Botswana game lodges only

Dec 18th, 2005, 12:43 PM
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Posts: 54
Botswana game lodges only

Would it better better to spend 3 nights in 3 different game lodges in Botwana and skip Kruger or should I do 2 nights 2 different lodges in Botswana and try to get 2 nights at Mala Mala What will I miss out on by skipping Kruger. My itinerary is as follows.

3 nights- Cape Town
2 nights -Victoria Falls
3 nights- Kings Pool -Linyanti
3 nights-Kwetsani-Moremi
3 nights -Mombo

Will I get the same safari experience only going to Botswana. Would welcome all comments on this itinerary. Thanks in advance

elz1 is offline  
Dec 18th, 2005, 01:14 PM
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yor itinerary will give you a chance to see just about anything you want in terms of game viewing. between 3 days at kings pool and 3 days at mombo, you will see it all. the only thing different about Mala Mala is the terrain. it is very different from taht of botswana, but the game viewing will not be compromised by staying in botswana. when are you looking to go?
bigcountry is offline  
Dec 18th, 2005, 01:19 PM
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Elz1: that is a dream trip and I personally would definitely not loose time in Botswana. I believe at a minimum a trip to Botswana should contain a stay in Linyanit/Savuti, Delta, and Moremi area like you have. In a perfect world you would add 2 nights in the Kalahari too but most people don't make that happen.

Mala Mala and Kruger in general would be fantastic but if you drop nights in Botswana and go there for just 2 nights you will really have 2 partial trips tied together instead of one outstanding trip to Botswana done up right -- plus you will waste a lot of transfer time.

I would take that Botswana itinerary and not look back. Do Mala Mala another time on a trip that focuses on South Africa or has more time to do both.
PredatorBiologist is offline  
Dec 18th, 2005, 02:57 PM
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You have a great trip planned. When at King's Pool, try very hard to get either Brian or Chantal as your guide. They are two of the best.
Dlemma is offline  
Dec 19th, 2005, 09:12 AM
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Agree with everyone's comments. I often mix SA with Bots, but I do it because of my love for Mala Mala rather than any practical reasons. Though with the flight schedule I choose I would end up spending a night in Joburg either way.

But unless you have compelling reasons to do both, save SA for another trip.

Kings Pool is wonderful as are Brian and Chantel, be warned with Brian, he is extremely hardcore, your game drives will be the longest and you will have no time to freshen up before dinner. Not a problem for many, but for some it might be too much. He is one of my favourite guides anywhere.
napamatt is offline  
Dec 19th, 2005, 05:32 PM
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Tough choices, and this depends on your travel preferences and desires to some extent. Mala Mala delivers maximum wildlife, pretty much on par with Mombo (in my experience). And they have plenty of rhino to see at Mombo, while rhino are tougher at Mombo. So MM is good for those who must check off the big 5. What it emphatically IS NOT is a wilderness experience.

One possible option if you really love wildlife and are less enthusiastic about waterfall, you might cut the 2 nights at Vic Falls, and spend those at Mala Mala...then just fly in and out of Maun.
ddgattina is offline  
Dec 19th, 2005, 06:37 PM
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We did three nights at three different camps in three different area's of Botswana which was just the right amount of time to really get a feel for the area, camp and game. I think two nights is not enough and you would feel too rushed.
I LOVED Kwetsani..heavenly. Vundi was our guide and he is wickly funny, well educated and a very good guide.
The trip you have outlined sounds wonderful, a great mix of camps and locations.
What time of year are you considering??
wallybrenda is offline  
Dec 20th, 2005, 03:53 PM
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I leave for my trip on June 19th and return July 4 2006. Everyone's feedback was much appreciated and I am going to book this trip. What will the weather be like that time of year? I know it will be winter but how cold will the nights be? I would love to try the outdoor showers but am thinking it will be too cold. Any idea what you think a ballpark figure for my itinerary would be? Thanks again, these message boards are invaluable to me and my trip planning
elz1 is offline  
Dec 21st, 2005, 12:45 AM
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you will be going at the coldest time of year. Expect that night temperatures can drop to around 4 degrees C/40 Fahrenheit.
I will still use the outdoor shower in the mornings but once you leave the shower you better get dried and dressed quickly.
What most people dont realise is that the game drives will be freezing for the first hour or so in the morning and after dark. You will be in an open vehicle and at times doing 30 -40 km/h.
The windchill factor is probably -5 to -8 degrees C/15-25 degrees ahrenheit.
Dress in layers and unless you are really used to cold wether bring gloves and a hat
mv is offline  
Dec 21st, 2005, 09:44 AM
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One morning at Mombo this July was so cold, I had to tie my scarf around my head. I'm now the proud owner of a Mombo beanie.
napamatt is offline  
Dec 21st, 2005, 06:32 PM
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As mv suggests, do take along a warm pair of gloves and hat. We were at Chobe Chilwero, Kings Pool and Mombo in early July a few years ago and I do recall how darn cold it was on those morning game drives. I had a warm hat with me but hadn't bothered to take gloves along and the first day my hands were freezing.

Fortunately I was able to purchase the last pair they had at Kings Pool. I even had other guests offering to pay me double the purchase cost just to get their hands on my new gloves but there was no way I was going to part with them at any price.

We thoroughly enjoyed all the places we visited. I also agree that 3 nights would probably give you the best opportunity to really experience each camp and area. We were fortunate to have been able to stay 3 nights at Kings Pool and 5 nights each at Mombo and Chobe. It was an experience that will be with me always.

Another item you might want to consider taking along is some type of goggles to protect your eyes from all the fine dust that you will experience on the game drives. I was really bothered by the dust altho my spouse didn't seem to be as affected as I was. For anyone with sensitive eyes I would recommend good eye protection. My sunglasses didn't help much but may have done a better job had they been the wraparound kind.

You have put together a great itinerary and I know you will have a fabulous time on your wonderful trip.
DJE is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2005, 04:39 AM
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As for King's Pool guides, I can highly recommend Copper as well. Perhaps this is one of those camps where all of the guides are exceptional.
Ericka is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2005, 08:39 AM
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Second the eye protection, particularly at night. We use plastic safety glasses, they prevent dust and also bugs smashing you in the eye at night.
napamatt is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2005, 12:35 PM
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Thanks for the tips about the cold and the glasses. Having lived in Florida for the past 15 years my blood has thinned so I am sure we will feel the cold. Do the lodges have heat? We definetely like to get away from the hot Florida heat in the summer, so cool will be a welcome change and we will be sure to bring lots of layers, although we have to be careful due to weight limits on the small planes, correct?
elz1 is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2005, 08:27 AM
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Mala Mala has heat, you stay in individual buildings. In Botswana, you'll be in a tent, so no heat. But lots of hot water bottles and blankets and we were very snug.
napamatt is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2005, 09:14 AM
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King's Pool, Kwetsani and Mombo aren't lodges, they are permanent tented camps and as such your accommodation will be in large luxury tents.

I've stayed in Mombo but have not stayed in the other two Botswana camps. I have stayed in Little Vumbura, Chitabe Trails, Savuti, Jacana, Tubu Tree and Jack's which are also tented accommodation. Both our trips have been in June.

The tents aren't heated but the sun during the day is enough to counter the chill of the nights and we didn't find the interiors too cold. That said we welcomed the high quality quilts and hot water bottles and we didn't tarry long in clambering into all our layers when getting up in the morning.

We changed our normal routine of showering on waking to take our showers after the morning drive and brunch. The temperatures at this time were warm enough to really enjoy the outdoor shower and to allow our hair to dry naturally in the sun.

If you haven't yet booked I'd echo the advice to stick to your Botswana itinerary and leave Mala Mala to another trip where you can do South African safari destinations justice. There's enough to see in Botswana without wasting travelling time hopping over to SA as well.
Kavey is offline  
Jan 12th, 2006, 09:03 AM
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I would love to hear from all of you as far as the pros and cons of King's Pool vs. Mombo. If one could go to only one of these camps, which should it be, and why?

Thanks so much.

crystalsong is offline  
Jan 12th, 2006, 09:28 AM
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Depends on what I wanted...

If I wanted to maximise big cat viewing and general viewing I'd go to Mombo. If I wanted to maximise wild dog sightings and, dependent on time of year, see large numbers of elephants I'd choose King's Pool. Actually I'd choose nearby Savuti instead as viewing is same and accommodation is standard 5 paw. I only pay for 6 paw where there is no suitable 5 paw accommodation in the same vicinity and so it's the only way I can experience that area's wildlife.

Kavey is offline  

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