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nanciej Jul 28th, 2008 12:36 PM

Botswana Prelim itineraries
Hi again,
So we have a few options for itineraries for our last minute trip late oct/early nov. Availability is scattered and these are all a little different...dates range from earliest oct 23 to latest end date nov 9. cost is still a little high so we may have to drop a night.

3n Lebala, Lagoon or Linyanti Bush
3n Savute Under Canvas (cc africa)
2n Stanleys w Ele experience
3n Xaranna or Xudum (new cc africa properties...

3n Duma Tau or Linyanti Bush
3n Savute Under Canvas
2n Kigera
3n Xaranna or Xudum

3n Savute Under Canvas
3n Duma Tau or Linyanti Bush
2n Kwetansi or Xaranna/Xudum
3n Duba Plains

From a map it looks like the new cc properties are in concession 29, but am waiting confirmation.

I would love any insights from this experienced gang-does any itinerary stand out more than others? where I have to choose between camp, are there any significant differences? Linyanti Bush Camp seems to have a lower rate adn I have heard it has great guides, but don't know much more. And i have read Kigera is more of a birding destination or environment destination, than game viewing-particularly predators. But i hear it is beautiful. if I had to drop a night-any suggestions?

I would appreciate ANY help as I am overwhelmed! I also try to keep telling myself that I will likely have a great time with any of these given I have not experienced Bostwana before.


isabel25 Jul 28th, 2008 02:05 PM

Hi -- I'm hoping to post a trip report some time soon, but what I learned from the Botswana portion of our trip is that you really need to grill your agent about what to expect at particular times of year to avoid disappointment.

We spent 3 nights at Kwetsani as our only Delta camp on our recent trip. It was an absolutely beautiful camp, and the managers and staff were truly extraordinary in every way, but in July it was definitely a "birding and environment" destination, and not really a game viewing destination. We still had a great time -- mainly because of the extraordinary beauty of the setting and the wonderful hospitality of the managers Mike and Ann. Plus, we were endlessly entertained by the plentiful baboons and vervet monkeys. But I wish our agent had let us know what to expect.

(A funny aside: My husband had done no research and no expectations at all about the trip. He absolutely loved Kwetsani (as well as the other places on our trip), and he valued the contrast from the other parts of our trip. But he's now telling everyone that "the Okavango Delta is a wonderful place to go and relax if you need a break from game viewing." Luckily, he wasn't aware of the high season rates we paid for premier game viewing!)

I don't mean to be negative on Kwetsani at all, because as a place at which to experience the beauty and remoteness of the Delta, it really was just about perfect. We ended up having a wonderful time. And, in November, the animals might be more prevalent. My only point is this: I get the feeling that certain agents have a vested interest in not fully explaining what to expect, which makes the pointed questions all the more important.

HariS Jul 28th, 2008 06:45 PM

Hi Nancie,

I am assuming for this year? I am going to be at Lebala myself End Sept into October.

Don't know anything about those new CCA properties.

Hi Isabel,

Looks like you had a good trip - especially at MM. I do remember your planning for this trip a while ago - pity about the flood levels at Kwetsani.

PredatorBiologist Jul 28th, 2008 09:28 PM

Nancie: If you decide you need to drop a night I would consider opting to drop from 4 camps to 3 camps and instead of having a 2 night stay you could have 3, 3, 4 which would not only save you the one night but also a transfer flight.

I have yet to see a report from anyone going to Xaranna or Xudum and I'm interested to see a first hand experience. I believe they are supposed to be competition with the Wilderness Safari 6 paw as they have private plunge pools. They also have power boating, although I'd double check that for the time of year as water could be low, as well as mokoro so you would get a full Delta water experience. I am farily certain the concession they are in was used for hunting recently so it would be outstanding to support the new photographic venture but also means the wildlife could be skittish for a while, hard to know as it will depend on the level of the previous hunting.

All the itineraries are fairly similar but I like 'C' best just because I love Duba Plains. Also, all of the Linyanti area camps are going to be impacted when the rains come but I believe the game viewing quality at Linyanti Bush Camp decreases much more than Duma Tau, Lebala, and Lagoon which all maintain fairly good viewing. LBC is priced better though and does indeed have a reputation for having some of the best guides around so I'm sure you would like it but you may work harder for your sightings.

Xigera is known to be primarily a water camp and considered a place to focus on the Delta environment rather than on big game. I haven't been but it does seem to often be described as magical.

I think your statement that you will have a great experience at any of these choices is absolutely correct.

sniktawk Jul 28th, 2008 11:15 PM

Regarding Linyanti Bush Camp I can thoroughly recommend it , the game is at its peak before the rains which do not usually come as erly as the dates you are planning. I can also confirm they have the most knowledgeable and interseted staff that I have ever met ouside of Zimbabwe.

PredatorBiologist Jul 29th, 2008 06:44 AM

One more addition on Linyanti Bush Camp, it is one of the only places in Botswana where you can do serious walking so if you want to get some walking in on your safari it would be a great choice.

nanciej Jul 29th, 2008 11:09 AM

Thanks everyone. We almost have Savute and Linyanti locked down. We are now just trying to figure out the delta. We may have to reduce to 9 nights in total, as we have 9 weeks in Africa, and the budget has to stretch. So we will likely have to give something up...if we stay at Baines we get the ele experience, but likely won't have water activities at that time. If we go with a water property, we give up the elephants! If these are the toughest decisions in our life than we are blessed I guess. :-)


mistadobalina Jul 29th, 2008 02:31 PM

Xigera was the favorite camp of our party last year (in Sept/Oct). In hindsight, we would have spent more nights there.

Here's the portions of our trip report involving Xigera:

Best of luck.

Mega4namaddy Jul 29th, 2008 06:34 PM

Hi Nanciej,
I have been lurking for a while on the board, but your questions made me come out to play!
I did the Ele experience from Baines in 2005. I loved it so much I am doing in again in just a few weeks.This time from Stanleys Camp.
I would thoroughly recommend it. It was one of the highlights of the last trip. I think you may still be able to do water activities from either camp at that time of year. Baines was lovely, game viewing was good and lanscape is exceptional ( in April when I went last time- a travel agent told me at the time I wouldn,t see any animals because the grass would be too long!)

Have great trip. Planning is just part of the fun :)


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