Botswana trip report and slideshow

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Jul 5th, 2005, 06:17 AM
  #1
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Botswana trip report and slideshow

I have finally finished my Botswana and Victoria Falls trip report and
picture slide show. The trip report is long, divided up into eight parts, which are pre-trip planning, London, Johannesburg, River Club and Vic Falls, Savuti, Little Vumbura, Mombo, and conclusion. Part one starts at
http://www.traveltalkonline.com/foru...b=5&o=&fpart=1
Each part has a link to the next part at the end. If you want to read only a specific part, hereís the link to the index page, which lists all the parts.
http://www.traveltalkonline.com/foru...=&Board=africa
There is a link to the slide show in the conclusion post, but if you want to see just the slide show, itís here
http://www.info-res.com/ehill/africaslide/
Carol
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Jul 5th, 2005, 07:17 AM
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Haven't looked at all of them yet, but wonderful pictures! I love the way you've organized them!
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Jul 5th, 2005, 07:57 AM
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Thank you so much for your fantastic trip report and the incredible pictures. You and your husband put a lot of love and effort into your post, and I really enjoyed reading it.

My husband and I are leaving the first week of September '05 for Jo'berg (one night) then on to Tubu Tree, Duba Plains, Savuti and the River Club. After RC we head to Cape Town for 5 days. I haven't read any extensive post on the River Club, so I am excited that we chose to end our safari there.

Since this will be our first trip to Africa, your detailed trip report has answered numerous questions for us (and the pictures -- can't wait til September!).



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Jul 5th, 2005, 09:20 AM
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No time today but am saving this to read on the weekend...
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Jul 5th, 2005, 10:02 AM
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Kavey--I know it takes a while to read the whole thing, as it sure took a long time writing it!

Glad you guys are liking the report and the pictures. One of the big bugaboos I have about a lot of picture slide shows is that they aren't divided up at all, and they are hard to follow. We are lucky that we have our own server space that we can put pictures on, as opposed to having to use someone else's space, and being limited to their parameters as far as albums, etc.
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Jul 5th, 2005, 11:23 AM
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Carol
I'm reading your report RIGHT now and posting comments here as I go.
Firstly, what a comprehensive intro - very useful for any first timers planning their first trip!
Secondly, what a nightmare with that transfer to Savuti Camp. I'm really surprised about it too as both camps are well known by all the local operators and pilots so it's a surprising mix up to make. Still, at least it ended well...
We too had the pleasure of Thuto as our guide and also spent time following those three crazy cheetah brothers during our visit there last year. We didn't have (and never have had) the pleasure of a wild cat sighting or a caracal sighting though, so I'm quite envious of those!
Thuto was right - that zebra water hole picture IS great!
We too did that mid-morning breakfast out by the water channel and it was great fun! He is definitely a great fun guide!
How funny re the Savuti 500 - we also drove like bats out of hell to get to the wild dogs that had been reported at Kings Pool area. Thuto wanted to reach them before they got up from their afternoon rest and went hunting - and we did!
OK let me post this bit incase something goes wrong and then I'll carry on with the report and my comments in a new post...
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Jul 5th, 2005, 11:38 AM
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We too didn't think much of the game drive experience at Little Vumbura (we went in 2001) but as we had chosen it as a water camp we did only one drive and concentrated on those water activities after that.
Although even back then WS mentioned that they did offer drives there, it was then marketed more heavily on the water activities. Now it seems to be pushed more as a mixed camp, which surprises me, given that it sounds as though viewing now isn't much different to when we were there in 2001.
I wonder if your guide at LV was Kwai? He was our guide there for water activities only, not for drives, though perhaps he's doing those too now... or it could be a different individual. Certainly our Kwai had a reasonably thick accent but was pretty young, very friendly and personable, excellent at service and good at spotting the birds in particular.
I really like that sunset picture of that grass... beautiful.
Ooh, your report reminds me the one thing we did see at LV was the sable. Magnificent animal.
That's so cool about the helicopter to Mombo - I assume they were indeed pulling out the stops to make up for the balls up in transfers earlier as well as testing the new service too...
I LOVE that ele picture from the air... that's a WINNER!
We also adore Mombo - having stayed at Little Mombo twice. We haven't stayed at other 6 paws as we choose Mombo for the game not the accommodation and the others have 5 paw alternatives in their area. We have had some of those extra touches (flannels etc) at 5 paw camps but I think Mombo does exceptionally well in the range and consistency of these. We are also big fans of their sunscreen and repellent. The manager kindly let us take some sunscreen with us for the rest of our trip as Pete found it more effective than what we had with us.
Oh and I had just the same reaction when we first saw our room. As we walked along the platform to it I assumed I was looking at two tents and only when we got inside realised one was the bedroom and living area and the other our bathroom area. ALL OURS! It's pretty lovely isn't it?
I know we're also in your boat - we decided to completely blow our finances on our 9 week trip last year, of which 3 weeks was lux (mostly 5 paws plus Mombo) and the rest was self drive on budget in South Africa.
I can't imagine the delight of a trip like that every year let alone more than once a year.
I WISH!!!!
I'm taking a break and will read more later! THANKS!
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Jul 5th, 2005, 12:06 PM
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Kavey--Regarding LV, our guide was definitely NOT the same one you had, as Kay was probably 45 years old and NOT personable in the slightest. I am glad that we went to LV but I would not be too fast to book another water camp if/when we go back, as I didn't really see the attraction. I took some nice scenery shots, but we went for animals, as much as anything. We definitely used our time there to relax, which was a good thing.

Savuti and Thuto, on the other hand, we loved! If we ever go back and he is still guiding, I would love to request him as a guide.
Carol
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Jul 5th, 2005, 05:12 PM
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Carol - your photos are magnificent. I will be at Savuti in Sept and can't wait. How many people were with you? (I didn't read your report yet)
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Jul 5th, 2005, 08:34 PM
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Great report and photos! As Kavey said, very helpful for first-timers in the planning stages. Savuti is on my list and it's great to keep hearing wonderful things about it.
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Jul 6th, 2005, 05:12 AM
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DJE
 
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Carol,

It was a great pleasure to read such a detailed and entertaining trip report accompanied by so many terrific photos. Brought back a lot of wonderful memories especially of our time at Mombo two yrs. ago. You definitely were fortunate with your game viewing and so many leopard sightings.

We also were very pleased with our visit to Mombo and it does remain on the top of our list for a great safari experience.

Thanks again for a wonderful read.
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Jul 6th, 2005, 05:35 AM
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Definitely not the same guy!

We also go for the wildlife above all but we adore our time at water camps... gliding along in a mokoro or motoring around the waterways in a flatbottomed "alminium tray" boat gives such a different view of the Delta. In my mind the waters of the annual floods are the lifeblood of the Okavango so seeing them is such a thrill. I also love the sightings of hippos, elephants, reed frogs, red lechwe and birds, birds, birds. There's a different tranquillity to it and, as long as I have my mossie net head net thing so I'm not swallowing/ breathing in a million little bugs, I'm happy as larry. Pete and I both being big people get our own mokoro each and can take pics of each other too. I just love it!

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Jul 6th, 2005, 05:36 AM
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I meant aluminium!
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Jul 6th, 2005, 05:43 AM
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Kavey - I think you meant aluminum! ;-)

Carol - I've only read the first installment but just have to thank you for such a great, detailed report. I'm just planning my first trip for next year, and I think it's going to help me tremendously!!!
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Jul 6th, 2005, 07:55 AM
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cooncat--you're welcome! Have a great trip!

DJE--Mombo certainly was wonderful! I would spend the money again...

Kavey--as I said in the report, I was not comfortable in the mekoro, never did get comfortable. I loved our sunset cruise in the regular boat, but we really didn't see any animals from either the mekoro or the regular boat. I doubt we would do a water camp again.
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Jul 6th, 2005, 08:03 AM
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Nope! I'm a Brit. I meant aluminIum! ;P
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Jul 6th, 2005, 08:06 AM
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What a shame you didn't see any animals from the mokoro - that would certainly make a big difference.

Thinking back we didn't see MUCH from the mokoro in LV in 2001 though we still loved it and we did stop on little islands where we saw birds including Pels Fishing Owls.

In Jacana in 2004 we saw plenty of animals from both the mokoro and the aluminium tray including hippos, elephants and frogs! Seeing these animals in the water environment gave us a different perspective on them than land drives could.

If we hadn't seen them I think we would have enjoyed it anyway but not half as much!
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Jul 6th, 2005, 11:34 AM
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Carol

Great trip report. I have a couple of climate and clothing questions from my wife, we head out next week and Mombo is one of our stops.

What was your typical attire for the cold part of game drives (layers etc) and also how warm did it get during the day?
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Jul 6th, 2005, 12:32 PM
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We were at Mombo at the end of May, which is warmer than it is now. We would wear long pants, a t-shirt, and a warm jacket in the mornings, and then would generally take off the jacket sometime around the morning tea break. We wore shorts almost every day after we got back from the morning game drive and took our showers. Usually we changed back into pants for the evening game drives, although a couple of evenings, we just kept the shorts on, as they leave the ponchos in the truck, so we used those to cover up our legs if they got cold in the evenings. Our temps when we woke up were generally around 50 and most days, the daytime highs got up to around 75 to 80. I believe it was warmer than normal, and, as I said, our trip was much earlier than yours is going to be.
Enjoy Mombo! (..and the rest of your trip!)
Carol
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Jul 6th, 2005, 06:43 PM
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Oh Carol,,

What a WONDERFUL report. I am going on my first safari this Sept/Oct, and you have answered so many little nagging questions for me!! Your pictures are just fantastic, and you organized them beautifully! I spent about two hours at work reading your trip reports, then getting interrupted, then reading again-LOL. Don't those people know that I am busy reading, how dare they bother me with.......work!!! I REALLY wish I was leaving tomorrow- after reading your report, which makes my final trip payment much easier!!! Thank You for your great effort- in a fantastic trip report, and pics!! Suzic
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