Botswana suggestions

Dec 19th, 2006, 03:35 AM
  #1  
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Botswana suggestions

Ideally I would like to travel independently if I could keep the cost down. I've gotten information from a few agencies and while the trips look wonderful, the cost is prohibitive for me. I have written to the Wilderness people for information. The Kwando people responded that they only work through agencies. I would be going alone, would like to spend about 2-3 weeks. Any suggestions? Thanks.
linhelen is offline  
Dec 19th, 2006, 04:43 AM
  #2  
santharamhari
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Yes, that is true. They dont take direct bookings. They have a list of agents from different countries on their web page. My suggestion is to contact a couple of them who come up with good ideas and rates.

When do you intend to travel. I'm sure you can find an agent in your home country who can book both Kwando and Wilderness as you have mentioned in your post.

Hari
 
Dec 19th, 2006, 05:56 AM
  #3  
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I am open as to travel times. Thinking or May, June, July.
linhelen is offline  
Dec 19th, 2006, 06:16 AM
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linhelen: if you can travel between Dec. 1 and March 31 there is a 5 Rivers Special that includes all the Kwando Camps as well as a few other independently owned properties, the rack rate is $225 pppn which is an unbelievable deal for Botswana lodges and I don't think you will be able to find anything cheaper at this high quality level. There is a single supplement (not sure how much) but because of the length of your stay if you go with a good agent perhaps they can get the supplement waived. Hopefully in 2008 a similar special will be available.

What does really raise your price is the cost of transfers because typically there is a flight involved and that will add anywhere from $110 to $220 or more per transfer. However, between Lebala and Lagoon you can do a road transfer for free, it is also possible to do a free boat transfer between Kwara and Xakanaxa which is in the Moremi G.R. area. You should be able to go to 3 or 4 of these camps with total transfer costs to and from Maun of around $475.

I would suggest something like:
1) Maun to Xakanaxa for 3 nights
2) free boat to Kwara or Little Kwara 4 nights
3) fly to Lebala or Lagoon and split 10 nights between them using the free road transfer.
4) fly back to Maun
If you can spend another $220 for a transfer I would replace Xakanaxa with Deception Valley Lodge for an amazing experience that is very different and complimentary to the other areas. Ideally you just start with DVL for 3 nights and keep Xakanaxa too but if you need to trim budget the above is a $220 cheaper. Or if you want to move around less start at Kwara and just pair that with Lebala and Lagoon.

If that is still beyond the budget than you probably should consider doing a mobile safari. There are some excellent ones in Botswana that could be below $200 pn and you wouldn't have the flying around transfer costs.
PredatorBiologist is offline  
Dec 19th, 2006, 08:30 AM
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PredatorBiologist: which mobile safari companies would you recommend? Would like to make our next (second) trip to Africa to Botswana but would like to keep the cost down. We have gone on several mobile camping excursions in the Southwest U.S. and have very much enjoyed them (horsepacking, mountain biking, river rafting). We love to sleep in a tent so long as the food is good. (sorry to hijack this thread a bit)

Kevin from California
stakerk is offline  
Dec 19th, 2006, 05:24 PM
  #6  
santharamhari
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You have some good options here......

You mentioned may, june, july....really you can pick anytime June-Oct as it's all high season. Later in the high season, the game viewing may be better especially the large herds of buffalo and ele.

If not, May/June is a good time also. You wont see the big herds, but, maybe a better than average chance to see the wild dogs as this is possibly the time just prior to them finding their annual den site which may or may not be in the concession of your visit.

Hari
 
Dec 23rd, 2006, 05:38 AM
  #7  
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Thanks all. Working on researching your excellent suggestions.
linhelen is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2006, 07:28 AM
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Kevin: sorry for the delay but I have twice posted this answer for you and it disappears into cyberspace.

I do not have any experience with the mobiles so I don't have one to recommend to you. I do recall a couple of excellent reports though and a good thread comparing mobile companies so you should be able to find good advice around here somewhere. I have heard that CC Africa runs a great mobile that includes the Centeral Kalahari but that's all I know of. Like you I love camping and I think a mobile would be a lot of fun as long as the operator is a good one. That said when my time comes I think I'm going to consult with luangwablondes and do my camping on a self drive. I wouldn't recommend that for a solo traveler like linhelen but if you have a group of 4 and know most of the major species like you do I would consider going that route.

PredatorBiologist is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2006, 07:59 AM
  #9  
 
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PB:

Thanks,

Some time down the road I will post the direct question again to the forum.

Kevin
stakerk is offline  
Dec 25th, 2006, 03:26 AM
  #10  
santharamhari
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Kevin,

Masson safaris also has been talked about well on these boards.

Also, check for a trip report from Cindy (sundowner) i think she used Gametrails. Notsure? but, was a good report and good photos.......


Hari
 
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