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-   -   Final decision Bot.itinerary,help please (https://www.fodors.com/community/africa-and-the-middle-east/final-decision-bot-itinerary-help-please-679131/)

PacoAhedo Feb 12th, 2007 09:30 AM

Final decision Bot.itinerary,help please
 
I just received a message from my agent and looks like Kwando camps are almost full the first week of november.I manage to get one more night for a total of 9.They offer me this itinerary:
2n Lebala(Impossible more)
3n Zibalianja
4n Little Kwara

Main interest:

-Wildlife photography.
-Best chance for Sable and roan.
-Like everybody,predators(preference cheetah and leopard over lion and wild dog).
-Private vehicle.

What do you think?
Should i switch to other camps?
Wilderness camps better?

Please need advice ASAP,i have to decide.

Thank you,Paco.






PredatorBiologist Feb 12th, 2007 11:37 AM

Paco: I think that looks great! It is a very good itinerary for cheetah, a little more hit and miss for leopard but that's typical in most areas (I did have an excellent relaxed leopard at Kwara) and although you said not as important it is very good for wild dog opportunities too. Hari or others will know better but you may have a better chance to see the Sable and Roan to the north by Lagoon Camp (I know they can be near Lebala and Zib but I am thinking more often than not there are some by Lagoon) which you can reach from Lebala. If your guide knows that is your interest they will know the best places to look.

skimmer Feb 12th, 2007 12:05 PM

Paco,

You should do fine ...

Leopards are best seen in Mombo. Roan and Sable are never seen easy (Vumbura the exception on the rule for Sable maybe) but you'll have your chances especially around Lagoon.

But my advice is to stick to the above itinerary because of the variety of habitat, the good track record on predators and the excellent guiding. At Lebala try Spencer or Charles. They are both top class. At Kwara Mothusi or Joe would be the guides to go for.

Greetz,

Johan

afrigalah Feb 12th, 2007 12:27 PM

Paco,

Zib (Selinda) excellent for cheetah because of its big grassland areas. I've seen cheetah there on all four visits, always 'the boys' and often a female with young as well. Kwando (Lagoon) is very good, too...scored 'the boys' on my only visit there and spent a couple of days with them. All these cheetah sightings have been prolonged and closeup ( www.afrigalah.com ).

I've seen roan at Selinda fairly regularly, and sable at both Selinda and Lagoon (two nice males drinking together from the spillway at Selinda on one occasion). Both these occasions were nice closeups, though the roan were fairly distant and skittish (except for a roan kill by lion on the spillway).

Zib has been excellent for me for wild dog and lion, and not bad for leopard (there's been a resident female with her first cub in recent months and I'm sorry I'm not going to be there to see the youngster before he/she goes her own way) and I know Hari will attest to Lebala's worth as well.

You'll know nothing can be guaranteed but I'd always back Selinda-Kwando to give you consistent results. Others will say the same thing about neighbouring Duma Tau and Savuti ('the boys' range all the way from Lagoon to Savuti with Selinda smack-bang in the middle, and probably further), so what do you do? I wish I had your dilemma right now :D Zib camp is so small, probably the smallest in the delta/Linyanti area, that you might consider that a big advantage: less chance of distractions by other vehicles.

John

atravelynn Feb 12th, 2007 04:26 PM

Go for it!

santharamhari Feb 12th, 2007 05:34 PM

Paco,

Sounds a super itinerary. I say, take this for now and if you can extend your safari (if lebala is first or last camp on trip) get your Travel agent to get you on a wait list......but, if only two nights are available....there is nothing you can do, i suppose. But, you will LOVE your stay at Lebala and return next time- i assure you that!!!

Zib, i will be visiting in June along with Lebala for a long stay. But, John will tell you everything about Zib........

Kwara is always good for lion viewing....since you mentioned leopard. There is a very relaxed female leopard in recent times with her core area between camp and the air strip and i had the privilage of spending over an hour with her in morning golden light last August.

Johan, has had good cheetah viewing at Kwara.......i have not been as lucky as he has been. But, i hv had super lucker with lions there....

You will enjoy this trip and yes, i can parrot Johan's recommendations in terms of the guides.....

Hari

santharamhari Feb 12th, 2007 05:36 PM

Also, dont plan your trip around Roan and Sable......it all depends on the rain whether it is on time or late....if the rains have not arrived yet, you may easily have your opportunity at either Lebala or Zib. I have been lucky at Kwara one time with Sable.......that's very good luck, though....

H

PredatorBiologist Feb 12th, 2007 08:36 PM

There has been 3 cheetah brothers at Kwara for almost a year now too, possibly longer but I know they have been in the area since last March.

PacoAhedo Feb 12th, 2007 10:44 PM

Well,thank you for the answers.It looks that all of you agree this is a good itinerary.
I feel a little push and rush though, and don't like that very much.ItīS my fault because didn't plan the trip in advanced.
I would like to have one more night at Lebala in stead of four at little Kwara but maybe is not that big deal??.
I can do 3 things right now:

-get this trip even i feel a had not prepared with the time that requires.

-ask my agent about wilderness camps availability and forget about Kwando(i know Hari you will not like this option)For example 3n Zibalianja,3n Little Vumvura and 3n Chitabe(even the cost will be around 1500 $ more per person)

-leave Botwana for next year and prepare my safari in other area a want to visit,southern Tanzania.This will be
4 nights at Mwagusi Camp(Ruaha) and 4 nights at Sand Rivers Camp(Selous)

One last opinion,please .I will not bother you more.

Paco.

santharamhari Feb 12th, 2007 11:23 PM

Paco,

if your heart is set on something....go for it!!! the two concessions (selinda and Kwando) are virtually next door to each other. Animals come and go without knowing the boundaries.....really one day they are here the next day there.....so, you have 5 nights anyways...if you have availability to switch one of your Kwara nights to Lebala, you may do so.......that way, you get 3 n Leb, 3n Zib and 3n LK.......but, if it has already been raining by early November, then Little Kwara will be very good.....so, really it's all upto luck!!!

Also at Kwara you can do the Boat trip to the Heronery, the mekoro and all the big game game-drives.....

Your WS choices will be very good, if you choose that option. Cant go wrong with any of those camps(Selinda, Chitabe and LV all great choices)......they are all amongst the top ones, anyways.

Tanzania, i cant answer since i dont know.......

Cheers,
Hari

santharamhari Feb 12th, 2007 11:35 PM

I'm surprised Zib still has availability. I say this because it is a VERY small camp with few rooms.

Personally speaking, i wanted to spend all my Selinda nights at Zib for June but, i have to spend the first two nights at Selinda main camp before shifting over to Zib(issue of availability)....so, this means i have to hop from Selinda to Zib and then onto Lebala....

Hari

santharamhari Feb 12th, 2007 11:36 PM

Typo.....i am clueless as to how that ugly face icon got there......

napamatt Feb 13th, 2007 07:10 AM

Agreed on Sable and Roan, much depends on weather rain has come. At Kings Pool last July we had Roan (10+) coming down to the waterhole with the sunken hide.

PacoAhedo Feb 28th, 2007 07:53 AM

Hello;
I will like to thank everybody for the help in this final decission.
I have everything booked for the first week of november with this itinerary:

2 NIGHTS LEBALA;3 NIGHTS ZIBALIANJA;4 NIGHTS LITTLE KWARA.

Lebala was full so thatīs why we stay only 2 nights.

I will be back with more questions.

Paco.

santharamhari Feb 28th, 2007 05:32 PM

Paco,

Looks like a great itinerary!!! You starting Lebala and then doing Zib and ending at Kwara? If so, ask your travel agent to put you on a wait list for the extra night at Lebala. Sometimes, there may be some provisional bookings (since it is a long time away) and some may cancel at the last minute. May or may not.....however, i dont know if you have already booked your international tickets etc etc., so that is another consideration to keep in mind.......

But i agree, good itinerary.

Hari

520 Mar 2nd, 2007 08:42 PM

We were able to book three nights in Lebala somewhere around late July, early August '06 for our trip in late November '06--I think there's lots of changes made in bookings and, as Hari advises, putting yourself on a wait list is the way to go. We then changed our three night stay to a two night one in late September or October--so someone benefitted from our changes.

santharamhari Mar 2nd, 2007 08:46 PM

Hi 520: It depends on luck, i put myself on a waitlist for end May this year and it did not clear up!!!

Ask your travel agent to check if the other bookings are provisional or confirmed ones. That will indicate if you hv a shot at some dates clearing up.....

Hari

520 Mar 3rd, 2007 08:42 AM

Hi Hari--Perhaps we were just lucky (and unlucky/unwise in our decision to cut back to two nights!!--which in some ways was based on info from this board about Air Bots unreliability, etc. etc.). I do think though that late November isn't as popular a time as May which probably played into the openings at Lebala. We actually didn't have ANY problem with any of our bookings the later it got. Don't know if you remember, but we almost switched from Lebala to Savuti Camp(again because of some of the off putting info one poster put on about Lebala) but both were available, and our SA travel agent kept saying there was unlikely to be any problem because of our dates being in late Nov. early Dec. Also, the only camp that required our deposit be made by mid-Sept was Little Kulala--the others were incredibly loose as was our agent (Siyabona).

santharamhari Mar 3rd, 2007 06:43 PM

520,

I fully remember the Savuti vs Lebala choices of yours....and you had some doubts about the URI too? i'm sure you enjoyed it :D

Cheers,
Hari

520 Mar 4th, 2007 07:46 PM

Not to highjack this thread but we enjoyed every moment of our Lebala experience--and I also haven't forgotten that I agreed to do a trip report--but may be forced to acknowledge I'm not going to be able to do the detailed account I had ambitions to do--and just do the quite abbreviated one that I did for our TA.


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