botswana best areas/ camps

Jan 6th, 2006, 06:10 PM
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botswana best areas/ camps

Guys has anybody been to cheif's camp in moremi?? What is the difference between mombo and cheifs, looking from the game viewing perspective as they are only 16km apart?? Is it possible to travel between two areas in botswana if they are close by like for example duma plains,mombo and abu areas without flying. Would the camps internally pick u up in the dry season??? I really love cats and am presently planning a trip around september/october to botswana. Which areas are a must and what would be roughly the average sightings of different lions in a day in different areas ?? I would like to spend 10 nights in the delta, concession areas, linyati and kwando. How are the cat sightings in chobe. ATR has not given a good review about chobe, saying that it is very crowded. I donnot mind the crowds as long as I can see a lot of cats. What is the cat density per km in chobe compared to okavango and the other regions in botswana. Please advise and thanks in advance. I have been travelling to east africa often and have recently started studying botswana. I am very excited and thrilled to have found a new destination to explore. I think there are also some lion conservation safaris by the research centre. Has anybody been on them??? Are they good??? Thanks once again,Sonali.
sonali74 is offline  
Jan 6th, 2006, 06:30 PM
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Can you tell me what ATR is and how do I check it out? Website? thank you
susan300 is offline  
Jan 6th, 2006, 06:38 PM
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UK tour op to some countries in Africa. Idiosyncratic in their opinions (they call Ruaha in Tanzania dull, when I know from a regular poster, rsnyder, that it's his second favorite park!). That said, I'll be using them this upcoming June.

A fun website.
Leely is offline  
Jan 6th, 2006, 07:19 PM
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Here is a comment that an agent made to me about Chief's/Mombo's. She said, "You often see Chief's vehicles in the vicinity of Mombo but you don't see Mombo vehicles in the Chief's area."

Then I had a longtime Wilderness guide who used to work at Mombo tell me that there is no difference in game viewing between Mombo and Chief's.

Mombo had some of the most amazing cat sightings I've ever had anywhere (lion, cheetah, leopard, African Wildcat). Never been to Chief's.

Lion density per km would be a good statistic to get. Maybe someone can supply it. Along with lion conservation trips.

I had good lion sightings in Chobe. Stayed in a mobile camp and don't recall crowding to be a problem. Like you, I was probably dwelling on the lions and ignored the crowds.

I think air charters are the norm. I did hear that Duba Plains to Vumbura land transfer can be done later in the dry season. Duba Plains is noted for lions and lion/buffalo encounters. I'll be there in August and will let you know what I see.

Good luck with the safaris planning. I meant it to be plural!
atravelynn is offline  
Jan 6th, 2006, 07:43 PM
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Sonali, You might want to check out Duba Plains - just outside the Moremi area. Here is an excerpt from my travel agent's website:

"Do you want to see lions? Would you enjoy seeing lots of lions? Duba is probably one of the best places in all of Africa to see these cats. The lion concentrations here (along with the Ngorongoro crater in Tanzania) are probably the highest in the world. As the vast open grasslands are often isolated from the mainland by deep waterways, the variety of animals is not as high as in other areas within the Okavango. However, Duba Plains more than makes up for this as it is a high impact game viewing area. We highly recommend this camp for anyone interested in viewing lions and their behavior."

I have not been there but it's worth checking into.
Lin is offline  
Jan 6th, 2006, 08:05 PM
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I have also heard there are large numbers of lions at Duba Plains and that is why I'm staying there for 3 nights in June. National Geographic has filmed there numerous times. ATR advised me not to go there as the lion buffalo encounters can be very gruesome. I booked through another company and didn't take ATR's advice.
raelond is offline  
Jan 6th, 2006, 08:30 PM
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Ok......i'm finally registered on the forums...........Sonali, i know you got an email from me.......

For the rest of you guys.......i'm obsessed with Botswana.....i love Cheetahs..... and although i've been to both Wilderness and Kwando camps. I really was impressed with the Kwando experience. Their guiding standards were top notch.

When i go on safari......i'm not looking for the 7 star gourmet meals laid out by Mombo (although it was awesome!!!). Kwando was perfect for me....great food, great people, guiding outstanding........
Jan 6th, 2006, 11:04 PM
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I have been to Chief's camp last April and saw 65 different lions on a 10 day stay. Like I said before it's a nice place if certain areas can still be reached but from the moment the floods are coming in I wouldn't take it in consideration anymore because of the roads you can use are limited and the area around Mombo is far more fertile than the one around Chief's. Since May 2005 there has been an agreement between both companies not to come close to each other camps anymore and this hasn't change yet (spoke to people who have been there last December). So in the past the gameviewing was +/- similar but not at present. In September/October the price gap between both camps isn't that wide so I would definetely go for Mombo. Although I think september/october 2006 will be fully booked already.

About lion densities, their numbers are changing all the time in certain areas (dependent on flood levels, taking over of prides by new males, ...) Remember it's never guaranteed...

F.e. Steve at Lebala told me that a couple of years ago they had +/- 100 lions in the area. At the moment they have don't have those numbers anymore because a lot of nomadic males going in and out the area which has a huge impact on their numbers (killing cubs,...) It's difficult for males to establish a pride their at the moment.

F.e. I stayed in June 2003 at the Vumbura concession and saw lots of lions, next year same spot I didn't see any but saw several cheetah.

F.e. In the book about Mombo there is a chapter about predators (which species was dominant in which year) and you see that at certain times hyenas or wild dogs were dominant there. At present time it's definetely lions.

If you are interested in lions: I would recommend the following places in Botswana:

- Moremi national park (Khwai river section);
- Chitabe;
- Mombo;
- Duba Plains;
- Duma Tau/Savuti (Linyanti)
- Savuti.
(not particularly in that order)


Jan 6th, 2006, 11:14 PM
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Thanks Johan, Please tell me which is the best months to spot lions in botswana and where in which areas can u spot them. I think april is low season. I am not sure and when does the flooding occur in the okavango. Which months are to be definately avoided???for lion spotting??? Thanks,Sonali.
sonali74 is offline  
Jan 6th, 2006, 11:44 PM
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If interested in lions I should avoid the rainy season (from Mid November - March) for most of the areas. Floods are at their highest in wintertime (depending on rain level in the highlands of Angola). I would recommend to go late September/early Oktober for lion spotting as floods are normally reciding that time of year.

The 3 spots I would go to that time of year if interested in lions are the following:

- Mombo;
- Savuti;
- Duba Plains. (more about this place next week after comments from Wilderness safaris).


Jan 7th, 2006, 12:40 AM
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raelond, What is your itiernary like in june. If you donnot mind why have u chosen june to go to botswana. When should one go to see the maximum amount of lions. Have u been to botswana before and if u have how have your trips been could u send me some details???
sonali74 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2006, 12:53 AM
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Thanks johan, what abour kwando lebala, it is supposed to have alot of predators, but reading your last post they seem to have receded. I just read on the wilderness safaris site that there are 3 prides of lions living in the duma plains area. Any idea what total no. of lions there are at duba plains and also in mombo and savuti how many prides and total amount of members. How would april be to spot lions and which places should I go?? I would definately prefer the low season rates to the high season. Is it possible that if I go in april, may or june I would spot less lions, or there would be more foliage so the sightings would not be very good. Is it possible to see the maximum no of lions without going in the high season months??? Sonali
sonali74 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2006, 01:23 AM
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April, May and June are great times to see lions. The numbers are unpredictable, even in the dry season. The reason Botswana you stay with a sighting for as long as you wish as you want to see animal activity/ you are not particularly looking for many many lions........but in my opinion, as long as you are not traveling during the rainy are likely to see lots of lions......flooding in the delta just means, some of the access roads are cut off and that you may need to use certain areas in particular
Jan 7th, 2006, 01:30 AM
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From my Duba Plains visit in 2004, of the 3 prides of lions. I only saw one pride (the other two were in a remote part of the location, where the land rovers could not access due to the floods). We did see the legendary duba boys which were the main males in the area. We did see the huge herds of buffalo. It is hands down, a great place to see lion-buffalo interaction. Yes, there are 3 prides, but chances are you wont see all 3.

Jan 7th, 2006, 01:45 AM
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Hari, which month did you go to duba plains in ??? And how many nights did u stay and also how many game drives did you take and what was the number count of the lions u saw there on each day and game drive??? I know I am asking alot of questions but hum hindustani haii!!!!
sonali74 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2006, 02:51 AM
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After I get more information about Duba Plains next week, I'll send you my answer.


Jan 7th, 2006, 03:32 AM
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I think I may have responded to you on another thread, but just in case....

Watching the cats is one of the highlights of being on safari for me, and I've chosen my camps accordingly. I would recommend Mombo for overall great predator viewing and Duba Plains for the lion-buffalo encounters. Duma Tau and Savuti, in the Linyanti reserve, are also good for cat sightings (you may also have the chance to see wild dog, which are wonderful animals to watch). I also had a couple of excellent leopard sightings at Little Vumbura, including a wonderful six-month-old cub.

jasher is offline  
Jan 7th, 2006, 04:17 AM
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Thanks johan, keep me posted !!! also johan and julian, In which months have u been to botswana. If u donnot mind could u give me an idea as to which camps u visited in which months and year. And roughly the amount of cats u saw on each day, thanks, Sonali
sonali74 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2006, 05:36 AM
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Our best leopard sightings have been at Mombo both in 2001 and 2004. Lion sightings there have also been good and cheetah ones too though leopard ones are the ones that stood out.

Also had very good cheetah sightings at Savuti plus wonderful wild dog sightings too.

Have seen the big cats at other camps too but these two stand out.
Kavey is offline  
Jan 7th, 2006, 05:52 AM
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Kwando Lebala is still an excellent area for predators. What Johan mentioned is that there are quite a few nomadic males in the area and therefor not so many cubs. During my last visit in October I saw multiple Lions at Lebala but also several sightings of Wild Dog, Cheetah and Leopard. Ontop of this Kwando has a very large population of Hyenas. During the night drives I had several sightings of Wild Cat, Serval, Civet, Genet and Caracal. Kwando is still the home of large numbers of predators

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