Central Kalahari in July?

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Apr 2nd, 2005, 05:59 PM
  #1
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Central Kalahari in July?

Several tours I looked at include 2-3 days of 10 days in Botswana at Central Kalahari in July. I cannot find much written in guide books about the quality/quantity of wildlife viewing during July. Am I better to go to other areas in Botswana, or perhaps to Neighboroughing countries.

One of the tours is by AFrican Adventure Country, if you have any comments on them.
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Apr 2nd, 2005, 06:36 PM
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Pezzhull

During July there is not an abundance of wildlife in the Kalahari. I am staying 4 nights at San Camp in the Makgadikgadi Pans in the Kalahari in early August because I am interested in the meerkats, the brown hyenas (seen mainly at night I think) and the San Bushmen. The appeal is mainly being in a desert type environment.

With all that Botswana and neighboring countries have to offer in July, I'd probably skip the Kalahari on a first trip, unless you had a particular interest in the activities I mentioned.

Some of the trips include the Kalahari as part of a standard itinerary. In July the Kalahari does not have the abundance of animals, but the other Botswana parks are at their prime. In Jan-Mar when the Kalahari has more game, the other Botswana parks are a little wetter with wildlife a little harder to see.

Wilderness, a Botswana safari company, has come out with several new luxury camping itineraries that do more in the Kalahari. There were some previous Fodor posts on camping in Botswana that mentioned these or similar camping trips by other providers.

A great luxury camping safari that does not include the Kalahari is the Wilderness Jacana trip. I did it in 1997 and it was fabulous and quite a bargain. While some of the specifics and camps have changed since 97, I believe it hits Chobe, Linyanti or Savuti, and the Delta--both land and water camps. Wilderness only sells through agents so many would offer this trip. It focused just on Botswana with the first day in Victoria Falls.

Don't know about African Adventure Country. I googled them and saw nothing on pages 1 or 2 of the search results.

Might you mean Africa Adventure Company?
If so, I have specifics (all positive) on them.

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Apr 3rd, 2005, 06:13 AM
  #3
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My choice is do I see the kalahari or spend some time in the Mudumu NP in Namibia or go to Zimbawie to Hwange park. This is my first visit to Botswana (been to Tanzania/Kenya) and my focus is definately on wildlife.
So take Kalahari or other parks?

Sorry yes I meant Africa Adventure Company.
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Apr 3rd, 2005, 11:24 AM
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In searching for the Jacana safari I mentioned above, I think it has been canned. Wilderness has come out with a variety of other camping trips, though.

As for Africa Adventure, I am happy to share the positive experiences I have had with them.

My next trip is booked with them and I have used them on 8 previous trips. They have performed flawlessly.

Here is part of a post I made in a previous Fodorís Forum regarding Africa Adventure...

The only agent that I have "really put to the test" was Africa Adventure when just before a scheduled departure to Uganda in 2001 for myself and three friends, there were security problems that fell short of a State Dept warning, but made us feel uncomfortable going there at that time. Africa Adventure re-did that portion of the trip last minute, omitting all our Uganda activities, with no cancellation fees, and not charging us for a total of 12 gorilla permits. They replaced the Uganda days with the Kenya & Tanzania camps and activities I requested. It also required changing airline tickets just days before the flight and they got us changes without any fees or penalties.

Another time in 1998, as I was returning home, Air Botswana redirected its scheduled flight elsewhere, without a replacement, stranding all its passengers. A collect call to Africa Adventure got me on another airline's flight, only one day late when some of the other passengers were still stranded.


Some other accolades:

In 2004 they even got me in as a volunteer with the Peace Corps for a several day stint in a Jane Goodall chimp sanctuary in Uganda. To visit as a guest would have cost thousands and I would not have gotten the hands-on contact with the chimps.

Even when it was not their problem, they have helped out. On one trip there was another client, who was not with Africa Adventure, who was extremely rude and actually perverted. (I enjoy good natured ribbing and off color jokes, so this guy was really bad.) When I explained this problem to Af Adv upon my return they sent me a couple hundred dollars refund just for the inconvenience of putting up with this guy.

On my last trip my luggage was lost on the way home. Going through all the accepted British Air channels produced no results for days on end. So I called Bill at Af Adv, who does the air and explained my problem. He contacted their British Air rep and 5 hours later I had an email that my luggage had been located and it was at my home the next day. Coincidence? I don't think so.

More than once I have agreed to a price for a trip and made a deposit. One time, several weeks after the deposit Af Adv informed me that they were able to reduce the price of my trip further through additional negotiations and knocked off $700. Another time, they were able to do away with the single supplement after I had agreed to pay it.

As far as pricing goes, when I shopped my Botswana itinerary around to several companies both in the US and in Africa, Africa Adventure came back with the best land and air deal of anyone.

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