Holey Moley....Botswana is EXPENSIVE!!

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Feb 26th, 2005, 03:51 AM
  #21
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Phernska,

I would start by finding a couple charter air companies and then just start pricing out how much your transfers between lodges will be, both for the Tanzania / Malawi option and the Zambia / Malawi option.

For Zambia, I definitely recommend Airwaves Airlink over other companies. AA is really about 25% cheaper than the other companies, and having flown on a few AA planes, they are newer and the pilots excellent.

I do think you should use the fact that there are five travelers in your party to your advantage. I am willing to bet that the majority of places will waive the single supplement for you in order to get a booking for five guests.

One other possibility that may make sense economically is to consider combining South Luangwa/North Luangwa/Selous. I believe Selous will only be about a 2.5 hour flight, and with a party of five, I am guessing that you are looking at about $400 pp for the transfer. Yes, it may end up being $2,000 one-way, but it would be a great itinerary.

But, there are also some lesser known parks in Tanzania that may warrant strong consideration such as Katavi, which is said by some to have the largest buffalo herds on Earth...and where there are buffalo, there are lion.

To keep things simple, I would really focus on one country, and given the June climate, if it were me, I would choose Tanzania to visit Selous/Ruaha/Katavi.

While South Luangwa will be very good by mid-June, I would be concerned about North Luangwa so early in the season, as the bush should still be pretty lush. With everything in North Luangwa being by foot, this will definitely cut down on your sightings and the Mwaleshi River will probably still be pretty full, negating any very strong concentrations of hippos, if the Mwaleshi is anything similar to the Luangwa River. Plus, the other Zambian options of Kafue NP, and Lower Zambezi NP, will also not be as strong in June as they would be in August or September.

http://www.game-reserve.com/tanzania_kavati_np.html

http://www.game-reserve.com/tanzania_ruaha_np.html

http://www.game-reserve.com/tanzania_selous_gr.html

I would guess that these three Tanzanian parks are very isolated yet very stong in their wildlife.

Although not an endorsement for this company (I have never heard of them before), here is a website that seems to feature quite a few Tanzanian lodges:

http://www.naturalhighsafaris.com/camps/

Good luck.

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