Good Botswana Itinerary?

Old Feb 7th, 2007, 05:51 PM
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Good Botswana Itinerary?

I'm planning my 2nd trip to Africa - first was to Kenya & Tanzania via Micato, second will be to Botswana in 2008. I'm looking at CC Africa because I love their properties (Ngorongoro Crater, Bateleur at Kichwa Tembo, etc.). Below is the itinerary they've come up with for me (I prefer luxury game lodges / tented camps). Please review, and let me know if this is a good itinerary with luxury safari lodge/camp accommodations as well as a good representation of what Botswana has to offer. Not looking to spend my life savings, but would like 'above-average' accommodations. Thx!

- 2 nights Deception Valley (Kalahari)
- 2 nights Nxabega (Okavango)
- 2 nights Sandibe (Okavango)
- 2 nights Savute Safari Lodge (Savute)
- 2 nights Selinda Camp (Selinda/Linyati)
- 2 nights Chobe Chilwero (Chobe)
- 3 nights Matetsi Water Lodge (Vic Falls)
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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 06:03 PM
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What month? That could make some difference in the answers you receive.

If you do not mind moving around every other day, this is fine and would cover ground from desert to delta to dog country to ele country.

Savuti and Selinda are similar areas so I omiited Savuti in my suggestion.

3 Deception Valley--It's a unique area that takes time to travel to. You could spend more time with the Bushmen in 3 days.

2 Nxabega--your camp for water activities

3 Sandibe--I've been to nearby Chitabe, where I booked 4 nights, but changed my itinerary to spend 8.

3 Selinda--Spent 4 there last Aug, actually in Zibalianja. I loved the camp.

2 Chilwero--Unless you are there in July-Oct, I would not include this camp. Better ele activity during those dry months. Do the Chobe River sunset cruise.

3 Matetsi Water Lodge--Since you had 3 nights here, I kept 3.
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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 07:04 PM
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santharamhari
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LionQueen,

Two nights at these properties isnt enough time AT ALL!!! you will be bearly skimming the surface......

I like the mix and match itinerary you have to sample camps of different companies......

If i have 15 nights and use your camps mentioned in the list.....i would do:

3 nights Deception Valley
5 nights Selinda or sister camp Zibalianja
3 nights Sandibe
2 nights Nxabega
2 nights Matetsi

Extra nights at selinda as it is a huge concession....just stay put in one spot......

that's what i would do..........

Hari
 
Old Feb 7th, 2007, 07:35 PM
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My thoughts are similar to Hari's. In your case, I'd go for Selinda rather than Zibalianja, as Zib, although my personal favourite, is very small and not as upmarket as the upgraded Selinda camp. I'd certainly seriously consider Lynn's hint to go to Chitabe instead of Sandibe.

John
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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 07:39 PM
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unless you are an extreme sport person, 2 nights at Matetsi/Vic Falls are enough, spend the time in one of the other more game rich areas as Hari suggested.
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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 11:15 PM
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All good advice thus far. I am one of the few around here who has stayed at Deception Valley Lodge so I will elaborate on that camp specifically.

3 nights here is ideal because it allows for an all day trip into the Central Kalahari Game Reserve which will be very different from the rest of your trip and provide one of the best opportunities to try and see cheetah. The walk with the bushmen is not to be missed and with a 2 night stay it is difficult to be able to do both.

I loved this camp, the chance to learn about the bushmen is something to treasure, it had some of the best safari food that I have experienced courtesy of Wanda (the camp manager) and the kitchen staff, and our guide (the co-manager) Adriaan was also the best guide I have ever had. He will work very hard for you and is keen to track the lions and leopards on the concession. I highly recommend requesting him, he also has a wonderful relationship with the bushmen trackers and you can see he has such a passion for their way of life.
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Old Feb 8th, 2007, 03:25 AM
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Ok, one thing is clear from the thread -I definitely need more time to enjoy these places! I thought 2 nights in each location was pushing it too - you're just getting comfortable in a location, and then its time to move again. This trip would be in the month of September. I think the suggestions you guys have made are good ones. I do need to check out Chitabe though - I don't really know anything about it. And everybody reinforces that Selinda is the place to be! Thx everyone, I will keep you posted on the final itinerary!
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Old Feb 8th, 2007, 04:08 AM
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I've stayed at Nxabega, and it's a very pleasant camp with wonderful personnel. Gee was my guide, and we had a terrific time exploring the land and water. He taught me a great deal about his life growing up in the Delta, and we taught each other lots of songs. He was also clever enough to find a leopard by listening to the baboons who called out a warning.

Reminiscences aside, Nxabega has both land drives and water activites: mekoro and motorboats. 3 days would be a minimum there for me; 4 would be better.
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Old Feb 8th, 2007, 08:12 AM
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September is good, so I'd keep Chobe. If you can afford to extend your stays at each place beyond 2 nights, that would be better.
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Old Feb 8th, 2007, 08:34 AM
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If luxury is your priority number one, I'll go for the 6-paw camps of WS safaris like Jao, King's Pool and Vumbura Plains.

Otherwise, my choices would be Chitabe, Little Kwara and one of the following camps: Duma Tau/Lebala/Selinda.


I would stay at least 3 nights at each of the camps.

I would skip Chobe if you are not serious into birding - elephants are normally plenty around the camps in the Kwando/Linyanti area and you'll skp the crowds.

Greetz,

Johan
 
Old Feb 8th, 2007, 08:57 AM
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There are bigger crowds in Chobe than any of the other locations. The Chobe sunset cruise was unlike other activities I've done elsewhere. Wildlife came down to the river to drink not far from the boat. Hippos were yawning on the banks, both in and out of the river at close views. Eles were crossing and mating in the water. To spend time on the river, especially at sunset, Id include Chobe if it works.

With more 3 night stays, something may have to go and that may be Chobe.

<b>Skimmer,</b>

If we have your attention. Check out this post and see if you would recommend Duba Plains for something different in April.

http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...p;tid=34943218

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Old Feb 8th, 2007, 09:16 AM
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Don
I did not know you sing. I know you like your privacy and if you ever get the chance to go back to Bots I have the guide/s for you. I personally think you will get on very well with DUX. In fact I know you will as I know you. Also you will get on very well with Tumpane at Duba, once again as I know you.
Mark
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Old Feb 8th, 2007, 09:20 AM
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atravelynn
Check out the Ichobezi, its fantastic.
Mark
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Old Feb 8th, 2007, 07:34 PM
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Otherwise, my choices would be Chitabe, Little Kwara and one of the following camps: Duma Tau/Lebala/Selinda.

The camps on Johan's list above would/should make top suggestions for any itinerary....

Hari
 
Old Feb 14th, 2007, 02:02 PM
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It's all so personal; we were at Nxabega for two nights in late November, ans also had Gee as a guide, who we very much enjoyed--and we saw leopard cubs both days we were there. And did the &quot;water activities,&quot; but we felt two days was the right length of time for our stay there. I remember Rizzuto's post when he returned from being at Lebala and Nxebega--it was the first post I read on this forum, and it was very reassuring as I had just booked both. We enjoyed our stay there, but had no desire to extend it...but as I said--it's all so personal.
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Old Feb 14th, 2007, 04:12 PM
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I have copied and pasted Ichobezi into my &quot;check it out&quot; file. Thank you.
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Old Feb 19th, 2007, 12:24 PM
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If you want luxury in Botswana...I LOVED the camps I stayed in: Jao &amp; Kings Pool. At Jao you can arrange ahead of time to stay out under the stars if you would like....an amazing experience. And at Kings Pool they have a pool they take you to which is filled with water while you are there and you watch the animals come to the pool to take a drink of water....an incredible site. If you go to Jao and Joss is still there as a guide, request him.
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Old Feb 27th, 2007, 03:18 PM
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Thanks. Both look great. I think I'd like somehing a little less expensive but I'll do some more research on the rates. Maybe I will be lucky. Looking to spend less than 700pppn.
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Old Feb 27th, 2007, 08:15 PM
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Hello Skier,

I think I remember seeing you at Kings Pool. The water spot you are referring to is called a &quot;Hide&quot;. Have not read about it much on Fodors but to everyone thinking of going to KP it is a highlight.

See you in Kenya in October
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