Wilderness' Migration Routes in Botswana or Kruger?

Old Feb 7th, 2007, 08:30 AM
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Wilderness' Migration Routes in Botswana or Kruger?

We are deciding whether in September 2007 to go on Wilderness' Migration Routes package in Botswana plus 2 nights in South Africa (probably Simbambili or Mala Mala) OR to forget the more rustic mobile camping experience and do 6 nights in two different private lodges bordering Kruger and 2 nights at Vic Falls.

Our budget is around $8,000 total for 2 people, excluding airfare and our main concern is seeing the best big game. If anyone has advice as to which option seems better (they are both about the same total price) in terms of game viewing/overall experience, it would be greatly appreciated. BTW this is our honeymoon, but I don't mind "roughing" it a bit if it means some unforgettable experiences (and ending at a nice lodge!)

Thanks in advance!
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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 09:23 AM
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If you are travellers at heart then I suspect that the mobile camping would be a greater adventure. I'd encourage you to take that on.

If however you are thinking of greater privacy and seeing predator activity blended with a mix of herbivores and so on, then your private reserve is deifintely a better choice of activity. I don't encourage staying at two lodges in the same geography, but rather recommend that you mix up the terrain to give you a greater variety of sightings and diversity of species. I would recommend a combination of the Kruger and the Madikwe or possibly Pilanesburg.

And yes, like the idea of including the falls at the end. That time of year, you'd do better to stay in Zimbabwe.
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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 10:22 AM
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On your honeymoon try not do too much travelling between countries, it gets very hard work, on what will hopefully be a relaxed trip.
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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 11:39 AM
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It seems to be a really personal decision for a honeymoon. The mobile camping trip would probably be more adventurous, but I would think less private (probably a group of 8 or so with Wilderness mobile safari), and of course much more basic accomodation, I believe you may share bath/shower facilites for instance. Also, the end of September may be quite hot in Botswana (someone correct me if that is wrong), and the camping tents won't even have fans.
The camps in South Arica will not have quite the same feeling of remoteness, but many have beautiful rooms, some have private plunge pools, your own outdoor shower, etc. and I think would be more relaxing.
I would think that both Botswana and Sabi Sands should have excellent game viewing in September.

If you decide on South Africa, you may be able to combine 3 or 4 nights at Sabi Sands with 2 or 3 nights at another reserve (Timbavati to the north of Sabi Sands, or Phinda, or Madikwe). You might also check the CCAfrica camps, I believe their low season runs thru Sept. 30th, so some of their camps located throughout SA may be in your budget also.
If you decide to stay with SA, why are you thinking of Vic Falls at the end instead of starting or ending with Cape Town and/or the Winelands?
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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 12:03 PM
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I would opt for a lodge in the Sabi Sands like Mala Mala if your main concern is seeing the best big game.

Also in terms of privacy (on a honeymoon) I wouldn't go on a mobile camping safari with f.e. 6 other people.



 
Old Feb 7th, 2007, 06:59 PM
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I will advocate for the Migration Route - my partner and I travelled this route with WS in 2005 (albeit in April when the grass is longer!) and it was an amazing experience - it is a totally different experience to lodge based visit.

Yes there will be less privacy, more having to "keep up" with what every one else is doing - there is not a lot of "down" time during the trip - on the go alot. But we saw and experienced the most amazing things! The wildlife isn't just hanging about waiting to be seen - we had to go looking for it, there were some very long days and we did "share " the shower and toilet - the tents are comfortable though - the GI stratchers have decent mattereses, the food was really good "home" cooking fresh bread baked on fire every day. It is a great intro to Southern Africa -

If "Honeymoon" is the focus then lodges are probably better - if adventure and wildlife and AFRICA is the focus then I'd definately say do Migration routes -you can snuggle when you get back home and talk about all the fantastic things you experienced!

If the trip you leave on ends in Livingstone - you could move into the Honeymoon suite at Royal Livingstone for a couple extra days to relax and do the spa thing.
Anyway thats my honest opinion.
best of luck with your decision.
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Old Feb 8th, 2007, 06:21 AM
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Brandywine - vic falls was recommended by our TA, but you are right, perhaps we should be looking intead into Capetown and wine country (we are definite oenophiles!).

Thembi - thanks so much for telling me about your personal experience - I would love to hear more details about your time on the migration route - how the days were structured, the quality of the guides, how crowded the vehicles were, if you went "off road" to follow the game, etc. Do you have a post of your trip (if so, a quick search didn't turn it up), etc. Or perhaps you can email me offline? Many thanks for everyones responses!
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Old Feb 8th, 2007, 09:37 AM
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ampisac,
I too did the Migration Routes in Botswana, last June. It was a wonderful safari and a great value for the money. There was a recent thread about it, where it was discussed in detail, by both Thembi and me, and also, where Lynn was kind enough to post the link to my trip report.

For some strange reason, the search feature is not showing up on my computer, but if you do a search for "Migration Routes" on this board, you should find it. If you have more questions after reading it, just ask away.
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Old Feb 8th, 2007, 11:39 AM
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Here is the link to Panecott's trip report on Migration Routes:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34821348
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Old Feb 8th, 2007, 02:07 PM
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And here is the link to the recent thread where pannecott and i talked a bit about our experiences

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...e=Thembi&fid=4
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Old Feb 8th, 2007, 02:12 PM
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Ooops!

Thats the link to my profile - this is really the link to our earlier migration route discussion. Sorry!

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34928477
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Old Mar 25th, 2007, 05:18 PM
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we and my have been to malamala three times .you wont be dissiponted if you go there.
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