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  1. #1
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    Default Botswana 2024 YouTube Series

    Preview for our upcoming YouTube series in which visit Botswana. We collect our 4x4 in Kasane then travel to Chobe, Savuti, Khwai and Mababe. We film a variety of wildlife including lions, hyenas, elephants, wild dogs and leopards, and we test our new Metalian Genie X off-road camping trailer. Hope you enjoy and follow along.

    YouTube link: https://youtu.be/m1oInFPOKMk


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    Default Re: Botswana 2024 YouTube Series

    For those who has not experienced Bots, dom yourself a favor and make a plan to go.

    The saddest part is the permanent fully booked campsites. And when you get there, its empty.
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    Default Re: Botswana 2024 YouTube Series

    Looking Forward to watching!

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    Default Re: Botswana 2024 YouTube Series

    Quote Originally Posted by bobhof View Post
    Preview for our upcoming YouTube series in which visit Botswana. We collect our 4x4 in Kasane then travel to Chobe, Savuti, Khwai and Mababe. We film a variety of wildlife including lions, hyenas, elephants, wild dogs and leopards, and we test our new Metalian Genie X off-road camping trailer. Hope you enjoy and follow along.

    YouTube link: https://youtu.be/m1oInFPOKMk

    Fantastic footage, well done. That was a lot of cats! I'm guessing, from your other >90 days thread, that you were there a while, but what are your techniques for finding predators?

    We are pretty dedicated. Up before sunrise, out early, long days game driving and often out until the end. We often get the feeling that the action is just about to get started right when we leave for camp. We have had our moments for sure, but I've also made two separate 8/9 day trips to Moremi/Kwai/Chobe and it wasn't like cats were raining from trees or anything.

    Our biggest "trick" for seeing interesting sightings is patience. When we find an animal of interest and don't leave, stay with them as long as it takes for them to perk up and transition from lazy cat to some sort of action.
    Blog of our African travels: stuckinlowgear.com

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  9. #5
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    Default Re: Botswana 2024 YouTube Series

    Quote Originally Posted by CalDriver View Post
    Fantastic footage, well done. That was a lot of cats! I'm guessing, from your other >90 days thread, that you were there a while, but what are your techniques for finding predators?

    We are pretty dedicated. Up before sunrise, out early, long days game driving and often out until the end. We often get the feeling that the action is just about to get started right when we leave for camp. We have had our moments for sure, but I've also made two separate 8/9 day trips to Moremi/Kwai/Chobe and it wasn't like cats were raining from trees or anything.

    Our biggest "trick" for seeing interesting sightings is patience. When we find an animal of interest and don't leave, stay with them as long as it takes for them to perk up and transition from lazy cat to some sort of action.
    Thanks. So this trip was 3 weeks long so we had quite a bit of time. I would guess we saw about 40 lions in total, and some we saw a few times. In Magotho they were right in the camp so they were hard to miss. We also had some good luck with the leopards - 2 females, one with a cub, and one big male. Then we had one lucky wild dog sighting, and hyenas at their den in Khwai.

    Like you say, up early (in the dark with a spotlight if allowed) and out late, if you want to find the cats. We occasionally drive from before dawn till after sunset if we end up far from camp. Also, drive with your windows open so you can hear alarm calls or smell a kill. And chat to people, especially the guides - they usually know what is going on in the area. If you are in an area with reception exchange WhatsApp numbers with other campers and help each other out (or if you have a radio, let them know what frequency you are on).

    In terms of filming, like you say, patience is absolutely key. Often lions will only get active after sunset, so you may only have 20 minutes of light to capture their behaviour. In the morning, if you can find something to film before sunrise, then you can wait with it till the sun comes up and plan your shots accordingly. The other tip is to always be ready - camera at hand and ready to roll - I missed wild dogs chasing a herd of lechwe over the water on this last trip because my camera was not booted - it takes about 1.5 minutes to start up.
    Last edited by bobhof; 2024/06/17 at 11:37 AM.

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  11. #6
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    Default Re: Botswana 2024 YouTube Series

    Quote Originally Posted by Engel View Post
    For those who has not experienced Bots, dom yourself a favor and make a plan to go.

    The saddest part is the permanent fully booked campsites. And when you get there, its empty.
    When have you last experienced that?

    As of late, the occupation is quite okay, but I will try my luck early July in Ihaha by just popping up after no booking was possible.
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  12. #7
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    Default Re: Botswana 2024 YouTube Series

    Quote Originally Posted by bobhof View Post
    Thanks. So this trip was 3 weeks long so we had quite a bit of time. I would guess we saw about 40 lions in total, and some we saw a few times. In Magotho they were right in the camp so they were hard to miss. We also had some good luck with the leopards - 2 females, one with a cub, and one big male. Then we had one lucky wild dog sighting, and hyenas at their den in Khwai.

    Like you say, up early (in the dark with a spotlight if allowed) and out late, if you want to find the cats. We occasionally drive from before dawn till after sunset if we end up far from camp. Also, drive with your windows open so you can hear alarm calls or smell a kill. And chat to people, especially the guides - they usually know what is going on in the area. If you are in an area with reception exchange WhatsApp numbers with other campers and help each other out (or if you have a radio, let them know what frequency you are on).

    In terms of filming, like you say, patience is absolutely key. Often lions will only get active after sunset, so you may only have 20 minutes of light to capture their behaviour. In the morning, if you can find something to film before sunrise, then you can wait with it till the sun comes up and plan your shots accordingly. The other tip is to always be ready - camera at hand and ready to roll - I missed wild dogs chasing a herd of lechwe over the water on this last trip because my camera was not booted - it takes about 1.5 minutes to start up.
    Thank you for this, all great tips and pretty inline with our program. You have a lot more faces of animals, I think we see a lot, but also a lot of asses of animals. Our last trip to the CKGR we did great though. A lot of waiting in the car, but awesome sightings.

    It could just be me, but I feel that people used to be better at stopping and swapping sightings with each other. The last couple of times we've been through botswana we noticed this. I would pull over, window down, and the vehicle coming in the opposite direction would zoom by, windows up. Fine, I won't tell you about the cheetahs we just saw... But the guides almost always stop, they are fishing for intel too. Even what you saw yesterday is valuable, to know general movements and trends. I love chatting with the guides, most of them are really great.

    Re: having your camera read, I think this is a universal rule for me, I almost always miss shooting the first sighting because my camera is not ready!
    Blog of our African travels: stuckinlowgear.com

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  14. #8
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    Default Re: Botswana 2024 YouTube Series

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalahari Safari View Post
    When have you last experienced that?

    As of late, the occupation is quite okay, but I will try my luck early July in Ihaha by just popping up after no booking was possible.
    2022 for us. We messed up, we had booked our sites ahead of time, and then shortly before going realized we accidentally forgot to book a day and we had a gap in the itinerary. Whoops! We took a chance and went to Ihaha and explained our mistake and they said it was no problem, and gave us a site. Camp was *maybe* half full. Peak season. Same trip, Xakanaxa had 2 or 3 open sites.

    A couple of months before I went through Moremi/Chobe on short notice. I had called around and been told Khwai North Gate only had one site left and there were only three of us there. South Gate the same, been told on the phone there was one site left, but the staff on site said I could take any camp I liked except two.

    I know it has been rehashed a million times on the forum, but I really wish they could get this figured out. In the Mara Conservancy you pay a penalty if you're a no-show, but they have a lot less campsites to manage, and centralized booking.
    Blog of our African travels: stuckinlowgear.com

  15. #9
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    Default Re: Botswana 2024 YouTube Series

    On this trip we did 4 nights Ihaha, 5 nights Savuti, 7 nights Magotho IIRC. Booked some of it a week before departure and otherwise played it by ear. Of course we did not get the best sites and at Savuti we had to move a few times.

  16. #10
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    Default Re: Botswana 2024 YouTube Series

    Quote Originally Posted by Engel View Post
    For those who has not experienced Bots, dom yourself a favor and make a plan to go.

    The saddest part is the permanent fully booked campsites. And when you get there, its empty.

    And the misconception is that, it's blocked by agents. This is far from the truth. 2023 and 2024, it's very hard to find those empty campsite and this year is worse.
    There are soo many reasons why, sometimes you find campsites not occupied: Customers last minute cancellation without notice, delayed flights and clients arriving late, emergency along the way and abandoning trip, breakdowns and not able to get to camp, Feeling of overstaying by guests after booking many night(This usually happen for linyanti and CKGR), when guests have booked many Nights and feel they have enough and leave earlier. There are just so many reasons.

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  18. #11
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    Default Re: Botswana 2024 YouTube Series

    Quote Originally Posted by Engel View Post
    For those who has not experienced Bots, dom yourself a favor and make a plan to go.

    The saddest part is the permanent fully booked campsites. And when you get there, its empty.

    Bots is one of my favorite places I go to at least once a year.
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  20. #12
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    Default Re: Botswana 2024 YouTube Series

    New development in the Mababe area: two years ago they stopped allowing self-drive safaris and wildlife viewing trips. You are no compelled to sit on one the tour operators game viewing vehicles with Americans who never saw an Impala. No longer worth it.

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  22. #13
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    Default Re: Botswana 2024 YouTube Series

    Quote Originally Posted by PAT n WOLF View Post
    [/COLOR]And the misconception is that, it's blocked by agents. This is far from the truth. 2023 and 2024, it's very hard to find those empty campsite and this year is worse.
    There are soo many reasons why, sometimes you find campsites not occupied: Customers last minute cancellation without notice, delayed flights and clients arriving late, emergency along the way and abandoning trip, breakdowns and not able to get to camp, Feeling of overstaying by guests after booking many night(This usually happen for linyanti and CKGR), when guests have booked many Nights and feel they have enough and leave earlier. There are just so many reasons.
    I think another contributing factor - at least for DWNP campsites - is that they do not allow refunds or keeping a credit or even changing to other dates. So if people have booked and paid and can no longer go there is no incentive to cancel.

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  24. #14
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    Default Re: Botswana 2024 YouTube Series

    OK, so THIS IS the funniest thing we've ever seen in a fancy Overlanding YouTube video like EVER!!!
    Poor SWAMBO couldn't stop laughing after she saw this. Makes for a much quicker pack down.
    Brilliant!!!
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Funniest thing I've ever seen.png 
Views:	117 
Size:	984.4 KB 
ID:	725273

    Quote Originally Posted by bobhof View Post
    Preview for our upcoming YouTube series in which visit Botswana. We collect our 4x4 in Kasane then travel to Chobe, Savuti, Khwai and Mababe. We film a variety of wildlife including lions, hyenas, elephants, wild dogs and leopards, and we test our new Metalian Genie X off-road camping trailer. Hope you enjoy and follow along.

    YouTube link: https://youtu.be/m1oInFPOKMk


  25. #15
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    Default Re: Botswana 2024 YouTube Series

    Quote Originally Posted by Honey Badger View Post
    OK, so THIS IS the funniest thing we've ever seen in a fancy Overlanding YouTube video like EVER!!!
    Poor SWAMBO couldn't stop laughing after she saw this. Makes for a much quicker pack down.
    Brilliant!!!
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Funniest thing I've ever seen.png 
Views:	117 
Size:	984.4 KB 
ID:	725273
    😂 Trust me we are not fancy. Thats just what happens when you get 4 nights at Savuti in 3 different campsites.

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  27. #16
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    Default Re: Botswana 2024 YouTube Series

    First episode is finally up. Sorry for the delay.

    We are on our way to Botswana! Since our Land Cruiser, Barry, was left up in Kasane after our last job, we are flying to Victoria Falls Zimbabwe from Cape Town and catching a shuttle across to Botswana. This saves a few days of travel. We collect the vehicle at Kasane Self Catering and the next morning we are at the gates of the Chobe National Park before dawn. We soon find a pride of lions to film and Rob complains a bit.


    Link: https://youtu.be/mBHYr6Cc-8M


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  29. #17
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    Default Re: Botswana 2024 YouTube Series

    Quote Originally Posted by Engel View Post
    For those who has not experienced Bots, dom yourself a favor and make a plan to go.

    The saddest part is the permanent fully booked campsites. And when you get there, its empty.
    We've just returned from Bots and had the complete opposite... OVER booked campsites... makes for sparce animal viewing
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  30. #18
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    Default Re: Botswana 2024 YouTube Series

    Quote Originally Posted by BobMabena View Post
    We've just returned from Bots and had the complete opposite... OVER booked campsites... makes for sparce animal viewing
    How does the overbooking result in less animal sightings? If anything, I would think more people in the parks would result in more (but less enjoyable) sightings.

  31. #19
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    Default Re: Botswana 2024 YouTube Series

    Quote Originally Posted by bobhof View Post
    How does the overbooking result in less animal sightings? If anything, I would think more people in the parks would result in more (but less enjoyable) sightings.
    Loads of vehicles, my assumption is that it resulted in the animals avoiding any and all.
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  33. #20
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    Default Re: Botswana 2024 YouTube Series

    Hi All. Botswana 2024 Episode 2 is up on YouTube: 'Setting up Camp in Chobe National Park.' We prepare the 4x4 and then head into Chobe National Park. Our campsite at Ihaha is not great, so we leave for a game drive and find a big giraffe. When we get back we fail to arrange a better campsite so we set up the trailer tent at night. Andy is very happy with his new man cave / swag (a custom addition by Metalian).

    Link: https://youtu.be/wYYtTf-Axv8


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