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Revisit to the north of Bots once more, experience required!

Beijing, China
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Revisit to the north of Bots once more, experience required!

I am planning a trip to cover what i call the triangle of the north, i.e. Maun start - Nata (Salt Pan) - Kasane (and Vic Falls) - CHobe through to Maun (and Delta/Moremi), beginning Xmas day of this year, by self drive, and I am hoping someone can assist by imparting their well-earned knowledge and experience (and respected), for keeping prices to a minimum, so by this, i mean my anticipated bigger expenses such as;

4x4 twin cab (high clearance) vehicle hire

camping equipment hire (tents, cadac gas cooker, pots, cooler box etc)

A guide to accompany on the Kasane - Maun leg via Chobe Park, i assume prices are per day

Accommodation fees in parks and lodges

This, my planned itinerary;

25th night - Maun

26th night - Makgadikgadi

27th night - Kasane

28th day - vic falls/ sedudu island

28th night - Kasane/CHobe park

29th night - Chobe park

30th night - Moremi

31st night - Maun

1st night - Maun

2nd day - fly to Jozi

Any info. much appreciated!

Eldo!

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Maun
Maun
Ngamiland East, Botswana
Kasane
Kasane
North-West District, Botswana
Chobe National Park
Chobe National Park
North-West District, Botswana
Maun, Botswana
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2 reviews
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1. Re: Revisit to the north of Bots once more, experience required!

Sounds a great itinerary!

Most important is to get your campsites booked. The Christmas period is peak time for campsites as huge numbers of South Africans travel up to Botswana over this period which is long school holidays.

You mention using a Guide from Kasane to Maun, this might enable you to use the BOGA campsites, reserved for Guides - see http://www.boga-bw.com/ for more info and how to book a Guide

You can rent a 4x4 in Maun - AVIS have double cab 4x4s, or check out www.drivesouthafrica.co.za/4x4-hire/maun/ or http://www.botswanaselfdrive4x4.com/ or http://www.maunselfdrive4x4.com/ I also believe http://traveladventuresbotswana.com/ can supply a Guide as well

If you just rent a 4x4 without the camping equipment, you can then rent all the equipment from Kalahari Canvas - next to Avis

When you visit Vic Falls it will be easier and cheaper to take a tour from Kasane rather than driving across into Zimbabwe

Park Fees can be seen at www.mewt.gov.bw/DWNP/article.php?id_mnu=214

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Kasane
Kasane
North-West District, Botswana
Maun
Maun
Ngamiland East, Botswana
Beijing, China
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2. Re: Revisit to the north of Bots once more, experience required!

@Safarichild, much appreciated!!

May I further ask about the trip to Vic Falls. I read your response on other topic, and understand abit about what times to visit from other material online, but i am still a little unsure about what side to visit, i.e Zambian or Zim at this time of year, late December, especially being that my partner will have to go through the hassle of applying for a visa for either chosen country from her native China

(little annoyed with the monopoly SA has on travel within the region -- didn't reinstate the free transit after world cup 2010, but that's another issue)

and will not agree to applying for a fourth visa to see both sides of the Falls, rather, The Falls......I have been before to the Zim side but my partner never before, and I believe late December is not quite yet out of the dry season, hit or miss I presume. Basically I fear the water level would be too high to swim in the Devil’s Pool, at the same time there’s the possibility one could be staring at dry cliff face……

Therefore, I want to enquire, are the tours across from Kasane to Zim Vic Falls just as practical/feasible as those to the Zambian side (if also offered?).

Secondly, I’ve been told that certain car hire companies don’t allow entry into Zambia due to insurance purposes, now I can’t verify how true this is for every company, (nor do I expect you to), but should there be no tour to the Zambian side(?), is this a potential hurdle to self drive across into Zambia to visit The Falls?

Lastly, would it be feasible to then, set up camp in Kasane, give up the car hire vehicle for approx.. a day (or two), pick up another car (possibly with a guide as you mentioned one company offers) on the day we leave camp and pack to go, since for the time in Kasane I assume we’d visit The Falls on a day –trip basis, thus saving a day or so’s equivalent in 4x4 rental fees?

Having said this, is the experience of sleeping near The Falls worth paying the extra for accommodation in the area and returning a new day to Botswana so as to continue onwards through the Park (Chobe), in your opinion?

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Kasane
Kasane
North-West District, Botswana
Chobe National Park
Chobe National Park
North-West District, Botswana
Beijing, China
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3. Re: Revisit to the north of Bots once more, experience required!

Thinking about it now, I guess from your point about taking tours to the Zimbabwean side it is clear you think it not worth the extra to stay near The Falls, would the hassle and cost over to the Zambian side also not be worth it (crossing border with rental vehicle and securing accommodation again {in relation to having set up in Kasane just night before} ).

What's to miss? Sound of Mosi-oa-thunya and sunset photos over The Falls......

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Kasane
Kasane
North-West District, Botswana
Maun, Botswana
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4. Re: Revisit to the north of Bots once more, experience required!

Number of questions there.

1. In December I would concentrate on visiting the Zimbabwean side of the Falls -- the view is much better and more impressive.

2 . The VISA situation for a Chineese passport holder is that they require a VISA to be issued prior to travel. That goes for Botswana as well.

3. Tours or transfers (a transfer allows you to stay in Vic Falls) from Kasane to Victoria Falls (ZIM) are easy and plentiful - and relatively cheap. Taking a car across, although possible, is full of red tape and costs quite a bit in taxes. You do not really need a car in Vic Falls, as you can walk everywhere. Staying overnight in Vic Falls would be a good plan - and if you plan to camp, then yes, go through the hassle of taking the car. Tours to the Zambian side of the Falls from Kasane are also available, but more expensive and take longer time as you need to cross the Zambezi.

4. Taking a car into Zambia is much more complicated - and some car hire companies do restrict it. I have been turned away at the Zambian border because the paperwork on the car did not meet their requirements - I would miss Zambia if your trip is only to see the Falls - as you would also need Yellow Fever Certificates as well as all the car and travel hassles.

5. Camping in Kasane is readily available. Staying overnight is Vic Falls would be preferable, as yes, it gives you more time to experience the Falls, do a sunset cruise, have dinner at the Boma. Whether you would be able to give the car up for 2 days, or just leave it parked in Kasane will depend on the car hire company.

If you do take the car into Zimbabwe, ensure all the paperwork is available, including written permission for you to take the car, and be prepared to pay the carbon taxes etc

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Kasane
Kasane
North-West District, Botswana
Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls
Matabeleland North Province, Zimbabwe
Florida
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5. Re: Revisit to the north of Bots once more, experience required!

Hello, just to let you know that you do not really need a guide to self-drive in Botswana. We have done it easily, even through thick sand and tracks out in the bush. It would cut down on your cost. But you may want a guide who helps you spot animals? Anyway, there are companies that rent 4x4 car with camping equipment and they will book all the campsites or lodges for you. All you do then is drive from point to point with the help of a GPS and paper maps. On the way you will have a most excellent adventure spotting all the African animals we usually only see in zoos. We do it that way and absolutely love it and we have a huge photo library to prove that even beginners can have the most amazing sightings. We also did a day trip to Vic Falls on the Zim side organized by Chobe Safari Lodge in Kasane. It is a hassle to cross the border, but you just need a lot of patience. I would not spend the night there if you have limited days in the area. Better to see if you can camp at Iaha campsite along the Chobe river and also do a boat safari on the Chobe. It is amazing.

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Chobe Safari Lodge
Chobe Safari Lodge
1,274 Reviews
Kasane, Botswana
Kasane
Kasane
North-West District, Botswana
Chobe National Park
Chobe National Park
North-West District, Botswana
Beijing, China
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6. Re: Revisit to the north of Bots once more, experience required!

Hi KaliCA, thanks for your input. I will consider a guide just for the leg through the park from Kasane to Maun as i believe as well as spotting animals, their knowledge of the roads, and their conditions at different times of the year, mean they can quickly decide upon a route on encountering forks in the road (left or right?), i'm not quite sure how a GPS navigator can compete with this, but i can still see their worth, especially at the small extra cost of a navigator.

"there are companies that rent 4x4 car with camping equipment and they will book all the campsites or lodges for you." Would you be able to recommend any names i can look into :-)

I would need to know about the possibility of leavin gthe vehicle and camping equipment in a place other than that where I collected it/them from, so as to avoid driving a 'full circle' if this makes any sense.

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Kasane
Kasane
North-West District, Botswana
Maun
Maun
Ngamiland East, Botswana
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7. Re: Revisit to the north of Bots once more, experience required!

Hi, doing self-drive trips, I'm always looking to do a circle or loop, that way you avoid high one way rental drop off fees. Your plan, as is, is already a loop. So rent a 4x4 in Maun (one company there is called Maun4x4) start in Moremi Third Bridge campsite, Khwai Campsite, Savuti Campsite, Kasane, Vic Falls Day trip Kasane, drive to Nxai Pan, Nxai Pan, Maun. It is very rushed in my opinion and you will spend a lot of time driving from point to point rather than doing concentrated game driving. I would skip the pans and stay longer in Moremi to maximize game sightings. Or if you can, add another week to make it worth your while coming all the way from China. We come from CA to Africa for no less than three weeks

You could also try a movable tented safari. There are many experts here on the forum who know names of companies. My sister was very happy with Letaka safaris out of a Maun.

Self-driving takes a lot of planning and preparation and it is very doable with help from companies who will book the sites for you and advise you more on the best route. It may be already getting late to get the sites you want for Xmas. So maybe going with a mobile safari will maximize your time there and maybe cost you less as well.

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Maun
Maun
Ngamiland East, Botswana
Moremi Game Reserve
Moremi Game Reserve
Okavango Delta, Botswana
Third Bridge Campsite
Third Bridge Campsite
107 Reviews
Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana
Kasane
Kasane
North-West District, Botswana
Beijing, China
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15 posts
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8. Re: Revisit to the north of Bots once more, experience required!

Jah bless thee!!!

9. Re: Revisit to the north of Bots once more, experience required!

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