Victoria Falls/Chobe - one venue or two?

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May 5th, 2005, 06:46 AM
  #1
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Victoria Falls/Chobe - one venue or two?

We're tweaking our itinerary for our upcoming travel to southern Africa (mid-late August), and debating on how best to spend time in the Victoria Falls/Chobe area. (Apparently this is not an uncommon question.)

We'll be arriving in Johannesburg from a long flight from Australia and are tentatively planning to overnight near the JNB airport then fly to Victoria Falls the next day, then spend several days (up to 5) in the Victoria Falls/Chobe area.

We hope not only to see the falls and spend some time on game drives etc. in Chobe NP, but also to have some jetlag recovery time before continuing on to other parts of the visit (Kruger, Drakensburg, Cape Town etc.)

So the question is, should I be looking for one or two different places in the VFA/Chobe area?

At the moment I'm looking at Chobe Safari Lodge as a possible single location, since they offer day trips to the falls, game drives and other wildlife-oriented activities, but also appear to offer the sort of ordinary hotel-room experience that one appreciates if one is awake at night and asleep in the afternoon (so what else is new?) Plus the prices seem reasonable (a la carte v. inclusive).

I'm not too worried about not having an upmarket safari camp experience; we will be staying at a private camp (owned by friends of friends) near Kruger Park the following week, so anything lacking in luxury at Chobe Safari Lodge will probably be made up for.

The other alternatives would be to do the same thing but based closer to Victoria Falls, with daytrips to Chobe or other parks/reserves within range of Victoria Falls, or to split the days between the two. That sounds less appealing; the less we have to break camp and resettle the better, but it's not out of the question.

Am I off base with this thinking, or is it reasonable? Thanks for any input or suggestions.
Gardyloo is offline  
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May 5th, 2005, 10:28 AM
  #2
 
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Gardyloo,
We were at the Chobe Safari Lodge at this very time last year. I'm not sure I can answer your question about one place or two but I will say that the day trip to the Falls will limit your time there. It is probably OK if you only want to see the Falls, walk from the entrance to the end of the Zim side, and spend maybe an hour or two in town. We opted to actually spend a night on the Zim side but that was because we were interested in a night game drive (not allowed in Chobe Nat'l Park) and an elephant excursion in the early morning.
Chobe Safari Lodge was perfect for our outings - we did 4 game drives and 5 river trips (some birding, fishing too) which all started from the Lodge grounds. You are right not to expect anything lavish and the game drives/boatings are by no means private. But it sounds like you have that lined up afterwards and Chobe Safari Lodge might be a good warm-up.
I hope to see a trip report if you have time!
jeorgiagirl is offline  
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May 5th, 2005, 04:20 PM
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we were also at the chobe safari lodge, but after a botswana safari. we knew what to expect and actually (except for the blackout) thought our renovated room (i think they call it safari rooms- the new ones) was nicer than anticipated.
the food was only okay and buffet style at dinner, but you can order casually from the bar til about 5pm.
there's a lovely view from it and the restaurant and they have a very efficient/convenient tour booking desk for safaris and river boat trips.

i agree with the above poster that you will get more out of the falls if you move and stay closer. livingstone, zambia (where we stayed) is a larger town than kasane and gives you a chance to walk the streets, go to the shops, sit at a cafe and absorb the african atmosphere with no real agenda, something that will be lacking in safari camps or in a big city like jnb.
kasane is much much smaller and does not have museums and historic buildings the way livingstone does.
you can fly to jnb from lvi on nationwide air direct, fyi.
kerikeri is offline  
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May 5th, 2005, 04:26 PM
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also, something that was really refreshing for us at chobe safari lodge was meeting travelers who were not going 5 star all the way: families; overlanders who'd spent more than a month in namibia. it was nice to hear about their experiences and where they were off to next.
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