Namibia/Botswana Safari

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Jul 19th, 2002, 11:53 AM
  #1
Liz Frazier
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Namibia/Botswana Safari

I have enjoyed reading about everyone's African trips and my husband and I just settled on the itinerary for an April 2003 trip to Namibia and Botswana. For those interested I will post it here.
Special thanks go to Kavey and Evelyn Travel, who were both very helpful in their postings and in personal email, in passing along information on their trips and I will be happy to do the same for others as soon as we actually take it. Right now I'm just sharing the itinerary with those who may want to follow this along.
4/21/03 Depart Atlanta on South African Airways for J'burg.
4/22 Arrive and depart for Windhoek, Namibia.
Overnight at the Winkhoek Country Club Resort.
4/23 Early morning flight to Sossusvlei Wilderness Camp for two nights.
4/25 Transfer to Wolwedans Dune Lodge for 2 nights.
4/27 Flight over the dunes of the Namib and Sossusvlei, enroute to Swakopmund. Continue to Meob Bay on the Atlantic Ocean and along the Namibia coastline. Fly over the Skeleton Coast, Eduard Bolen shipwreck, past Conception Bay and the wreck site of the Shaunee, the Flamingoes at Walvis Bay, and on to Swakopmund. After lunch and tour, continue by charter flight on to Damaraland, and Huab Lodge for 2 nights.
4/28 Flight to and overnight in Windhoek at Hilltop House awaiting early morning flight to Botswana.
4/29 Scheduled flight to Maun, Botswana, and transfer from Maun to Xigera Camp in the Okavango Delta for 2 nights. This is a water based camp.
5/02 Flight transfer to Little Mombo Camp on Mombo Island, in the Moremi Game Reserve in Northern Botswana.
5/05 Flight to J'burg and on to the USA.

We have been to Botswana earlier in 1999, and to East Africa, in 1993. I was to Botswana with Earthwatch in 1991. I fell in love with Botswana and wanted to show my husband the beauty of the Okavango, and the beautiful stars at night. He too just fell in love with it. It will be our first time to Namibia, and I'll have to admit that Kavey played largely into this. Anyone reading her trip report couldn't help but be captivated by her poetic descriptions of the terrain. We had considered Namibia, but until then, we hadn't put action into it. Thanks again Kavey.
Thats all I can say for now. Anyone having questions about the itinerary I can answer. Anything about the country would best be addressed to Kavey and/or Evelyn. Liz Frazier
 
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Jul 20th, 2002, 06:25 AM
  #2
kavey
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Oh Liz, I feel so excited for you and you are so welcome for any help I've provided.

Your itinerary looks just perfect, it really does, and I am so pleased you have included Wolwedans Dune Lodge and Little Mombo amongst your choices.

The only thing I wish we had done when in Wolwedans Dune Lodge, which we didn't do, and I regret often, was to "adopt" a Fairy Circle. This money is used for research and support of the fairy circle phenomenon and the environment in which they are found. The staff help you to select a circle, it's exact location is noted and a special stone left inside the circle with your details on it. If you get the chance, perhaps this would be a special souvenir for you and your husband.

Certainly I am hoping to be able to adopt a fairy circle when we are next able to visit. We are hoping to visit in 2004 dependent on how self employment works out for me!

Liz, I hope your trip will be everything you wish it to be and I really hope you'll share a trip report and photos when you return.

Meanwhile, do email me to chat about it, I drove my friends and family mad talking about it all the time, but you can bend our ears instead!!
 
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Jul 20th, 2002, 08:05 AM
  #3
evelyntrav
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Liz, as Kavey said to me when she helped me plan my trip to southern Africa, sharing your itinerary with you was like reliving the experience. It was good that you started planning early as these camps get booked a year in advance. There is no doubt that you will have an awesome time and come home with great memories and incredibly beautiful photographs.

Speaking of photographs, I suggest you use a UV filter and lens hood on your camera.
 
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Jul 20th, 2002, 08:32 AM
  #4
Liz Frazier
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Hey you guys. Thanks again. Kavey, I didn't know about adopting a "fairy circle" and that would be the perfect way to leave a part of your heart there. What a nice thing to do. You will always have it in your heart then. Definitely sounds like the perfect answer for a remembrance of your visit. I don't usually care for souvenirs but this would be perfect.
Evelyn, thanks for reminding me. We have the UV filters and lens hoods but they are stored away from the camera. I'll be sure to include them. Warmest regards, Liz
 
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Jul 20th, 2002, 08:48 PM
  #5
Joey McDonald
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Liz:
Your trip sounds great!!! I hope that you will post your trip details soon after you get back. I am planning on going to Xigera and Little Mombo in May of 2003 and would love to hear about your experiences. By the way, Kavey influenced me too. Which company did you book with?
 
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Jul 21st, 2002, 07:06 PM
  #6
Liz Frazier
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Joey-
I will post as soon as I get over the jet lag (usually a couple of days). When do you leave? I'm excited for you. I hope I can post before you leave.
We booked with Fish Eagle Safaris.
Who are you using? I don't know how to post pictures on the computer though so I don't think I'll be able to do that.
How did you decide on Xigera? I had wanted to stay at Mombo for a couple of years. Doesn't everyone? haha. Bert, from Fish Eagle Safais, recommended Xigera Camp, and when I looked at their website I knew he was right. Good luck. Liz
 
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Jul 22nd, 2002, 10:25 AM
  #7
Justin
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Liz,

Sounds great! I just got back from Botswana. I would caution you on Xigera. I met some people at another camp in Botswana who were disapointed with Xigera. Nice lodging, but not much game to see and a little boring. If you want other Botswana suggestions I would be happy to offer some advice. Otherwise, have a great trip.
 
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Jul 22nd, 2002, 10:37 AM
  #8
kavey
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Justin
Did you write a trip report and if so did you post it here?
If you did right one but didn't post it here would you be willing to share it via email?
I love to read about other peoples trips to Africa.

Kindest Regards
Kavey
 
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Jul 22nd, 2002, 10:38 AM
  #9
kavey
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DOH!
My fault for reading from the top down. The post right under this is your trip report.
If you have a more detailed diary style one you'd be willing to share I'd love to read it!
Kavey
 
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Jul 22nd, 2002, 12:20 PM
  #10
Liz Frazier
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Justin-

Glad you enjoyed your trip. Are you a travel agent? Just curious. We are going to Xigera for the birds and water based activities. Mombo will offer more than enough wildlife. I'll look forward to your actual posts about the trip. Usually thats how people who have just returned start off. Liz
 
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Jul 22nd, 2002, 07:32 PM
  #11
Joey
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Liz:
My wife and I plan to leave on May 28, 2003. We too have booked with FishEagle. I did a TON of research on this safari, and Mr. Du Plessis seemed to be the most helpful and the most eager to earn our business.
 
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Jul 22nd, 2002, 07:39 PM
  #12
Liz Frazier
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Joey-
I'm so excited for you. Where all are you going? More than the two camps? You are getting the best of the best in my opinion and I'll post for you as soon as I get my times straightened out after we return. I feel as you do about Fish Eagle. I wanted to wait until I got back to give my comments on Bert, but this is my 7th trip to Africa and I've never met anyone so eager and willing to help you get just what you want. I think Evelyn Travel used him too. I picked him out through research and asking him things that were important in an agent to me. I'll let you know just how all of my connections went. Doesn't time seem to just crawl now that you've decided? Fortunately we have Kavey and Evelyn to talk to. Liz
 
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Jul 22nd, 2002, 08:02 PM
  #13
Joey
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Liz:
Your enthusiasm is infectious!! I have been sooo excited about this trip, and now after reading your post, even more so.
Yes, we are going to one more camp - Dumatau. I wanted to include Namibia, especially after reading Kavey's posts, but time and budget wouldn't allow it.
By the way, I feel better knowing with your African trip experience, you chose Fish Eagle too. I've never been to Africa, and booking such an expensive trip primarily over the internet (I did phone him once) is a little daunting.
Thanks for excitement.
Joey
 
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Jul 23rd, 2002, 04:07 AM
  #14
kavey
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You guys!
How on earth am I going to reign in my excitment till June 2004???!
Kavey
 
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Jul 27th, 2002, 07:52 AM
  #15
Lee
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Can you please comment on your choice of months to travel? I get some conflicting recommended "best times" for Namibia/Botswana/Vic Falls, etc. I am thinking of late Sept/early Oct. Any thoughts from anyone? Thanks for the help.
 
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Jul 27th, 2002, 08:32 AM
  #16
Liz Frazier
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Hi Lee-
When I asked our agent this question because we could go anytime, he recommended late April/early May for what we wanted to do and see. It is a bit warmer then since winter hasn't started yet and it may still be green in places. Those cold, cold mornings really bothered us. You forget it though when you recall what you saw and did. We went last time in August/September. When we get to Botswana this time the floods will just be arriving. We should be able to see it from the air. Its an exciting time and everyone is excited about the arrival of the waters in the Delta. So much depends on what you want to do and see. We also like when the big birds are nesting in Botswana. This is from September through February. We saw them on our last time and it was just incredible. There is a heronry/rookery on Madikwe Island in Botswana and what a site to behold! Totally unplanned by us but a real highlight. Up to then we weren't that interested in birds, now we want to see them nesting again. We'll miss it on this trip but we wanted to see Namibia without the colder mornings. So there are trade offs to consider. Just tell your agent what you want to see, and pick someone who has been there a number of times. This really is important. Otherwise you have to really dig for information. Remember animals are best seen in the dry season when the water holes are drying up. We picked Mombo Camp because animals are abundant there during all the seasons. I've really been helped by reading the posts on this forum and watching the time of year when people went, where they stayed and what they saw. It also changes by country. Everyone thinks they saw it at the best time so I think Africa is always wonderful to each person. My first trip to Kenya was in May, and it rained most of the time. The dark sky made a wonderful backdrop for the photos of the golden lions. What contrasts. I loved that trip. It was cheaper by a lot because it was the low season and I thought then that was the perfect time. In December I also saw Kenya/Tanzania and I thought that was just perfect. So it takes a lot of homework and planning. The upside is this is a fun part of the trip. Good luck. Liz
 
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Jul 27th, 2002, 09:16 AM
  #17
evelyntrav
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Lee, I chose to go on May 21 and concur with Liz's comments on the weather conditions in Botswana and Namibia. We also went to VicFalls and found it to be an ideal time as the river flow at the falls was in full force (the view from the Zambian side was wonderful, but the Zambabwe side was like being in a heavy rain). The weather in Cape Town in early June was very cool and we never saw the top of Table Mt as is was covered with fog the entire four days.
 
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Jul 28th, 2002, 09:50 AM
  #18
kavey
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Lee
We visited in June, which we found wonderful. Especially because many of the lodges, small anyway (3-8 tents) were not fully booked and we had even more of a feeling of being truly out in the wildnerness.
But June can be cold, the early mornings and the nights are chilly enough to reuire layers of clothing and even gloves and scarves, which are shrugged off in the warmer part of the day. I prefer showers on waking, and sometimes this could mean feeling very chilly and we often chose to wait till the midday break when wet hair was less of an issue!
Another upside to our timing was lack of mosquitos and the snakes were pretty much in hibernation.
Certainly we saw so much bird and animal life we were stunned, and we were able to participate in water activities as well as land when in the Delta.
If you'd find the cold weather a problem, it would be better to go earlier as suggested by Liz and Evelyn.
Kavey
 
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