Dizhana in chaos





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  1. #1
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    Default Dizhana in chaos

    There is major chaos at Dizhana with the reservations. We arrived for our 5 night stay and were informed that we did not have a reservation and the camp was full. This is after we had confirmed our booking with our agent (a well known one in Botswana) and had the voucher to prove it. I then phoned the said agent on my satellite phone and it was confirmed that our booking was valid. The agent then spoke to the camp manager on my phone and said he must find us space.
    We where then forced to share a camp site with an Irish family that where also unhappy to share. I don't blame them.
    The next morning we were then shown to another site which we did not have to share. Everyday that we were there people were arriving to find that there names were either on or not on the list but it was still full and they had to share. At some stage there were 4 campers on a single site.
    Two French couples who had booked in December and who's names where on the reservation list were told the camp is full. After complaining bitterly they were put onto camp site 2 "overflow".
    Three other campers refused to stay on the camp site 2 "overflow" and drove off and camped under a tree a few hundred meters from the official camp.
    On our fourth night we had to allow five Americans to share with us as once again the camp was over booked. Camp site 5 had to share with three other vehicles so in total there were six vehicles on one site. Camp site 3 had six vehicles as well.

    Site 1: Is a large site which is used by tour operators and at one stage had over 11 tents on it excluding support staff tents and vehicles.
    Site 2: Is very small accommodated up to four campers at a time and joins directly onto site 1
    Site 2 "overflow" Is not fully functional however due to the chaos campers had to be accommodated on it.
    Site 3: This site has twin showers and toilets and should only accommodate 2x Campers, however one evening they even pushed 5 campers onto this site.
    Site 4: A beautiful site on the waters edge and accommodates 1 camper
    Site 5: the best camp site, also on the water. This site is supposed to only accommodate 1 but up to 6 vehicles were on it at some stages.
    Site 6: A small site with very little shade right next to reception.

    I must state that the two managers at the camp Colin and System tried their utmost to help all and the chaos was clearly not their fault but rather the people doing the reservations.

    Dizhana is really a beautiful place to stay however this chaos with the reservations leaves one with a very bitter taste and unfortunately due to this we will never being staying there again.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Dizhana in chaos

    Jakes Louw
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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Dizhana in chaos

    Quote Originally Posted by jelo View Post
    Re-opened after Dijara and Tsaa were closed...part of a a very long and sad saga

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Dizhana in chaos

    Eish

    Have a booking there on the 1st and then from the 8th -11th of September

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Dizhana in chaos

    This is extremely upsetting to read! Dammit man, we thought we had found our place of paradise.
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    Default Re: Dizhana in chaos

    ...and this is why we chose to go to Etosha and the Caprivi Strip this year rather than Moremi/Chobe. There is just too much uncertainty (despite Tara @ Botswana Footprints best efforts to get something up and running)

    a) You pay too much in camp fees (and petrol) to have a poor experience
    b) We go into the bush for a holiday - not to have stress and chaos
    c) There are not enough camp sites around the area to have a Plan B in place

    Sad to hear, but not unexpected.
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  8. #7
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    Default Re: Dizhana in chaos

    Yes, unfortunately the Trust took walk-in clients, which messed up the booking sheets. They also honoured old bookings made by two other companies, that were not on our booking sheets.
    However, the two ladies from the Mababe Trust came to our office this week and took the booking sheets from us. They'll be finally consolidating everything and will get organised, and taking their own bookings as of now.
    The "full" section of the high season ends 15th August (today) so from now on, the bookings should flow easily and the handover period (teething problems) will be over.
    The Mababe Trust now fully run the Dizhana campsite, and all management/administration falls to them to uphold. Bear with them, they're learning and this is the first time they will be running solo.

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  10. #8
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    Default Re: Dizhana in chaos

    Maybe a silly question, but do you got a refund if you have such a bad experience,
    You made a reservtion an paid for private campsite, or i m wrong?

  11. #9
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    Default Re: Dizhana in chaos

    Quote Originally Posted by sylvia000 View Post
    Maybe a silly question, but do you got a refund if you have such a bad experience,
    You made a reservtion an paid for private campsite, or i m wrong?
    No ofc not

  12. #10
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    Default Re: Dizhana in chaos

    Quote Originally Posted by Rustie View Post
    No ofc not
    Don t understand the answer

  13. #11
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    Default Re: Dizhana in chaos

    Quote Originally Posted by sylvia000 View Post
    Maybe a silly question, but do you got a refund if you have such a bad experience,
    You made a reservtion an paid for private campsite, or i m wrong?
    Zero chance of a refund.
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  15. #12
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    Default Re: Dizhana in chaos

    This was on 9 . 7 . 17
    Booked for 3 days.......9 10 11 . 7 . 17....Double booked.......... no water...............not what we payed for
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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  17. #13
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    Default Re: Dizhana in chaos

    I think it s normal that you get a refund or a part of it
    You did not getwat you paid for

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  19. #14
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    Default Re: Dizhana in chaos

    Folks - just returned from Bots and spent 5 days at Dizhana.
    Our booking was 'not on list' and the camp was full (yes, we had a voucher, and i corresponded with the trust directly and confirmed all was ok prior to our arrival).
    I'd booked camp 5 - naturally there was another group on the site when we arrived. They also had a booking, but were due to leave the next day. We worked it out and shared the site overnight - we approached the issue with reason, and everyone was amicable (this could've been the above ref to 6 vehicles on camp 5).

    We expected to be gate-crashed each afternoon as the new arrivals sorted out their site issues (we even worked out a shower roster and campsite rules in the event we had to share). But fortunately it never happened.

    There seemed to be an extra/non-functioning site in the middle of the camp (next to the concrete slab), with a toilet, but no shower nor wash basin. I helped System to install a temporary wash basin, so the site was at least functional at a basic level (with a wash basin and toilet).
    Thereafter we noticed the site was in use every day, so possibly this helped to resolve some booking problems.

    I agree with Taralee's sentiments above, the community staff are young and very willing, just lacking experience and, to be honest, I suspect they adopted a booking nightmare. (Is someone training them in camp management?)
    I'm really pleased to hear the booking admin is being addressed, and i hope this is resolved soon.
    The camp needs some maintenance, but it's passable (mostly), and it's a beautiful spot - the river drive is very scenic has to be the best game per km drive in the area.

    I know it's frustrating and annoying when you arrive at the camp to find it's full and someone's on 'your' site. But chances are, it's a double booking, or they were moved there as part of a ripple-effect. Try to be reasonable and work it out (with staff and campers). In our case it all worked out well in the end.
    Last edited by MarkNL; 2017/08/21 at 08:44 AM.

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  21. #15
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    Default Re: Dizhana in chaos

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkNL View Post
    Folks - just returned from Bots and spent 5 days at Dizhana.
    Our booking was 'not on list' and the camp was full (yes, we had a voucher, and i corresponded with the trust directly and confirmed all was ok prior to our arrival).
    I'd booked camp 5 - naturally there was another group on the site when we arrived. They also had a booking, but were due to leave the next day. We worked it out and shared the site overnight - we approached the issue with reason, and everyone was amicable (this could've been the above ref to 6 vehicles on camp 5).

    We expected to be gate-crashed each afternoon as the new arrivals sorted out their site issues (we even worked out a shower roster and campsite rules in the event we had to share). But fortunately it never happened.

    There seemed to be an extra/non-functioning site in the middle of the camp (next to the concrete slab), with a toilet, but no shower nor wash basin. I helped System to install a temporary wash basin, so the site was at least functional at a basic level (with a wash basin and toilet).
    Thereafter we noticed the site was in use every day, so possibly this helped to resolve some booking problems.

    I agree with Taralee's sentiments above, the community staff are young and very willing, just lacking experience and, to be honest, I suspect they adopted a booking nightmare. (Is someone training them in camp management?)
    I'm really pleased to hear the booking admin is being addressed, and i hope this is resolved soon.
    The camp needs some maintenance, but it's passable (mostly), and it's a beautiful spot - the river drive is very scenic has to be the best game per km drive in the area.

    I know it's frustrating and annoying when you arrive at the camp to find it's full and someone's on 'your' site. But chances are, it's a double booking, or they were moved there as part of a ripple-effect. Try to be reasonable and work it out (with staff and campers). In our case it all worked out well in the end.
    Hi,

    we spent one night in Dizhana on August 9th and we had a very similar experience.
    On our arrival the booking wasn't on the list but we showed the voucher produced by a local agency and confirmed via e-mail a week before leaving home. When asked to share a campsite we politely refused (we don't mind sharing, but that wasn't what we have paid for) and asked to be assigned to an empty campsite, considering that it was afternoon and someone still had to check-in. In our heart we knew that someone could have joined us later and we were prepared to share. But that didn't happen as there were a few no-show.
    The campsite was very nice (I can add some pictures later, if you are interested) with private facilities (toilet and shower are separated), water and external basin. The guy at reception told us that we had to lit a fire to warm up the water because the solar heating didn't work, but it wasn't necessary: in site #6 (the one nearby the reception) water was warm enough anyway.

    The following morning we woke up on a lion roaring and we then discovered it was on the main road, the area looks really nice and I think it's well positioned. For us it was only a stop on the way to Savuti from Khwai and we decided to go after we couldn't find anything in Savuti for that night and we didn't want to spend 2 days in a row at Magotho community campsite with zero facilities even if it meant having to retrace our steps for a few kilometers.

    Daniele

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  23. #16
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    Default Re: Dizhana in chaos

    Quote Originally Posted by LanoDJ View Post
    Hi,

    we spent one night in Dizhana on August 9th and we had a very similar experience.
    On our arrival the booking wasn't on the list but we showed the voucher produced by a local agency and confirmed via e-mail a week before leaving home. When asked to share a campsite we politely refused (we don't mind sharing, but that wasn't what we have paid for) and asked to be assigned to an empty campsite, considering that it was afternoon and someone still had to check-in. In our heart we knew that someone could have joined us later and we were prepared to share. But that didn't happen as there were a few no-show.
    The campsite was very nice (I can add some pictures later, if you are interested) with private facilities (toilet and shower are separated), water and external basin. The guy at reception told us that we had to lit a fire to warm up the water because the solar heating didn't work, but it wasn't necessary: in site #6 (the one nearby the reception) water was warm enough anyway.

    The following morning we woke up on a lion roaring and we then discovered it was on the main road, the area looks really nice and I think it's well positioned. For us it was only a stop on the way to Savuti from Khwai and we decided to go after we couldn't find anything in Savuti for that night and we didn't want to spend 2 days in a row at Magotho community campsite with zero facilities even if it meant having to retrace our steps for a few kilometers.

    Daniele
    Please be so kind as to share your pictures? We are there for 4 nights in 2 weeks time

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  25. #17
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    Default Re: Dizhana in chaos

    Hi Jameschampion,

    check the attachments :-)

    Daniele
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  27. #18
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    Default Re: Dizhana in chaos

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  29. #19
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    Default Re: Dizhana in chaos

    This is site number 4

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  31. #20
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    Default Re: Dizhana in chaos

    Quote Originally Posted by Jameschampion View Post
    Please be so kind as to share your pictures? We are there for 4 nights in 2 weeks time
    Here are a few shots of site 5, on the river front. We shared this site on night 1 (of 6) with a friendly group of committee members from the LROC. So night 1 had 6 vehicles on this site. Not ideal, but not cramped either.

    The river close to the campsites is a bit choked with grass and reeds, but the drive along the river from Dizhana towards Mogothlo, the water's probably deeper and it flows well - the drive is quite short, but very beautiful with plenty of game.

    At the campsite we saw hippo in the water every night, and most nights hyena came to nose around in the camp.
    Elephants walked through most afternoons, and seem tolerable (just keep your distance and respect, of course).
    Baboons also came through most afternoons, and we were pleased to observe that they seem shy of humans, and minded their own business as they foraged for food. (Totally different to the aggressive behaviour of baboons at Ihaha - Chobe).

    The campsite (5) was a perfect spot - lovely to braai as the sunsets.
    The donkey worked well, so we had a hot shower every day, and the water pump (servicing the whole camp) worked 80% of the time - if it went off, it usually came back on within a couple of hours.

    Hopefully the booking admin has been sorted by now, and the arrival nightmares of no place to camp (even with a booking) have been put to bed (so to speak).
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    Last edited by MarkNL; 2017/08/28 at 02:07 PM.

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