Where do I book to stay in this camp?
Are the Third Bridge prices on the website up to date? Do I understand correctly that my total daily cost for 2 persons and a car would be: 2x234 (camp fee) + 2x120 (park fees) + 50 (vehicle fee) = 758 pula. Do I pay the park fees in advance or at the entrance to the park?
The correct website is: http://www.xomaesites.com
You should contact them for an actual quote - as you don't mention how many nights you plan to stay..
The Park Fees are totally seperate, and need to be paid directly to the DWNP at their office in Maun. The vehicle fee depends on the vehicle's size and whether it is registered in Botswana
Those fees on Maun Self Drive 4x4 are the correct rates. On the Xomae site is reflected the old 2010/11 rates. Actually Xomae1st tried to raise rates to 300 Pula, then 350 Pula, before the slight increase you see now. Maun Self Drive 4x4 will arrange payment of DWNP fees if you go through them. It can be a huge hassle otherwise and they make it easy.
Those are the correct 2012/2103 rates on the Xomaesites.com website.
Maun self drive is an agency trying to drum up business - ok if you need to hire your 4x4 in Maun, but I suspect you will rent in South Africa as it is cheaper, it is best to deal directly with the campsite operators Xomae in my opinion and experience.
Park Fees are easily obtained from the office in Maun, or can be paid at some Park Gates:
"Payments made at the Park or Reserve Entrance gates may either be in PULA, SOUTH AFRICAN RANDS, US DOLLAR AND BRITISH POUNDS STERLING. Please note that only NOTES for foreign currency will be accepted, not coins"
This has nothing to do with drumming up business. I have copies of each letter indicating the 'new' pricing for 2012/13.
It is not so easy for people to put together a viable itinerary from overseas, with all the different operators and dealing with the DWNP. As I understand, South Africans are these so called booking agents most numerous clients. It is not so easy as you claim. Some people don't mind wasting time, phone calls, faxes, emails, chasing this stuff down. There are far too many people that are too busy. Just like most people go through travel agents, when my experience has been that if I booked direct, many times I can get a much better package then dealing with travel agents
(nothing but glorified booking agents).
It is a wonderful campsite and they reply to email enquiries in good time but just ask Xomae for a small campsite if you are only one vehicle or a small group. They will make double bookings and put two small groups on the same campsite. This would be okay if they can warn you in advance but you will only find out once you arrive.