Guiding in Botswana

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Feb 25th, 2007, 11:52 AM
  #1
skimmer
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Guiding in Botswana

Hello everyone,

Because excellent guides can make a real difference, I am just curious to hear from others which guides they found remarkable and why.

Here are four guides I like a lot:

- Cilas (one of the best if you are keen on your photography - he takes pictures himself);
- Charles Sebaka (extensive knowledge of the area (Kwando) in which he is working);
- Pilot Manga (good sense of humour and formidable knowledge of the Khwai area in the Moremi Game Reserve - the guide to pick if you are in for a mobile safari in the Moremi Game Reserve)
- Steve Kgwatalala (the man to choose if you are looking for dogs - he'll find them if they are around).

Others I would like to work with are the following: James007, Newman and Spencer.

If choosing a guide I take into account the following items:

- superior knowledge of the area;
- their positioning of the vehicle at a sighting and their ability to predict animal movement;
- capability of handling unpredicatble dangerous situations or avoiding unnecessary risks;
- great sense of humour.

Greetings,

Johan


 
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Feb 25th, 2007, 03:35 PM
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I would definitely include Frank at Jao Camp-we found that the luxurious camp was not necessary for us really-Frank(and the Okavango) is what made that camp special for us. The only elderly couple at the camp was there to be guided by Frank, for their third visit to Jao. He, along with Mr. T at Duma Tau, were incredibly knowledgable, but Frank was such a personality too and we enjoyed his humor and his knowledge a great deal.
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Feb 25th, 2007, 04:02 PM
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I second steven from Kwando with the dogs. we had him in june 2000 and he got us 2 kills in 1 day.

Kaye from little vumbura for best understanding of game behaviour. IE predicting where to go etc when predators were on the move.

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Feb 25th, 2007, 04:11 PM
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Z from Vumbura or Little Vumbura

Kaelo at San Camp
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Feb 25th, 2007, 04:59 PM
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Hi Johan,

IMO

Spencer (kwando)- he is incredible with his guiding, his sense of humor and is a incredible human being!!!

I would imagine Charles and Steve K in the same league as him- i have no personal experiences.

Brooks at Mombo was incredible in a similar way!!!

Ras Mundu in the same league (for his guiding skills)-incredible!!! i understand from some recent fodorite reports that he is at Vumbura now.

These people are stand-outs....

Especially taking into account the sky rocketing prices for Botswana, i think great guiding is key........

Hari
 
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Feb 25th, 2007, 05:18 PM
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I also thought Spencer was amazing.... he knew the area very well, and positioned me well for photo opps.

Doctor from Kwara was also a very good guide.

I would highly recommend either of them.
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Feb 25th, 2007, 05:18 PM
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santharamhari
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Jonah Aaron- I dont think he does any guiding anymore (i think he manages one of the Kwara camps-there was a nice recent trip report)....very much deserves a spot in this list.

His knowldege of photography is incredible to add to his guiding skills and personality.....
 
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Feb 25th, 2007, 08:54 PM
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Thank you all to put up some names ... I still haven't made a decision about who I am gonna request to guide me in Vumbura.

Hari, like you I don't think Jonah is guiding anymore.

At the moment, I don't have a clue who I should request at Selinda/Zibalianja.

Greetz,

Johan
 
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Feb 26th, 2007, 04:39 PM
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Johan:

When is your trip to Vumbura? I'm heading there in four weeks, and I'm not sure who will be our guide, but I'm hoping it's one of the names on this list!

I've requested Newman at Chitabe Trails, but we'll see if that works out...

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Feb 26th, 2007, 06:04 PM
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Johan,
Afrigalah should be a good resource on Selinda. I really enjoyed BB at Zib once I got to know him. He was quiet and not real strong in the sense of humor department.

His enthusiasm for the wildlife was genuine but not zealous. When we were looking for the dogs, more than once he stood on the rungs on top of the vehicle, balancing, and scanning the horizon. When I saw the wild dogs run by camp and was jumping up and down we did a spontaneous hug and he was sincerely thrilled.

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Feb 26th, 2007, 08:20 PM
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Crystalsong, I am heading to Little Vumbura end of April. So you'll be in Botswana just before I am starting my first trip of the year. Vumbura plains will be something for September for me.

Lynn,

I just received from another Fodorite some good advice on Selinda. Thanks for your description on BB.

Greetings,

Johan
 
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Feb 26th, 2007, 09:42 PM
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If you are looking for a guide at Vum Plains - Cisco is the guy.

We use him on our Digital groups.

James
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Feb 27th, 2007, 08:37 AM
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I agree on Cilas (Duma Tau) -- he was my first ever safari guide and that set the bar high. He is an exceptional spotter and outstanding driver with a demonstrated knack to follow the wild dogs on a hunt and then find the kill in the mopane woodlands. He knows the behaviors of all the species and anticipates where to be. Very impressive.

Adriaan at Deception Valley Lodge. Outstanding tracker who will get out of the vehicle to track, back track and stay on the trail of big cats. Encyclopedic knowledge of the flora and fauna and a passion for the Kalahari landscape and the way of the bushmen. He has a tremendous respect for the bushmen trackers and completely embraces their history and skills. Very invested in finding sightings for his guests -- I have found many guides have knowledge but are not really on the same mission to see things as you, Adriaan is very motivated to try his best to deliver. Also just remembers the little things like I have coke in the morning instead of tea so he'd pack it and have it ready without a reminder. This guy is the epitome of what a guide should be, full of passion and skill.
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Feb 27th, 2007, 02:51 PM
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Skimmer Johan mentioned Pilot Manga - we too were lucky enough to have Pilot as our guide (and camping safari leader) in 2005 for the 9 day trip. He accompanied us from Xigera in the Delta, through Kwhai (Moremi), Savute, Linyanti and into Zambia. We cannot speak highly enough of Pilot's knowledge, tracking skills and gentle good humour.

We have since learned that Pilot left Wilderness Safari's, after 20 years with that company and would be very interested to hear which operator he is working with now. When and where did you encounter Pilot, Johan?

At Baines concession our guide Kort was also very good, a little quiet at first - but knowleadgable and attentive to our interests. He had that skill where he would stop long enough at a sighting, and guage when you were ready to move on - he never moved too soon or stayed too long. His zooilogical knowledge was extensive. He also showed us interesting things - such as scratch marks on a tree froma leopard sharpening its claws, as well as the flora.
We too would be interested to hear from Afrigalah who is the best guide at Selinda/Zib
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Feb 27th, 2007, 06:53 PM
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At Zib in June 2006, we had Motsamai ("Mots") who did a good job. He doesn't have the years of experience as some other guides, but his enthusiasm and passion for guiding more than make up for it. His knowledge is very good, to the point where one night we saw an owl and he told me what it was, and then the next morning came to me and corrected himself since he had checked it again in his books when we got back to camp! Real keener. Also, Sean, who is one of the managers, is terrific. He doesn't guide as much as he used to, but you may be able to request him.

James 007 is fabulous. We had him for 5 days at Duba and we learned so much about not only the lions, but there wasn't a bird that he couldn't name at a glance. Because he has worked at Duba since it opened, and he drove for the Jouberts during the filming, he can anticipate ever move the lion prides make. The other guides don't make a move without him. And his stories are hilarious.

Going back a few years, we thoroughly enjoyed Amos at Shinde (2002 - don't know if he is still there). What a wealth of knowledge and a wonderfully pleasant man. Tracking skills were very good.

Moses at Kwara was excellent as well. His knowledge and his ability to share it are outstanding. He relished in a game with an avid birder, where the birder requested 10 "new" birds a day. Moses took on the challenge and readily complied. It was quite fun, and a true test to his spotting abilities and his knowledge.
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Feb 27th, 2007, 07:44 PM
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jjmb,

Very eager to make my first visit to Selinda/Zib in a couple months time....i have put in a request for Kanawe (they will try to allot him- nothing confirmed yet)

Moses at Kwara is a good bloke!!! I had him as a guide in Kings Pool in 2004. Last year he came over to say hello when i was at Little Kwara.

Hari
 
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Feb 27th, 2007, 08:57 PM
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Thembi,

I did a safari with Pilot Manga and Mike in June 2003 (Vic Falls - Chobe - Savuti - Moremi - Zepa (in the Pom Pom concession). It was one of the best safaris I did in Botswana.
Near Khwai we even saw roan antelope less than 100 meters from where we pitched our tents.

In December 2005, BK (former guide for Wilderness Safaris) was doing some work at Kwara and told me that Pilot Manga also left WS and was starting to work for Bush Ways Safaris around March 2006.

Pred,

One of the coming years I'll spend an entire trip in the Kalahari.

James,

Thanks for the advice - I'll request Cisco when at Vumbura Plains.

Jim,

James 007 is indeed the man to choose when at Duba Plains. I saw him at work when I was at Duba last October. At that time, I was with Jame, who works in different camps. He knew the area also very well and I witnessed some amazing interaction between lion and buffalo after the Tsaro pride killed a cow.

Greetz,

Johan

 
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Mar 2nd, 2007, 03:50 PM
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Howdy Skimmer - we emailed Bush Ways to enquire about Pilot Manga. they have replied and confirm Pilot is now on staff. He is cutrrently on Annual leave returning in April! His photo will go up on the gallery on his return. Thanks so much for the tip.
Thembi & K9
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Mar 3rd, 2007, 08:20 AM
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Thembi,

It's a pleasure. I am planning to do a mobile with him and some friends next year. It's still in the planning stages ... I'll hope Pilot Manga will be able to guide us.

Greetz,

Johan
 
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Sep 5th, 2007, 05:33 AM
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Hi there,

Keep Brandon Kemp in mind for real enthusiastic and knowledgeable guiding.

Brandon is one of Wilderness Safari's managers/specialist guides who works out of the Wilderness Safarisí camps in Botswana.

Brandon has a great sense of humour and a fantastic warm personality.
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