What is your dream safari itinerary???

Mar 14th, 2004, 01:48 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
What is your dream safari itinerary???

I know this question has been asked more than once in the past by others, but rather than "ttt"'ing an old thread, just thought I would start a fresh one.

Is anyone so tuned in/dialed in, that you know exactly where and when you would like to visit next? If so, please share and tell a little about each place, if possible.

Personally, I am going back and forth on whether or not I want to just stay at a few pre-selected lodges or if I want to have a personalized guide throughout and engage in a mobile tent safari.

Given that if I am able to even make it to Southern Africa in 2005 (my 2004 Zambian safari is all booked and spoken for), I will likely only have about 11 nights available for safari, I am leaning towards the personalized guide throughout. The only guide that I have come across so far that really appeals to me is Mike Penman, aka Mad Mike, whom has also starred in a few of his own televised programs. His company is Wild Lifestyles and here is a link:


I have not received any pricing yet but am awaiting a price on an 11 night Luxury Mobile Tented Safari for the following itinerary that I designed:

>BRIEF SYNOPSIS OF ITINERARY: > >11 NIGHT / 12 DAY ITINERARY >A combination of our mobile tented product with that of permanent >tented camps & lodges, including a fly-in charter programme) > > >3 nights: Western Moremi Game Reserve >(Wild Lifestyles luxury mobile tented camp) > >1 night: Okavango Delta overnight fly camping experience >(Wild Lifestyles luxury mobile tented camp) > >3 nights: Khwai private wilderness concession and access to the >eastern sector of the Moremi Game Reserve (NIGHT DRIVES & >WALKING) >(Wild Lifestyles luxury mobile tented camp) > >2 night: Lebala / Lagoon Camp - KWANDO >(Luxury Permanent tented camp) > >2 nights: Chobe National Park >(Luxury Permanent Lodge) > >Total: 11 nights / 12 days

The portion in Western Moremi would supposedly put me very close to Mombo, and as I am expecting this to be a pretty expensive way to see Botswana, at least this would help make it easier to swallow, knowing that I would still have to pay Mombo $1,500 per night.

If this trip does materialize, it would be combined with three nights in Durban and one night in Johannesburg, preceding the Botswana portion of the trip.

If this option does prove too expensive, then I would probably opt for a combo of three nights at Kwando Lagoon, three nights at Savuti, three nights at Mombo and two nights at Xigera. In shoulder season, I imagine this would cost about $5,000 pp, transfers included.

I Would love to hear the dream safaris of others, as I believe that by only by sharing such information do we have an opportunity to learn about new places.
Roccco is offline  
Mar 14th, 2004, 02:03 AM
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The private guide option may not be as expensive as I originally believed. In my head, I had a number of about $5,500 pp for an 11 night tour, and this may still hold true now that Mike Penman has had his shows air on television and been voted one of the top 15 guides in Africa by Conde Nast Traveler magazine. Still, if there hasn't been too much inflation the package below is for a 10 night tour in high season and it is only $3,700 per person and that includes transfers from and to Maun. I would expect that even three years later that shoulder season pricing (mid-June) would not be more expensive than high season pricing of 2001.

Here is a link to the website I found it on, followed by the actual tour:


Luxury Mobile Tented Safari

An adventurous safari through the prime wilderness areas of Botswana: Chobe National Park, the Savute, the Khwai and the Moremi in the Okavango Delta
This is a safari for the adventurous. Travel with a small group deep into the wilderness, guided by acknowledged Botswana expert Mike Penman of Wild Lifestyles. It?s a trip for people who want to experience the essence of the wild and who like to reflect on and engage with the geographical, historical, political and wildlife issues which arise.

Tune in to the Travel Channel and watch Mike Penman and Mark Tennant in African Tightspots. The first programme - 'Lion Crawl' - will be broadcast on Monday, 20 May, 2002 at 9pm EST. Elephants are the subject of the second programme, which follows at 10 pm EST. On 21 May, the programmes are about lion feeding and quad bikes, broadcast at 9 and 10 pm respectively.

September 2001

Light aircraft transfer from Kasane to the Serondella, in northern Chobe National Park, an ideal introduction to the bush. There are large breeding herds of elephant, roan antelope, sable and hippos, crocodile, giraffe and good general game and waterfowl. The combination of game drives and boating affords the full spectrum of game viewing. Stay 2 nights at Chobe Game Lodge.

Travel to Savuti in the southern part of Chobe National Park. Savuti was once a beautiful marsh, now sadly dry, and famous for the large concentration of bull elephant around waterholes. The area is excellent for lion and cheetah, too. The Savuti has hilly outcrops where we view Bushmen rock art (paintings). Overnight at Savute Safari Lodge.

22 - 25:
Explore the Khwai in the eastern Moremi Game Reserve.
Northgate (Central Khwai) is an area of drier terrain, fed by a thin ribbon of the Khwai. The camp is situated on the edge of the Khwai River.

The Khwai River is famous for huge herds of elephant that come to drink each day, during drier conditions. Cheetah, wild dog, leopard, giraffe, roan antelope and the great raptors can be sighted. Hippo pods are another highlight. This is definitely a big game area.

In the western Khwai, the camp site is on the edge of a large pool, offering ideal conditions for collective hippo pod congregations. You wake up to the hippos returning from late foraging or you simply sit and watch the sunset while hippos prepare for their nocturnal walkabout. It also attracts all kinds of game, including the larger predators.

The Machaba River (northern Khwai) is one of the best game viewing areas of Botswana, particularly in the drier seasons when large herds of elephants (breeding & bachelor herds) push their way onto this river lifeline. This is a fantastic place for photography.

Day 7 ends on island 'fly camping', a simpler style of camping, with bedrolls & mosquito nets, and all comforts provided. A traditional bush dinner will be served before you retire to sleep under the starry sky.

The journey continues to the western Moremi, the first African reserve to be created by local citizens. This 3 825 km? reserve forms an intricate part of the Okavango Delta, comprising permanently swamped areas, seasonally swamped areas and dry land. It is probably the premier destination in Botswana, offering an incredible diversity of terrain, vegetation, wildlife and bird life.

26 - 29:
Dead Tree Island and Xakanaxa (Central Moremi)
The camps are on the edge of the permanent delta. We explore the area by vehicle, boat and by walking on the islands of the Okavango Delta. This big game area is very diverse in vegetation. On the remote islands, you will see red lechwe in abundance and, possibly, sight the rare sitatunga. Fantastic for birding and a nesting place for the African Spoonbill. Xuroro Loop and Nkwe Loop are great areas for leopard.

Bodumatau (southwestern Moremi) is a remote area rich in large game such as lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant, zebra, giraffe, wild dog, hyena and many antelope species. Hippo are abundant. The camp is in a remote area, nestled amongst fever berry trees, with a great view of the lagoon (in front of camp) with its resident pod of hippo.

Mboma Island is very beautiful, with abundant palm trees and riverine vegetation. It is a good area for buffalo and a variety of wildlife, and incredible birdlife

Gcodikwe / Gobegha Islands provide access to water channels and boating activities. We view herons, storks, cormorants, ibises, egrets and many other species of water bird.

Light aircraft transfer from Xakanaxa airstrip to Maun.

Price: £2575/US$3735 per person sharing

Price includes: all accommodation, food, snacks, local alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, teas & coffees; exclusive camp site fees; all camp services including laundry; the services of trained professional guides and full staff complement; game drives, mekoros; national park fees; boating activities Xakanaxa & Chobe River; light aircraft transfer from Xakanaxa to Maun.
Not included: travel to Kasane (from Victoria Falls or Johannesburg), staff gratuities.

Number of participants: minimum of 4, maximum of 8

Roccco is offline  
Mar 14th, 2004, 10:55 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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For my sweetie and me: Flying 1st class there and back, about 10 nights at three different, high class camps "on safari" then a nice 3 day chill out on a gorgeous beach. All of course for free, because I'm such a nice person.
uhoh_busted is offline  
Mar 14th, 2004, 12:00 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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The trip we're about to take in May includes a goodly part of a dream safari for me...

You know the itinerary but it includes 5 weeks self drive across South Africa (staying in a mix of surprisingly inexpensive yet attractive B&Bs and government rest camps) followed by 2.5 weeks in my top choice of lodges in Botswana and then just under a week in Namibia in Wolwedans Dune Lodge.

I'd add first class travel for international flights and for the flight between PE and Durban in SA.

I'd upgrade a few of our South Africa accommodations. Our main splurge in SA is a stay at Ndumo Wildnerss Camp but I could easily upgrade a few others such as within Ithala and elsewhere.

I'd book a private vehicle at several of the camps. I wouldn't want one guide to accompany us from camp to camp - it would feel too much like a threesome - but would book different private guides who knew their own lodge/ reserve intimately.

I'd pay extra to be able to increase our luggage allowance (essentially that would mean paying for another passenger on the tiny inter camp charter flights).

I would get a higher class of car for the two segments of the SA trip (I'm considering booking a 4x4 for the KZN/ Kruger part of the trip, mostly for the added height rather than the 4 wheel drive).

Future dream safaris will take me to Zambia as well as back to Botswana and Namibia. I'd also like to visit Mozambique, Malawi and other African countries.

Kavey is offline  
Mar 14th, 2004, 03:40 PM
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How does this trip measure up length-wise compared to your holidays in preceding years? Also, if you don't mind me asking, what is the longest that you and your significant other have been together during a single span?

The one unusual thing about travelling to where there may be no friends/family is that a couple has only each other. While it has always worked out well for STD and I, we have never really done more than 20 days together in one span. This next trip, totalling 24 days including the travel days will really be our longest time away, but for 11 of those nights we will be with two other couples (her uncles and their wives) in Italy.

But as long as you are both passionate about the same things on this trip it should be a marvelous time. After all, how many opportunities will you get before you are retired to travel for 50+ days?

I do commend you for the five weeks exploring South Africa. I don't even think I would have the ability to do that in my own country yet less in South Africa. I am sure that you will have countless memories from this upcoming trip.

Best wishes.
Roccco is offline  
Mar 14th, 2004, 07:57 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 346
hey rocco,
that trip with mad mike sounds fantastic. maybe i'll have to look into it. i stayed at lagoon and lebala camps in june 2000 but i dont remember meeting mike. maybe he wasnt there yet. i have seen the shows about him though and still see that our guide steve still works there. anyway, 1 thing to take into consideration about the mombo area; the volume of game drops not too far outside of camp driving area. we were just there in jan and took a drive toward chiefs camp just to see what the area looked like (its about 30 km from mombo). we only made it about half way there and the wildlife had disipated a decent amount. tehre is something amazing about the immediate area surrounding mombo that attracts the animals. maybe the camping tour is closer to camp than i said but just a heads up that being near mombo may not be exactly like being there. but wow taking a trip like that would be incredible. definitely report what the cost would be.
bigcountry is offline  
Mar 14th, 2004, 11:47 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Longest holiday has been 2-3 weeks but we've spent long periods together in early days and we know we'll not have any probs with being together for this trip... we share many passions and, more importantly, where we don't, we both get a kick out of seeing each other enjoy one of our non-shared passions... e.g. I don't drink wine but I love seeeing Pete try and enjoy them (we do this in France).

We're able to take longer off this year because we're now both self employed. So, having saved in advance to cover bills, mortgage and holiday itself... we're finally able to do it!
Kavey is offline  

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