Phinda vs. Botswana

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Sep 25th, 2004, 05:06 AM
  #1
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Phinda vs. Botswana

Phinda vs. Botswana

Are these the vastly different experiences they seem to be - delta/plains vs. ocean? Or is the game viewing simply good at both?

The other difference that occurs to me is tented camp (Botswana) vs. lodge (Phinda).

For those of you who don't know, I'm looking for something to combine with Singita Ebony in September. This would be our first safari.

Thanks!
Ericka is offline  
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Sep 25th, 2004, 05:57 AM
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Botswana offers several different types of wilderness -- and even within the Okavango Delta, you will find camps that are land-based, water-based, and some that offer a bit of each. I think you would want to find a camp (BTW not all camps in Botswana are tented) that offers you some water activities, but is not toally surrounded by water. Game viewing is going to be far more than you ever imagined. This is your first trip. After my trip in May, and reading this forum for about a year, I'd conclude that about 80% of the camps in Botswana are "luxurious." You are not going to be roughing it in the least. I would also suggest you chose one that is located within a private preserve that allows night drives and extensive "off-roading" and walks. None of those are available within the national parks, like Savute, where the game viewing is excellent -- but just didn't seem quite as exciting to me. (And while our guide was very personable and entertaining, he was no where near as expert as we had at the two ccafrica camps.) As the months have passed, I find I remain as impressed with the wonderful people we met who managed and staffed the camps, as I was with the extraordinary scenery and the exciting wildlife. The comfort and luxury of the camps was a bonus, but not the main contribution to the romance and thrill of the trip.

Find out which camps that folks have recommended here (and you've checked out further on the web) have availability for your dates and chose one. You WILL have a marvelous trip. And it is unlikely to be "once" in a lifetime, because you'll find yourself planning a return.
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Sep 25th, 2004, 06:56 AM
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If you travel in the US or Europe there is a clear difference between "budget" and "luxury".

In Africa, although there are those two categories, there is something between that is rather unique-- tented accomodations that are extremely comfortable, but not luxurious, combined with Four Season's style service (or better). The tents are not decorated in high style--although many have some style in their own way (for example Kwetsani...which I prefer to Mombo for accomodations). Your bed will be very comfortable, you will typically have ensuite facilities and an fabulous outdoor shower.
In Botswana, this is where most of the camps fall. Given this high standard in Botswana, you would be crazy (sorry, that's what I think) to pick a camp on anything but the location and the quality of the gameviewing it offers AT THE TIME OF YEAR YOU ARE TRAVELLING.

In my own view, too much space and "luxury" gets in the way of being in Africa. The only reason for picking a "luxury" camp is (1) it also offers very reliable wildlife, like Mombo or (2) you want to drop names that will impress your friends. #2 doesn't work so well anymore, because so many people have now been to these places...Honestly, people seem more impressed by the new places, more remote places no one has seen yet.


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Sep 25th, 2004, 12:27 PM
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If we had a faq, these two responses would go in it. Well said.
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Sep 25th, 2004, 05:46 PM
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Ericka: I may be able to offer a bit of insight, as I stayed At Singita Ebony in 2002 and 2003, at Phinda in 2003 and then travelled to Botswana in 2004...quite a coincidence in relation to your itinerary : ) In my opinion, you may want to consider Botswana. My safari experiences there were beyond every expectation and I still get tears in my eyes when I think of the extraordinary country, the game viewing and the remarkable people. Phinda was wonderful, but keep in mind that it is a fenced reserve. The wide open and wild spaces in Botswana capture your heart, I promise you. It is a difficult thing to convey in written word, but once visited the country will change you. You will absolutely love Singita, especially as a first safari experience. The accomodation, service and game viewing are nothing less than perfection. That being said, Botswana transports you to another place and time. The tented camps are often on raised mahogony platforms and you feel like you are living among the trees. The service is first class and the game viewing exhilarating. If you can find a way to combine both countries, it would be an amazing experience. Good luck with your plans! : ) Nancy
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Sep 25th, 2004, 10:06 PM
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Ericka,

A charter flight company shared this photo album with me. It is an online photo album from a couple of his clients who recently visited Phinda (and Sabi Sabi).

Enjoy.

http://www.thejennifer.com/sagallery...ari/index.html
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