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Zakouma on a Budget


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#21 Paolo

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 11:07 AM

@douglaswise

 

I have very vaguely considered South Sudan a few years back, but the security situation (and the lack of a reliable operator) meant that I never went into any - even embryonic - planning stage.

 

More recently I have been interested in Gambella N.P., in the extreme west of Ethiopia, where a lot of the migrating White-eared Kob and other antelopes go at a certain time of the year. Gambella also hosts some bery important populations of Nile Lechwe and Shoebill, as well as decent numbers of elephants and lions. It is a very stunning area, but due to the lack of roads/tracks of any kind and the swampy nature of the terrain you really do need an helicopter to do any proper game viewing.

 

My guide Michael Lorentz was there last year, and the security situation was pretty "hot" there as well, with fights between the Nuer and the Anouak tribes. Financial Times's journalyst Sophy Roberts was with Michael on that trip and recently wrote an article also covering that visit. You may read it here:

 

http://robbreport.co...ce-conservation


Edited by Paolo, 20 January 2017 - 11:09 AM.


#22 kittykat23uk

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 11:09 AM

@douglaswise can I suggest starting another thread on South Sudan to avoid hijacking this topic please ?
If an experience is amazing enough to be "once in a lifetime," I want to do it every year.
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#23 Soukous

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 01:28 PM

thanks for the in depth post @inyathi.

 

For what it is worth I can speak highly of Native Eye, one of the companies mentioned by @inyathi.

Jim O'Brien, the guy who set up Native Eye worked with me for several years and is a very imaginative and conscientious operator.

If you want to see Zakouma on a budget then you could do a lot worse than Native Eye.


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#24 douglaswise

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 01:50 PM

Thanks @Paolo:  I gathered that the WCS was hoping to encourage tourism in South Sudan and that a local operator  (www.bahr-el-jebel-safaris.com) was offering 2 week fly ins to Boma.  (Mentioned, too, by Busanga Safaris).  I was tempted, but put off by reading about the security situation as depicted by UK FCO.

I will not post again on this subject on this thread.  Perhaps, if anyone else wants to comment, he/she could do so under Trip Planning - Sudan - which is currently blank. 


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#25 Soukous

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 10:04 AM

thanks for the in depth post @inyathi.

 

For what it is worth I can speak highly of Native Eye, one of the companies mentioned by @inyathi.

Jim O'Brien, the guy who set up Native Eye worked with me for several years and is a very imaginative and conscientious operator.

If you want to see Zakouma on a budget then you could do a lot worse than Native Eye.

 

Just for clarity.

I had a brief chat with Jim at Native Eye and he confirmed that Spazi d'Avventura (www.spazidavventura.com) is in fact his ground operating partner in Chad.

Two key benefits of travelling with Native Eye would be that (a) you get an escorted English speaking group and (B)  the fact that travelling as part of a group does make it much more affordable.


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#26 inyathi

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 06:55 PM

@Soukous That’s great to know, it had crossed my mind that that could be the case. I read a review of a trip to Ennedi with Spazid’avventura on Thorn Tree written by someone from the Netherlands, their tour of 13 comprised 8 Italians, 3 Germans and 1 Bulgarian, everyone except two of the Germans spoke Italian so that was the language they used almost throughout. They do say that the guides could also explain things in English or French if necessary. It did therefore occur to me that if you did the tour with Native Eye it’s reasonable to assume that the rest of your group would be Brits, this might make for a slightly easier tour, not that there would be anything wrong with joining a group of other Europeans, but it could be slightly awkward or not so much fun if you only speak English and some of your fellow travellers don’t.

 

Anyone looking to book a safari is going to be pretty nervous about using a very new and largely unknown company, all the more so with an off the beaten track country like Chad, so it’s great to have a little background info on Native Eye and know that in this case the trip will be organised by people with plenty of Chad experience.


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#27 Paolo

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 07:58 PM

For a brief review of a (private) camping trip to Ennedi outfitted by SVS (combined with a stay at Camp Nomade in Zakouma):

https://www.safariou.../en/posts/15616

That was quite the opposite of a trip "on a budget" but it shows that this Camp Nomade/Zakouma combo is gaining a bit of momentum (I know of other similar trips this year) and that SVS/Spazi d'Avventura are able to cater for a wide range of clients.





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