Zambia: affordable dream safari for Sharon

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Sep 6th, 2005, 01:49 PM
  #101
 
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according to a "testimonial" on LRL's website, the transfer into the park is done by boat.
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Sep 6th, 2005, 02:00 PM
  #102
bwanamitch
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Then I guess it must be the area west of the big ox bow,
http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=-13.0...9338&t=k&hl=en

Looks like an exclusive area... I don't remember any camps in that area.

Mitch

PS: Wow. Over 100 postings in the 'Sharon" thread...

 
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Sep 6th, 2005, 02:03 PM
  #103
 
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just think of what the number would be if Rocco was in town!!!
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Sep 6th, 2005, 02:08 PM
  #104
bwanamitch
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yeah, and the number of '$' characters... (currently none)
 
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Sep 6th, 2005, 02:10 PM
  #105
 
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HAHAHA!!
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Sep 6th, 2005, 02:27 PM
  #106
 
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I know~ I am so honored! And confused. I picked Zambia thinking, among other things, my choices would be EASIER. Thanks, Mitch! ;-)
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Sep 6th, 2005, 02:54 PM
  #107
 
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I noticed many of you are always asking where the camps/lodges are? Can you get a gps coordinate when communicating with the operators? Or even take a gps for locting them when you go and those wonderful photo ops.
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Sep 6th, 2005, 02:57 PM
  #108
bwanamitch
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I've just sent a mail to Barry asking for GPS coordinates and the game driving area.
 
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Sep 6th, 2005, 03:00 PM
  #109
bwanamitch
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Btw, the questions for camp locations will soon be over when I'm back from Zambia... ;-)
 
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Sep 6th, 2005, 03:00 PM
  #110
 
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I've got another, unrelated question. I'll post here first, but I may repost as a new thread if I don't get my answer here. I am wondering about when to go. First, I do understand the different seasons and that Aug-Sept. are probably best for game. But I am considering going mid May to mid June to save money and see things when they are a bit more green. I'd really like to know if anyone has been to Zambia during this time and how it really is. Is it very hot and humid? Is it really that hard to spot game? I know wild dog may be more active during this time which would be very cool. The other thing I'd like to know is this: Let's say I decide to wait and go in June or July. At this point, there is no seasonal discount to be had, so is it just as well to wait until Aug-Sept. for "peak" animal time? Is the terrain THAT much different in June/July compared to Aug./Sept? Animal viewing? OK - I think that's it for now. Again, I know what everyone says about the seasons. I'm looking for some real life observations to help me plan this trip. Photography is a priority, if that matters. (Hmm.. Going later allows me to save more money; going earlier allows me to spend less money. Maybe that part evens out!)
Thanks everyone!
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Sep 6th, 2005, 06:27 PM
  #111
 
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Sharon
Thanks for your questions. I have been wondering about the exact same things---the various Zambia locations, the best season for the cost involved and the game viewing conditions.
I am getting more and more confused the more I read!
Thanks
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Sep 6th, 2005, 07:13 PM
  #112
 
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You're most welcome, Tigerpaw! I hope someone has some input. Actually, I am not as confused as I sound. I know (pretty much, lol) where I'm going. Now it's a matter of choosing camps, and choosing the time of year to go! And I'm still weighing out going to Zimbabwe. It will be great to get Rocco's report, and to hear from Mitch after he goes, as well.
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Sep 6th, 2005, 07:36 PM
  #113
 
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The best month for game viewing in North and South Luangwa is October. But then it gets progressively hotter and humid, but the grazers have reduced the foliage to block viewing and your pics.Mozzies not an issue yet till the rains. The best all around time is Sept.
The rains start in November and continue, so then you get into the lower rates. November North Luangwa buttons up and will not open till it dries out again, usually by the 1st of June. But they are rebuilding camps in May.
Because of the higher visitor numbers, year round tracks and some operating nearly year round in SLNP, the program is different there.

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Sep 6th, 2005, 08:23 PM
  #114
 
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well at least it looks like I am going at the best time! phewwwwwww
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Sep 7th, 2005, 01:42 AM
  #115
 
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Mitch,

I noticed that you mentioned that certain areas of South Luangwa NP are considered the 'concessions' of particular safari companies (e.g. Robin Pope and Nsefu). Does this mean that if I want to see the Nsefu area, I need to stay at a Robin Pope camp?

Cheers,
Julian
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Sep 7th, 2005, 04:54 AM
  #116
bwanamitch
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Julian,

I'm not quite sure whether there are real concessions or only operators' agreements, however, all the areas in the park west of the river where the big operators have their bush camps and make their walking trails, are for exclusive use by one operator only.

Nsefu Sector is not an exclusive area of Robin Pope Safaris, although other operators respect the nice areas around Nsefu Camp and Tena Tena. I've been in Nsefu Sector with Remote Africa (Tafika Camp) and met RPS vehicles, and vice versa. I saw no other operators during my 8-day stay in the area.

Mitch
 
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Sep 7th, 2005, 05:52 AM
  #117
 
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cooncat2.
I am new to this stream, however not a stranger to Zambia or the South & North Luangwa valleys:

1) Time of year.
As someone has already advised, most camps in the SLV are closed until June. This has everythjing to do with the subsiding river and nothing to do with the game. The game is there year round.

The river gets progressively lower from July through November. The vegetation thins out over this time too, a result of both browsing and drought.

2) Game viewing during the wet season from Mfuwe Lodge & Chichele is good in the Nov - Jun periods as the game tend towards the raised roads keeping out of the mrashy floodplains. During November Mfuwe Lodge enjoys a special sight, a small herd of elephant wander through the lodge reception to feed on a mango tree in the lodge grounds. This is a curios activity that they have en joyed for some years.

In the Nsefu Sector Tafika is open between Feb and April.

In choosing your lodge/camp you need to decide what it is that you want. Do you want a very private and personal experience? Then go for the Bushcamps as they only accommodate 6 people. Do you want to spend less? Then look at Mfuwe lodge or the other larger facilities, they take around forty people making the experience less personal, buut none the less enjoyable.

3) If you have the time, I would agree that visiting Zim would be an added jewel to the trip, spend some time at Vic Falls too up until the end of July the flow is awesome. If however you end up there around Sept onwards, the falls are best viewed from the Zim side, Zambia has almost no water.

Last comment on choosing your camp.
The game is good year round. No matter where you stay I believe that you will see good game. Yes being in the park is a better, you don't need to exit before closure.
However the guide will make or break your stay. I suggest you look carefully at the inclusions and find the camp that offers the best values, generally they are the ones that are keyed into their guests needs and will provide you with the better and more committed guides.

good luck
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Sep 7th, 2005, 06:43 AM
  #118
 
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Mkhonzo-Thank you so much for the reply. This will be of help to me and others who are trying to plan trips to Zambia. This is going to sound like a broken record to some on this board, but since you're new, let me explain a bit more and maybe you'll have more advice. When you asked what experiences I'm looking for, etc., I prefer the idea of a smaller camp and a smaller group. But I am going solo, and I also hope to avoid being stuck with a large family group, for instance, or couples who don't want a "third wheel" around. I really don't mean to drone on about this and I do understand that it's always a crap shoot when you travel. So.... with that said, would you go with bush camps over the lodges? Also, any idea about humidity levels in May? I can take heat better than humidity! Photography in May? Will the grass really hide the animals? That's it...for now. Thank you a million times over!
Sharon
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Sep 7th, 2005, 07:10 AM
  #119
bwanamitch
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Norman Carr has written a wonderful book, "Valley of the Elephants", that describes wildlife and climatic changes in South Luangwa through the months of the year. It's out of print for years, but maybe you find a copy at your local library.

Book info on my site:
http://www.safari-shop.de/FieldStudi...#0-00-216841-3

Mitch
 
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Sep 7th, 2005, 07:59 AM
  #120
 
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Thanks Mitch - At a first attempt, the only copy I could find was a used version on Amazon for $295.00! That's a little too much but it does sound like a great book. I'll check my local library!
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