Botswana Safari early November

Old Sep 7th, 2006, 06:21 AM
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Botswana Safari early November

Business travel to Gaborone the end of October opens up the possibility to extend trip for a safari. HELP! Where do I begin?
This is probably a once in a lifetime experience for me. Where should I go? What is a reasonable price? I don't need luxury.
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Old Sep 7th, 2006, 07:12 AM
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Hello,

I'd advise you to head north the the Okavango Delta and Linyanti regions, which offer superb wildlife viewing. Air Botswana flies from Gabs to Maun and Kasane, either of which can serve as a gateway to the region.

November is beginning of shoulder season so you will encounter some reduced pricing, though this is also a very popular time of year to travel -- the LInyanti area in particular tends to get booked up.

It's not clear how much time you have, but if possible I would allow at least a week (9-10 days would be ideal). I'd recommend splitting your time between the Delta and the Linyanti regions. If you had a week, I'd recommend three days in the Linyanti and four in the Delta (in that order). If you had 9-10 days I'd add a second camp in the Delta.

Linyanti x3
Delta Camp 1 x4 (mixed water and land camp)
Delta Camp 2 x3 (land-only camp)

Wilderness Safaris is the primary safari outfitter in Botswana, and has a wonderful group of camps in the Delta and the Linyanit. Their website is a great place to start looking at camps:

http://www.wilderness-safaris.com

For your Linyanti camp I'd recommend taking a look at Duma Tau, Selinda, or Zibalianja (Savuti is wonderful but I doubt that there is any availability there).

http://www.wilderness-safaris.com/ca...sp?map_id=2378

For a mixed land and water camp in the Delta, my top recommendation is Little Vumbura, followed by Kwetsani. You can take a look at these and other WS Delta camps here:

http://www.wilderness-safaris.com/ca...sp?map_id=2071

The Kwando camps have also received good reviews by people who post here:

http://www.kwando.co.za

There is also a recent thread which contains information about companies operating in Botswana:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34863213

Asking how much a safari costs is rather like asking how long a piece of string is -- it depends on the safari. When you pay to stay in many luxury safari camps in Botswana, you're really paying for exclusive access to some of the most pristine and game-dense wilderness areas in Africa -- though I'm certainly not complaining about the luxury accommodation either!

If budget is a major issue, the least expensive option is probably a mobile safari. There are a number of outfitters which offer mobile safaris, including Wilderness (look under the Explorations tab on their website), CCAfrica and Game Trails. Wilderness's mobiles are very reasonably priced and include access to some of their private concessions, which will enable you to do off-road driving and night drives which are not allowed in the national parks.

Cheers,
Julian
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Old Sep 7th, 2006, 09:46 PM
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You certainly couldn't go wrong with either the delta, the Linyanti or, preferably both, as Julian says. And three full days (four nights) would certainly be ideal for any one place unless you don't mind skimming the surface. To me, three nights is the bare minimum.

A site Julian didn't mention is www.linyanti.com. That has more directly accessible useful information (including rates & availability) about Selinda & Zibalianja. Wilderness is one of the agents for Selinda but doesn't run it. Kwando, Selinda/Zib & Duma Tau are adjoining concessions in the Linyanti, which has some of the best predator viewing in Botswana, so if you choose either of them, you're not likely to be disappointed. The first two are independently-run, smaller organisations, while Duma Tau is part of the Wilderness empire.

You could compare recent impressions of all three places by checking out the trip reports of Julian, hari and Atravelyn. My own trip report, which covers Kwando Lagoon, Selinda and Zibalianja, is probably too old as it was a year ago.

John
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Old Sep 7th, 2006, 10:29 PM
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You can join a sceduled mobile camping safari with Roger Dugmore.You can see the dates and rates at http://www.safaris-botswana.info/luxury.html
Not bad for a luxury mobile safari.
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Old Sep 7th, 2006, 11:06 PM
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We stayed at Kings Pool in the Linyanti area.
Incredible. A great Hide at the water hole and fantastic lodging. Wonderful wildlife viewing. Also a Wilderness property
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Old Sep 7th, 2006, 11:17 PM
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Julian,

Why is Savuti always booked up? Any particular reason? or just that people have lots of expectations of the Savuti prides and the joubert films of old?

Just curious, as i've never been.

Hari
 
Old Sep 8th, 2006, 06:42 AM
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Hari, I have had great predator sightings at Savuti -- plenty of lions, plus wild dog, lots of wild cats, serval, and one caracal and one aardwolf.
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Old Sep 8th, 2006, 07:13 AM
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Thanks,Michael.
 
Old Sep 8th, 2006, 07:21 AM
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Hari, I think it may be for the leadwood hide at Savuti. It is one of the most famous hides in Africa, for its simplicity and the ability to get so close to large numbers of elephants and other game(dry season). That's what drew me to Savuti and I also had more difficulty booking Savuti than my other camps.

When I was in Zambia, Savuti was the only Linyanti camp that the Zambian guides had good knowledge of, because of the hide.
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Old Sep 8th, 2006, 07:33 AM
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Gaurang,

Thanks. You trip sounds super!!!

All your cameras etc., ready for the trip?

Hari
 
Old Sep 8th, 2006, 08:02 AM
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Hari.....we're still not ready regarding cameras, as my wife wants to try a digital SLR this time (she's always used film in the past). So we still have to buy a digital SLR before we go, probably a Nikon.

j rose.....I think early November is looking very tight at Wilderness and Kwando camps (because of shoulder season pricing) but it would be worth a try as Savuti only cleared this week for early November bookings (due to a cancellation)
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Old Sep 8th, 2006, 08:11 AM
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Ok, Gaurang....

Sounds good, that will keep you busy until almost time to leave.

Hari
 
Old Sep 8th, 2006, 11:50 AM
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You are all being so helpful. Thank you. I have not had much luck with travel agents calling me back or responding to my email. One comment I received is it is hard to find availability. Here is one - please tell me what you think.

3 nights at Savuti Camp, Linyanti
2 nights at Chitabe Camp
2 nights at Kwetsani Camp


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Old Sep 8th, 2006, 01:11 PM
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j rose

If you only have 7 nights, and those three camps have availability, then I would book it. I am also staying at those camps in October/November this year:

29th Oct - 1st Nov (4 nights), I will be at Chitabe Trails (the smaller sister camp of Chitabe).

4th Nov - 8th Nov (4 nights), I will be staying at Savuti.

I will be staying at Kwetsani at the end of November, but we might cross paths earlier in the month.
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Old Sep 8th, 2006, 01:22 PM
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It will also be the peak of the dry season at that time, so the only chance water activities will be Kwetsani - but it is a bit of a gamble. Jao camp (in the same concession as Kwetsani), may be a better option but only if this is important to you.
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Old Sep 8th, 2006, 01:35 PM
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At this point it will be VERY difficult to book anything in Botswana in the first half of the month of November. Availability seems to open up after about the 20th of the month.
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Old Sep 8th, 2006, 02:33 PM
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Rocco, are you all set for November? Did you go ahead with your itinerary changes (moving the camps around)?
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Old Sep 8th, 2006, 02:52 PM
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Gaurang,

Yes, it is all done now. I was trying like crazy to start entirely in Linyanti/Lebala/Lagoon but I was only able to get Linyanti Bushcamp at the start of my safari. Here is my itinerary and I e-mailed you with my dates:

Linyanti Bushcamp (3)
Baines Camp (3)
Chiefs Camp (3)
Lebala (2)
Lagoon (2)
Kwara (2)
Michelangelo Towers (1)
Sabi Sabi (3)
Mateya (3)

I do like the fact that I will be ending at Sabi Sabi and Mateya. It will be nice to finish in air conditioned luxury and will also make a slightly easier trip home.

Unfortunately, we now just miss each other at a couple different camps.
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Old Sep 8th, 2006, 03:09 PM
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(Again, the reason for the date change was because, since I am going solo now, I figured I would have better gameviewing with 3 nights at Linyanti Bushcamp rather than 3 nights at the Sydney Four Seasons Hotel. I will hopefully use the Sydney tickets for my Zimbabwe/Mozambique visit next May/June).
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Old Sep 8th, 2006, 04:14 PM
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Hello Hari,

Gaurang is right -- it's essentially because of the woodpile hide. The opportunity to get so close to the elephants is unique, and many people who contact us have heard of the hide and choose Savuti because of it. It's also a really nice little camp, with only six tents and some of the warmest, friendliest people on staff that I've met in any camp.

Predator viewing is excellent as well, particularly for the smaller cats which are often found in the Savuti Channel near the camp.

Cheers,
Julian
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