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Botswana Safari

London, United...
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Botswana Safari

We just came back from a safari in Botswana, Namibia and Zambia, which was organised by Charlotte at ATI Holidays.

We had a truly fantastic time, and would like to thank them for their help in organising it all. The safari itself was excellent, but also the accomodation they organised for us at the Chobe Safari Lodge, and the transfer from Livingstone Airport to the Lodge. When we were on our way back into Zambia we realise how time consuming the border crossing across the Zambezi - having a route across on speedboat already sorted made the getting there SO much more painless! The Lodge itself was very comfortable, and very nice to arrive to after a long journey from London.

The camping safari with Bushways Safaris was great. No one else joined apart from the other two for the second week. So we had a guide, an aide de camp and a translator (for non-english speakers i.e. Germans and French - he was actually a second guide) much to ourselves. The guides were extremely knowledgable, and the food was fantastic, and always something to look forward to after a long day's safari. Possibly the tents could be a little more waterproof, but fortunately it didn't rain much. There was also a hell of a lot of driving, but this is obviously a necessity to see a good amount of stuff. The highlights for me (apart from seeing lions up close!) was definitely the Victoria Falls (where we were lucky enough to see the Lunar Rainbow as it was full moon), and the days chilling in the island on the Okavango Delta.

I'd strongly recommend using ATI Holidays for helping organise similar trips, who were extremely helpful and enthusiastic and promptly answered the million questions we had prior to the trip.

Mosu Safari Tours
Nature & Wildlife Tours, Safaris
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Multi-day Tours, Nature & Wildlife Tours, Cultural Tours, Safaris
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Cornwall England
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1. Re: Botswana Safari

Hi just starting to plan for next year. Can you give more info on the visa aspect as I understand we will need visas for both Botswana and Zambia. Will probably fly into JoBerg from Uk. did you have to put your own tents up etc? how did you get on with washing clothes, two weeks is a long time. Any info would be appreciated. Cheers Charlie

Toronto, Canada
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2. Re: Botswana Safari

I'm looking at using Bushways next year. Not sure which trip to do. Can you tell me a bit more about them? Which trip did you do? When you say "a hell of a lot of driving", could you give a bit more details?

How was the island in the Delta? I've heard mixed things about going into the delta.

Stanley, Falkland...
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3. Re: Botswana Safari

You are probably better posting separate, new questions rather than hoping someone with one post responds.

Isle of Man, United...
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4. Re: Botswana Safari

Well I can help Charlie out a bit.

Zambian Visa US$60, Zimbabwe, the way we accessed the Falls, $55. Lovely big colourful sticky one. Botswana free, RSA Free.

Bit of a trek from Jburg so allow two days either way. We di Jburg to VF and back in 13 but it was a bit of a hard slog. Fly to Maun and start from there or take longer holidays..

www.britz.com have packages they will put together.

Yes you do your own cooking and yes you sleep in a tent on the car roof. Some camps sites had facilities where you could do laundry.

As Peter though. Better to start your own thread.

London, United...
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5. Re: Botswana Safari

Hey Charlie,

The visas costs someone just posted - you can get them on the borders so no need to sort it out ahead of your trip. On Bushways you put up your own tents, but don't have to do anything else (though helping clear up the camp when leaving in the morning is only polite and also saves time!). The tents are really easy to put up and take down. You have a camp assistant who cooks and sorts out the toilet, shower and fire. The tents are on the ground, not on top of the car roof! Some of the campsites have facilities to wash clothes. There is a bit of spare time throughout the trip to do things like that.

Hey Daniel,

Bushways do a whole bunch of different trips. I'm sure they are all good, but we specifically wanted to do the Delta. We did the "Elephant" safari. What made it so good was seeing so many different reserves, but this meant a lot of driving. You do a lot of miles and some of the roads are very hard-going. From memory, you're driving between places perhaps every other day or every third day, and might have 4-6 hours of driving. The fact I can't really remember shows frankly that in the long run the long drives don't stay in the memory and aren't important compared with the benefit of seeing the different areas.

The Delta is amazing. The canoes are a great way to get around, if a little unnerving at times! You trust your guides are good enough to stay away from hippos and crocs, but they know what they are doing. I'd definitely recommend that as part of your trip.

Hope this helps.

Maun
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6. Re: Botswana Safari

If you dont' want to do as much driving, you can just do the Fish Eagle 10 night safari which starts in Maun and ends in Livingstone and that cuts out the whole first section of the Elephant Trail from Kasane around the Caprivi.

I do love the Elephant Trail route, but if you don't have that much time, the Fish Eagle is great.

The cost saving of the Elephant Trail is that you can fly to/from Livingstone which is cheaper than flying into Maun and out of Livingstone which do you for the Fish Eagle.

1time airlines has really cheap fares from Joburg - Livingstone and back,cheaper than SAA and BA. It is a low cost/no frills airline option.

Regards

Erica

Geneva, Switzerland
2 posts
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7. Re: Botswana Safari

Hello,

My husband and I have recently done the Fish Eagle Safari with Bush Ways. We had an amazing time! If we had a few more days, we would have loved to have done the Leopard Safari as this also goes to the Central Kalahari.

I can highly recommend Bush Ways. We had a fantastic time and would love to go back again! We also spent a lot of time in the car, but that seems to be the best way of getting around and seeing as much as possible. We spent 2 nights in each of the Delta, Moremi and Chobe, which also allowed us to discover these areas a bit more.

I would not hesitate to go on another trip with Bush Ways, and I am glad that you had as good a time as we had on our trip!

Geraldton
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8. Re: Botswana Safari

Hi

We did Kumuka's Wildlife and Waterfalls tour (Livingstone to Livingstone and visiting Chobe, Maun, Okavango, Savuti, Makahadi salt pans)- absolutely brilliant! We like camping so this was a selling point for us. Our guides and cooks were terrific and with their help we saw so much wildlife- lions, cheetah, elephants, hippoes, painted dogs, sable deer etc. Okavango part really good as camp overnight on island in delta and do guided walks.

Great if you like camping.

new zealand
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9. Re: Botswana Safari

Hi it sounds as though you has a great time, what was the cost.

Auckland Central...
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10. Re: Botswana Safari

Our family has recently returned from the Bush Ways Elephant Trail safari - 15 days through Botswana and the Caprivi Strip of Namibia.

It is a fantastic trip and Bush Ways are a very professionally run and slick operation. A mobile safari like this is a really cost effective way to see a lot of the country and a lot of wildlife. That said there are some great distances to be covered but I do agree with earlier comments, that the distances are soon forgotten and the amazing animals like wild dogs, cheetahs, leopards etc are the things that you remember.

The Delta is such a unique environment and you feel so remote whilst camping there - it is definitely worth a visit as it is such a different eco system.

However do be aware that this trip is marketed heavily in Europe and the majority of people on our trip were German speaking and we had a German translator traveling with us (I believe that this is the case with all the Elephant Trail departures). Our translator Gabi was delightful, knowledgeable and a great asset but I do believe that Bush Ways should advise clients of this as it does impact on your trip. We had anticipated being able to sit about the fire and chat with others in the group but the language barrier made this difficult.

We booked our Bush Ways trips though a travel company in New Zealand (much more expensive than going direct to them or booking in Bostwana) and then organized the rest of our arrangements (Chobe Safari Lodge & Waterberry Lodge, Livingstone as well as transfers) through Safari Specialists in Botswana - something I would definitely recommend as they have much more insider knowledge as to the properties, better rates and great suggestions of things to see and do.

Also regarding the earlier post about washing clothes etc - we took all our old clothes and left them behind along the way. Saved on washing and a lot of the people we met needed them more than we did.

Botswana is a beautiful country - enjoy it.