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Trip Report (with pics and videos) from RSA, Botswana, Vic Falls and Rwanda

Trip Report (with pics and videos) from RSA, Botswana, Vic Falls and Rwanda

Old Nov 20th, 2007, 12:45 AM
  #1  
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Trip Report (with pics and videos) from RSA, Botswana, Vic Falls and Rwanda

http://www.justinandcrystal.com/Africa/

Highlights are difficult to narrow down, because it was all new to us and it was all great, but there are a couple that stand out.

While many on this board had visited Selinda, Chitabe, and Mombo, not many had visited Xigera, the other camp we went to. We "threw it in" because water activities were not available at the other camps. Without a doubt, the power boat trip was the highlight of the trip for everyone. While getting zipped around on a motorboat like something out of a James Bond movie, we were charged by a hippo, saw a newborn (and I mean NEWBORN) Baby Lechwe, saw a water buffalo scamper across the channel right behind our boat after hiding for 15 minutes while we watched the baby lechwe, saw more birds and plains animals than we've ever seen in our life up to that day, saw a dozen elephants grazing in the water not 50 feet from us, and generally saw so many things at once it was like information overload. Definitely one of the top 10 days of our life - period.

Additionally, we had one morning game drive at Selinda where we saw over 1000 buffalo, plus a pack of Wild Dogs (our first sighting).

We had an elephant at Chitabe walk right up to the vehicle, to the point the photos look wall-eyed.

And then there was the gorilla assault in Rwanda.

So enjoy the travel diary, and let us know any questions, tips, suggestions you might have.
mistadobalina is offline  
Old Nov 20th, 2007, 04:58 AM
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Hi!

Wow, thanks for the trip report! It's incredible! I'm amazed you managed to fit Rwanda in along with Botswana and South Africa. Who was your agent?

Moira
MoiraS is offline  
Old Nov 20th, 2007, 05:00 AM
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These are great..thanks! Just curious as to who planned the trip for you...(??)
ekscrunchy is offline  
Old Nov 20th, 2007, 09:37 AM
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We planned the trip ourselves, after extensive research in books and on this and other websites. We put an itinerary together and then solicited several travel agents.

We ended up going with Timeless Africa, because of both price and the fact that our agent, Julian, was very knowledgeable about the camps we wanted to go to. He recommended specific tents to stay in and guides to go with, and also re-arranged our order of camps (we were going to go Chitabe, Xigera, Mombo, Selinda, to minimize flying time).

When we first planned this, there was a flight direct from JNB to KGL that would have made doing Rwanda much easier, but alas South African Airways changed their schedule around and we had to do our trip through Nairobi.

In the end, though, you tend to forget the travel time and just remember the animals and the scenery.
mistadobalina is offline  
Old Nov 20th, 2007, 10:23 AM
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Excellent photos and video!
waynehazle is offline  
Old Nov 20th, 2007, 10:40 AM
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What a gorilla encounter-it didn't even sound like he was frightened! Great pics.
moremiles is offline  
Old Nov 20th, 2007, 11:15 AM
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WHEW!!...What a fantastic trip & trip report! Thanks for sharing.
jbella is offline  
Old Nov 20th, 2007, 12:33 PM
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oh i really like this set up! Im a couple of days in, and while the animals and everything are great, im curious about Hans Ice Cream. My boyfriend lives really close to there and I have always been curious about taht place! So, whats good there??
jenbertoni is offline  
Old Nov 20th, 2007, 12:58 PM
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Jen,

The Chocolate Raspberry ice cream there is fantastic. I usually get the soup/sandwich combo with split pea & ham soup and grilled cheese and ham sandwich. Then I get a pint of the ice cream for dessert. (hey, it was going to be a long flight)
mistadobalina is offline  
Old Nov 20th, 2007, 02:49 PM
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UPDATE - The videos should work much better now than earlier today. I updated the Media Player object to show status (so you don't just see a black screen), and also made the files much smaller so that they don't take so long to load.

Glad you all like so far.
mistadobalina is offline  
Old Nov 20th, 2007, 03:13 PM
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Thanks for posting this report -- not only is the content (and photos) great, but its a very reader-friendly format.

I have two hours to spend in the Delta loung at JFK (on my way to Europe) and I'm looking forward to reading your report.

Thanks for sharing, and taking the time to put this together. Its one of the nicest trip reports I have seen.

Michael
thit_cho is offline  
Old Nov 20th, 2007, 06:35 PM
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Justin and crystal,

Thanks for your trip report and some very nice pictures from your trip. I loved the ones of the female cheetah at Selinda. She is a great hunter and she loves the Lebala/Selinda border. That thick tuft of hair on her neck is the giveaway. I had the privelage of spending almost four whole days watching her in August last year.

Rgds,
Hari
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Old Nov 20th, 2007, 07:40 PM
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I am up to the first few days in Selinda so I saw your wild and not so wild dogs. Great pictures.
atravelynn is offline  
Old Nov 21st, 2007, 10:30 AM
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Thanks for such an incredible report. I was feeling a bit homesick for Botswana and stopped by to see who had been there recently. Came upon your report and now I feel I have just been. Selinda was so very different than when we were there in March 2004. No animals at all then (rainy season and tall grass)except for emaciated lions. Wow, now I would like to go back. We loved the spillway nearby and the setting around the camp. BB must have married his nurse girlfriend by now. Thanks again. Liz
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Old Nov 21st, 2007, 03:11 PM
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Hi Justin and Crystal,
Just started reading day one of your fabulous looking trip. Can't wait to get into the details and photos. BTW, I used to live near Bristol & MacArthur and grew up in Costa Mesa. South Coast Plaza was my 2nd home Now in Hermosa Beach, what a small world.

The layout of your trip report is fantastic. You have obviously put in alot of time effort and I am looking forward to savouring it over the next few days. Thanks for sharing with us &lt
CarlaM is offline  
Old Nov 21st, 2007, 05:18 PM
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wow mista!! that trip report is one of the best I have ever come across, thanks so much for posrting it! I am enjoying every installment!

How did you plan your trip? Did you organize everything on your own or with a travel agent? You don't have to answer if you don't want to, but I was just curious to know what the budget or bottom line was for the trip as I would love to one day take a trip similar to yours.

Thanks again, beautiful shots and a fantastic report! I can't wait to watch the videos when I get home, my computer at work has no sound!!

Layla
aucho53 is offline  
Old Nov 21st, 2007, 05:44 PM
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oops should've read previous posts a little more carefully concerning the travel agent lol....but would still like to get an idea of price if you're willing to share. If not I totally understand

layla
aucho53 is offline  
Old Nov 21st, 2007, 08:04 PM
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More dogs at Chitabe?!? And you have good pictures of both packs. Nice photos of the kudu horns, giraffe faces and sundowners. Lots of elephants. You even caught the genet at night! Then I saw you also got the African Wild Cat at night. It is almost a little disappointing that they look so domestic because they are not easy to see. I love the impala pictures and the warthog interaction.

Next time itís Xigera.
atravelynn is offline  
Old Nov 21st, 2007, 10:44 PM
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Very good report. I was at Xigera some years ago, and it looks like you experienced the best of that place.

Bit of a worry though...'zipping around tight corners in shallow water.' I would have thought minimum disturbance is the order of the day...as it was during my trip. I hope it's just your enthusiasm bubbling over, and not a sign of change for the worse.

John
afrigalah is offline  
Old Nov 22nd, 2007, 09:02 AM
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A happy Thanksgiving to all!

This is an incredible trip report- the production is just superb and you are to be congratulated. For those on a Mac, install flip4mac (free) to see the videos.

May I ask how you put this webpage together? I would like to learn to do a similar effort!!

Also, if you don't mind could you give me a sense of the total cost of your trip per person excluding international airfare. We were in South Africa this summer and one day I would like to go to Botswana and Rwanda as well.

Again, congratulations on a wonderful trip report.
AKR1 is offline  

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