Delta Trip

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Dec 29th, 2005, 05:37 AM
  #1
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Delta Trip

Have just returned from a 10 day whirlwind trip around Botswana and Livingstone. Have read much on the forum and thought I should contribute my 2 cents worth for any interested parties...
Xakanaxa - great tents, but the camp was rather noisy. Our guide, Water, was excellent. The food was possibly the nicest we had on the whole trip - Botswana Beef so tender! Management were brilliant, been there for 14 years so know how to create a happy holiday vibe.
Camp Okavango - Past its sell by date, rather sad I thought. Desperately needs a revamp and new managers.
Stanleys - Lovely position - very colonial atmosphere. Guides were OK. Stay there to do the Elephant Experience
Baines - Gorgeous, small and intimate. Guides were excellent (saw leoperds everywhere including on our walk!!!) Management had an odd, slighty snotty vibe to them.
Chiefs Camp - FANTASTIC. Guides, tents, food, managers, staff all were awesome - game viewing phenomenal (Lions, Leoperds, cheetahs...) Saw the new tents to be finished by June 06 - huge with outdoor showers. Definately suit those loooking for a more upmarket stay in the bush.
Kwara Camp - FAVOURITE - real safari tented experience. The camp was not nearly as smart as all of the above but had outdoor showers and probably the nicest outlook of all the camps. Food and general atmosphere were excellent - guides and management were outstanding!!
Savute elephant Lodge - Big and very posh, don't think I will ever get used to air con in a tent in the bush.
Chobe Game Lodge - lovely atmosphere but big and rather resorty...
Tongabezi - Absolutely lovely - staff, cottages, houses and activities were fantastic. so friendly and helpful and very informative.
Zambezi Sun and Royal Livingstone- WHAT A RIP OFF. was very dissappointed by the level of service (esp. at Royal Livingstone) as well the pricing on food. $60 for a bottle of wine! $27 for main meal!

If anyone would like more in depth info on any of the above please ask. These are a very quick summary of my thoughts - any input or other opinions would be greatly appreciated
mistypopper is offline  
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Dec 29th, 2005, 05:52 AM
  #2
 
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Also had an outstanding experience at Xakanaxa in 2000--great management and superb food. If I recall correctly, the managers were Flo and Bob, an older couple and excellent at what they were doing. I'm glad to know they are still there.
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Dec 29th, 2005, 06:08 AM
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Wow, you did pack a lot into 10 days.

A few questions for you:

Was the Xakanaxa noise from staff/guests or wildlife in the night?

Can you elaborate on your elephant walk at Stanley's? How long, how many eles, how many guests walked, am or pm, etc.?

What wildlife did you see at Kwara?

Welcome back!
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Dec 29th, 2005, 07:06 AM
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thank you for your report. If the Zambezi Sun and Royal Livingstone were a rip-off are there are places in that area you would recommend? How long did you stay there and did you go to Victoria Falls?
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Dec 29th, 2005, 07:25 AM
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Did you really do one camp per day?
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Dec 29th, 2005, 08:29 AM
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Familiarization trip?
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Dec 29th, 2005, 09:55 AM
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I was also wondering if you were only in each camp a single day - what with travel between each camp were you able to sync things so that you had a full day of activities at each camp or not quite?

Thanks for the feedback on camps - it's good to hear which have best staff, accommodation, outlook and so on.

Thanks for sharing.
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Dec 29th, 2005, 10:03 AM
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ttt for research
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Jan 1st, 2006, 11:10 AM
  #9
Lin
 
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Hi mistypopper, I just tried to post a reply but it didn't appear to post so if you get 2, sorry.

I would love more information about Stanley's where I'm booked in June. I have reserved the extremely expensive Elephant Encounter with misgivings - I'm afraid it will have a zoo or circus feel to it. Did you do it? Was it worth it? What game did you see? Why did you rate the guides just "OK"?

If you prefer to email me I'm at [email protected].
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Jan 3rd, 2006, 08:17 AM
  #10
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To all the questions....

Yes an "educational" so hence the 1 night per camp - which originally made me a bit nervous about posting my experience and feedback on the camps but it is all simply useful I hope! We were very energetic and managed to fit in at least two if not 3 activities per camp! Morning, noon and night...

The elephant experience at Stanleys is not like a zoo at all, though June is high season and I believe groups can be up to 10 people.... It is not affiliated to Baines or Stanley's camp and it really is quite wonderful to walk in the bush with 3 elephants. Trips are 1 in the morning and one in the afternoon for 4 hours includes a picnic meal. The website is rather brilliant and now being the nit that i am cannot find the link.... The couple who adopted these elephants are true naturalists and seem to be in it for all the right reasons - I hope that puts your mind at rest that it is money well spent.

Stanley's Camp - My guide specifically was OK, having come from Chief's I think my expectations had been set to 5* type guide! That said my "OK" guide found us 2 different leoperds and a spring hare on the night drive. If I think about it - he was only OK because his communication skills and overall friendlyness weren't as good as the Chiefs guides - who really have been trained in the art of PR as well!!

Kwara - didn't see much game ... but the day before we arrived they saw the resident pack of wild dog as well a cheetah... so it's all a bit of a gamble really!

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Jan 3rd, 2006, 08:24 AM
  #11
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Whoops - forgot Vic Falls

Tongabezi was superb - we stayed the night... the Houses are something quite different but the river cottages are just as nice. The staff were outstanding and really tried to make our short stay as jam packed as anything. We toured Livingstone with one chap and looked at the markets in town as well some local suburbs and got a good dose of history as well as a very interesting discussion with regards to the AIDS crisis, inflation , general lifestyle and politics (I am South African so always land up comparing notes on the two countries). The next morning we swam in the rock pool on the edge of Vic Falls - so much fun!! This is run by tongabezi and includes a meal/snack (bacon and egg roll with Delicious Zambian Coffee...) at $45 pp it's pricey but worth it!

Sussi and Chuma also looked lovely with wonderful local staff and spacious bungalows - there are 2 private 2 bedroom villas here on the banks of the Zambezi perfect for some one that wants total privacy.

Islands of Siankaba probably has the most unspoilt position - you feel like you are hidden away from civilisation!
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Jan 3rd, 2006, 08:52 AM
  #12
 
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Aah, the hectic world of the educational! That explains the itinerary! But you certainly made the best of your experience and yes, the feedback on camps is definitely helpful!
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Jan 3rd, 2006, 11:02 AM
  #13
mv
 
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The website for the elephant activity at Stanleys is:
http://www.livingwithelephants.org/
I can recommend the activity

Michael
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Jan 3rd, 2006, 05:12 PM
  #14
Lin
 
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Thank you mistypopper and mv for the recommendation of the elephant activity and the link. 'Atravelynn' has since sent me other threads in which people stated how much they enjoyed the walk. So I'm good to go now!!
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