Finally, our Sept Botswana safari :-D

Mar 27th, 2005, 01:36 PM
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Finally, our Sept Botswana safari :-D

I'm hoping some of you guys will comment on our upcomming trip. We're both excited and hopeful we've made good choices.

We're arriving on the night of Aug 31st in Vic Falls, sleeping at the Kingdom (I know, I know Roccocco it's a poor imitation of Vegas, but its convenient and cheap ;> ).
Sept. 2 Duma Tau
Sept 5 Chitabe Trails
Sept 8 Kwara Camp
Sept 11 Little Vumbura
Then back to Vic Falls on the 14th before the flight back to San Diego.

We're hoping to do some over nighters away from the main camps. If anyone has any advice I'd sure love to hear from you. Or any special little hints that could help us take advantage of what any of these camps offer we would really appreciate learning from your experience.

I know it's a little late in the season for dogs and early for birds, but we're crossing our fingers because that's at the top of our list!!!


mzcuriouz is offline  
Mar 27th, 2005, 05:12 PM
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Looks wonderful! I'll be interested in your comments on Kwara when you return.

3 nights in each camp is great.

There can still be wild dog sitings in Sept. from what I understand.

Here are links to Duma Tau and Chitabe camp reports.

Chitabe mentions dogs in Sept and Duma Tau had some good sitings in the Aug report. You'll be there only two days after August.

I'll be in Duma Tau and Chitabe also, in August.

I think you made super choices. Have a great trip!
atravelynn is offline  
Mar 28th, 2005, 10:22 AM
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Nice itinerary. Dogs are a matter of luck once the denning is done. We missed them by about a week last year in both Savuti and Kwando but saw them at Mala Mala where they are unusual so you never know.
There will still be plenty of birds to see, you just might not get Woodland Kingfishers, the Carmine Bee-Eaters will be there in force. If you see Pels Fishing Owl or Palm Nut Vulture I will be for ever jealous (or until I get to see them!). Have a great time and dont forget the trip report.
napamatt is offline  
Mar 28th, 2005, 11:02 AM
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Sounds wonderful, wish I could come!
Kavey is offline  
Mar 28th, 2005, 05:39 PM
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"We're hoping to do some over nighters away from the main camps."

You may already be booked for this, but Chitabe has two walking trails camps where you stay overnight in an elevated hide and do a walking safari the next day. I am doing that in August.
atravelynn is offline  
Apr 4th, 2005, 02:03 PM
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atravelynn, have you gone on the 2 night trail before? Tell me all the details if you know them, like the daily routine, are you in the shade mid-day, how much distance do you cover in a day? This is such a big deal! What other camps are you visiting in only about 20! weeks?

mzcuriouz is offline  
Apr 4th, 2005, 02:17 PM
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oh Kavey I would love to have you come along for your company and to take pictures for me. I've never taken pictures and we bought a digital camera that I need to start practicing with so it woun't seem like such an interruption of the experience.
mzcuriouz is offline  
Apr 4th, 2005, 03:15 PM
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I have not yet done the Chitabe Walking camp. I'll give you details when I get back. That will be a few days before you leave.

Also doing San Camp and Duma Tau.
atravelynn is offline  
Apr 6th, 2005, 01:18 PM
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Looks like you have a great itinerary!

You likely leave for your safari one night before I do. I fly out of LAX on August 30th, and out of London on August 31st, arriving in Joburg on Sept. 01st.

Since you are in the San Diego area, I was just wondering if you have been to the San Diego Wild Animal Park in the last couple years. I expect to have my new Canon 20D and Sigma 80-400mm lens in hand in the next few days and was thinking about taking a trip down there to practice since this will be my first SLR camera.

They offer these game drives, but they seem pretty cheezy.

They do offer special events, but they sure do sell out early!

I would have loved to have signed up for the April 24th "Closer Look, Cats & Carnivores" had it not been sold out and appears to be sold out all the way through June!

Anybody who has been here please also comment. Thanks.
Roccco is offline  
Apr 6th, 2005, 10:01 PM
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Mz, looks wonderful. And you'll be there at a super time. That's a great itinerary... and 3 nights at each is, IMHO, the best way to go. I loved Chitabe Trails (tent on the ground! that's the real thing! That camp gets SOOO much wildlife around the tents). At Chitabe I was fortunate enough to meet up with some serious gamedrive folks, so the camp agreed to take us out 1/2 hour earlier than usual. Highly recommended in the morning, if you can get others to agree to forgo sleep for better gameviewing.

Roccco: the drives at SD WA Park are lots of fun. Viewing animals is never cheesy (as long as its an ethical place). It will be good practice, too. I would strongly advice reserving midweek, it's your only chance of having a vehicle that is not packed. (Ask when you make reservations what is their least busy time). The guide I had was very good, as were some of the photo opps.
tashak is offline  
Apr 18th, 2005, 04:27 AM
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Oh now you have me dreaming ... about being a personal photographer for someone else's trip!
Kavey is offline  
Apr 18th, 2005, 10:26 PM
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RE Rocco -
"Anybody who has been here please also comment. Thanks."

The Photo Caravan tours at the San Diego Wild Animal Park are great. As tashak noted, they're not cheesy at all. It's a wonderful opportunity not only to see the animals up close again but to also practice your photography skills (especially when feeding the rhinos and giraffes). On my caravan I had two people doing just that. Make sure you do the full caravan that covers all areas.

Can't wait to read the reports from everyone with upcoming trips.
safari274 is offline  
Apr 18th, 2005, 11:05 PM
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Thanks Safari & Tasha for the San Diego Wild Animal Park advice.

NOW, only if my camera would hurry up and get here! I bought it online from what I thought was a reputable company, but after paying for 2 night mail, they are now on the fourth night. Grrrrrrrrrr!

I missed a golden opportunity to go to a very hard to come across Canon EOS Digital Camera Workshop that would have shown me over an 8 hour period an excellent introduction to my new Canon 20D.

Still, I was able to get the Canon 20D w/ 17-85mm IS lens for about $1,675. Had I bought it locally, it would have been $1,999 plus tax that would have been more expensive than my shipping.

Anyway, I can't wait to get down to San Diego to practice. I'll probably first practice at the L.A. Zoo and on the 10 willing subjects that are my dogs!
Roccco is offline  
Apr 20th, 2005, 09:43 PM
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Roccco, Don't wait to learn the camera and practice...start RIGHT NOW. Even if it means less time on the boards, haha.

Read the manual, with camera in hand!! I never read manuals, but you MUST read this one, and practice with it. You have a very powerful camera, and you want to practice until using all the controls begins to feel natural. Once you begin to get the basics, practice with monopod and flash (if you are planning to bring a flash). You won't be in a vehicle, but a local sporting event (even kids) is a nice approximation of the moving and action. Or stalk the birds and squirrels in your backyard. will learn an immense amount that will help you at the SD Wild Animal Park...and in Africa.
Have fun!
tashak is offline  
Apr 20th, 2005, 10:20 PM
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Can you believe that it has been ONE WEEK since my order and my camera has still not arrived! I threatened to cancel the order with the online company that I bought it from and only then did I get a U.P.S. Tracking # out of them.

I followed the tracking information and it stated that the camera shipped today and is scheduled for delivery on the 26th! So, in the end, it will have taken 13 days...not so sure it was worth saving the $400 that I saved when I have to play policeman with the online camera company.

Anyway, I will probably get down to San Diego on Saturday the 30th, stay until it gets dark, then race back to Laguna Niguel to my in-laws house for dinner and a heavyweight championship fight on HBO that I am looking forward to seeing. That is about as much fun as I can have outside of Africa!

I am sure that by the time I leave on my trip that I will add a Canon Digital Rebel XT as a backup camera and the primary camera that will hold the 17-85mm IS lens, while the Canon 20D will hold the Sigma 80-400mm OS lens.

I am really leaning towards getting that Epson device that I can download 40 Gigs of photos onto. I am not sure if 40 Gigs is enough for 14 nights of safari, especially of high season South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi and Londolozi and Simbambili, but I will have the opportunity in Cape Town to transfer some of them to CD, and to also start a PBase or Ofoto portfolio.

I am thinking about getting a minimum of 4 Gigs of memory total, just to be safe. Also I will be adding the Sigma Flash that costs about $200 but is said to perform as well as the $500 Canon flash. Still on the list is a monopod, a beanbag and not much more.

I cannot justify a 1.5x convertor when I will already be at the equivalent of 128-640mm on my 80-400mm lens. If anything, there may be times when I am forced to use the smaller lens for wildlife photos as my 17-85mm lens will still be the equivalent of 27mm-136mm.

I am going to make it my mission to become a competent photographer and come home with some amazing photos, providing I don't get chomped in half by a hippo on my very first day while in the Lower Zambezi canoeing!
Roccco is offline  

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