How to cope with 7 month countdown?

Old May 12th, 2008, 02:34 PM
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How to cope with 7 month countdown?

Well it's all booked and deposit paid so Botswana here we come - but not until December 26th!!!!!!

The addiction is back! Far too long is spent each day reading this forum and trawling travel magazines etc for articles on Africa but the trip is still so far away and doesn't seem to be getting any nearer. We've never booked this far ahead before and I really don't know how I'm going to cope with the wait.

So apart from the Fodors addiction which I know most of you share, what else do you do to feed the appetite and count down the days until you go?

Btw the itinerary we ended up with is:

2 nights Makgadikgadi Camp
2 nights Deception Valley Lodge
2 nights Delta Camp
4 nights Mapula Lodge
Ruthie_C is offline  
Old May 12th, 2008, 02:45 PM
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Another Mapula visitor! Now I'm having trouble coping too. Really looking forward to your experience there. Your itinerary looks wonderful.

You could read or re-read Cry of the Kalahari.
atravelynn is offline  
Old May 12th, 2008, 06:17 PM
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Congratulations! It will go by quickly. I have been waiting 2.5 years and only 49 more days to go.

What Delta camp are you staying at?
Mapula is on my next trip list, hoping for 2010.

Watch all the live cams in Southern Africa:

Pete's Pond
Africam- Nkorho
Wildearth- Djuma
Elephant Plains

I have the entire #1 Ladies Detective Agency series to read, just finished Cry of the Kalahari and Whatever You Do, Don't Run.

I watch Nat Geo and Animal Planet channel and this combo has pacified me all this time.
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Old May 12th, 2008, 07:11 PM
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I know the feeling . . . . I'm trying to cope with the remaining seven weeks of my countdown and I'm not doing all that well!

I've been using the time to brush up on my photography skills, and I've bought a bunch of art supplies with the intention of recording my impressions of the trip in drawings as well as photographs.

I haven't done much drawing since college and my practice sketches are hilariously bad. But I've decided to set a good example for my daughter and not let my lack of skills deter me from drawing for fun, even in public.

Oh yeah, and I'm trying to keep my mind focused on work. Really I am . . .

You could spend the next seven months tracking down the world's most flattering zip-off pants, and then posting the results for the rest of us.

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Old May 13th, 2008, 03:28 AM
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We booked 330 days in advance so we could use FF miles. We've got 8 weeks to go and the wait is excruciating. This is our first trip so we are really jazzed. We have gotten all our shots, meds, etc. More or less planned our packing list. Still need to buy soft duffles. I am using my new camera and lens to get use to them. We went to zoo to practice animal photography. Watch a lot of Animal Planet and NatGeo and keep current on Fodors. We're going to East Africa so I have also been keeping a close watch on the political situation in Kenya. Luckily it seems to be making good progress.
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Old May 13th, 2008, 04:46 AM
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My africa trips tend to be the trips that I book farthest in advance so it's always a case of waiting, waiting, waiting!

It's a strange pain-pleasure kind of anticipation since that long build up really means we appreciate the trip when it finally arrives!

The long period of planning, then the long waiting once it's booked and then the trip itself (not to mention all the memories created and savoured afterwards) extend a brief trip into years and years of enjoyment!!!!!

Of course, I say this sitting here full of impatience for our August trip to East Africa!!!!



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Old May 13th, 2008, 09:11 AM
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Ruthie: that's roughly 210 days and I have 287 pictures in my albums from those camps, perhaps we should set it up for you to receive one photo per day with doubles on weekends and holidays

The time really will fly and before you know it you will be pulling an all-nighter to finish everything necessary to leave town, at least that is how I usually do it.
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Old May 13th, 2008, 05:46 PM
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Well Ruthie, now you are one day closer. See how time flies?
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Old May 14th, 2008, 02:32 PM
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Thanks Folks.
Yep was swayed to Mapula and the whole itinerary by PBs wonderful trip report

Reading every book I can get my hands on is definitely the plan & all the books mentioned are already being tracked down - slightly tougher in Adelaide than it was in London.

Carla, the camp is actually called Delta Camp - it's on Chief's Island and centres around walking and water activities; no driving at all.

Isabel, DH loved your last comment and is still laughing about it; personally I don't see what's so funny - it will probably take me that long to find them.

PB, It's time to confess that I look at all 287 about once a week - there's no way I have the self control to limit to one a day but thanks for the offer.

The slightly sad thing is that we have a great trip planned for July to Kakadu & Litchfield (2 National Parks in Northern Territory) but the anticipation is all for Africa not NT ....... if only there were even a few eles and zebra scattered around.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 04:00 AM
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Well, we've been coping well with the gap - half way there now. However.........

We've just had word that Makgadikgadi Camp is closed so our agent is suggesting Meno a Kwena instead. Does anyone have any views on whether this is an OK alternative or should we be looking at something else. We know that December isn't the best time of year but still hoping to see the wonder of the pans and possibly some meerkats.

We probably can't afford Jack's camp so i guess our options may be limited but would appreciate the knowledgeable input I always get from everyone here.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 06:04 AM
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Hi Ruthie_C

How did you find the parks in NT? I would think the bird life would have been wonderful - surely that is better than nothing! Probably better than my local park, though we do get a few Magpie Geese, numbering 4 at the moment.

Kind regards

Kaye
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Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 06:25 AM
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I doubt that you would enjoy Meno a Kwena. There are a couple of posts here on fodors as well as on trip advisor. Here's another review I found, googling, with pros and cons
http://www.expertafrica.com/lodge/Me.../review?page=1
and another
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic...-Botswana.html

My comments are posted on trip advisor: I stayed at Meno-a-Kwena in 2005. My feelings about this camp are that David Dugmore wants to live in the bush and have fun with his friends that come out to stay but he needs funds to be able to do that. He gets his funding by renting out the tents in his camp. I didn't feel welcome at that camp and couldn't wait to leave. We didn't see much game either. The zebras were at the bore hole at the bottom of the cliff and it was kind of cool hearing them all night but that's it.

In one of the posts above they refer to a company that took them camping in the pans. You might check into that. We spent one night in sleeping bags and it was very cool.

Good luck finding something.

Cindy
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Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 02:41 PM
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i have no idea whether this is a personal vendetta which is linked.
but i would give it a "reasonable doubt".
maybe to many personal sensitivities involved.

there are other reports in favour of meno a kwena.

just to make sure you find what you are looking for: ask your TA serious questions about meno and ask also for refunds if that venue doesn't match your expectations. that should make your TA think twice and if he still suggests meno you should accept!
these guys normaly visit the camps for at least 2 nights in order to get an impression on the service and experience.
just ask whether your TA has visited/experienced.

div
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Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 03:04 PM
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divine54, have you been to Meno a Kwena? I have. I have no personal vendetta against them. What I said in my post is exactly how I felt about that camp. I do have a problem paying good money for a camp and getting very little return. I have been to a fair number of camps and know what to expect in the way of hospitality and game viewing. Meno a Kweno did not produce enough of either to recommend them to Ruthie. Or anyone. Please spend your time and your money and go there. Make sure you don't mention Fodors, or anyone else, so you get the same treatment any regular person gets. Then you can defend them and tell people to go there.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 03:24 PM
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sundowner,
it was not my intention to defend anybdy or any camp.
i just think it's a fair thing for ruthie to confront her TA with the posts and ask their opinion!
from a TA i would expect that they make sure to send a client to a well evaluated camp when they propose a stay!
keeping that in mind i am neither negative nor positive in view to meno.

maybe your experience was a more isolated one. the thing with d.dugmore's "friends having fun in the bush and having guests paying for it" is some real heavy stuff and is suitable to ruin a reputation. and that can be reasoned by "feelings".

sorry, that's the way i see it.

div

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Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 03:34 PM
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Thanks for the replies - I have looked at the reviews and there are very mixed reactions. Also the information about Meno a Kwena suggests that "trips to the Pans can be arranged". This sounds as if it's not automatic that you go there - but that's the reason we wanted to go to Makgadikgadi area!

I think I'll post a separate thread with a more specific title rather than my earlier ramblings on this one just in case anyone else has any recommendations.

By the way Kaye, NT was beautiful and the birding was great. Our one mistake was going on an organised walk to the top of Jim Jim Falls. We shared the trip with a family of Rock Wallabies (well at the speed they climbed that's what we christened them anyway - I think they were actually from NSW). Anyway the walk nearly finished us off - moderately fit at their age and moderately fit at our age are two very different things!
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Old Sep 23rd, 2008, 07:24 PM
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Hi Ruthie

And your worried about a 7 month countdown??
I booked my trip to Deception Valley Lodge(DVL) and Mapula for Sept 2009 back in January this year
That makes it a 17 month countdown!!
So I feel your pain, but only double ;-)
Out itinerary will be going something like this:

DVL - 3 nights Sept 12 2009
Mapula - 8 nights Sept 15
Linyanti Bush Camp - 6 nights Sept 23
Giving us a good mix of the Kalahari,Delta and Linyanti regions
Just under 12 months to go now and .........counting!

Cheers
Marc
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