E-gnu travel agency/ Botswana in Dec

Jul 26th, 2008, 12:10 PM
  #1  
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E-gnu travel agency/ Botswana in Dec

Hi,
Does anyone have any experience using e-gnu as a travel operator?

We're about to book a trip to Botswana using them and was curious if anyone had any past experiences.

Also - any opinions on the following itin for the Botswana portion of our trip? It would be in early December. Would like to do 4 nights at Mombo and then 3 at another Wilderness camp in the Linyanti area (focus on large game). Sounds like Duma Tau is the best one? (not willing to splurge on Kings Pool - already spending enough on the Mombo portion).

Also - can't find much on the differences between Little Mombo and Big Mombo (except the number of tents). Anything I should know?

3 nights Duma Tau
4 nights Little Mombo

Thanks!

Ruth
Ruth1201 is offline  
Jul 26th, 2008, 01:32 PM
  #2  
skimmer
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Ruth,

Early december isn't the best of time of year to visit Duma Tau if you are looking for big game. Of course you can be lucky with predators (not guaranteed) but normally you wouldn't see the big herds of elephants and buffalo if the rainy season has already started.

Although Mombo is a nice camp with lots of game around, I wouldn't pay big money for a relatively short stay (with chances of rain). It will be a hit or a miss actually.

If you are not into birding or are prepared to stay a long time in one of the more productive areas, I wouldn't recommend to visit those parts of Botswana that time of year.


Best regards,

Johan
 
Jul 26th, 2008, 02:36 PM
  #3  
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Thanks, Johan! Unfortunately our travel dates are set in stone (it's the only time of the year my companion can travel).

Do you suggest sticking to SA camps, such as Mala Mala?


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Jul 26th, 2008, 08:50 PM
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I'm not Johan - but, I can tell you that at MM or any place in the Sabi Sands the game viewing is good year round and you will see a lot! I was there in January and saw a lot.

You will see hell of a lot of gameviewing in East Africa. I was pretty amazed with the stuff I saw recently in the Mara.
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Jul 26th, 2008, 10:40 PM
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Ruth,

With the time you would want to spend of safari, I would prefer to stay in East Africa.

Gameviewing should generally be better than in most places in Southern Africa that time of year.

Although places like Mala Mala have a very good reputation, I wouldn't prefer to go there during that time of year for a relatively short period given the unpredictability of the weather.

Anyway, if your mind is set on Southern Africa, I would prefer South Africa instead of Northern Botswana/Namibia/Zambia that time of year.

Best regards,

Johan







 
Jul 26th, 2008, 11:03 PM
  #6  
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I've been to Londolozi back in October a few years ago and it was great. I'd be more than willing to go to Sabi Sands area again if Botswana viewing will be that bad in mid December.

I was looking for something a bit more "wild". What are the downsides of the rainy season in Botswana? I've been doing a ton of researching and it looks like the game is just harder to find with the rains and tall grass? However some say that Mombo has good viewing all year round because of their positioning. Anyone experience Botswana in December yet?

If we do end up doing Botswana, for the Linyanti area - is Duma Tau better than Savuti? Should we avoid the Linyanti area all together and stick with Mombo only?

All opinions welcome!
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Jul 27th, 2008, 02:27 AM
  #7  
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Hi Ruth,

I have been to the Kwando Camps (Northern Botswana) in December 2006 we were there for 8 days and had rain on one morning. I would not normally disagree with Johan but I think that December was as good as ever for gameviewing in that year, but that is no guarantee!
Rainfall patterns are changing and last year was particularly wet,we were there in March this year and several concessions were badly waterlogged, excluding Kwando, apart from the airstrip at Lebala.


 
Jul 27th, 2008, 08:40 AM
  #8  
 
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I wasn't as lucky as Ken during the green season in terms of rain. This past December/January it rained pretty much every day (although not all the time). I still had some very good viewing at Kwando's Kwara concession. Spectacular viewing one of the days at Lebala (luck of the draw).

You will be very lucky to find any buffalo during the rainy months in the Linyanti. Possibly, a few Elephants here and there. Wild Dogs will be highly mobile and will be hit or miss. Other predators probably will roam through their core areas and hence you will need to spend some time in the Linyanti ........
HariS is offline  
Jul 27th, 2008, 01:19 PM
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How about Mombo? Even though it may be rainy in mid-December, does the game retreat outside of the concession? Or are you still able to find it?

Eeek! We were really looking forward to Botswana, but would be terribly disappointed if we couldn't see game while there.... would really like to experience something different than Sabi Sands...

Anyone know of the differences between Savuti and Duma Tau in Dec? They appear to be very close in proximity in the Linyanti.

Ruth1201 is offline  
Jul 27th, 2008, 01:55 PM
  #10  
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Ruth,

Like Hari explained weather in summer season is unpredictible. You can be lucky or unlucky with the rains. But if you are paying that much money, I wouldn't take chances on that.

Duma Tau and Savuti are located in the same area (=Linyanti) so the game you see would be the same.

Mombo has good game year around but given the price, the current predator dynamics and the chance of rain I wouldn't pay that much for a stay in December.

Also you wanted to be something more wild and I don't know if Mombo fits in here as it is one of the most luxurious camps in the Delta.
 
Jul 29th, 2008, 07:51 AM
  #11  
 
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I would not change anything to your original plan, because it looks great to me. I might have a different opinion than some of the others who have replied, because I feel that December 15 - January 15 is the best time of the year in the Okavango. I have been to Mombo 13 times and mostly during that time of year and it has never disappointed. The green scenery, lack of dust, long days (i.e. more hours on game drives) more than make up for the occasional thunderstorm. The last 3 years it has been rainier than normal during this time of year, but it has rarely rained entire days, which is more common after January 15.
Feel free to contact me directly if you have more questions about Mombo or DumaTau in December
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Jul 29th, 2008, 08:30 AM
  #12  
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Green season safaris are an acquired taste in my opinion. For those who have been on multiple safaris, experiencing the peak game viewing of the dry season, then it is a wonderful contrast.

It all depends on your level of expectation. Looking at many wonderful brochures, you may see huge herds of elephants in the Linyanti for example. From November-May, on average, this will not be the case.

I have been fortunate enough to have some exceptional sightings in the green season, but on a day to day level, it is certainly hit and miss.

In terms of when it rains, I am afraid I will have to completely disagree with Avons. It just depends on each individual rainy season. In November 2005, in 7 days , at KP, Zib and Duba Plains, there was not one day when it do rain. Roll on May 2008, there was a massive 12mm downpour, incredibly unseasonal.
 
Jul 29th, 2008, 11:20 AM
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I don't think we are in disagreement with each other about the rain (I even mentioned that the last 3 Decembers have seen more rain than average, so it's clearly different from year to year). I would say, however, that it is highly unlikely to see any rain between June 1st and September 15th. On the other hand, it is very likely you will see lots of rain between January 15 and April 15. The rest of the year is more or less a gamble and different each year.
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Jul 29th, 2008, 02:50 PM
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I don't think it's fair to say that between 15 dec and 15 jan is the best time of year in the Okavango.
Maybe WS should change their prices according to the different seasons...
We all know that Mombo has good game throughout the year but if you are only staying for a couple of days I wouldn't take chances then unless I want to say well I have been there ... what's next on my list.


Like LBJ I claim it's a hit or a miss ... and I would recommend a longer stay in the green season for experienced guests who have been in those areas in wintertime.

Most of the permanent camps in Botswana are overpriced in the green season even if prices are significantly lower than in high season.

shatila is offline  
Jul 29th, 2008, 06:10 PM
  #15  
 
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Of course there is no "right" or "wrong" here, because this is all driven by individual preferences and expectations. I do believe that the higher prices during the Botswana winter and around Christmas are mostly driven by vacation time in the Northern Hemisphere, however, and are less related to the quality of the game viewing. As far as I know, Mombo is charging the same rate all year round, don't they?
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Jul 29th, 2008, 07:15 PM
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What about flood levels in the winter moths? in High Season, especially in smaller areas?
HariS is offline  
Jul 29th, 2008, 07:50 PM
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If someone is planning to visit the Okavango to witness the flood, winter is clearly the time to go, especially May-August, depending on the location of the camp.
In a number of camps, the flood will limit access to certain areas within the concession, because of the higher water levels. In Duba Plains and Mombo, for example, this can reduce the size of the "driveable" area by 30-50% during those winter months.
avons is offline  
Jul 30th, 2008, 07:45 AM
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As the earnings generator of the company Mombo is overpriced throughout the year nowadays ... and sadly it's not the only one.

Have f.e. a look at Chief's/Zibadianja/Xudum/...

Marketing can do miracles but its power stops at a certain point.

shatila is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2008, 02:59 PM
  #19  
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Unfortunately, we just don't have the option of going during the better game viewing seasons (my companion is a photographer that works all year except December). So we're definitely going - it's just picking where to go.

Would like to splurge on Mombo, even though the game is less rich than other times of the year.

Question for the board - is 5 nights too much for Mombo? Are you sort of "done" after 5 nights? It would put us at Duma Tau for 2 nights and Mombo for 5.

Ruth
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Aug 18th, 2008, 08:27 PM
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We spent 3 nights in Mombo recently, and I loved it. We traveled across southern Africa for 26 days, and Mombo was my favorite camp. One day, we spotted the Big Five before 11:00 AM (actually the Big Six b/c we saw a black rhino)! I would loved to spent more time there. We heard great things about Duma Tau, also. Don't know much about conditions during December except that it will be hot.
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