07:20 AM
  #10  
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Hari, once I received your email I did some research and it looks like the hunting with Jeff Rann is finished in this concession. I was able to find a fair amount of information by googling Jeff Rann Hunting and Xudum. I also went back to look at the sighting on Wildwatch and they have now had cheetah sightings, several leopards, lions, elis, wild dog tracks (but no sightings yet) and rhino tracks (but no sightings). So, it definitely looks like things are improving. As I mentioned before, I actually enjoy "working" for a sighting as long as I know the potential is there. Right now I think we'll probably keep our booking there and I'll be happy to report back when I return. Spassvogel, thanks for the link to Jeanine Smith. We have a contact at &beyond that we've worked with several times and I plan to contact her and also ask her for a ranger/tracker recommendation. Thanks, everyone for your help!

Debbie
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Feb 25th, 2009, 07:49 AM
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Hi Debbie,

That's good news! Thanks for the information!!!

Cheers
Hari
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Feb 25th, 2009, 07:49 AM
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email? You are referring to my earlier post in this thread, I hope?
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Feb 25th, 2009, 01:31 PM
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Hari
No I joined this forum recently.
I was referring to your statement in view to the runn hunting activity which was completely new to me and google didn't get me anywhere except a racing guy.

Debiie excellent news! Obviously the sightings improved a lot - so I am sure will LOVE XUDUM! I would go for it!

SV
spassvogel is offline  
Feb 25th, 2009, 05:49 PM
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&Beyond's photographic area in NG/29 and NG/30 has a size of 250 sqkm. i.e., the 25,000 hectares that they talk about. The whole size of NG/29 is 1862 sqkm, that of NG/30 is 947 sqkm. What do people think is happening in the remaining 2559 sqkm outsite of &Beyond's concession? Has Jeff Rann stopped there too? I am sure the And Beyond portion i.e., the 25,000 hectares are off limits to hunting and that's a good thing!

The only reason i point this out is, apparently the fodors community love facts as was mentioned in another thread a few weeks ago!!!
HariS is offline  
Feb 25th, 2009, 05:57 PM
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P.S: Debbie - If you think they have good game viewing as recommended by your travel agent - you should definitely go! Afterall, And Beyond are doing good by operating in the area which no one else has ventured to take over.......
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Feb 26th, 2009, 01:33 AM
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HariS

Thank you for the information on the sizes of these concessions.

If I recollect correctly the question was whether hunting takes place at the &Beyond concession which is definately not happening.

Regarding your question "what people think...."
I don't think the anti-hunting folks are naive by ignoring the fact that surrounding these concessions trophy hunting is going on which also jeopardizes animals which travel in between photographic and hunting properties.
I fear we cannot change it and we are all aware of these facts.
To NOT going into photographic concessions because of the hunting near by would mean not to go on safari at all except to Kenya.
I for my part LOVE the idea to support photographic safaris which allow a lion to be "shot" a hundred thousand times instead of shooting it once and for all.

SV
spassvogel is offline  
Feb 26th, 2009, 07:29 AM
  #17  
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Hari, sorry for misspeaking about the email. I was referring to your post. You bring up a good point about what may be happening on the remaining land of these concessions. I like facts, too, and this gives me good information to use when I talk with my travel agent. I realize that hunting concessions are still out there, but I also don't want to hear gun shots while we're on game drives!

If I learn any new news from our travel agent, I'll post it.
Thanks.
debwarr is offline  

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