Old Jun 16th, 2006, 05:03 AM
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I am trying to decide what camp to book in Botswana and have been reading these posts.

My agent has suggested Sandibe but I have not seen anything about it---does anyone know about Sandibe?

Mombo and Jao are too expensive but we could probably swing any other camp. Three nights, one camp, would like some water activities but land also in August 2007.
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Old Jun 16th, 2006, 06:46 AM
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Hi! IF you are looking for both land and water activities in the same camp, combined with very good game viewing.....Kwara camp is your best bet!!! (Kwando safaris). What is your entire itinerary?

Old Jun 16th, 2006, 06:51 AM
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hi bbbuckles.
My wife and I went to Botswana in June 2004, staying at Nxabega, Savute and Sandibe. Below is an extract from our trip report which describes Sandibe:

Last camp was Sandibe, our favourite of the three, but only just better than Nxabega, mainly because of the fun we had with our driver and guide.

Accommodation is in Rondavels, well fitted and with a great out-door shower. The private platform in front of each rondavel was a real plus, secluded, peaceful and with wonderful views across vast expanses of reeds and water.

The staff were as lovely as the ones at Nxabega and, a great idea, your butler (the individual who is always on hand whatever you want, serves you at each meal, gets your drinks etc etc) will accompany you on at least one game drive, a great way of allowing the camp staff to mix more freely with the guests.

Food was excellent again and the evening meal is around 1 large table outside with lots of fires etc to keep us warm. Also every guest is given a ďSandibe babyĒ to take to bed. This worried us when first mentioned, but turned out to be a hot-water bottle with thick white quilt cover that was handed to you as you made your way to bed each evening, very welcome.

Game was very exciting. We saw a large (300+) herd of buffalo, and many lion again, including being taken by surprise by a very large and very aggressive male lion as we started our night drive. We came across him about 100yds from where we had just stopped for our sun-downers and itís the only time Iíve seen a lion actually snarl, growl and make out to have a go at the vehicle; certainly made the heart race a lot faster than normal. We left him to it as our tracker was sat on the front of the jeep and was too exposed to taken any risk. The lion sat down as we drove off and roared and roared at us. Retreat was definitely the right strategy.

Also saw a large male hippo that seemed to have been expelled by the others in his pool. Mid morning he was 100 yards away from the water and seemed to be off on a hike of his own looking for a new home. Our guide was very excited, as it was the first time he had seen a hippo out of the water for so long in broad daylight, very unusual.

Sadly, we didnít see leopard, cheetah or wild dog. We came very close to each. Every other guest we met at each camp seemed to have seen leopard just before or just after we were somewhere. Cheetahs were elusive in Savute. We came close at Sandibe picking up very fresh tracks, with the vervet monkeys continually sounding the alarm, but we couldnít find it in the long grass. Also a very close encounter with wild dog at Savute. A pack came through the camp at about 4 in the morning and killed a Kudu just outside the managerís house. Everyone heard them, but by daylight they were long gone and although we picked up their trail we couldnít find them.

But the high spots of the wonderful lion viewings in particular more than made up for these disappointments.
Hope this is useful to you.
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Old Jun 16th, 2006, 06:55 AM
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For a superb all-round Delta experience (land and water activities) I'd suggest taking a look at the following camps:

Tubu Tree
Little Vumbura

I stayed at Little Vumbura last year and had superb game-viewing. Tubu Tree and Kwetsani are located in the Jao concession (along with Jao Camp). Tubu Tree is more land-focused but does offer water activities as well; Kwetsani has a more even balance between the two sorts of activities.

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Old Jun 16th, 2006, 10:01 AM
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I stayed near Sandibe, while at Chitabe. We saw good lion activity, kudu, about a leopard a day, though some were just a glimpse, and small elephant herds. When we drove near the Moremi border, which could be done from Sandibe too, there were lagoons with herds of antelope and zebra and more lion/leopard. Here were my most African Wildcat sightings on night drives. No cheetah during my 8 days.

There were denning wild dogs near Chitabe that I visited numerous times and never saw a Sandibe vehicle. I was told something like, "Sandibe must get special permission to come here or Sandibe can make only limited trips here."

As mentioned above, water activities are not possible here, so that may nix Sandibe and Chitabe from you list.

But if this is a region you want to visit, I'd recommend Chitabe or Chitabe Trails. These camps also offer a sleepout on a raised platform. Since you can walk to and from this location, it is referred to as Walking Trails.

I like Julian's camp suggestions. Seba is new and focuses on elephants, but I don't know too much about it yet.

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Old Jun 16th, 2006, 10:36 AM
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The Botswana camps I've stayed at (so you know which ones I can and can't compare between) are Little Mombo, Chitabe Trails and Little Vumbura (in 2001) and then Little Mombo, Jacana, Tubu Tree, Gudigwa (which I think is now closed), Savuti and Jack's Camp. As you can see, my experience is pretty much limited to Wilderness Safaris camps or those they market/ manage.

Tubu Tree is a fantastic all round camp. Firstly it's a lovely size - just five tents which are much more spacious than the rest of WS 5 paw properties. They aren't anything like the 6 paw camp tents but they are a step above their peers. The public areas are also really lovely and look out onto an open plain - often antelope browsing and we were lucky enough to watch two leopards mating right there by camp one evening.

Secondly, they have a really, really wonderful team of staff. The managers are great, the guides are fantastic and the other staff are all friendly, warm and efficient.

Thirdly they offer good all round game viewing and water activities too (in wet season). Whilst game viewing doesn't compare with the absolute top camps it is pretty good. If you're after specific animals then you may find other camps better - for example Savuti is excellent for wild dogs and elephant, Duba Plains is reputed to be excellent for lion/ buffalo interaction, Little Mombo is great for leopards and lions and so on.

So let us know if there are any particular things you are most focused on.

Also, how many nights do you have?
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Old Jun 17th, 2006, 08:17 AM
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Thank you for your reply.
I definately want water activities along with game drives.
Kwara looks like not quite enough luxury for my group.
Have you actually been to Sandibe?

bbbuckles is offline  
Old Jun 17th, 2006, 08:09 PM
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Well....Little Kwara will be ready in time for your trip and definitely luxurious in comparison. Only 4 tents. 8 ppl max.

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