Opinions of Okavango Delta ??

Old Aug 22nd, 2007, 08:15 AM
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Opinions of Okavango Delta ??

I'm actually trying to help my sister who is considering a safari trip to Botswana's Okavango Delta. This will be her first time to Africa. We have done safari's ourselves but only in South Africa (which to me seemed like the BEST!). What are your opinions of a first timer going to Okavango Delta? I remember reading how many of the camps don't have air conditioning so this would certainly not work for her....AC is a must.
Thank you.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2007, 08:49 AM
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If AC is a must....don't bother with going to the camps in Botswana. Most camps don't have internet either! and i hope they stay that way....so in brief, if all of the day to day facilities of home is a must for you, stick with South Africa. The gameviewing in the Sabi Sands is terrific also.....so, you and your sister wil be pleased.

If you do go to Botswana, please don't complain at the camps that there aren't the facilities of home....that's just the way it is and i hope they stay that way!

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Old Aug 22nd, 2007, 10:48 AM
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I was there once but much preferred the experiences we've had in South Africa. We saw lots of elephants and beautiful birds while there but saw very few cats. I'm not familiar with which camps have it and which don't. Unlike HariS, I personally would not consider staying in a camp without it. Others prefer the camps with no electricity. If this might be her only safari experience, I think South Africa is a better experience for animal sightings. The good side of Botswana is there are fewer tourists.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2007, 11:10 AM
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If she goes int Botswana's winter (our summer in the northern hemisphere), she won't need air conditioning.
Leslie
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Old Aug 22nd, 2007, 11:34 AM
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I was there a couple of weeks ago (for a couple of weeks) and I froze my a$$ off in the mornings and at night. During the day it did warm up but not enough to need a/c. Is a/c needed for health issues? or for comfort? How did she choose the Okavango Delta?
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Old Aug 22nd, 2007, 12:17 PM
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If you;re from North America I would recommend San Diego or Bronx Zoo. If you're European, London or Frankfurt Zoo's are fantastic. And airconditioned hotels are quite close by. Huge variety of game is guaranteed, albeit behind a barrier. On the positive side, you will have internet, mobile phones, champagne and practically any luxury you desire.

Please leave Africa alone!!!
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Old Aug 22nd, 2007, 01:00 PM
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The original post stated they prefer A/C, the posts in response refer to someone who wants all of the luxuries of home; and in a somewhat rude manner. Why?
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Old Aug 22nd, 2007, 01:19 PM
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Now, now!! Some people do indeed have health problems that would not allow them to get hot.

October in Botswana is the "suicide month" because it's so hot. However, as Cindy pointed out, their winters are cold at night and cool to warm during the day (not hot at all). This is also the high season for Botswana and the prime gameviewing season.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2007, 01:21 PM
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Eagle Island Camp (http://www.okavango-delta-safaris.co...p_Okavango.asp) and Khwai River Lodge (http://www.rhinoafrica.com/destinati...i_river_lodge/) have AC.

Many other lodges in Botswana also have A/C, like Chobe Game Lodge (http://www.eyesonafrica.net/african-...game-lodge.htm).



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Old Aug 22nd, 2007, 01:34 PM
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Thank you, I appreciate the replys. Did I say something offensive when I said my sister would prefer air conditioning?? I certainly don't think that is unrealistic if she travels during a summer month, just as heat would be nice during the winter. No disrespect intended.

amolkarnik, Maybe some of us are not quite as young or as much "bush people" as others. Your comment to "Leave Africa Alone" is uncalled for. She is not looking to go the the zoo but to go on her first safari after hearing what wonderful African experiences we have had.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2007, 02:21 PM
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Yes the answer was a bit rude.

However, I think the sentiment is that if more and more people want to go on safari but want it to be too "comfortable" it will ruin the very experience we go there to get.

Imagine seeing a McDonald's in the Ngorongoro Crater, a Starbuck's in the PNV... yes I know you didn't ask for that, but some fear it is just a slippery slope when things keep getting more and more comfy.

Though I will still insist the Gorilla's Nest Hotel could spring for some heaters but it is not a MUST.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2007, 02:41 PM
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Botswana provides a safari experiece that is great as one can possibly be, no better place to see wildlife in wild surrounds with almost no other people. However, it is mostly tented accommodation which means very few properties are going to be air conditioned or heated. Keep in mind that in Botswana and South Africa they utilize open air vehicles almost exclusively so even if you stay in an A/C or heated place you are going to be exposed to uncontrolled conditions for six to eight hours a day. For anyone who is really sensitive Tanzania and Kenya have hotels/lodges and closed vehicles for those who really need to control the climate for their enjoyment.

Petlover: I don't think the response is so much directed at you personally but there is a large contingent of us who treasure Botswana the way it is and as the safari industry grows more people are requiring modern conveniences such as A/C and with that option available there are lots of people like 'traveller333' that won't consider staying in a camp without it. South Africa provides that, as well as internet, spas, etc. and many of us are worried that what we love so passionately is going to be lost to cater to these new demands of people who will not visit without all the amenities -- which by the way drive up the prices too. To go beyond that many people go to Africa to connect their soul to the wild and when the camp starts to feel like the coffee shop in your town with people on phones and computers and sleeping in their A/C, rather than a small bush camp deep in the wilderness the connection is tainted. I hope that helps clarify that this is a large issue of change that has been penetrating safari camps to some of our dismay rather than anything personal.

To answer your questions I think the Okavango Delta is perfect for a first time safari goer but with A/C being a must I would suggest looking at the plethora of outstanding South African lodges instead.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2007, 03:04 PM
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PB: i don't think the amenities are pushing up the prices.....i think the demand for Bots has pushed the prices up and some camps feel it obligatory to accomodate to the demands of the people who "complain". From a recent thread, there was a mention of a visitor to Selinda main camp that complained that there was no internet etc etc., and i'm not going into the details of the current scenario there......

Petlover: Sorry, but, this is a sensitive subject that has sparked some debate in recent times.....

Good luck!
Hari
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Old Aug 22nd, 2007, 03:13 PM
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Pred,

I couldn't have said it better. If, as petlover says, AC is a must for his sister (not merely a preference), they should stick with South Africa in winter.

I was a first-timer in the Okavango Delta. I remember it well. It was winter, and the nights were so cold, the soles of my boots melted in the campfire But the days are comfortably warm in open vehicles, and that may be too warm for somebody for whom AC is a must.

John
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Old Aug 22nd, 2007, 03:18 PM
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Hari: no doubt demand is driving price on the usual annual increases but most of the big price raises seem to correspond with new larger tents and redone decor when the old camps were already very comfortable and of course the game and location don't change, just the camp amenities. If they start having to generate power for A/C or hours of internet service connections I doubt they will take less profit but rather pass it on to the consumer. Of course generating more power and bringing in more equipment all has environmental costs too with increased footprints but most people won't spend much time thinking about that.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2007, 03:22 PM
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PB: That's true.....

John: So, no A/C in SNLP next year?
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Old Aug 22nd, 2007, 03:36 PM
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Hari,

Don't joke You know as well as I do that one day, there will be a McDonalds on the crater rim if not inside the crater. So, AC in SLNP...eventually yes, but hopefully long after I'm gone.

John

John




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Old Aug 22nd, 2007, 03:49 PM
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John: if i was a betting man, i'd say starbucks before the Mcdonald's.....
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Old Aug 22nd, 2007, 05:32 PM
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Hari, these developments since the late 1990's with all these amenities have created a completely new, very successful safari market - these amenities are the reason for the demand, and the demand is pushing the prices. When a camp manager told me about this new strategy in 1999, I didn't want to believe it - but looking back, it's so true.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2007, 05:43 PM
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I personally would prefer never to turn on the a/c but living in TX that is not really an option! I have done some ecolodges in Costa Rica and Belize in the jungle without a/c and was miserable because of "midlife" night sweats and hot flashes. I told my husband I wasn't going to do any more medical trips until the hot flashes passed. Night after night of little sleep takes the fun out of any trip. My point is--maybe petlover's sister has a valid reason for wanting a/c. Who knows?!!
I am in the process of planning a family safari to Botswana/Zambia----no a/c needed!!!
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