KWANDO vs WILDERNESS VEHICLES

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May 3rd, 2007, 12:02 PM
  #101
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Silverback, you took more words right out of my mouth.
And here's one more: Lighting isn't the only thing, it is everything.
Looks like you started posting here in April, welcome aboard, we have a good time, share a lot and learn a lot. Here's a few of my photos from the two safaris I've been on- http://tomgraham.smugmug.com/
Most are for information, only about a dozen are worth bragging about/hanging on the wall.

regards - tom
ps - all of my lenses are black (Nikon)
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May 3rd, 2007, 12:25 PM
  #102
 
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That comment about serious and amateur photographers is great, Tom.


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May 3rd, 2007, 12:52 PM
  #103
 
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Tom,
Those images from MalaMala are wonderful. They certainly earn bragging rights, bigtime. I have in fact included MalaMala in our 2008 itinerary. Now I'm even more excited.
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May 3rd, 2007, 01:39 PM
  #104
 
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Silverback, in case you haven't picked up on it yet, Mala is a favorite camp around here. I will be there for my third time in Sept this year. But I am truly a "Mala Mala amateur" compared with some here. 2008, 2008??? How can you wait until 2008????
regards - tom

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May 3rd, 2007, 02:23 PM
  #105
 
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Tom,
I have a Bots safari and another to Tanzania before then. We are really addicted. I wish we had arranged MalaMala for this year but now we have something else to look forward to.
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May 3rd, 2007, 03:44 PM
  #106
 
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well.........i for one am VERY excieted to be going on safari in just about three weeks time!!!

Rgds,
Hari

PS: i agree that the URI is one of the more roomy game drive vehilces around. Adequate floor space for leg room and to hold equipement. While, i also like Land rovers that some SSGR places have.......i dont like the land cruisers at all!!!
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May 3rd, 2007, 05:08 PM
  #107
 
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One more thing.....i think the third row in any vehicle is awfully uncomfortable where you feel every single bump!!! Those with back problems, that isnt a great place to be sitting......also, is higher up so not the best position for photo ops.

I also think, the URI is lower to the ground for some reason and i love that aspect...

The tracker thing....i have at times been on a wild goose chase where we were tracking something for around three hours or so on quite a few ocassions. The guide and trackers are relentless and won't give up until they find the animals. They take it up as a challenge of sorts!!!

I get the private vehicle because, i'm not sure everyone in the full vehicle will be interested in tracking the animals for an extended period of time. I can remember atleast one ocassion where, we found the pride of lions after extensive tracking on a wildebeest kill and radioed the other vehicles to come have a look.......our car had to leave in a half hour or so as i was leaving camp that day!!! The funny thing about this particular episode is- the lions spent the night in camp, but, went to find themselves breakfast about an hour from camp.....so made the tracking more difficult.

Similar episodes with cheetah and wild dog....
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Nov 18th, 2011, 12:57 PM
  #108
 
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Any updates to this old thread from 2007 from anyone who has recently stayed at Kwando and Wilderness camps in the Okavango. I will be going to Kwara camp (Kwando) and Duba Plains (Wilderness) in a few months and am interested to hear whether the vehicles they are using have changed and if the tracker is still not provided by WS.
Fortunately we have booked private vehicles at both camps as we like to stay out all day and have a lot of photographic equipment.
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Nov 18th, 2011, 05:40 PM
  #109
 
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AKR1, you will have the Landcruisers at Kwara. They aren't using the middle seat anymore, which isn't the point here, since you will have a private vehicle ....... Was at Kwando in August. Had some great wild dog sightings at Lagoon, as always is the case there.....
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Nov 18th, 2011, 06:55 PM
  #110
 
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Hari,

Do the Kwara vehicles have three rows? Also, I understand they have both a tracker and a guide unlike Wilderness who does not have a tracker. Is this still accurate?
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Nov 18th, 2011, 07:14 PM
  #111
 
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Yes, Trackers are a quintessential part of the Kwando experience. I wasn't at Kwara in August (only Lagoon and Lebala).

I have not been to WS since 2007, so I have no current knowledge.
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Sep 17th, 2013, 11:47 AM
  #112
 
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An update--as Kwando's web page still says they use vehicles with two rows of three, I emailed them (and told them that I could not consider them if they still used that configuration.) This is their response:

"Kwara, Lagoon and Lebala now all have vehicles that are three rows of three, with a maximum of 6 people per vehicle – so here that would not be a problem. Our desert properties, Nxai Pan and Tau Pan do use vehicles that have two rows of three."

So some good news on that front.
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Sep 20th, 2013, 12:02 PM
  #113
 
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That's good to hear!
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Sep 23rd, 2013, 03:42 AM
  #114
 
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We just returned from 3 days each at Little Kwara, Lagoon, and Lebala, Sept 7-16, 2013. I worried the seats/passengers thing before we went, having been spoiled by three previous private safaris in East Africa. Budget didn't allow us to do this with Kwando.

All vehicles at these camps are now LandCruisers converted to three rows. Out of approx. 16 game drives, we had 7 drives with 5 or 6 people in the truck, and we had no problems working around each other for view or photography. On 7 other drives, it was just 4 people in the back. Remaining 2 drives were "private safari" as a result of others coming and going or doing water activities. This was during high season and camps were full.

Unless you absolutely need to have a private vehicle for photography/time-at-sighting needs, there is no reason to worry about the seating issue at the three Northern properties!

We had a fantastic time, trip report to follow. We had opportunities to chase with Wild Dogs on 8 or 9 of 16 dry land drives. The staff, camps and the sightings were amazing.

DW is ready to go back to Bots, life is good.

Jim.
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