Botswana family trip finally coming together!

Sep 2nd, 2007, 04:28 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
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Botswana family trip finally coming together!

Planning a safari is so hard!! There are so many choices. As I have posted many times, we are a family group, DH, and kids and DS and her son. Trying to get everyone's schedules together is close to impossible. I thought I had done it, then a hitch came up, no one would bend. Plus, our trip had morphed into something that we just could not afford. So, close to tears, I canceled the trip.

Then, Vanessa at Eyes on Africa came up with an alternate plan! YAY!!!

So, instead of August '08, we are off Dec. '08. The kids are very worried that Santa won't find them, but I said that we could work something out. I think in this case he might come early, I know the guy, and he's pretty nice

So, here is our new itinerary:

21 Dec 2008: Arrive Johannesburg - 1 Night at The Metcourt Laurel Hotel -

22 Dec 2008: Start of your 7 Night / 8 Day Green Desert Expedition - fully serviced camping

29 Dec 2008: 2 Nights Lebala Camp

31 Dec 2008: Vic Falls - 1 Night at The Kingdom Hotel

01 Jan 2009: Home to the states - back to school, back to work - Boo Hoo!!

One thing that I do not understand about these safaris is I guess that a ground operator arranges the trip? Because many TA's and tour operators (if I am using those names correctly) seem to have the exact same trip - EofA has their Green Desert, but so does Wilderness and many others. So, I am trying to go with independent camps, but I may not be. Is it a cost savings for all the TA's to use the same trips? Whatever, I think this should be a fun trip!!! There are activities and fun for everyone.
Momliz is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2007, 04:45 PM
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Momliz, I ran into this same confusion about "the same trip" being offered by many different sources. I think what is going on is that these are pre-scheduled itineraries run by Wilderness Safaris and offered for sale through a number of TA outlets. I am using EoA for an upcoming trip in October (my first) that will include the WS "Migration Routes" package.
rickmck is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2007, 05:34 PM
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Congratulations on putting your trip together! looks good....

You will love Lebala camp, but, two nights is very insufficient! but, that's just me......

HariS is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2007, 06:04 PM
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Hi Hari,
Yes, I know two nights is not enough! But, there were so many variables to juggle in putting together this trip - and a vary major one was price. Hence the pre-packaged green desert trip with scheduled departures - and with the kids school schedules we are very restricted as to when we can go. So, 2 nights will just give us a tantalizing taste. This trip is coming in at less than half of the price of the dream trip that I had planned in August. Money talks...
Momliz is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2007, 06:09 PM
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Still sounds fantastic, Momliz... you and the family will hv a great trip! Please post brief game sightings descriptions on return.

HariS is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2007, 05:14 AM
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Sounds great. I'd like to hear about the Green Desert trip.
amolkarnik is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2007, 07:22 AM
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Momliz: It must feel great to have a plan on the books now, looks like an exciting itinerary that covers much more of the diverse areas of Botswana than most people ever cover. It seems that your group size will fill up most of the available spots on the trip, do you know how many additional people can be added to your group? Finish at Lebala will be a good way to end in your richest wildlife area.

Rickmck is correct that Wilderness Safaris is the ground operator and has a number of different packaged itineraries such as your Green Desert Expedition. Every agent that works with WS can offer these itineraries so the same trip would be available through each of their authorized booking agents. It gets confusing as the agents often word it in a way that sounds like the agent themselves operates the trip and there is often no mention of Wilderness Safaris.
PredatorBiologist is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2007, 09:05 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 875
That is fantastic news! Wonderful that Vanessa could put together an alternate plan for 2008. It looks like a diverse itinerary, and ends with Lebala! Have a fantastic time.
Dana_M is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2007, 09:14 AM
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When I read the title, I was hoping it was yours.

I heard Santa will be on Safari in 2008, so no worries there.

You'll have a great trip with lots of time to plan and get excited about it.

Predator and Rickmck have explained the Wilderness ground operator and TA marketing agent set up.

Even 2 weeks at Lebala or any of the Botswana camps may not be enough! I know you'll enjoy the time you have.
atravelynn is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2007, 12:42 PM
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This middle man thing is annoying - especially since WS won't deal with us, the consumer. I mean, I'm glad that TA's are making a living, especially these days with other commissions being cut. But, it must make trips more expensive to us, as well as it makes it difficult to figure out just who does what. I did want to stick with independent lodges, but I'm not. WS does seem to have the most trips and lodges, so it makes it tough to get away from them. Although, I guess they aren't such a bad company - their website does mention what they do for the community, and they do a lot. It's just the principle of the thing...
Momliz is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2007, 12:51 PM
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BTW, what guide should I ask for at Xigera? I will try for Charles or Spencer at Lebala. Of course, that's assuming that any of them are still at their lodges Xmas '08 - that is a while off...
Momliz is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2007, 06:14 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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I hope to be guided by Spencer end Sept/into October at Lebala.......
HariS is offline  
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