botswana camps

Old Nov 7th, 2006, 01:20 PM
  #121  
 
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I have not been to S. Luangwa so I may be incorrect with this but my impression is it is more heavily vegetated with less open area than is typical in the best dog viewing areas of Botswana. The open expanses of the Linyanti/Selinda/Kwando area make it easier to spot dogs and then of course it is sometimes possible to follow them on hunts, etc. making it the best place to observe them. It sounds like the dogs in S.L. appear out of the mopane like ghosts and then vanish again. Kaingo, and the southern Bush Camps seem to have the most regular viewing with kills even right around camps ocassionally but I think it remains very hit or miss. I believe the researcher, Kellie Leigh, is leading a dog week safari for Robin Pope safaris which utilizing telemetery equipment is probably the best available trip (I think it runs in March)for dogs in Zambia. As John points out I think most people want to come during the high months of August and September for the diversity of species and that is when the dogs are being secretive and denning in the mopane woodlands making the high season the hardest time to find them. Using telemetery to locate dens may change that in the future.

Right now I think there is no doubt that Botswana is the place to see dogs in action in the wilderness. Hopefully their status in Zambia continues to grow and sightings become much more frequent.
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Old Nov 7th, 2006, 06:31 PM
  #122  
 
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"I have not been to S. Luangwa so I may be incorrect with this but my impression is it is more heavily vegetated with less open area than is typical in the best dog viewing areas of Botswana. The open expanses of the Linyanti/Selinda/Kwando area make it easier to spot dogs..."- Pred

Makes sense. I love wide open space, and I think Selinda has much more of it than its neighbours. My visits to Lagoon and Savuti were shorter but I didn't see the same vastness of floodplain grassland in those places. I'm looking forward to the change of scene I'll experience in the Kaingo area. I'm hoping to go there as much for the different scenery as for anything else.

John
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Old Nov 7th, 2006, 07:27 PM
  #123  
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John,

True....but, who knows with 80 dogs and growing in the South Luangwa, things may change. Also, dont the dogs like to hunt around the camps in Botswana? They like to flush impalas out of thickets and chase them around and into the camp areas, confusing them.....maybe this will happen in the South Luangwa in time to come....

I'm sure you will get plenty of fantastic pictures at Kaingo both from the hides and from the vehicle.

But, yes.....at the moment Northen Botswana has to be the best destination for the dogs. I fully concur.

Hari
 
Old Nov 13th, 2006, 03:28 PM
  #124  
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Hello again,
Most of my trip seems to be coming together and I think I've narrowed my TA's down to 2.

Questions;
If one's desire is to see the falls only is one night enough?

My idea, although not logistically ideal, is to start at the falls, do the canoe trip at Mana pools and then go to Botswana with an extension in the desert. If I do opt for the desert it will be at the Sans due to cost.

My question is; Would it be more practical and logistically more appropriate to give up the desert and to just add a bit of extra time before or after Mana pools in Zimbabwe?

The flights,times and logistics of this part of the trip are completely puzzling to me. It seems as if I do opt to go to the desert prior to the delta I would have to go back down to Johansburg - true?

As always, any help is appreciated:
Sherry
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Old Nov 13th, 2006, 03:46 PM
  #125  
 
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Sherry: one night at Vic Fall is fine if you just want to see the falls. I did that before and it was plenty of time.

That itinerary sounds outstanding. San Camp should be reachable from Maun and probably Kasane too so I don't think you will need to go via Joburg but I'm not knowledgeable on transfers from Mana Pools area so I'd defer to anyone who is. Bottom line is that is where the agent becomes valuable. With this board as a planning resource its pretty easy to pick your own camps but the details of getting you all transferred around is where the agents expertise should be a huge help -- I'd stick with what you want to do and let them figure out how to make it happen. If that comes back as an issue than you can reconsider it but I don't think you should have a problem with that plan.
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Old Nov 13th, 2006, 07:16 PM
  #126  
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Sherry,

I agree with PB, if you just want to see the falls one night is good enough.

About a Zim safari in addition to Bots....once again, depends on how much time you have for the entire trip. You know my theory....the more you shuttle around the more luck you need for great sightings....

Perhaps, you can put down your itinerary as recommended by your TA's and get feed back from these boards- if you want to....

Hari
 
Old Nov 14th, 2006, 06:20 AM
  #127  
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Thanks.
I'm guessing that I'll fly with KLM from Boston - ? - Johannasburg

1n. - Southern Sun

1n. - Ilala - Vic. falls

3n. - Mana Pools - Zimb. canoeing/walking

????? EXTENSION in Zimbabwe OR
2n. - Sans

5n. - Ziblianjo

3n. - L. Vumbura

5n. Chitabe Trails

??? 2n. Sans extension if not Zimbabwe

Homeward bound.

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Old Nov 14th, 2006, 06:25 AM
  #128  
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Posted to soon.
The above that are in bold are so far added to the agenda.
I'm tossing around staying a few days longer in Zimbabwe rather than going to the Sans. My 2 reasons which I'm trying to justify are more dog ((&)) time and I'm not sure I want the Sans to be my final destination in Botswana. Sounds crazy, I know.
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Old Nov 14th, 2006, 06:52 AM
  #129  
 
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If you do more time in Zim, especially with the dog focus you should probably stay somewhere in Hwange. Dennis's report will soon give you a better idea of that. Personally I love the desert and the variety it brings and combined with your Zim canoeing, Selinda area, and Delta would give you such diverse coverage but for more traditional wildlife opportunites and viewing adding Hwange would be ideal. It will be an amazing trip either way.
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Old Nov 14th, 2006, 07:39 AM
  #130  
 
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One more vote for just one night at Vic Falls based on your expectations. You may get to see some of the animals convalescing that Dennis encountered if you are at Ilala.

If you have 2 nights to play with and you're deciding between Zim and San, then I'd go for San. I was there in Aug 2005 and it is a fascinating & beautiful place with meerkats that are not available elsewhere. If you could fit another day in there for 3 nights, then I'd do Hwange for 3 instead of San.
I don't think I'd try Hwange for 2 nights though.

Ending with San is a consideration. I encountered a woman who ended with San and happened to do my exact itinerary in reverse. She remarked that she would have preferred to start at San with the sparsest game and end in Linyanti or Chitabe with more game. On the other hand, the folks at San said after guests are "safaried out" it is nice to come to San and ride the quad bikes and look for ancient tools, etc. A San finale will probably not be a wildlife extravaganza finale, unless meerkats are at the top of your list. They were really cool and in my book a fitting grand finale.

Starting your Botswana itinerary in San would be ideal. Oh my goodness, what a spectacular 3 weeks!



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Old Nov 14th, 2006, 12:58 PM
  #131  
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sherry:
It sounds as if it is really coming together.
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Old Nov 14th, 2006, 04:25 PM
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Sherry,

Would you mind emailing me at your convenience? I wanted to ask you a question or two. Thanks.

[email protected]
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Old Nov 14th, 2006, 05:37 PM
  #133  
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Sherry,

I like the way your trip is shaping up....i agree with Lynn. San for two nights or Hwange for a minimum of 3. Costs wise- i would think it is easy to get to Hwange from the falls, vs a more expensive transfer at San. That said, i loved my time at Jack's camp back in 2004.

5 nights at Zib sounds good. 5 nights at Chitabe...i have never been there, but it is meant to be awesome....

Hari
 
Old Nov 14th, 2006, 06:34 PM
  #134  
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Appreciate your insights.
I've got some real #'s on my extensions coming in soon which may help me decide. I'm down to 2 companies (I think)and need to compare apples with apples.

Although I do know it will be less costly to extend in Zimb. in lieu of the desert, I may lose diversity and be setting myself up for a huge let down if the dogs don't show anywhere. I just need to convince myself of this.

Another option that has been mentioned is skipping Zimb. entirely including the canoe trip to do the Xigera Mokoro and walking trail. Although it's probably nice, it sounds kind of sedate, as I think only the guide poles. I also think I may feel hemmed in if the reeds are high. Are these trips nicer than I think?
Sorry to ramble.
Sherry
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Old Nov 14th, 2006, 07:07 PM
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Sherry,

I did Xigera (but 10 years ago). Don't know if it has changed much. I'm pretty sure the camp location has changed though. It was fairly sedate, but interesting-- as you would expect on your first African safari i.e. not to be missed. We had a mixture of game drives (saw lion, close encounters with elephant), walks on islands (saw elephant, lechwe, crocs etc), and mekoro and motor boat voyages (birds, hippos, brief glimpse of sitatunga). The mekoro trips were on both narrow channels (reeds fairly high sometimes but not overpoweringly so) and on big open stretches of water, and both were interrupted by island walks. A lot of fun, but I'm not likely to do it again.

John
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Old Nov 14th, 2006, 07:50 PM
  #136  
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Sherry,

You are likely to do some mokoro time at Little Vumbura anyways. For walking, i'm sure you can schedule some walks at both Chitabe and Zibalianja....the mokoros are very relaxed and extremely sedate. It's just to take in the atmosphere of the delta. I think a mokoro one time is an essential experience. That said, i dont think i will do another mokoro ride....i prefer the jeeps.

Dogs, you are giving yourself a great chance at both Zib and Chitabe. If they are in the area, they will find them for you. They are so endangered that it's always going to be a luck of the draw....

Hari

 
Old Nov 14th, 2006, 08:29 PM
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Regarding Xigera Camp and the Mokoro/Walking Trail:

1. The camp is still in the same place it was when you visted John. It has however changed in that it was on the ground (much like Little Vumbura) back then and was upgraded to walkways and larger tents about 1999/2000 if I remember correctly. A pool was also added and the main area was upgraded with a bar, etc.

2. The Mokoro Trail is no longer offered on custom itineraries. It is now only available as part of the following safaris (or for small groups upon specific request):
The Botswana and Namibia Epic Safari
Untamed Lands Safari
Migration Routes Safari

Regards,
James
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Old Nov 14th, 2006, 09:00 PM
  #138  
 
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Thanks James. I knew something had changed about the camp, but mistakenly thought it was location.

John
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Old Nov 15th, 2006, 09:09 AM
  #139  
 
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I've been to Little Vumbura and Chitabe. Great places. Mombo is the place to see it all. We saw a mother leopard carring a cub. We were able to get very close. Duba Plains had the dogs which are amazing to track and watch. I'be been to Africa three times and Botswana was our favorite area.
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Old Nov 15th, 2006, 02:01 PM
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While I'm waiting for the rest of my revised quotes, I'm wondering if you can help me with room (tent) rec. at:
Ilana
Zibliango
L.Vumbura
Chitabe Trails - if I recall, C. trails sounded a bit more intimate than Chitabe - true? Also, there's 2 hides which I'd like to do 1 n. at - is one better than another?
I'm hoping that the benifit of booking this far ahead may enable me to get the room I want. I'm hoping for rooms with nice views and away from (people)noise or anything else you may think is a bother.
I'm still on the fence about the Sans.
Thanks ahead;
Sherry
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