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elizrg Nov 28th, 2019 08:06 PM

Ker & Downey or Desert & Delta
Trying to plan our first (and quite possibly, only) trip to Africa and have decided on Botswana and Cape Town. Our budget may not be huge by safari standards, but it is a big splurge for us! We’ve been presented with a few itinerary suggestions and are interested in thoughts and comments on the following:

2 nights Savute Safari Lodge
3 nights Okuti Lodge
3 nights Kanana Camp


2 nights Chobe Game Lodge
3 nights Savute Safari Lodge
2 nights Camp Okavango or Xugana Camp
3 nights Camp Moremi

Which of these will give us the “best” safari experience in terms of quality of game drives (number of people in jeep, fabulous guides and trackers) and diversity of area? We’re most interested in seeing large animals and cats, but would enjoy a bit of variety as far as water-based activities, etc.

The 10-night itinerary seems to be a great option, but we’re actually wondering if 10 nights may be too long for a first safari? The first 8-night option is actually about ten percent more expensive than the 10-night D&D itinerary. We don’t care so much about the reportedly “higher end” feel of the two Ker & Downey camps in the first version; the most appealing thing to us about them is that the jeeps are 4-person so we’ll essentially have private jeeps on game drives.

We’ve also been hearing good things about Splash Camp, as well as the Linyanti area, neither of which are including in either of these plans. Should we switch out one of the above for something in one or both of these areas?

Thanks in advance for any help!

ekscrunchy Dec 3rd, 2019 05:37 AM

I've never stayed in any of those camps, but AfricanTravelResources has an excellent web site that tells you the good and bad of all the camps. (Look up the "Downsides" section of each camp; for example, they say that Camp Moremi is overpriced because of the heavy vehicle traffic and poor game viewing in certain months. The traffic issue would turn me right off.

Four in a vehicle is very good.
We recently returned from safari in Zimbabwe and visit to CapeTown; we had about 10 nights on safari which was superb.

Are you set on using a certain agent? I am asking because maybe there are other options.

I've been only once to the Linyanti, to King's Pool, right by the Namibia border and while it was super, I see no need to go up there if you will be in the Delta. In the Delta, I believe that Chief's Island is "ground zero" for game viewing so maybe see how close your camps are to that place. Or check to see if they are in private concessions or not....that has an impact on how much vehicle traffic there will be in any area. You don't want to have sightings where there are 5 other vehicles surrounding two lion. I am not sure that ever happens in Botswana but I would certainly check. Your agent should be the best source of info on the particular camps.

Botswana is an expensive destination, so plan carefully.

amyb Dec 3rd, 2019 09:44 AM

Just as an FYI, for my 6th safari I actually booked with Africa Travel Resource. I'd always used them for research as their info was quite good and reached out to them to see if they could improve upon (in terms of camps and prices) the itineraries I already had, and they did. It wouldn't hurt to reach out to them for comparison purposes. I find their opinions on camps to be more reliable than those on Trip Advisor, because those on TA are almost always written by first-time safari goers who don't know any better, so traffic, crowds around sightings, camp quality, location, etc. might not resonate so much with them as it does with me now that I know what I really appreciate on an itinerary.

ekscrunchy Dec 3rd, 2019 05:43 PM

Agree with Amyb in full; I've not used ATR for safaris myself but their site is superb and I, too, would trust their reviews way more than TA.

elizrg Dec 4th, 2019 08:20 AM

Wow--thought I'd seen every possible safari website but missed the best one! Thank you both for your great suggestions!

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