Our NEW Itinerary for Botswana/Namibia/Botswana

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Nov 19th, 2002, 09:27 AM
  #1
Liz Frazier
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Our NEW Itinerary for Botswana/Namibia/Botswana

We just finalized the amendments to our earlier itinerary posted last summer. Here it is:

Depart 4/13/2003 Las Vegas/Atlanta/J'burg. SAA
14 April-Arrive Johhannesburg. Overnight at The Grace Hotel
15 April-Mashatu Main Camp (www.mashatu.com)2 nights.
17 April-DumaTau Camp, Linyanti Concession. 3 nights.
20 April-Duba Plains Camp, Okavango Delta. 3 nights.
23 April-Maun to Windhoek, Namibia, overnight either Hilltop House or Windhoek Country Club.
24 April-Early departure for Sossusvlei Wilderness Camp. 1 night. Afternoon drive upon arrival. Overnight and full day to the dunes and Sesriem Canyon on 25th. Depart late afternoon. Drive to Wolwedans.
25 April-Wolwedans Dune Lodge. 2 nights. (www.wolwedans.com)
27 April-Huab Lodge, Damaraland. 2 nights.(www.huablodge.com)
29 April-Windhoek, Hilltop House.
30 April-Windhoek/Maun/Xigera Camp, Okavango Delta. 2 nights.
2 May-Little Mombo Camp, Moremi Game Reserve. 3 nights.
5 May-Maun/J'burg/Atlanta/Las Vegas (home)

The break up with Namibia in the middle was because our first itinerary started in Namibia and then went to Botswana. When we were planning another trip already for 2005, we decided to try to combine them. Bert, (Fish Eagle Safaris) was able to put it together with the help of Wilderness Safaris.
Those of you who have read my posts know that I do not say such things as "use this agent", but I have not ever worked with anyone so accommodating before. This was a real challenge but we ended up with what we wanted.
I included the websites for the non-Wilderness camps. Otherwise they are all Wilderness Safaris properties.
You posters here have reported on some of these camps plus I found one through leads you gave here. I did bounce the ideas off Bert first, but he agreed they were good choices. That is what prompted the amendment. You all have been an integral part of this and I extend a great big THANK YOU to you all. Liz Frazier

 
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Nov 19th, 2002, 12:05 PM
  #2
RnR
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Utterly amazing. Bert and you did a fabulous job. The Grace is nice - decent restaurant - you may want to stay in after SAA #210. A suggestion, call SAA several times and make sure you still have the correct seats - they switch aircraft sometimes, and put passengers anywhere they wish. 1-800-722-9675. Or Delta, if they handled your fares. I suppose you'll be on SAA#209 coming back - that means a rather long journey - from JBN to CT to Isla Da sol to refuel middle of the night, then on to Atlanta, arriving about 8:30 a.m., Concourse E, Hartsfield. And on home. Really swell trip - again, many congrats!!!!
 
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Nov 19th, 2002, 12:29 PM
  #3
Liz Frazier
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Rnr-
Bert got the tickets. I've talked to SAA and since they change things they recommended waiting until about 60 days out to confirm the seats and see how crowded the plane is.
Going over it is SAA212, coming home it is SAA211. We won't go through Capetown either way. Thats hard to do, but we got it. Nonstop going over, just the refueling stop coming back.
Thanks for your comments. Glad you like the itinerary. As you know, a lot of sweat goes into the planning. Liz
 
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Nov 19th, 2002, 01:11 PM
  #4
kavey
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Liz
How fantastic and thanks for sharing...
I am SO delighted you were actually able to do both Wolwedans for 2 nights and Sossusvlei for one night...
It would have been a shame to miss either one, and I do think you'll love the peaceful nature of Wolwedans.
Sossusvlei is the more spectacular at initial glance but Wolwedans reaches into your soul and a piece of it is forever left there.
Your trip sounds so perfect I am half full of utter delight for you and half envious because we're waiting for 2004!
Congrats to you and a pat on the back to Bert who I know from our discussions has given you excellent service...
This is how travel to Africa should be!
(Minus the stress of making all the decisions!)
Kavey
 
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Nov 19th, 2002, 03:09 PM
  #5
Liz Frazier
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Kavey-
You are such a delight. What would I have done without you? Your comments are golden to me and thank you again for your input, even when I only gave you two hours one time to answer. Toooo funny!
Did you read Rnr's comments to me on your Jack's Camp thread? I really cracked up. What a day I've had reading all of the wonderful comments.
I agree we were very lucky to get the one night at Sossusvlei Wilderness Camp. Bert just knew how much it meant to us and he really pushed I think. I hated to give up Wolwedans, so now I don't have to and I will be able to give your best to the staff there, and tell them of your website as you requested.
I shall go to sleep tonight listening for the water lapping under our windows, no wait, that is at Little Mombo. LOL! Liz
 
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Nov 20th, 2002, 07:57 AM
  #6
kavey
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Liz my dear
Enthusiasm is one thing I've never been accused of lacking!
I've been accused (justly) of laziness many times but enthusiasm, especially where it's about my own passions, I have plenty of!
This trip will be just great.
And I do understand - my latest discussion with agent has given me a new idea for one camp and thrown others into doubt.
I am not sure how to decide.
And I have to decide in order to get two different companies to quote for me and to get going and book it.
Sigh!
I have contacted Bert to ask for his advice and have him do the second quote on the trip. Of course, I have advised him he will be one of two agents helping and quoting.
I have read enough here to trust his company even though it's not UK based so I have no qualms about that at all.
Now let's see if I can't finalise MY itinerary!
Kavey
 
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Nov 20th, 2002, 08:12 AM
  #7
Liz Frazier
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Hi Kavey-
Good luck kiddo. Believe me I know what you are going through. This past week nearly drove me nuts. I got sooo stressed. I wish you could talk to Bert, although 99 percent of my planning was done by email with him. Whenever I talked to him though, I was amazed how knowledgeable he was about all the camps I questioned him about. Then when he instantly knew about Mashatu, what a surprise. Good luck with whatever you decide.
Price is very important, but to me trust is equally so. When we did the amendment, I think anyone could have thrown in some 'extra charges' undetected, but that just didn't happen. Quite the opposite, I think some things got thrown in. I'll be sweating right along with you. Email me if you need to. A friend, Liz
 
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Nov 20th, 2002, 09:59 AM
  #8
sheila
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Speaking of getting quotes from agents, do they ever break them down into how much each place costs? My agent refused to do this and I was a bit put-off. I thought I should be able to keep in or throw out different places based on the price, but she refused. Is this your experience?
 
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Nov 20th, 2002, 10:47 AM
  #9
x
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Shelia, it's a common problem. What we've done is research various sources - guidebooks, websites, handouts, etc. - and in them you can get either a price per night per person, or a price range and comparison of one place to another. With this, we have made an estimate, and then compare it to the agent's or agents' quotes. But still you may have a problem - there's the cost of flying between camps, and that is an add-on. Your agent should break out the airfare portions - that is, the international legs. And you should be able to get an estimate for hotels before your trip in to the lodges. But it is not an easy task. You know that the agent has a profit factor built in - could that be 30-40% - or lower - hard to know. You can always bring in one or more agents and get a separate bid - you'll not be able to refine it to the penny.
 
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Nov 20th, 2002, 10:59 AM
  #10
ala
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Would you mind telling how much this cost?
 
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Nov 20th, 2002, 12:02 PM
  #11
x
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Oh, a lot, lol. Lets just say I'll never blink at nyc hotels charging $700-$1,000 a night (and here's the really bad part - per person). But it's worth it!!!
 
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Nov 20th, 2002, 01:19 PM
  #12
kavey
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ala
In VERY GENERAL terms a Botswana safari of around 14 nights duration will be AROUND $5000 plus or minus $1000 depending on camps chosen (ie Mombo or not) including internal flights but not flights in/ out of the country.
ISH.
 
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Nov 20th, 2002, 01:49 PM
  #13
Liz Frazier
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Hey you guys-
If someone has to hide behind a disguise to ask, it doesn't warrant an answer. If you identify yourself I'll take you seriously. Otherwise forget it. I'm not commenting on this. Liz
 
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Nov 20th, 2002, 01:54 PM
  #14
kv
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good point!
 
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Nov 21st, 2002, 05:56 AM
  #15
RnR
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Kavey, that price sounds awfully good to me - I understand Mombo is going to be $800 or more per night in the near future. Some people have been quoted $1,000 a night, but I don't believe that's correct. I'm awaiting my agent's quote now. And Liz, I am contacting Bert to see about his prices. He sent me a WS brochure and nice letter in late October, and he seems like a wonderful agent indeed. I was very pleased to hear about your good experiences with Bert. Take care.
 
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Nov 21st, 2002, 06:50 AM
  #16
kavey
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OOPS
I meant to use the £ not the $
My mistake
Sorry!
That price (but in &pound is based on an estimate given prices in 2002.
And it is a rough one!
Kavey
 
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Nov 22nd, 2002, 08:51 AM
  #17
RnR
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Liz, Bert sent a price quote and it was very good - he and I talked - so, maybe I'll become a Fish Eagle client as well. I'm still waiting one final price from someone, and Bert knows - I was very upfront. He seems like a good sort, and will be good to work with. I'll keep you posted.
 
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Nov 22nd, 2002, 11:27 AM
  #18
Liz Frazier
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Rnr-
What you are doing is very right. Just let them know upfront what the ground rules are. Hope you get the best deal whereever you go. Since you work with such quality agents, an amendment should be fine if you decide as I did to add on. If one goes with someone unknown entirely based on the bottom line, I think they could be sorry later if they want to change anything.
Good luck to you Rnr, I know you are very excited and anxious right now. At least I was. It will be wonderful! Liz
 
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Nov 22nd, 2002, 01:50 PM
  #19
kavey
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Just came across this:

http://gorp.com/gorp/location/africa/botswana/birding.htm

Recognise that author

Well written I think
 
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Nov 22nd, 2002, 08:14 PM
  #20
Liz Frazier
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Kavey-
Yes, an interesting article. Very interesting. How did you happen to come across it? Liz
 
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