Two extra days: Out of Okavango?

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Jan 19th, 2006, 08:05 AM
  #1
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Two extra days: Out of Okavango?

Hello all:

As everyone knows, trips to Botswanna need to be booked so far in advance, that it leaves one with plenty of time to tinker!

With that in mind, I'm tinkering, and wonder if anyone has a thought about the following:

Were currently booked on a wonderful itinerary that includes:

3 nights singita
3 nights madikwe
3 nights mombo
2 nights jao
2 nights King's Pool

The whole trip was booked around Mombo avialability, and the only thing we can still play with is King's pool.

Does anyone think that, after the above, we may want to drop those two nights at KP and head for Capetown or possibly Jack's Camp (assuming avialability.) Is KP differnt enough from the Delta, or would it be more similar game viewing?

Its our first time in Botswanna, but not our first on Safari or in South Africa. Never been to Cape Town, though.

Thanks for any thoughts!
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Jan 19th, 2006, 08:49 AM
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johan_belgium
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Mike,

Before I can give you any advice, can you tell me when this trip is taking place?

And is it possible to extend your trip with a couple of days or not?

Greetings,

Johan
 
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Jan 19th, 2006, 08:54 AM
  #3
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Of course! How silly of me. This trip in in mid-august. Unfortunately, can't extend, we're pushing our vaca time to the limit.
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Jan 19th, 2006, 09:05 AM
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The environment around KP is certainly different to both the Mombo and Jao environments but not as drastically so as what you'll experience at Jack's Camp. Jack's Camp is not so much about the wildlife itself (though you'll be able to visit meerkats and brown hyenas which are habituated to human presence though still fully wild) but about the whole environment. You'll learn a lot about geology and anthropology as well as participating in fun activities such as quad biking (in the right season) and searching for 30,000 year old tools such as arrow heads. And you can also take a walk with local bush men who will teach you about how they set snares, which plants they use for what purposes and also share with you some of their cultural folklore. I loved it!
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Jan 19th, 2006, 09:12 AM
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Mike,

I won't go to Capetown for two days because the flight Maun-Capetown leaves at 16.00 and you'll probably be at your hotel at around 20.00. So you actually have only one full day at the Cape. Also that time of year, you normally don't have the best weather over there.

You probably gonna see lots of elephants around King's Pool (normally a lot more than around Jao and Mombo).
If you are lucky, you'll see wild dogs or the beautiful sable antelope over there. Your chances of seeing dogs are far less because of the huge lion population over there.

Jack's camp is nice but you won't see that many animals over there.

So my conclusion is that it's best to stay at King's pool, one of the noisiest camps (animal sounds) in Africa.

Greetings,

Johan
 
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Jan 19th, 2006, 09:13 AM
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Mike,

Your chances of seeing the dogs in Mombo are far less because of the lion population over there.

Greetings,

Johan
 
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Jan 19th, 2006, 09:17 AM
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Helpful! Thanks so much! I've been so intrigued by Jack's Camp, Kavey, and think the environment would be such a fascinating contrast...and, to my mind, learning in one way or another really is what the safari experience is all about.

At the same time, King's Pool does sound wonderful...we love elephants, and the opportunity to see large herds (we'll be their August!) is so exciting.

Decisions decisons!!!

Thanks for your insight...other opinions still very welcome.
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Jan 19th, 2006, 09:57 AM
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Jack's Camp IS a delight... but so too is the experience of seeing a pack of wild dogs - we stayed at Savuti which is not far from KP and the pack we saw is the same on KP guests see and it was fantastic! We didn't see many elephants because the 2004 floods were far higher than they usually are and therefore they hadn't receded as much as usual by our June visit and elephants weren't therefore yet resorting to the water spring infront of the camp!

Hard call!

Personally I'd probably drop Madikwe rather than either KP/Savuti or Jack's but I'm saying that having never visited so perhaps I'm being dreadfully unfair!!!
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Jan 19th, 2006, 10:07 AM
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Quite honestly, based on everything I've read on this forum and elsewhere, I'd drop Madikwe, too. The problem is availabilitis in the Delta wre so tight that it was quite complicated to plan -- those were the only times we could get Mombo and Jao during the same week.

Having said that, I really LOVE CCAfrica lodges -- the conservation ethos seems so sincere and the people are wonderful -- so I am sure Madikwe will be great.

Thank you again for your helpful insight!!
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Jan 19th, 2006, 10:37 AM
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I agree with Kavey, and would add that San Camp might be a good alternative to Jack's. Cape town is spectacular and I love it as a city. But I would choose either KP or Jack's over just a few days in Cape Town. I think CT deserves at least 4 or preferably 5 days. With flights so long & expensive, why not find a way to lengthen your trip. I know, I know, sometimes it is just not possible. But you would not be sorry! Remember that old line about "No one on their deathbed ever said "I wish I'd spent more time at the office."
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Jan 19th, 2006, 12:09 PM
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ddgattina, that's the adage I live by! That and the sister one: No one on their deathbed ever said "I wish I'd spent more time doing the housekeeping!"
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Jan 19th, 2006, 03:20 PM
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Amen!
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Jan 19th, 2006, 03:40 PM
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Mike,

I think you would be well served to also consider adding a couple nights at Simbambili. It will not be much of a step down in luxury from Singita, yet it will be half the price and allow you to see another part of the Sabi Sand without adding an extra flight. I had fantastic leopard viewing at Simbambili during my stay.
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Jan 19th, 2006, 04:04 PM
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If you traded Madikwe (where I've never been) for the Makagadikgadi Pans I'd suggest San Camp. It is smaller and less expensive than Jack's and has what I consider a better view of the pans. All of the activities are the same at Jack's and San. I was there last August and found it delightful.

To suggest giving up Linyanti in August would be hard for me to do.

If you can add days, then of course, I'd just suggest adding San and not giving up anything.

It is a wonderful itinerary.
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Jan 19th, 2006, 04:19 PM
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Speaking of CCAfrica, it is my understanding that Londolozi will soon no longer be a CCAfrica lodge. I'll give more information as it becomes available.
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Jan 19th, 2006, 05:32 PM
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We spent one night in the Makagadikgadi Pans. It was quite amazing and I would encourage anyone to include it in their trip if feasible. I imagine spending a couple of days there with the extras offered in the camps would be even more awesome. Here is a link to the pictures I took in the pans. Just indescribably beautiful. There are 4 or 5 in a row and you can click "next" to see them. http://www.pbase.com/cjw/image/51461094
The trip I went on was a private photo safari with a set itinerary. If we had been given the choice (mid-trip) to skip this part of the trip we probably all would have. I'm so glad we didn't have a choice. We would have missed a spectacular spot.

Here is an excerpt from my October trip report about the Pans:
None of us really kept up with the itinerary so we would quiz Nick every day or two about what we would be doing. When he got to describing the trip to the Makgadigadi Pans, we were all looking at each other thinking - we are going to drive how long (5-6 hours) to spend one night in a place where there is no game and get up and drive 5-6 hours to get back out of there? How dumb is that and who put this trip together?? Nick kind of got upset and said you come all the way to Africa and you don't want to see anything you can't take a picture of? So what the hell. Off to the pans we go. (Like we could really change the itinerary now.)

It is a long, long hot, hot dusty drive with intense sun. I was on the sunny side of the vehicle and used the kikoi to try to block the sun. Boy, we were so wrong in thinking the drive wasn't worth it. This place was so amazing. It's a dried up lake bed (2,000 years ago) that is nothing but crinkled white ground, 50 km by 100 km. During the rainy season it fills with water (3 or 4' deep) and then it evaporates away/soaks in and it's dry again. The drying ground leaves bubbly areas on the very top layer of soil (salt? I never did taste it) so it "crunches" when you walk where no one has already walked (pretty likely out there). It's hard to describe this place. (We passed Jack's Camp on our way out here so you don't have to bring a sleeping bag and sleep under the stars.)
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Jan 20th, 2006, 01:22 AM
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santharamhari
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Mike,

Sounds like your trip is based purely on the ultra-luxuary camps.......if i were you......i would drop Madikwe and incorporate Selinda or Lebala...if you are looking for the dogs........

As for Jao.......i know it's a water based camp....ultra-luxurious, but i'm not sure it is known for huge game densities......although they have a few lions. As for KP...it is known for a lot of elephants.....but you may not get the diversity of the Savute/linyanti/Kwando.

I do like Singita and Mombo on your trip......i'd probably spend all my money on Mombo than Singita.
 
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Jan 20th, 2006, 07:02 AM
  #18
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As always, everyone on this board is so generous with information and sugestions...THANK YOU!!

Much to consider, and, Rocco, Simbambili is a terriffic though. We were at Singita last and had a wonderful time, but weren't completely enthralled. We picked it this time simply because its familiar and an easy transfer to kick things off.

Well, lots to think, and let you know where we come out.

Thanks again!!
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Jan 20th, 2006, 07:19 AM
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We did a trip in somewhat similar regions, although in the reverse order (e.g., Mombo last).

I think King's Pool will be sufficiently different, esp in August where there should be very huge concentrations of elephants. I would definitely do that instead of Cape Town. While Jao will not have the concentration of animals, the experience at a water camp is beautiful and very different. Definitely worthwhile.

Judy
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Jan 20th, 2006, 08:05 AM
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Actually, yes I'd look at San Camp too. We made the booking for our June 2004 stay 18 months in advance - well before we found out about the upgrade to both camps.

Jack's Camp was upgraded first and connected to a permanent water supply - they found a suitable source and made a bore hole or something - and then the old Jack's Camp stuff was used to upgrade San Camp which now has larger tents than originally (from what I understand) plus running water too - though still drop loos, and these don't bother me.

I like the idea of it being smaller.

I have no idea if it's priced differently.
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