Water, Water--EVERYWHERE

Apr 25th, 2004, 03:34 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,657
Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU! It will change what I pack and the excursions we choose, for sure! Do we need to bring our own Mosquito coils or do they supply them at the camps? (We brought our own to Jamaica, and have used them in our own back yard ever since!)
uhoh_busted is offline  
Apr 25th, 2004, 04:00 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 612
Good luck Liz & a speedy recovery
pattysuericia is offline  
Apr 25th, 2004, 04:40 PM
Posts: n/a
Rocco- Try www.insuremytrip.com. I got that from Sandi and I bought the cheapest with I think $30,000 medical emergency attached. I had heard before about that need.

uhoh- Coils are at each camp. They will light one in your tent while you are at dinner. HINT: Look under the dining room table before selecting your chair. The camps put the coils there and try to sit next to one. I didn't know this until the end of the trip and we got tons of bites there. By mid-June the mozzies should be gone.

Ladies- The best protection is to take a light cardigan sweater. Throw it over your shoulders and use the arms to tie it next to your chin. So many bugs hit us high on the neck and this blocks that area. Also a tee shirt with a collar can be turned up to protect the back of your neck. Men can do these things too.

Rocco- Your idea about the elephants is probably true. I couldn't imagine why they all were so aggresive. We saw mostly single bull elephants out by themselves. As soon as we got closer, they'd charge at us.

The camps all do bush walks and these type of activities. Most of the time you are looking out and don't see what's at your feet. Don't give up the nice activities, I only told you to warn you to be on the lookout. We absolutely loved the walking safari until the cobra showed up. To think I could have stepped on it still gives me the willies.

dlm- When I said you couldn't see the animals, I wasn't referring to the more common animals, i.e., elephant, kudu, impala, giraffe. I guess I have been to Africa enough that when I say a lot of animals, I mean the predators, i.e., Cheetah, lion, leopard, hyena, wild dog. Saw almost none of those. Too many places for them to hide. When I get my pictures up you'll see that you just see pieces of the animals. We took lots of bird pictures and scenery. Not what you'd expect to see. Mostly grass obscures everything. I never knew Botswana any way but dried and burned out. I'd never seen any grass there. What a difference.

This is a busy hunting season right now in Botswana. When the Delta gets wet a lot of the animals head to the Mopane areas up north. That is where most of the hunting lodges are. We saw lots of guns being shipped in. We also met a hunter when our plane stopped to pick up a guy at Camp Okavango. He told us he was up hunting and finished a day or two early and came to Camp O. to rest up. We never spoke to him and I'm afraid he thought we were mighty unfriendly, but, jeez, give me a break. Hunting is big in Botswana. The government blesses it and even when we were at Selinda which shares a border with Duma Tau, there were 'controlled hunting' signs. I was told that didn't mean anything. Oh well. Its their land, not mine. The government makes so much from the licenses that everyone just accepts it.

Kavey- Since Chief's Island is larger you shouldn't be affected by a lack of animals, but I would expect there to still be a lot of tall grass. Those animals don't seem to migrate as much to the north because of the large size of the island.

Well, back to bed. Maybe tomorrow a more fun trip report. Liz
Apr 25th, 2004, 07:29 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 252
Liz: thanks so much for sharing your Botswana experiences. I leave May 23rd and appreciate the timely advice. Of course, I absolutely hate insects and snakes...so it's good to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. I wonder if the elephants were in musk (I think that's what it's called), as I've only been charged once. Welcome back and I hope you feel better each day.
girlpolo33 is offline  
Apr 25th, 2004, 08:25 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 51
Hi Liz, thanks for sharing. I am leaving next week and they are very useful tips. Hope you recover soon.
llee_2003 is offline  
Apr 25th, 2004, 09:04 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553

It is "musth" or alternately "must.

From www.dictionary.com

musth also must ( P ) Pronunciation Key (mst)
An annual period of heightened aggressiveness and sexual activity in male elephants, during which violent frenzies occur.
Roccco is offline  
Apr 25th, 2004, 09:14 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 596
Liz, I am so sorry to hear about your fall and your continuing problems. I hope they are resolved in time and you are 100% again.

Other things to do about the bugs - my travel doc had some things for sale. One of them is a PERMETHRIN spray that you use to pre-treat your clothes before your trip. I believe this is the same thing in some flea sprays that break the cycle. We used this along with a strong insect repellent he had and of course the malaria pills. Long sleeves and pants, socks.
Read your insurance policy carefully as they differ on important issues such as pre-existing conditions, acts of war, other things.
We're looking forward to your recovery, Liz.
Clematis is offline  
Apr 26th, 2004, 08:56 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,657
I got our trip insurance through the site Liz recommended -- wanted to be sure we are covered for just about EVERYTHING. Sounds like llee and I are the next ones to hit Botswana. It will be interesting to see if ccafrica changes one of the water-based camps to another someplace drier...their materials said they reserved the right to make changes and in this case, they might have to (both Sandibe and Nxabega are waterey locations) I still think I'll pack some coils to be sure that we don't get "et" at dinner! And on the plus side, I'll be far far away from this infernal tree pollen that's got my eyes watering and ears ringing.
uhoh_busted is offline  
Apr 26th, 2004, 01:42 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Just got my travel insurance from Access America, recommended by American Express Travel Services. Phone number is 800-756-AMEX. For 30 days of coverage (my trip is 24 days total) it only cost me $83.50 per person and I was able to do it all within a 10 minute phone call, paying with my AMEX. Received my insurance cert in the fax within five minutes after hanging up!

$200,000 emergency evacuation insurance and beefed up benefits all around, including trip interruption/cancellation insurance.
Roccco is offline  
Apr 26th, 2004, 03:50 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 592

Did you get a super deal or what??!!! I also purchased Access America directly from the company and paid $272.00!!! Next time I'll take your hint and try getting it through AMEX.
Thanks for the hint.

Also for those going to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda et al I would highly recommend also getting the Flying Doctors Insurance (through AMREF). For $25.00 the doctors will fly in and evacuate you in an emergency. They are highly accessible to almost all the lodges and camps and probably would be your quickest triage were you to be ill or injured. The donations (fees) they receive from us, if not used, are put back to help Kenyans who cannot afford medical care.

JanGoss is offline  
Apr 26th, 2004, 04:35 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553

My great deal may also have to do with the fact that I bought the insurance with only 3.5 weeks to go before my trip (less chance for trip cancellation?). It is also based on age and whether you purchase it based on the dollar amount of your trip or based on the amount of time of your trip.

Initially, I was buying the insurance for 24 - 30 days and it was going to be double the cost, but the agent very nicely informed me that if I switched it to dollar amount that I would only need to pay the $81.00 per person + $5 service charge, and this was for a trip that is just over $10,000.

I cannot tell you how pleased I am that I am getting the rates that I have for just about everything so far on this trip. The only thing that I have been overcharged for so far, is the $42 wire transfer fee that I had to pay for wiring payment to Zambia. What do you expect from Wells Fargo? Wasn't worth my time or effort to go to Western Union or Moneygram to save $20.

-Round trip economy class air from LAX-London-Rome. $900 per person. www.travelocity.com

-Round trip business class air from London-Johannesburg-Lusaka. $120 per person + 80,000 ff miles.

-10 night Insight "Best Of Italy Tour." 4 nights in Rome (3 scheduled plus 1 pretour night), 2 nights in Tuscany, 1 night in Venice, 1 night in Assisi, 2 nights in Naples. $1625 per person.

-4 nights at Lower Kulefu Tented Camp in Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia.
$800 per person. ($200 pppns)
www.star-of-africa.com (direct booking)

-2 nights at Kaingo in honeymoon suite with private outdoor heated jacuzzi, South Luangwa National Park, Zambia. $300 per person ($150 pppns)
www.kaingo.com (direct booking)

-2 nights at Mwamba, South Luangwa National Park, Zambia. $280 per person ($140 pppns)
www.kaingo.com (direct booking)

-2 nights at Puku Ridge, South Luangwa National Park, Zambia. $400 per person ($200 pppns)
www.star-of-africa.com (direct booking)

-1 night at Chichele Presidential Lodge, South Luangwa National Park, Zambia. $200 per person ($200 pppns).
www.star-of-africa.com (direct booking)

-Zambian Air Transfers. Lusaka to Jeki, Jeki to Lusaka, Lusaka to Mfuwe, Mfuwe to Lusaka. $500 per person.
www.star-of-africa.com (I would have never have been able to handle the Zambian air transfers by myself and was very pleased that Star Of Africa volunteered to handle this for me without even having to be asked)

-Very comprehensive travel insurance through Access America. $83.50 per person.
www.accessamerica.com or toll free number for USA 800-756-2639

-Wire transfer fees, Wells Fargo. $42 per person (2 transfers at $42 each).
Do yourself a favor and go to Moneygram or Western Union instead!

-Grand Total = $5,250 per person ($250 per person per night, and in "high season" no less, doorstep to doorstep). Cheaper than living in Los Angeles!

I may just have to become a gypsy who travels endlessly if this keeps up.
Roccco is offline  
Apr 26th, 2004, 04:41 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 723
Jan, a point of clarification, if I may. The membership fee to the Flying Doctor's Society depends on where you travel. All areas within Kenya and most of Tanzania are $25. However, because we traveled to Selous, so far south in Tanzania and outside of the regular service area, our membership fee was $50 per person. Still a nominal price for peace of mind, but I just thought I should bring up the fact that the membership fee depends on where/how far you travel.
SusanLynne is offline  
Apr 26th, 2004, 05:27 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 596
Some insurance requires that you buy it within days of paying for your trip... so check carefully (meaning it's probably meant to avoid people buying their trip, then realizing they can't go, then buying insurance...
Clematis is offline  
Apr 26th, 2004, 05:35 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553

Yes, you are correct. With Access America, my coverage does not start until tomorrow. I suppose they do that so that if anything had happened today to cause me to go run out and get travel insurance that they wouldn't be on the hook. Any documentation or evidence would have to have originated from tomorrow or later.
Roccco is offline  
Apr 27th, 2004, 03:47 AM
Posts: n/a
Roccco - it does seem that you got a deal at $83.50 at your ages, but as I read the program, while you have $200,000 for evacuation (something we should all consider for African travel especially) - the way I read it you won't be covered if your trip is interrupted. This means you won't get back portion of trip paid and not used.

JanGoss - for full coverage of trip cancel/interrupt and evacuation and all the rest and based on age can and does run in the $400+ range (for those of us who have a few years on Rocco and STD).

In fact, Roccco to be covered for interruption if you have to be evacuated at your ages the rate would be about $380/person (more in line with what Jan mentions and we've paid previously for our numerous trips). Granted should something happen and you have to be evacuated, the $200K is important and does the traveler really care about the unused portion of paid trip - but then some may. Also, since you're using FF tickets on your trip, the insurance company can't cover for something you haven't paid for, though you did pay for taxes.

These days, wherever one travels, especially out of your home country one should always have insurance to cover any contingency. Roccco you may have shortchanged yourself - assume something happens in Italy (with your in-laws* or yourselves) and you never even make it to Africa? There goes the money!

*and have they taken out insurance for their part of the trip?
May 5th, 2004, 11:28 AM
Posts: n/a
ttt for Blacktie

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