Where Should Will and Kate Honeymoon?

Mar 29th, 2011, 03:26 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 159
Pixelpower, what is your Okavango experience? Because a lot of argumentand assumptions do not hold up IMO.

I don't want to pay for a private vehicle and be restricted to 20 minutes photographic time. I have never been queued or bumped from a sighting in Botswana's private areas. I would estimate that more 50% was me being the only vehicle.

This allows me to sit and wait for the action to develop and position myself as I please. It has happened with full and empty camps, even at predator sightings. For example, I spent two days alone following cheetah, as other guests wanted to watch lions and dogs.

This would not happen in an exclusive area like Sabi Sabi & Nottens as you referred to it. There are 120 beds in the traversing area you mention. Probably totalling less than 10000 hectares. A full house would mean 15-20 vehicles. The smaller concession size would also probably mean less sightings to share between more vehicles.

Hardly the experience I want unless I get special photographic consideration.
lbj2 is offline  
Mar 29th, 2011, 05:10 AM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,138
I never considered that if I hired a private vehicle (in SA) I would still be expected to queue and take turns at a sighting. Thanks for pointing that out lbj2, I would not be very happy with that situation at all.

So if I were to go out privately, do it in Bots?
Femi is offline  
Mar 29th, 2011, 06:14 AM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 159
No worries, Femi. I guess you could be queued in Bots, though in my experience, the larger concessions means it does not happen all that often.

Apologies for the spelling & grammar in the previous post, currently on my iPhone.
lbj2 is offline  
Mar 29th, 2011, 06:36 AM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,215
Here's my 2 cents, although I've never had a private vehicle. Except a very few times when I just happened to be the only guest in it for that game drive.

I would expect private vehicles to cue like every other vehicle. This is the one big drawback to having a private vehicle and I have mentioned it many times before. Regardless, I can recall some instances where having to cue to -get into- the sighting was frustrating. However, even if you have to leave the sighting (because of backed cue) you could always rejoin the cue. And regarding having a time limit at the sighting, say 20 mins, in my over 150 game drives in SA I can not recall one where this was not long enough, at that time, - for me. My conclusion is that the density of vehicles in an area is just as important as having a private vehicle.

Of course if your goal on safari is specific, such as to follow the white lions of the Timbavati, then you certainly do need a private vehicle. At the minimum. And probably prior specific permission by private camp owners to traverse onto their property. I would submit that 99.99% of the safari goers are accommodated by the present arrangements. “Special” guests, like ourselves, will have to make special arrangements . Assuming you have enough $$$$.

And if you think "life is tough" in SA or Bots, you have not seen the mess(es) I saw this Feb in Tanzania at sightings. Watch for my trip report, coming soon to a forum near you !!!

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Mar 29th, 2011, 06:50 AM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
"1. the number of good sightings
2. the quality of those sightings

This is what I fork over the money for. To me, all the rest is fairly irrelevant." Pixelpower


My point exactly!!! That's exactly what I was getting at!

The queue system occurs when everything is radio-controlled. Not at all interested in that sort of experience. Want to track the sightings down and plan the day before hand in terms of logistics......... picnic lunch if needed!

I went with a bunch of first timers last month to these camps in Bots, and they were intrigued and thrilled with the "tracking" experience ...... even when on the odd occasion we came out empty handed.

Agree though to Jochen's mention of the Kruger's higher quantity of predator sightings - notably Lion and Leopard. Agree 100% and there are the trade offs with the queue and the time limits.
HariS is offline  
Mar 29th, 2011, 06:59 AM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
" would expect private vehicles to cue like every other vehicle. This is the one big drawback to having a private vehicle and I have mentioned it many times before. "

Yes - no queue when there are only 3-4 vehicles in total and especially true when you track and find something far far away from camp ....... that others don't respond as it's too far.
HariS is offline  
Mar 29th, 2011, 07:03 AM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
pressed submit by mistake.

Don't respond due to different reasons besides being too far - brunch, siesta, plane to catch etc etc.,

also possibly found something else too...
HariS is offline  
Mar 29th, 2011, 07:14 PM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,138
I'm with Hari. I want to go out, find my own sighting and sit there for as long as I want. At this point I'm willing to take the chance that I'll miss something spectacular seen by others who wait in line.

I came to hate the radio during my stay at Exeter River Lodge in Sabi Sands, seemed like there was never a moment's peace and we were always zooming off to go wait in line at the next sighting. Never again (hopefully).

In Yala (Sri Lanka) our guide was so confident of being able to find leopard on his own, we could pass the 16 vehicle traffic jam without a backward glance.
Femi is offline  
Mar 29th, 2011, 11:18 PM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 813
Now wait a minute there, lbj2...

1) I made a statement on the average number of guests (currently) at lodges in all (!) private reserves near Kruger, compared to lodges in private concessions in the Delta. And that the number of occupied seats is a result of that.

2) You started talking about something else; the number of vehicles per concession. And you only compare with ONE reserve near Kruger (SS).

3) I reply to that as well, and point out that there's a lot of different experiences to be had, even just in SS. And that there's a trade-off; sharing too much sightings is no fun, but being totally on your own and having NO ONE that lets you know where interesting things are to be seen; that may be no fun either. You might miss out on stuff.
Of course, I'm talking from the viewpoint of a REGULAR customer in a private concession, who comes by ONCE and wants to see AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.

4) But now you start talking about something else again; private vehicles instead of regular vehicles. That kind of arrangement is not for a regular customer.


Well you know what? Then you may be right; the Delta could indeed be the better place. But that does not mean the Delta is the better place for the normal customer. Certainly not at this point in time when most of the Delta is flooded.

And THAT is the point I tried to make initially to Hari; neither he nor Russell are "normal" customers. They have a lot of experience and are focused on photographic results and exclusive sightings, and are willing to pay extra to maximize those results, and to maximize the number of those sightings. Hence, they must be a bit careful when making statements to compare these areas, as these statements do not hold for the average visitor of those places (nor for the average visitor of this forum, by the way).

B.regs,

J.
pixelpower is offline  
Mar 30th, 2011, 01:41 AM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 159
Actually, Jochen, you were the one who took the conversation put of context. Hari said that I would not enjoy the safari experience. That was a point raised knowing my needs. It was not meant as a general point.

To be honest, this is getting slightly pedantic and you are making assumptions that do not add up. I compared the reserve that you had used it to support your your argument, I have no doubt that others maybe be different, but please use facts, not hearsay or assumptions.

Again, your point on the number of guests in a vehicle being correlated to how busy the camp, does not always apply. The number of people per vehicle also depends on the company
policy. For example, wilderness safaris have a policy that person has a window seat, no matter how busy the camp is. At this point, the quality/length of time at a sighting is down to vehicle density.

In terms of using the radio, these companies do use radios to communicate sightings. So you don't miss out on much. The difference being, you won't be queued if you want to head to that sighting, or bumped when you radio one in.

So, shared vehicle or not, the above still works to your advantage. It comes down to your price point, and what value you place on more exclusive and quality sightings.

Yes,the Delta is flooded, though that is not the issue being discussed.

I pay for private vehicles, but having been on shared game drives and worked in lodges, I have a good idea of both worlds. There is nothing worse of being moved from a sighting when the action is about to start.
lbj2 is offline  
Mar 30th, 2011, 02:14 AM
  #31  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 624
Interesting discussion. Shame it isn't on its own thread as I fear it will be lost for all time in the wilds of a Royal honeymoon!!

BTW, lbj (forget the 2, it doesn't rhyme), you realise that you can, if you have the dollars, pay for photographic rights in the Serengeti which gives you off roading privileges. That was what I was told when talking about a proposed private trip there. Aimed mainly at the cinematographers and high end professional wildlife photographers … but it may be something to look into one day if the Delta turns into a permanent lake and you have to take a long migration East!
twaffle is offline  
Mar 30th, 2011, 03:52 AM
  #32  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 159
I appreciate there are film permits, which I have accounted for in my budget.

It only really applies to the Serengeti, as other vehicles will be able to off-road with at Ndutu.

The advantage I can see with NCA film fees is not being restricted by opening times. Leaving early in the morning and not having to return to camp by a certain time and miss out on good light.
lbj2 is offline  
Mar 30th, 2011, 10:32 AM
  #33  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
"And THAT is the point I tried to make initially to Hari; neither he nor Russell are "normal" customers. They have a lot of experience and are focused on photographic results and exclusive sightings, and are willing to pay extra to maximize those results, and to maximize the number of those sightings. Hence, they must be a bit careful when making statements to compare these areas, as these statements do not hold for the average visitor of those places (nor for the average visitor of this forum, by the way)." Pixelpower

Jochen, i made it clear that my comments were specific to Russell's questions and for his requirements. I guess i should have in the first place just sent him a private email or facebook message

As to Sabi Sands or Delta ...... right now, i don't care about anything ....... Africa takes a backseat to India ....... WORLD CUP FINALS ON SATURDAY AND THATS ON MY MIND ........ pray for us, please!!!!
HariS is offline  
Mar 30th, 2011, 06:56 PM
  #34  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,215
twaffle - "Interesting discussion. Shame it isn't on its own thread as I fear it will be lost for all time in the wilds of a Royal honeymoon!! "
I was wondering same, what the OP Fodors Robert_F thinks about his thread now!!! Teach him to post "off-topic" here. We will simply turn it into a safari thread !!

twaffle - "you realise that you can, if you have the dollars, pay for photographic rights in the Serengeti which gives you off roading privileges. That was what I was told when talking about a proposed private trip there."
Interesting, and you do need off roading in the Serengeti to avoid (on road) crowds. And of course for photos.

lbj2 - "..as other vehicles will be able to off-road with at Ndutu."
From talk I heard at Ndutu Lodge this Feb, this could change soon. Vehicle game traffic has trippled there in last two years. NCA rangers are getting testy, they chased us away from an area that surprised out guides.
lbj2 - "...The advantage I can see with NCA film fees is not being restricted by opening times".
This did cause us minor problems at Ndutu NCA, we had to be back in camp by 6pm (but stretched that some), 6pm is well before sunset, is about 6:30.

regards - tom
ps - Robert_F, you there? How do you like our replies ?
cary999 is offline  
Mar 31st, 2011, 05:34 AM
  #35  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 813
Hey guys,

I missed the message that Hari's remarks were indeed only adressed at Russell. Sorry for that!

But lbj2, I do not "make assumptions", nor do I "use hearsay". I just speak in general. So no need to come up with exact figures. You don't do that either.

Yes there are exceptions to what I see in general. Yes, Wilderness has that rule of "max 2 per row". But here's news for you, if you really want figures; in ALL private camps I have been, there were never more than two people per row, with the exception of one day in EP, Sabi Sands. And still; I could have jumped in another jeep if it was that important to me. Hearsay? For all I care, that "EP puts too many people in one jeep" line that I see here repeated ad nauseam, like a mantra, is exactly that; hearsay.

B.regs,

J.
pixelpower is offline  
Mar 31st, 2011, 06:24 AM
  #36  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
Still Jochen, a bunch of first timers (friends and relatives) who were in Botswana with me in February (they'll all go on safari at some point again) had a great time and indeed saw everything there was to see! Including buffalo from the boat trip at Kwara ( i thought they were joking, until i saw their video). My point being - diversity and quality sightings. Yes, the delta is flooded nowadays ..... that's why where you go and when makes a huge difference! That's a completely different discussion and an entirely different topic.
HariS is offline  
Mar 31st, 2011, 09:34 AM
  #37  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 813
Hey Hari,

I definitely did not want to dismiss Botswana as a sub-par destination! (for first timers or experienced safari go'ers)

B.regs,

J.
pixelpower is offline  
Mar 31st, 2011, 11:50 AM
  #38  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 159
Jochen, speaking in 'general' really does not help. You have found a couple of camps that work for your budget and requirements - great.

Though this does not mean it is to everyones taste, or what the average/newbie visitor wants.Some people's idea of Africa are the vast open plains of the Serengeti or the water ways of the Okavango.

For example, both Lagoon and Lebala are in the same concession, but 30kms apart. However, both are geographically different and do not provide the same game viewing/experience.

I provided another good example when you called Sabi Sabi 'exclusive' and I highlighted the number of bed spaces. (A comment based on fact)
lbj2 is offline  
Apr 1st, 2011, 03:59 AM
  #39  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 813
Well lbj2, let's say we agree to disagree.

I say that pointing out specific lodges and conditions does not help, when you do not clarify that those lodges nor conditions are the norm.

Contrary to you, I think a "newbie" is most helped with pointing out differences and similarities in general (between countries, areas, lodges, safari formulas).

To retort with your exact own words; you have found a couple of camps that work for your budget and requirements - great. Though this does not mean it is to everyone's taste, or what the average/newbie visitor wants.

B.regs,

J.
pixelpower is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
jb2sprint
Mexico & Central America
4
Jul 1st, 2013 06:50 PM
Robert_F
Europe
26
Mar 25th, 2011 12:18 PM
Robert_F
Caribbean Islands
6
Mar 24th, 2011 04:13 PM
neres
Asia
9
May 12th, 2005 11:44 PM
Nadine
United States
5
Sep 27th, 2001 10:07 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:59 AM.