johan_belgium question please?

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Jan 13th, 2006, 06:11 AM
  #1
Lin
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johan_belgium question please?

Hi Johan, After reading your (and others) positive remarks about him, I asked at Palmwag about reserving Chris Bakke as a guide - we're at Palmwag for 2 nights. It will cost $500 per person more (there are 4 of us). Do you think this would be a crazy expense? Thanks for your advice.
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Jan 13th, 2006, 09:10 AM
  #2
johan_belgium
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Lin,

Chris Bakkes is in my opinion one of the best guides I've ever met. (Great personality,very knowledgeable,great passion about what he is doing).

If you are four there is a chance of having him as a guide anyway. But if you want to be sure about it, you should book him because he really makes a difference. For me my stay at Palmwag Rhino Camp was the highlight of all my safaris in 2005. I should actually recommend that you stay 3 nights so that you have more time to explore the area.

Lin, by the way when are you going to Namibia? I'll be there in August 2006.

I am also planning to do a private trip with Chris in 2007 (Palmwag rhino camp + Skeleton coast).

Greetings,

Johan
 
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Jan 13th, 2006, 09:31 AM
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I'll also be in Namibia in August 2006.

Leann
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Jan 13th, 2006, 10:42 AM
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just curious.. what makes a guide so much better to justify an extra $2000 for two nights for a party of 4? They're traveling the same route as anyone else I would assume and see the same animals.
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Jan 13th, 2006, 11:01 AM
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johan_belgium
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Like you probably know you don't always see the same animals as other people who are staying at the same camp as you are but are in another car.
There is no such thing as guaranteed sightings in the wild.

If you have a private guide, you can ask of course to stay out longer, to take alternative routes, to stay with certain animals ... if not the guide has to take into account everyone's interests which can be unconvenient to certain people (f.e. if you are interested in particular flora or fauna or if you are serious about your photography). And if you ask me there is a big difference between an ordinary guide and a superb guide, which in my eyes Chris is.

2000 USD is probably a lot of money for two days but split by 4 persons is only 250 USD a day.

Greetings,

Johan







 
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Jan 13th, 2006, 11:10 AM
  #6
mv
 
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matnikstym

if you book a specific guide, you will know that he has worked in the area for quite some time. This translates into knowing the area intimately, knowing the individual animals and thir behaviour. Being able to predict what the animals will do. The guide will typically also have many years experience as a guide (especially if he is that expensive)
A guide assigned to you by the lodge may only have been there for a few weeks and may just have gotten his guides exam. Price is relative to a lot of people and the 1000 USD pr day seems to be app the rate for the very best guides

Michael
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Jan 13th, 2006, 11:52 AM
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thanks for clarifying that. I guess I was just lucky with the guides I have had so far. Seems to make sense if you want the best, you have to pay.
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Jan 13th, 2006, 12:37 PM
  #8
Lin
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Thanks Johan, wow I bet your private trip with Chris will be pricey! Unfortunately the 4 people are family members so I'd be paying the whole thing, which is why I'm hesitating. Yet you are correct, a superb guide can make all the difference. At Wilderness Camps in Botswana last year, I paid $300/pp extra, which is why I was surprised at this high cost. According to my travel agent, Chris is based at Palmwag, but because he is involved with community work with the game guards as well, the only way to guarantee him would be to book him as a private/specialist guide. So apparently, these days, Chris is not always in camp. Gosh I do kind of wish I were staying at Palmwag longer. Everything is booked but I guess I can ask! The following 2 nights are at Ongava Tented Camp - I would have to give that up. Any advice on that?

I'll be in Namibia in June.
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