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Anyone been to: Tuba Tree and Kwetsani, Little Vumbura and Duba Plains?

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Jul 13th, 2004, 11:40 AM
  #1
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Anyone been to: Tuba Tree and Kwetsani, Little Vumbura and Duba Plains?

Considering transfer costs, an agent suggested that since the game drives from Duba Plains and Little Vumbura are in the same area, Little Vumbura should be the first to eliminated from my wish list, then Tuba Tree:

Savuti 3

Kwara 2

(Little Vumbura 2)

Duba Plains 3

(Tuba Tree 2)

Kwetsani 2

Chitabe Trails 2

Decisions, decisions....

Anyone have info? Our first safari and I could sure use some of your ideas, opinions.

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Jul 13th, 2004, 11:57 AM
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Mz Curious, I left some comments on LV and Tubu on another thread of yours, they may be of help.

Can I ask how you arrived at the list above initially? How did you choose these specific camps over others?
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Jul 13th, 2004, 01:49 PM
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Kavey,
I got my list from mainly reading posts on Fodor's, scanning loads of travel agency sites (africatravelresource.com has camp critiques, some may be remind you of Bradt), and Bradt's Botswana guide.

I want to see the dogs, so even though I might have better luck a little earlier in the year that's something I looking for when I read about the camps. (I also just emailed someone at the "Botswana Wild Dog Project"...hope I get a reply. Isn't the internet just amazing?!)

I looked for smaller camps with night drives.

I picked Duba Plains for the drama of the numbers of the buffalo and lions. It might be a rediculous choice because both I always look away from the tv when the lion actually kills. And I don't like it when she fails! We went to Denali years ago and saw a bear kill, well, I didn't really see it....

Savuti has a waterhole right in front of the lodge that I've read gets thousands of elephants in Sept., and I just read you can spend the night at a hide.

Kwara is both land and water and I like everything I've read here on the forum about the Kwando camps: the staff, guides + trackers, etc.

Kwetsani is also land and water and recently has had dogs and just seems to have a good feel about it after the Duba drama.

Chitabe Trails is also known for dogs.

Zambia The Waterfront $50pp river view twin B&B . Looks okay to me. We can zone-out after our flight from San Diego to Victoria Falls, go to Tongabezi for lunch on Livingstone Island, dinner at the River Club and take a helicopter flight.

Anyway that's the story I'm telling,
marilyn



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Jul 13th, 2004, 02:17 PM
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We saw a group of 16 wild dogs at Savuti last month... was wonderful. They were actually by King's Pool at the time and we drove over in that direction and were able to spend the afternoon drive following them and observing (from enough of a distance not to have an impact on their success) their hunt.

Later in our trip we met people who had been there more recently and it seems the dogs had moved again and were much closer to Savuti Camp - they have a wide territory and move within it.

The alpha female was very heavily pregnant and has probably given birth by now so they'll be cetnred around a den site for a while.

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Jul 13th, 2004, 02:22 PM
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PS Tubu does night drives which we enjoyed though it makes for a long tiring day... you still leave for the drives after 3.30 tea but you don't get back to camp until 8 and then dinner inevitably takes a while...

We really enjoyed Tubu though... a fantastic experience...
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Jul 13th, 2004, 02:41 PM
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Gosh Kavey you make it so difficult to wait for over a year!
For some reason I think you live in Las Vegas...or is it just my brain shorting out again and confusing LV Las Vegas and LV Little Vumbura?
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Jul 15th, 2004, 05:57 AM
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If you go to Tubu Tree try and get Grant as your guide. He's very good.
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Jul 15th, 2004, 06:49 AM
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He is isn't he?
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Jul 15th, 2004, 12:28 PM
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You bet!
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Jul 15th, 2004, 01:11 PM
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Favor,
Please tell more about Tuba Tree. When were you there, what did you do, how did you get there?!
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Jul 15th, 2004, 01:22 PM
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Tavey,
Opps....now i know what gave me the idea to ask those questions....YOUR posts on another thread! I'm going to have to get myself more organized and quit embarrassing myself. My apologies.
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Jul 15th, 2004, 01:25 PM
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He he... too many threads to keep track of eh?
Don't worry about it. It gives me pleasure to think of others going through the excitement of planning such a special trip - because all such safari trips ARE special no matter which camps you end up with!
I'm in London not Las Vegas though I have visited LV briefly a couple of times!
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Jul 16th, 2004, 05:20 AM
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mzcuriouz - We were there for three nights in mid-June this year. We did day and evening game drives, a boat trip, a makoro trip, and a game walk. Grant was our guide. He's diminutive in physical stature, but huge in knowledge, heart, and bush skill. Three quick illustrations of Grant.

My 14 year old is a nut about World War II. After a trip to Pearl Harbor he read everything he could find on the Pacific theater - then the European. Grant knew a great deal in this area as well. More than that, he was genuinely interested and didn't mind talking with my son at length during tea, dinner, and sundowners.

One time he was showing us a type of termite. So we could see better, he got one to crawl on his finger. After showing us the different aspects of this termite he carefully placed this individual back on the mound. He didn't flick it away or wipe it on his pants.

On the game walk he asked Joseph, a native Botswanan guide, to come with us. At the start of the walk Grant and he had a talk in Setswana and Joseph grabbed some palm fronds, During the walk Joseph was manipulating the fronds: tearing, chewing, rolling and braiding. About halfway through the walk he had made a thin rope with a drop loop and an end loop. We stopped and Joseph set up a spring loaded snare and showed us how they caught frankolins and other small game.

Tubu was a great experience, the lion's share of the credit to Grant.

We flew there on Sefofane from Duma Tau. We flew out of there on Sefofane to Maun .
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Jul 16th, 2004, 05:48 AM
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Favor
It's nice to read your memories of Grant, we too found him a very thoughtful and incredibly knowledgable guide.
Regarding Sefofane, WS use them pretty much for all their flights unless Sefofane don't have a plane available, in which case they have some other companies they turn to. I think there is some overlap in ownership of the two companies though I forget the details now. One disappointment for us is that Sefofane are now buying more of the Caravans that seat 12 or so passengers. That tends to mean you get collected and then hop down to two or three other camps en route to your own, picking and dropping off passengers. It feels like a bus service. Both Pete and I much prefer the Cessna 206 transfers which are usually direct (or one en route stop at most) and just more romantic to our minds. Ah well...
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Jul 16th, 2004, 07:32 AM
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Kavey - We were on Caravans for all our trips. We were supposed to be on 206's for some legs but, WS/Sefofane logistics (I have the same recollection as you on there being some sort of financial overlap there) dictated otherwise and we too made several stops on each transfer.

Perhaps being on Caravans with open seats was the reason we were never asked about weight. On trips in smaller planes in Alaska and South America our pilots asked us our weight and hefted each of our bags, not so on Sefofane.
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Jul 16th, 2004, 07:48 AM
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The pilots tell me that the Caravans are a more economical solution and also that, in the heat of summer, suffer less from the greenhouse effect. Being able to hop from drop to drop means more of the legs are passenger flights.

We were mostly on 206s though with just a couple of caravan flights and weren't asked either our weight or that of our luggage but we were also not on any 206 flights with more than 4 passengers so it probably wasn't as much of an issue.
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