Zambia vs. Zimbabwe

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Mar 11th, 2005, 01:10 PM
  #1
Lin
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Zambia vs. Zimbabwe

I posted this same message on the Zim boards. I'm trying to decide between a safari in South Luangwe/Lower Zambezi and Hwange/Mana Pools. Anyone have any advice for me, besides the politics in Zimbabwe? Thanks
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Mar 11th, 2005, 01:15 PM
  #2
Lin
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Oh, I forgot to ask. My travel agent believes that South Luangwe park has become rather touristy, almost like Kenya parks, with more people than one might wish to see. Any comments on that? thanks again
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Mar 11th, 2005, 02:13 PM
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If it is indeed "touristy" - might be because Roccco gave up his secret destination and keeps recommending that everyone go to Zambia. Lol!
 
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Mar 11th, 2005, 02:34 PM
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Lin,

I would like to meet your travel agent in a dark alley to set the record straight! I'll show him/her touristy!

Seriously, it is ridiculous to suggest that South Luangwa has become touristy. This is a park that is about 250 miles x 60 miles, if I am not mistaken, and probably has the capacity for no more than about 300 tourists at any given time, but rarely reaching even 50% that capacity.

If you are familiar with South Africa, South Luangwa is 13 times larger than the Sabi Sand Game Reserve and I can guarantee you that it never has more tourists at any given time than the Sabi Sand. People are paying $2,000 per night to stay at Singita and Londolozi for not only its luxury but its "exclusivity." HA!!!

There are no minibuses cruising through the South Luangwa and very, very few guests arrive by road. 90% or more guests arrive via light air transfers and there are very few times when there are more than one vehicle at a game spotting. Should you visit in June or earlier in the year, you may go DAYS without seeing another vehicle.
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Mar 11th, 2005, 02:47 PM
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My most recent visit to South Luangwa was in 2003 and touristy it was not! In 5 days, I believe I saw one other camp's vehicle.

Here is a link to something I wrote earlier on the Lower Zambezi in Zambia, a highlight of all my African travels.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...t=0&dirtyBit=1

You can also visit and stay at Kawaza Village in S. Luangwa. If you wished to include North Luangwa, there is an amazing camp called Kutandala. Links on comments I wrote on Kawaza and Kutandala are below.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=4

My recollections of Zimbabwe date back to 1995 and 1998. Mana Pools was just slightly more game packed and scenic than Lower Zambezi in my opinion.

S. Luangwa vs. Hwange? Maybe slight edge to Hwange. Sable antelope viewing in Hwange is the best Ive done. The pans in Hwange that attracted game, especially eles, at sunset were spectacular. No river activity, as with the Luangwa, but youd get your river at Mana Pools.

If the links dont work, please email me. Or just email me anyway if you want.

You have a choice of two winners in my mind. Id be thrilled going back to either Zambia or Zimbabwe.

Rocco should be popping up soon on this thread to sell you on Zambia. He's advocating a marvelous destination.
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Mar 11th, 2005, 02:50 PM
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Oops, Rocco's already in the game on your duplicate post. Should have known.
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Mar 11th, 2005, 03:24 PM
  #7
Lin
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Thank you all, I'll be investigating your suggestions. I shouldn't have used the word 'touristy'. My agent told me that there would be more tourists in S. Luangwa and it would have a similar feel to the Kruger NP area, i.e. more developed, than Zimbabwe.
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Mar 11th, 2005, 03:40 PM
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Lin...time to switch agents!!! Kruger National Park receives upwards of 1 million visitors per year. South Luangwa likely receives less than 1% that amount (far less than 10,000 tourists throughout the year, despite being 50% the size of Kruger NP).
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Mar 11th, 2005, 08:50 PM
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hi lin, i think either destination is a great choice. i just visited hwange in jan (makololo plains), staying for 3 nights. we were the only people in the camp. the game was incredible and everyone raved that we needed to come back in aug/sept time to go to chikwenya in mana pools as well. you wont see more elephants anywhere in the dry season than in hwange. you can check out my trip report and pics from an earlier post.
i havent been to zambia yet but its certainly near teh top of my list. let me know if you need answer to more specific questions.
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Mar 12th, 2005, 05:13 PM
  #10
Lin
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Thanks bigcountry, I will look up your post!
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