Botswana-How Long?

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Nov 14th, 2005, 08:27 AM
  #1
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Botswana-How Long?

I am reasearching a May trip to Botswana, and wonder do I want to stay there 14 nights. I'm thinking two camps for three nights each, will I see everything. Too many nights sounds repetitious, will I see many different things? Also I'm reading to book direct with a co. like Wilderness Safaris for less, correct? I will also go to Victoria Falls and one city, Cape Town?
Cindy
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Nov 14th, 2005, 08:36 AM
  #2
 
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If you are a Wildlife enthusiast 14 nights makes for a super charged trip.

I would say though that for the layman 9 nights in Botswana would be a better fit.
3 nights Khalahari.
3 nights Moremi (water camp)
3 nights in the Chobe/Savuti/Linyanti/Kwando area.
2 nights Vic Falls. In may you could stay on either side, Zim or Zam
Cape Town, you should look at doing at least three full days (4 nights)

I believe that Wilderness would direct you to an agent in your area as they do not deal directly with the public.
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Nov 14th, 2005, 09:46 AM
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If you do want to cover the main areas (the Delta, the Kalahari Salt Pans and the Chobe/ Linyanti) I'd suggest 11-12 nights myself:

Either 3 nights at one land camp in the Delta or 2 x 2 nights at two different land camps in the Delta

2 nights at a water camp in the Delta

3 nights in the Kalahari

3 nights in the Chobe/ Linyanti area

Then again it depends on how keen you are on safari time...
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Nov 14th, 2005, 11:02 AM
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Each time you go out on a game drive you will see something different no matter where you are. Since these are wild animals, you never know what will be around the next corner ! You might want to check out the CCAfrica camps. We stayed at Nxabega which is a water based one and they also have Sandibe which is more forest. I believe if you stay at two different camps of their (whether you book yourself or through an agent) you get a discount. Three nights each should give you a pretty terrific experience and leave you wanting more (which I always figure is good on a trip). As for Cape Town - I agree with mkhonzo that you should plan at least 4 nights. For Vic Falls - we stayed 2 mights at Ilala Lodge on the Zimbabwe side (10 minute walk to the falls) and I wished we had spent another night there. We had to cram so much in to that one full day we had there. We missed some things that we would have enjoyed - just wandering around the craft fair area next to the hotel or being able to spent more leisurely time at the falls. So if you can - book three nights there. And I recommend the Zimbabwe side and staying right in town. You can hear the falls at night from the Ilala Lodge and see the mist from them as you eat breakfast on the terrace. The staff there was fabulous and the rooms were quite large and comfortable. If you decide you want to make things a bit easier on yourself and go through a travel agent, I recommend go2africa.com. They put together a fabulous trip for us and made sure they really listened to what we wanted.
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Nov 14th, 2005, 05:46 PM
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If you have the time and the money for 14 nights, it would be well worth it, especially if you choose different areas, as have been mentioned here.

Have a great 2-week stay in Botswana.
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Nov 15th, 2005, 08:40 AM
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It's funny that some people recommend three days at the Falls and I was done in one. That makes it even more important to understand what someone does with their time and whether the same things interest you, because "some of us are different and so are the rest of us". With thanks to Clive James for the quote.

If I had fourteen nights I would do teh following

Tubu Tree - 2
Savuti - 2
Kings Pool - 3
Duma Tau - 2
Vumbura - 2
Mombo - 3

I would of course be broke!
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Nov 15th, 2005, 11:43 AM
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Should have been Duba Plains not Duma Tau
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Nov 18th, 2005, 01:42 PM
  #8
johan_belgium
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I've been many times in Botswana and in my opinion if you want to see some serious game I would recommend the following places:
- Chitabe (5 nights)(predators) - I've always seen there lion/leopard/cheetah/wild dog - it's never guaranteed but your chances are very good;
- Lebala (4 nights)(predators/elephants);
- Jacana or Xigera (3 nights) (birding/mokoro/chance to see the elusive sitatunga).

If this is your first safari I wouldn't suggest to go to the Kalahari. It's a wonderful and worthwile experience but it's a bit different of what you would expect from a classic safari experience.

The highest quality camps like Vumbura plains/Jao/Kings pool are very good but if you ask me these are places for people who like to spend a lot of money. The only exception is Mombo, the predator capital of Southern Africa. But you need to book way in advance to have a fair chance to visit that camp. And if you want to spend that much money it's far more rewarding to book a private vehicule/private guide because he/she can make a real difference.

I have had the best experiences in camps where I stayed at least 4 days. The longer you stay, the higher your chances to see something exceptional.

For the following animals, your chances are quite high to see them at following places:

Lion (Mombo/Duba Plains)
Leopard (Mombo/Chitabe/Moremi (Khwai section)
Wild dog (Chitabe/Selinda/Duma Tau/Lebala)
Cheetah (Mombo/Chitabe)
White rhino (Mombo)
Elephant (Duma Tau/Savuti)
Buffalo (Duba plains)
Sable antelope (Little vumbura/Vumbura plains)
Birds of prey (Moremi (Khwai section))

And if I have to be honest with you it's not worth rushing from one place to another and trying to combine as many highlights as you can in a two-week period. You simply would miss a lot. F.e. Capetown and surroundings requires in my eyes at least four/five nights and Livingstone/Victoria Falls at least two nights depending how many activities you want to do there.

Enjoy your stay in Botswana!

Johan
 
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Nov 18th, 2005, 03:07 PM
  #9
 
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Johan

You specified Moremi Khwai for Birds of Prey - care to go into more detail on that pick.
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Nov 19th, 2005, 12:37 AM
  #10
johan_belgium
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Had excellent sightings on several trips especially near the banks of the river. I mention the following birds of prey just to name a few:

- african hawk-eagle;
- bateleur;
- martial eagle;
- gymnogene;
- tawny eagle;
- african goshawk;
- dickinson's kestrel;
- brown snake-eagle.

Best sighting I had was in 2003 of a martial eagle, who chased off a wild cat that just killed a southern yellow-billed hornbill. The bird was as close as 2 meters from the car and was sitting there for ten minutes. This was on a mobile trip, guided by Pilot Manga.
 
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