just returned from duba plains and mombo camp

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Jan 23rd, 2004, 09:39 AM
  #1
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just returned from duba plains and mombo camp

hey guys,
just spent 2 days and duba plains and 4 days at mombo camp. i've read several semi negative reviews of mombo recently. i have nothing but great things to say about it. in 4 days we saw 5 different prides of lions and additionally 15 different male lions. if you like lions you cant beat it. i counted something like 60 different lions we saw. we also saw 4 leopards including a cub, 3 cheetahs, 2 rhinos and lots of hyaenas. the general game is unbelievable as well and the the tents are incredible. we also saw several near kills. if anyone has any questions about the trip or wants to see pictures i'm up for anything. i also have visited several other wilderness camps at other times of the yr so if you have other questions about botswana i may be able to help.
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Jan 23rd, 2004, 10:18 AM
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Welcome Back "BigCountry",
We are staying at Little Mombo next year, so I was glad to hear that you had a positive experience. I recently read that there are no night drives at Mombo. Is this true? If so, what is the daily schedule for game drives? Also, who was your guide?
Thanks!
P.S. I would also love to see any pictures you might be willing to share.
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Jan 23rd, 2004, 11:11 AM
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yeah OSC, there are no game drives at mombo bc its within the moremi game reserve and therefore they have to follow park rules. so what they do is make the morning drives a litle bit longer to make up for it. we would be on the drive from 545am til 11 or so depending on what was going on. usually by 10 am we had seen so much we were ready for breakfast. then you start your evening drive at 345 pm and return back a litle after 7. if you could drive at mombo at night i'm sure the experience couldnt be beat. you would see some major battles betwwen the lions and hyaenas. we found some hyaenas feeding on 2 buffaloes that had been struck by lightning in the evening. we came back to the carcasses the next morning and found 4 huge black maned lions at the site and a hyaena dead next to the buffaloes. some intense things happen in the dark. anyway, with the wildlife so dense there, you see enough action during the day as it is, you just dont get to see many of the nocturnal animals. our guide was named tsile and he was fantastic. the guide at little mombo was very good at finding animals as he was the one who found all the leopard spottings and the rhinos. i dont know what his name was but hopefully he will still be there when u go.
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Jan 23rd, 2004, 11:40 AM
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Bigcountry:
Welcome home!! I thought about you several times since you left, and I was so jealous!!
Glad you enjoyed your experience. A few questions please....Who did you book your safari with? How was the weather, hot, cold, rainy (I noticed that you mentioned lightning)? Were the near kills that you saw at Duba or Momo, and could you give a little description of the action? And finally, before you left, we posted each other about Kwando. How does it stack up to Wilderness camps?
Thanks.
Joey
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Jan 23rd, 2004, 11:59 AM
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So glad to hear your feedback on Mombo.

I visited Little Mombo in 2001 and had the most incredible experience - we spent hours with leopard, cheetah, lion, elephant plus zebra, giraffe, various ungulates and lots of bird life (which we were surprisingly fascinated by given that we'd never been into birds previously). Our guide was absolutely superb and was also head guide and trained many other WS guides. He's left now, sadly.

Then there were some visitors who had less stellar experiences and guides who were either inexperienced, poorly trained or just plain unmotivated.

I know that some of these visitors reported these issues back to WS - whilst sightings are never guaranteed, provision of top-notch guides is absolutely essential for a camp of this calibre.

It sounds, from the most recent reviews, that Mombo is back at it's peak.

I can't wait to visit in June this year.

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Jan 23rd, 2004, 12:07 PM
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bigcountry -

great report. how was the weather? the beginning of the year is referred to as "green season" because of rain and high grasses - was this your situation?

will you be posting your photos? i'm sure we'd all like to see, if you can.
 
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Jan 23rd, 2004, 01:07 PM
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ok joey, i booked with a south african company called africanadrenalin. i just found them on the web. i knew where i wanted to go so i was looking at price and everything went smoothly for me. in terms of the weather, i liken it to the american southwest in the summer. it was sunny the majority of the time but thunderstorms would roll in and you could see it raining in patches around the area. we got rained on twice in 12 game drives ( pretty good i thought) and only once had to head back bc the rain was too hard. and we got to see some amazing skies before the storm at duba plains. the temperature was great getting hot at midday but fine otherwise and the grass was very low but just green. i heard other areas are difficult to see game ie chobe region during the green season but duba and mombo are great. the green makes the pictures nice and the grass is definitely not too high. as for the action, we saw a pride of lions try to kill a reedbuck at duba. if you want to see lions hunt during the day, duba is your place. they hunt buffalo almost everyday. unfortunately for us 2 of the 3 prides at duba were split up when we were there bc they had less than 2 week old cubs so we didnt see much buffalo action there but that is not the norm. anyway, at mombo, we saw a pride of 14 lions go after a herd of buffalo. they were in position but the buffalo had a good strong hold with teh big males on the perimeter so the lions gave up teh chase. the chase was awesome to watch. we also saw a pride stalk a wildebeast and nearly get it. we also saw a leopard spring on a family of warthogs only to see one of the 2 small piglets (those guys can run like crazy) scamper away luckily. the other little one in teh midst of running away was almost killed by a lone male warthog (really strange but our guide said he had seen the same thing happen before). i guess warthog males are like lions in that they will kill the young of other warthogs. the leopard needed to work on its pounce a little better. hehe. anyway, other events that were of interest were we came across three male lions that had killed 3 buffalos the night before and watched them along with a pride of lions eat and the hyaena finish the carcasses off later that day. the stories are endless. i have put the photos on ofoto (there are 400 of them so it would be tough to post them but anyone who wants give me your email address and i'll share tehm with you). any other questions pls feel free to ask.
finally joey, about kwando, its on par with the wilderness camps (guides, tent etc). when we went their they had a permanent den of wild dogs which we followed everyday so taht was amazing. the only problem is that their 2 top camps (lagoon and lebala) are very close together geographically so you dont get to see the varied animals of different areas. i would certainly go to the lagoon camp if i could combine it with going to mombo or vumbura or duba plains.
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Jan 23rd, 2004, 06:54 PM
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bigcountry, thanks for sharing your trip highlights...I really enjoyed reading about your amazing sightings.
You were nice enought to offer a link to your pictures. My e-mail is:
[email protected] I would love to see your pictures, as I'm going to Botswana in May (Macatoo Horseback Safari, Little Vumbura and Chitabe).
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Jan 23rd, 2004, 07:43 PM
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Bigcountry, your trip sounds wonderful. The bush experience is so dependent on the quality and enthusiasm of the guide.

I'm not clear, did you stay at Lebala? If so, would love to hear more details of the camp and the sightings - thanks!
Please send the photo link to [email protected]
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Jan 23rd, 2004, 07:58 PM
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bigcountry:
Thanks a lot. I appreciate the time taken to answer my questions in such detail. My wife and I really liked Duba. In fact, we're trying to get back early next year. But I'm about to die waiting!
Thanks again.
Joey
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Jan 24th, 2004, 02:03 AM
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I would also love to receive the link to your photos, at the email addy above, please.
THANKS
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Jan 24th, 2004, 04:03 AM
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Great trip report! Sounds like you had an excellent adventure. I would love to see your photos
[email protected]

Thanks!
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Jan 24th, 2004, 06:24 AM
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ok, i shared the photos with you guys' email. let me know if it didnt work. clematis, yeah we stayed 2 nights at lagoon camp and 2 nights at lebala. it's only about 1.5 hr drive in the land rover between the camps. we saw a pack of wild dogs. we saw 2 male cheetahs hunting, 1 leopard, a handful of lions, a lot of elephants and pretty good general game including roan which are fairly elusive. their werent that many big predators, ie the lions, i think bc i dont remember seeing many buffalo there. thats probably also the reason why the wilddogs thrive there. anyway, i would recommend lagoon over lebala just bc the wild dog den was closer but we were still able to drive and watch them from lebala as the den was in between the 2 camps just closer to lagoon. i went there in may 2000 so things may have changed but i read a report recently that the wild dogs were still in the area. hope this helped.
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Jan 27th, 2004, 02:11 PM
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Thanks so much for e-mailing your amazing photos...it's hard to pick a favorite, as I loved all of them! Amazing big cat photos! I've only been to Africa during the dry season, so it was great to see the lush foliage framing the animals. Great, great photos...thanks, as I enjoyed them immensely and now look forward to my May trip to Botswana even more!!!
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Apr 16th, 2004, 06:16 AM
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topping due to all the recent talk of Mombo vs. Chiefs Camp lately, and overall interst in Botswana.

Bigcountry, I, too, would love to see your photos if you don't mind.

My email address is [email protected]

Lastly would you deal with African Adrenalin again and did you compare their prices to other operators?

Thanks.
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Apr 16th, 2004, 09:48 AM
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Hi big country,

Please send me the link as well. My address is [email protected].

Thanks very much.
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Apr 19th, 2004, 11:00 AM
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Hey, bigcountry, sounds like a great trip. We are planning to go to Botswana in September, and are looking at staying in Jao and Sandibe camps. Any info on these?
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Apr 19th, 2004, 01:22 PM
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mjulius,
i havent been to either of those camps but i have read other posts here on sandibe so do a search for info. in terms of Jao camp, i havent been there but have talked with guides in botswana about it. the accomodations are very nice like mombo camp so that should be great. from what i have heard, it is mainly a water based camp with game not highly concentrated. if you've never mekoroed before and would like to, this should be a fantastic camp, but if its game viewing you are looking for other camps like mombo would be better.
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Apr 19th, 2004, 04:27 PM
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Hi BigCountry,
Great trip report. About Mombo, how were the bugs? Also, does Mombo offer mekoro trips, or do you need to go elsewhere for that?
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Apr 19th, 2004, 07:11 PM
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hi ericka,
the only time the bugs were annoying was at dinner on nights when it had just rained. the managers had to turn on the overhead fans in the lounge and move the lights off the table. but overall it wasnt much of a problem. the beds have great mosquito nets so we had no problems at night and i cant remember having any problems on the drives. mombo only offers game drives, so if you want to mekoring as well, add a couple nights at a water based delta camp like Xigera, Jao, or pom pom.
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