Botswana fly-in safari itinerary input please

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Feb 27th, 2012, 04:24 AM
  #1
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Botswana fly-in safari itinerary input please

Hello
We are currently planning our first trip to Africa. Main focus will be a fly-in safari in Botswana. Timing will be early May. We are very interested in photography and definitely hope to have some big cat sightings.

One itinerary proposal we are considering is:
3 nights Camp Kalahari
3 nights Nxabega
2 nights Selinda
2 nights Ngoma

Main questions we have are:
- for early May, which is a better experience Central Kalahari GR or Makgadikgadi Pans?
- what is average transit time between the Nxabega, Selinda and Ngoma camps?
- is 2 nights at each of Selinda and Ngoma too few? Will this leave us feeling rushed?
- safari vehicles - have read different things about seating configurations - 2 rows vs 3 rows. Anybody know what above listed camps are using?

Feel free to share suggestions! Thanks very much!
LaurRiv is offline  
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Feb 27th, 2012, 11:41 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,215
My experience with Botswana is very limited, and I would certainly like more. I have been on several safaris in four other countries and also have photography as a big interest. So, regarding specifically photography on safari, you need to be able to go off road in your vehicle to find the best angle of view and lighting (of subject). In many reserves off roading is not permitted and this severely limits photography. Here is safari country recommendation from a professional photographer and group leader. He covers Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa.
http://www.bythom.com/botswanaworkshop2.htm

Also, your game drive guide/ranger is the most important element in your safari enjoyment/experience and photography. A private, your own not shared, game drive vehicle will make sure you spend your time seeing what you want to see. And regarding number of nights in camp, I prefer to spend at least three nights at each camp. Changing camps can use a lot of time (and $$$) that is better used for game drives.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
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Feb 27th, 2012, 03:16 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Hi LaurRiv,

Botswana is beautiful in May; I've been there in May for each of the last three years! You should have a wonderful trip.
Responding to your questions...

Main questions we have are:
- for early May, which is a better experience Central Kalahari GR or Makgadikgadi Pans?
> Central Kalahari GR is typically better in early May for wildlife photography than Makgadikgadi
- what is average transit time between the Nxabega, Selinda and Ngoma camps?
> I believe it's about 50-60 min flight between Nxabega and Selinda. Time between Selinda and Ngoma depends on where you are flying into. If into Kasane airport from Selinda and them ground transport into Ngoma, the total travel time should be (if memory serves me correctly) about 2-2 1/2 hours combined ground and air.
- is 2 nights at each of Selinda and Ngoma too few? Will this leave us feeling rushed?
> If getting great images is your goal, then 3 nights at each camp is preferable to two.
- safari vehicles - have read different things about seating configurations - 2 rows vs 3 rows. Anybody know what above listed camps are using?
> I believe all the above camps use 3 row vehicles, and that is preferable from a photographer's standpoint.

Are you interested in just getting great pictures on safari or do you want to take a safari catering to photographers that includes expert (generally professional photographers) conducting evening photography workshops and in-field guidance on improving nature/wildlife photography skills. If the latter, then have you considered looking into a photography workshop safari?

If the former, Tom's comments about hiring a private game drive vehicle are spot on.

In interest of full disclosure, I am the Botswana Tourism representative in North America. Feel free to contact BTO-USA office at [email protected] if you have nay other questions.

Enjoy your safari!
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Feb 28th, 2012, 02:26 PM
  #4
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Thanks for each of these very helpful responses!
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