Zim Itinerary for Oct

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Jun 26th, 2012, 08:52 AM
  #1
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Zim Itinerary for Oct

Please tell me what you think of this itinerary for Oct 2013. This will be my 8th safari. 3 to Tanzania, 1 Botswana, 1 So Africa, 1 Kenya/Rwanda and 1 to Namibia this Oct.

4 nights Vic Falls with 1 all day trip to Chobe

3 nights The Hide in Hwange

3 nights Goliath in Mana Pools

2 nights Kanga in Mana Pools

I haven't heard much about Kanga. Would it be better to skip this camp and add another night to The Hide and Goliath? Different camps? Any thoughts?
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Jun 27th, 2012, 08:20 AM
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Consider Somalisa in Hwange. It's a great camp and the eles come to their pool to drink almost every afternoon. You can sit 10' away and watch (or paint) them.
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Jun 28th, 2012, 06:02 AM
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I did consider Somalisa but of course I haven't been to either. I picked the Hide because it had an extra game drive, or you could go out with breakfast and spend more time in the bush. I also like that it has several hides to hang out in. I understand that it only takes 4 to a vehicle? Not sure about Somalisa or the locations. What did you love about Somalisa?
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Jun 28th, 2012, 09:35 AM
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Dardley (also known as Dudley) is the camp manager and also does some of the game drives. He's one of the most experienced guides in Zimbabwe. In fact, he's an examiner for the testing of new guides. The camp itself has the draw of the eles that seem to love their pool and use it as a waterhole... no hide necessary. There is also another waterhole in front of the camp. One night, I heard something rubbing the canvas of my tent. It was an ele checking the roof of my tent for acacia pods. Then, there were the dwarf mongooses that shared my water bucket in the bath. The camp, as with some of the other nearby camps, has a concession within the park. It includes Ngweshla Pan, where I saw lots of wildlife. In fact, the two nearby Wilderness Safaris camps encroached on Somalisa's concession, sending several vehicles into the Pan because the gameviewing was so much better the days I was there.
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Jul 1st, 2012, 10:18 AM
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I've heard that Mana Pools in October is Suicide Month with daytime highs in the 40's and touching 50's. WOW! Is it worth it or are the cats all flat? Should I stick to Hwange (thank you Shay Tay for the info) and Vic Falls and/or add time in Chobe? Orginally I was thinking about the Riverboat cruise for a few nights instead of Mana. But Mana sounded so good, but is it too hot... HELP!
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Jul 1st, 2012, 12:39 PM
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Actually, all of southern Africa will be hot in October...SA, Bots, and Zim. I was in SA last October and it was 104 degrees. The rest of my group when on to Vic Falls and Chobe and it was closer to 113. Could you go earlier, say early September? It's warm, but not nearly as bad as October. BTW, I loved the Ichobezi Safariboat on the Chobe! Mana Pools is lovely, too... hard choice.
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Nov 13th, 2012, 11:57 AM
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I'm still working on a trip to Zim for next year. Decided on Harare to Mana Pools/Matusadona/Hwange/Vic Falls itinerary and the air transfers are coming in sky high. $1770 per person for 2 of us. Is it worth it?
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Nov 13th, 2012, 04:18 PM
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Thats on the higher side AT usd1770 per person. Harare to Mana is USD300- I have this booked for Oct next year and the other sectors are 290 USD for Vic Falls-Hwange, 390 for Hwange-Matusadona and 290 for Mana-Mtusadona - so under USD 1300. See Safari logistics page -unless your flights are on non scheduled days and your TA is chartering a leg or so.

Also you can knock off the USD 290 for USD 130 or so pp if you do a road transfer from Hwange to Vic Falls- which is 2-3 hours on very good roads- I did this last year. We also transfered by road from Harare to Mana Pools (approx USD 250 or so for 3 people) and road transfer from Mana to Matusadona (again 5 hours by road but with a lunch stop) and then another hour on the lake by boat. If you can take Road transfers (roads are in great shape in Zimbabwe), then really the only leg you need to fly is Matusadona to Hwange.
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Nov 13th, 2012, 04:25 PM
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Shaytay -Dardley(Dudley) is not there in Somalisa anymore- the managers were Sharon and Sabrina. The guides - Raymond Ndovu, Michael and Doug Lawrence when I was there in August and not sure if Doug will stay on or move either as he was there for few months- Now they have a new set of managers for Somalisa -changed last couple of month.

I didnt stay at Hide but I asked my guide questions and it didnt look promising at all -Someone at Safaritalk.net also had not sucha great experience ( her trip report is there at www.safaritalk.net in the Trip Reports section )- sorry cannot access that site from work but based on what I was told and this TR, would second Shaytay's recommendation of Somalisa.
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Nov 13th, 2012, 05:21 PM
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Thanks, Tanya. Do you know if he is still with the company? Even without him there, I'd recommend the camp.
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Nov 13th, 2012, 05:45 PM
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I think I remember Sharon saying he has left the company but really not 100% sure -I did mention him as had read about him here from you I think.

I second your recommendation definitely- Its a very warm friendly camp, very flexible ( I left at 5:30-6 and returned at 12-1 and then left again at 2:30 pm) and all 3 guides there are very good -I had Raymond as my guide and also got a chance to interact a bit with Michael and a lot with Doug Lawrence- Doug previously guided in Mana for Craig Van Zyl's company Classic Africa, Raymond was born and brought up in Hwange- so a lot of guiding talent there.
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Nov 13th, 2012, 09:28 PM
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We were in Somalisa in September, 2012 and absolutely loved it. We had Raymond as our guide and I can not say enough wonderful things about him. I truly felt so sad to leave there as it was such a special place.
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Nov 14th, 2012, 04:58 AM
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Hi, I have written a report on Safaritalk. Not sure if tanya_1976 was reffering to my report.

We were in the Hide in August-Sept. 2012. Our reason for chosing The Hide was also the option of a additional activity. However, it was extremely disappointing. The location and the tents are great and the service not too bad either. The hide near the watterhole is fantastic. Most of the clients seem to be on a 'side trip' from Vic Falls. For us, it felt like a busy hotel. Drives in the morning come back around 8 am for breakfast,go back out again around 9.30 am and stay out until about 1 pm. We thought coming back for breakfast during the peak viewing time was not a waste of time and asked if we could stay out without breakfast but that request was flatly refused. As it got very hot after about 11 am and the guides kept driving endlessly after that time saying 'the animals must be all hiding in the shed'!! Guiding was mediocre at best.

You can hear the train siren going at least twice during the night. One night we could hear a diesel engine going all night long. We had booked to spend a night in their treehouse, which is wonderfully constructed but the train was even noisier here!

Hwange itself was disappointing as well. Overall, I would say The Hide was not our cup of tea. I should have known better after 12 safaris and should have done some more research.

Wildlifepainter - We were at Goliath and Kanga after Hwange and absolutely loved it. You can find my report here - http://safaritalk.net/topic/9144-bac...ery-emotional/
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Nov 14th, 2012, 08:35 AM
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Thanks for all the comments. I really want to go to Zim but the costs are really adding up and my husband would prefer that we repeat Namibia for a lot less $$$. But I'd still like to make it work.

tanya_1976-you're going in 2012? Could you share where you are staying and the logistics?

ShayTay-maybe I should skip Hwange entirely and do your safari boat recommendation at Chobe. Which would you pick and why if I may ask?

Kavita14-Thanks for the trip report link. It sounds like you had a great time and I am rethinking the Hide and/or Hwange. I think Somalisa is more $$$. What was the advise for Tsetses? I am allergic to them and swell up pretty fast so that's why I was avoiding Kanga. But if it's that good maybe I should suffer?
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Nov 14th, 2012, 10:28 AM
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Wildlifepainter, if I had to choose between Hwange and the safariboat, I'd choose the boat. I saw much more wildlife on the Chobe than I did in Hwange. Also, it's a different experience from the usual game drives. Not only do you cruise the river in the main boat, but you do "game drives" in small speedboats. You see the wildlife as they come down to the river and can get really close. The draw for me at Somalisa was how the eles came to the pool for a drink every day. On the boat, you'll be surrounded by eles at Elephant Bay, where they usually tie up for at least one night.
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Nov 14th, 2012, 11:01 AM
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Thanks ShayTay. I've been trying to figure out how to get a few days on a safari boat since you raved about it some time ago. Atravelynn has highly recommended a regular Chobe River cruise also. I was thinking of adding it on to Namibia next time but it really is more easily accessible from Kasane and it doesn't seem to fit into a self drive trip. More to think about.
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Nov 14th, 2012, 03:10 PM
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The day cruises on the river have about 40 people jammed on a small boat. We saw lots of them as we left the Kasane area. You should have seen all the envious looks as we cruised by, stretched out on our chaise lounges! It was good to get further up the river away from the crowds. Yes, you access the safariboat at Kasane, even though you are officially considered to be in Namibia. You're transported to an immigration office on an island in the river, do the paperwork, and head for the boat.
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Nov 14th, 2012, 05:54 PM
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Wildlifepainter- I was in Zimbabwe in August '12 spending 12 nights in Mana Pools across 3 different locations-Chitake Springs camping, Little Vundu and Nyamatusi wilderness area camping; 3 nights in Matusadona-Rhino Safari Camp and 3 nights in Hwange-Somalisa.

In Sep/Oct '13 I will be back and this time spend 15 nights in Mana in 4 different locations and then 5 nights in Gonarezhou- its a mix of bushcamps, Kanga and Chikwenya Lodge.
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Nov 14th, 2012, 05:57 PM
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sorry - logistics is all by road except the first Harare to Mana leg is a flight.
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Nov 15th, 2012, 04:01 AM
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wildlifepainter - I personally wouldn't go back to Hwange and so would support ShayTay's suggestion of a safariboat. I have never been on one though.
We are very allergic to tsetses as well. On our last trip to Zambia, we had to miss a couple of activities as we couldn't even get the shoes on due to swollen ankles. There are tsetses around Kanga. We saw (and were bitten by) a lot more tsetse on our way to the riverfront from Kanga compared to around Kanga. However, this time I was prepared with repellent creams, sprays, ointments, even a 'pen' to use on the bite. Lets just say that tsetses wouldn't stop me from going back to Kanga at all.
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