Need help with a family trip to Botswana

Old May 30th, 2009, 10:23 AM
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Need help with a family trip to Botswana

Hi -

Right now my heart is kind of breaking because I so want to go to Botswana and Zambia for our 50th birthday and 10th anniversary. We spent our honeymoon in South Africa (and I've done safari in Kenya too already). I really want to return for our big events. The hitch is we have a daughter who will be travelling with us and she will be just 8 at the time. She is a completely well behaved child who has traveled a fair amount. I feel sad because most of the posts I read suggest camps where kids are not allowed under 12, or you have to hire a private guide (which I sure is big bucks in add'l to the huge costs of these camps anyway).

We are wanting to travel to Okavango Delta, Chobe, Linyanti and maybe 1 other stop in addition to Victoria Falls (Zambia side).

We loved tented camps and as much nature/wildlife interaction as possible.

I hoping folks here can help me find great places to stay as a family and great travel experiences. I really don't want to postpone this trip til she is 12 if we can have the dream trip I want for our big celebration. And I really want her to experience the Africa that I have come to know and love.

Please help me if you can. Thanks.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 10:40 AM
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I know nothing about this company, but a quick google of Family safaris in Botswana turned up just about what you are looking for:
http://www.nathab.com/destinations/i...full_itinerary
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Old May 30th, 2009, 10:45 AM
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I know about Nat Hab and they are an excellent company. I've taken 3 non-Africa trips with them that were outstanding.

They also can customize before or after your trip. Their trips are not cheap, but I think they have a guarantee of matching any other trips with the same itinerary and setup.

Congrats on the anniversary and birthdays.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 12:29 PM
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Have you considered mobile tented safaris? I don't know their age limit but you could probably design a custom itinerary for the 3 of you and still have it be affordable. I think they can take you to the areas you want to go. These companies are non-participatory and all you have to do is pack your bag on moving day. They take care of everything else and are quite experienced at finding all of the animals.

Gametrails, Maun Rest Camp (Simon and Joyce Paul) and Masson Safaris are three companies that come to mind. I've done safaris with the first two and heard good things about the third. I love the mobile safaris.

Also, don't consider the "kids are not allowed under 12" as a hard and fast rule as there are camps that will bend that rule.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 01:35 PM
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We were at Deception Valley Lodge with a family with two girls of about 6-10 I think (they were either 6 and 8 or 8 and 10, I can't remember). They were going on to Delta Camp (although I'd be a little wary of walking safari's with a child) and Mapula Lodge after that - we went to all three as well, and really enjoyed them, so it's worth a try there. We used Island Safari to book, Allison was wonderful.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 04:06 PM
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We are leaving in three weeks for Southern Africa with our thirteen year old nephew. I just received our packet with lodge vouchers and a very informative trip itinerary From Eyes on Africa. We are using, Wilderness Safaris camps. It is stated that Chitabe Lediba(The Delta area) welcomes children over the age of 8, as does Duma Tau(Linyanti). Both of these camps have two bedroom family tents. Muchenje Lodge(Chobe)has a three bedded family room also and accepts children over the of 6 years. And finally, we are going to Zambia and staying at Toka Leya, in another family tent. However, there are hotels closer to the falls.

We leaned towards WS because of the family tents. Since we are taking a borrowed child we didn't want him in a tent by himself.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 04:42 PM
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When young children at at the camp, is the family also required to hire a private vehicle for game drives? I wouldn't think other adults would be put in a vehicle with a couple of young kids. Or maybe if it's a family of 4, that's considered enough to fill up the vehicle anyway.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 05:00 PM
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Lynn - There is nothing in my itinerary brochure or my pricing about a private vehicle. Since our nephew will be 13, I don't think its applicable. However, I remember hearing about the private vehicle issue a long time ago. Frankly, it makes some sense.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 11:00 AM
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VeeR,
I asked about the private vehicle in part from the flip side perspective. While I'm sure I'd enjoy sharing a vehicle with your family, there might be some younger kids that would not mix well with adults who are serious about their wildlife viewing. I've never personally had that problem in Africa.

Here are some other options for family safaris

These are links to family safaris.

http://www.africa-adventure.com/prog...safaris00.html

http://www.kerdowneybotswana.com/ind...826e5a6b7f6115
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Old May 31st, 2009, 11:14 AM
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And here's the whole big discussion from which those links came.

http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...e-to-begin.cfm
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Old May 31st, 2009, 12:27 PM
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Lynn - That discussion thread was a good read. I wish you were coming along with us - our nephew is an easy kid. I'm excited about seeing it all through younger eyes, and at 13 he's not a jaded teenager... yet. Though he's excited about animal viewing he's also hoping for a soccer match with some of the staff during siesta.

The thought had crossed our minds that some folks would object to riding with us. Maybe we'll get a private vehicle by default.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 04:54 PM
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Last summer in Africa I had a delightful time with a 16 year old and his grandparents. One time a nine year old and I were the only people on deck of a ship in Alaska and we watched a fantastic humpback breach. We did a spontaneous high five with our mittens and shared a special bond that transcended age. I've enjoyed the company of a 13 year old on another nature trip.

But...

You wouldn't want someone or a couple to immediately become hostile because they are sharing with a vehicle with a young teenager. I can see how that might be a reaction and then you have negative vibes the whole time out and perhaps rudeness toward your son.

A word with the management upon arrival could clear it all up. If I was told I'd be sharing with a family of 3 and there was a 13 year old, I'd say ok and request the right to switch if things didn't go well on the first outing.

I'm sure you'll have a marvelous time.
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Old Jun 1st, 2009, 02:46 PM
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the suggestion of the Massons is a wonderful idea. they will organize a camping safari just for you and that is the best way to experience the bush IMO. You will be very comfortable.

Bonnie
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Old Jun 2nd, 2009, 07:00 AM
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As a suggestion also e-mail Kwando safaris to see if they can help out with a family arrangement that would not cost an arm and a leg.
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