What would you suggest?
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Jul 14, 2012 8:01 PM Last Post By: safaritime
Jun 22, 2012 7:31 AM
What would you suggest?After having read ALL your posts (from the last page to the first one) I am in the last stages of planning our trip to Botswana and Zambia (27 days, mid August-mid September). Seeing that it would be very hard to use public transportation (the time was not enough) I sent a few e-mails to travel agencies. Since we are not in our prime we didn't want to risk it showing up at Maun and trying to arrange everything there.
So here are what we got:
Wild About Africa (Africa Expert's sister):
Day 1: Maun (stone and thatch chalet)
Day 2 & 3: Okavango Delta (mobile safari camp located within Nxabega)
Days 4 & 5: Moremi Game Reserve
Days 6 & 7 - Savuti (in the vicinity of the Savuti Channel)
Days 8 & 9 – Chobe National Park (at a private mobile camp in the Serondela area)
Day 10: Victoria Falls at the Elephant Camp
The cost (take a deep breath) is $5013 pp (incl. two scenic flights but not meals the first day)
Day 1: Scheduled charter flight from Maun Airport to Xugana Island Lodge
Days 1,2: 2 Nights accommodation at Xugana Island Lodge on a fully inclusive basis
Day 3: Scheduled charter flight from Xugana Island Lodge to Camp Moremi
Days 3,4: 2 Nights accommodation at Camp Moremi on a fully inclusive basis
Day 5: Scheduled charter flight from Camp Moremi to Kasane Airport. Road transfer from Kasane Airport to Chobe Game Lodge.
Days 5,6: 2 Nights accommodation at Chobe Game Lodge on a fully inclusive basis
Day 7: Road transfer from Chobe Game Lodge to The Zambezi Sun Hotel
Days 7,8,9: 3 Nights accommodation at Zambezi Sun Hotel on a Bed and Breakfast Basis
1 x Afternoon Sundowner Cruise
1 x Tour of Vic Falls (Zambian side)
Cost: US$ 4,920 per person sharing
Days 1,2: 2 Nights accommodation at Oddballs Enclave
Days 3,4: 2 Nights accommodation at Moremi Crossing
The rest is the same.
Cost: US$ 3,820 per person sharing
3 nights at Livingston seem a bit too much (even if we go to Victoria Falls for the day).
We wouldn't mind staying at beautiful lodges (since the rest of our trip we would go for upper budget to lower middle range accomodation) but game viewing is our priority. We also don't want to break the bank unless it's necessary.
Thanks for any assistance
Jun 22, 2012 8:37 AM
1It's incredibly expensive. What you're paying for, essentially, is to be pampered in expensive lodges in Botswana and a good hotel (Zambezi Sun) in Zambia. I can't believe the game would be substantially different if you did it another way.
I suppose, if you can afford to spend 5 grand on a holiday, then there's nothing wrong with the itineraries that you've been offered. They obviously cover the main points of the region. I have to say that I don't consider such trips to be within the spirit of independent travel but I understand that they are what some people want.
To give you some idea, Chobe 2-day game viewing trips are organised from Livingstone and Kasane and cost about 200USD including 2 nights accommodation in Kasane (albeit in non-luxury lodges). They include both land and river viewing. Another example - the rack-rate for the Zambezi Sun is several hundred dollars (between 300USD and 400USD) per night for a 3-star hotel. You can stay comfortably in Livingstone for 60USD per night - and you would get to walk around the town and see something of Zambia (you won't get to do this if you stay at the Zambezi Sun). Another example, you don't need a tour of Vic Falls, Zambian side. You just pay the entrance fee and go yourself. The Sundowner cruise is about 50USD if you book it yourself (that's the so-called "booze cruise" - the one you've been offered is probably more expensive).
I suppose I'm saying that it's not necessary for you to break the bank to do the sort of game viewing that you want to do. I believe that majority of the costs of the trips you've been offered are the lodge fees. Lodges in Botswana are often (but not always) at the luxurious end of the market. I just feel that the difference between paying $2500 and $5000 for your trip lies not so much in the quality of game viewing but in the luxury of the accommodation.
Jun 22, 2012 8:50 AM
2Unfortunately I know that it's outrageously expensive. Don't get me wrong, Zambezi Sun is not my cup of tea. And neither Chobe National Park or Livingston would be a problem. But how can I visit Okavango and Moremi when a few other moderate tour operators are fully booked? I don't wont to take a 2-day trip to the Delta and get back to Kasane. And what about Moremi?
Jun 22, 2012 9:03 AM
3Just a suggestion - why don't you contact the tour companies and ask them to retain the parts that you want and ditch the parts that you can do independently. For example, from Siyabona, why don't you get a quotation that gets you to Livingstone but leaves you there to do your own thing. You could probably knock a significant amount off the price.
I know that independent travellers just get themselves to a lodge in Maun and book Delta trips from there. I understand that, in peak season, you don't want to take the risk of arriving and finding everything fully booked.
Jun 22, 2012 11:01 AM
4Thanks, organist, for the suggestion. I just asked them if they could add two days in Makgadikgadi Pans instead of Livingston. I'll contact them again asking just to drop us off at Livingston.
I will also check where exactly are the lodges of the 2nd option so I might go for this one.
Jul 14, 2012 8:01 PM
5One of the best deals is a Livingstone to Livingstone 10 day safari at $1600 per person.
Western ZambiaBook now
(4 star Hotel)
From US$1160.00 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$259.00 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$12.00 per night