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Botswana info. (1 Viewer)

Lorne

Well-known member
Hi there, me & Sheila are thinking that we would like to do a trip around the Okavango / Moremi Wildlife Reserve area of Botswana, poss in November, so if anyone can give us any travel, site access & accommodation info links I would much appreciate that.
Regards
 
Hi there, me & Sheila are thinking that we would like to do a trip around the Okavango / Moremi Wildlife Reserve area of Botswana, poss in November, so if anyone can give us any travel, site access & accommodation info links I would much appreciate that.
Regards

First thing we need are budget estimates. Okavango travel can be expensive, so we need to know if you're thinking high-end lodges, overland trips, self-drive, or what.
Regards,
Dave
PS I'm trying to track down some useful info for you. Stand by.
D
 
Hi there, me & Sheila are thinking that we would like to do a trip around the Okavango / Moremi Wildlife Reserve area of Botswana, poss in November, so if anyone can give us any travel, site access & accommodation info links I would much appreciate that.
Regards

Here's a list of URL's to get started with. All of these, as far as I know, operate in Botswana. There are, of course, Botswana Parks board campsites, but these are very basic, and sometimes less well maintained than they might be.
Check through these, and start your planning. Note that in November it could be wet, which could affect road conditions. On the other hand, November is good for birds, since all the migrants are here and breeding. For a first visit, especially if it is a first visit to Africa, I would recommend travelling with an experienced operator.
D

www.wilderness-safaris.com/

www.andbeyond.com/

www.desertdelta.com/

www.go2africa.com/botswana/best-of-botswana-sanctuary-safari

www.africansafarico.com/safari/sanctuary-safari-10-days/

www.orient-express-safaris.co.za/

www.orient-express.com/collection/safaris/khwai_river_lodge.jsp

www.eagleislandcamp.com/

www.wildernessdawning.com/

www.karibuafricasafaris.com/

www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293766-i9284-k3309078-Karibu_Safari_Botswana-Botswana.html

www.drifters.co.za/

www.joburgtourism.com/getting-aroun...ohannesburg-city/mask-expeditions-cc-JSTOP557

www.exodus.co.uk/activities-experiences/wildlife-safaris/african-safaris
 
Hi Dave, our plan has just changed, Sheila had told he brother, (not a birder) would he like to go down to Kruger for a holiday? After saying he would he said that his wife would probably say no, this was when we decided to go to Botswana instead, & I put this question on the Birdforum. Now he has said yes he would like to go! So our plan is to take him up to Punda Maria & work our way down to show him the animals there.
So we then take him back to Joburg to go home & then we will go to Botswana. I should say that we have been to SA 5 times & after failing to do the sea bird trip from Cape Town 2 years running we have just spent the other trips up north from there, & we have seen lots of the birds & poss most of the top mega’s, except the Pel’s Fishing-Owl, so this is why we would like to go there.
Although we have had a few 1 to 2 day guides we have done the rest on our own, like last trip in 2009 I did just over 7000 Kms in our hire car, & have no problems on the dirt roads in a 2 wheel drive. Also that small Namibia area just north of Okavango seems to have lots of special birds.
So prefer self drive & self catered accom. I am starting to work thru your links, also found this interesting write up; although back in 2004 they used a 2 wheel drive & did not need to pre-book accommodation;
http://www.birdtours.co.uk/tripreports/namibia/namibia9/nam-bot-dec-04.htm
Regards
 
Hi Dave, our plan has just changed, Sheila had told he brother, (not a birder) would he like to go down to Kruger for a holiday? After saying he would he said that his wife would probably say no, this was when we decided to go to Botswana instead, & I put this question on the Birdforum. Now he has said yes he would like to go! So our plan is to take him up to Punda Maria & work our way down to show him the animals there.
So we then take him back to Joburg to go home & then we will go to Botswana. I should say that we have been to SA 5 times & after failing to do the sea bird trip from Cape Town 2 years running we have just spent the other trips up north from there, & we have seen lots of the birds & poss most of the top mega’s, except the Pel’s Fishing-Owl, so this is why we would like to go there.
Although we have had a few 1 to 2 day guides we have done the rest on our own, like last trip in 2009 I did just over 7000 Kms in our hire car, & have no problems on the dirt roads in a 2 wheel drive. Also that small Namibia area just north of Okavango seems to have lots of special birds.
So prefer self drive & self catered accom. I am starting to work thru your links, also found this interesting write up; although back in 2004 they used a 2 wheel drive & did not need to pre-book accommodation;
http://www.birdtours.co.uk/tripreports/namibia/namibia9/nam-bot-dec-04.htm
Regards

My comments regarding roads and using an experienced guide were directed wholly towards your Delta/Moremi option. I have driven all over southern Africa for the past 40 years and never yet used a 4x4 - just my own family saloon. But the Botswana sand roads, in the Delta/Moremi region and parts of the Kalahari. are a whole new ballgame. I would not venture these roads without 4x4 capability.
Re the guide, Botswana operates a high cost/low volume policy in the Delta to minimise impact. It is not easy to do a Delta trip on your own, in fact it is discouraged, and I am not sure whether it can be done at all. Once in there on your own, there are no facilities, no fuel, no service facilities, no signs, no communication, and to my knowledge no public camping facilities. Please check through the URL's I sent you. Tracks are either thick sand or often submerged. Delta vehicles are usually equipped with snorkels to deal with the water. A Delta trip should be done with an accredited tour operator. Moremi National Park does have public camping facilities, but these are likely to be Spartan.
Kruger is easy, and well worth doing. If you go to Punda Maria, before going south go north to the Luvuvhu River, then east to Crooks Corner. Birding is excellent there, with many unusual species. Pels Fishing Owl occurs on the Luvuvhu - they are not easy to find, but so far I have seen 3 there. I have also found Racket-tailed Roller, Mottled Spinetail, and Crested Guineafowl, among many others.
Best wishes,
Dave
 
Hi Dave, I don’t really want to pay thousands of pounds for a weeks trip, we don’t mind having some of the local specialists help us with some sites but if Botswana will only allow full package trips I don’t think we will do that.
Although we were very lucky on our last trip in 09, on the night trip from Punda Maria, fantastic views of the pair of Pennant-winged Nightjar, unfortunately the Luvuvhu river had dried out so no Pel’s Fishing-Owl, but we did get Black-throated Wattle-eye there. Also in Kruger, Plain-backed Sunbird, & our Finfoot, Then I think it was Nikki M? showed us Blue Swallows & the African Pygmy-goose site.
Then tried the Ndumo reserve but that was flooded! So no Pel’s there but lots of other rarities also more in Mkuze inc Neergaard’s Sunbird. Then we met Saka Muzi in Richard’s Bay who showed us the Green Barbet in Ngoye Forest (pouring rain) & the 2 Crab Plover in the bay. We had to wade into the sea up to our chests also in pouring rain. Also did the trip up Sani Pass, poss with Stuart Mclean. Terrible, rain, fog & snow! & off course our weather info came from you Dave. The birds he showed were incredible, & he gave us the site info for a pair of Wattled Crane & Broad-tailed Warbler.
So I have to say we really enjoy our trips to SA, but Botswana is going to be a problem if the birding is really different from your area. I have now got a good map of Botswana, & if there are lots to see in the Namibia Caprivi strip should that be a better place to go?

Regards,
 
So I have to say we really enjoy our trips to SA, but Botswana is going to be a problem if the birding is really different from your area. I have now got a good map of Botswana, & if there are lots to see in the Namibia Caprivi strip should that be a better place to go?

Regards,

Caprivi birding should be good. Note that you can cross at Ngoma from Caprivi into Botswana, drive to Kasane from where you can find great birding on and around the Chobe River. You could then drive from Kasane through to Victoria Falls in Zim - it's only around 75 km - where not only do you have the Falls, but some really good birding in the vicinity too. You would have to purchase a Zim visa at the border (paid for in US$) but that is no problem. A double entry visa (which is what we usually get, because we fly from Johannesburg into Vic Falls, drive through to Botswana, then re-enter Zim to fly out of Vic falls) costs $70, so a single entry visa such as you would require should cost less, although I don't have a figure to hand. You would enjoy Vic Falls....you can bungee jump off the Victoria Falls Bridge into the Zambezi Gorge, or you can try white-water rafting down the Zambezi - plenty of adrenalin there. Should you by any chance be an angler, fly casting for Tigerfish (Hydrocynus vittatus) in the Chobe or Zambezi can be mindblowing. Impalila Lodge, right at the very end of the Caprivi Strip, specialises in tiger fishing. It's also interesting as a place where four countries meet - Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana
Best wishes,
Dave
PS The Chobe rapids just downstream from the Mowana Hotel in Kasane almost always yield Rock Pratincole, and Collared Palm Thrush are often encountered in the hotel grounds. If the river is not too high you can reach the rapids by walking east along the riverfront from the hotel jetty. You should be able to find the hotel and the rapids on Google Earth.
 
Hi Lorne

Probably one of our favourite places to stay is Drotsky's Cabins on the panhandle. A lovely place to stay and we have seen Pels in the camp site there. A trip on the river is essential. From there it is quick and easy to get into the Caprivi Strip. We have driven there in a high-clearance 2x4 without any problems. Just a note - we haven't stayed in the chalets, we have only camped so I can't comment on the facilities. It is also several years since we stayed there (although we are planning to go again next year) so maybe other forum members can give a more recent update.
I personally wouldn't stay at Impalila again. We stayed there a year ago and although the position is lovely, we found it exceedingly expensive for what we got. It was also a pain to have to go through so many border posts. Birdingwise, everything we saw there we saw equally well at Drotsky's.
 
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Jenny,

How do you get from Johannesburg to northern Botswana ?

Can one go almost as far as the Zimbabwe border and then cross into Botswana ?
 
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Caprivi & Botswana

Hi all, I have been reading your many interesting posts as I am considering visiting the area. Due to the political situation in Zimbabwe, I had not considered that approach. But we very much enjoyed Victoria Falls and Hwange NP back in 1997. Thus would not mind including parts of that again, if it is possible.
Though my main question is can one rent a vehicle in Victoria Falls and cross into Namibia and Botswana with it?

I should add that my main goal for this trip would be African Wild Dog. Thus any advice for locations (also in other parts of Africa) and best time to visit on a non-camping and non-luxury budget would be welcome.
 
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