To book or not to book (NE Botswana)





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  1. #1
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    Question To book or not to book (NE Botswana)

    Good day all,

    Hope that you had a good Christmas time.

    I'm planning a camping trip in North-Eastern Botswana for March 2014. It's not my first time in the area but one thing I find tricky still is to know whether to try and book a camping spot or just wing it.

    I'm guessing the time of year makes a difference and maybe popularity of the camp/lodge as well.

    I'm looking to stay at
    - Khama Rhino (With Woodlands as an alternative)
    - Nata lodge (with planet boabab and elephant sands as alternatives)
    - Just outside Chobe/Kasane at Senyati lodge (CSL as alternative)
    - Inside Chobe at Ihaha camp (Alternatives ??)

    Please advise me on where bookings would be essential or when it would be dodgy to rock up and hope for availability.

    Many thanks


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  2. #2
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    Never booked we just wing it, Ihaha try book in advance but if not there is a small booking office at the front gate.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Mackay View Post
    Never booked we just wing it, Ihaha try book in advance but if not there is a small booking office at the front gate.
    Ja i went with another group this time last year. In two weeks, we didn't book a single night and that includes Savuti and Moremi. It was my first time in Bots and I didn't know whether this was the norm - I just tagged along. 8)

    Peak times are pretty much July to October and maybe over Christmas / Easter right?

    So March might be OK with the exception of Ihaha as you say.

    Thanks for this.


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  4. #4
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    YIP, I get really P!$$#d when the site I booked is not available so now I don't book, then I look for what I want and like, this way no stress. Secondly web sites lie finished and klaar, you buy meat that looks nice why not a camp site?
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    There is a certain peace of mind that comes with pre-booking.

    BUT, this also adds the stress of I have to leave now, have to drive now, have to get there in time.... Personally I dont like pre-booking, though some times it is required.


    In Botswana pre-booking comes with a twist - you MUST take all your documents with you !!! All too often you did pre-book, just to find out they never wrote it in their book .....

  6. #6
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    The only site to book is Ihaha, the rest, just go there, you will always find an empty site..

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAT n WOLF View Post
    The only site to book is Ihaha, the rest, just go there, you will always find an empty site..

    Thanks - that's basically what I did - already paid Ihaha in full too but they're slow to confirm the booking :-(


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  8. #8
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    And my plans changed slightly - from khama i'm going to elephants sands instead of nata.

    Two reasons:
    - I've seen nata before (i loved it)
    - But i understand ellie sands is on wildlife reserve/area with lots to see

    Any comments?


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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by pantoffel View Post
    And my plans changed slightly - from khama i'm going to elephants sands instead of nata.

    Two reasons:
    - I've seen nata before (i loved it)
    - But i understand ellie sands is on wildlife reserve/area with lots to see

    Any comments?


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    From what I have heard the running of elephant sands is not up to scratch and leaves quite a bit to be desired. never been there but not 1 of our friends have ever said it is well run and maintained
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    never heard of any issues here....my past experience is good value for money and good facilities as well.

  11. #11
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    We visited Elephant Sands last January. Frankly the place is becoming quite run-down, which is a pity as it was a neat concept (campsites/chalets arranged along a waterhole, which attracts game).

    There was high grass growing all around the chalets, and we had an elephant dining (and weeing) outside of our chalet at around midnight - interesting, but not everyone's cup of tea. Had the grass been kept under control the ele would have just strolled on by.

  12. #12
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    Stay at Nata, skip elephant sands, and use hunters road from Nata to Kasane. Overnight somewhere next to the road, just not at Kazuma Pan. Lead wood pan is a good option.

    Just my 2cW

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    I thought Elephant Sands last year May was great. Ablutions a bit busy but camping was full. Not sure you will get elephant experience at Nata.

  14. #14
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    Thanks everyone !

    During march, booking won't be required at nata right?

    Tell me more about hunters road please

    Thanks again


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  15. #15
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    NE Botswana still gets quite wet in March and April, I wouldn't do hunters road when its wet.
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  16. #16
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    Nata was full end August last year due to a huge overland group booked into rooms and chalets. But plenty camp spots.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Mackay View Post
    NE Botswana still gets quite wet in March and April, I wouldn't do hunters road when its wet.

    Thanks - with a 4x2 I'd like to keep it safe.


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  18. #18
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    With Nata you mean the Nata Lodge with its campground?
    For the campsite you dont need a booking, it is huge and can deal with 150 pax. But it is spacious as well and has a nice pool :-)
    Even on request they say, you dont need to book if you wanna camp.
    Maybe a bit noisy from the closeby road-until it gets dark...
    If you have the time, a visit at the bird sanctuary maybe nice
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  19. #19
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    Visited Elephant Sands in September 2013. Ok for a night stay over.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JacoBrits View Post
    Visited Elephant Sands in September 2013. Ok for a night stay over.

    Thanks Jaco

    How was the facilities? Showers etc?




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