Zambia & Namibia Advice Wanted

May 24th, 2006, 06:05 PM
  #1  
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Zambia & Namibia Advice Wanted

Hi All,

I’m looking for advice. I had a wonderful experience on my first safari last July which included Zambia (to see the falls), Botswana (Chobe Chilwero & Chief’s) and SA (Mala Mala & Ulusaba). I now find myself in the position of being “dragged” back by my family and a group of friends.

Since I’m doing the planning, I get to choose where we’re going. I’ve always wanted to see the Namib Dunes so Sossusvlei (2 nights?) is in. Since I’m in Namibia, Etosha (3 nights) would seem to be a no brainer.

Some of my group wants to see Victoria Falls (1 night) and, given Roccco’s enthusiasm, another 3-4 nights in Zambia. We’ll finish up back at Ulusaba.

My group currently consists of 9 and will probably grow to12. We’re planning for early August, ’07.

My questions:

Namibia or Zambia first?

South Luangwa or Lower Zambezi? Which would contrast well with Etosha and Sabi Sand? A walking safari (i.e., walking between camps) is not an option.

And which camps/lodges? My group does get to approve my choices so they 1) need to be large enough to accommodate 12 guests and 2) need to be in the “upscale” category.

Thanks,

Roy
rgiampo1 is offline  
May 24th, 2006, 06:34 PM
  #2  
santharamhari
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Roy,

Seems like the Africa bug has bitten you guys. Welcome to the club!!!

Sorry, i'm not the best person to advice you on Zambia or Namibia.

But i hv two questions for you....

1.) Why Ulusaba? Recently there has been some not so good news about their management and their policies.

2.) How was Chief's camp in July? Very curious as to how it would be that time of the year? Were some of your drives affected by the floods, in terms of areas you could traverse?

Thanks
Hari
 
May 24th, 2006, 06:49 PM
  #3  
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Posts: 8
Hari,

We were at Chief's the last week of July. It was dry. Here's a link to some videos:

http://www.roydeb.com/unsecure/afric...a%20Movies.htm

As for Ulusaba, what have you heard? We had such a great time, it never crossed my mind to research the camp again.
rgiampo1 is offline  
May 24th, 2006, 07:07 PM
  #4  
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Hari,

Just say Selwyn's post of the article. Not too smart!!
rgiampo1 is offline  
May 24th, 2006, 07:25 PM
  #5  
 
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Hi Roy,

Just thinking on my toes here...go enjoy three nights at Sossusvlei (CCA), spend two nights at Matetsi Water Lodge (CCA) less than an hour outside Victoria Falls (this would be a poor man's substitute for Lower Zambezi, but would include Victoria Falls, as well as canoeing, morning and night game drives and even your own private plunge pools) and then finish up with 6 nights at Luangwa River Lodge, where you will get your final night free. However, if time does not permit, for a party your size, a tour operator who enjoys a strong enough relationship with Luangwa River Lodge would be able to get you a nice discount for a shorter stay (four nights would be very nice).

The 5 nights split between CCAfrica's camps would get you a very nice discount, as well. Also, with such a large group, you, personally, should qualify for a tour leader rate, possibly 50% off your personal cost (if you are able to consolidate it all into one booking).

I already have all the rates for CCAfrica, Lower Zambezi and South Luangwa, and the above itinerary would be an excellent value compared to other possible itineraries.

For your Sabi Sand choice, a CCA camp (Exeter Leadwood, Exeter Kirkman's Camp, Exeter River or Londolozi) would further add to your discount. I would be a bit concerned about Ulusaba, as they have been in the news lately. Although I am not passing judgment, the employee morale cannot be too high following the incident that occurred (two longtime female employees were reportedly strip searched after being accused of stealing something from a chalet...nothing was found).

The only thing I must point out is that you are likely looking at two overnights in Johannesburg if you wish to combine Sossusvlei, Victoria Falls, South Luangwa and the Sabi Sand.

It would be wise to choose between Etosha and South Luangwa. I have not yet had the pleasure of visiting Etosha, but South Luangwa is an amazing destination. Such an amazing destination. August is probably the most preferred month. Even if your group does not do a single walking safari, South Luangwa is a wonderful destination.

You have your work cut out for you...planning for 12 people will not be easy and in order to stay at the best camps/lodges, you should really get started immediately.
Roccco is offline  
May 24th, 2006, 09:15 PM
  #6  
santharamhari
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Roy,

Thanks for the post and info......will chk out the video when i get home from work.

Thanks
Hari
 
May 25th, 2006, 06:29 AM
  #7  
santharamhari
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Roy,

Thanks........great videos, particularly like the leopard ones...

Hari
 
May 25th, 2006, 06:40 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,916
I would not recommend skipping Etosha -- its one of the top African parks in terms of wildlife, but it does not have the large number of high-end lodges as some other parks. When I visited, I stayed four nights -- one night at Ongava (Wilderness Safaris) and three nights within the park. But, if you are concerned with high-end lodges, you would be very disappointed with the in-park lodges, and you should book Ongava.

If it were me, I would cut out one of the SA lodges (no need for stays at two lodges in the Sabi Sands) if that would prevent a short, even two-night, stay at Ongava.

I haven't researched lodges in Namibia since 2002, when I visited, so its possible that other high end lodges around Etosha have opened.

But, if you're in Namibia, Etosha is unmissable, with very large herds of animals and large number of rhino and cats, and its a much different environment than you'll see elsewhere.

But, its a large popular park, and while Ongava's private reserve is exclusive, Etosha has lots of visitors.

That being said, I would list Etosha among the very best parks (along with Masai Mara/Serengeti and Chobe/Okavango purely in terms of wildlife viewing).
thit_cho is offline  
May 26th, 2006, 06:49 PM
  #9  
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Thanks to all for the info. Now I just gotta decide what to do.
rgiampo1 is offline  
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