Sandibe camp?

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Feb 15th, 2006, 12:09 AM
  #1
santharamhari
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Sandibe camp?

Hi! Just wondering if anyone has any experience from having stayed at Sandibe in the Okavango delta....

It is also meant to be in the Chitabe concession (I think!)

Thanks
Hari
 
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Feb 15th, 2006, 04:16 AM
  #2
 
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Hi Hari,

Wish I could help but I am not going there until July 2006, also am going to their other camp, Nxageba.

Kaye
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Feb 15th, 2006, 04:18 AM
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Hi Hari,

Just found out that you are going in August, and I shall certainly be back by then but too late I would imagine to change any plans.

Kaye
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Feb 15th, 2006, 05:34 AM
  #4
santharamhari
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Thanks Kaye......yes, i guess i have to make a decision sooner than July. But would love to hear about your trip. Are you doing any other camps, besides the CCafrica ones?

Thanks
Hari
 
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Feb 15th, 2006, 11:01 AM
  #5
 
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Hello Hari,

Sandibe and Chitabe share a concession. However, Sandibe has water activities whilst Chitabe does not. Sandibe also has a special silent electric boat which can take you out into the channels and get closer than the regular motor boats can.

Per the Bradt guide to Botswana, the CCA camps in Botswana are known for their willingness to arrange the day to suit your interests and flexibility regarding acitivities, as they have a larger ratio of staff to guests than most lodges. This is similar to my experience at other CCA camps.

Cheers,
Julian
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Feb 15th, 2006, 12:04 PM
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Hari

I stayed at Sandibe in Sep 2004. You may find more information in my trip report.

Sandibe was very good, but here are some observations on important areas.

Accomodation - excellent, in room power a plus.
Views - rooms look onto nothing, a stream with very high reeds, don't expect to sit on your verandah with stunning views. Some verandahs are little tree houses which offer a better view, but in my time on them I didn't see much.

Food - awesome.

Management - very attentive and highly recommended.

Guide - Boyce. Very good. His tracker seemed a little long in the tooth, and didn't seem to spot much.

Mokoros - okay, if you like gliding over the water without seeing anything. If this is what mokoro rides are about, get me back in the vehicle.

Game - okay but not great. On this trip we had also been to Mala Mala, Savuti and Kwando Lagoon. This was by far the worst game viewing. I have not been to Chitabe, but have read great reviews, so whether we just got the unlucky two days I'm not sure.

Conclusion - a lot was very good, but I'm not in a huge rush to go back. My thinking would likely be different if I had the single supplement issue to take into account.
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Feb 15th, 2006, 01:07 PM
  #7
johan_belgium
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Hari,

Sandibe and Chitabe share the same airstrip but I would say that Chitabe has the more productive area in the concession. Although I have never been to Sandibe, I spoke with several people who have been there and they were not that enthusiastic about it.

According to my travel agent, who has been there last year the mokoro experience was a big disappointment. (Probably the same experience as Matt)

I have always seen the major predators at Chitabe (wild dog/cheetah/leopard/lion). It's definitely one of the places to be this year I think.(when other places are flooded)

I just received an e-mail this morning from Kenny, one of the managers at Chitabe Trails. He told me that they already received twice the normal rainfall. He was telling me that some camps up north will face some problems ... I was there also in 2004 (big floods) and the gameviewing at Chitabe was phenomenal. Try to book one of the following guides: Phinley or Ben.

I had one of my most memorable drives at Chitabe Trails last year:

- wild dogs were hunting near camp;
- big male lion devouring an impala after stealing it (probably from a leopard);
- a cheetah killed a steenbok;
- lions were chased away by elephants in front of camp.

Plenty of other game around.

It's one of my favorite camps ... but I have so many. But if you are interested in seeing predators in Botswana and not willing to pay the price of Mombo I would recommend Chitabe and Lebala.

Actually I am going there again as an extension of my trip in June 2007.

Greetings,

Johan
 
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Feb 15th, 2006, 02:29 PM
  #8
cw
 
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I'm interested in these comments on Sandibe.

We're planning a trip in late August or September and I had tentatively chosen Sandibe as one of our locations (the others being Londolozi and Phinda).

This is our first trip and I've been searching and reading the posts here for a couple of weeks. This board is so informative. Thank you all.

Now I will return to the drawing board.

cw
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Feb 15th, 2006, 07:21 PM
  #9
santharamhari
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Many thanks, Julian, Napamatt, Johan........for all your inputs.

After reading your comments, Johan....i will try to seek 3 nights at Chitabe. I am already booked for Lagoon and Lebala (a total of 1 week). I can add on Chitabe for 3 nights. I want to try a new delta camp from the ones i have previously visited.....

My only interests in new camps, were the following choices for the time of the year......(Chitabe, sandibe, Vumbura)...after reading your posts...i rule sandibe out.....Vumbura is probably more flooded.....so i'll try and get Chitabe.

Thanks
Hari
 
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Feb 16th, 2006, 10:03 AM
  #10
santharamhari
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Thanks Folks.........i did make my decision........

I am now booked to go to Chitabe Aug 29=31 for 3 nights. This will be after my week long trip to Lagoon and Lebala.

I deceided to go back to Maun from Lebala and make all my phone calls to the office and home and then fly back to Chitabe (it is anyway very close to Maun)

Appreciate all the inputs and hope to see you folks there.........

Hari
 
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Feb 16th, 2006, 12:20 PM
  #11
 
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Hello,

I think the mokoro experience Matt described is not unique to Sandibe -- mokoroing is about experiencing the environment and maybe doing some birding, not game-viewing. I did one mokoro trip at LV, and had a very similar experience, though at least I got to see a Pel's fishing owl.

I think mokoros are part of what makes a Delta safari unique, and are certainly worth doing once or twice -- but if you want to see game, stick to the vehicles.

Cheers,
Julian
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Feb 16th, 2006, 07:33 PM
  #12
santharamhari
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Julian,

Thanks........i have done the mokoro once, at Kwara.......that is plenty for a lifetime. Yes, it is pretty, but too quiet for me. I prefer the walking trails to mokoros.....

Thanks
Hari
 
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Feb 16th, 2006, 08:14 PM
  #13
santharamhari
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Johan,

quick question......do you prefer Chitabe or chitabe trails???

In terms of
1.) Game viewing (i assumed that the game viewing area is the same for both and share the same sightings)

2.) Location/view from camp

3.) camp itself......from reading, the only difference about trails is that the tents are not raised? but also it is a smaller more quiet camp?

3 nights should be ideal, right? or do i need 4?
 
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Feb 16th, 2006, 08:36 PM
  #14
johan_belgium
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Hari,

The camps are only five minutes away from each other. So sightings were shared. Try to book Phinley (Chitabe) or Ben (Chitabe trails).

Chitabe trails has been rebuilt so I don't know what it looked like right now. I liked them both but Chitabe was a bit more luxurious.

The views were good from both camps.

I would prefer to spend 4 nights if you are able to.

Greetings,

Johan




 
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Feb 16th, 2006, 08:51 PM
  #15
santharamhari
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Thanks Johan,

Will try to check availabilty for an extra night...i am at the moment booked at Chitabe August 29-Sep 1.

Appreciate all your input.

Thanks
Hari
 
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Feb 17th, 2006, 05:37 AM
  #16
 
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We were at Sandibe in 2003 and will be there again in August. Excellent game viewing, saw two lion prides in a turf battle, leopard hunting baboons, only missed wild dogs and that was by a few hours. While we were on a drive a hippo wandering in to the dining area and everyone present move to the upper level for some safer viewing. Sorry we missed that. Ask for Bots as a ranger if you do go.
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Feb 17th, 2006, 12:02 PM
  #17
 
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hi hari,
my wife and i will be at chitabe sug 31 and sept 1 so hopefully we will cross paths. maybe even share a vehicle. really lookig forward to chitabe as im only getting rave reviews.

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Feb 17th, 2006, 05:11 PM
  #18
santharamhari
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Hi Big country,

Look forward to meeting you at Chitabe. I am booked at the moment for check in on Aug 29 and depart sept 1. The last nite i am waitlisted at the moment.........absolutely, would love to share a vehicle.

Hopefully things will clear regarding the booking.......what other camps are you going to?
 
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Feb 17th, 2006, 05:42 PM
  #19
 
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we'll be at duba plains beforehand and then head to duma tau and mombo afterward. total of 10 nights in botswana. cant wait. hopefully we can see some wild dogs at chitabe. they are by far my favorite animal. you are going to the 3 best wild dogs camps i know of. when i visited kwando's camps we had some unbelievable sightings at lagoon and lebala. steve was our guide and he really love dogs as well so we pretty much followed them everyday.
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Feb 19th, 2006, 06:19 AM
  #20
santharamhari
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Hi! That sounds like an awesome trip.....right mix....

Will keep you posted on my confirmations for Chitabe, and yes, look forward to meeting you.

Hari
 
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