Bots/Namibia and S. Africa trip report

Reply

Jan 29th, 2003, 09:26 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 318
Bots/Namibia and S. Africa trip report

Hello all:

Thanks to all of you on the Board who answered our questions about our planned trip to Namibia, Botswana and S. Africa.

We had bid on a Luxury Link package by Orient Express hotels and spent 2 nights at the Westcliff in Joburg, 4 nights on safari in Botswana at the Gametrackers Lodges and 4 nights in Cape Town at the Mount Nelson. We also added on 2 nights in Namibia and the Namib Naukluft Lodge in order to see the dunes at Sossusvlei.

It was a fabulous trip - would be happy to answer any questions about the above properties.

Lisa ([email protected])
jacolis is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 29th, 2003, 11:05 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,182
Lisa

I'd love to hear ALL about your trip - anything you're willing to share...

What did you like best/ worst about each location?

What were the accommodations like? Meals?

What game did you see? Were the guides good?

Do you have any photos which you've scanne or had processed onto CD? If so would you consider uploading them to a free site such as pbase or ofoto for sharing?
BR>
Basically - I'd love to hear about all aspects of your trip if you've time...

Kavey
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 29th, 2003, 03:33 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 80
Also would like to hear about your trip. We are in the process of planning a trip and are curious about places and expeeriences. Especially wondering about a safari in South Africa, Kenya or Botswana.
critch is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 30th, 2003, 10:34 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 983
We are booked into the Namib-Naukluft Lodge next May, so I would love to hear all about those accommodations and their excursions to the dunes.
Celia is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 31st, 2003, 04:28 AM
  #5
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 318
Hello all:

Kavey: if you give me your email address I can send you some stills we took with my husband's digital camcorder. We are also in the process of scanning the regular photos and will have them up on a web site soon.

Celia: The Namib Naukluft Lodge is great. The food is wonderful as are the staff. Rooms are not luxurious but very clean and comfortable. They have a well so you can drink the water. They offer a shuttle service where they picked us up at Windhoek Airport. The only negative thing was that it is a LONG drive on unpaved bumpy roads (3.5 hours). If you have the money, I would try and fly in to the lodge. We were on a budget so we did the shuttle but it made for long days.

The Lodge is about 1 hour from the gate to Sossusvlei. So, you will have to get up at 4 am to get to the entrance to Sossusvlei for dawn. It is still another hour in the park to get to the dunes. You get back to the lodge about 1:30 pm. I know there is a lodge right at the entrance to the park but it is more expensive (Wilderness Lodge?).

There aren't really any other excrusions so three days is enough (one day trip to the dunes). There are other activities you can do if you stay at the lodge near the park such as hot air ballooning or ultralight aircraft.

Send me your email addresses and I will send you a more detailed trip report of the entire trip.

Lisa
jacolis is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 31st, 2003, 04:58 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,182
Dear Lisa
My initial contact email is [email protected] - but because this is hotmail it has little space in the inbox to receive photos.
I can't post my company email here incase of future spam so would be grateful if you could contact me on the hotmail account and I could then reply with work address (where I can receive images freely).

THANKS

Re Lodges at Sesriem (Sossusvlei). We didn't stay in WS property (I wish we had as I prefered them) but stayed in Movenpick's property - this is RIGHT outside the gates into the park. The accommodation units are very comfortable and compare well with standard WS tented camps - though they are part brick built - the reason we liked it less was because it had a lot more units and staff and food weren't quite as good. However if someone wants to stay near the park entrance and can't afford WS I would suggest checking prices here.
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 2nd, 2003, 06:39 PM
  #7
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 318
Hello all:

We have put an initial set of pictures on-line at the following URLs:

Namibia:
http://members2.photofun.com/dms666/Namibia

Botswana:
http://members2.photofun.com/dms666/Botswana


Cheers!
jacolis is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 2nd, 2003, 07:51 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 35
Lisa:
Thanks for posting the great pictures!! By the way, I know you wrote that you went to Gametrackers Lodges, but at which one did you photgraph the cheetahs?
With your pictures you just rekindled my desire to go on safari in Botswana. We leave April 30.
Thanks again.
Joey
Joey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 2nd, 2003, 07:56 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 35
Lisa:
Sorry to post again so soon. But I forgot to ask. What kind of camera did you use?
Thanks,
Joey
Joey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 2nd, 2003, 11:26 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,182
Lisa
Lovely! Thanks for sharing!
I went to the Destinations Show at London's Olympia exhibition centre yesterday - even though my next trip to Bots/Namib is booked for 2004 it was hard not to linger at the Africa travel operator stands. I also got a great deal to subscribe to the Travel Africa magazine - It's cover price is £4.25 and I've bought it a couple of times over the last year - its out once a quarter but I can only find it stocked at Stamfords in central london. The offer was for a year (4 issues) for £15, plus a new guidebook (I chose South Africa Bradt guide from their list) plus a back issue - because it was the end of the last day he offered two back issues so he didn't have to take any back - I couldnt choose so he let me have 3!!
Lots of fun reading to do!!
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 3rd, 2003, 05:16 AM
  #11
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 318
This is Lisa's husband, Darryl, responding....

The pictures of the cheetahs were taken inside the Moremi game reserve. We were staying at Gametracker's Khwai River Lodge (just outside the Moremi Game Reserve).

I took these pictures using a digital camcorder. Sony's DCRPC101 takes 1 Megapixel still shots. I found the quality to be reasonable in spite of the low pixel count.

More impressive, however, is the video footage I shot. I edited down the raw video from 3 hours of digital video to just the highlights in mpeg format (DVD-format to come at some point).

I still haven't gotten around to scanning and uploading the 35mm pictures yet. When I do, I'll be sure to let everyone know.


Cheers,

Darryl.
jacolis is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 3rd, 2003, 09:04 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,182
Darryl
Would you believe over a year and a half after our trip we still haven't done that job - editting down the digicamcorder footage!
Well done to you!
Wish we could see that too but I suspect the file sizes are too big to load to web or send via email...
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 5th, 2003, 03:12 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 304
It sounds like you had an amazing trip. Now,I can hardly wait for mine. What did you do while in Cape Town? And what was you thoughts about the places you visited there?
Dottie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 8th, 2003, 05:03 PM
  #14
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Lisa...I am high bidder on the exact same trip!!! I still have to see if my bid is accepted as it does not meet the reserve price (opening bid started at $3000 and mine was a few hundred more but not meeting reserve).
I figure if I bought the same trip that it would cost me, for the lodging and meals alone, close to $5000.
Anyway, thanks for posting those wonderful pictures. I, too, took some great pictures last year during my time at Matetsi Game Lodge in Zimbabwe (right on the Zambezi River, 35 miles upstream from Victoria Falls) and at Singita in the Sabi Sand Reserve in South Africa.
This year, however, I am not able or willing to spend the kind of money that it took to stay at Singita and for about the same price as three nights at Singita will stay the four nights at the Orient Express lodges in Botswana AND four nights at the Mount Nelson Hotel (stayed there last year along with the Table Bay) AND a two night stay at the Westcliff. Cannot even believe that all meals and beverages are included. Even with air, and a 3-4 night stay in Europe to begin the trip, I will end up saving abut $3000 this year for a trip the exact same length in time and quality.
PLEASE tell me how you handled the air portion of your trip. I am considering buying separate R/T tickets from Los Angeles to Europe (Madrid or Amsterdam) and then a separate R/T ticket between Europe and South Africa. However, that still leaves the challenge of Botswana. Did you fly on Botswana Air??? If so, did you find any other alternative. Also, did you follow the trip sequence, exactly as planned???
Although I am leaning towards a short stay in Madrid or Amsterdam, I haven't ruled out the possibility of staying a little longer in Cape Town instead.
Thank you so much for sharing your trip.
Last year I bought my trip on skyauction.com but it was really a budget trip that I completely upgraded and by the time I upgraded all my lodging (from the Cape Manor Hotel to the Table Bay Hotel and from the Kruger Rest Camp to Singita), it doubled the price of the trip. Plus, an additional four nights at the Mount Nelson and Zimbabwe were completely on my own.
I was thrilled to read about luxurylink.com in Conde Nast Traveler a few months ago and this will be my first experience with them.
Please let me know what you did about the air and if you followed the exact sequence. It almost seems like it would make more sense to stay in Johannesburg first, go to Botswana next and then complete the trip in Cape Town.
Thanks again.
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 9th, 2003, 08:53 AM
  #15
LizFrazier
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Rocco-
Welcome back. I learn more from reading two or three of your posts then I do in two or three months using search engines.
Kavey started a thread here titled usefull websites for Africa and put some of her favorite Africa sites. I would be real happy if you would add to that and post a few of yours. The Sabi Sand map was such an insight to how these camps operate and the Luxury Link is another good one. Thanks for your help. Liz
 
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


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:20 PM.