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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Thanked: 202

    Default Re: Safari lodges and camps (Botswana 2020)

    Quote Originally Posted by PAT n WOLF View Post
    This is why people needs o USE FACTS than emotions to argue. How many LODGES in Savuti. You used the Phrase,PLENY OF LODGES and they are only 3, and how many Campsites? Isnt that increasing more campsites goes against the LOW IMPACT tourism policy that you stated above.
    Thanx for explanation, however we tour in Bots yearly and have been doing so since 1995. We have observed that, almost unfailingly, there are a significant number of campsites open and empty in the parks in high and low season, even when we have phoned days before getting to a place, so as to enquire about the possibility of improving a camp. Even when calling from a Satphone on the odd occasion, the responsible operators have confirmed that all was booked out. When we got there on the day or the next, we have found a smattering of empty campsites. The response has been that empty campsites are paid for but not used by customer, but we remain surprised at the sheer numbers at some times of the year, even in high season. Just saying...

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    East London
    Thanked: 6214

    Default Re: Safari lodges and camps (Botswana 2020)

    Thanks Ed for weighing in on this.

    The empty campsites but full bookings saga is a major problem for me. I do not believe that independent travelers who have made and paid for their own bookings, could financially afford to fail to arrive in such numbers. I simply find it incredible. I have been trying to get Castee to admit or deny being party to advanced block bookings but have recieved no response.

    I cannot imagine that, with the very high occupancy rates and constant shortage of Moremi, Chobe and other Botswana National Park campsites, that there is a financial benefit to the Privatised Campsite Concession Holders in accepting block bookings and a percentage deposit from these private booking companies. I am concerned particularly because of the high cancellation rates and empty campsites, with considerable loss of revenue. If this is the case, there would also then be loss of revenue to the government DWNP from lost entrance fees. Why then do these speculative block bookings appear to be happening? Is there collusion between booking agents and Privatised Campsite bookings resuting in possible illogical financial decisions? Surely not?

    If the Botswana booking agencies deny responsibility, who then is doing the block bookings? Or are the block bookings themselves denied? Such block bookings I think might be the cause for me and many other forum members to have such great difficulties in obtaining camping in Botswana, unless booking a year in advance. If the local agencies whom I have constantly recommended in the past, are in fact making my life difficult through greedy, speculative block bookings, I find it difficult to engage in, or recommend any future dealings with them. Just asking!
    Last edited by Stan Weakley; 2019/12/17 at 01:04 PM.
    Stanley Weakley.
    Toyota Landcruiser 76SW 4,2L diesel.

    “Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.

    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report
    OR from post 315.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Thanked: 264

    Default Re: Safari lodges and camps (Botswana 2020)

    Just an example,
    We tried to get a campsite in Savute a few years back. All booked, so it cost us 9hr trip from Khwai to Ihaha. When we drove through Savute we dropped in at the Booking office run by SKL. My wife (who was in the tourism industry) asked for the booking sheet. And that explained at least some of the chaos. A spreadsheet that was close to unreadable with notes, marks, deletes, addings etc.. We asked how often it was updated. The answer was "Maybe once or twice a month if we have connection".
    Another addative:
    We also found that tourg roups preferred the normal campsites rather than the HATAB campsites reserved for lead tourgroups.
    Plus blockbookings make the chaos perfect.
    2002 Discovery td5

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