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Eyes on Africa"

Navarre, Florida
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77 posts
282 reviews
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Eyes on Africa"

I know, know it is a lot of driving...but I have searched over a year and this is the least expensive in money trip to Botswana. It includes 1500 miles of driving but actually spends some small amount of time in all the places (alost) I want to visit. I do not want to relax (do that when I die) or be pampered. I want a see it all and not spend a fortune ( I am civil servant).

All feedback on the travel agency, Eyes on Africa would be helpful.

The trip is named Kalahari and Delta Safari and is 1500 miles of driving and stopping in 15 days...the price is $2750 plus a cash local payment of $300.

What is a cash local payment for?

The trip gives me a night at Khama Rhino, drive, drive then 3 nights in Central Kalahari then drive to Maun and sleep over, leave the next day for 2 nights Okavango, then drive, drive, 2 nights Nxai Pan, drive, drive 2 nights Makgadikgadi Pans, drive drive 2 nights Chobe and finish off with a short drive to Victoria Falls. Total 1500 miles and 15 days. The longest drive is about 400 miles. This trip sounds like doing Texas in 15 days and I don't find that outrageous, I don't want to go to Kenya or Tanzania or anywhere but Botswana. I love Botswana. I would self drive but it isn't less expensive and my travel partner said NO! I knda like the idea of driving because I will see the land and mayb bump into Mma Ramatswe

Help

comments pleaee

Brussels
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26 posts
3 reviews
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1. Re: Eyes on Africa"

It looks like a good deal, but I'm not 100% sure it is what you are looking for. I mean yes, it is a lot of driving so it's not a relaxing trip. But I don't know if it's the best itinerary to "see it all".

IMHO, what you should do is;

1) look for more info on different regions of Botswana. Not just the Delta, but also Linyanti area, Savuti, Chobe, the pans, the desert, and perhaps also the Tuli block. I assume you will find a preference; you will see that some places are easy to combine while others are not. And you will dismiss some places (for example, I don't see the point in going to Tuli/Mashatu if you already visit Moremi/Khwai/Savuti).

2) based on your preferences, contact one of the famous guides that do private camping trips. Like Ewan Masson (google his name). Guys like him can assemble a custom-made itinerary for you. Price will be very reasonable, accommodation is in tents (just the basic comforts, but TBH you don't need more), food will be fantastic, your camping spots are not shared with other people, and the guide's knowledge is worth it's weight in gold.

Typically, you will not do that much distance, when viewed on a map. But you will spend a lot of time on safari, on all the small roads (so it is a fair amount of driving, but on the roads that show you the wildlife).

We did a trip with Ewan Masson 4 years ago: Maun -> Moremi/Okavango -> Khwai -> Savuti -> Chobe -> Vic Falls, and then all the way back. We saw 54 individual lions (some on kills), 4 leopards (of which three together), a cheetah on a kill, wild dogs, and one afternoon about a 1000 elephants on a waterhole in Chobe. Plus all the other usual suspects and a bird list of over 200 species. Almost all of the sightings we had to ourselves.

What we also saw was a lot of those self-drivers just following the main roads. Orr perhaps they were people on one of those trips that involve a lot of driving (like the one you found, if that is one of those trips). We pitied these people. But not too long. :-D

Our trip report; safaritalk.net/topic/6394-botswana-september…

Ciao,

J.

Mfuwe
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944 posts
1 review
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2. Re: Eyes on Africa"

Not impressed. No Moremi or Savute. Lots of driving without much wildlife guaranteed. I think you are making a decision on price.

london
Destination Expert
for Zambia, Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park
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5,012 posts
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3. Re: Eyes on Africa"

Eyes on Africa won't be operating the trip themselves (they are just an agency), so there's not much point asking for feedback on them. I would find out from them who is actually running the trip and ask for feedback on them. It looks to me like this itinerary-

www.sunway-safaris.com/index.php…

in which case it seems $2750 is a bit steep as they sell directly for 1600 Euro.

The local payment is just a convenient way for the company to get funds to the tour leaders on the ground, so that they have cash to pay for park fees, camping fees, food etc. Just consider it part of the trip cost.

I have done these type of overland trips in the past and if you don't have a lot of money they can be good, especially if you want to see more of the country than just game viewing. However, if your priority is game viewing, these trips often spend very little time in the parks, to keep the costs down (the safari sections are usually the most expensive bits). If your priority is game viewing then you might be better off going with something more expensive but shorter, which will really concentrate on the game parks. As mentioned above there are mobile safari companies that do group or private trips. I've used Letaka before, but I've heard Bushways recommended as a more budget option.

Navarre, Florida
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77 posts
282 reviews
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4. Re: Eyes on Africa"

J...you got me....wahaha...good reply and good advice. But, I have found a guide I like but the price for camping is $500+ per day per person sharing...that is a lot of dinero. And, if you add much variety...it goes up? hum, you make good points and that is my dilemma...champagne taste and a beer budget.

Thanks so much for your advice,

Navarre, Florida
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77 posts
282 reviews
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5. Re: Eyes on Africa"

Thanks Stokey I will check all you noted. I agree it might be better to limit the number of days and spend the money I have that way. I just want the basic accommodations and everything seems to be selliing exclusivity and luxury.

Navarre, Florida
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77 posts
282 reviews
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6. Re: Eyes on Africa"

Stokey...my Goodness it is the exact trip...must be the on ground provider is Sunway. thanks..don't need a middleman

london
Destination Expert
for Zambia, Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park
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5,012 posts
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7. Re: Eyes on Africa"

Something like this is a similar price, a few days shorter but much heavier on the game viewing-

http://www.bushways.com/orig/fish_eagle.html

Or the same length, bit more expensive-

http://www.bushways.com/orig/lion_safari.html

I've not travelled with them- I went with Letaka who are more expensive but have smaller groups and more luxurious camping. However, I saw several of the Bushways vehicles on the road.

Fort Lauderdale, FL
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59 posts
26 reviews
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8. Re: Eyes on Africa"

If this is Eyes on Africa in Chicago, IL (works with Bush and Beyond in Nairobi). These guys ruined my Kenya trip, wrong itinerary, non-refundable/changeable everything without prior disclosure, fraud, etc. There also appears to be another Eyes on Africa so I'm not sure these are the same. If I could do it again, I would get itineraries from a few agents and book it all directly myself so I missed the 30% markup and knew exactly what I was getting.

Wayzata, Minnesota
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2,888 posts
31 reviews
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9. Re: Eyes on Africa"

Hey - a few quick comments/questions since you sent me a private message on this topic.

Are you saying you showed-up in Kenya on time and the trip you paid for was not booked? Was there any third party error such as airline delay, weather etc? Did you have travel insurance?

Just trying to learn a little more before passing judgement in any direction. Eyes on Africa in Chicago owned by James Weis and Nicky Glover is a HIGHLY reputable company in the eyes of most members of our industry so this is most irregular if your allegations apply to them

Craig Beal - owner - Travel Beyond

Nashville, Tennessee
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2,275 posts
206 reviews
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10. Re: Eyes on Africa"

Craig-

Abracapocus has been posting this complaint repeatedly over the past 4 days about this company, but has yet to provide actual details of any fraud. I am not saying it did not happen, it is just that the accusations have been made, but no detail of wrong doing or fraud has been given. The post trying to explain things actually does not detail any wrong doing, so I have been confused trying to figure out what abracapocus is saying or means.