Rocco Please?

Old Mar 3rd, 2007, 08:18 PM
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Lin
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Rocco Please?

Hi there Rocco, I am a sporadic user of this forum and although I've done a search with your name, I can't easily figure out what your latest opinions are. First, how would you compare Botswana and Zambia now that you have been to both? Next, I have taken several 'luxury' Wilderness safaris and I'm considering a mobile camping safari next. What was your itinerary when you stayed at the Linyanti mobile camp? I've seen one interesting itinerary that begins at the Magkadikadi Pans and goes up thru the Okavango and the Linyanti areas in Botswana. What operator did you use? To what areas/camps are you referring people these days? Please catch me up!
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Old Mar 4th, 2007, 06:06 AM
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Hi Lin,

When I was in Botswana, I used three different operators:

African Bushcamps
Kwando
Sanctuary

I stayed at the following camps:

Linyanti Bushcamp (www.africanbushcamps.com)

Lebala
Lagoon
Little Kwara
(www.kwando.co.za)

Baines Camp
Chiefs Camp
(www.sanctuarylodges.com)

None of my camps were considered mobile camps but rather permanent camps that ranged to ultraluxury in Chiefs Camp to more moderate (but still very nice) in Lebala.

Now I don't really like to compare Botswana to Zambia because I think they are both fabulous but for different reasons. I will, however, say that I found Botswana to be superior for its game drives but that I find Zambia to be superior for its walking safaris, and diversity of activities, especially in Lower Zambezi where it is possible to do river safaris and fishing for tiger fish. Yes, Botswana does do Mekoro acitivities but it does not rate up as high for me as the river safaris and fishing found in Zambia. Also, the walking safaris in Zambia seem much more advanced than in Botswana.

Finally, Zambia remains a relative bargain where in high season 2007 it is still possible to enjoy a luxury safari for an average of $500 - $600 per person per night sharing, while in Botswana a person is looking at an average of $800 - $900+ per person per night for a luxury safari and possibly paying even more for a mobile safari than for a luxury high season Zambian safari, unless going with a more budget operator.

Allow me to add that Botswana does become much more affordable in its shoulder season (May or November) and is every bit as affordable as Zambia at the same time of year in low season (December - April).

For mobile safaris in Botswana, you really have so many options from Wilderness Safaris who is already a known and proven commodity for you to some others:

www.africanbushcamps.com
www.ccafrica.com
www.sanctuarylodges.com

Zambia really doesn't do much in the mobile safari department but that is because so many main camps have their own bushcamps...some examples:

MAIN CAMP AND BUSH CAMP

Chiawa / Old Mondoro
www.chiawa.com

Kaingo / Mwamba
www.kaingo.com

Tafika / Chikoko / Crocodile
www.remoteafrica.com

Kafunta / Kafunta Island Bushcamp
www.luangwa.com

Hope this all is helpful but please don't hesitate to ask if you have any other questions either here on the forum or by e-mailing me.
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Old Mar 4th, 2007, 08:37 AM
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I think Rocco's comparisons of Zambia and Botswana are very fair and accurate. I like both Zambia and Botswana. Backing words up with hard earned money, I have done numerous trips to both in the past and with luck will have numerous trips to both in the future.

The bat migration in Zambia is really intriguing.

Here are the 2 mobiles I want to do some day.

Uncharted Africa, the San and Jack’s people.

http://www.unchartedafrica.com/page.php?p_id=21

14 Day Classic Mobile Safari to Botswana by Africa Adventure
This is one of the finest tented safaris to Botswana that offers a unique experience to the Kalahari all year round. You will travel in a small group of 7 people with the same guide throughout. If you want to experience the true meaning of “living in the bush” then this is the program for you!
http://www.africa-adventure.com/prog...otswana11.html

Years ago I did an outstanding Wilderness mobile called the Jacana. It was written up in National Geographic Traveler mag. The current Wilderness mobiles would be very good, but I preferred the Jacana itinerary to those offered now.

Some other mobiles you might want to consider are through Natural Habitat. I’ve done 3 trips with them, though none to Africa.

Secluded Botswana
http://www.nathab.com/destinations/i...=trip_overview

Expedition Botswana
http://www.nathab.com/destinations/i...=trip_overview

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Old Mar 5th, 2007, 07:22 PM
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ugh how annoying I just typed a long post and it went away when I tried to preview it...

Well anyway here goes again. Thank you both, Rocco and Lynn, this is just the type of info I need right now.

I have also safari'd in both countries and just wondered how Rocco's views may have changed after visiting Bots.

Rocco: I have stayed in one Sanctuary camp (Stanley's) last summer and was rather unimpressed compared to Wilderness. Although I'd love to try Kwando sometime, I think the type of itinerary African Bush Camps offers looks much more like what I'm thinking of for my next trip. What did you think of their operation at Linyanti Bushcamp? What else have you heard about this company?

Also, what have you heard about the new bush camps affiliated with Puku Ridge?

Lynn: Thanks for your links. Please tell me a little more about the bat migration, or have you already posted that elsewhere? I'd be glad to look it up.

Yes, I have heard of the Jacana Safari which was offered on many websites. Wonder why it was discontinued? The first two companies you linked look good for me; Natural Habitat seems to offer pretty much what I have already done, wonderful stays at permanent camps, in fact I have stayed at some of the camps mentioned. I'm looking for the mobile experience of bringing the tented camp along every time we move.

How would you compare staying at a permanent luxury camp vs. a mobile tented? Would you say the game drives are comparable? Does the guide have any relationship with other guides on the concession, so that they can radio information to one another? Would you say the guides are of excellent caliber? Would you say the mobile camps are any more dangerous than the permanent, what with outside toilets and no platforms, etc.? Is there a decent selection of alcoholic beverages? I assume one really doesn't get much of a siesta, because the mid-day would be when one is driving to the next location?

Any and all info appreciated!!
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Old Mar 5th, 2007, 07:23 PM
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Lynn, I forgot to ask, have you done any of the mobile safaris solo? That's what I'm thinking of doing. I know that there are limited tents so I wonder whether they'd discourage a solo traveler on a mobile.
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Old Mar 5th, 2007, 10:08 PM
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Hi Lin,

I only did a brief walkthrough of Stanley's Camp. It was okay but did not compare to Baines Camp. Without hesitation, I say that Baines Camp has the most scenic spot of any camp I have yet visited in Africa and I have been to quite a few. Beyond that, however, with only five luxury chalets, it is a very exclusive camp and I found it near perfect.

Regarding African Bushcamps, I am very impressed with this company and in what is a major compliment, I will say that it feels more like an owner operated Zambian camp than a Botswanan camp (speaking of Linyanti Bushcamp). Also, at least one other Fodorite has visited one of their other camps, Somalisa, and rated it the best tented camp he has yet visited.

Strong possibility I will return to Africa in about 9 weeks and if I do I am positively visiting Somalisa in Hwange.

I met both the owners of African Bushcamps (Beks & Sophia) and the managing couple of Somalisa (Bobby & Milena) and they are all fabulous, down to earth, young and energetic.

I, too, really love the itineraries offered by African Bushcamps and if I had the time I would do them all!
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Old Mar 5th, 2007, 10:09 PM
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(just in case it is not obvious to the casual reader, I mention Baines Camp in relation to Stanley's Camp because it is the sister camp in the same area but of higher luxury).
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Old Mar 5th, 2007, 11:13 PM
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Howdy Lin - you mentioned the Jacana Safari - back in late 2004 our travel plans were thrown into dissaray when we too discovered that the Jacana Safarii had been discontinued. We had to go back to the drawing board and found instead the Migration Routes (fully serviced) camping safari which takes you through most of the same country. We are in the process of posting our trip report for this safari, albeit two years later (we travelled in April 2005) - We also stayed at Baines Camp and would reccomend it and concur with Roccco on the pituresque view and exclusivity of the camp - the wildlife viewing was also particulalrly diverse and interesting. Our trip report is long one and covers Baines and all of the destinations in the Migration Routes camping trip. We would absolutely reccomend it. There are some long days and a few trasfers in vehicles that were not luxuriously comfortable - but certainly added to the adventure and memory of a fantastic trip. Wildlife viewing was phenomenally good, even in April!

WS also has a camping safari that includes the Pans + takes in the other areas I think - it is about 13 days long.

good luck with your decsision making! Whatever you decide it will be a fantastic trip!


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Old Mar 5th, 2007, 11:14 PM
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oops - posted too soon here is the link to our report.
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=4
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Old Mar 6th, 2007, 06:51 AM
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Hi Thembi,
I've tried various ways and can't get your trip report to pull up from your link. What did you call it? I can do a search that way.

Is the name of the safari operator Migration Routes? Thanks!
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Old Mar 6th, 2007, 07:33 AM
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Thembi,
Interesting that you had looked at Jacana originally.

Lin,
Thembi's Trip Report: 2005 Bots/Zam/ZA - Better Late Than Never

http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...4&tid=34957250

I had a travel partner for the Wilderness Jacana mobile. But at that time, the single supplement was only $300 or $400 for the whole trip. We did have one single with us and it worked out fine. That’s one advantage about the mobiles. You don’t pay a huge SS.

Wilderness runs the Migration routes and several other mobiles.

http://www.wilderness-safaris.com
Click on Safari/Explorations
Choose Explorations
Choose Botswana for the location
Up pop several options—Migration Routes, The Great Botswana Journey, etc.

One or two Fodorites did a Botswana mobile with Masson and had a good experience.

There is also the Wilderness Travel company in California (not associated with Wilderness Safaris in Botswana) that has a mobile in Botswana.
http://www.wildernesstravel.com/itins/botswana.html

The bats! They represent the largest mammal migration in the world, located in the Kasanka Trust area of Zambia. I have not been there but would love to see it. I know Rocco wants to go too. As you can see by this link, and the chart half way down the page, Nov to Dec is the time to see the bats.

http://www.kasanka.com/frameset.htm


My own migration, until I can see the real one
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