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Safari Costs

Florida
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Safari Costs

I'm trying to get a handle on the different options and costs of Safaris. We are traveling to Zimbabwe for a convention and thought of doing 3 to 5 nights at a safari in Botswana. We have spoken to Expert Africa & for ex. they say in Aug 2014 we are looking at Linyati Bush Camp is $790/person, Little Kwara in Okavango is $950/person. I'm going to check with another travel agent to confirm pricing, but if these figures are accurate this is outside our budget. Are there more reasonable options in South Africa or Zimbabwe as we are also traveling there and if so what approx. are the costs pp? This is our first trip to Africa and it would be cool to see some wild game & cats but we don't need to experience non-stop up close action with the game or expect luxury accommodations. Mid range places with hot showers:) and access to the internet (its difficult to be inaccessible with our work) Any advice is much appreciated! Just need to know which areas we can start looking.

Mosu Safari Tours
Nature & Wildlife Tours, Safaris
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london
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for Zambia, Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park
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1. Re: Safari Costs

Those prices sound about right for high season Botswana.

You should try the Kruger area of South Africa. You'll still find camps charging similar prices or more, but there are plenty of less expensive options. Ask on the SA forum for suggestions.

Zim also has some great safari areas eg Hwange, Mana Pools which will be less expensive. But I suspect you will struggle finding camps with internet access.

Nairobi, Kenya
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2. Re: Safari Costs

I've been to Zimbabwe 3 times, and I don't know of any mid range camp having internet access. I think you'd be better off in South Africa.

Maun, Botswana
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3. Re: Safari Costs

Not only is there no internet in most of the Lodges and Camps (except in Kasane) even cell phone reception is very rare when out in the 'bush'.

I think with your needs and budget you should definitely consider South Africa.

Pretoria, South...
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4. Re: Safari Costs

I would suggest that if you only have a few days to spare and need internet access, you can look at some of the lodges in the Kasane area and do day trips into Chobe National Park and/or boat cruises on the Chobe River.

In August, the Chobe offers some of the best game viewing in Botswana (IMO), and you can get more reasonable prices at places like Chobe Safari Lodge, Water Lily Lodge, Garden Lodge, Kwalape Lodge, Mowana Lodge, Thebe River Lodge, etc. All these lodges offer internet and cell phone access, and offer activities into Chobe N.P. There are also a number of houseboats in the area that may offer other interesting options. The Chobe area is very busy in August (for good reason), but don't discount it if you're being careful with budget and limited with time.

What you are currently being offered are some of the most expensive options, with some complicated logistics (with, obviously, commensurate commissions paid to travel agents).

The Linyanti offers exceptional game viewing in August, as does the Okavango, Savuti, and the Khwai River area. All of these have more affordable lodgings than those you've been quoted, and you can look at Camp Savuti, Camp Linyanti, Mankwe Safari Lodge, Magothlo Safari Lodge, Gunns Camp and Moremi Crossing as alternatives (just for starters). Internet access is available at some camps (sometimes during limited hours).

Some of the lodges in the Linyanti area receive cell phone coverage and wireless internet access from Namibia.

Outside Kasungula are a couple of lodges in the Lesomo Valley (Elephant Valley Lodge, Senyati Safari Camp, and a new camp operated by Water Lily Lodge). These offer great places for ellies and buffalo, and I've seen wild dogs in the area, but I haven't seen many cats in that specific valley.

Near Ngoma Bridge border post, in Namibia, is Camp Chobe, almost directly across the river from Ngoma Safari Lodge and the Chobe N.P. but at a fraction of the price.

You can also stay in Maun and explore the Moremi on day trips.

You mention you're going to a convention in Zim, but you don't mention where. Zim is a big place, and travel logistics can add a hefty chunk to your travel budget. Unless you have independent transport, you could be in for some hefty flight charters as well (most Okavango and Savuti lodges are fly in).

Another area you can look at is Central Kalahari (a place like Deception Valley Lodge or Tau Pan), or Nxai Pan.

Some lodge groups will offer multi-night specials within the group (at say, two lodges), which can prove more cost-effective.

If your convention is more south in Zim, you could look at the lodges in the Tuli block (although many don't have internet access, some do).

There are simply so many options it's impossible to cover in a single post., and you don't have to go the most remote and expensive lodges to experience "true Botswana", or indeed, "true Africa". You don't have to support the highest bidders to get the trip of a lifetime.

And then of course there is South Africa and Namibia (and a few hundred options to suit your needs and budget).

I've just presented a couple of ideas here. There are many.

I hope this helps.

Maun, Botswana
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5. Re: Safari Costs

I am afraid I have to disagree with Bushkid0's advice.

From your original posting you say that you require "access to the internet (its difficult to be inaccessible with our work).

None of the Lodges mentioned in Bushkid0's post offer internet, with the sole exception of those safari lodges he mentions in Kasane.

In my opinion, just visiting Kasane and the Chobe National Park from the Kasane end does not compare with what Kruger can offer.

Being based in Maun and doing day trips the Moremi is impracticable - unless you consider very expensive fly-in day trips. It takes 3 hours to drive to South Gate from Maun, and from the gate it takes another hour to drive to the main game viewing areas.

Although I strongly recommend Botswana, which in my opinion offers better safari options than South Africa, in your particular case, and with your needs for internet and communication with the outside world, I would choses Kruger

Pretoria, South...
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6. Re: Safari Costs

Hi SC,

I have to agree with you about Kruger, which is why I spend so much time there.

I also don't like the fact that Kasane has grown so much recently. I remember it as a little village, not as Botswana's biggest and busiest safari destination in peak season. Unfortunately it's also become so extremely busy recently that you can hardly find accommodation or a spot on a boat or along the river (despite all the new lodges).

So yea ... I'd also go with Kruger.

Edited: 25 November 2013, 18:09
7. Re: Safari Costs

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