KWANDO vs WILDERNESS VEHICLES

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Apr 7th, 2007, 11:10 AM
  #61
 
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Nowadays Kwando use this feature as an unique sales point in their marketing, so I guess CC Africa don't use trackers in BW. But I havn't been at Nxabega and Sandibe so far. Anyone who can confirm this?
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Apr 7th, 2007, 11:14 AM
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PredatorBiologist, a good piece of information, thank you.

WS wouldn't be such successful, if they don't know how to operate a business. And that also means cutting jobs.
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Apr 7th, 2007, 11:21 AM
  #63
 
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Momliz,
Many of our friends have used Wilderness and ALL have had good driver guides. None has had a bad experience. Perhaps I'm in the minority here but I can't imagine any serious photographer sitting in the middle seat or even willing (if they could afford it) to go out on a drive loaded as the Kwando vehicles may sometimes be. For those happy with that sort of arrangement that's fine but I couldn't even handle my lenses and bodies with that three seat abreast configuration, no matter which seat I was in. Guess I'm not agile enough. Hey Nyama, why not use a minibus at Kwando ? Maybe put a tracker on the back as well
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Apr 7th, 2007, 11:29 AM
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Chuck, thank you, you're just confirming my thoughts about WS. They reduced operation costs, and clients are still happy. Why should they change this?
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Apr 7th, 2007, 11:31 AM
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When I was at Nxabega in Oct 2005 CC Africa had trackers.
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Apr 7th, 2007, 11:39 AM
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Tanky, thank you, another valuable piece of information. I guess I should have a closer look at Kwando's marketing brochure. Maybe it's something for the "Eco-travel in South or East Africa? Can I trust what the tour companies and lodges say?" thread.
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Apr 7th, 2007, 11:48 AM
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Yes Sandibe had a tracker in 2004, dont know about now.
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Apr 7th, 2007, 12:10 PM
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napamatt, that puts Sandibe on my destination list. Thank you.

Anybody who knows the situation at Pom Pom?
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Apr 7th, 2007, 01:33 PM
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Nyama-

"Andy, it's business like everywhere else. Why should one invest into an extra vehicle plus one/two employees if clients accept the current situation? Apparently it works for Kwando."

That is the point. Most people, including myself, would pay the extra cost to have fewer people in the vehicle. Riding 3 people wide isn't enjoyable, and the safari experience can be greatly enhanced by increasing the cost a little bit more. Heck, most southern African safaris are pricy to begin with. At least give people the choice. I would love to see somebody rent out extra vehicles from a central location to camps that need them, as overflow vehicles.
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Apr 7th, 2007, 01:44 PM
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Eureka Andy! Your idea should be posted under the thread "If you could start a business or work in Africa"...

Now, if I can just get Jeep to transfer me over there and supply the vehicles I will take on this task.

PS..I still want to buy your lion cub photograph.
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Apr 7th, 2007, 02:14 PM
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Hi Andy,

While your idea about having extra vehiciles sounds good, in reality it's not really possible. A safari operator leasing a CHA (or concession) in Bots must adhere to strict guidelines designating the use of the leased land.

This means that a particular concession may be allocated 20 beds, 7 vehicles and 45 kilometres of game drive roads.

This is the reason that camps in Bots typically only have one private vehicle available at any time. Of course, everything is negotiable when signing a lease agreement, but once signed, there are only so many vehicles allowed to be driving at any one time within a concession.

James
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Apr 7th, 2007, 02:17 PM
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"Eureka Andy! Your idea should be posted under the thread "If you could start a business or work in Africa".

He already has, leading photo safaris!
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Apr 7th, 2007, 02:40 PM
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Apologies if I've missed seeing somebody else pick this up, but Selinda/Zib vehicles no longer have two rows of three.

They now have two rows of two plus a back row of three. Capacity eight, if you count the front passenger seat next to the guide (that's my favourite seat), and if the vehicle is full, only one person has to suffer the middle seat.

I've never had the misfortune to be in a full vehicle at Selinda or Kwando, so don't mind the three-seat rows...they give me more room to spread out with camera gear if I'm not lucky enough to have the front passenger seat. To digress a little, on some night drives, I've stood up in the passenger seat and held the spotlight for the guide. Having to divide his concentration between driving in the dark and holding the light compromises the guide's spotting skills, so, as long as the helper knows how to use a spotlight in the bush, the extra elevation is a great advantage.

My view is that the main objective of operators is to make money out of us. Although most safari-goers tote a camera, serious photographers are a tiny minority and quite a few of them would hire a private vehicle. So why would the operators invest in more vehicles than they think they can get away with? Their choice is simple: more vehicles, most of which would stand idle for much of the year; or different seating configurations. You can see the choice Selinda/Zib has taken...one more seat and a sensible change in configuration. They have enough qualified guides in reserve (their camp managers are usually fully qualified) to drive extra vehicles if needed, but they chose not to go that way.

John
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Apr 7th, 2007, 03:50 PM
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Good news John!
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Apr 7th, 2007, 06:11 PM
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I didn't see James's explanation about vehicle allowances for concessions before posting my view. Thanks for that, James...really, you should post more frequently , though that's no excuse for my skimming over the latter parts of the thread. Bad practice, skimming the surface!

John
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Apr 7th, 2007, 07:21 PM
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"Eureka Andy! Your idea should be posted under the thread "If you could start a business or work in Africa".

"He already has, leading photo safaris!"

You got that right! I am very fortunate to have my passion and my profession occur in a place that I love so very much.
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Apr 12th, 2007, 08:12 AM
  #77
 
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Update/correction:
I made a wrong statement in one of my posts regarding what kind of vehicles WS are using in Kafue. Yesterday I had a look at my Kafue photos and found out that WS are also using 3-row vehicles in Kafue. Since I also saw 2-row WS vehicles in the area my guess is that they use Ed Smythe's old 2-row vehicles at Busanga Bush Camp while they are using 3-row vehicles at new Kapinga and Shumba camps.
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Apr 12th, 2007, 03:59 PM
  #78
 
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Having been away from my pc for a week I just came across this thread. It's been very informative since we are heading out on our first trip to S.Africa in June; I inquired with CCA to hire a private vehicle to surprise my partner - I was quoted 7500Zar for a day; way beyond my budget. This is in one of the private reserves CCa runs in Sabi Sands area - Has anyone run across these prices while on safari in the kruger/sabi area? Thanks for any info that may get me a better price! D/
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Apr 12th, 2007, 04:19 PM
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ex tort ion...
Think about it 2 x 3 hour game drives in a day.
maximum speed 30 Km's an hour or about 20 miles an hour. So maximum of 120 miles travelled in the day.... fuel efficiency of the vehicle, probably 8 miles to the gallon, which costs about $4.50 so maybe 15 gallons in the day, which is highly unlikely, more like 5 from past experience, but for arguments sake....$ 67 worth of gas in the day. What happened to the other $1 120 odd dollars left over...oh I know that was to pay the ranger and tracker, but hold on they only cost about ZAR 4000 a month, which is $643.... x 2 so I guess that by hiring the vehicle for the day, you just paid the salary for the safari team for the month and they even profited from it....Madness. But its you who wants the privacy of the private vehicle....go for it.
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Apr 12th, 2007, 04:33 PM
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7500ZAR, SA Rand? That's a bit over $1,000USD. Offer them half that. And even at that it sounds high.
regards - tom
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