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Savuti SafariLodge vs Savuti vs Sandibe

Berkeley
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Savuti SafariLodge vs Savuti vs Sandibe

We will be in Botswana at the end of September 2012. We plan to stay in 2 camps for 3 days each. We currently have 3 nights reserved at Vumbura Plains. Our first choice for the prior 3 nights is Savuti (Wilderness Safari Classic Camp); however, it is only available for 2 nights. Savute Safari Lodge (Desert and Delta) is available on our dates as is Sandibe (& Beyond). From other postings, I have read the following:

Savute Safari Lodge gets good reviews, especially for the site. But since it is located in a National Park, there is no off-road driving, no night drives, and potentially more people.

Sandibe gets great reviews for the gaming, but mediocre reviews on comforts of site. Because it is in a private concession, there are no restrictions on driving. One reviewer commented on the smallness of the concession, thus driving in circles.

We would prefer a camp in price range of a classic camp since we are already staying at one premier camp. Other camps in these areas are

booked -- Chitabe, for example, and Savuti, as I already mentioned.

Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Also, 2 of the 4 of us have one extra day after Vumbura before flying home from Joburg. We will have spent 2 nights there earlier in trip and we will have already visited Victoria Falls. Suggestions for an extra day or 2?

Thanks!

Los Angeles...
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1. Re: Savuti SafariLodge vs Savuti vs Sandibe

I was in Bots in Nov and stayed at Savuti (wilderness) which was great - maybe a day will free up and you can book that which would be best. I also stayed at Sandibe and was not very impressed. If you are staying in that concession, I would probably try one of the Chitabe camps, but you should push for Savuti - it will be worth your while and very different from Vumbura. If you have questions about either feel free to PM me - glad to provide more detail. The Delta / Northern Bots are an amazing place and you will have a great time but you definitely want to find camps that meet your expectations - Cheers - Tim

Munich
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2. Re: Savuti SafariLodge vs Savuti vs Sandibe

Savute Safari Lodge is excellent. I've been there three times - each time I've had amazing safari encounters and never thought about the need to go offroad. There are enough different regions to explore to keep you entertained for days! The massive marsh area, the pans, the bushman paintings, woodlands - not to mention hours at the lodge watching elephants wander in and out all day and night drinking from the channel and waterholes. Happy planning!

Wayzata, Minnesota
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3. Re: Savuti SafariLodge vs Savuti vs Sandibe

Wow – three great camps and a tough decision.

Since you are already going to Vumbura Plains you will have a good overview of the Okavango ecosystem. The camps is literally right on the Okavango Delta but also on the edge of the Vumbura Plains giving you a huge dry-land area to explore on Land Rover and also the Okavango to explore on motor boat of Mokorro. I have been to Vumbura Plains many times and it won’t disappoint you.

I have been saying for at least the past year on this forum that I believe Chitabe and Sandibe are the second best animal viewing spots in Botswana behind Mombo/Chiefs. Chitabe & Sandibe are on different halves of the same concession. One is operated by Wilderness Safaris and the other by &Beyond. I have also heard Sandibe is getting a little tired but the landscape and animals are not affected by this and &Beyond service is always consistently good. I am not sure if Tim’s comment above was a result of poor animal viewing or simply “tired” accommodations. More information would be good.

Savuti: This camp is on the private Linyanti concession which I believe is one of, if not THE, most productive animal viewing area in Botswana outside the Delta. You have an excellent chance of seeing wild dog, leopard, and even possibly cheetah on this concession. Elephants galore!

Savute Safari Lodge: I am jealous that this choice is available. The Savute Marsh is the first place I ever went in Botswana when I was 14 back in 1984. I stayed at a camp called Harry & Bettys which is no longer there. The Marsh had just dried up the year before. The area was very productive even then. I cannot wait to go back and see the changes now that the Marsh is full of water again and the Savute Channel is flowing. This option really intrigues me and don’t think you can go wrong by going here. The landscape is a lot flatter and less wooded than Sandibe or Savuti Camp so the off-road issue is mitigated somewhat. There is also a lot more are to explore. The GM of Desert & Delta was in our office last week and he explained how each day the guests will go to the different areas around the March (East, West, South) and then drive other areas away from the Marsh. So, despite not being in this area in over 20 years, I have had many happy clients visit Savute Safari Lodge recently (the last one was in December 2011) and all had a great experience.

I know this sounds like a cop-out, but all three lodges are good choices and you really will be thrilled with any of them. If I was in your shoes, I would choose Savute Safari Lodge given the availability issue at Savuti and the uniqueness of the ecosystem.

Craig Beal – owner – Travel Beyond

2011 Travel & Leisure A-List Agent for Botswana

Berkeley
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4. Re: Savuti SafariLodge vs Savuti vs Sandibe

Many thanks for these thoughtful and informative responses. Craig, your overview of our three choices and specific information about Savute Safari Lodge is most helpful. That, along with Tim's reporting of his personal experiences there makes me feel good about deciding to stay there. I'll be sure to post our impressions next fall, after our return.

Thanks again!

Los Angeles...
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5. Re: Savuti SafariLodge vs Savuti vs Sandibe

Just a quick clarification on my comments above re: Sandibe - the game viewing was comparable with other places but not as good my viewing at Selinda and Savuti. We had some good sightings at Sandibe, but the number and quality were not as good as the other spots I went to. Hard to beat all the big cats, elephants, wild dogs, and sheer numbers of animals at Selinda / Savuti when I was there in Nov. As for other aspects, the concession at Sandibe felt small (i.e. driving around in the same route again and again) and the amenities / staff service were not comparable to the other camps we went to - Tim

Berkeley
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6. Re: Savuti SafariLodge vs Savuti vs Sandibe

Oops, I was actually referring to James's comments about Savute Safari Lodge. Thanks, Tim.

7. Re: Savuti SafariLodge vs Savuti vs Sandibe

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