Game Trails - Northern Explorer

Old Jun 26th, 2007, 09:36 AM
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Game Trails - Northern Explorer

Has anyone any experience of this mobile camping trip in Botswana?
thanks
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Old Jun 26th, 2007, 10:52 AM
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We are leaving to have a trip with them next Thursaday. Spoke previously with a lady who went with them last year - she loved it. There is a couple reports about them here:

http://fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=4

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34701244

Michael
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Old Jun 26th, 2007, 11:08 AM
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I do not think my first link works. Try to search for "lillipets trip report"
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Old Jun 26th, 2007, 07:26 PM
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Michael already linked my trip report. The trip I went on was a custom itinerary but we went to some of the places the Northern Explorer goes. It was such a great trip.

I'm doing a similar mobile camping trip next month to Moremi (Xakanaxa and Khwai area), Khwai Community area, Savuti and Chobe. We aren't using Game Trails this time (I have no idea who we're going with) but I wouldn't hesitate to use Game Trails again. Especially since they have the shower/toilet attached to the tents now instead of separate.

Go and have a great trip!
Cindy
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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 02:52 PM
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Cindy,

Your oiriginal report inspired me - and pacified my worried wife - to go with the Game Trails when we were planning last November. Since we are leaving next week, are there any little things about this mobile safari that you remember as important but overlooked?

Michael
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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 04:24 PM
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Hi Michael

Aren't you the lucky one!

On my first trip, I knew it would be hot and it was hotter than hot. This time, I'm expecting it will be pretty cold in the mornings and at night. Just make sure you have enough warm clothing, gloves, hats etc. During the day it will get up in the 70's/80's which should be very pleasant.

You also will have en-suite bathrooms which will be very nice and you won't have to share a toilet tent with strangers like I did.

Do you know who your guide will be? If you have Nick, remember that he is hard of hearing and when you ask him questions or ask him to stop, someone will have to tap him on the shoulder thru the back window or speak loud enough to get his attention. He doesn't ignore you so if he doesn't respond that means he didn't hear you.

The only thing that I can think of that bothered me was the lack of laundry service. They didn't include it in the itinerary/price and they didn't volunteer to take care of it for you. It would be ridiculous to take enough clothes to wear without laundry and it's also ridiculous to try and launder them in a gallon size enamel sink (without running water). The staff did laundry every day for themselves and were always wearing clean clothes so I would ask them if they will do your laundry as well.

I can't remember anything that I wished that I had taken on that trip. You might want to take a headlamp or book light if you want to read in your tent before sleeping. Or if you want to look at your watch to see what time it is when the hyenas are howling. I'm pretty sure they provide a flashlight in your tent but you might want to take a strong one of your own. I used mine more than once in the middle of the night to see what was "out there". The hyenas were very loud and kind of scary the first time I heard them. Here's a hyena sound - the third sound is more like what we heard but it was louder and longer. (My dogs came running when I just listened to it) http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/refpag...68&sec=-1&pn=1

I've also thought of taking a recorder to record the lions roaring or the zebras barking or the hyenas whooping but I haven't gotten one yet.

Did you book your trip direct with GT or go through an agent? Are you doing a private trip or one of their scheduled trips? Do you know how many other guests there will be if it's a scheduled trip? Are you going to the Makgadikgadi Pans? Just curious.

They didn't use generators at all on our trip so we used inverters for charging batteries. You may want to verify that they will have an inverter for you to use or take one of your own.

If I think of anything else I'll post it here.

Have a wonderful trip!

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Old Jun 28th, 2007, 12:47 AM
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thanks for all the useful info. I look forward to reading your trip return when you get back!
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Old Jun 28th, 2007, 05:44 AM
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Cindy,
Thanks for the useful comments.

I am not going to let my wife to listen to hyenas, not just yet

Yes, we took enough layered clothing to survive cold morning drives

I do not know who the guide will be; I will like very much to have Nick who is described so nicely in your and Lilipet's reports.

We booked the trip through Cape to Cairo travel agency in Washington,D.C., which I would not recommend to deal with to anyone - slow and uninterested in customers.

We are doing standard Northern Explorer route, then continue with a day on the Victoria Falls, with elephant ride and lion walk, and then with two days in Cape Town.
Do not know who else will be in the group, and do not know if we are getting to Makgadikgadi Pans - although would love to see "your" baobab.

My travel agent contacted Game Trails, and informed me -for whatever his information is worth - that they do have generator with multiple outlets and they do laundry now. We'll see how it works.

I noticed that many people suggest taking a recorder to record sounds at night - I plan to use my digital camera to do that. Just purchased a new Minolta 18X, very curious to see how it'll perform; amazing to see that power in such a tiny body!


Michael
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