Kwetsani vs. Tubu Tree

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Sep 18th, 2005, 04:51 AM
  #1
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Kwetsani vs. Tubu Tree

Hi
We will be in botswana in august 2006. We have 5 nights total to be there. 2 or 3 will be little mombo. Trying to figure out the proper camp to start the safari with. I am debating between kwetsani and tubu tree (as i need to bring the costs down a bit and also want some water activites...these were chosen...thought about Jao or Verumba, but I think these are alot higher prices). So, which camp would you choose between Kwetsani vs Tubu Tree in mid August?

Thanks
larrydody is offline  
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Sep 18th, 2005, 05:15 AM
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Hello,

If you can, I would advise 3 days per camp -- 3 at Mombo/Little Mombo, and 3 at Kwetsani/Tubu Tree. I'd also recommend starting with your other Delta camp and ending at Mombo.

If you want water activities, Kwetsani is your best bet of the options you have listed as it offers mixed water and land activities for most of the year. Kwetsani, Jao, and Tubu Tree are all located in the same concession, but Tubu Tree is the 'dry land' option whereas the others are more water-focussed (Tubu Tree occasionally offers water activities, but only at the height of the floods -- I wouldn't count on them being available in August). The area around Kwetsani is quite similar to the area around Jao, without the 6-paw expense.

Another option in the same reserve is Jacana, which is a water-only camp. The area around Jacana is also quite similar to Jao. In this case, 2 nights would be fine since the range of activities is more limited. However, Jacana is a Vintage Camp (5-minus paws) and would be a considerable (either pleasant and/or shocking, depending on your perspective) contrast to Mombo. Vintage camps are very comfortable, but not luxurious.

Little Vumbura is certainly an option. Kwetsani and Little Vumbura are both 5-paw camps, and would cost the same amount (Vumbura Plains, the new 'safari moderns' camp, is a 6-paw camp and would cost more than Kwetsani, but both VP and LV share the same concession). Vumbura is a less open environment to Kwetsani, without the 'classic' open floodplains of the Delta but with better game-viewing. Little Vumbura is a wonderful camp -- I stayed there this year and will stay there again next year. It has a very wide range of activities (land and water) and good game-viewing as well.

Cheers,
Julian
jasher is offline  
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Sep 18th, 2005, 05:22 AM
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Hello,

If you haven't already booked Mombo, I would get moving -- June and July are fully booked, and August was filling up fast. Your choice of a second camp may well depend on Mombo availability -- it certainly influenced my choice of camps for next year (though I was lucky and was able to obtain all of my 'top choice' camps in the end).

If you have not already chosen an agent, I would highly recommend booking through Eyes on Africa. I have booked trips to Botswana with them twice, and have received excellent service and very competitive pricing. Nicky, one of the co-owners, used to work for Wilderness Safaris and knows their camps intimately. She and her husband James return to Botswana yearly and are familiar with the developments at the new camps as well. Mention that I (Julian Asher) recommended you.

The website is www.eyesonafrica.net -- even if you don't book with them, it is full of pictures and information about the camps in Botswana.

Cheers,
Julian
jasher is offline  
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Sep 18th, 2005, 06:40 AM
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Larrydody: After staying three nights at Kwetsani in June 2005, I can give it my highest recommendation. It's such an intimate camp, with only six thatched luxury tents sitting high on platforms. The views are stunning and we enjoyed the water activities immensely. Also, Kwetsani has traversing rights on the island where Jao, Jacana and Tubu Tree are located...so you really get the best of both. Good luck with your planning.
girlpolo33 is offline  
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Sep 18th, 2005, 07:05 AM
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I haven't stayed in Kwetsani but I have stayed twice in Little Mombo, once in Little Vumbura, Jacana, Tubu Tree and several other WS camps.

Ignoring the handful of 6 paw camps such as Mombo, King's Pool and Jao, I have never really been able to notice any difference between the vintage and classic variants of WS' 5 paw camps.

Vumbura was our first water camp, back in 2001 and we found it magical. Tents perfectly comfortable - not Mombo but with an entirely different and just as intense charm. Water activities wonderful. Staff friendly and efficient too.

Jacana was the watercamp we visited in 2004 and we adored it even more than Little Vumbura. One of the best management teams AND best staff teams; just 5 beautiful tents looking out (in wet season) directly onto the water; an intimate ambience; wonderful food and just utterly magical water activities. I would not hesitate to visit here again.

From Jacana we took a boat to Tubu Tree - as Julian has said, this is really a land camp. Although one can do water activities when waters are high enough the camp itself, even at that time, is not on or near the water. It's predominantly a land camp even when the waters are at their highest. But it is a marvellous camp. Another great management team; our favourite guide, Grant; 5 tents that are classed as 5 paw but are larger and better laid out than any other WS 5 paw tents we've stayed in; a beautiful public dining, lounge and bar area (same for Jacana btw) and a wonderful experience.

Both Jacana and Tubu Tree are run by the same company as Kwetsani (not WS). Their reservations/ sales are handled by WS but their staff cycle between their own 4-5 camps not all WS camps. There's a definitely warmer feel (we felt) from staff working in these camps though we did have great service throughout our WS experiences.

As Julian said, your absolute priority, if you want to visit Mombo next August, is to book those dates RIGHT NOW. Mombo really DOES get reserved well over a year in advance. We booked our 2004 trip 18 months in advance for a June visit and even then we had to swap everything around in order to get into Little Mombo.

Good luck!
Kavey is offline  
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Sep 18th, 2005, 08:33 AM
  #6
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Hey Everyone:
Thanks for the feeback so far. We have Little Mombo reserved already for 3 nights. We just are figuring out the first two to start the trip. It sounds like Kwetani might be a better option for us in august then as tubu tree will mainly be land activities it seems (i imagine that little mombo will give us plenty of land based game viewing opportunities). The other option is 3 nights kwetsani and 2 little mombo, but from what it seems...its might be worth biting the bullet and forking over the extra grand for the additional night at little mombo. Your thoughts?

Another question, have any of you ever been to Seychelles? I think we will be following up the safari with a week in praslin but i'm still organizing the details.
larrydody is offline  
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Sep 18th, 2005, 09:02 AM
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Larry, if you are keen on exploring water activities (which I adore but some people aren't so keen on) then I'd definitely recommend combining Mombo with Jacana, Kwetsani or Little Vumbura.

I'd stick with 3 nights at Mombo and 2 at your chosen water camp. Those 2 nights should allow you to experience one or two mokoro excursions, a powerboat trip and perhaps even fishing as well.

As for whether Mombo is worth it, if you search on Mombo you should be able to find a recent thread on this issue with a variety of opinions within it. Most (though not all) of those who say it isn't worth it are those who have not experienced it, for what that's worth.

I'm one who feels it is worth it, even though the difference between 4 nights there and 4 elsewhere is the price of an additional week's trip somewhere else...
Kavey is offline  
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Sep 18th, 2005, 09:16 AM
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Hello,

I'd recommend doing the three nights at Mombo and 2 at your other camp.

Cheers,
Julian
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