Cape Town and Botswana Trip Report ...Very Long

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Jun 9th, 2005, 01:21 AM
  #21
 
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Brenda
We share your preference for smaller camps - we tend to try and avoid any with more than 5 tents. We thought it a shame that Savuti had added an extra 2 tents to the camp without informing existing bookings but perhaps it was because they were not full during our stay anyway.
As for Mombo, having not been to Chief's I can't compare it either but I can comment that, although Main Mombo and Little Mombo are next door to each other (and one can walk between them using the raised walkway which leads from both to the shop in the middle) they are very much separate camps. Staying in Little Mombo, with only 3 tents, is very much an intimate experience. One interacts only with guests from the other two tents and the staff themselves. One doesn't really run into the other camp guests with the exception of occasionally encountering one of their vehicles at a really good sighting.
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Jun 9th, 2005, 12:54 PM
  #22
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Here is another link for the photos..hopefully it will work better

http://www.kodakgallery.com/BrowsePh...1&sort_order=0
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Jun 10th, 2005, 11:52 AM
  #23
 
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Thank you, Brenda.

I agree with Selwyn: This has been one of my all time favorite trip reports.

Plus, after reading your text the pictures flow perfectly. And thank you for adding the captions to the pictures.

I'm actually looking forward to YOUR next trip back to Africa!
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Jun 10th, 2005, 07:07 PM
  #24
 
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Brenda, thanks for sharing such a delightful trip report. I almost felt I was on the trip! : ) Also, I had to smile when reading your impressions of the Kwetsane managers. We weren't overly impressed with them, either. However, as I mentioned in my trip report, Kwetsane was our absolute favorite place in Botswana (so far!). Thanks again for taking the time to bring all of us on your amazing African journey. - Nancy
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Jun 10th, 2005, 07:40 PM
  #25
 
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Brenda, I forget to mention something in my last post...the three lion cubs on Handa Island (Kwetsane) are alive! : ) We were there a few days after you and spent a good amount of time photographing the lioness and her three cubs. I'm hoping it's the same lioness that you mentioned in your trip report. I'll be posting photos here soon. Just thought I'd share this and hope that the lioness can keep the cubs safe.
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Jun 11th, 2005, 07:34 AM
  #26
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Glad you are all enjoying the trip report. Writing it as almost as like being there again.

Nancy - I am so glad to hear that the Lioness found her cubs. She was so dejcted looking when we saw her and our guide said it had been 4 or 5 days since anyone had seen the cubs.
Are you going to post your photos ??Please....

I decided yesterday that come hell or high water I am returning to Africa in September 06 ( haven't srpung this revelation on my husband yet).
Now I have to decide where. Perhaps a Namibia/Botswana combo or Zambia.
Brenda
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Jun 11th, 2005, 09:06 AM
  #27
 
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brenda,

Great to learn you are returning. You may think you're springing something on Wally, but he may spring it on you first!

September would be a great month for any of the options you mentioned.
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Jun 11th, 2005, 10:44 AM
  #28
 
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Brenda,

Thank-you for the wonderful trip report and pictures. We'll be spending 3 nights at Savuti Camp in early October and have requested the Honeymoon tent (celebrating 30th anniversary) but after your report I'm wondering if tent 3 would be the better choice since it has a king bed, open loo AND view of the a waterhole. What do you think?
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Jun 11th, 2005, 12:39 PM
  #29
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Hi Kathy,
Personally I would sacrifice the privacy of the honeymoon tent for the waterhole view.
The tents are all well spaced and how wonderful to be able to sit on your deck or the throne and see the massive herds of game!
Can't wait to hear all about your trip when you return.
WOW..thirty years...Congrats!

Brenda
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Jun 11th, 2005, 07:28 PM
  #30
 
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Thanks Brenda. I'll be changing my request from the Honeymoon suite to tent 3. This gives me an idea - I think I'll start a thread about favorite tents at the different camps.

This will be our third African safari. We celebrated our 20th anniversary in Kenya in 1995, then our 25th in Tanzania in 2000 and now our 30th in Botswana. We didn't deliberately plan it that way but it just seems like we HAVE to get back to Africa at least every five years. If money and time wasn't an issue I would love to go every year.
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Jun 14th, 2005, 04:13 PM
  #31
 
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Brenda,
Thank you so very much for your trip report and for posting your wonderful pictures to the internet. I hope you don't mind strangers looking at them! They really inspired me, and I think they convinced my husband that a trip to Africa next May really is not a crazy idea. Thanks again!
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Jun 15th, 2005, 03:56 PM
  #32
 
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Hi Brenda,

Wow, what an awesome trip report! Reading it made me feel that I'm almost there again. It's esp. interesting since we were planning our trips at the same time and went to similar places, at nearly the same time, but different camps (Savuti vs. Duma Tau, and Mombo vs. Chiefs). Sounds like you had an awesome trip!

To address a couple of questions that came up in the thread

1) Wild dogs denning: We saw a pack of 13 at Duma Tau when we were there. It was the first time they've been seen in 2 months. The alpha female was VERY pregnant, so there's a good chance she'll den in the area. So if you go RIGHT NOW, you have a good chance of seeing them . That said, I think it's tricky to pick camps based on the dogs. These guys cover great distances and can move out of an area. For example, there's practically no dogs in the Mombo area any more now that the lions and buffalos moved in.

2) Mombo vs. Chiefs: I can't compare since I've only been to Mombo, but I have to say, Mombo was absolutely the best for game viewing. Here's what we saw on our games drives:

#1: A young male leopard take an impala, and then stealing the carcass back and forth with a group of hyenas. This was incredible.

#2: All 5 of the Big 5 in one single 5 hour drive. Female leopard, huge herds of elephants and buffalo, one lion, and then finally the rhinos.

#3: Lots of general game, another leopard, and probably half of the Matata pride.

#4 (our final game drive): All 30 lions, 4 males, 7 females, and 19 cubs of the Matata tribe, all together. We watched the cubs play for about 45 minutes until everyone went to sleep. I filled up half a gig just on the pride.

We also had an awesome guide, Alex. He wasn't quite as funny or talkative as our other guides (we also had Vundi at Kwetsani. And our guide at Duma Tau, Ben, is even funnier), but is a great tracker and driver. He seemed to be able to find leopards at will and was always the one who radio'ed to the other guides. He also had an uncanny ability to position the truck in the perfect spot for photos. Often I noticed our truck had the best view even when we weren't the first on the scene.

So, I was wavering quite a bit on whether Mombo was worth the extra money during the planning process, and now I feel unequivocally that it was. I totally loved all our camps, but would want to visit different ones next time, except for Mombo which I would definitely keep on the intinerary. And it would be need to be last camp -- you just can't get as excited about one lion after you've seen 30 together
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