Wilderness Safaris - Botswana

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Jun 12th, 2005, 06:23 PM
  #1
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Wilderness Safaris - Botswana

For those of you Botswana veterans, do you feel that 2 nights per camp at 6 different camps would be too hectic? I really want to get around and see Botswana.

It would actually be 15 nights, in total, with 3 nights at Jacks Camp, and then 12 nights elsewhere. Because Jacks Camp is so unique, and I will likely save it for the grande finale I do want to give it 3 nights.

My schedule would be something like the following (I do already have my LHR - JNB air)

4/12 - Depart LAX - LHR
4/13 - Depart LHR - CPT.
4/14 - Arrive Cape Town. 4 nights at the Twelve Apostles Hotel.
4/15 - Two Oceans Marathon or Half Marathon.
4/16 - Cape Town
4/17 - Cape Town
4/18 - Cape Town to JNB to Kasane. 2 nights at Savuti.
4/19 - Savuti
4/20 - Duma Tau or Kings Pool. 2 nights
4/21 - Duma Tau or Kings Pool. I like the hide at Kings Pool and the fact that it is a 6 paw camp.
4/22 - Tubu Tree. 2 nights.
4/23 - Tubu Tree.
4/24 - Duba Plains. 2 nights.
4/25 - Duba Plains.
4/26 - Vumbura Plains. 2 nights.
4/27 - Vumbura Plains.
4/28 - Little Mombo. 2 nights.
4/29 - Little Mombo.
4/30 - Jacks Camp. 3 nights.
5/01 - Jacks Camp.
5/02 - Jacks Camp.
5/03 - Depart JNB - LHR
5/04 - London. 2 nights at Claridge's or similar.
5/05 - Claridge's or similar.
5/06 - Depart LHR - LAX.

SUMMARY

Twelve Apostles, Cape Town (4)
Savuti (2)
Duma Tau or Kings Pool (2)
Tubu Tree (2)
Duba Plains (2)
Vumbura Plains (2)
Little Mombo (2)
Jacks Camp (3)
Claridge's, London (2)

The other option would be to drop two of the camps, which would allow me to have all 3 night stays. The camps really do not seem THAT far from each other. I am not saying that it is like the Sabi Sand, but I don't see how they can be more than 20 minute air transfers and 20 minute road transfers from the airstrips.

I would love feedback on Duba Plains and Kings Pool from anyone with a prior visit.

Thanks!
Roccco is offline  
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Jun 12th, 2005, 06:41 PM
  #2
 
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If you "really want to get around and see Botswana" and view it from a variety of settings and accommodations, then your 2-night stays will accomplish that.

The only change you might consider is including either Savuti or the Linyanti camps Duma Tau/Kings Pool. But I am making the suggestion from a geographic angle in that the camps can access pretty much the same areas.

If you wish to see and experience the various camps themselves as much as the regions around them, then visiting both Savuti and Linyanti makes sense.

That same reasoning could be used for the new Vumbura that will be even closer to Duba Plains.
atravelynn is offline  
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Jun 12th, 2005, 06:47 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 346
rocco,
i would only do 1 of the 3 camps up in the savuti area. i stayed at kings pool in sep 02 (before the makeover) but still we drove the same areas as duma tau. in fact we shared a wild dog sighting with a duma tau vehicle. if you want 6 paw camps, stay at kings pools but for me i would just stay at either duma tau or savuti and save the money for an extra night at little mombo.
my other suggestion would be to drop either vumbura plains or duba. doing both and little mombo would be moremi overkill. instead stay at 2 of them for 3 days and add another night to another camp.
bigcountry is offline  
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Jun 13th, 2005, 05:39 AM
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Posts: 413
I agree with bigcountry, though we never went to King's Pool camp, (so I can't speak to how much better the food/lodging may be) when we were at Duma Tau we crossed paths a couple times with King's Pool vehicles.

I also know our driver communicated with King's Pool vehicles so we didn't all get "bunched up" in the same area.
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Jun 13th, 2005, 06:29 AM
  #5
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Thanks for the feedback.

Regarding pricing, since the Duma Tau and Kings Pool camps are sharing the same traversing areas, I agree that it may be a good idea to stay at Duma Tau. DT is about $150 pppns less than KP in April. This translates into a $900 savings for a 3 night visit.

I am still waiting to see if Vumbura Plains will offer low season pricing, as does its sister 6-paw camps, Jao and Kings Pool. If it goes the way of Mombo, with year-round high pricing, then I will only be able to afford one or the other.

It is my understanding that there will be more of a difference in gameviewing between Chiefs Camp and Mombo AFTER the floods arrive. So, before the floods arrive, a stay at Chiefs Camp and Mombo would not be too much different, from a gameviewing perspective, as the animals are still roaming back and forth between the two areas? I realize this would not apply to lions since they rarely travel more than a mile or two from their chosen areas.

Some of the other companies have already released 2006 pricing, but I do not believe that Wilderness Safaris has yet done so.
Roccco is offline  
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Jun 13th, 2005, 10:05 PM
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Hi Rocco,
For whats its worth, I agree with the gang in regards to the Linyanti area.
All three camps have access to the entire 120,000 hectre concession and share sightings via radio.
While we were at Savuti, I saw the rovers from the other two camps nearer to Savuti but nowhere else.
It could be because the Cheetah brothers were neastest to Savuti Camp that week. I was told they roam the entire concession so it was really just luck that they were closest to our camp.

Personally, I thought 3 nights at each camp was perfect and would find two nights very hectic. You must do one night out at a remote hide. It was awesome!

Regarding Duba Plains, have not been there but our guide said it was a must for future visits as the lion and buffalo interaction was amazing.

Your itinerary is making me green with envy...click your heels together and say, there's no place like Africa, there's no place like Africa, there's no place like Africa.
Auntie Em..I just want to go back!
wallybrenda is offline  
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Jun 14th, 2005, 10:44 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 9
Interested about Jacks Camp.
Heard that Magadikgadi camp is open again.
Had some german people write a review the other day.Would have a look at it.
Botswana is offline  
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Jun 16th, 2005, 06:36 AM
  #8
 
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I agree with everyone to only do one camp in the Linyanti area. We stayed in Duma Tau and drove the same areas as Savuti.

As for 5 paw vs. 6 paw, I personally don't think the accommodation/food is worth the price difference (and I'm quite particular on both fronts). Duma Tau and Kwetsani were wonderful. In fact I thought the food at Mombo was the worst (though the wine was a definite notch above).

I would choose the camps based on activities offered, difference in landscape/habitat, and diversity in wildlife. For example, Mombo is awesome but you can't do anything but drive. At Kwetsani you can boat, mokoro, wal, go fishing. Having a variety of activities really makes the trip better in my opinion. The camps themselves from an accommodation perspective are quite similar.

The distances between all the delta camps are pretty close, but from Linyanti to the Delta is a 45 min flight. Add the 20-45 min. it may take to get from the camp to the airstrip, it's pretty long travel. When we went from Duma Tau to Kwetsani, I think we left around 12 and got to camp around 3:30, barely in time for the afternoon drive.

A 2 day stay in a camp is enough in my opinion to drive the area and see all the wildlife, but can be quite hectic. It means you're moving camp every other day and losing your mid-day rest (and laundry opportunity). On your travel days you're up at 5:30 or 6, go on a morning game drive, rush back to camp to get packed and out of your room (sometimes with little time for a shower), have brunch, and be off somewhere between 11 and 1PM. We did all 2 night stays and next time I would definitely mix in some 3 night stays, esp. at a camp that offered more diverse activities.
linjudy is offline  
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Jun 16th, 2005, 07:33 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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2 nights is a minimum and usually something budget forces me to do (Mombo) rather than choice. I certainly dont think you can make a blanket statement like two days in a camp will show you all the wildlife, to my mind if that is the case then you are really missing the point. 2 days in Madikwe will show you all of the geography but not all the wildlife. Anyway the animals are not exhibits, its about seeing what they do, not just seeing them for me. So every drive is different.
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