Decent short safari from Maun
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Oct 1, 2012 8:05 PM Last Post By: living
Sep 3, 2012 5:59 PM
Decent short safari from MaunHI all,
I've been doing quite a bit of research trying to figure out how one might organize a good safari experience in Botswana. Seems like the best experiences are based through Kasane or Maun. I had wanted to do Chobe but unfortunately my itinerary is tight (Oct 20th-23rd, otherwise working in Gaborone) and no flights go to Kasane on Air Botswana on the 20th so I'm sorta stuck on Maun for better or worse I think unless flight schedules change.
Clearly safari's in general are crazy expensive. As I'm going with my not so camp-friendly girlfriend, renting a private 4x4 is out of the question. Ideally I'd like to splurge (this might be proposal time afterall...) and get a nice 3 night experience with a private safari in a camplodge setting or some kinda semi-luxury-luxury tent experience. In my bones I have a hard time justifying 700-800 dollars per night per person though...what other options do we have and if we are going to splurge, what tours would any people recommend? Should we just try and land in Maun and get a last minute deal?
Thanks for any help!
Sep 4, 2012 3:30 AM
1I note you say you are working there but are you a Botswana resident? If so, then special rates will apply to you (but not your gf if she is not resident). Also, for last minute bookings (up to 2 weeks before), the camps offer "walk in" rates to anyone, which are the same as Botswana residents rates. These will be about 40% less than the international "rack rates".
If I were you, I'd contact an agent in Maun and get them to let you know now how much the walk in rates would be, scope out a few possibilities that are in your budget and then wait until 2 weeks before and book whatever has availability. I have used Safari Specialists several times, and Travel Wild once. If the camps are out of your budget even at walk in rates, they should also be able to look at mobile "semi-luxury" camping options for you.
Sep 4, 2012 6:08 AM
2As an alternative idea ...
Google Planet Baobab which is at Gweta on the Maun to Nata road. You could drive it from Gaberone (or fly to Maun and get a transfer). It isn't really a "splash out" kind of place though it is quirky and fun but the reason I thought of it is that they do overnight trips out onto the salt pans. You have a delicious meal and then you sleep out under the stars. Sunise and sunset are magical. I did see a picture in a south african magazine of a beautiful double bed out on the pans which had been set up by them especially for a proposal ...
They also do safaris into Nxai Pan - which I think is a great little park.
Or have a look at a fly in safari to CKGR with Big Foot. I think they're based in Gabarone.
Sep 4, 2012 7:14 AM
3Also, for last minute bookings (up to 2 weeks before), the camps offer "walk in" rates to anyone, which are the same as Botswana residents rates. These will be about 40% less than the international "rack rates".
Stokeygirl is quite right. Pop in to Wilderness Safaris offices (just across the road from the Maun airport) and you might just hit the jackpot. The rates could be up to 70% less.
Otherwise check with Audi camp or Crocodile camp - they might have less expensive safaris on the go. You could phone them in advance from Gaborone.
Sep 4, 2012 11:59 PM
4There are quite a bit of options, the most budget lodge in the inner delta is Oddballs Camp, +- 1254 $ for 4 days , all inclusive with a flight from maun to the lodge. Then you can do short camping safaris from Maun to Moremi or Nxai Pan.
Sep 5, 2012 4:27 AM
5Thanks guys for all the suggestions!
Unfortunately not a resident; I'm going to be doing some work at one of the HIV centres in Gabs.
I think what I'll do then is sit tight and then start calling/emailing around closer to the date from Gaborone...I was in correspondence with John Chase Safaris and was quoted 1680 US/pp for 4 days but I'll keep that on the backburner for now. One concern I had was that since only two of us would be booking we might not be very appealing to the tour companies, but I'm guessing we'll probably just be squeezed in with other groups.
Sep 25, 2012 7:27 PM
6If you have access to a vehicule, you try to go to Tuli block (try Tuli safari lodge) - less touristy, it's far closer to Gabs then Maun (close to Francistown); you could also try to go to Pilanesburg (no need for a 4x4) in South africa..,
Sep 27, 2012 9:28 PM
7We had a wonderful experience a few months ago with Wilderness Safaris. We just walked into their office in Maun and were able to have a choice of 5 different camps that had room for us over the next week. We were able to get the trips at 70% off rack rate because we were in Botswana and ready to go. As you will be in Botswana already you should be able to book from Gabs.
If you are interested, check out the photos and trip report here: http://www.lifewellspent.com. Just scroll down to "Okavango Delta" It really was an amazing experience. Worth every penny and defnitely the accomodations and treatment were "proposal worthy".
Sep 27, 2012 11:22 PM
Oct 1, 2012 8:05 PM
9It was in June this year. We were actually offered a long list of camps in the Delta. Of those, five camps fell into our time frame (we wanted to leave within 1-3 days and do two camps over 4 days). I don't remember the names of all the camps we were offered, but the two we chose were Xigera and Kwetsani. Both were different, but lovely experiences.
(4 star Hotel)
From US$291.00 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$142.04 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$178.98 per night