mara/serengeti vs mombo for lions

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Jan 8th, 2006, 04:08 AM
  #1
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mara/serengeti vs mombo for lions

I understand that botswana is a much more intimate experience compared to serengeti mara eco systems. You are allowed to drive off road in the mara, and the population of cats reaches a staggering amount when the migration is in the mara. You can also do night game drives at kichwa etc during the migration and have superb lion hunting sightings. The same hold true for the game reserves around serengeti when the migration is around. So basically in october when the migration is in the mara u pay more than triple the amount in botswana when u can see the similar type of sightings in the mara. If any of u guys has gone for quite a number of days to mara during the migration and also gone to the mombo,chitabe,savuti,duba plains,kwando camps at botswana during high season please give me a brief idea as to the positives and negatives of the above 2 types of safaris.
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Jan 8th, 2006, 04:35 AM
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Hi Sonali.........well, i have been to the Mara during the migration and yes, lots and lots of lions. Stayed at both Kitchwa and Governors.

I have been to Mombo, Kwando etc.,etc.,in Botswana.........no where have i seen the quantity of lions as in the Mara during the migration. Infact, i saw lots more lions in the serengeti in August/september without the migration than in BOtswana during peak season. However, the quality of Botswana cant be compared.

Bear in mind, i have been to Kitchwa and did night drives, and didnt see any lions at night. At mombo, you cant do night drives as it is inside the MOremi reserve. But you do see lots of lions........

If you are looking for night experiences, Kwando cannot be matched. The guides go out of the way to find lions and stay with them as long as you want to and get back to camp only when you have had enough. YOu are welcome to stay outside all night if you wish. The night prior to my arriving at Lagoon, they stayed up until 3 in the morning. With Wilderness safaris, the experience is different........i have only done partial night drives after sunset (mainly the drive back to camp) maybe it was the case because there werent any lions on the way.....that said, Duba Plains is well known for Lion-buffalo interaction and i think it mostly occurs during the day time anyway.......i know you asked a question as to the lion count we had at Duba.......we only saw one pride out of the three.....i think we saw 10 lionesses and the two legendary duba boys and several cubs.

The other two prides were inaccessible due to the floods/rains and chances were that they were not seen for the next couple of months.......so you never know.....in Botswana, go there expecting a different experience compared to Kenya and tanz..........you wont be disappointed.....
 
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Jan 8th, 2006, 07:54 AM
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I can not compare the two but can make some points about Botswana.

Firstly there are no night drives in Moremi yet, they have been talked about for a while with no result.

At Wilderness camps where night drives are allowed you can go out late at night in much the same way you can ay Kwando. Much depends on your attitude and your guide. Brian who is currently at Kings Pool will do whatever you want within reason (and his definition of reason is prety much out there in left field).
Mombo currently hs about 90 Lions resident in its immediate area, a staggering number which guarantees lots of sightings, added to that is a good concentration of Leopards, probably much better than East Africa, from trip reports I have read. Add these to the other advantages of Botswana already mentioned and I think for cats, even withut night drives Mombo is spectacular. I have also had lots of luck at Savuti and Kings Pool. At KP last year we saw Lions kill a young Elephant - prefer not to repeat that one, but a sight few will see.
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Jan 8th, 2006, 09:16 AM
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I had less luck in the Serengeti with lions but Mara vs. Mombo was equal and excellent.
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Jan 8th, 2006, 09:21 AM
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At Duba Plains I saw 12 different male lions during a 3 night stay. And I saw all 12 of them doing something -- not just sleeping around.

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Jan 8th, 2006, 02:21 PM
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I was in the Masai Mara during high season (August) and the Serengeti during the same trip, and in both parks we saw so many lions that we didn't even stop at every pride. I have seen lots of lions in Chitabe and Savuti, but not nearly as many as in the Mara/Serengeti, but bear in mind, I have only done one trip to each place.
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Jan 8th, 2006, 02:47 PM
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Thanks hari, napamatt, pb, lynn for all your inputs. What is the best month to go to duba plains,kwando,kwara,vumbura, kings pool,savuti, chitabe, khwai river section, mombo(mombo camp and chief's) to see the maximum no. of lion prides in each area. i think it has to do with the floods which I donnot have any idea when they are at their peak or ebb in different regions of botswana.
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Jan 8th, 2006, 02:59 PM
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I would always favor those times when water is at a premium, so in Botswana, just before the rains, September and October. It can be hot, but the prey has to concentrate near water.
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Jan 8th, 2006, 03:00 PM
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thit cho, In which year and month did you go to botswana, In botswana it is difficult to know in which months which area is better for cats as everthing depends on the floods and the game movement, Sonali.
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Jan 8th, 2006, 03:15 PM
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napamatt, In sept and october, would not some areas become devoid of water and the game would move to other areas.What is the migration pattern in botswana ??? So would there not be some areas where there would be less game in sept/oct compared to june?? I have no idea, I am just guessing, thanks for all the help
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Jan 8th, 2006, 04:40 PM
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Also, flood levels vary from year to year..........i'm not sure about this year, but 2004 had very high flood levels.

Animals, do not necessarily migrate far like in east africa.....like in Kwando/linyanti areas they go away deep into the mopane thickets after the rains start and those areas not easily accessible as it is very thick bush. They come out when the water inside starts to dry out. This was the explanation given by our guides Spencer and Obie (Lebala and Lagoon)
 
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Jan 8th, 2006, 05:31 PM
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I visited Botswana in August, and we saw several lion (as well as leopard, caracal, aardwolf, wild dog, serval and wild cat), but not in the numbers as in the Masai Mara.
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Jan 9th, 2006, 07:57 AM
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There isn't a big migration pattern along the lines of E.Africa. When the water sources are few and far between, the animlas will congregate in areas with water, there is permanent water in the Delta and the Linyanti. Also there are several boreholes in the Savuti channel. To visit Savuti when there is a daily procession of hundreds of elephants right outside your tent going to drink, same with the Linyanti camps and Kwando.
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Jan 10th, 2006, 06:09 PM
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Guys I have my mind set on going to botswana feb/ march. Which camps should I target to maximise my viewing of active lions??? mombo camp is toooo expensive, how would chief's be in feb/march??? I am keen to go to duba plains, how is it in feb/march, I have read good reports in the newsletters, Sonali.
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Jan 12th, 2006, 08:29 PM
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Hi Sonali, just my 10c worth,

We have just returned from the Serengeti at the beginning of January 2006. We had fantastic sightings of Lions around Seronera, every day we saw at least two large prides. On Thursday 29th December we witnessed a wildebeest kill and two prides having a territorial fight, (total of about 30 lions) even the drivers agreed that this was an exceptional day. The main reason for all of this activity is the lack of rain, the Serengeti is desperately dry and the herds have no option but to congregate around the remaining rivers which are now rapidly becoming water holes.

There is another issue here as well, of course everyone wants to see a Lion or a Leopard for that matter, however during the day it can be a very boring experience, especially if you are the only person on the game drive that this prepared to sit for an hour or so until they move position. Usually game drivers have to go with the flow and move on when their guests start getting restless.

Every animal in the wild is to me a wonderful sight, my advise to you is that you should treat every animal sighting as if it was a Lion, spend as much time as possible watching it and I am quite sure you will get much more out of the whole experience.

Best regards
Maurice

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Jan 12th, 2006, 09:26 PM
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Maurice.....i totally agree with you. To me observing animals in their natural environment is the greatest treat in the world!!! I'd much rather stay and watch a sighting for a great length of time, as opposed to driving around trying to locate more and more and just count the number of cats or dogs or whatever!!!
 
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Jan 12th, 2006, 09:39 PM
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Alright u guys, Maurice and Hari. I cannot agree with u more but I was in the serengeti in 0ct/Nov and saw 84 different lions. And since now the migration is in the central region because of no rain in the southern region, I will not be able to see the lions active in seronera area as driving off road is not allowed. driving off road is allowed in some areas of southern serengeti.One of my main reasons to want to go in feb/march. I definately agree that the quality of sightings is more imp than the quantity of sightings.That is the main reason i am planning botswana as u can go off road and follow any animal(not only lions) for a longer period.
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Jan 19th, 2006, 07:15 AM
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sonali:
I was looking at Ndutu Lodge's website and they show availability during the first week in March--do you want to re-consider the serengeti?
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Jan 19th, 2006, 02:23 PM
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Hi bat, I would like to do botswana and serengeti if I had a good airline deal!!!. I think I would spend my entire life in africa if given a choice!!!, Sonali.
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Jan 19th, 2006, 04:24 PM
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Sonali,

Are you going to let a couple hundred dollars difference in airfare really keep you away from Africa?
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