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Botswana

 
Author elsslots
Admin
#1 | Posted: 4 Dec 2018 08:15 
I am looking into Botswana for my May trip next year. The usual safari destinations I have well covered, but can anybody who went there shine a light on Tsodilo? Which camp/lodge/hotel did you stay at and how did you get there?

Author Zoe
Partaker
#2 | Posted: 4 Dec 2018 10:13 
Self-drive, you could arrange a guide for the day tour but you'd have to ask around with the tour operators.

Stayed at the Swamp Stop near Sepupa. Has rooms plus camping sites for both options.

Author elsslots
Admin
#3 | Posted: 5 Dec 2018 12:48 | Edited by: elsslots 
Thanks, Zoe. And also Geert who responded by e-mail with similar suggestions.

My itinerary has some complexities though:
- I will travel by myself and will not / cannot drive a 4x4 car. From what I have read, at the end there's quite a bit of difficult driving involved.
- The most logical way to approach it is from the north, when you come driving down from the Caprivi strip. Then you actually pass it. However, I will start from Maun (as my other arrangements start from there as well, going eastwards hopping around lodges and mobile camping in Moremi, Khwai and Chobe). So it must be a 1 or 2 day trip from Maun.

I know there is a luxury fishing lodge that also 'does' Tsodilo where you can fly in: https://www.nxamaseri.com/okavango-delta-botswana-nxamaseri-island-lodge/
And there is a tantalizing half-day trip by helicopter, which sounds worth a splurge but is very expensive: https://www.helicopterhorizons.com/experiences/

Author Iain Jackson
Partaker
#4 | Posted: 11 Mar 2019 08:48 
Els,
I've just caught up with your query. What follows may well be too little too late but I visited Tsodilo (and Okavango) in November 2018.
I came from the north, having spent the night in Namibia at Divundu Guest House (generally good, but with some spectacularly surly waitresses). It's about 1km from the Bagani inter city coach stop. Next morning I went by Taxi to the Botswana border. Entry formalities quite relaxed. I was found a lift to Shakawe, from where a taxi driver took me the few kms south east to ASKIES BOS. It was not easy to find but asking for the Krokovango Crocodile Farm helped. Look at my review on Trip Advisor for further information. Dammam and I had a most enjoyable day out at Tsodilo travelling in the family 4x4 (though the road is passable in a standard saloon car).
If you have the time I do not believe you could have a better way of getting to Tsodilo.
I look forward to our meeting again - in Scotland in July.

Author elsslots
Admin
#5 | Posted: 11 Mar 2019 12:34 
Thank you Iain. My issue with Tsodilo seems to be that I am not coming from the northwest, from Namibia as most people do. I am doing "Botswana only" and am based in Maun.

Author Iain Jackson
Partaker
#6 | Posted: 11 Mar 2019 13:04 
Els, If your plans are not yet irrevocably fixed you could always visit the Okavango WHS from Askies Bos or somewhere nearby. The site's panhandle stretches right up to the Namibia border, As far as I am able to tell from the available maps the core zone starts at the bottom of the garden of Askies Bos. So, looking carefully for nearby crocodiles before you do, step into the water up to your ankles, and you've visited the WHS. Not that you or I would consider this to be sufficient justification to add it to your list of sites visited, but there are a number of local businessmen (sic) who would be glad to facilitate a more comprehensive visit.

Author elsslots
Admin
#7 | Posted: 11 Mar 2019 13:21 
Iain Jackson:
If your plans are not yet irrevocably fixed

They are, in a way. My main focus will be a proper safari (including lodges and mobile camping) in Okavango and Chobe. So my mammal watching interest probably gets preference this time above a mediocre, out-of-the way WHS.

Author elsslots
Admin
#8 | Posted: 11 Jun 2019 14:32 | Edited by: elsslots 
To wrap-up my reporting about my recent Botswana trip, here are some more practical tips that I'd like to share:

- The mobile safari I used for Okavango and Chobe was this 6-day safari by Bush Ways. I think it was executed well, but be aware that this is really the lower end of mid-budget. Our safari truck had driven 400,000km already and no running water or electricity does get tiresome after a couple of days. We met much more fancy outfitters, one that I have seen recommended is AndBeyond.

- I wasn't much impressed by the food available in Botswana, certainly compared to the variety of Namibia.

- I paid cash in Botswanian Pula for tips and some pre- and post tour lunches/dinners. I withdrew the Pula from an ATM across the street from Maun airport.

- Botswana cannot be reached directly by air from Europe, so most people will waste some valuable vacation days in transit. I flew KLM to Johannesburg and transferred the next morning to Maun with SA Airlink. On the return flight, I departed from Livingstone (Zambia) to Nairobi with Kenya Airways and then on to Amsterdam a few hours later.

- In contrast to my experiences in Namibia, a trip like this in Botswana does shelter you from any contact with the local population.

- At an average of 315 EUR per day excluding international flights (for which I used frequent flyer miles), this was my most expensive trip ever. Read some ideas and opinions here how to approach Botswana's cost levels.

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