Trip Report--Victoria Falls, Botswana, Cape Town

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Aug 20th, 2004, 06:29 AM
  #1
NB
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Trip Report--Victoria Falls, Botswana, Cape Town

Hello
I used these boards a little bit before my trip so just wanted to add a little to the info bank! We just got back a few hours ago, so our trip was from Aug 5-20

Victoria Falls Safari Lodge (2 nights). We LOVED it here. The view of the watering hole with a hundred buffalo walking in a line to drink as the sun was setting was amazing. For first time safari-ers we got a thrill pulling up and seeing warthogs munching away at the front lawn. Monkies ran around (and into our room to steal sugar packets!) and we even saw a crocodile by the hole. Good place to start when you are itching to see some game but don't want to be spoiled. We loved the elephant ride and the exciting microlight flight over the falls. Made the mistake of walking to town from the falls--the street hawkers were agressive and very unsettling.

Duma Tau (2 nights). The highlight of the trip. We had Julius as our guide and we loved his personality. Each drive was totally different and jammed packed with sighting. First night, down by the water. Families of baboon hanging out with kudu, monitor lizard, elephants, giraffe, sundowners by a lagoon filled with 15 hippos all watching us. It was a phenomenal first trip. Spotted a leopard with the spotlight on our way home and after dinner, Julius walked us back to our tent and we heard a rustling. it was the leopard! Our first dinner was traditional night and we loved the singing and food--felt very homey and low-key, not touristy.
Other highlights of Duma Tau included a morning with two female lions and their frolicking cubs, two males lying in the sun and fianlly getting up, walking by our car to go to shade. The Wild Dog den where the mother fed her 16 squealing pups by regurgitating. The pups were curious about the car and would prance right up to us, looking at us with their cute eyes. The same night we saw the pups Julius heard they had cheetas on the other side so we raced over to see the three brother cheetas lying in the glow of the perfect sunset, walking over to a tree and scratching it and spraying it, and walking into the sunset like something out of National Geographic. Amazing! Also got very close to hyenas, two bat-eared foxes on a nest, jackyls, etc. They had it all!
We like the food and rooms very much, the the two younger women staff were great, radioing around to get me extra film at my next camp, and giving me electrolyte pills when I got sick from too much sun on the boat trip.

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Aug 20th, 2004, 06:37 AM
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NB
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Xigera Mokoro Trail (2 nights) A little mokoring goes a long way (got tired of grass whapping us in the face). But we loved camping out on the island and going on a walk with our guide Tico. We learned a lot about tracking, the plants, and seeing game when you are on foot is so exciting. Very luxurious--when our canoe pulled up they had already set everything up including a full bar. We had great meals at a table and sat around the campfire after.

Chitabe Trails (2 nights). The lions roared so much the first night I couldn't sleep, and I was sure they were going to eat us. We liked this rustic camp, the outdoor showers, the staff was the nicest yet. But we didn't see much in the way of animals. The highlights were a big group of elephants bathing--we hadn't seen that many before and it was fun to see them drink. Also we saw three male lions chasing a visitor male lion. It was only for about one minute, but they were cery close to our car and it was exciting! We liked the camp but I thought there would be a lot more game.

De Waterkant House, Cape Town (4 nights). We had terrible weather which made me like Cape Town in general much less. The bed in our room was a small double and after all the jostling around of being on safari, I wished I had booked more comfortable lodgings. But it was pretty cheap and we got to stay in a neighborhood most people don't even go to (we hated what we saw at the Waterfront--no personality!) Highlights were tea at Mount Nelson, a beautiful sunny day on top of Table Mountain, and a whale watching trip wich lots of breeching whales--one right next to our boat! amazing.

That's all! It was so much fun.
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Aug 20th, 2004, 06:42 AM
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Wonderful report, thanks for coming back and sharing! Sounds like Duma Tau was something REALLY special, not that the rest wasn't!
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Aug 20th, 2004, 06:48 AM
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NB,

Great report, thanks for sharing with us. You got to see some amazing sights for a first timer.

Bet it won'te be your last time!
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Aug 20th, 2004, 06:50 AM
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Thanks for great report. Re Chitabe Trails -- it just goes to show that it all comes down to timing. I visited Chitabe in August 2001 and we had great game sighting, including lots of wild dog, leopard, and lion.
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Aug 20th, 2004, 06:51 AM
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Welcome home.

The Waterfront is not for everybody, and I, also, prefer to be a safe distance away from it.

If you have any pictures from Botswana, we would love to see them posted on a site like www.ofoto.com

Nice to see a rare report on the VF Safari Lodge.

Thanks.
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Aug 20th, 2004, 08:59 AM
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Were all these places in South Africa? I am planning a safari next year and wondered if the time of the year you went would be good. Do you know what the weather is in Sept-Oct?
Also, were you with a group or by yourselves?
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Aug 20th, 2004, 09:27 AM
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Hi NB-- glad you enjoyed your trip, and I'm amazed that you had the energy upon return to immediately post an update!

Glad to hear that Duma Tau delivered big time for you...sorry Chitabe Trails did not. But the animals will do what they want, and not what we want them too...by experiences at these two camps were exactly the opposite! Chitabe Trails crawling with diversity and anazing sightings...DumaTau very very quiet and underwhelming. It's safari roulette!!
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Aug 20th, 2004, 09:30 AM
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NB: Thanks for the trip report! I'm very glad you loved the Vic Falls Safari Lodge since I had recommended it to you when you inquired about it a while back.

Also, glad you enjoyed Duma Tau so much. Hope you have some great pics of the wild dog pups and that you share them with all of us.
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