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botswana suggestions

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May 18th, 2011, 09:23 PM
  #1
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botswana suggestions

I am just starting to look into Botswana for late August or early September 2012. A few years ago we did Zambia and it enjoyed it very much but didn't always have great game viewing. I did like that it was not overly crowded and we had some drives by ourselves which was great.

I am looking for suggestions for Botswana and was wondering if the Kwando camps are less expensive than Wilderness? I believe Wilderness are over 1000 pppn. I have seen the comments that are positive about Mapula but in checking their website I see they have 10 tents. Will their be other vehicles in the concession or is it just the one camp?

Would also consider South Africa but don't imagine that will be any less expensive for the type of experience we are looking for. Thanks for any suggestions, your help was so valuable in planning our Zambia trip.

Debbie
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May 19th, 2011, 03:34 AM
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Kwando camps are not significantly less than Wilderness camps. You could stay at Kwara, a Kwando camp, for around $900/night (2011 rate). Kwando camps tend to have fewer creature comforts/frills than Wilderness camps, but Kwando's guiding is generally superior to that of Wilderness.

August/September is peak season, and consequently the rates are highest the. There's a reason, though: it's the best time for game-viewing in northern Botswana. That said, you can still take advantage of Botswana's special qualities and still spend a lot less than $1k/night.

andBeyond is a respected company that several camps in Botswana (Sandibe, Nxabega, Xudum, etc). Although their per-night prices are in the same range as Kwando/Wilderness, they offer 1 free night when you stay for 3 or 4 nights at their camps.

Maybe more interestingly, some Botswana camps in the Okavango/Linyati/Chobe regions can be had for considerably less money per night. Lodges such as Muchenje or Pom Pom, for example, would save a bundle. These places won't be as luxe as the higher-priced camps, but the wildlife that you see don't know that.

As for South Africa, it's a great place to see wildlife. In my experience, game is denser in an area like Sabi Sands than in any area I've been to in Botswana. However, Botswana has a special sense of remoteness to it that South Africa cannot match.

Don
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May 19th, 2011, 08:14 AM
  #3
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Thanks Don. I can't say we need a luxe experience. In Zambia we stayed at Kaingo, Luangwa River Lodge and Chiawa if that means anything to you. We didn't see alot of predators on that trip so would like to see more of that. Luangwa river lodge had too many other camps sharing their drive area so one thing that is really important is that we have a fairly exclusive experience. Kaingo and Chiawa were better for that but Chiawa had really poor game viewing when we were there.

I see that Pom pom and Muchenje have 10 or 12 tents which is more than we had in Zambia but I guess it depends on vehicles from other camps in the same area.
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May 19th, 2011, 09:07 AM
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Try Kwando Lagoon. Newly refurbished, but in an enormous concession with little chance of seeing other vehicles.

Probably the best cheetah and wild dog encounters I've seen, in numerous visits to Africa.
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May 19th, 2011, 10:57 AM
  #5
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I have got kwando Lagoon on my list as a possibility but if I am looking at $2000/night for the two of us then I need a few other camps that are less expensive. So hard to compromise!
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May 19th, 2011, 07:19 PM
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McWomble, Lebala shall rival Lagoon for Cheetah encounters
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May 20th, 2011, 09:17 PM
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Dwc, would you consider a mobile safari in Botswana? That's a less expensive suggestion. Wilderness and Andbeyond offer them, along with Masson, Capricorn, and others.

Out of curiosity, what month were you in Zambia?
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May 21st, 2011, 12:03 PM
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I have not really looked at the mobile Safari's but remember reading past posts. It always sounds so rustic and that concerns me. I don't prefer over the top luxury but do want comfort. I will look into those more, thanks for the suggestions. I assume I can combine mobile for maybe 3 nights to keep costs down and then go back to permanent tented camps?

I was in Zambia in August a few years ago.

Debbie
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May 21st, 2011, 02:26 PM
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Mobiles are quite luxurious. Certainly comfortable. Sometimes they even stop at permanent camps now that are very nice, but not fancy. The food is great. You have excellent guides.

No pup tents and sleeping bags.

The clientele for mobiles is not 22 year old backpackers. Instead it is likely 45-65+ year olds who want a quality safari but don't want to spend $700-$1200 per night.

Really consider it!
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