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Safari operators

Shingle Springs...
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Safari operators

In the Tanzania fourm there is a list of perfered tour operators. I can't find one on this site, can somebody point me in the right direction? Or can the experts here suggest some local safari companys? We will be going to Botswana in May of 2013. Would like to spend 7 to 9 days on safari, then 2 days in Vic. Falls, then to Tanzania for 12 days. We have prices from two companys but I would like to get a local outfit for comparison. We want nice, but not top end kind of trip.

Thanks again for any and all help.

Stanley, Falkland...
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1. Re: Safari operators

I think if you look at safari_craigs posts, he tends to regularly list every operator.

But the bulk of the people posting on here are (I believe) agents or operators, so browsing a few posts should bring up the usual suspects, eg Erica, Russell, Mark, etc.

Who have you got prices from so far? Which camps do they quote for? Given that there is a limited number of operators and camps, you might as well compare apples with apples.

Shingle Springs...
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2. Re: Safari operators


The TO my wife likes is A.T.R.

Lagoon Camp 3 ngts

Little Kwara 2 ngts

Tubu Tree 3 ngts.

Toka Leya 2 ngts.

About $8000 p/p starting May 15 2013.

Does this look like a good trip for the time of year?

Thanks for any advice

Wayzata, Minnesota
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3. Re: Safari operators


If you are looking for local operators, here is my preferred list. I realize you are about 2 hours from the Bay area and these folks are all in the Bay area. Keep in mind this is my opinion. These are all competitors of my company (technically) so I have never booked a safari with them.

I do have a full time employee in a home office in Berkley and he knows all these people from local trade associations and I know most of the owners or CEOs through the industry. All of these companies have no business ties to any particular safari lodge chain so their advice should only be biased by their experience.

This list is in no particular order except for #1 would be my top choice:

1. Bushtracks - owned by David & Caroline Tett. David's brother Chris owns a full tour operation business based in Vic Falls. http://www.bushtracks.com/

- Geographic Expeditions (ask for Starla Estrada or Kate Doty). http://www.geoex.com/about_us/staff.asp

- Mountain Travel Sobek – Ask for Laura Roundy. Their CEO can be reached at kevin@mtsobek.com. I know him. http://www.mtsobek.com/

- Next Adventure & Safari. Owner Kili McGowan 738 Gilman Street, Berkeley CA 94710-1325 USA Tel: 510 526 7027

- http://yoursafariexpert.com/ - owner, Christine Eichen. I don’t know much about them.

Craig Beal - owner - Travel Beyond

2011 Travel & Leisure A-List agent for Botswana

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4. Re: Safari operators

Lagoon camp and the Kwara Camps would be 2 of my top choices in May so I would definitely keep those in. You will get fantastic land based game viewing at both places and you will definitely be able to do the mokoro rides at Kwara.

I would even be tempted to do 3 nights at Little Kwara.

Tubu Trees is a fantastic camp although to a certain extent will offer a similar experience to Little Kwara in that it is a mixed camp that offers both water and land based activities. Depending on the flood levels there may not be a lot of land to do game drives on although you should be ok in May as this is usually before the peak floods arrive.

I am not sure how budget conscious you are being but Tubu Trees is also likely to be pushing up the cost quite a bit - this is the likely to be the most expensive of the camps.

Given that you are going to get superb land based game viewing at both Little Kwara and Lagoon you might want to include a pure water camp as this is going to be much cheaper. Although the amount of big game you see at these camps is more limited as they can not do game drives they offer a very different experience. It is at these camps that you get the really classic Okavango Delta scenery and after several days of bumping around on game vehicles it is a nice change of pace!! You can do walking safaris at these camps as well.-Gunns camp is a great option for a water camp as it is very reasonably priced yet still has high quality accommodation and guides. With only 6 rooms it is very intimate and in a stunning location.

Toka Leya is a great option if you want somewhere really smart near Vic Falls and would be a great way to end the trip. I would change the order around though and put it straight after Lagoon camp as you will probably find your charter flights working out cheaper that way

So I would possibly suggest in this order:

Little Kwara 3 nights

Gunns camp 2 nights

Lagoon camp 3 nights

Toka Leya 2 nights

The added bonus here is that by doing 6 nights at Kwando Camps(Little Kwara and Lagoon) they give you an extra multi night discount!!

Mark, Gondwana Tours & Safaris, Maun

5. Re: Safari operators

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