Botswna Safaro

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Mar 3rd, 2006, 01:03 AM
  #1
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Botswna Safaro

I have done so much research that I am now cofusedlzi have information forn Nature Exprcitions Int. based in forida, Ker and Downey I am not sure of home base,

www,ker&downey,com
the other is www.naturexp.com

Both iteneraries look similiar and the time sees about the same my concern is the qualities of the camp, food,guides,vehicles etc. are these location in the parks of outside of themWht are the main things I should be searching for
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Mar 3rd, 2006, 01:56 AM
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Hello Spiegel,

Which itinerary are you looking at? Both companies seem to offer a variety of Botswana itineraries.

Cheers,
Julian
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Mar 3rd, 2006, 02:06 PM
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Two tough competitors! I used the Classic safari from K&D as a comparison.

Pre Safari: Grace Hotel with NEI, very charming, lovely. I think a “best in the world award” has been won by it. K&D has a nice airport hotel. Nicer than the Holiday Inn I choose, so no personal experience with either of these hotels. A friend did tell me that I had to stay at the Grace Hotel once in my lifetime for the experience.

At the falls—Victoria Falls Hotel is a classic, like Grace, and an excellent location. Don’t know about K&D’s Falls hotel.

2 nights--K&D has Chobe, similar to NEI’s Linyanti but probably more elephants in Chobe and the evening sunset river cruise is a fantastic wildlife opportunity. Chobe is the most crowded of any Botswana parks.

2 nights--K&D’s Selinda is similar to Linyanti and just north of it. I haven’t been, but have heard such great things that I am going this August. The travelers I’ve talked to prefer Selinda to Linyanti. Comparing Selinda to Chief’s Camp on the NEI itinerary may be close. I think Chief’s will have more game and certainly your only Botswana shot at rhino. As of late, there are more wild dog sightings in Selinda (and Linyanti) than Chief’s Island. I think the cheetah odds are just a bit better in Selinda or Linyanti than Chief’s Island. From my experience at Mombo (other Chief’s camp) no other area in Botswana has the quality of leopard sightings as Chief’s Island. Not close.

2 nights--Kanana-looked nice, big on birds, walking, mekoro—your water camp with emphasis on water. But Stanley’s has the elephants. If the ele walk is important, this is a big plus for Stanley’s and NEI. If not, then the extra delta nights with K&D has the advantage.

3 nights—Shinde-has decent wildlife, but not what you’d see in Chobe, Linyanti, or Chief’s Island. But I have not been to Shinde personally, this is just what I've heard.



NEI: 1 Joburg, 2 Vic Falls, 2 Linyanti, 2 Delta, 3 Chief’s in Moremi (10 nights total for $5920 or $592 per night)
K&D: 1 Joburg, 2 Vic Falls, 2 Chobe, 2 Selinda, 2 Delta-water, 3 Delta-landwater (12 nights total for $6735 or $562 per night)

More days are better than less days in my book, favoring K&D. But the extra 2 days are at a water camp with less game viewing and more mekoro/walking and birds. Depends if that interests you. Chief’s Island is a premier game viewing spot anywhere, favoring NEI. You will not see rhinos with the K&D trip. All these places are reputable with well placed camps that will be quite luxurious with good food and top notch guides.

I see why you are confused. There is not a clear winner. That’s good because if you choose one of these trips, the winner will be you. You’ll return home thinking, “I made the right decision. This trip was fantastic.” Botswana is like that and these itineraries will show you much of what Botswana has to offer.
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Mar 3rd, 2006, 02:32 PM
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Rate correction! I looked at the July K&D rates. For June, only $5750 so that's $479 per night, which is substantially less than $592 per night with NEI. If you do the elephant walk at Stanley's that would be an additional charge with NEI. Even with that price difference, NEI still has a lot going for it in my opinion.

The 2007 rates will need to be used for a more accurate comparison. These may be 2006 rates.

Curious to learn what you finally decide.

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Mar 3rd, 2006, 10:13 PM
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You are all amazing. I cannot say enough about how much I appreciate the time each of you on this board take to assist those of us that are struggling with trips. The breakdown you have just given me makes me lean towards the NEI trip. We are going to add 3 days in Capetown and possibly an extra day. in Johannesburg. I want to go to Soweto, therefore the extra day. Is Johannesburg a city you can "wander" around alone . I am really big on wandering when we travel as I feel it really gives you a flavor of the country. I love going where the locals go, the markets, book stores, etc. I like getting away from the tourist spots. I do not know if this is possible in Africa. In Capetown we will probably take some tours and then spend some time on our own. My husband likes more structure and I like to wing it.
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Mar 4th, 2006, 01:10 AM
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Hello,

Unfortunately, Johannesburg is really not a city you can just wander around in -- it's very spread out and you need a car to get around. There are some neighbourhoods where you can do a bit of walking, but even there a car would be a real advantage.

In my experience, the neighbourhood which is best for walking in Joburg is Melville. It's a student neighbourhood so there are lots of bookstores, cafes, and funky little shops. There are a number of nice guesthouses in the area, such as A Room with a View and Saffron House. It's where I usually stay when I have a layover in Joburg.

Cheers,
Julian
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Mar 4th, 2006, 03:33 PM
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If you arrive in Jo'burg in the morning as do most people, you should have the afternoon free for a Soweto tour; that's what we did last month. We had asked to visit an orphanage, so we spent much of our time at the Salvation Army's Carl Sithole Social Centre. They provide many services for the community, not just for orphans or kids taken out of abusive homes. They also have a school onsite. We were expected and given a tour by the head of the Center, Captain Magdaline Phore. It was the highlight of the tour; much better than the "everything's fine in Soweto" spin for the rest of the tour. The tour operator was Wilro Tours. Our driver, Desmond, had never been to the Center and was quite impressed with it.
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Mar 4th, 2006, 10:04 PM
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Thanks for the information on the orphanage tour in Soweto. When you went did you bring anything from home for the children such as books, crayons, candy pens and pencils paper etc. i was told you needed a full day for this tour but it sounds like that is not true.

Re Cape Town. Am I correct that three days is enough. We live in California so going to the wine country is not that important. Do we need a guide, should we rent a car ourselves, or are they good guided group tours. Do they have the get on and off buses like they do in most of the European cities.
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Mar 6th, 2006, 08:57 AM
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We donated cash (rands), as the Center could use this better than the goods. They are in great need of additional school space, as some classes are meeting in hallways, etc., so the cash was greatly appreciated. There were many other needs as well, but in South Africa, they can purchase what they need locally.

It's not like the orphanage I visited in Tanzania, where we were surrounded by kids. We were able to visit with a couple of girls in one House and a few kids in another one, but most were in school or busy with homework, sports, etc. It's well-organized, but underfunded. If you go, say "Hello" to Captain Phore from the four American ladies that visited in February.

Three days might be enough time in Cape Town, depending on when you arrive and leave. The area will remind you of California...Southern Cal, Napa, and Big Sur all jammed together. The climate is the same, as well.

The Winelands is a beautiful area to tour, even if you're not that interested in the wine. We used a tour guide for all our tours, including Cape Town and the Peninsula. I wouldn't be that comfortable driving on the left side, especially in town.

There is a "hop on, hop off" Topless Bus service that you could use to tour Cape Town. I think it costs about R90 and can be boarded at various locations around town, such as at the V&A Waterfront. You might want to consider a full day tour for the Peninsula and perhaps the same for the Winelands.
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