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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 22nd, 2007, 09:42 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 294
Here are some answers to some of the inquiries posted - hope I caught everything.

We chose our camps based on the animals we wanted to see. At the top of the list were wild dogs, leopards, cheetahs, and hippos. The hippos were easy - we figured we'd see them most everywhere. We had no idea we'd see so many at Selinda and Xigera however. The area in Selinda seemed to be perfect for dogs and cheetahs, so we picked that. Chitabe was also renowned for dogs. Mombo was pretty much renowned for everything, but it was so costly we couldn't really justify staying more than two nights. I will say it is tough trying to nail things down, however, because when we booked our trip was over a year away, and as luck would have it the dogs denned away from Selinda and Chitabe this year. Fortunately, we still saw the Selinda/Duma Tau pack, and fortunately the Chitabe dogs returned to the concession less than a week before we got there.

So that was nice.

I think BB is married now, Liz - that sounds correct from what he was telling us. I'm sure someone else on the board can confirm.

John, I think the "zipping around" was more a function of the time of year. Thompson and Matt told us that they probably would not even be doing the boat trecks in October and November, as the receding delta would make some of the areas impassible. Because it was so low when we went, they had to speed up the boat in many places so that we could hydroplane across the lowest spots where Matt had to pull the engine out of the water. My guess - and it is just a guess - is that during high water months the boat ride is much slower.

As for the cost, I know the cost only including the international airfare (LAX to LHR, and LHR to CPT/NBO), so deduct accordingly. With airfare, I think it was slightly less than $1000/pp/pn. I'm sure Botswana and Rwanda (because of the permits) were the most costly, but I could be wrong.

If I were suggesting this trip (or one very close) to one of you, and wanted to save costs, I would suggest the following three suggestions:

1) staying at a much less expensive place in Cape Town. As you may have noted, we spent barely any time in the hotel, or even Cape Town itself for that matter. We easily could have stayed in a small place anywhere around the Cape Peninsula, or even the Wine Country, with where we went for our four full days.

2) stay somewhere besides the Royal Livingstone. Nothing was wrong with the hotel, but since we spent hardly any time there, paying extra for the rooms there was unnecessary. The Zambezi Sun would have been just fine, and I'm sure there are numerous other options as well.

3) skip Mombo. I know, I know, its heresy on this board. It's not that we didn't enjoy it - we very much did. But it's hard, looking back, to justify the cost when it was an incremental gain, if any, from the other camps we stayed at, which were barely half as much. Perhaps in the low season, Mombo has animals that others don't, but at least when we went, while Mombo had more animals, it was not enough to justify paying almost double. I would have stayed at least one extra night at Xigera (which was a gorgeous camp in its own right), and probably one extra night at Selinda and done a walking safari.
mistadobalina is offline  
Old Nov 23rd, 2007, 09:41 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 43
Incredible trip! Incredible sightings! Incredible photos and report! Thank you.
mcpats is offline  
Old Nov 24th, 2007, 09:48 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440

I am glad you clarified the zipping around on the water. I was a bit concerned about that too, thinking jetskis might be next.

I was going to ask you what you clarified in point #3. Thanks for including those comments.

Forgot to mention I enjoyed the Africa Hoopoe, my favorite African bird.
atravelynn is offline  
Old Nov 26th, 2007, 10:28 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,501
Yes, BB is married -- I had the pleasure of meeting his wife Chris during my visit to Motswiri and Selinda last year. She had just finished her degree in interior design and was planning to set up her own business -- more power to her!

jasher is offline  
Old Nov 27th, 2007, 08:41 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Good for BB!
atravelynn is offline  
Old Nov 27th, 2007, 08:32 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 294
I should mention, before I forget, that we took three cameras (Canon S2, Canon S3, and Canon A710), and that we changed the batteries in each a grand total of ONCE.

We had put in Energizer Lithium AAs before we left (don't remember exactly when for each camera), and did not have to change them until around Mombo or so. The second set of batteries are still in the cameras.
mistadobalina is offline  
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