botswana camps

Old Oct 29th, 2006, 02:24 PM
  #21  
 
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Sherry,

Sorry, I missed the other question: 4 days enough at Zib? How long is a piece of string? My personal belief: no. It depends so much on the individual preference. I know hari likes to spend a lot of time at one place- I suspect you could offer him three months at Kwando Lebala and the only limitations to his immediate acceptance would be how much you asked him to pay and whether his boss would give him the time off. Similarly, I would love to live and work at Zib for a very long stretch. Some people, though, can't stand more than a day or two in one place and like to flit from one camp to another. The least time I've ever spent in the Selinda concession was about a week, and the absolute minimum I would give any good safari camp <i><b>anywhere</b></i> would be three nights-- in fact, three nights minimum for any camp I'm trying for the first time, because it's unreasonable to make a judgment based on a shorter stay.

John
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Old Oct 29th, 2006, 03:09 PM
  #22  
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Wow, what incredible pictures, John. I madly looked at all your photos first all while thinking, this guy has to be a professional as these are some of the best photos I've seen. I was right.

You truly captured the essense of each location. You also managed to capture wildlife expressions and details right down to the claws of those cheetah beauties. You seemed to capture the victories and pain of the lions as well - that downed elephant was downright freakish, I actual thought it was something else at first.

I usually don't get goofy over sunrises/sunsets but your elephants in the water with the perfect amount of light is stunning.
Now I understand why your mad about Africa
Thanks;
Sherry
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Old Oct 29th, 2006, 03:55 PM
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Sherry,

Far from professional; just very enthusiastic amateur. I set out to show what I love (wildlife in general, not just African) and it pleases me greatly if the demonstration succeeds to entertain and inform.

You have my best wishes in researching and settling on your final itinerary.

John

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Old Oct 29th, 2006, 05:24 PM
  #24  
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John,

Believe it or not.....3 months will be overkill....if i'm not able to start running every morning after a shortish break (couple weeks) i'm not pleasant to be around......

Hari
 
Old Oct 29th, 2006, 05:57 PM
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Hari,

What a pity

I think I could take three months, but I'd like to be a useful resident...helping out with game counts and doing other work, as long as I wasn't depriving anybody else of a job.

Depending on the camp, you could probably organise a daily run and remain a nice bloke to be around

John
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Old Oct 29th, 2006, 06:51 PM
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Cybor,
If you have a couple of weeks and you want to visit several regions, then 4 nights is good. I also like longer stays, but am usually pleased with 4 nights. I agree 3 should be the minimum under most circumstances, even though many typical itineraries stay 2 nights.

&quot;Why does Mombo seem to have such productive sightings?&quot; It is on Chief's Island which is its own little world. Chief's Camp, also on Chief's Island has really good sightings as well from what I've heard. While Moremi is a great game area it is the fact the Mombo is on Chief's Island that makes it so outstanding.

&quot;Will the rhinos eventually be able to roam out of the concession?&quot; I know they have made it to Chitabe, but were brought back to Chief's Island. I would think the plan would be disbursement once the numbers allow it.

&quot;how easy is it to 4x4 out of L. Vumbura? Do the floods hinder any activities?&quot; Since you boat from LV to your vehicle, you have the same land activities as Vumbura. Even with higher floods there is plenty of dry land to drive on. July-Aug will be fine.

&quot;I'm assuming that the mokuru rides are more for the beauty of nature with an animal sighting as an additional bonus, no?&quot; That is right and that is why I like about one of these but want the bulk of my time in a vehicle. They are the best way to see those colorful little frogs on the reeds.

&quot;Does one generally see as much productive wildlife sightings when walking?&quot; Less wildlife, but it can be exciting. I prefer to do just a little walking in Botswana because the game drives have such potential. I like major walking in areas where I don't feel like I'm giving up as much to do a walk.

At Chitabe I think you can drive to and from the hide. Walking at least one of the directions would be worthwhile, I believe, but is not necessary.

Sandibe vs. Chitabe: When I was there, I was told Sandibe had to get special permission to visit the dog den that we went to all the time. I never saw their vehicle at the den and I remained at Chitabe 8 nights and went to the dogs every chance possible. I don't know the details--if sometimes the dogs den on Sandibe land and the rules reverse or if Wilderness owns more of the concession so Chitabe has a greater area, or what. But Sandibe did not see dogs during my stay in 8-2005 and everybody at Chitabe did.

Booking: You could also ask to work with Andre or Sherry, if she is still there at AAC. Or you could go to Nicky at Eyes on Africa since she is a former Wilderness employee. She definitely won't scare you! My next trip is with her and I'll use AAC again too. I really liked Bert of Fish Eagle Safaris and he had good pricing. I have not gone with him, but would consider it.

Your planning and eventual report will be a good education for many.

If I could stay 3 months at a good camp, I'd make do with knee bends, push ups and tai chi and forego the aerobics for a spell. I'd even do dishes!

One guide told me they would drive next to a guest if s/he wanted to jog along the airstrip. Don't know if that would cost extra or not but it would be monotonous.

Skimmer,
Are you named after the pride? Did you indicate that late July and early Aug is not a good time for dogs at Kwando? What is the best time, then, in your opinion?

I noted your Duba comments with interest. They echo what another Fodorite told me before I went to Duba--the only person I could find that had Duba experience when I was seeking it. They agree with my conclusions on Duba, including when is a good time to go.

I have to tell you that last August there were 4 giraffe spotted that must have ventured over from Vumbura. They caused immense radio chatter and excitement.
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Old Oct 29th, 2006, 06:57 PM
  #27  
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The huge elephant herds in the area (edgy ones, at that) would make me not consider the thought.

However, i was reading an article in Runner's world some months ago.....Jeff Corwin the TV host (who is a runner) was doing some running during a trip to South America and while in the amazon...he found the spoor of a jaguar over his shoe prints (he assumes he was being stalked!!!)while running.

Hari
 
Old Oct 29th, 2006, 07:32 PM
  #28  
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Lynn,

I would assume Skimmer was referring to the Selinda pack....that has been denning outside the Kwando concession in recent times. Usually, if they den in Zib or Duma Tau......they dont get into Kwando until maybe, the pups are old enough to move the distance....

You always have a shot to see the Lagoon Pack. But, that's near Lagoon camp.......

hari
 
Old Oct 29th, 2006, 07:49 PM
  #29  
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I spoke to Bert at Fish Eagle when I first started doing my research for our trip and really liked him also. Of the several U.S. agents I spoke to, he was definitely the most informative and helpful. I wound up using a SA TA, but have friends who used him and spoke highly of his services. He is South African and has been doing safari agenting for over 15 years.
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Old Oct 29th, 2006, 08:39 PM
  #30  
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Lynn,

I am not named after the Skimmer pride and seeing four giraffes at Duba must be a rare sighting.

Sherry,

Seeing the dogs at Kwando is still possible but the sightings are not that frequent anymore like they used to be in the past. (even at Lagoon)

So when the dogs are not denning in the Kwando concession I consider seeing the dogs there in July/August a very difficult task. But it's still a fantastic area with so many other sightings on offer.

At Little Vumbura you can still have a good experience in July/August but depending on the water levels some interesting places would be difficult to reach. Personnaly I think that area is more interesting before the big floods arrive.

Mombo, which lies on Chief's island as very fertile soil I think which attract lots of herbivores and their counterparts (predators). Chief's camp, I would only consider to go to if the floods have recided. Gameviewing in their part of the island, is less abundant than at Mombo.




 
Old Oct 30th, 2006, 04:50 AM
  #31  
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Thanks.
Your responses to L. Vumbura and Duba seem luke warm for the end July and beginning of August which I'm assuming is the best time to see dogs, if not, I can go at another time if rec..

I'm pretty sure that Chitabe and Zib. will remain on my list - do you think I should stay longer at each camp or should I pick up a 3rd place for more diversity? Is there another camp/area that I'm missing? I still think I will add the falls and possibly a Zimb. canoe trip at the end.
This is my 1st visit to Bots.,btw.
Sherry
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Old Oct 30th, 2006, 04:55 AM
  #32  
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Sherry,

Don't be pre-set on the dogs. There is always an outside chance that you will miss them. Following reasons, that particular year-the pack may choose to den in a different area than normal, sometimes they may re-locate the den and it may take the guides a few days to locate it etc etc.,

Really by being fixated on one thing (in your case, the dogs) you are setting yourself up for possible disappointment.....but, i hope you see plenty of dogs.

You mentioned Zib, i am hoping to see them in early June....but, wont be upset if they choose to not be around.

Hari
 
Old Oct 30th, 2006, 04:58 AM
  #33  
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Sherry,

Being your first bots trip- i would recommend atleast two nights in a delta camp that offers water activities. Mokoro is a one time &quot;must-do&quot;, just to experience the delta scenery. Choices include, Little Vumbura, Jacana, Kwara etc etc.,

Hari
 
Old Oct 30th, 2006, 05:18 AM
  #34  
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Sherry,

One more thing....that said, i appreciate the fact that you should make your plan centered around the best possible areas for wild dog....

Hari
 
Old Oct 30th, 2006, 05:37 AM
  #35  
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Hi Hari,
Yes, I'm prepared for the dogs being elusive. If missed, I'll have to go back Have you been to Jacara or Kwara?
Thanks
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Old Oct 30th, 2006, 11:50 AM
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Cybor

I took three trips to Botswana with dogs being the aim before I got good enough information to even have a chance of getting it right. At least coming here, you are giving your self the best chance. Ironically on one trip which included Mala Mala followed by Botswana, we saw the dogs at Mala Mala and not at the other locations specifically chosen.
Please go prepared to enjoy everything and see dogs as the huge bonus, good luck, gift from God, insert phrase here, that they are.
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Old Oct 30th, 2006, 11:51 AM
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In late June we saw dogs four days out of 6 at Mombo and followed them hunting three times. Though our itinerary at first site would have had Duma Tau as the best place to see them. We did see them there once.
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Old Oct 30th, 2006, 01:22 PM
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Hi Matt,
Well I'll try not to sulk too much if I miss the pups. If I see a bonus sable, leopard or if the beauty of the delta is even close to the images that I've seen, I guess I can get over it. If I find myself getting to obsessed I could go to Madiwke (sp.) Think I'll try to find your pictures to hold me over.
Such dilemmas!
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Old Oct 30th, 2006, 01:39 PM
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&quot;Yes, I'm prepared for the dogs being elusive. If missed, I'll have to go back &quot;

Sherry,

That's the best part about missing something you want to see I'm glad you're being a realist.

I've just finished doing some research on the den locations of the Selinda pack in recent years. I posted some of the results in another thread recently (Wild Dogs - DumaTau). Now I've confirmed that the pack has denned in the Zibalianja area every year except two since 2000. They denned outside the concession in 2004 and this year, but were still seen regularly in both years. Their den was in Zib territory in 2000 but we were unlucky on our trip and missed seeing them! In 2002, the den was 500 metres from camp (we saw them, and could have done so on a daily basis for almost as long as we liked); in 2003, it was 800 metres from camp; there were regular sightings in 2004, but once again we were unlucky and missed out. So, as you're aware, you can't be guaranteed to see them. The den this year was in Duma Tau territory (where Matt saw the dogs), but Lynn was among the lucky people who scored some of the many sightings at the Zib waterhole and elsewhere.

John
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Old Oct 30th, 2006, 02:37 PM
  #40  
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Hi Sherry:
Yes, thinking of a Bots-Namibia trip--but truth be told, it is all in the thinking part right now.
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