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Would a private vehicle/guide be worth the extra money in Botswana

Would a private vehicle/guide be worth the extra money in Botswana

Mar 9th, 2006, 05:34 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 421
Would a private vehicle/guide be worth the extra money in Botswana

Our trip to Botswana and Zambia is fast approaching (June/July) and was wondering what people's thoughts are on booking a private vehicle and guide in Duma Tau and/or Duba Plains. Does it make that much difference in the game viewing?
raelond is offline  
Mar 9th, 2006, 07:16 PM
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Short answer is, yes, it helps a lot......For those camps mentioned, private vehicle means private guide also. Usually, they give you good guides with the private vehicle.

Also depends on what experience you are looking for.....if your interest is say, photography or something specific.......i recommend getting the private jeep, so that the guide concentrates on the stuff u are looking for........otherwise, there is a chance that u get stuck with a bunch of ppl that have different interests from your own.

Also, with a private jeep, you can do stuff to your convenience.....stay with a particular sighting for as long as you want to or go to far off parts of the area and return much later, if you want to etc etc........

I plan to book a private vehicle during my trip to Kwando in August.
Mar 9th, 2006, 07:26 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440

I've never had one before that I paid for, because of that additional cost. But I have lucked out at times and gone solo--a very nice treat.

If you are a professional photographer or planning to get pictures like one, then you've got to have a private vehicle.

In Duba Plains I have sprung for my first private vehicle ever! I think to see the maximum lion-buffalo activity, it may be necessary to get started earlier and stay out longer. I also want to hang out with the buffalo or lions longer than I think others will.

In Kafue where I happened to be alone, I remember spending all day with a pride and even napping with them. Of course I was in the vehicle dozing. It was great and I fear that others might want to get moving on to something else if the lions are not entertaining. In Duba, I think if you drive off hoping for a lot of variety, you won't find it. I prefer to stick with the creatures that have made the area famous even if they're not doing much. In a private vehicle I know I can.

I just think Duba presents a unique situation with the concentration heavily on lions and buffalo, with water levels playing a role, and perhaps with having to travel a long time to get to the best spots.

I did have some other info on Duba that would have to be emailed. It doesn't paste here to this site. Email me if you'd like it.

As for Duma Tau, if it the expense is not a factor for you, then go for it. Private is always better, I think. But I would not pay extra, and have not gotten a private vehicle at Duma Tau.
atravelynn is offline  
Mar 9th, 2006, 07:59 PM
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Hi! Why not Duma Tau? IMO, the variety of predators at Duma Tau is going to warrant hving ur own vehicle.......for example, if you are with the wild dogs and there is a radio call for lions, then the rest of the gang may want to rush off.......you may miss the wild dogs doing their hunt or whatever!!!

I think at Duba, time is the only issue.....folks getting restless, waiting for the lions to get active......at Duma T, sightings aplenty, and you may not necessarily want to rush from sighting to sighting.....ok, i would consider giving up sleeping lions to rush off to find the dogs, but not vice versa....

Mar 10th, 2006, 08:23 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,766
I think it makes a big difference if you are experienced. If it is your first time, then you are likely to be fairly antsy at many sightings and will want to charge off to see whats next. If you've done this a few times, you learn that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Thats why my best trips now are spent with friends who want exactly the same from the trip. Heraing a first timer in another vehicle at a sighting complain that watching Lions for five minutes was like watching paint dry was a not too subtle reminder of the importance of having a vehicle full of people with the same objectives.

This June I will be with some serious photographers and am bracing myself for two hours with a herd of Impala for that one great shot. I will probably throw my journal into my camera bag to ease me through those times.
napamatt is offline  
Mar 10th, 2006, 09:51 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Why not a private vehicle at Duma Tau? Sheerly monetary reasons--It is a luxury I can afford to do only once.
atravelynn is offline  

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