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penolva

I decided to put my trip report into a book which includes around 70% of our photographs.

 

We had a brilliant safari although we did find it very challenging, hard work and we discovered that we are not very good at finding the big cats on our own!

 

The safari's for the past two years have been mainly guide led and we did not realise how lucky we were to have those great guides finding the wildlife for us. Maybe the more experience we get the better we will become. We were very sucessful in finding Elephants, although most times they found us!

 

By arranging the safari ourselves we managed to bring it in for a fraction of the cost of our previous trips.

 

Next year we have Kruger and Kgalagadi NP to hone our skills.

 

I have some videos of the trip which I will post after the book is on. (The book is free to view, not trying to sell it or anything) Pen

 

 

http://blur.by/LRfV0G

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FlyTraveler

@@penolva What e nice book! I spent the past hour or so reading and enjoying the great photos! You guys had a fabulous Botswana self-drive trip!

 

We will be staying at The Old House in Kasane this coming May for two nights. We will have one afternoon, one full day and one morning over there and I am wondering what the best schedule would be?

 

We could do:

 

1. A sunset river cruise on day one, a full day game drive in Chobe NP on day two and a morning game drive on day three.

 

2. A sunset river cruise on day one, a morning drive + another sunset river cruise on day two and a morning drive on day 3.

 

3. A sunset river cruise on day one, a morning river cruise + an afternoon game drive in Chobe NP on day two and a morning drive on day three.

 

Any advise regarding the above options?

 

Would it be possible to share the name and contacts of the Chobe river boat trip guide (s) or whoever organized the river cruises? In general I am thinking of using the boat and vehicles of the Old House, where we'll be staying, but it would be nice to have a choice.

 

Once again, congratulations for the great book that you have put together! Cheers!

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penolva

Hi @@FlyTraveler glad you liked the book. Webby works for Serval Safaris in Kasane servelsaf@yahoo.co.uk. They also have a website. Webby can also take you on a whole day safari into Chobe NP which I

would recommend. When we were there in August the boat cruise is best started around 2pm. That's when the large herds cross the river. You will have to check for May. We did pay to have the

boat to ourselves which was quite expensive but so worth it. So a whole day drive into the park plus as many river cruises as you can afford! Pen

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penolva

 

First video Kubu Island. Pen

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michael-ibk

Thank you, @@penolva , I just had a most enjoyable hour reading your book!

 

First of all, this must have been the most beautiful wedding anniversary you ever had, wasn´t it?

 

Your photo book is really, really a joy. I tend to cram too much into these, and your wonderful panorama spreads again prove that less is often more. Many pages, especially of the Kalahari, the Delta and Chobe are stunning. Not panoramic, but probably my favourite pages are 74, 75 with all the sunsets and cloud formations. Or the Roller one? I can´t decide.

 

Fantastic! Makes one wish to go to Botswana immediately. (Which is fortunately what I´m doing in less than 2 months now. ;) )

 

It must have been very frustrating when you didn´t get the camper you had so carefully chosen, but apparently you mostly managed just fine with the other one.

 

Don´t know how much more you could have found with guides, I think your sightings were pretty fantastic. Maybe you didn´t saw too many lions but the ones you encountered were definitely very impressive.

 

And Wild Dogs! That must have been a wonderful surprise when they just turned up going after the Impala!

 

The Ele Carcass certainly attracted lots of birds. Very "raw" sighting, I´m sure the smell must have been ... rosy!

 

Apart from predators you saw lots of good stuff. That huge sable herd alone is a sight to behold. And you got Roan as well. I especially enjoyed your pics of the apparently very confiding steenboks, and (one of my favourite pages) the Klippspringer double spread.

 

Many beautiful birds as well, the Barbets and the Malachite Kingfisher are my favourites.

 

Chobe looks the most beautiful, all those eles in the water, impalas in front of them, just my idea of paradise.

 

I had to look up where Tuli is, but I do very much like the pics of it. And what a cool rope bridge! Planet Baobab looks like fun, too. You mention the merkats were not as habituated there, but they seem to have tolerated photo distances of less than 5 metres. :-)

 

Thanks for sharing, I really enjoyed this. Off to watch your video now.

 

Oh, and one last thing:

 

"Why does it always end?", you askes near the end?

 

To give new wonders an opportunity to begin. :)

 

 

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FlyTraveler

Hi @@FlyTraveler glad you liked the book. Webby works for Serval Safaris in Kasane servelsaf@yahoo.co.uk. They also have a website. Webby can also take you on a whole day safari into Chobe NP which I

would recommend. When we were there in August the boat cruise is best started around 2pm. That's when the large herds cross the river. You will have to check for May. We did pay to have the

boat to ourselves which was quite expensive but so worth it. So a whole day drive into the park plus as many river cruises as you can afford! Pen

Thanks very much for the useful information! Cheers!

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Wow what a fantastic adventure and book.

 

I noticed the image with the Sat Nav. Was it at all useful in the remote areas?

 

...and a very small world ! bumping into Alex.

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penolva

@@michael-ibk thanks for all the kind comments :) Yes it was the best anniversary! The Elephant made it and that terrible bottle of wine! We always spend the journey home planning next time. Hope you have a great trip in two months time, will look out for your trip report.

 

@@Geoff thanks for reading. The Sat Nav was fantastic, loaded with Tracks4Africa maps and I pre loaded the route at home so we could "practice". Could not have managed without it.

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penolva

Next video, Central Kalahari

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
FlyTraveler

@@penolva, now it is my turn to ask you a few questions regarding your fabulous self-drive trip:

1. Have you / your husband had any previous off-road driving, safari self-drive experience prior to this trip?

 

2. Do you remember how much you paid per day for the Land Rover rental (I assume that you got a discount for the long period)?

 

3. Have you calculated your overall cost per person per day or total per day (excluding extra activities, such as river cruises, organized game drives etc.)?

 

I am very keen to do a similar trip, but neither I or my wife have previous self-drive or/and off-road experience. We do own a 4X4 vehicle, but have never driven it in deep sand, for example. I am also not experienced in reading wild animals body language (will not be able to recognize if an elephant would charge etc.) Are those skills essential for a self-drive trips in Botswana?

 

Once again, I and my wife enjoyed very much your e-book and thanks in advance for your reply!

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Wildlife Detective

Just wanted to say that this certainly is very impressive e-book you put together there.

 

Visually stunning with a nice balance of text and commentary.

 

Job well done!

 

 

 

 

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@@penolva. Great photos - really that is Botswana. I so wished I was there. With landscapes like that who needs big cats? Sable more than make up for that, anyway.

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twaffle

I loved this book, thank you for sharing it here. The selection of photos were perfect and having wild dogs was such a bonus. I would love to do something like this one day, it just seemed so wonderful being able to wander around and relax when you needed to. I loved the sable herd as well and all the elephants and sunsets were beautiful.

 

Who is Zac who sent you a shooting star? It sounds sad.

 

Anyway, I really enjoyed the presentation. Thanks again.

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penolva

@@Tdgraves and @@pault thanks for reading, those dogs were such a thrill that early morning, we were so lucky.

 

@@twaffle Zac is my grandson who died at 6 hours old from a heart condition 3 years ago. We were in New Zealand and he and his Mummy and Daddy were in Uk. We flew home the next day. On the evening he died there was a huge shooting star over the bay. We always say he sent it. Since then he has sent us many shooting stars but we get extra special ones in Africa which always makes us smile. :)

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penolva

@@FlyTraveler so glad you and your wife enjoyed the book. Hope you can get to experience Botswana in the same way. If you already own a 4x4 you are half way there!

 

We had done a self drive in Namibia but the only deep sand was on the last bit up to Dead Vlei. John is a very experienced driver and did all the driving in Botswana. We went to a local

chap who does off road trips to Morocco and he ran through all the basics. If you can do a 4x4 driving course that is in sand not dirt then we would recommend it. We watched YouTube videos and got

the ebook by Andrew St Pierre White and just read every bit of information we could. We also got advice from McKenzie 4x4 in Maun who helped us book the campsites etc. It was challenging! but we would

highly recommend it.

 

The Land Rover hire cost was £2400 for 32 days and Mike gave us £250 refund because of the mix up.

 

Brenda McKenzie booked the lodging, campsites, park fees etc etc. I sent her £3000 which also covered her fee of £80 and the courier service. We were full board at Thamalakane Lodge, Planet Baobab and Kwa Tuli. It also included the cost of the overnight on the pans. The only places I booked were the B&B in Johannesburg £150 dinner bed and breakfast and Ama Amanzi £120 dinner bed and breakfast.

 

Re the animals we contacted experts in Botswana, read the section on wild animals in the Bradt Guide to Botswana(definitely buy this) and the Veronica Roodt guide. They all give the same advice on how

to deal with elephants, hippo, buffalo etc. We never got too close, backing off each time. If you take the advice, read up what the experts say and remember it while you are there you will be fine.

The people who panicked and left Xakanaxa all got themselves scared by scaring each other, if you know what I mean. That elephant was calm around us, but then we gave him his space and did not bang

pots and pans at him!! When the elephants came very close we just sat in the vehicle and enjoyed the experience. You don't have to worry as long as you are sensible. But then you can always take

some velcro! Pen

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twaffle

I'm glad you have Zac's shooting stars lighting up your skies, what a beautiful thing. Thank you for sharing that.

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penolva

@@twaffle I wish Zac had experienced Africa as a child as you did and I had been his Grandma then. I really love your story. Pen x

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cheetah80

@@penolva wow wow wow! what a way to celebrate your 32nd wedding anniversary! Beautiful book and photos - and a fabulous itinerary. Self driving is so enjoyable and liberating, it really does make up for the (relative) lack of sightings you would get with a professional. I think you did pretty well though, you even saw the wild dogs which is always such a special treat.

 

I really felt for you when you described how you didn't get the exact car you ordered a year in advance - it would really frustrate me. But on trips like this nothing ever goes exactly as planned, there is always that something .....

 

Thank you for providing me with a very entertaining lunch break!

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penolva

Thanks @@cheetah80 so glad you enjoyed the book, to be honest we were so excited to be there we soon forgot about the vehicle hiccup and they did get us the one we booked as soon as they could. All part of being in Africa. Pen

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
Atravelynn

I just headed off to Kubu Island. Great music. Stunning moon. I admire you for doing a self drive. What an adventure! Then on the the Kalahari with more cool music. The honey badger put on quite the show for you! That must have been exciting to see, and you found him all on your own.

Edited by Atravelynn
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penolva

Thanks @@Atravelynn used the Canon SX50HS for the moon!!!

 

Next video baby elephants swimming across Chobe River, something I have dreamed of seeing and the elephants swam for over 3 hours.

 

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