First Time Safari - Chobe vs Delta vs Kruger

Jan 19th, 2008, 11:35 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 31
First Time Safari - Chobe vs Delta vs Kruger

Hi all,

I am currently planning my first safari sometime in September to Botswana & South Africa. Based on what I've been able to research so far that is not such a bad time to go. The question that I have is that my time and budget may not allow a visit to both the Delta and Chobe. The current plans call for us to fly into and out of JNB and are looking at a total of 7-10 days and a total budget of approx $2000 per person. From what I've seen so far, to do a safari in Botswana will require air transfers from JNB and thus additional cost. This is likely to be a once in a lifetime trip so with this being said, I have the following questions:

1. What would the most logical and desirable choice among the two? Would one place offer something in the way of wildlife viewing & activities that the other might not?

2. We would like to include Vic Falls into the itinerary as well and wonder if it is better to stay on the Zambia or Zimbadlwe side?

3. If our plans were to change drastically and involve a visit to Kruger & Sabi Sands instead of Botswana, would we be getting "shortchanged" or would this not be a fair comparison to Delta and Chobe?

Will continue to research but do appreciate in advance any suggestions that fellow Fodorites may have.
memjewels is offline  
Jan 19th, 2008, 06:35 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 7,391
3. Depends on what you mean by being shortchanged. If you mean animal wise, self-driving around Kruger was a lot of fun and we saw scores of elephant, giraffe, zebra, hyena, 1 rhino and many lions and other critters. Not to mention some incredible bird sightings. Didn't see any dogs or leopard, though they are there...somewhere. All of these were close to the road. If you're talking luxury camps and 5* meals, Kruger is definitely not that but the bungalows are comfortable, well-equipped and maintained, the food in the restaurants is pretty good or you can braai (bar-b-q) your own meals. One upside is you can stay out all day. Downside is no guide which I feel for your first safari is nice to have so you can learn more than by doing it on your own. We stayed in Kruger then finished off at a Sabi Sand lodge-MalaMala so got a combination of both self-drive and luxury lodge. Budget wise, you could do Kruger (with car, lodging and meals) it was about $150 pppn but with MalaMala being $575 pppn, that would eat up your budget in less than 3 days. To save money you could rent your car at JNB and drive to Kruger. Flights are expensive.
2. The falls are better on the Zim side and the visa fees are cheaper than through Zambia ($35 vs. $100pp)
Flying up to either Vic Falls or Livingstone will eat up a lot of your budget.
Lots of elephants in Chobe but again with the cost of flights your $2000 pp budget will be drastically reduced and will cut into the number of nights you'll have to stay.
With that budget, I'd do Kruger.
matnikstym is offline  

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