Trip Extension

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Mar 10th, 2006, 04:18 AM
  #1
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Trip Extension

Dear Africa Fodorites,
I'm confirmed for a 10 day mobile tent safari in Botswana for this Aug. We will be starting in Maun and ending in Kasane. We would like to extend our trip by a few days, but it has to be before and not after the mobile camping. Our safari specialist came up with one extension to Pom Pom Camp and the other to Mano A Kwena. My 10 day mobile trip is $2700. The extensions are each 1200-1500 for 3 days. My research on other threads leads me to believe that neither of these places has the best in game viewing. I am leaning towards not spending that much just for the sake of 3 extra days in Africa this year. If I don't go too far into debt this year maybe I can afford to go next year! And next year I want to go to Mashatu and Zambia. Or maybe I'll do Rwanda again-I'm not getting any younger! And I don't think I can get to the gorillas if I'm in a walker! I was hoping to add Mashatu or Lower Zambezi as the trip extension this year, but our agent said the connections and travel would end up being expensive, time consuming and just generally not a wise choice since we would be going in and out of Maun instead of Kasane.
Anyone out there have any ideas? Should I be satisfied with my 10 days this year and come home knowing I can start planning my next trip? Or is Pom Pom or Mano A Kwena worth going into debt for?
I appreciate any ideas you wise folks have!
Lily
(Are people as crazy about other places in the world as we are about Africa?)

Lily
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Mar 10th, 2006, 04:25 PM
  #2
 
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First, would you care to share the 10-day itinerary and operator? 10 days for $2700 is a very good deal! And you are going prime time, making the price more impressive.

What are your dates of travel because we could be in Joburg or Maun at the same time, as I'll be in Botswana in August too.

Pom Pom used to be pretty good for game but I think that reputation was earned before it was owned by Wilderness, who has since sold it to someone else. About 8 years ago I talked with an agent about Pom Pom who said he had clients who were part of the DOW chemical family and had so much money they could go anywhere. He said year after year they chose Pom Pom. Never heard of the other camp.

Just saw your specific question on going into debt for Pom Pom or Mano. My answer is not to go in debt, but Iím conservative with money.

If you hold off a year and do Mashatu next year, meaning 2007 and you go in June, maybe weíll cross paths there! Mashatu seems to be quite a bargain. Iíve heard there are numerous leopards there that you could whisper to. (I remember your day job.) Lower Zambezi and Mashatu would make a nice combination. Iím planning on combing Mashatu with my first South Africa trip in 2007.

As for Rwanda--there is something to be said for returning while you are able as opposed to putting that off too long.

To comment on your last question about the strong attraction of this continent, it sure grabbed me. It does seem to have a pull that other places, lovely as they may be, do not. Iíve read that 40% of all Africa travel is repeat. That stat says a lot.

I think I would stick with the 10-day trip, and work on the next outing. To add a personal insight, my last trip was 12 nights on safari (turned out to be 11 thanks to Air Botswana) and that was about a week shorter than my average trip. By the time I got home, I felt I had received my Africa fix that would hold me for another year. So it didnít require a longer trip after all. I still think more days is always better than less, but to have that ďI experienced Africa againĒ feeling, 10 days will likely do it!

Have a great safari.

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Mar 11th, 2006, 02:03 AM
  #3
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Hello Atravellyn,
Our 10 day trip is a mobile tented safari with Game Trails. The $2700 doesn't include actually getting to Africa so I'll be spending another $2,000 or so on that,but still....10 days for $2700 is a real deal! We made it clear to our agent that all we care about is wildlife, a comfortable bed, wildlife, a convenient bathroom, wildlife, wildlife, wildlife.
We are scheduled to leave Maun on Aug 21.
I can't tell you how glad I am to have found this site. I finally found other people who are as crazy about Africa as I am. My family thinks I'm nutty and so do people at work(and they're all animal lovers!)
The only reason I got internet access was so I could see the National Geographic Web Cam at Pete's Pond. Once that went off in Dec I never really did much with the computer till I found this site.
Thanks for your input. I will be sure to share it with my travelling companion.
Lily
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Mar 11th, 2006, 03:24 AM
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Hi Lily,

Glad to see you were able to get your trip worked out. I've also heard some interesting stuff about Mashatu and the leopard research there, so maybe we'll all meet up there next year!

Cheers,
Julian
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Mar 11th, 2006, 05:38 AM
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Lillipets,

If some of your animal loving coworkers ever went to Africa, they'd probably share your enthusiasm for it.

We won't be crossing paths in Botswana this time since I'll be leaving the day you are arriving.

I'm going to check out Game Trails website and will be interested in your feedback on that camping trip.
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Mar 11th, 2006, 06:04 AM
  #6
bat
 
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Lily:
I am going to check it out also. That is very helpful information that it is possible to go to Botswana for that price. Thanks.
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Mar 11th, 2006, 06:12 AM
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Lillipets, I went with Game Trails in Oct05 and had a wonderful time. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. We did spend 2 nights at Meno A Kwena Lodge (I assume it's the same one you are asking about) and we didn't see much game. I have no interest in returning there. Can you add days to your camping safari? I would have liked more time in Savuti.

I was at Mashatu Tent Camp for 2 nights in 2003 and would like to go again. I loved the pit hide behind the camp. Sounds like 2007 will be the year to go!

atravelynn, from comments I heard about Air Botswana while waiting in the airport there, I think they are "the only airline in town and they act like it"!
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Mar 11th, 2006, 06:20 AM
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Is it the Northern Explorer itinerary?
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Mar 11th, 2006, 07:16 AM
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I would agree not to go into dept.Our operator said we would see the same game on our safari and more.We are going in Aug on a 14 day from livingstone to chobe,savuti,moremi and round to tsodillo hills and the caprivi back to livingstone.
Our operator said we would save a lot on the flights to liv instead of maun.The safari is costing us $3100 so its seems that the trips are not so expensive this year.
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Mar 11th, 2006, 08:19 AM
  #10
dlo
 
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Well i would probably go with the 10 days and try to get to Rwanda next year.I ended up going into debt but this was because of 2 floods last year and a massive vet bill a week before we left.Because of that i probably can't return untill 2008 but it was worth it.
There are too many places to see and none of us are getting any younger!
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Mar 11th, 2006, 12:06 PM
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Kitso,

Are you doing a mobile? With what company?
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Mar 11th, 2006, 07:55 PM
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Yes we are doing a mobile.
Its with dumelabotswana and with 4x4 land rovers open vehicle.They call it overland tented safari.
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Mar 23rd, 2006, 03:56 AM
  #13
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Thanks to all Fodorites!
I have had computer problems so I couldn't get back to post a reply. Thank you so much for your input. I'm practically yelling at my computer screen as I read about everyone's comments about purring cheetahs, Maine Coon cats, cats with skin allergies, Rwanda and gorillas, etc and I my computer keeps telling me things about my "cookies!" The only cookies I am familiar with have chocolate chips, so I called a professional(since my 14 yr old son couldn't figure it out either) and he was stumped! Anyway, I have a new "browser" and "all is right with the world."
We are going to skip the trip extension and just go with the 10 day mobile tent safari in Botswana. And now I am beginning to think about 2007-maybe Mashatu and Lower Zambezi??? My friend is thinking Selous/Ruaha so who knows where we'll end up! All I know is "life's too short" and I am determined to see all I can while I can. And of course, I still have a return trip to Rwanda to fit in!
Thanks again!
Lily(the cat whisperer)
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