Re: Bush Camp Company

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Nov 13th, 2004, 01:44 PM
  #1
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Re: Bush Camp Company

Hi there,

I thought that i could rack some of your well travelled brains for some advice? I am going to be at the Bush camp company for three months in June and i have a number of questions answered from a more objective point of view.

1) how good is the game viewing in this area of the the park?

2) this is for all those keen photographers out there. At selinda, my canon 100-400mm and 300 F4 were perfect. I have been toying with getting the either the 300 F2.8 or the 70-200 F2.8 for those extra stops. Any advice would be appreciated.

Cheers
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Nov 14th, 2004, 04:58 AM
  #2
sandi
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Which country are you speaking of? Bush Camp is a very common name and can be anywhere in Africa.

 
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Nov 14th, 2004, 06:07 AM
  #3
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hi, sorry for that omission, although i thought about it, it obviously didnt come out. Im refering to the bush camp company in south luangwa.
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Nov 14th, 2004, 08:12 AM
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backtoafrica,

I figured you meant the Bushcamp Company in South Luangwa, but thank you for clarifying.

Am I reading correctly that you will be there for 3 entire months, between June - August, or is that a typo?

I could understand 3 weeks for a VERY extended stay, but 3 months sounds way too excessive, as I would advise you to also visit other places such as Lower Zambezi National Park, Kafue National Park, and North Luangwa National Park if 3 months, is, in fact, correct.

Even if it is 3 weeks, I, would suggest about 10 nights in South Luangwa, 7 nights in Kafue National Park and 4 nights in Lower Zambezi National Park.

I am only suggesting the following places because I believe that they will be well within your budget if you can afford the Bushcamp Company which I believe will be about $300 pp per night, and maybe as high as $360 per night for a single (you didn't specify if you are traveling with a partner or if you are going solo).

In Lower Zambezi National Park, I would highly recommend Kasaka River Lodge. www.kasakariverlodge.com

Although I visited another place, Kulefu Tented Camp, earlier this year, after touring Kasaka River Lodge on my way back to the Royal Airstrip, I had wished that I would have stayed at Kasaka. Rates are $285 per person per night sharing, and I don't know what the single supplement is, but my guess would be that in June or July you may be able to get it waived, as they will not be at their busiest until August and September.

The managing couple at Kasaka River Lodge, Hugo and Esther seem very nice, and it is really in a beautiful location.

For Kafue NP, had I had more time and money for next year, I would have definitely stayed at Lunga River Lodge and Busanga Plains Bush Camp.

The Busanga Plains are supposed to be very close in its ecosystem to that of the Okavango Delta and supposedly has the widest variety of antelope in all of Southern Africa, as well as tree-climbing lions and cheetah.

Also on offer is a canoeing expedition from Lunga River Lodge that looks very interesting for the more adventurous (I would love to do it, but my wife would never do something like that).

Here is the website:

http://www.experienceafrica.com/

Finally, if you have the time, you should also consider North Luangwa. There are only 3 camps there in about 450,000 hectares (7.1 times larger than the Sabi Sand Game Reserve in South Africa, and roughly the same size as Delaware in the USA or Cornwall, in England).

However, while there are 817,000 people in Delaware, 500,000 people in Cornwall PLUS 6 Million visitors annually, North Luangwa has NO PERMANENT RESIDENTS other than the wildlife, and with only 24 beds between the 3 camps, and with a 4.5 month season, it is a very remote and wild location. I will be spending my final four nights in North Luangwa on my 2005 holiday at a great looking camp called Kutandala.

www.kutandala.com

It seems like a very beautiful place, but you will also be helping in the conservation effort. Between about 1977 - 1987, there were approximately 1,000 elephants per year being poached in the Luangwa Valley, until the arrival of a very determined couple, Mark & Delia Owens. They were successfully able to fight the poaching problem and by the time they were expelled or fled the country in 1996, due to the death of a poacher, the poaching problem was nearly eliminated, with only 12 elephants recordedly being poached in their final year (80 per month upon their arrival and 1 per month by the time they departed).

Thankfully, the conservation program that they founded is still operating today and the numbers of elephants and other wildlife is strongly rebounding. However, an area like this is very sensitive and relies on visits from people like you and I.

North Luangwa is possible to reach overland, but requires an overnight on the way there and the way back. If you prefer to do it overland, you may want to consider a package offered by Kafunta, who also operates Kafunta River Lodge in the Mfuwe area of South Luangwa and Kafunta Island Bush Camp in the far south Luamfwa area of South Luangwa. They offer a 10 night package that combines Kafunta Island Bush Camp with Kafunta River Lodge with Buffalo Camp in North Luangwa.

www.luangwa.com

There is one other company, Remote Africa, operating in North Luangwa, as well. Their South Luangwa camp in Tafika, located in the northern Nsefu part of the park. If you are interested in microlighting, this is the only place in Zambia, besides Victoria Falls, that you may engage in microlighting. Their North Luangwa camp in Mwaleshi (named after the prominent Mwaleshi River).

www.remoteafrica.com

Just in case you are interested, here is my itinerary that I have now confirmed. This is after hundreds of hours of research, but also taking into mind that I will have 3 females with me (my wife, my 63 year old mother and my sister, of which my sister is the only adventurous one of the group).

Luxury Penthouse Apartment on V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, 5 nights

Simbambili, Sabi Sand Game Reserve, 1 night

Intercontinental Hotel, Lusaka, Zambia, 1 night (this is to allow a morning 4 hour transfer by road and motorboat up the Zambezi River all the way to Lower Zambezi National Park, otherwise, I would have spent the night in Johannesburg)

Kasaka River Lodge, Lower Zambezi National Park, 3 nights (wish I had time for one more night, but I don't)

Chichele Presidential Lodge, South Luangwa National Park, 3 nights

Kutandala, North Luangwa National Park, 4 nights

Tour operator - Taga Safaris
www.tagasafaris.co.za

Here is the link to my itinerary, complete with photos:

http://tagasafaris.mywowbb.com/forum1/23.html

Let me know how much time you have at your disposable and an approximate budget and I will be happy to help guide you in the right direction, as I really know my ABC's pretty well regarding Zambia.
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Nov 14th, 2004, 02:29 PM
  #5
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Hi Roccco,

I dont really need any travel details thanks. It was just information on the area, as i have only ever been to livingstone. Where i highly recommend Sussi and Chuma.

Just to make you all incredibly jealous, the three months was not a typo. The only problem is im stuck with the bush camp company as im working for them for three months. It is part of my six month trip following my graduation. Although i get all the benefits going on wallks and drives, it will also mean helping on the hospitalilty side and just mucking in here and there. Although i have met Andy the owner and been on the website i just wanted a more objective opinion of the operation.
Im also at Kwando safaris for three months from sept to december, though after vsiting the Selinda in 2003 I know roughly what i am in for!

Thanks for all the advice though, as i have some travelling time im debating where i should go, so i will have a look at your choices. I was thinking possibly Kafue, though i have my heart set on a trip to the Makgadikgadi Pans. Will have to wait and see.

Cheers

PS If anyone is interested in a career break etc, let me know and i will give the company im going with. The six months is costing just over three grand, in english. Considering you eat with the guests, stay in guest tents most of the time, participate in most activities and potentially see lots more, that is what i deem a bargain Roccco.
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Nov 14th, 2004, 05:23 PM
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backtoafrica,

Yes, that is a bargain and a once in a lifetime opportunity. Few of us that are able to afford to visit Africa would ever be able to afford giving up our careers to do something like this. Plus, as much as I enjoy the bush, I don't ever see myself in a hospitality type role. Different level of the food chain, you know?
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Nov 15th, 2004, 02:28 AM
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Hi backtoafrica

Could you let me know the name of the company you are working with? You can post it on the board or send it to my personal email at [email protected]

Thanks very much.

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Nov 15th, 2004, 08:30 AM
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i too am curious what company you are with. i won't be able to take that kind of break from my job but i can always investigate none the less.
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Nov 15th, 2004, 09:06 AM
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Also interested in the company that is organising this. Sounds excellent and I'm sure you'll have the BEST time.

If you can get to Makgadikgadi Pans I would certainly recommend it. It's an amazing place and seeing the brown hyena and the meerkats so close was wonderful!
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Nov 15th, 2004, 09:41 AM
  #10
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the company

the company that i am going is called the leap and are a UK based company. Their website is www.theleap.co.uk and offer opportunities through out africa. I know that Guy has already organised a fair few career breaks for those of the older generation!
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Nov 15th, 2004, 11:53 AM
  #11
 
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Hi backtoafrica,

I posted a trip report here on my Sept. 2004 visit to Chamilandu, Chindeni, Bilimungwe as well as the Mfuwe Lodge. Also posted a link to photos from each camp. If you do a search on my name you will find the report.

The game viewing was outstanding as were all the people that managed and ran each of the Bush camps. Would be glad to answer any specific questions you may have.

You will have a wonderful 3 months ......only wish I could do that!!
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