seating in Kwando vehicles

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Sep 23rd, 2005, 10:24 AM
  #1
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seating in Kwando vehicles

I've been reading about bucket type seats in Kwando vehicles and having to sit 3 across in a seat, an undesirable alternative.

But isn't 3 across an option in most other vehicles, yet it almost never occurs? The only 3 in a row I've seen are when the 3 people are traveling together. I've never been put with 2 others in the same seat in Botswana or elsewhere as far as I can recall.

Does Kwando usually fill up the whole row of 3? Or is it the comfort of the seats that has come under criticism?

Thanks.

atravelynn is offline  
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Sep 23rd, 2005, 10:33 AM
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Hi Lynn,

I've never been to Kwando, but the WS vehicles I've been in have had bucket seats (which are, IMO, more comfortable than the bench seats on many older vehicles -- less sliding around, which is important when dealing with the sandy terrain in the Delta).

In my experience, 3 across is very rare, at least in Southern Africa -- like you, the only times I've seen it is with people who are travelling together (often families with kids will stick the kid in the middle). Another reason to avoid sharing a vehicle with kids...

Cheers,
Julian
jasher is offline  
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Sep 23rd, 2005, 03:55 PM
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You've seen my trip report post about this (it included Kwando), but others may not have. I think 3-across bench seating has been the norm in every safari vehicle I've been in, but we've never had to sit three abreast even when camps are full. Like you, I've seen others 3-across, but it has been the exception rather than the rule on my safaris.

Bench seats may be less comfortable than buckets for many people, but for me they are ideal because they provide much more flexibility...manoeuvring the body with camera gear (sliding, twisting & turning, standing on the seat when it is occasionally allowed, slipping on to the floor for a lower position, and swapping places) is so much easier with a bench seat (anybody remember the advantages of car bench seats at the drive-in cinema? )

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afrigalah is offline  
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Sep 24th, 2005, 02:21 AM
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I agree about the photographic advantages of bench seats -- but after two weeks on the sands of the Delta, my back *really* appreciated the bucket seats. I find that moving around on the bucket seats is only minimally more difficult than the bench seats as long as there's adequate leg space for you to crouch down in, etc.

Cheers,
Julian
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Sep 24th, 2005, 03:07 AM
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kwando prides itself on every guest having a window seat.
mkhonzo is offline  
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Sep 24th, 2005, 03:24 AM
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Mkhonzo,

Many operators (WS, CCA) pride themselves in giving everyone a window seat, but they can't prevent people from choosing to sit 3 to a row (I saw one vehicle at Duma Tau where there were three people in the row immediately behind the driver and no one in the last two rows).

Cheers,
Julian
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Sep 24th, 2005, 06:37 AM
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as you noted. people chose to sit three abreast.
Kwando's vehicle set up allows two per row, unless otherwise requested that is how you'll go safari.
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Sep 24th, 2005, 12:36 PM
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I saw three vehicles at Kwando that had the maximum six people last year, 2 rows of three. My understanding is that they guarantee no more than six to a vehicle, which is fine until you realize there are six seats. I'd like the guarantee more, if there were 8 or 9 seats.
napamatt is offline  
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Sep 24th, 2005, 03:29 PM
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Hi Matt,

Do Kwando's vehicles only have two rows of seats? All the vehicles I've been in have 3. Or was the back row empty?

Cheers,
Julian
jasher is offline  
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Sep 24th, 2005, 04:07 PM
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The only major seating difference I remember in Kwando's vehicles was the tracker's single seat on the very front end, which the tracker wisely vacated when lions etc were sighted or thought to be close Otherwise, the seating was the same as Selinda's...two rows behind the driver and front passenger. Maybe they have one or two vehicles with three rows; if so, I didn't see them.
afrigalah is offline  
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Sep 24th, 2005, 06:21 PM
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I've checked Kwando's website. Their blurb, along with photos, shows that they have vehicles only with two rows of three. And, it shows how memory can let you down when you're having fun and caring only about how good the wildlife viewing and camera angles are: the seats are buckets, though fairly flat ones. It didn't even register with me at the time! I still prefer benches for photographic work because the quicker you can get into the optimum position, the better. A split second can be important. And posture certainly is, to minimise camera shake, even with small point 'n' shoots. Most 'soft' images are caused by camera shake, not poor focussing.

If your back is going to trouble you, I guess you're physically better off in buckets while the vehicle's moving. The ideal might be a bench seat with moulded backs to give lumbar support to each individual.
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Sep 25th, 2005, 01:43 PM
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Julian

Seating config was two rows of three with seat next to driver. This was usually reserved for the tracker in case we were going fast, or there were Lions about. My other problems with the vehicles is the lack of a door or side to the vehicle on one side, while this makes access easier, it also left me hanging on to my stuff far more than normal and therefore made the trip much less relaxed. From memory Kwando Lagoon had three vehicles and six tents, so most of the time, four would be the rule in a vehicle. But if someone like us : - ) has just booked sole use and the camp is full, then someone else is riding at 100%. This is a concession where I would definitely get sole use.
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Sep 25th, 2005, 02:53 PM
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Hi Matt,

Thanks for the info. This discussion had me doubting my memory, so I actually went back and checked my photos -- both Wilderness and CCA use vehicles with three rows of seats, plus the one next to the driver. I'll remember when I get to Kwando.

Cheers,
Julian
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Sep 25th, 2005, 03:47 PM
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napamatt,
Interesting how our vehicle preferences differ. I love the opening and try to sit next to it because of the advantages I think it offers. On our recent trip, I used it to get shots I would have missed otherwise. I have a medium camera bag on the floor, sometimes a tripod for landscapes, and also use the storage bins on the seat-backs and occasionally the middle seat next to me. There's still room to crouch on the floor if I need to. The only things right next to the opening are parts of me, blocking the way, so nothing has ever looked like falling out. I used to prefer sitting next to the driver (which Kwando's website says is definitely reserved for the tracker, but which is free for clients at Selinda), but not any more.
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