Safari in Hwange National Park or in Kruger?

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Mar 28th, 2012, 03:28 PM
  #1
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Safari in Hwange National Park or in Kruger?

I am going to South Africa for the second time in August and I am having trouble deciding where to go on safari. We will arrive in Johannesburg and stay there for 2 nights, then we're going to Chobe in Botswana for 3 days followed by a few days in Victoria Falls. After Vic Falls, we want to go on safari but we're not sure where to go. Hwange looks interesting and is pretty affordable and we could spend 4 nights there and then fly from Vic Fall to Durban, our next destination. If we go to Kruger (we have been there before), we have to fly from Vic Falls to Johannesburg and spend the night there, leaving us with only 3 nights in Kruger. What would be the best option?
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Mar 28th, 2012, 10:31 PM
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Hi,

I'd head for Hwange because its a new destination for you, you get an extra night on safari rather than sleeping in JNB and presumably you will also save the airfare JNB-Kruger airfare.

I'm in favour of doing as many activities and visits from a single base as possible to maximise safari time and minimise travel time and costs.


Happy planning,


Pol
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Mar 29th, 2012, 08:22 AM
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I agree with Pol; go to Hwange. I did that in 2010 and stayed at Somalisa Camp, which I highly recommend. You can easily do a road transfer from Vic Falls to and from Hwange. You mention spending "a few days" in Vic Falls. Unless you're doing white water rafting or some other "adventure" activity, anything more than one night there is probably too much. Where are you staying in Chobe? We had a unique experience on the Ichobezi safariboat, a great way to see everything from the water. Because they are Namibian-registered, we stayed on the river overnight. We had two nights on the boat, but I think three would be better in order to go further upriver.
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Mar 29th, 2012, 10:12 AM
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We are staying 4 nights in Vic Falls. We initially wanted to stay 3 nights but we found an offer that would give us an extra night for free so we thought we'd take advantage of it. We don't want to rush too much during this trip so we thought we'd take it easy in Vic Falls. Spend a couple hours to see the falls, do a canoe trip, helicopter tour, maybe the walking with lions tour (not sure how I feel about it yet, need to do more research, do a game drive or walking safari in the Zambezi National Park, etc.

In Chobe, we're staying at a cheap guest house in Kasane (The Old House). We would have loved to stay at a lodge but the prices in August are way way way above our budget (not much under400$ per night!).
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Mar 29th, 2012, 10:15 AM
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We will probably stay at the Sikumi Tree Lodge in Hwange. We found a great all-inclusive rate.
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Apr 3rd, 2012, 03:59 PM
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If I did 4 nights in Hwange and 4 nights at Imbabala Safari Lodge and the Elephant Camp in Vic Falls would that be a good experience in August?
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Apr 3rd, 2012, 04:36 PM
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Having been to Hwange and Chobe my very first trip, I quickly decided I would never go back to either. At Chobe I saw far too many elephants and not much else and Hwange I saw far to little of most everything. I would go to Kruger over and over rather than to go back to either one of those locations, but I may be in the minority here.
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Apr 3rd, 2012, 05:36 PM
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When did you go?
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Apr 4th, 2012, 05:22 AM
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Mcbg1, Sikumi Tree Lodge is not in Hwange NP. It's outside the park and they most likely won't go into the park. I've stayed in the park at Somalisa and also outside at Ivory Lodge near Sikumi. If my experience at Ivory Lodge is an indication, you won't see much at Sikumi. If you're going to go all the way down to Hwange, you should stay in the park.

I've heard good things about Imbabala from a safari planner. That's his choice for the Chobe area. Elephant Camp is 10kms from the Falls. Why not stay in town at Ilala Lodge from which you can walk to the Falls, the crafts market, etc.? One or, at most, two nights in Vic Falls is plenty of time.

Fly from JNB into Kasane and go to Imbabala first. Then proceed across the border to Vic Falls. From there, you can be transported by road down to Hwange and back for your flight out of Vic Falls. If you fly into Vic Falls, cross the border and return to Zimbabwe, you'll need a multiple entry visa. However, compare the airfares to see if it's worth it, or not.
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Apr 4th, 2012, 06:16 AM
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I know Sikumi is just outside of Hwange. From their Facebook page and the pictures/reviews on TripAdvisor, there is plenty of game in their (unfenced) annex. They also go into the Hwange park but you have to pay extra for the national park fees. The camps inside Hwange are just too expensive for us so we are fine staying just outside.

Imbabala is in Zimbabwe, just outside of Vic Falls near the Botswana border. We are probably going to fly into Livingstone (much cheaper than flying into Vic Falls), spend 1-2 nights in Vic Falls town (Ilala is fully booked during our dates) to see the falls, craft market, etc, then transfer to Imbabala for 3 nights (just for the safaris), then spend 1 night at the Elephant Camp before going to Sikumi for 4 nights. We might also add 2-3 nights in Kasane before Vic Falls to see Chobe but the lodges are all pretty expensive and some are already full.
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Apr 4th, 2012, 06:18 AM
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Also, which lodges are located inside Hwange? The ones I've seen are much more expensive so out of the possibility for us...
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Apr 4th, 2012, 04:57 PM
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I went many moons ago as far as Chobe and Hwange, probably 10 years. I have been back to South Africa 6 times since then.
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Apr 4th, 2012, 05:42 PM
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FWIW, I know personally "mytmoss", listen to him.
And BTW MTM, nice to have you back posting here. I'm off to South Africa in a month, yes May. I have no safari camps reserved yet!!!

regards - tom
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Apr 5th, 2012, 06:25 AM
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Tom I am jealous! I probably will not be heading back until April/May 2012.

Mike
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Apr 5th, 2012, 06:40 AM
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Flying into Livingstone, continuing to Vic Falls, adding Kasane... be aware of the visa and transfer costs that you'll incur by doing this. You may find that after adding in those costs, you haven't saved anything by flying into Livingstone.

August is high season in Zim and Bots. That's why you're seeing high costs. Are you using a safari planner, or are you trying to piece this together yourself? With all the camps, transfers, etc., you could most likely get a better price from a planner who has the connections and gets pricing breaks.
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Apr 8th, 2012, 07:23 AM
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Have you tried The Hide in Hwange?
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May 22nd, 2012, 06:12 AM
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Hello guys, can you pls tell us which SA tour operator you have used for your trips? what are the high points of SA like "Must See" places?
Pls tell me little bit more about the "Lion Walk". Sounds so exciting.
How does the Elephant camp work? can you pls tell us in detail? Do you have to book it on your own or does your tour operator book for you? Did yu have any problem staying a the camp?
Pls advise. After doing some reserach and hearing your experience, I am deciding on South Africa this time.

If god wills, may be we can go to East Africa later
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May 22nd, 2012, 12:46 PM
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Hi there mcbg1 -- we are doing Vic Falls, Imbabala and Hwange in September. Truly looking forward to it. We made our reservations some time ago, but you never know what's still available. You can try our tour operator www.zambezi.com to see if they can get you something interesting in Hwange at this date.
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May 22nd, 2012, 04:16 PM
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Oops...make that October.
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