Okavango Camp Choice?


Jan 23rd, 2004, 08:53 PM
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Okavango Camp Choice?

Hi, I am planning a trip to Botswana for early summer. My travel companion is visiting Africa for the first time, I have been to Africa, including Botswana, several times. But I still need advice on some camp choices.
We have to chose between Little Vumbura (I loved Vumbura..this is the only repeat camp on the itinerary) or Xigera or Kwetsani. All three say they have both water and land activities.
The rest of the trip will be:
Mokolodi/ Cheetah Conservation Botswana (2 nights for him...probably a week for me)
Mombo (2 nights)
Duma Tau (3 nights)
Vumbura/Kwetsani/Xigera (3 nights)

Any comments about the choice for the last camp? Thanks!
tashak is offline  
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Jan 24th, 2004, 02:21 AM
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Hi Tashak

On our first trip to the area we stayed in Little Mombo, Little Vumbura and Chitabe Trails.

On the second trip, in a few months time, we're staying at the following:

*Little Mombo

*Savuti Camp - we want to see a different area and I hear this camp is great for elephant viewing

*Gudigwa Camp - 1 nt - it's a joint project between WS and the local San community and the San teach visitors about their culture, history and traditional life style and also take visitors into the bush to show how they find water and food where others would fail to.

Tubu Tree - a new WS property and we just thought it would be good to try it - we've arranged a water transfer to the next camp instead of flight or drive

Jacana Camp - thought we loved LVumbura we decided to try a different water camp this time - it was between this one, Kwetsani and Xigera. All are recommended by all agents we spoke to, as is LV, so I suspect there is little to choose between them. We just liked the small size and look of this one.

*Jack's Camp - a camp my parents loved when they visited some years ago and one I've seen on TV and really want to visit.

Don't know if this helps, but GOOD LUCK deciding and on the trip!
Kavey is offline  
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Jan 24th, 2004, 07:56 AM
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Hi Kavey,
That's sort of what I thought...trying to make fine distinctions between great camps is tough.
What would you say about Mombo vs Little Mombo?
And yes, you will have a great time at Jacks Camp. How long are you staying there?
tashak is offline  
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Jan 24th, 2004, 12:03 PM
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I think that whichever of the small water camps you choose will give a great experience... it's all just down to tiny elements that swing a decision.

When choosing between two or three alternatives in the same region at the same quality level and price level, for me it usually comes down to something such as size of camp (I prefer as few tents/ other guests as possible).

For that reason we very definitely chose LM over M. They are basically identical camps, they are actually connected and it's a short walk over a raised walkway between them (the gift shop is in the middle of the two). But at one you're sharing your gaming and dining with a maximum of 4 other guests and at the other it's with about 16 other guests. It just depends on what you prefer.

We'll be spending 4 nights in Jack's Camp - my parents went in 1999 and we were hoping to go on our first trip but didn't have enough nights to do that and effectively see the other areas we went to.

We'll be spending 3 nts at Jacana, 2 at Tubu Tree, 4 at Little Mombo, 1 at Gudigwa, 3 at Savuti, 4 at Jack's (not in this order) and then 1 at Hilltop House in Windhoek and 4 in Wolwedans Dune Lodge in the NamibRand Nature Reserve.
Kavey is offline  
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Feb 13th, 2004, 10:10 AM
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Can't comment as to the other camps, but stayed at Xigera in May 2002 and absolutely LOVED it, can't wait to go back.

You may already have the details about it but if you don't here's some info: all rooms are elevated tented cabins connected by wood plank walkways. Some are fairly far from the main 'lodge' so if you don't want to walk alot (like running back to the cabin for a forgotten camera, etc .) try to stay in one of the closer ones. Don't get the wrong idea of the description 'tented cabin' though. While somewhat rustic, they are anything but primitive. The only thing that will remind you of a cabin is the canvas and netting walls and the support poles. Wonderfully appointed with separate double vanity and dressing areas and outdoor private showers the cabin is large, spacious, airy and just delightful. Also a large private front porch overlooking the scenery.

The food, ambiance and people were incredible. Upon arrival, they give you a brief orientation - listen carefully and heed the warnings - don't get off the walkways and don't venture out at night. We heard many animals roaming (hyenas and baboons I think) and saw carcass remains in the morning. The wildlife won't bother the cabins but if you're out at night you're 'fair game' so to speak.

We were 'assigned' a guide who took us on the mokoro / river / games rides (his name was Matthew) and he was extrordinarily versed in the wildlife and bird types and species. On each excursion they packed a box with snacks, beverages and other assorted goodies that we enjoyed on stops along the way. Since it is a govt. protected wildlife area you can't fish or hunt or be out after sunset. On the last day just as the sun was about to set and we were heading back to camp we were approached by a glorious lioness sauntering her way along the path. We stopped and she walked right up beside the vehicle and laid down - not more than 5 feet from us. I was terrified but Matthew reassured us that we were safe as long as we didn't stand up or do anything to distinguish ourself as a single being (they see the large vehicle and 'see' that as one being - larger than themself and superior and therefore dominant). It was such an exhilirating moment being that close to a lioness - the highlight of the trip.

Food was out of this world - you're called to meal time by the rythmic cadence of the drums they play as their native 'dinner bell'. Gourmet meals are served buffet style and everyone at the camp eats together at a long dining table in the open air thatched roof lodge. After dinner the fire is stoked up and coffee and after dinner liquors are served fireside amidst the lively discussions of all the various international visitors thrown together. Our group was very interesting and colorful - a french criminal investigator, an american corporate attorney, a very wealthy socialite from some foreign country in the middle european area (still a mystery) and a tour operator from South Africa who was checking out new sites to send clients to. You can imagine the ensuing political / social debate...

Anyhoo, the point is Xigera is a wonderful place and if you have the chance... GO!!!
hightide is offline  
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Feb 13th, 2004, 12:13 PM
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Hightide, what a wonderful report and I'd also say that your description of the camp and tents accurately describes most Wilderness Safaris properties (with the exception of Mombo, Jao and Kings Pool, which are much more luxurious).

We loved the combination of comfort, attention to design, space and sleeping within canvas - hearing the sounds of Africa as we drifted off to sleep.

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