Just back with pictures

May 26th, 2004, 12:48 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,657
Just back with pictures

I'm still trying to locate my head in the correct timezone...and the past couple of days at work have been rough. BUT I've got some pictures at ofoto posted, and these links should work:
Here's links to my pix from Africa

Sandibe safari: http://www.ofoto.com/I.jsp?c=i904j67...f&x=1&y=odibfh
Savute safari: http://www.ofoto.com/I.jsp?c=i904j67...&x=1&y=-3jam7o
Nxabega safari: http://www.ofoto.com/I.jsp?c=i904j67...&x=1&y=-6r2y11
Wine Country: http://www.ofoto.com/I.jsp?c=i904j67...&x=1&y=-jvzp78
Constantia etc: http://www.ofoto.com/I.jsp?c=i904j67...&x=1&y=-r4k3vz

Of the three lodges, I think Sandibe was our favorite, although we saw SO MANY lions and elephants at Savute Safari Lodge, and lucked into getting chalet #3 with the "favored" water hole view. But we really loved the more rustic (as it were) accomodations at Sandibe and Nxabega (that was a tent) and the food at those two ccafrica camps was really top notch. All three were great places to stay, and the staffs were exceptional. If this is "camping" I guess I've been missing out on more than I thought! ha ha ha ha!
uhoh_busted is offline  
May 26th, 2004, 01:30 PM
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Thanks for posting your photos. As our own safari adventure draws closer, the photos help keep the excitement level way up there.
eenusa is offline  
May 26th, 2004, 01:40 PM
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Welcome home! The photos were wonderful! Thanks for sharing those with us. It looks like you had an absolutely fabulous time "roughing it" at the camps!
Can't wait for the trip report
divewop is offline  
May 26th, 2004, 02:28 PM
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uhoh_busted, thanks so much for posting your pictures - they're great. That elephant looked very very close.

I've been anticipating your photo's and report ever since you went - as you know we go in 8 days time to all the same lodges in Botswana.

Your tip on chalet 3 is good & we are going to see if we can request that in advance. Any more tips for us. Also if you don't mind, a few questions:

How many layers of clothes needed in the morning & evening?

Were you able to re-charge batteries at each location?

How were the mosquitoes?

How many people were in the jeeps with you on average?

Do you get to choose what you want to do each day eg drive/mokoro/walk?

Any sign of wild dogs in any of the areas?

100's more questions but I'll stop there.
Thank you again for the photo's - my excitement level is now off the gauge.
RuthieC is offline  
May 26th, 2004, 03:23 PM
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uhoh_busted -

Thanks for the pics - they're great.

Interesting to see in Botswana those very high grasses and what your ranger had to navigate; it's well understood how sightings could be difficult, WOW!

But I absolutely, positively loved those sunset* photos taken in the winelands and coast grouping; also the Constantia and Kirstenbosch Gardens. The Capetown area is just so beautiful.
*bet you can get money for those!

Thanks for sharing these - now waiting for the report. Welcome home!
May 26th, 2004, 03:52 PM
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Chalet #2 also views the water holes.

How many layers of clothes needed in the morning & evening? We wore longsleeve shirts (roll-upable) and fall-weight jackets. I also wore a hooded fleece under my jacket. I carried a backpack into which I could roll the layers as it got warmer in the mornings (or take them out as it got colder at night). All the camps provide blankets in the vehicles for added warmth.

Were you able to re-charge batteries at each location? Yes. There's generator electricity until dark. I used one battery while the other charged back at the camp, and never had a problem.

How were the mosquitoes? Practically nonexistent! I think it's been cold enough at night that they've died off.

How many people were in the jeeps with you on average? Usually just one other couple. At Nxabega we were joined by a second couple on the second day. There was a guide and a tracker at the ccafrica camps, at Savute there is just a guide (but you don't go off road there, as you are in a national park.)

Do you get to choose what you want to do each day eg drive/mokoro/walk? Your guide pretty much has everything planned for you, one woman opted out of the mokoro ride at Sandibe, but we just sort of went with the program and totally enjoyed it all.

Any sign of wild dogs in any of the areas? Not when we were there. These animals sort of roam wherever they want to...no fences
uhoh_busted is offline  
May 27th, 2004, 03:47 AM
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Thanks very much for the replies. I'll stop asking questions now and just try and be patient for a few more days & then I'll be able to see for myself.

OOOOOOh I'm soooooo excited
RuthieC is offline  
May 27th, 2004, 08:20 AM
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You will enjoy everyone you come in contact with. The staffs at all three camps are terrific. The most impressive, professional guide we had was Boyce at Sandibe. He's truly a self-made man and a very bright guy. The guide at Savute was extremely tall, Eddie, and very personable. It seemed as if he started every sentence with "And also, this guy he...." when talking about elephants, snakes, birds, whatever. Our guide at Nxabega was Rams. Again, a very professional, knowledgeable and personable fellow. The training these guys to through is very thorough and I would equate it to a Wildlife Management degree from a University.

The camps are generally managed by a couple in their mid 30s, in our experience, South Africans. The rest of the staff are local and go through training. Our "butler" at Nxabega explained that she started in Scullery, moved up to cooks helper, then waitress, and she was now training to be a butler. (They take care of any thing you need, can answer any question you have.) There was a Botswana woman named Effie at that camp who is training to be a manager.

Most work for 2 months straight, then get 1 month off, so they can go home to their families. Boyce told us he had moved a brother and sister to his house in Maun so that they could be better educated, there. He had left school early to help support his family, and wanted his siblings to finish their education. He said ccafrica had sent him to a conference in South Africa, and a fellow he met there asked him his tribe. He said he was a Bushman. The other guy, apparently thought that he shouldn't be telling people that, but Boyce said why not? He was really proud of that fact. Apparently he is one of very few guides who are allowed to carry a rifle. It was with he and James (the tracker) where we spent most of our game drives "off road." I enjoyed seeing how the rangers worked together (there were two vehicles in use when we were in the ccafrica camps) so that if they found something they thought their guests might want to see (like the leopard we watched for about 20 minutes) they will call each other over the radio.

uhoh_busted is offline  
May 27th, 2004, 06:14 PM
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Your pictures were great. We stayed at Nxabega and liked it very much. The tents were the roughest there, if you can call that rough. It was a great camp, great food and a wonderful time. We saw our best game in Savuti but we were at the Savute Elephant Camp which I believe is right next door to where you were but we were in really upscale tents there. I loved your leopard pictures. We saw a leopard but he didn't pose. We did get a very good shot of him crossing the road behind our truck. Glad you had a great trip.
Sprig is offline  
May 27th, 2004, 08:34 PM
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I stayed at the same lodges as you in Botswana (just return last week). I agree with you that Sandibe is the best (but all 3 are great indeed), though we saw the least game there.

I have also visited the staff area at the back of the camp and they are really nice.

RuthieC, I am sure you will enjoy. The poolside in Nxabega is a good place to enjoy your afternoon. Happy Travel.

llee_2003 is offline  
Nov 20th, 2004, 04:28 PM
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here you go dejadeb...
uhoh_busted is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2004, 09:04 AM
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Thanks for sharing the photos uhoh!!

Particularly enjoyed the great day time leopard photos at Sandibe and the lion cubs at Savute!!

GreenDrake is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2004, 04:29 PM
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Thanks for the wonderful pictures - particularly my elephants! How close was that elephant to you? Looked to be only about 5 - 6 feet away.

However, I loved all the pictures - cats, camps and that water lily was beautiful.

Thanks again.

JanGoss is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2004, 07:13 PM
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That was how close he was...well maybe 9 feet. Every time I look at those pictures I am back there. We may be "retiring" for real in the next 6-12 mos, so it will be a while before we can take off on such a wonderful trip. I'm not worried. It is worth a wait
uhoh_busted is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2004, 12:20 PM
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Did you see Pels Fishing Owl at Nxabega?
winomatt is offline  

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