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Resonable priced lodge or package in Botswana?

UK
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Resonable priced lodge or package in Botswana?

Can anyone recommend a decent lodge or package operator for a 10 day safari in Botswana at a reasonable price? We are not looking for luxury but nothing dirty/uncomfortable!

Budget would be no more than £2000pp - not sure if this is possible or not..

Thanks in advance, Dave

SOUTH AFRICA
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1. Re: Resonable priced lodge or package in Botswana?

Hi Dave! Which month would you want to do the safari? I am asking, because rates vary considerably according to seasons. Also, would the stipulated budget be inclusive of your international flights? Once we have the above information, I'm sure many contributors to the forum will be able to offer relevant advice.

Regards

Tanya * owner * Africa Direct

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2. Re: Resonable priced lodge or package in Botswana?

Thanks for the reply.. I forgot to mention - we will be travelling in May or July 2010..

UK
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3. Re: Resonable priced lodge or package in Botswana?

...and we are not looking for a package that includes international flights.

Thanks again in advance!

Wayzata, Minnesota
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4. Re: Resonable priced lodge or package in Botswana?

Dave,

If the pound had not taken a nose dive versus the dollar, your budget would have been OK last September.

The least expensive lodge operator that I would be comfortable putting one of my customers in is Desert & Delta. Even their rates are $476 pppn for the lodge rate. The charter flight is additional. For a five day stay, the rates decrease about 13% retroactive to day one. This is not on their web site, but as a tour operator our contracts do not forbid us from publishing this. In other words, through an operator, you should be able to buy their lodges for about $400 pppn (GBP 300) in the shoulder season. Charter flights are still additional.

OFFICIAL/real Lodge web site:

http://www.desertdelta.com/

Rates:

www.desertdelta.com/index.php…

Wilderness Safaris classic camps start at $600 pppn and go up from there. They are absolutely fantastic each and every on of them.

Let's say you did Desert & Delta. Their charter flights average about $125 pp per transfer (GBP 90).

On your budget, and assuming you did two camps (3 charter segments), this leaves you with GBP 1,730 for camps. You could afford about six nights. This is enough to have a very good experience in the Delta. You could complete your experience with a self-drive out to a less expensive lodge in the Sabi Sands.

Honestly, on your budget and with the "crash" of the GBP lately, you may consider going to Rand priced lodges in South Africa. Only the rand has performed as poorly as the GBP in the past few months so your buying power will be similar.

Craig Beal - owner - Travel Beyond

SOUTH AFRICA
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5. Re: Resonable priced lodge or package in Botswana?

Hi again Dave! I'm afraid I have to agree with Craig - many of our clients are currently choosing lodges that charge in South African Rand above lodges that charge in USD, purely because that way they are getting "more safari for their dollar"! This way they are able to select more luxurious lodges (like the lodges in the highly recommended Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve in South Africa, which forms part of the Greater Kruger National Park, meaning that there are no fences between them & Kruger, thereby allowing for unlimited traversing of the wildlife); stay a couple of days longer, etc.

If your heart is set on visiting Botswana, then perhaps you could consider a mobile camping safari? Now I know you are looking for your comfort, but many of the tented accommodation offered by some of the mobile camping operators, is quite comfortable, and could be classified as "luxury camping"!

Tanya * owner * Africa Direct

Port Elizabeth...
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6. Re: Resonable priced lodge or package in Botswana?

Hi Dave,

I would have to agree with the previous posts. You will probably be able to do around 6 to 7 days of lodge safari on your budget. This is only an estimation and with using 4/5 star lodges.

As an alternative you can look at doing a combination of lodge and mobile camping safari. You do get very good serviced camping options and if you combine this you may be able to do this within your budget.

Johan.

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7. Re: Resonable priced lodge or package in Botswana?

Hi Dave,

My family and I spent 12 glorious days in Botswana this past summer and had the most incredible time! We had booked through Natural Habitat which works with Wilderness Safari. Our guide Richard Avilino, a native of Botswana was unbelievably knowledgeable about the land, animals, tracking etc. (Google his name). He got us to all of the camps that we visited without any problems! Contact him and I am sure he could point you in the right direction for your 2010 safari. His e-mail is rchrd.vln@gmail.com

Good Luck!

Kim

Wayzata, Minnesota
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8. Re: Resonable priced lodge or package in Botswana?

Hi Dave,

Like I have said in many posts before, NATHAB is a great company to work with and they arrange supurb safaris. But, I think they are out of your price range. NATHAB's standard eleven day Botswana trip (operated by Wilderness Safaris) costs $6,595 per person. Web site below:

www.nathab.com/destinations/index.aspx…

Wilderness Safaris has their own ten day version called migrations route which sells for $4,075 per person through various operators (including NatHab). Web site below:

wilderness-safaris.com/botswana/…

In my opinion, the Wilderness Trip is better in the summer (Jun-Aug) because it does not go to the Kalahari and spends one more night in the Linyanti/Delta region. To NATHAB's credit, the River Club is a far superior accomodation for Vic Falls so that would be one advantage with NATHAB. I am just not sure if these differences command a 65% additional price premium?

Craig Beal - owner - Travel Beyond

Pretoria, South...
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9. Re: Resonable priced lodge or package in Botswana?

Hi Dave,

I see most of the above posts really refer to some of the pretty upmarket lodges in the Okavango/Moremi/Chobe type region, and I don't get the impression the $600.00 pppn package would really suit your pocket. The lodges in Sabi-Sands are also generally in the higher priced brackets.

Organisations like Desert and Delta and Wilderness provide awesome products but have also made every effort to monopolise the market. There are some operators who provide good value, particularly if you are prepared to look at mobile safaris or more flexible arrangements. There are also wonderful self-drive opportunities to places like Namibia, and all over South Africa where you don't have to be bound into an operator's itinerary, or high priced lodges.

Etosha is a fantastic safari destination as well. Namibia has excellent roads, and a highly sophisticated infrastructure. And the friendliest people in Africa. With magnificent places to stay at reasonable cost.

You don't have to pay 5-star prices for a 5-star holiday in Southern Africa. You can have it all if you are prepared to shop around!

Enjoy!

Mfuwe
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10. Re: Resonable priced lodge or package in Botswana?

Hire a 4x4 and do a camping and/or inexpensive accomodations trip. Its easy to figure out how to do it and where to go. http://tinyurl.com/b9b9yb

The cost will be well within your budget and lots of people do this. The campsites all have ablutions, so you can get a shower everyday. Hey, meat cheap, so you can braai steaks everyday if you want. I know people who come back every year.