Botswana VS Kenya/Tanzania

Apr 3rd, 2006, 11:33 AM
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and to follow-up on Julian's comment about the number of trips to a particular area fluctuating--one reason you are seeing so many E. Africa trip reports is that Dec-March is prime time for the migration to be massed in the short grass plains, including calving season. I was planning a S. Africa itinerary for my first trip when I learned about the calving and that is why I switched to TZ.
bat is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2006, 11:40 AM
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I think that Predator biologist is busy writing the next installment of his trip report (I hope so)--but here is a thread that asked a related Q (ie Kenya vs Botswana) and I thought PB's advice was realy good--figure out what the 3 or 4 most important things are for you and then match the location to that.
bat is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2006, 11:42 AM
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Hello Spiegelcjs,

One more comment -- based on the time of year you want to travel (June - September) South Africa will almost certainly offer the best value for money.

Unlike other African countries, prime game-viewing time (the dry season from June-September) is low season in SA, which means that you will be able to get much more bang for your buck. The exchange rate between the dollar and the rand will also help in terms of keeping the cost down.

jasher is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2006, 12:12 PM
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I am delighted that so many of you have picked up on this thread. It has helped to focus. At this time this is the plan. Botswana, and VF. My husband wants to see Cape Town so we will do that first. I am now into pricing out trips. I have sent a message to CC Africa. Born Free seems to only do East Africa. Is that correct. Who else can I contact for the more upscale permanent tented camps. Also we want to fly between camps. One company has this program.
I posted this part earlier but here it is again.We will get to Johan. from CT on our own.
Day 1 The Grace
2-4 Royal Livingston
5-6 KIngs Pool
7-8 Stanley's Camp
9-11 Chiefs Camp

Comments again welcome. This is like having the entire world as your travel agents.
spiegelcjs is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2006, 12:14 PM
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Another question. Would I be better off staying 3 days at each location if we can afford it. I would think that it takes time to leave the camp, get to the airstrip and fly to the next camp.
spiegelcjs is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2006, 12:29 PM
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You can contact:
- go2africa
- pulse africa.

Both are in South Africa and can offer you the same itinerary or anything else you may wish.
Apr 3rd, 2006, 12:39 PM
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Agree with Sandi to try the South African companies. And there is also:

Taga Safaris
Gavin Blair

climbhighsleeplow is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2006, 12:51 PM
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I talked with Born Free about Southern Africa and they gave me a quote. Lovely people but my goodness it was a high quote compared to others.

3 is better than 2 nights, if the time and money are there

3 nights at Royal Livingston seems like a lot. I would think 2 would be enough.
atravelynn is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2006, 12:55 PM
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The plan you mention sounds pretty good, but in my opinion, 3 nights at Victoria Falls is too many, unless you are planning on doing more than one of the activities (helicopter, rafting, bungee jumping, etc.). For me, although three days in a camp is not too much, two days is probably enough for most of them, since it allows you to see a greater number and variety of places (which I really enjoyed) for about the same amount of time and money. Usually the air trips from camp to camp in northern Botwsana are only 20-45 minutes, often in 6-seater Cessnas, with little or no waiting time before the plane whisks in and picks you up, and the landing strips are only about a 10-15 minute drive from the camp. We were always able to have an early lunch after a morning game drive, fly to the next camp, and be there in plenty of time for an afternoon game drive.
Since you asked for another contact, you might want to try Bert Duplessis at Fish Eagle Safaris (, who arranged a very nice itinerary for us to Jo'burg, 5 camps in Botswana, Vic Falls, and Cape Town. He uses a lot of the Wilderness Safaris camps (all of which are nice and some of which, such as Kings Pool as well as Mombo and Jao, are quite upscale), but I believe he also can access other camps as well. Mombo (in the same general area as Chiefs Camp)is often rated at or near the top of many favorite lists, especially for its excellent wildlife. Bert will arrange as much or as little as you would like.
One last idea if you are interested, Selwyn Davidowitz ( and his brother Rob are wonderful guides in Cape Town, and will take you in their own car anywhere you want from the Cape, the coast, the wine country, Table Mountain, Soweto, or anywhere else (obviously you can do all that in one day) with a constant travelogue of the history, politics, culture, natural resources, etc. of the area. We found that having a driver/guide added a lot to the sightseeing.
As you have learned and been warned, none of this is cheap, but you should have a great trip.
hguy47 is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2006, 12:56 PM
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Sorry, obviously I meant you obviously canNOT do all of that stuff in Cape Town in one day.
hguy47 is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2006, 02:20 PM
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I apologize if it sounded that i was jumping down your throat.Yes the 17 vehicles happens but my point was it is not a regular occurence as some would think and as Rocco pointed out in this thread.I agree totally on the guiding as just about anyone can take you into the Mara but there are a lot of self drivers in S.A.and i have read articles about how irresponsible many of them are.I also feel that Matt from England made an important point about the cultures of East Africa.The Masai,Samburu,the Swahili coast very much define Africa for me and are a very big draw.
dlo is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2006, 03:44 PM
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If you plan on staying at a Wilderness Safaris camp such as Kings Pool, you'll need to book through a safari specialist, as WS doesn't deal directly with clients. You could use someone like David Anderson Safaris in Santa Barbara CA. He's been in the business for over 30 years and I've had excellent dealings with him. He may also have some suggestions that you haven't thought of.

I would say that Botswana and Tanzania are my two favorite destinations in Africa, but, as was said, apples and oranges. You'll love it! By the way, Soweto is in Jo'burg, not Cape Town... Four days in the Capetown/Winelands regions was about right.
ShayTay is offline  
Apr 4th, 2006, 07:51 AM
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The self drivers are certainly a problem, but I choose to visit private concessions where they are not an issue. I have just heard a number of these congestion stories and it seems to be getting worse, judging by Balfour's column. Though the self drive crowd are causing problems in SA and Botswana also.
napamatt is offline  
Apr 4th, 2006, 09:32 AM
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Chief's camp can be a bit of disappointment that time of year (June - September) because of the limitation of the roads they can drive on + they can't drive anymore to the productive areas around Mombo and Boro West will maybe difficult to reach.

I think Lebala and Kwara give better value for your money that time of year (especially August/September).

If you are choosin' Stanley for the elephant activity, I would opt to stay at Baines (it's in the same concession but the camp is smaller and a bit more upscale). You can also do the elephant activity from there + you can do some water activities over there). I was there in June 2005 and had a memorable stay (excellent gameviewing/great guide/lovely management/wonderful food).

I didn't mention everyone's favorite: Mombo (because already fully booked).

Other options I would consider are Chitabe,Little Vumbura and Selinda.

2 nights at Livingstone seems enough to me unless you want to do all kinds of activities (rafting/helicopter flight/bungee jumping/...)


Oct 2nd, 2007, 06:55 PM
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Hello! Pulled this up from the archives. Thinking of Serengeti for 2009.

Anybody been to Serengeti in Feb/March and Botswana (end of dry season)? what were your impressions. I'm sure the gameviewing is sublime. Two questions 1.) Guiding 2.)traffic at sightings?

HariS is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2007, 07:06 PM
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Recently in Bots in june and Serengeti in February-March. Both of course fantastic but differnet. Serengeti just seems so vast and open while Bots is "the Bush". Actually I don't think the guiding is quite so important because, at least in the parks, you are ot allowed off road. In the Serengeti, when you come across several vehicles stopped at a sighting, you stop. The guide/driver has it pretty easy, other than driving. It is important just as anywhere in Africa to have a good guide/driver but I think they have less need for tracking skills. When not in the parks you of course go off road and their any tracking skills pay dividends. Just my opinion of course, others may have a different take on the two.
safarichuck is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2007, 07:13 PM
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One additional obervation, my comments above refer to Tanzania. I had a much different impression of Kenya. I don't think Kenya has done nearly as good a job as Tanzania (or Botswana) in managing its wildlife and game viewing. The guides were generally very unprofessional and all of the sightings were a afree for all. If I had not had more experience I might have come away unenthusiastic about returning to Africa. That's how bad it was. Again, other might have had better experiences but that was ours and is of course only an opinion. I still intend to return and spend time in the Mara but I'll do some carefull planning first.
safarichuck is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2007, 07:32 PM
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What I like about Kenya and Tanzania is the affordability of a private vehicle. We travel as a family of four or six, and it is great to have the vehicle to ourselves and decide how long to stay at sightings.
Novak is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2007, 08:54 PM
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Hari - Anybody been to Serengeti in Feb/March ...? what were your impressions. I'm sure the gameviewing is sublime. Two questions 1.) Guiding 2.)traffic at sightings?

Hari, I just started a thread about the 'crowds' at Serengeti and Ngorongoro which probably answers your 'traffic' Q.

Bill_H is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2007, 09:21 PM
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Novak: keep in mind that at almost all camps in Botswana they will only put 6 in a vehicle thus if that's the size of your party you will have a private vehicle with no additional cost.

Hari: glad you pulled this up as I'm in the same situation. Booked for Tanzania this February and of course already a huge fan of Botswana. I have done my best planning, with great help from Kiliwarriors, to replicate the Botswana type of experience on the Tanzania trip so I will be very interested to see how it goes.
PredatorBiologist is offline  

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