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Found 200 results

  1. Dear All, Happy Diwali ........ First of all, back home after another amazing trip to the Kwando concession. A million laughs, the joys of cheetah tracking through the heat of suicide month, what more can one ask for ....... Many many Thanks to Spencer and Mr.Moe for another magical safari up and down the Kwando Concession. Many highlights which include the new very young Cheetah coalition trying to take a strangle hold of the neighbourhood, the dominant Lagoon Super Pride, Incredible Carmine colony, Bumping into a Cheetah mum and cubs who had never been seen before or who in turn had possibly never seen a vehicle before , stumbling into random Lions trying to make their way from the migratory corridor from Namibia, not to forget bumping into a curious Aardwolf while cheetah tracking, massive Elephant herds........ but, start with the first few photos from my final morning
  2. Hello I am just in the process of putting together a report on my recent trip to Botswana. It was mobile camping trip. I was part of a group lead by wildlife and nature photographer Theo Allofs and his wife Jami Tarris. They had organised this trip in association Brian Gibson of Capture Africa based in Maun. It was my first mobile camping experience and it was absolutely fantastic. The trip's itinerary was as follows: 23rd September to 3rd October 2017 Day 1 Thamalakane River Lodge, Maun Day 2,3,4: Moremi Game Reserve Day 5,6,7: Khwai Community Concession Day 8,9,10: Savuti, Chobe National Park Day 11: Thamalakane River Lodge, Maun Day 12: Helicopter flight over Okavango Delta with Helicopter Horizons in the morning. Fly to Jo'burg in the afternoon Will post day by day account soon. I need to figure out how to add videos and shots from my mobile phone to the report. Cheers Vikram
  3. Introducing Unlimited Tours & Safaris and professional guide Moses Ntema Unlimited Tours & Safaris is a local owner operated Safari company that prides itself with a high level of service and real wildlife experience. Founded in 2007, the company is owned and run by Moses Ntema, a professional safari guide with many years of experience from Kwando, Wilderness Safaris and GreatPlains. Moses wanted to create his own company to be able to run safaris the way he wants them, basic camping safaris with great guiding in the nationals parks and community run concessions of Botswana. He wants to show the beauty of the landscape, animals and people of Botswana. Moshe (Moses) Ntema, owner and professional safari guide Our goal is to offer a personalized camping safari in Botswana with professional guide and focus on wildlife and nature. We will tailor you safari to meet your wishes, and can offer both lodge and camping safari. But we excel and pride ourselves in running high quality camping safaris where Moses knowledge of wildlife, nature and culture will give a deeper understanding and insight in to the ecosystem and the animals and people in it. We will post some short stories from the bush and other news that might be of interest. For more up to date info please have a look at our Facebook-site, www.facebook.com/unlimitedsafari. We are extremely happy for questions, feedback or comments on our safaris. Unlimited Tours & Safari Ltd Pty Contact Adress: PO BOX 20604, Maun Botswana Telephone: +267 6862638 Mobile: +267 71112141 Email: booking@unlimitedsafari.com Web: www.unlimitedsafari.com or www.facebook.com/unlimitedsafari Just to make sure there are no misunderstandings I want to make it clear that I first met Moses on a Kwando safari in 2009, and we have kept in touch since. I have been helping him out during the years, and at the moment I hold 20% of the company. cheers, Tom
  4. This will be a fairytale. A story about two places. Far between. But connected in the way of wildlife and for some rare sightings. Part one will be a story about Marrick in South Africa and my search for the shy nocturnal animals who is roaming these lands. Was the reputation true? What did I find? Part two is a story about some characters in Okavango delta in the very high season when the flooding make the life easy for many animals. Not all, some of them will have a hard time. My story will tell... This part take place in Khwai Concession. In Marrick I stayed at Marrick lodge. Trevor Datnow and his crew make this to an exceptional place to stay. In Khwai I used WalkBotswanaSafaris and Gareth Flemix as a guide. Wild camping. Very luxury though with an attached toilet and shower built in the back of my tent. Even a proper bed and staff who make excellent food all the way. This was the real deal. I was there for wildlife, not sitting around in a lodge and spend most of the time to find a sunset point for a Gin/Tonic. Such a waste of time for the most perfect conditions for wildlife and photography. I can drink at home and I can hang around in a lodge at home. But I can definitely never ever photographing "African animals" in the sunset at home... WalkBotswanaSafaris fulfilled all my expectations. So let me introduce the stars of the show. These characters is where the most action were. But there will be others as well... First out, Marrick. My most sought after creature here was of course Black footed cat and Aardvark. We found alot of other things as well... African wildcat! I will tell you more day by day in my next posts. I had three nightdrives and one daytrip to Mokala NP. Oh hell... I almost forgot the Meerkats! There are alot of them around Marrick and also Mokala NP. Nice and cute family. Khwai Concession in Botswana is another story. About a Leopard family... The cub is around 3 month old. A Lion family... With cubs in most ranges... A Wild dog family. On the hunt... And 12 days old puppies who sees the sky for the first time in their life. Especially one of them who got lost and a very rough start (and maybe end) of his life... Here he is. A story about very rare sightings... ...and creatures who have some problem with all the water to collect food... ...while some others have more than enough and take full advantage of the pantry. African darter and Dwarf bittern. Now when the stars are introduced. We can start from the beginning in Marrick on day 1. To be continued...
  5. We have decided that a fly-in safari in Botswana should not just be for the luxury market and we are now offering 'mobile-style' camps in Botswana's most popular National Parks so that more people can enjoy the experience without the long overland transfers. We have called our new operation 'Botswana Tented Camps'. Each Camp will be open for booking from April to November and there is a maximum of 6 people in camp at any one time which means everyone gets a 'window' seat on our vehicles. We can provide charging for cameras and phones on our vehicles, even when they do not have the engine on. All our camps consist of 3m x 3m Dome Tents with ensuite bush toilet and bucket shower. Included is all meals, drinks (including alcoholic), activities and National Park Fees. These can also be used for self-drive safaris. We have three locations: Moremi Tented Camp. Located in the Moremi Game Reserve at exclusive campsites here you can explore the Third Bridge, Xakanaxa, South Gate and Black Pools areas with our superb guide, Tumelo Charles. Known simply as 'Charles' Tumelo comes from the village of Sankuyo which borders the Moremi Game Reserve and has been guiding in the Okavango for more than 10 years. He has excellent knowledge of the area he works in and is great fun to be around on safari. Khwai River Tented Camp. Located in the Khwai Private concession here you can go 'off-road' and get a little closer to the wildlife. This fantastic area is well known for its abundance of Predators, particularly Leopard which are frequently seen. Khwai River Tented Camp is run by Pilot Manga who has 30 years of experience working, guiding and living in the Okavango. Pilot is well known in Botswana and wherever you go someone will know him and on top of this he is without doubt one of Botswana's best guides. Savuti Tented Camp. Located in the heart of the Savuti area of Chobe National Park this fantastic area is again great for Predators. The subject of numerous recent documentaries on the Lions, Leopards, Hyena and Elephants there is always something going on here. Savuti is run by Mike Tebogo who has been working on safari all his adult life. A former assistant to Pilot he gained his guiding license with Pilots' help and has now been guiding for over 10 years. Mike is one of those unassuming guides whose knowledge and passion for what he does shines through the calm exterior. The price is US$280.00 per person per night sharing with a minimum of 3 nights per camp or 6 nights across 2 or 3 camps. If you wish to self-drive this is all you will pay. Flying itineraries: 6 nights at 2 camps - US$2,400 per person sharing (or US$2,425 if you include Khwai, the higher price is due to the landing fees at the airstrip which is owned privately) which includes flights from Maun, between camps and back to Maun. You can fly to Kasane instead at an extra cost. 9 nights - US$3,525 per person sharing which includes flights from Maun, between camps and back to Maun. You can fly to Kasane instead at an extra cost. Please click here to see the costs on our website Tumelo Charles Pilot Manga Mike Tebogo
  6. Hi all - Have been reading way too much and trying to figure out an itinerary for a late July/early August 2018 trip to Africa. We would be a party of four with 2 adults and 2 children (11 and 17). To complicate matters, we MIGHT have an additional adult (age 19 - brother of other kids), who might join us. I realize that the 17 year-old is an adult in most pricing scenarios....we are coming from the West Coast of US I was sold on Tanzania: Tarangire (3N) /Ngorongoro (2N) /Serengeti Lamai (4N) / Grumeti (2N) - same company (e.g. Asila, Nomad) for Tarangire/Ngrongoro and hoping for some savings - booking Serian Serengiti Lamai with private vehicle, Nomad camp is not available at this time - then one of the Grumiti properties for a private reserve Then I started researching and came upon Botswana: Linyante Waterfront (3N), Delta (3N), Delta (2N) - was thinking Lebala - then young explorers at Shinde in the Delta - and then 2 more nights somewhere? - would probably tack on Victoria Falls / Capetown No one in our family has ever been to Africa before. Would probably get private vehicle on either itinerary. My estimates are that 11 night Tanzania itinerary will be close in cost to the 8 night Botswana itinerary. I haven't put either itinerary out to TA's yet. It's high season in both countries, so probably not much flexibility. I think kids will want to see predators, elephants, large herds of animals. -Our dates are a little flexible. But late July/early August works best. Which itinerary is better with those dates? -For kids (they are not really kids), whom will not most likely get back on safari without their parent's dime, what do you recommend? -Any additional suggestions?
  7. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/22/travel/botswana-safari-women-chobe.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-shareAt one of Africa’s most progressive safari destinations, all-female guides are a success with guests from around the world.
  8. Scientists studying African wild dogs in Botswana have found that that they use sneezes to vote on when the pack will move off and start hunting. http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/royprsb/284/1862/20170347.full.pdf University of New South Wales. "Something to sneeze about: Democratic voting in African wild dog packs." ScienceDaily. 5 September 2017. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170905202954.htm
  9. Hello Everyone, I have just managed to convince my Wife that we should go to Botswana for the first time in May 2019. I realise it is a long way off but I am already doing some extensive research, and would appreciate any sharing of the wealth of knowledge on these forums. We only have a few objectives these are: 1 Wild Dogs, I understand that there can never be any certainty with them, but I would like to stay somewhere that can give me the best possibility to see them. 2 Active Waterhole (Elephants), My Wife loves Elephants, and it would be nice to stay somewhere were we can see them from the camp. 3 Okovango Delta, We would like to experience the delta, and stay somewhere where we can explore on both land and water. We are all about the wildlife and environment and we are not worried about the level of luxury. At the moment I have two possible itineraries and would appreciate any feedback 1) Kwara Camp x 3 nights Hyena Pan Camp x 4 nights (does anyone have any experience of this camp? it appears to particularly good value with an active pan for Elephants. Lagoon Camp x 4 nights 2) Shindi Camp x 3 nights Selinda Explorers Camp x 4 nights Savuti Safari Lodge x 3 nights Thanks for your time
  10. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/06/science/wild-dogs-sneeze-hunt.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-shareThe number of African wild dogs in a pack who sneeze determines whether or not the pack goes on a hunt.
  11. I spent a few days sailing down the Chobe as part of my birthday trip to Africa in August/September of 2016. This experience was completely different to Kruger. The safaris were on the water as opposed to a vehicle and this provided fascinating viewing opportunities on both the Botswana and Namibian sides of the river. I entered in .Botswana, got my passport stamped and then had to cross the Namibian border. That was a bit of an experience. The officer was as sick as a dog, dehydrated and stuck in a tiny windowless room with no electricity. I asked about it later and was told no one else wants to work the job so this officer has to work even when he shouldn't. On the Chobe you see vast open spaces and herds of animals as opposed to one or two. Also, there are lots of animal combos to be seen and oh the birds.......
  12. HUNGRY CROC Monday again so here is another Safari-memory, this happened in Botswana October 2010. Early morning Chobe River Photo Safari with private guests in small boat focusing mainly on Birding. After 15min up close to a couple of Saddle-Billed Storks so good start, then just behind them we spotted about 10 Wild Dogs finishing off a Kudu on the beach. Great sighting and no other boats or vehicles around, my guests very pleased. Then this big Croc surfaced next to our boat, crawled up on the beach and headed in direction of the kill. The Wild Dogs not happy and tried to scare off the intruder. The Croc very focused succeeded its mission then crawled back toward us with part of the kill. The Croc seemed very content. I got some good pictures and the whole sequence on Video as well and so far its Nr.4 of my Top10 Croc-sightings. That was a nice morning for Birding Have a nice week! /SAFARILEGEND
  13. Sunday 4th June 2017 How are we managing to fit so much into 24 hours whilst here holidaying when normally it would be a couple of cups of coffee, a couple of meals and a single Times Sudoku in an average day? Heaven alone knows but I hope you're as tired as we are after reading this! Today after a hearty breakfast at Avani, Victoria Falls we load all our bags and join a London couple who are also heading to Botswana today, for the one hour transfer by very good tar roads to Kazungula! When we arrive at the port on the mighty Zambezi river (where huge flat-bed trucks laden with Copper wait for at least a week for the single Ferry to take them over the river, their is a new bridge being built - slowly!) we are in a convoy of vehicles, it's complete madness. On our own, without our driver Daniel, we could quite easily be here forever. It's crazy, a scary scenario James Bond style. But with our driver we meander through the chaos, between lorries to the left, trucks on the right, guys eating out of cooking pots on the back of the flat-bed trucks, drivers playing cards. But we are suddenly parked by the makeshift waterfront. Rubbish and plastic bottles float by as hawkers tell us their names as they try and sell their wooden animals and homemade jewellery. Daniel and friends quickly load our bags onto a cumbersome metal flat bottomed boat, more American Navy than African Queen. Within minutes, with hasty goodbyes from our Zambian helpers we are whisked over the huge river and met by the Botswana driver and his open sided Safari vehicle and told we have to clear customs! So passports in hand four lonely British tourists stand inside a very ramshackle customs building ready to pay the newly installed 30 US $ Tourist tax - but are told we can't, as the machines aren't working yet - so we get our passports stamped and within 20 minutes we are booked into our home for the next 2 nights at Chobe Bush Lodge, Kasane, result! We have the most idyllic room, complete with fabulous swathes of mosquito netting over our bed. We are booked to do a Game drive within hours so we get sorted, dressed for the Safari occasion and off we go! Haskins is our driver, quite young and a bit inexperienced we decide but he's been working as a Safari guide for 5 years, so we're in his capable hands for the next 3 hours as he drives us around parts of Chobe National Park. At 12,000 square kilometres, it's a huge expanse of scrub, trees, wide open plains and also a beach like frontage to the Chobe river and islands overlooking Namibia. The deep sand and rough gravel roads are a challenge for the 10 passengers as Haskins informs us of all the information of what we could see during our afternoon drive as slowly the African sun sets and the temperature goes from 26c to nearer 10 by the time our drive is over. But in that time we must have travelled at least 20 miles and see Impala, Kudu and Puko all types of Antelope found in Botswana. The Impala are many and are nicknamed McDonalds as they are food for the masses! Giraffes cross our path on many occasion so graceful and beautiful they are. We drive down to the river and along the beach area and I photograph 2 enormous crocodiles that are thankfully over on one of the islands basking in the sun. Herds of Elephants and Africa Buffalo are feeding on the lush grass also on the island in front of us, also hippos and the broad wide blue skies help make the most perfect picture opportunities. We stop for drinks at a recognised picnic area and discuss how amazing are the things we've seen and head back for our last half an hours drive before we get back to the lodge. Our driver gets a message on his radio and we load back into our Safari vehicle and speed off on a mission. The light is fading fast as it's approaching 5.30 and the sun has set but it's then we see three vehicles at precarious angles parked up and we now know the reason. We get ourselves a pitch and just to our left, sat just 50 yards from us, resting peacefully but watching every move, is a fully grown Lioness! She is stunning. Wow! We can't believe it so we all sit motionless as the light disappears and take what photos we can. After a while we reluctantly leave and realise as we go just the other side of the bushes in front of us was another Lioness. What an afternoon we've had. Monday 5th June Early mornings are the norm on this trip and as we were told it gets very cold overnight. We are off on another drive at the ungodly hour of 6am and we are wrapped up, but are not totally prepared for for almost freezing point temperatures. This morning we drive through the bush for over an hour and have only seen a few Impala when we again get a radio message about a Lion and once we find her we get some lovely photos of her yawning and resting whilst watching every move from a close herd of Impalas, I guess we know what's on her mind. We don't see a single Elephant today but enjoy our three hour drive including one funny moment when both Haskins ( our guide again today ) and myself shout Pumba! We have seen a Warthog and it's baby as any Disney fan will appreciate the name. There are Giraffes all around and just a few Zebra, but not so many creatures are awake today or maybe not visible to us. Back at the lodge we feed and prepare ourselves and within hours we are off on a river cruise along the Chobe. There are 3 boats each holding around 50 passengers lined up on the jetty at the Chobe Lodge Hotel, which is just across the road from our own Chobe Bush Lodge. The boats are all full with folks from many countries of the world as we glide off on our afternoon adventure. We are totally spoilt with masses of Hippos bobbing up and down in the water, eight of them in our first sighting. There is a herd of about 30 Buffalo feeding with their babies who we watch and also a gorgeous pair of Pied Kingfishers who are nesting on the bank in front of us and then we meander around the different islands that make up this amazing area. It is stunning, we are lost for adjectives for this trip. How to do describe so many fantastic moments without making it sound oh so boring but this place and especially this river cruise has blown all our expectations. A few photos might help you understand how good it was but as we were getting towards the end of our wonderful afternoon we saw a total one off, not just for us tourists but for a few of the regular guides. A large Elephant we had been watching on the shoreline, kept walking towards us, flapping his ears only 20 yards in front and kept coming! In the next 4 minutes he swam a distance of almost 80 yards lover to the island as the boats captain reversed our vessel out of the way and I videoed, as cameras furiously clicked all around. What a moment that was. Pied Kingfishers became a favourite Tuesday 6th June Another day and it's almost time to move on, but first, with a new guide Roy we head to do our final game drive in Chobe National park. As the sun rises we watch a fantastic display from a huge family of Baboons as well as again seeing plenty of Giraffe, Warthogs and Antelope. After breakfast back at the Lodge we are packed, collected and within 10minutes booking in at Kasane International airport. It's undergoing huge renovations so does resemble a building site at the minute but within 20 minutes of arriving at check in, we are aboard a 5 seater 'G8 Van' plane with 2 pilots taking up the front of this tiny little vehicle which will transport us down to the Okavango delta and our Camp for the next 3 nights which is 1 hour 15 minutes away. Marabou Stork Vultures An African Fish Eagle A Hamerkop - Yes I am becoming a Twitcher!!! A beloved Hornbill Just one more fabulous sunset
  14. Hi SafariTalk! Monday again and as promised here is a new Post for this week. A nice memory from Chobe Botswana 2008. All the best! /SAFARILEGEND
  15. Hi everyone, This is my first post...I hope it's in the right place. We are looking for help in planning a safari for 2018. We really want to see ***wild dogs*** and predators/elephants/rare animals...as well as all other wildlife. We are avid photographers and have narrowed the trip down to two options...for the most part. The question is which is the better option for what we are looking for, I.e. Wild dogs. Both options are in the same price range. We know nothing is guaranteed but are looking for reliable sightings during the times we are going. Option A - Botswana in late June 2018 1 night Vic Falls 2 nights Lebala Camp 2 nights Lagoon Camp 3 nights Little Kwara Option B - Zimbabwe and Zambia in June or August or September 4 nights Nkwali Camp in S. Luangwa 4 nights John's Camp in Mana Pools *****Which is the best month for option B taking into account what we want to see? We welcome all advice/information/opinion. Thanks in advance for the help. Cheers, Eric
  16. Hi ST! I have just seen the following trip from a Spanish TO. http://www.pasaporte3.com/africa/viajes/sudafrica-namibia-botswana/sudafrica-namibia-botswana.php I am very impressed by the prices they offer. This includes short safari in Kalahari, Torra conservancy safari, Etosha, Okavango safaris in canoa and Chobe in 4x4. It is also included flights of the Namib in aircraft, Damaraland rhino safari with Wilderness in Torra Conservancy, Visit of Fish Canyon, A flight over the Okavango Delta, and a helicopter flight over the Victoria falls. The price is around 4000 euros with the international flights. As a photographer I would obviously prefer a 4x4, but the point is that this includes a guide which would not be the case if I travel in self drive, excellent Wilderness lodges in many places. Also I see that the safaris in the parks are shorter than usual, but this seems logical if considered that it is a 28 days trip from Cap Town to Victorial Falls. I don't know if they consider 4x4 in Etosha which would be much better fro photography because these trucks are clearly not appropriate for photographic safaris...
  17. Hi forum! We are newbies (none of us have never been on a safari), so we would love your help! We will be traveling to Southern Africa in March 2018 (our dates are set). Given the climate that time of year in Southern Africa, and to maximize the “authentic” experience, we are trying to decide on the best safari experience for our family that we can afford. We will be traveling with 2 adults and two kids (both aged 10). We have 14 days total from arrival to departure (arrive into Cape Town, depart from Jo'Burg). We are not seeking luxury; our priority is a great family-friendly experience. We are fine staying in tents without plumbing for some of the trip. After 4-5 days in Cape Town exploring the coast (I will arrange this on my own), we basically have 3 options: Option 1: Fly to Maun from Cape Town. From there we would do approx. 2-3 days in the Central Kalahari and then 4 days or so in the Okanvango. Then fly from Maun to JNB to get back home. I understand it might be more expensive because of the exchange rate (we are Canadian), but we might save a bit (compared to high season rates) due to the low season in Botswana. Option 2: Travel to the Tuli region (e.g., Mashatu) and after 3-4 days there, then travel to a private Kruger-area park. From the Kruger area, head back to JNB to get back home. I was considering the Tuli/Kruger combo which from what I understand is amazing for kids and photography (but we might sacrifice some of the optimal viewing because of the time of year). Option 3: Arrive into Cape Town and do the 1st week in Cape Town and garden route. Then do an Eastern Cape lodge for 3 days or so. From there, go to Tuli (e.g., Mashatu) for 4 days and from there get back to JNB to get back home. This would minimize flights and travel time. While the Eastern Cape lodges are less “authentic” it still might be a great introduction for the kids and we “save the best for last” with Tuli at the end. For this option, we would drop Kruger and drop central/northern Botswana. In your expert opinions (and recognizing that the grasses might be high in March at some locations limiting visibility), which option will be: a. Best for kids? b. Best for game viewing? c. Best for photography? d. Best value? e. Most “authentic”? (I recognize that the “best” option may not be the best for each.) While we would love to also see Victoria Falls, I don’t think if we have either the time or the budget to make it happen. Finally, in a perfect world, we would love to be able to all stay in the same tent/room if at all possible, rather than having to split into two tents (since I would prefer to not have the two kids be alone). I really appreciate any advice that you have!! Roger
  18. In two months and a couple of days, we will be winging our way to Kenya! I cannot wait and have nothing left to plan!! I am thrilled that a friend from work and her high-school aged daughter decided to join us at the last minute, which should make the experience that much better (unless I drive her bonkers with my many exclamations.) My boss is retiring at the end of the school year and she considered going with us too; the timing wasn't right as we leave two days after school gets out and she has to stay through the end of June. So now I am wondering about a "next safari," when I haven't gone on the first one yet! What say you, collective Safari Gurus? This might be a teacher's trip, so probably shorter than the 2 weeks that I'm going this year. Daughter will be doing an internship next summer so I won't have to work around her schedule, although we will be pretty much restricted to mid-June to early-August again. PS That we I in the title is going to drive me bonkers. Can someone fix it to we?
  19. I've recently decided to become a more productive contributor to this wonderful forum so I've already introduced myself on the dedicated section of this forum and now I want to start my first ever trip report! I've been reading a lot of them in recent years so I think it's only fair to share my story of a 4-week trip my girlfriend and I made in August/September 2012 to South Africa and Botswana. As I already mentioned in my introduction I've always wanted to come to Africa ever since I was a little boy and in 2010 me and my girlfriend spend 4 amazing weeks in South Africa. To cut a long story short, it was everything we had hoped for and more... We visited Cape Town, Giant's Castle in the Drakensbergen, St. Lucia, Imfolozi, Mhkuze, Swaziland and Kruger National Park and we loved every minute of it. When we were sitting in the plane on our way back to The Netherlands we were already planning our next trip to the continent! At some later stage I will probably post a trip report of that trip also but since than I have developed my photography and Lightroom skills so I think I will revisit my images before I write a trip report about it... After our first trip we wanted to come back to Southern Africa but first we had to decide which countries we would like to visit. We were ready for a more adventurous trip so we thought about combining South Africa with Namibia or Botswana and after much debate we picked Botswana over Namibia because we then thought that Namibia was more about landscapes and Botswana was more about wildlife and we just wanted to see more wildlife. The people who have read my introduction already know we did the Namibia trip last June and we loved it! But also that trip report will have to wait because I want to focus on the South Africa & Botswana trip for now... In my next post, I will explain the exact itinerary, I hope I got you all interested... Cheers, Michel
  20. This will be our first safari for all of us, and the choices are overwhelming! We will be arriving into Cape Town March 2018, and we will be traveling as a family of 4 (2 adults, and twin 10-year olds) for two weeks (we fly home to Canada out of JNB). The approximate first week of our trip will be spent at Cape Town and the Garden Route (self-drive), but I would love help with planning the final 7-8 days of our holiday. We were looking at spending about 6 total days in lodges perhaps at two different sites doing safari. Our priority is experience (rather than the most luxurious room); I am fine with thatched roofs and/or a setting without electricity if it provides better game watching options for all 4 of us. I know that children under 16 cannot go on game walks, but we are interested in doing as much outdoors as possible. I have heard that the Ants Hill is a very child-friendly lodge. However, we are not big horseback riders, so I'm not sure it it is worth the cost if this is not a priority. I know that there are no predators or elephants at Ants Hill, so even if we did decide to splurge on this, we would still likely need to choose another site. Any thoughts on this? I have also read about Mashatu lodge in Tuli. How challenging is it to travel to the Mashatu/Tuli region (especially with kids)? More importantly, how unique is the Mashatu/Tuli region in March? Will our game viewing opportunities be limited due to the end of the rainy season? Would Mashatu/Tuli still be better or worse than the Kruger region given that we will be traveling in March? If we do Mashatu, would we still need to go to the Kruger area to ensure a full experience (e.g., Sabi Sands or Timbavati)? Finally, how does Mashatu/Tuli compare to Madikwe? Are they different enough to do both? In short, I don't think we will do 3 regions (e.g., Tuli, Kruger or Madikwe) in order to limit the travel time and expense. But we likely will do two (if people think it is is worth it); which two would you recommend? Thanks again for your help! Too many amazing choices! Roger
  21. Now is your chance to join one of our expeditions into the stunning wild places of Botswana as we take you on an overland adventure into the heart of wild Africa. No we don’t visit luxury lodges but we do give you the service and expertise that you would expect to find in one of those places and yes we do camp but comfort levels are fantastic, service is superb and our guiding extraordinary. Why Kingfisher Expeditions? Owner run operation and predominantly locally owned, benefiting local people directly Our guides are the best in the industry and passionate about their country, the wildlife and their clients Over 40 years combined safari experience giving the best service possible We know the areas we visit intimately giving you the best chance of seeing the amazing wildlife We only take six people per safari and stay for a minimum of three nights in each area giving our clients the best possible experience Regular set departures give you the opportunity to travel when you want Children Welcome Your Guide Tumelo Charles Known simply as ‘Charles’, Tumelo has been working for and running his own ‘mobile safari’ business from Maun for the last ten years. He has spent time taking his foreign clients all over Northern Botswana to some of the most remote parts of his beautiful country and seeing the amazing wildlife that inhabits these areas. He is from the Bayei people, the water people of the Okavango, and was born on the fringes of this amazing inland river delta and having grown up in a small village, knows the Botswana bush intimately. Click here to read more about Charles Our Safari Expeditions An Expedition with Kingfisher Safaris is an authentic wild African experience that will immerse you in some of Botswana’s most remote and inaccessible places. You will travel between camps on comfortable, specially-designed, 4×4 Game Drive vehicles with your back-up crew ahead getting the camp ready for your arrival. Everything you need for your safari is provided by us so that you can enjoy the experience of being in Africa’s wild heart to the full. We take you to the best destinations in this sparsely populated country giving you the chance to see the astonishing wildlife in their own surroundings. We select all our campsites based on the expert knowledge of our guides and the movements of the animals at particular times of the year. Your Accommodation We use what is known as ‘Bow Tents’ with en-suite bush ablutions so that you have exclusive access to all the facilities you need. These tents are 3mx3m in size and we use these largest of small tents as standard. We provide you with a camp bed, mattress, bedroll & lighting so that you are as comfortable as possible whilst staying with us. Set Departures We have three set departures each month giving you the choice and flexibility to join any safari you like to suit your needs. We have two 6 night safaris and one 9 night safari each month. If you book the whole safari to yourself, it can go where you want it to. Click here for our 6 night Okavango Expedition Price Low season (Jan – Jun & Nov – Dec) US$2,100.00, £1,400.00 or €1,600.00 per person sharing Price High season (Jul – Oct) US$2,500.00, £1,600.00 or €1,895.00 per person sharing Click here for our 6 night Moremi Expedition Price Low season (Jan – Jun & Nov – Dec) US$2,100.00, £1,400.00 or €1,600.00 per person sharing Price High season (Jul – Oct) US$2,500.00, £1,600.00 or €1,895.00 per person sharing Click here for our 6 night Desert & Delta Expedition Price Low season (Jan – Jun & Nov – Dec) US$2,100.00, £1,400.00 or €1,600.00 per person sharing Price High season (Jul – Oct) US$2,500.00, £1,600.00 or €1,895.00 per person sharing Click here for our 9 night Moremi & Chobe Expedition Price Low season (Jan – Jun & Nov – Dec) US$2,700.00, £1,800.00 or €2,100.00 per person sharing Price High season (Jul – Oct) US$3,150.00, £2,100.00 or €2,450.00 per person sharing Click here for our 12 night Okavango Elephant Expedition Price Low season (Jan – Jun & Nov – Dec) US$3,600.00, £2,400.00 or €2,800.00 per person sharing Price High season (Jul – Oct) US$4,200.00, £2,750.00 or €3,200.00 per person sharing
  22. Introduction of Botswana's Tourism Development Levy Botswana’s Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, Conservation and Tourism has announced a mandatory Tourism Development Levy (TDL) to raise funds for conservation and national tourism development, support the growth of the industry, broaden the tourism base, and improve the lives of the people of Botswana. As from the 1st of June 2017, with the exception of residents and citizens of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states, visitors will pay USD30.00 (US Dollars) in cash, or by debit or credit card at ports of entry. A unique receipt, corresponding with the passport, will be generated automatically. This is to be presented to Immigration Officials. The passport and receipt will be stamped and handed back to the traveller and the receipt will be valid for a 30-day period and can be used for multiple entry.
  23. The 10 Coolest Places to Go in 2017 According to Forbes, two are in Africa: http://www3.forbes.com/business/the-10-coolest-places-to-go-in-2017/7/ My friends are so cool!!
  24. Hi, Safaritalkers, I just got back from my 2017 vacation (Israel and Jordan) and am back on track to go back to Africa in 2018! I realized that is where my heart is and I dream about going back there all the time. (my son is studying abroad in Jordan so that was great to go see him there as well, but no lions....) I've done two Africa trips--one to Botswana in June 2012 (3 camps in the Delta, Sandibe, Okuto, and Shinde), and Victoria falls. The second trip in 2015 I visited in May and went to Mashatu (Botswana), and Sabi Sands, and Phinda in South Africa. I'm very interested in trying a "green season" trip for the different experience, especially in terms of photographic potential, but I wanted to get some frank advice. First of all the bugs--I don't love bugs, but I understand of course there are more of them in the summer. But how bad is it? Are there mosquitos constantly buzzing in your ears all night long? (LOL) Also, I'd like to be able to see baby animals, and am trying to figure out which month is optimal, January, February, or March. Also, the heat--is it really bad, i.e. like you can't sleep? I'm a Southern California person so I'm not used to humidity, but I also don't plan to be doing walking safaris, which I believe is not usually done at that time of the year anyway. I'm thinking Zimbabwe because I haven't been there and I really would like to economize a bit on this trip. I saw some camps in Zimbabwe in green season where you can get specials for as little as $250-$350 a night, and I would like to stay in that range if possible. I also may be traveling on my own, another reason for Green Season since I understand you can often get single supplements waived or lower at that time. Has anyone here done Hwange in green season? Or should I look at going back to Botswana? I think Botswana even in green season will be out of that price range. If I went back there I would be interested in Chobe and maybe the Nxai pans, but I'm not sure about Chobe in green season. Also I am very interested in hides--I loved the hides at Mashatu, but I"m not sure if hides work well in the summer months. I'd love to hear from anyone who has experience with green safaris about your thoughts. One other thing, having done very luxurious camps like Sandibe and Phinda I am actually looking for a more "camping-like" experience this time (although not participatory camping). I'm thinking I may try to include Mashatu and do their tented camp instead of the lodge, where we were last time. Also, I was wondering if anyone has any experience with &Beyond's mobile camping trips in Botswana? They look very nice but are still pretty expensive. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
  25. Working on planning 1st safari. Looking for some feedback from all of you who have visited southern Africa, especially if you have been there in December. If you were going in the first half of December and you want at least one camp/lodge (they could be at the same place or different places for each of the items listed) where you could do or have: a walking safari get on the water in a boat or canoe to view wildlife go on a night drive get up close and personal with the animals watching from a hide sit on a deck at camp/lodge and watch elephants or giraffe (or other wildlife but those would be our favs) walk through great game drives with experienced, knowledgeable guides feel like you are really experiencing what you envision "wild Africa" to be great African décor or quirky, fun accommodations Which of the following places would be your favorites --- both reserves/parks and feel free to share if you have favorite a camp/lodge that you have stayed at there? Botswana - Chobe National Park Botswana - Mashatu Game Reserve Botswana - Moremi Wildlife Reserve Botswana - Okavango Delta South Africa - Kruger National Park South Africa - private reserve near Kruger (if so, please say which one) Victoria Falls (stay on the Zambia or Zimbabwe side? And stay in town or on a property that also has wildlife?) Zambia - Lower Zambezi Zambia - Mosi Oa Tunya Park Zimbabwe - Hwange Zimbabwe - Matusadona Feel free to add a park/reserve if there is one we should consider but not on the list, especially if you have a camp/lodge you recommend there. I ruled out Mana Pools in Zimbabwe because of the time of year we are going but am open to considering it if others have gone in December with good wildlife experiences. We are looking for different experiences at each location and probably 4 different reserves/parks staying 3-4 nights at each. The focus is wildlife but also would like different accommodation experiences such as one with a tent, a tent on a raised platform, a hut/cabin, and/or a lodge but all with en suite toilets and at least sinks for washing up. Outdoor shower would be fine. We are not interested in mobile camping, really want the place to be more permanent. Hoping as it's the green season we can also find some good deals with cheaper prices or free night special. We do have a budget but I am interested to hear what places you would rank among your top choices, where you think you can get great value and where it may be worth splurging a little for a few nights. Thanks in advance.

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