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small group overland tour Namibia and Botswana

chicago
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small group overland tour Namibia and Botswana

Hi,

I'm planning a 3 week trip in August/September 3013 through Namibia and Botswana to Victoria Falls (or vice versa). We want a small group camping tour (self drive is out of question). Ideally we want to see highlights of Namibia (dunes - Namib desert, rock engravings in Damarland, visit Himba in Kamanjab, Etosha) and game parks in Boswana (Okavango Delta, Moremi or Savuti, Chobe riverfront) plus Victoria Falls. Such tours don't exist and a custom itinerary is too expensive (unless we find someone to join - send me a message if you are interested!).

So I settled for Cape Town to Victoria Falls that all overland tours do, but I want small group, max 12 people. closest to my itinerary are Jenman, JJ Africa Tours and Nomad. Please help me decide which to chose based on pros and cons (no trip includes Moremi or Savute, all finish in Victoria Falls):

Jenman - 22 days, half camping, half accommodated (good balance for us), 12 people max, goes everywhere in Namibia plus seal Colony, 3 days in Etosha (v. good), visits Delta from north (Etsha 13, stay 2 nights Guma Lagoon camp (drive in), short mokoro trip, only one day spend in Delta), travels through Caprivi with stop in Mudumo, no game drive in Chobe - only boat cruise.

JJ Africa - 20 days, much smaller group: 6 people max, 7 nights accommodated, rest camping (good balance for us), doesn't visit Himba but visits San village (I really would like to visit Himba), only 2 days in Etosha but does a game drive and river cruise in Chobe, goes to see rock engravings and seal colony in Namibia, standard mokoro 2 day trip from Maun (good amount of time in Delta but in most crowded area). Very small company, very few reviews but all I found are very good.

Nomad - 12 person tours are only in fully accommodated version so more expensive (and we want some camping), 20 days, does not go to rock engravings (I really want to see them) or seal colony, does visit Himba and San village, only 2 days in Etosha, has an option of taking Chobe drive a d does river cruise, flies from Maun for 2 nights to Gunn/Moremi Crossing camp (wet camp, no drives) which seems to me very attractive compared with mokoro trp than cannot go very deep into Delta, but maybe there is no much difference?

In summary, Jenman itinerary seems best for us, JJ Afrca has much smaller group for same or even lower price and I think 6 people is optimal for what we want, and Nomad has fly-in Delta camp which sounds great to me. Tough decision.

I looked also at Sunway safaris and Africa in Focus, but they skip to many things I want to see without obvious advantage compared to above options.

I will post this on Botswana and Namibia forums. I woud be very grateful for your opinions.

Mfuwe
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1. Re: small group overland tour Namibia and Botswana

Try Africa Pride africapridebotswana.com/Selfdrivesafaris.html or Maun Self Drive 4x4 maunselfdrive4x4.com/tailormadeguidedsafaris… What you can do is hire a guide and a 4x4 fully kitted out, and make your own mobile safari itinerary.

chicago
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2. Re: small group overland tour Namibia and Botswana

I've got quotes for a car with a guide and it's too expensive for us.

Stanley, Falkland...
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3. Re: small group overland tour Namibia and Botswana

Are you sure you can't combine a couple of tours to do this? Have you looked at Wild about AFrica, for instance?

Have you checked with Namibian operators?

chicago
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4. Re: small group overland tour Namibia and Botswana

Yes, there is combination of 3 Namibian trips (Wild Dog, very good), but it means coming to Windhoek for a night at least 3 times and still no Moremi or Savute. They also have a better combination but only in green season, not in August. There are 2 good 10 days tours but impossible to combine due to departure dates. I'm sure there is combination that would work, from different providers, but I didn't find it yet. I also considered one trip from Windhoek, one from Maun or Kasane, with a transfer or a flight between, so far it's either too long or too expensive (or both). Still looking. I did ask a few budget safari dealers, but they offer only a few tours, I will look at larger ones like African Budget Safaris, they have tons of trips and maybe can find good combination. Although they mostly have large overland tours, and we for sure will stick with small groups.

But I'm pretty sure there is no trip that combines highlights of Namibia or simply starts in Namibia and includes Moremi or Savute in Botswana. So it would have to be a combination of two trips in two countries, with a transfer.

Stanley, Falkland...
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5. Re: small group overland tour Namibia and Botswana

I think you are being too specific, eg Moremi and Savuti. What is it about those places that you like which means you can't see something similar elsewhere?

If you are sharing a tour, you must expect to compromise, and perhaps see somewhere else?

chicago
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6. Re: small group overland tour Namibia and Botswana

What I like about Moremi OR Savuti? Animals, of course :) They are the best land-based safari places in Botswana possible to get to on my budget, and pretty much on the way (most tours go to Maun and Kasane). I would like to do game drives in more than one place (Etosha is included in tours) to see more variety of animals, in different habitats. I think for 3 week trips they spend too little time in game parks/reserves (obviously it's more expensive). I'm happy with amount of water activities they offer (mokoro/walk in the Delta, Chobe cruise). I'm a little surprise that not a single trip includes these areas in Botswana in combination with Namibia, while there are plenty of tours from Johannesburg that visit north Botswana game parks, with many route variations. Namibia to Botswana trips all follow almost the same route and none of them travels from Maun to Kasane via game parks (they go via Nata or skip Maun traveling via Caprivi strip). By posting I hoped someone knew a company that does that.

I also hoped someone would comment how Gunn's Camp/Moremi Crossing experience compares with standard 2 night mokoro trip from Maun or with Guma Lagun camp (accessible by driving) in North Delta.

And if rock engravings in Damarland are really good and impressive or not worth the the effort.

Of course in the end I would need to compromise, I try to find out which option will suite best.

Thank you for comments.

Port Moody, Canada
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for Vancouver, British Columbia
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7. Re: small group overland tour Namibia and Botswana

For the Botswana part of your trip consider contacting Letaka Safaris. We just did a one week private ( 4 of us) mobile trip with them in Moremi and Khwai. Both places were great for sightings although Khwai had an edge because of 2 large packs of wild dogs, the ability to do night drives and more leopards. You could probably combine a personalized itinerary with them with a separate tour of Namibia. Pirce was reasonable I felt and guiding was superb.

Kasane
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8. Re: small group overland tour Namibia and Botswana

Hi, try the following travel agents in Maun who are experts in the field. They will also be able to suggest something more akin to what you are looking for rather than having to go with a pre-packaged tour.

Dumela Botswana - Jody - jody@dumelabotswana.com

Travel Wild - Nicky - nicky@travelwild.co.bw

Safari Destinations - Karen - Karen.dance@safaridestinations.net

Time Travel - Bronwyn - bronwyn@timetravelafrica.com

Gondwana - Mark - gondwanatravel1@gmail.com

Anything else let me know. Enjoy!

Clive

SGS Africa

Chobe

9. Re: small group overland tour Namibia and Botswana

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10. Re: small group overland tour Namibia and Botswana

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