Trip Report SA, Botts,Zambia

Old Aug 27th, 2008, 09:43 AM
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Trip Report SA, Botts,Zambia

I've never done a trip report before but I thought I might write some of the highs and lows for you all to review.
First, the trip was fantastic! We saw every animal expected and unexpected except wild dogs. We were even fortunate enought to see a Black rhino at Phinda!
Now, in order of our trip:

We stayed at the Zambezi Sun at Vic. Falls. The location was great for walking to the Falls and as we walked to the Royal Livingston, we saw giraffe and zebra--a good start.

Two nights at Chobe Safari lodge (CSL)in Botts. The elephants were outstanding.
Wild Horizons did the transfers and were very good however in Botts, they handed over to Bushtrackers and they were barely adequate. Unfortunately CSL no longer does their own game drives but instead uses Bushtracker. Again, the same mediocre service.
The Sunset Cruise at CSL was wonderful. Accomodations & food were fine.

Next two nights were at Camp Okavango in the Delta. The camp was the best. The Delta was very interesting. The problem here was that the island that the camp is located on is very small and the game viewing was limited after boating to another island for a walk. If you're after the "feeling" of a safari camp and want to relax, I would recommend this camp above the others we stayed at. Good staff, food @ a resident Hippo at night. Small enough to have good conversations and strike up friendships.

On to the Drackenburg Mnts. for 2 nights. We stayed at Moorcroft Manor in Hinesville. Very upscale and so many forks at the place settings that after the first 2 or 3 I didn't know which ones to use. Pampered living and the softest beds of our trip.
We took the 4x4 trip up Sani pass to Lesoto and it was a fun day.

3 nights at Phinda. The best for game viewing. The accomodations were Posh but the food was only so-so. All Americans when we were there and we like to mix it up but it was Ok. We took a village tour and loved visiting the Creche and clinic.
This is also where we ran into Jgoebel (poster on this forum) and his lovely family.

Last 2 nights at Djuma Bush Camp at Sabi Sands. We were supposed to stay 3 but because of missed flights, we ended up only doing 2. This was fine with us as the camp was our least favorite stay. the game viewing was good but the Rangers--using the term loosely--would, in my opinion, harrass the lepoards and eles by chasing them through the bush, heading them off at the pass and viewing "too long". The camp has minimal staff and the food wasn't very good. If you didn't eat it for dinner---you saw it again at lunch.
So, the highs:
The helicopter ride over the Falls. The cheeta & Black Rhino viewing at Phinda.
Lows: Well never mind, everyone has those.
Thanks to everyone on the board who helped with our planning.
If any one wants anymore details on the places we stayed, I'd be glad to provide my thought.
jbella is offline  
Old Aug 27th, 2008, 05:44 PM
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How nice you ran into a fodorite. Your highs exceeded your lows if you describe it as fantastic. Thanks for doing your first report.
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Old Aug 28th, 2008, 06:21 AM
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I hope my original post didn't sound too negative. It's just that I couldn't think of all the different adjectives to use without repeating myself. We did have a FANTASTIC time!
Since most of the game drives were SUPER, I didn't comment on them but only noted things I thought others might not have mentioned before regarding the camps.
To see HERDS of Cape Buffalo, Zebra, Giraffe and elephants. Rhinos just hanging out---AMAZING!
The multitude of various birds was a surprise to us as I thought we'd not see too many being Winter. AWESOME!

I guess I feel that it's been said before but maybe I should ditto the words. "THIS STARTED OUT AS A TRIP OF A LIFETIME AND NOW WE'RE PLANNING FOR WHEN WE CAN RETURN."

There are things & places we'll do differently next time but that's just part of traveling.

In short, AFRICA IS AWESOME (See, I did run out of adjectives.
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Old Aug 28th, 2008, 08:27 AM
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joyce - we really enjoyed hanging out with you and your husband in the boma that evening!!!

Interesting that it was all American guests our last night at Phinda..the first several days we met people from all over, including a couple from Japan that we shared our vehicle with.

We got to see the wild dogs with pups at Kirkman's; sorry you didn't come across any.

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Old Sep 4th, 2008, 06:35 AM
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Did you fly into Victoria Falls (Zim) as originally planned? If so, what was it like going through passport control?
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Old Sep 5th, 2008, 06:02 AM
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We did fly into Vic Falls airport. We were only in Zimbabwe long enough to go through immigration and then to transfer by road to Zambia.

I don't know if conditions are worse then they have been since this was our first time. It was a pretty cheerless place with only one florecent bulb working and it took a very very long time to process one flight worth of people.

There were no problems with our luggage or meeting our Wild Horizons driver.

I noticed that the only 2 times you've posted have been on my posts about Zim. Are you going to be traveling there?
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Old Sep 6th, 2008, 04:02 PM
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If you are going again, that's a good sign.
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