Xakanaxa Camp + caculating costs

Nov 25th, 2005, 12:45 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 157
Xakanaxa Camp + caculating costs

Thanks to Roccco for help as ever in trying to find cats in Dec/ Jan in Zambia / Bots, unfortunately my Zamiba route is booked so I'm left with Xakanaxa Camp in Bots and possibly Kwara camp, has anyone been to either of these? and what do you think cat sitings might be, like bearing in mind time of year, Is there a better Bots alternative that accepts a child nearly 11 and won't break the bank - so I think that rules out Mombo and Chiefs, Cheers Y

PS I find it infruiatingly difficilut to understand the actual rates offered at Botswana camps, as they all seem to go through Agents, who group all costs together so you can't unpick what a night at each costs how much are the transfers. It makes it hard to decide how to change things to keep costs down. Also some camps do offer deals in the low season but again I find it hard to judge. Anyone any idea how to get the best deals from camps in Botswana?
YvonneM is offline  
Nov 25th, 2005, 02:06 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553

The problem with many agents is that they don't want to show the clients the rack rates in a breakdown, but rather put everything in a lump sum. To get even rack rates seems to be a challenge more often than not.

I will tell you right now what rack rates would be for a Dec 2006/Jan 2007 Kwando safari, but unfortunately I do not have Dec 2005/Jan 2006 rates handy but they can only be LOWER.

I believe that there are two of you plus your 11 year old child, correct? The terms at Kwando, as at many safari camps/lodges, especially the more exclusive ones, dictate that you get your own private vehicle. Therefore, assuming that you wanted 3 nights at Kwando, you would be looking at the following:

$305 pp x 3 persons (no discount for children) x 3 nights = $2,745 USD

$330* private guide/vehicle fee x 3 days = $990 USD
*This is using the same commission fee that is used for rack rates.

3 night Dec/Jan safari at Kwando excluding light air transfers = $3735 USD

Let's say you were to also spend your other two? nights at one of Kwando's other camps, you would be looking at the same of $1,245 per day for the three of you.

$1,245 USD x 5 nights = $6,225 USD.

I believe you said you were using Victoria Falls as a transit point from Zambia into Botswana. If that is the case, you will be much better served to get a road transfer from Vic Falls to Kasane and then fly to Kwara, as it is about $450 pp to fly from Vic Falls to Kwara, while it is only $250 to fly from Kasane to Kwara. This will save you $600 on the flights and I imagine that it would cost no more than about $150 for the road transfer to Kasane (and that is a HIGH estimate), taking possibly 90 minutes for this 100 kilometer drive (62 miles), so your overall savings would likely be $450 for an extra hour of your time. Not bad, huh?

So, $250 pp for Kasane to Kwara.

Add $175 pp for Kwara to Lebala or Lagoon (the other Kwando camps).

Add $225 pp for Lebala/Lagoon back to Kasane.

Add $100 pp for your round trip road transfers from Vic Falls to Kasane.

This adds up to $750 pp for your road/air transfers for Botswana or $2,250 total. Combined with your $6,225 tariffs for 5 nights of Botswana you are looking at $8,475 total for 5 nights of Botswana, starting and ending in Victoria Falls. Average of $2,825 pps

Unfortunately, it appears that a 5 night safari in Botswana proves to be very expensive even in "low" season when traveling with a child.

If it were just a couple sharing, the costs would plummet to the following for 5 nights at Kwando split between Kwara and either Lebala or Lagoon, starting and ending in Victoria Falls for example:

$305 pps x 5 nights x 2 guests = $3,050

No private vehicle required since there are no children

$750 pps for road/air transfers =$1,500

Grand total = $4,550, average of $2,275 pps, a savings of $550 pps over a safari with child.

When you say your "Zambia route is booked", what do you mean? By getting a delayed flight to Victoria Falls and spending these nights in South Luangwa, you will save so much money.

I do see that no children, however, under the age of 12 are allowed at Puku Ridge due to the proximity of the wildlife. However, children under 12 are allowed at Chichele Presidential Lodge and this is a wonderful lodge...very luxurious and only a mile away from Puku Ridge...very good for lions.


You would actually only pay 50% of the rack rate for your child at Chichele. At $350 pps x 2 and $175 per child x 1, you would be looking at $875 per night, and a grand total of $4,375 for the THREE of you. This is about $4,100 less than the Botswana scenario.

You just have to ask yourself what would be more expensive...a change/cancellation fee or spending all that extra money to go to Botswana. If Botswana is in your budget, by all means, do it. However, if you need more time in South Luangwa for budgetary reasons, at least you now know some of your options.

Just wondering...has your agent been responsive in helping you resolve this issue?
Roccco is offline  
Nov 25th, 2005, 02:44 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 41
hi yvonne!

see that roccco has already gone thru the finances with you (very interesting for me too by the way - thanx roccco as always!). just one comment from me. met two parties of guests on recent safari at kwando camps who had been to both kwara and xakanxa. they were traveling with a child, but they were very disappointed with the standard of guiding at xakanaxa after being hugely impressed at kwara. altho the two camps are located very close to each other they said there was NO comparison in the experience. sīpose that doesnīt make things easier for you, but just thought that you should know. if you have a huge budget of course go for kwando....if not roccco suggestions sound excellent.

good luck - lorraine
judithlorraine123 is offline  
Nov 25th, 2005, 02:45 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 41
sorry - posted message by error before editing.......they were NOT traveling with children.....
judithlorraine123 is offline  
Nov 25th, 2005, 04:02 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 157
I can't thank you enough for your help, I had originally just put Botswana right out of the picture becuase I thought it would cost so much and now you have confirmed it!
Hence my complex plant to fly down to Sabi Sands get a last minute MTbeds deal and see Blyde canyon.

I hadn't thought of a second Zambia location because I know Lower Zambezi is out due to the weather would Chichele give a very different experience to Luangwe River Lodge or would it be similar terrain and viewing, Thanks again Yvonne
YvonneM is offline  
Nov 25th, 2005, 04:13 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 157
Oh I,ve been using Island safaris, but basically madde all the plans myself, they seemed to have shaved just a little of the prices I found, any other suggestions
YvonneM is offline  

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