Jao vs. Vumbura Plains?

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Jan 30th, 2011, 06:08 PM
  #21
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
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I think there is a lot of fear being thrown around in the thread. The past few years I have run July safaris in the delta and they haven't disappointed me or my guests. That's really all there is to say from my end.
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Jan 30th, 2011, 09:29 PM
  #22
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BIG thank you to everyone for such great information. We've decided on the following concessions: Savuti, Kings Pool, Jao & Little Mombo (trying to add DumaTau if we can change our outbound flight)

Craig - Thank you for your valuable information. We are very much looking forward to staying at Savuti. Your info on Jao also helped me to make a decision.

Andy - Your photographs are absolutely inspiring. I've bookmarked your website for inspiration. I only have a P&S but a pretty good one, so we'll see what comes out.

Mr.Piggy and I have decided to not worry too much about the flood. This is our first trip to Africa, and we're both going to be totally thrilled with whatever small or big games we encounter! I'm one of those people who refuse to go to a zoo because I can't stand to look at the caged animals, and I know this is going to be an amazing trip as long as we don't end up waiting to be rescued on top of a tent/tree.

A few more questions:

1. Do we get a different guide each day? If not, can you recommend a guide to request at each camp?
2. How strict is Wilderness Safari on the luggage weight limit?
3. I understand that it's going to be hot in the afternoon. Will it be cold at night in April?
4. Walking safari. How much walking are we talking about? Do I need hiking boots or will running shoes suffice?
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Jan 30th, 2011, 11:24 PM
  #23
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
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Everyone is operating in unknown territory as the flood levels are going to rise from year to year as long as this wet cycle continues.

Looking forward to read the different trip reports.

You can request a guide but if you don't book a private vehicle your chances are slim ending up with that guide.

Duma Tau, Savuti and Kings pool are all part of the same concession.
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Jan 31st, 2011, 08:35 AM
  #24
 
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MsPiggy-

You're going to love Botswana! We were planning a return trip before our flight landed in NYC.

You can get by with much less luggage than you think. Layers, including a light fleece jacket and maybe a cashmere sweater, are needed much of the year. It gets chilly in those open vehicles in the AM! WS includes laundry in their prices, so you only need a couple of changes of clothes. Be prepared to wash your own undies - most camps don't wash "smalls". You can leave your Italy clothes at JNB luggage storage. The walking safaris with WS are quite tame. No need for hiking boots.
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Jan 31st, 2011, 08:41 AM
  #25
 
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A map showing skimmer2's observation:

http://www.eyesonafrica.net/african-...obe-safari.htm

There are lots of other maps on that website to show alternatives.
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Jan 31st, 2011, 08:55 AM
  #26
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Thanks for the answers. SafariCraig--I had started wondering if Botswana was a good idea after all, given all the uncertainty. But, I think you have convinced me that those particular camps should be fine!
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Feb 1st, 2011, 05:14 AM
  #27
 
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Can anybody help - I'm a South African planning to go to Okavango for the first time in March. I have in my mind an idea of boats and canoes and game viewing in this massive flooded plain etc (ie pretty much the cliche), which is what I want. Don't want to just find a Kruger (or Sabi Sabi) type experience in Botswana (so not just game drives, however great the game is). We've been given a bit of info about "water camps" and "land camps" (and mixes of the two), and have some great rates offered from camps in the actual Delta area as well as the Linyanti area. As a high-level starting point, can anybody direct me to the best area for what I'm trying to do?
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Feb 2nd, 2011, 04:10 PM
  #28
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
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I'll respond to #4 MsPiggy.
4. Walking safari. How much walking are we talking about? Do I need hiking boots or will running shoes suffice?

If you are doing a midday guided bird and spoor walk around camp, running shoes suffice.

If you plan to walk instead of a game drive for an activity, then I would definitely wear hiking boots with ankle support.

You know what would be a real helpful chart for Talarran? That Wilderness Safaris chart that shows the % of land and % of water activities for the different camps throughout the year. I can't find it now. Even if you don't end up in a Wilderness camp, it is helpful for the region.

If you are interested in viewing animals from a boat, then you are going to the delta at the right time as big floods are now the norm. Water camps that traditionally have good land viewing too, include Kwetsani, Little Vumbura, Kwara & Little Kwara.

For more of a water focus, what does everyone think of Xigera in March?

In the March timeframe I have seen some great reports coming from Kwara/Little Kwara. Those glowing reports have focused mostly on wildlife seen on land.

I know at one time Wilderness offered a 3-day mobile mekoro trip. All mekoro all the time. Don't know if they still do this, but some company might, especially if you are traveling with several people. Always thought that would be both exciting and relaxing.
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Feb 2nd, 2011, 11:16 PM
  #29
 
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Lynn,

Kwara/Little Kwara can be a hit or miss by then as it looks that the Tsum Tsum plains will be difficult (or maybe not at all) to reach. Also the heronry at Godikwe isn't best visited during that time of year. At the moment they are using Shinde's airstrip (according to a poster on ST) and if that camp is still using the same strip as last year, I'll expect it to be flooded in the months to come.

Xigera is certainly superior especially if they go as far as the Sinbira floodplains (Chief's island) (don't know if it's always possible by that time of year). I think you can still book the mokoro trail on a private basis but by boat you can cover a lot more ground (or water). But if you in for a mokoro experience, give it a try. We did a 3-day mokoro trip in 2002 and loved it although we had some scary encounters with hippopotami.

Don't know if WS has already updated those charts?

http://www.eyesonafrica.net/african-...water-land.htm (looks like this one is an oldie).

Kwetsani is not really a great land viewing destination.
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Feb 3rd, 2011, 07:35 AM
  #30
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Thanks Skimmer! That's the chart, but it seems as though any chart or rule or past experience about Botswana is not very meaningful now.
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Feb 3rd, 2011, 09:07 AM
  #31
 
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Lynn,

Look at the latest update from Duba Plains.

If I had to go, I would either go between mid July-mid August (Linyanti/Kwando) or late November/early December (although it can be that certain areas will be flooded throughout the year).
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