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Tough decision to make on Kwando vs Selinda - more info, please!

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Aug 10th, 2005, 10:28 AM
  #1
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Tough decision to make on Kwando vs Selinda - more info, please!

Hello,

I'm stuck in a bit of a dilemma. I want to maximise my chances of seeing wild dog on my return trip to Botswana in 2006, so I definitely planned on a visit to the Kwando/Selinda/Linyanti area. I had hoped to stay at Savuti, but it's already booked solid for June and July (!). My next choice was Duma Tau, but there's a wait list. King's Pool is too expensive, so I'm now looking at Kwando and Selinda.

I've read quite a few positive reviews of Kwando and the Wilderness camps in the Linyanti area on this board, but very little about Selinda/Zibalianja which are located nearby. I know Selinda/Zib has recently been sold to the Jouberts -- is it now being marketed through Wilderness?

How does the game-viewing (mid-June, hoping for wild dogs!) compare to the Kwando and Wilderness camps? When I was at Duma Tau in mid-June 2005, Selinda had wild dog denning on their concession, but we frequently saw their vehicles on the Wilderness concession (which happens quite often per the guides at Duma Tau, even though they're not supposed to do this). This makes me wonder if the Selinda concession isn't very productive, or if the guides tend to ignore the rules.

How does the accommodation compare at Kwando and Selinda? My understanding is that the Selinda camps are much simpler and more rustic than the Kwando camps, which are a bit more rustic than the Wilderness camps. How many 'paws' would Kwando and Selinda get?

If you've stayed at either place, I'd love to hear from you!

Cheers,
Julian
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Aug 10th, 2005, 11:52 AM
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Julian

It would be my understanding that the Selinda accomodations are quite rustic, but the dogs that den there like to hunt in the camp - that would be a strong point for me. I would go in mid July though for a chance to see the pups. The latest newsletter on the WS site said that the pack has 13 pups and they were first seen on July 12th. I do not know whether Selnda or Zibilianja is best, but there are a couple of newsletter posts on WS.
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Aug 10th, 2005, 12:43 PM
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bwanamitch
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Julian,

I've been in both, Linyanti and Selinda concessions in October 2003, and at this time I got a very different picture than you. It were always the Linyanti guides who drove into the neighboring concession (sometimes very far, as I experienced myself), and never the Selinda guides (who even didn't drive to a lion kill 200 metres beyond the border). And even worse, it were the Linyanti guides who always accused the Selinda guides of border violations, and I remember one case where they even accused someone who was on leave (as I later learned on the other side). It was quite interesting for me to learn about these ugly 'border war' on both sides. Are you sure that the Linyanti guides told you the exact location of the concession border?

Nevertheless, even if the good and bad guys have changed, at that time Selinda was far more interesting regarding game diversity and abundance.

Hopefully this 'border war' is now history where both concessions are under the same marketing umbrella.

I saw wild dogs in both the Kwando and Selinda concessions (relationships between Selinda and Kwando were very friendly at that time, and you could drive some distance into the other concession without hassles to see wild dogs).

I havn't been in the Kwando concession camps, but only in Kwando's Kwara Camp. I don't know if Lebala and Lagoon Camp are as rustic as Kwara Camp, but at that time Kwara was a little more rustic than Selinda Camp. And IMO Selinda Camp a little more rustic than Zibalianja.

Selinda Camp has just been upgraded, but nevertheless, I would always recommend a stay at Zibalianja. Maybe combined with a stay at Lebala/Lagoon.

Let's wait for the trip report of afrigalah - as far as I remember he is at Kwando and Selinda this month.

I don't know if you've already read Chris McIntyre's 'Bradt Botswana' guide. Highly recommended. If it comes to wildlife and accommodations in the different concessions, this book answers a lot of questions.

Mitch
 
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Aug 10th, 2005, 09:26 PM
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Lin
 
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I stayed at Selinda last summer (early August) before it was sold. The accommodations are far from the most rustic, very lovely thatched chalets and a great main lodge. And it was the first camp I visited with a wine cellar and list gt;. However we saw no dogs. As all of us dog-lovers know, they have such a large range and can be seen one week several days in a row and then they're gone. While at Savuti this year, we saw a whole pack of wild dogs running past camp at sunset, but we could never find them again although we tried. I thought the Selinda concession was really beautiful. It reminded me of Jurassic Park with so many giraffe lining the horizon. In front of camp is the river? channel? whatever - there were plenty of hippo making noise all night. We also had good cheetah sightings. Julian, you probably can't go wrong with any camp in the Linyanti area.
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Aug 11th, 2005, 04:24 AM
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Hello,

Thank you for your feedback -- I'm definitely interested in seeing what Afrigalah has to say. I've read Chris MacIntyre's book (and spoken with him), but first-hand feedback from Fodorites has been the best information source for me.

Mitch, it was interesting to read about how things differed when you were there in October 2003 -- maybe one concession is better in June, and the other is better in October. Hopefully, as you noted, the problem will get sorted now that both are under the same marketing umbrella.

The border was pointed out to me by the Linyanti guides, and we did frequently see Selinda's vehicles on 'our' side of the border, while the Linyanti guides explained that we could not see the dogs' den because it was on the Selinda concession and they didn't believe that trespassing was right (perhaps as a result of the previous problem...?) Anyhow, hopefully it will soon be water under the bridge.

Cheers,
Julian
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Oct 7th, 2005, 03:16 PM
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JULIAN,
WILD DOGS WERE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL ANIMALS I SAW. The intelligence of expression, the refinement of the head and the the breath taking colors and patterns in their natural habitat.....well, let me just say
"exquisite" could be an understatment. The randomness makes it both modern and timeless. If anything the colors renind me of rock paintings. OPPPS! GOT A LITTLE CARRIED AWAY THERE ;D

Early this Sept. at Chitabe Trails a pack of running wild dogs killed a duiker right in front of our "limo" OH MY !!! (And not a sound to be heard... it happened SO FAST the prey was splayed open before we saw it whole!) We caught our breath and followed the mom and a pal run off to feed a whole bunch of playful pups and stayed to watch the rest of the pack return, feed the youngsters some more and then if the had enough status have a snack themselves. But I'm sure the dogs that didn't eat will be getting everybody up to hunt again later in the day.

BTW the dogs were BEAUTIFUL.

It makes my heart race just to remember how absolutely exhilarating and unimaginable our trip was. I absolutely loved CT and Savuti. Can't imagine going to WS camps without including them.
marilyn
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Oct 7th, 2005, 04:17 PM
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Marilyn,

So let me ask you...what did you think of the wild dogs?

Is there some kind of international conspiracy that is preventing me from seeing wild dogs, while everyone else seems to see them? Please don't force me to go to Madikwe! I would much rather see them in there natural habitat in the Lower Zambezi or South Luangwa, preferably, but if not, then in Botswana.
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Oct 9th, 2005, 12:44 PM
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Rocco

Did you mean to suggest that only the natural habitat for Wild Dog is two areas of Zambia?

I assume you did not. Madikwe represents Dogs being given part of their original range back. If you look at a map of Dog population ranges circa 1980, it covers the greater portion of the continent.
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Oct 10th, 2005, 02:11 PM
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roccro,

well, it was a tough decision, but finally I had to choose the dogs over the hogs!
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Nov 4th, 2005, 10:43 PM
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Lin
 
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Hi Julian,

What did you eventually decide on your Kwando vs Selinda camp? When are you traveling?
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