Best Botswana Camps in June

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Mar 20th, 2006, 07:02 PM
  #1
laurar
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Best Botswana Camps in June

So, we thought we were all set on an Aug/Sept trip to Chobe/Savute/Moremi/Chitabe. However, the more we look at the maps and the permanent tented camps, the more tempted we are to try these areas. However, we can't afford the high season rates so would have to go in mid-late June. So, I guess we have two questions:

1) If you were to choose between an Aug/Sept mobile camping trip in Chobe, Savute, Moremi (with Chitabe thrown in at the end for 4 nights) or a late June trip at permanent tented camps in the Delta/Linyanti, which would you choose.

2) If a late June trip, which permanent tented camps would you select. We would definitely stay at Chitabe for probably 5 nights, based on previous recommendations on this board. One travel agent also recommended Selinda and Xigera camps to round out our trip.

Our priorities are wildlife viewing and photography (though we think a couple nights at a water camp would be interesting). We are most interested in photographing all the cats, possibly wild dogs, and we would like to see at least the beginning of large elephant herds forming.

Thoughts? Certainly am going back and forth, but Botswana's seasons all seem wonderful, though are somewhat confusing.

Thanks.

Laura.
 
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Mar 21st, 2006, 10:29 AM
  #2
johan_belgium
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Laura,

I think it's better to stick with your trip in August/September. It's a fantastic itinerary and it will be great that time of year. And if cats and ellies are what you are looking for ...

The only thing I can add is the following: if you have some time and money left try to spend a few extra days at Lebala (Kwando).

By the way I read that high season starts at the middle of June in 2007 (Wilderness safaris). And it starts at the beginning of June for the Kwando properties.

If you want it all, you'll have to go several times (at different parts of year).

Greetings,

Johan
 
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Mar 21st, 2006, 10:52 AM
  #3
laurar
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Thanks, Johan. You are defitely a great resource on this board.

Laura.
 
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Mar 21st, 2006, 11:32 AM
  #4
laurar
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Johan:

When you've done mobile camping safaris, did you think the travel between campsites felt long/difficult. Seems there are 3-4 hr drives between Chobe-Savute, Savute-Khwai R., Khwai-Mboma Island (and that's assuming continuous driving).

Laura.
 
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Mar 22nd, 2006, 08:10 AM
  #5
johan_belgium
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Laura,

I didn't mind driving because there was most of the times something interesting to see. Think about it as a long gamedrive.

Greetings,

Johan

 
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Mar 22nd, 2006, 10:32 AM
  #6
laurar
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Johan, how would you compare the cat viewing in Chitabe vs. Lebala? -- late Aug/early Sept. As well as the overall experience of both camps?
Laura.
 
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Mar 22nd, 2006, 11:30 AM
  #7
 
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Laura

We've been corresponding quite a bit on email about this issue but... here's an additional thought.

If I were planning a trip in June for friends who had not been to Botswana before, had only a limited number of nights, wanted to experience the range of Botswana environments and hadn't expressed a specific preference for one or two animals above others I'd probably suggest the following:

One land camp in the Delta
One water camp in the Delta
One camp in the Savuti area

And if possible, a stay in the desert at a camp like Jack's.

If budget were not an issue I'd suggest Little Mombo for the land camp in the Delta, if it were an issue, I'd probably plump for Tubu Tree. I haven't been to Duma Tau which is often a popular choice so can't comment on that. I happened not to rate my experiences at Chitabe that highly so I'd tend not to put that one forward.

Savuti Camp would be my choice there.

And the magical Jacana camp would be my first choice for water camp, though Little Vumbura was also delightful.
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Mar 22nd, 2006, 12:32 PM
  #8
johan_belgium
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Laura,

It's difficult for me to choose between Chitabe and Lebala because I think both will be very good.

I like both camps very much and the managers at Chitabe (Ray and Ryan/Kenny and Josephine) and Lebala (Harry and Monique) were among the best I've ever met.

I got very experienced guides at both camps (Phinley and Ben at Chitabe/Chitabe trails and Steve at Lebala) and they all made a difference for me. Like you probably know, a good guide can make such a difference.

In terms of general gameviewing Lebala has an advantage (chances to see waterbuck/sable and roan) and far more elephants.

The concession at Lebala is much bigger than the one at Chitabe.

In terms of accomadation, Chitabe has a slight advantage (but that's not an issue for me when on safari).

Overall I would say Lebala but with a very small difference but on the other hand Chitabe offered me such incredible pictures... so if you can afford it, visit them both.

This year, I will be 17 days at Lebala (7 days: May - 10 days: September/October). Next year, like you already know I will be back at Chitabe.

Greetings,

Johan



 
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Mar 22nd, 2006, 12:36 PM
  #9
laurar
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Thanks, Johan. We can't afford both Chitabe and Lebala. I will look at Lebala a little more too before making a final decision. I have also posted a question, since we can only do one camp, is there a camp that would provide the potential for really good predator viewing and also have some of the good water-scenery of the Delta, just for the overall experience? Thanks -- so difficult to just pick one camp!
Laura.
 
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Mar 22nd, 2006, 08:06 PM
  #10
santharamhari
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Laura,

To your mix of land/water question......i think the answer is Kwara...probably answered in another thread also.......

Lebala is a much bigger concession.......232,000 hectares (some of it thick mopane woodlands). So also, you need more time at Lebala than Chitabe which is a relatively smaller concession.

You hv many threads going on at the same time......i'm confused if u r planning for May/june or Aug/sept.

Also, accomodation-wise Lebala is hands down the best Kwando camp......dont know about the new Little Kwara yet...opens May 1. Johan, pl keep us posted as you are probably the first to visit.......

for detailed game sightings at different times of the year, try www.eyesonafrica.net

Hari
 
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Mar 22nd, 2006, 11:48 PM
  #11
 
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I second Kavy's advice about one delta land camp, one delta water camp, and one Linyanti/Savuti.

We went in early June to Kwetsani, Mombo, and Duma Tau. The three were totally different and each perfect in its own way.

Judy
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Mar 22nd, 2006, 11:50 PM
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Btw, for the best predator viewing and beautiful watery *scenery*, nothing beats Mombo during the floods I think. But it is not a water camp and there are no water activities.

I don't think there's a lot of water camps where you'll see tons of predators. We did see one leopard and several lions at Kwetsani, but had to drive over to Hunda Island to do that.
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Mar 23rd, 2006, 12:47 AM
  #13
santharamhari
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Linjudy,

Kwara is a huge concession, where, water activities are possible year round and there are huge land areas to traverse........some awesome predator sightings there.......Huge lion prides, leopards, recently good cheetah viewing and a small wild dog pack.....
 
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