Help Needed with Botswana Trip

Jan 14th, 2007, 07:32 PM
  #21  
santharamhari
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Yeah, agree with John......definitely must do a Delta camp to see the Okavango and the life around it. It is also a great destination in the rainy season for game.

If you are considering Lebala/Zib, ask your TA to look into availability of either Little Kwara or Kwara. Little Kwara is a much smaller and intimate camp (4 or 5 tents only). Of late, they have been having good wild dog sightings. Most fodorites visiting Kwara recently have had luck with leopard viewing there......i know i did, in August.

Hari
 
Jan 15th, 2007, 03:52 AM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Wow Lynn, you really put in a lot of time giving the poster such detailed answers and help!

Wangy, If I were you, I would certainly have your TA check the cost for 5 nights at Sanctuary Lodges since they are still using shoulder season until June 30th (3 nights Chiefs and 2 nights Baines or Stanleys). Chiefs is more expensive than Wilderness 5 paw camps or Kwando camps, so it is sort of hard to judge. You can look on this website wwww.sanctuarylodges.com to see their rack rates and cost of transfers. However, I'm thinking that Chiefs is quite popular and may already be booked up for your dates next June, but it never hurts to check and compare. I believe that Chiefs camp may be considered more "luxurious" and is also a slightly bigger camp. (I wish Rocco would continue on with his trip report about Chiefs camp!)

It is my understanding like John's, that Zib and Selinda now fall under the same pricing and cut off dates on shoulder season as the Wilderness 5 paw camps, that is, June 14th or 15th. I will be at Selinda next June, and am really looking forward to it since the Reserve gets such great recommendations.
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Jan 15th, 2007, 01:34 PM
  #23  
skimmer
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Chief's camp is a great destination but in my opinion not that time of year for the following reasons:

- roads are limited due to the floods -> most productive places can't be reached;
- Chief's island itself, Mombo lies in the more fertile part of the island so most of the game is concentrated there and the vehicles of Chief's camp can't drive in the Mombo area anymore after a dispute between Sanctuary/Wilderness Safaris in May 2005.

My preferred camp from Sanctuary lodges will be Baines camp (small/land and water activities/good game - they still doing very well with leopards/chances to do the elephant activity).

I visited Pom Pom once in June 2003 (low floods) and at that time, you could do both land and water activities. General game was quite good when I was there. With higher floods, water activities will be dominant that time of year.

Lebala is my number one camp in Botswana, so it's difficult to give you an objective opinion about it.

What I like about it:

- different habitats;
- excellent resident guides;
- good chance of seeing predators in action.

Best regards,

Johan
 
Jan 15th, 2007, 03:50 PM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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Chiefs may be difficult now that it is being rated as one of the top safari destinations anywhere by the readers of Conde Nast etc. Not that I necessarily agree with the poll, but it does give a good indication of where the moneyed classes will be vacationing ;-)
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Jan 15th, 2007, 05:51 PM
  #25  
santharamhari
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Napamatt,

I'm glad the "clientale" will be running to Chief's after that issue of CN. Not my cup of tea, i guess.....

Hari
 
Jan 15th, 2007, 08:31 PM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 281
5. After the safari trip [cut] will go to Livingstone/Victoria Falls for [cut] 2 day leisure. What kind of leisure activities {cut}?

Hey Wangy26 - The answers you have received are already v. impressive. My partner and I stayed 2 days in Livingstone at the end of a 9 day camping safari through Botswana with Wilderness Safris (and 3 days at Baines - HIGHLY recc. Baines and the Ele Experience!).

A 15 minute flight over the Vic. Falls was awesome, as was a a couple hours at the falls themselves. Your Sis and Bro.Inlaw would do well to visit the falls for as long as possible, They are almighty overwhelming and we wished we had spent more time wandering about there. The 15 min heli-ride was long enough to get great shots of The Smoke that Thunders (The Falls) and reasonably priced. We were there in April 2 weeks after peak in 2005 - but even reduced by 50% or more the Falls would still be one of the stand out Africa moments. A sunset crusie on the Zambezi River is also a "must" the African Princess was a lovely boat and the all-u can-dink and the nicely served "finger=food" combined with the quintessential RED sunset on the Zambezi River, with sightings of Ele, Croc and Hippo along the way was a lovely afternoon.

Back to Botswana - Baines Camp (Part of Sanctuary lodges which also inc. Stanleys, Cheifs and Chobe Chilwero) reasonable game viewing and excellent guides at Baines(even if there is stand out game - the guides and fellow clients can make or break a trip) - we did also run into the guides from Stanley's camp one night drive and was less than impressed at the harry-ing of a leopard, the excited yelling of the Stanley's guides into the radio and the general blustering of the other guests from Stanleys. To the point that we asked our guide to back off from the Leopard so it was given some "space".

As your relli's have so little time to immerse themselves I concur with others above that 3 nights each at two camps One in the Delta (we visted Xigera region, though not the actual camp, another Wilderness operation and highly recc. the location) and another three nights in Savute, for Ele's or Savuti, for Lion would be a good mix.

Would suggest two camps at three nights each with one transfer to really get bang for your buck! On average $500 to %850 pp pr night is not extravagent(unless of course you are poor and live in one of these coutries!). As airfares to and from ZA are probaly included bwecaue your reli's are on business - landcost and transfers for $3 to $5K would be a good deal - $6K to $8K for 6 days would be the VERY top end of the market. Hope they have a great Safri experience.
Cheers - Thembi
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Jan 15th, 2007, 10:52 PM
  #27  
gct
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Highly recommend BotswanaTours.com. They can help you with itineraries, lodges, operators, flights, etc. Have a great trip!
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Jan 16th, 2007, 09:44 AM
  #28  
santharamhari
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Napamatt,

I just took another look at that CN issue....Camp Okavango? Chobe Chilwero and Khwai river lodge are all among lesser travelled destinations by fodorites. Glad they are the ones that make the "LIST".......

Never heard of Camp Okavango? not around here anyways......

Hari
 
Jan 17th, 2007, 05:09 AM
  #30  
 
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Hari - agreed. Maybe Mombo will become less popular!
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Jan 17th, 2007, 05:37 PM
  #31  
santharamhari
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Yes, agree......
 
Jan 17th, 2007, 05:47 PM
  #32  
santharamhari
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Gct,

Thanks for the link....i'm sure they are very good camps.

Rgds,
Hari
 

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