Just Back from Botswana

Apr 13th, 2004, 09:10 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 17

Thanks for all the great info. I'm surprised that you said Nxabega was "tentlike" since the pictures on their website don't really give that impression. Maybe those are just flattering photos, or maybe they just feel more tentlike in comparison to your later stops?

Also, I know you had your own guide at Nxabega, but I wonder if you could comment some more on other guests experience with the guides. Did they have guides and trackers? Did they do night drives? Were the staff flexible about scheduling activities? How much could you fit in a day?

Thanks again - this info is so helpful for planning!
chooch is offline  
Apr 14th, 2004, 04:26 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 133
Hi Liz

It wasn't that hot when we were in Botswana. We expected it to be very hot. I would think most days were around 25 to 30 degrees celsius (80 to 85 fahrenheit) We thought it could be more like 90 to 100 so were glad that it was so comfortable. It was chilly some mornings and we did wear a jacket. It rained almost every day that we were there although usually not for more than an hour. Sometimes it really poured. I couldn't believe how much rain came down in such a short time. That is why the roads were so bad. I don't think that generally the flood waters in the delta alone would effect the roads so much. They said the Delta was already at the usual high water levels that did not usually occur until May. The roads were terrible in that area. Also the road between Khwai river at the northern border of Moremi and Savute in Chobe was crazy. We traveled there by truck and I can't believe we got through. Generally it didn't rain long enough to cause us to change our plans. We missed a boat ride on the delta, not the mokoro, and had to cut short a couple of game drives. After a huge storm in Savute the generator was out for a while and we had another 4 hour power outage after a storm, when we were near Kasane. I am sure the rain has to slow up soon. They say when it stops it does so suddenly. For sure take a light jacket but don't worry about it too much. I am sure it will work out fine. I'd rather have a little rain than droves of tourists. It was pretty quiet when we were there.
Sprig is offline  
Apr 14th, 2004, 04:37 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 133
Hi Jackie
Have been having some problems posting replies, maybe because they are too long. For your answer on the rain see the post above. It really rained every day.
We didn't see a lot of herds of animals which is what they meant by dispersed but there were times when we drove around for an hour and didn't see too much. The animals go where they like because there is water everywhere. Nonetheless we saw a lot of game. We arrived in Victoria Falls about noon and spent that day and the next which was OK. I guess it depends what you want to do. We didn't have any big plans for bungee jumping or river rafting etc. We wanted to gear down a little and buy some souvenirs. We spent a couple of hours at the open air market but we were the only people there so got a lot of attention from vendors and I didn't want to be rude so I talked to them. The Zim falls is just a few minutes by cab from the hotel. Someone said it cost $10 by cab to get there. No big deal. We had a guide but you really don't need one. We spent a little over an hour at the falls which was enough to get really wet and see if from each angle (viewing spot) offered. We walked. The river was high so I didn't see any boat tours or anything similar. I understand the white water was canceled the week before from another post here.
In Jo'burg we stayed at the Rosebank Hotel and it was a nice hotel in a nice safe area. Someone said that they have private security (police) there to keep it safe. We walked the streets in the evening and there were lots of others walking to the shops and restaurants and we felt quite safe and were assured by the hotel to do so. We only went to Soweto. After a 14.5 hour flight we needed to recover a little. We might have gone to Gold Reef City or done a tour of Pretoria if we had more time. That's what a couple of people recommended.
Clothes were a little tough. Because of the 22 pound weight limitation for the small plane our clothes were pretty light. I took three pairs of shorts and two pairs of long pants. We wear shorts a lot so I would rather have had one more short outfit and one less long. We got wet and muddy a few times and because we were only spending two days in each camp could only get clothes washed every other day. Mostly it worked but because of the rain and mud we had a little problem.
Sprig is offline  
Apr 14th, 2004, 09:02 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 414
Sprig, thanks so much for all your useful info. We go Jan/Feb 2005. I was especially pleased to hear about what clothes you took. At dinner in the camps..do you just wear your shorts etc? Also, since we will be gone for nearly 4 weeks total trip..can you leave cases at Johan.. airport? Thanks again. Pat
Mincepie is offline  
Apr 14th, 2004, 02:45 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 133
We usually changed for dinner and often wore shorts at dinner quite often. Sometimes we would change into long pants but if you are wearing shorts during the day there is still lots of time to get your long pants washed even if you only had one pair. Someone mentioned that there were lockers at Johannesburg airport. I didn't really check into it. The luggage limitations are only for the fly in part of the safari, when you are traveling on small planes. The other couple that we traveled with were staying a week after the safari and were traveling on to Cape Town. They made arrangements at the Maun airport and with the tour company to have two suitcases sent on to Kasane. Our guide picked them up when we arrived there at our last stop in Botswana before Vic Falls and delivered them to the lodge so I am sure you could make the same arrangements.
Sprig is offline  
Apr 15th, 2004, 12:49 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 67
Yes, you can store baggage at the Jo'burg airport. The luggage storage is on the basement level of the international arrivals hall. We left one bag there for 10 days -- it was about $5 per day per bag. Not inexpensive, but worth it.

Also, due to malaria risk, it's advised that you wear pants at dinner instead of shorts. It's not so hot that you want to wear shorts, so you might as well be on the safe side with pants. As an aside, we went in March and I expected it to be much hotter than it was. I wore safari-type pants almost all the time and rarely wore shorts.
dlm is offline  
Apr 15th, 2004, 07:31 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 133
We took mosquito repellent and used in religiously and wore shorts every day and I didn't get a bite. My husband had no problem either. There didn't seem to be a lot around.
Sprig is offline  
Apr 15th, 2004, 07:48 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,657
ha ha. That is because they are waiting for me! I can't forget to use insect repellant...they LOVE me! I'm bringing trousers mostly, and maybe a long casual skirt for dinner every now and then.
uhoh_busted is offline  
Apr 15th, 2004, 09:44 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 596
Busted, I'm the same way. There is a treatment you guy and spray your clothes with at home, it is the same thing that breaks the flea cycle.
Clematis is offline  
Apr 17th, 2004, 07:46 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 207
Sprig - Thank you very much for all of your insights.
Did you notice the thatched accomodations when you were there?
What were they like?
We are seriously considering staying at the ele camp one night?

How many short and long sleeve shirts would you recommend taking? We will be there mid may.
Thanks again!
JackieSun is offline  
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