Sandibe or Another Safari in the Delta?

Sep 20th, 2006, 01:14 PM
  #1  
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Sandibe or Another Safari in the Delta?

I am pretty set for my honeymoon late next March/early April in Botswana and South Africa. We are planning to spend our first three days at Sandibe in the Okavango Delta in Botswana before moving onto Capetown, the Winelands of SA, and Dulini in Sabi Sands.

I have read reviews of Sandibe here, and while most are generally positive about the service, some have commented on the poor game viewing there.

My question is this: for approximately the same cost, where would you recommend in the Delta that is better than Sandibe?

Thanks so much for any input.
dansac is offline  
Sep 20th, 2006, 02:16 PM
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Hello Dansac,

What exact dates are you looking at? If your Botswana stay is in March, you'll have a wider choice of camps for the same cost whereas the rates at some camps go up in April.

Cheers,
Julian
jasher is offline  
Sep 20th, 2006, 02:27 PM
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Hello,

MARCH (mixed land and water camps): Little Vumbura, Kwara, Shinde

MARCH (land-only camps): Chitabe, Chief's, Tubu Tree

APRIL (mixed land and water camps): Kwara, Shinde

APRIL (land-only camps): Chief's

The rates at some of the camps go up in April, but if you were willing to pay a bit more your April options would also include LV (mixed land and water) and Chitabe and Tubu Tree (land-only).

Cheers,
Julian
jasher is offline  
Sep 20th, 2006, 04:43 PM
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Hi Julian,

We'll be arriving in Botswana on March 28th, staying 3 nights, and leaving on the 31st, 2007.

We'd definitely like some water activities as well, which is what we liked about Sandibe. These that you've listed are around the same cost? Are they significantly better?

Thanks for your help,
-Dan
dansac is offline  
Sep 20th, 2006, 05:49 PM
  #5  
santharamhari
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Dan,

I noticed you are going to Exeter-Dulini. Fabulous lodge!!! If possible, get your agent to put in a request for Craig/Lucky to be your guiding/tracking team. They are awesome!!!

Hari
 
Sep 21st, 2006, 09:12 AM
  #6  
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Hey Hari,

I will definitely do that! I'm very excited about Exeter-Dulini. I've heard it's just beautiful...

-Dan
dansac is offline  
Sep 21st, 2006, 04:53 PM
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Hello,

Since you're in March, LV and Kwara will be about the same price as Sandibe (about $520 per person per night, rack rate).

I haven't been to Sandibe, so it's hard to make a direct comparison. However, I've stayed at LV, which has very good game-viewing and a full range of water and land activities. I've had particularly good leopard and lion viewing there. as well as serval. Other Fodorites have reported similar experiences, and it gets some of the best reviews of the mixed land and water camps for game-viewing. It's also just a lovely camp, with only 6 tents and a friendly, informal atmosphere.

Kwara also gets very good reviews here for its game-viewing, especially for lion. I haven't visited myself but it's on my list. Hari and MV have recently visited Kwara.

Shinde is a lesser-known camp run by Ker and Downey. One unusual option on offer here is more serious walking safaris in the Delta. The reserve is known to have good game-viewing -- this is another one which is on my list.

Cheers,
Julian
jasher is offline  
Sep 21st, 2006, 05:23 PM
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Thanks Julian, I'll check it out.
dansac is offline  
Sep 21st, 2006, 06:42 PM
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santharamhari
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Dan,

Yes, Dulini is fabulous!!! You will enjoy it. Do a search for Dulini, you will find my trip report from August.

Hari
 
Sep 22nd, 2006, 06:31 AM
  #10  
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Thank you everyone for your help. After reviewing the situation more and talking it over with our travel agent, I think we are most likely going to stick with our original choice of Sandibe.

CCAfrica just seems to be a very dependable company, the accomodations certainly seem comfortable enough, and it looks to be a real safari experience. As for game viewing, we have zero experience with this and know it can be hit or miss anywhere, so as long as we get some good sightings we'll be happy.

Unless someone feels really strongly that Sandibe is a bad experience, that is!
dansac is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2006, 06:36 AM
  #11  
santharamhari
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I'm sure Sandibe will live upto your expectations!!!

Hari
 
Sep 22nd, 2006, 07:21 AM
  #12  
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Hari - just read your report on Dulini - so excited!
dansac is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2006, 07:23 AM
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santharamhari
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Thanks, Dan....glad you enjoyed it.
 
Sep 22nd, 2006, 07:59 AM
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This info may be a little late since a decision has been made but I thought I would point out that Kwara camp should be obtainable for considerably less money than $520 pppn.

Under the 5 Rivers special Kwara and other Kwando camps should be available from an agent for less than $300 pppn (the rack rate is $225 but obviously most agents will need to add a commission). The special is in effect from December through the end of March (a 3 night stay at one camp is qualified as is 4 nights at 2 or more camps)-- it is the best bargain in Africa that I know of.

Dan: enjoy your honeymoon -- it should be fabulous!
PredatorBiologist is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2006, 08:15 AM
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Hello Dansac,

Sorry, I made a mistake on the Kwara pricing - it should be $415 (rack) per night in March. I should avoid posting past around 2am! A good agent should be able to discount off that rate.

Since the rest of your itinerary is already set I didn't mention the Five Rivers Special, but it's certainly a good option as Bill points out if you're interested in a more radical change.

Cheers,
Julian
jasher is offline  
Sep 25th, 2006, 10:34 AM
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thanks Julian and Bill. I'm pretty sure I'm going to keep with what I have. I think I was over-thinking the matter. Neither my fiance and I are experienced safari-goers. All we want is to get the experience, see some animals (especially elephants, she loves 'em), and stay in a nice place with good service. From all reports, we should get at least that.

Thanks again for your help!
dansac is offline  
Sep 25th, 2006, 02:42 PM
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Dan: I am sure you are going to get all those desires filled and then some! Definitely no need to overthink it, just enjoy what you have coming because it will be spectacular.
PredatorBiologist is offline  
Sep 25th, 2006, 03:08 PM
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Hi Dan,

Sounds like you'll have a great trip no matter which option you go for. Sandibe is a lovely camp, and CCA really does pull out all the stops for honeymooners.

Cheers,
Julian
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Sep 25th, 2006, 05:50 PM
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Hi Dan,

I was at Sandibe in July of this year, a trip report and photos will be here somewhere. The camp and staff were very nice, but I was disappointed by the gameviewing. But I think that was probably just me as I think I tend to have very high standards, and as you say being 1st timers, you are more easily pleased I guess. Certainly doing Botswana first and then Sabi Sands last, I should imagine you are saving the best til last. I am a Sabi Sands fan, though have not stayed at Dulini. I have stayed at a few places and by far my favourite is MalaMala, but I am gameviewing obsessed - if I could I would do it 24 hours straight!

Kind regards,
Kaye
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Sep 25th, 2006, 08:25 PM
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santharamhari
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Hi Kaye,

Gameviewing wise, Dulini and Ulusaba should be identical (they traverse the same areas). I think i may have read somewhere that you hv been to Ulusaba on a prior visit to the SSGR....

Hari
 

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