Botswana sept 2008: fair quote??!!

Old Nov 9th, 2007, 03:24 AM
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Botswana sept 2008: fair quote??!!

After my post on choice of camps we have now narrowed it down to these 2 proposed safaris and would like to know whether the quote is fair:
1)one night in a lodge in Maun followed by 3 x 3 nights: Little Kwara, Lebala and Nxabega : 8233 USD Per person ,considering we are 4 people - 2 couples - travelling together.

2) idem one night in Maun followed by 3 x 3 nights in:
Little Kwara, Sandibe and Duma Tau :9088 USD per person

As ofcourse as everyone knows it is such an expensive trip and I really would like to know if this is a good proposition before spending so much money! Thank you! Ivee








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Old Nov 9th, 2007, 05:44 AM
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Ivee,

Are both of these quotes from the same agent? It looks a little strange to me for the following reason:

Little Kwara in common in both, so same price for 3 nights. Sandibe in one itinerary and Nxabega in the second-these are both CCAfrica camps and I believe carry the same rate, so figure that means 3 more nights in common. So the only difference in price should be for the last 3 nights-Lebala or Duma Tau. The price difference is $855 per person, so $855 for 3 nights is $285 per person, meaning that Duma Tau is costing $285 per person more than Lebala. I don't know about 2008 (maybe something has changed), but in previous years when I checked, Lebala and Lagoon have been very close in price to the Wilderness 5 paw camps, they are pretty much in competition with one another. So I think it's odd that Duma Tau is now costing $285 more per night than Lebala.

I have read that Nxabega is more of a water camp than Sandibe. I have not been to either, but we did meet a Sandibe vehicle on one of our drives at Chitabe. Personally, I think I would do Sandibe over Nxabega, because we perfer game drives to water activities, and you already have Little Kwara. In the first itinerary: can you substitute Sandibe for Nxabega? But you should probably try to read some trip reports that cover both camps, I know there have been several over the past couple of years.

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Old Nov 9th, 2007, 08:04 AM
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Thank you! Indeed we will leave Nxabega out.
As to the cost: yes it is the same agent ,I am a bit confused too but on the other hand after'shopping around' I found price differences of 180 Usd pppn (Duma Tau over Lebala)and of course it is not exactly the same flight plan...so I don't know. The quote includes all intercamp flights but not the regional Joburg -Maun as it is often better to combin that with the international flight.
But still... perhaps we can find a better pricing?
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Old Nov 9th, 2007, 08:26 AM
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I don't know about Kwando, but I've been told that Wilderness Safaris has locked-in pricing for their camps. I don't think you'll find price variances there between agents. If you could go during a shoulder season, you could find lower pricing. You might also consider mobile camps. WS runs some that mix mobile camping with some of their former "4 paw" camps. They have two levels of mobile camps: Discover and Adventurer, the Discoverer camps being nicer.
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Old Nov 9th, 2007, 08:54 AM
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Thanks for your suggestion but this is the period we can and want to go so my question is mainly: for this time of the year and the camps proposed etc is this a fair deal?
ivee
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Old Nov 9th, 2007, 09:12 AM
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Looks fair to me, I would choose Chitabe over Sandibe if available.
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Old Nov 9th, 2007, 11:02 AM
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Ivee,

I just thought of something else that may affect the price. Supposedly some providers offer a lower rate when you stay at their camps for a greater number of nights instead of using a different provider for each camp. That may be something you would want to check.

But if the price difference is small, then I would think it is best to choose the camps you really want, rather than sticking with one company. Also, I am sure September is a very popular month, so availabilty may be the issue.
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Old Nov 9th, 2007, 01:25 PM
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My source for pricing is only what I find on the web, often through e-gnu. But with those sources, the numbers look good. I cannot figure out the higher cost for Option 2.

Maybe Brandywine's suggestion or maybe it's the flight to Duma Tau, which is the farthest distance. Still neither of those seem to be $800 difference. If these are different travel agents, then it makes sense, one is just more expensive than the other.

I agree with NapaMatt. I'd do Chitabe instead of Sandibe, Little Kwara (where I believe you can do some water activities in Sept, but if that was important, you should check), and Duma Tau.

Good luck! You'll have a wonderful time whatever combo you choose.
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Old Nov 9th, 2007, 02:04 PM
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I think an overnight stay in Maun is a waste of time and money.

Spend an extra night at one of the camps.

Geoff.
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