Trip Report Part 2 - Savuti, Chobe, Kubu

Please share information about trips you have done
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XenoBlitz
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Re: Trip Report Part 2 - Savuti, Chobe, Kubu

Post by XenoBlitz » 12 Jun 2017 12:04

Chris, I'm not sure what gear you have, or how much you are willing to invest, but just 1 suggestion: plan your gear before buying.

I agree that a proper lens is worth more than a proper body, but sometimes you can get away with just a little less... I run a Nikon system and 90% of the time I get buy with these two:
200-500
28-300
(PS: I'm not plugging the dealer, this was just the first place I found them with a quick Google.)

Sure you can get better pictures with lower f-stops, especially when I look at Pieter's bird photography, but the costs become a little astronomical.

Cheers!

EDIT: While I was browsing, I also found this great deal for anyone who does not yet have a camera:
Good Entry Deal
Just a heads up, this is DX, so the camera and lenses will not support full frame pictures. (Not that it matters that much if you are shooting wildlife.)
May the road be long.. and dirty.

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Chris Skinner
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Re: Trip Report Part 2 - Savuti, Chobe, Kubu

Post by Chris Skinner » 13 Jun 2017 14:09

Wed/Thurs/Fri 24-26 May: Kasane Area and Trip to Ihaha

Wednesday morning we packed up and left Linyanti at 08h30 and headed for Kasane. Again, against the advice of the gate official (who said it was very dangerous and if we get stuck in the extremely thick sand we would be stranded, as vehicles only pass that way every couple of days or so), we took the less used road directly towards village xxx and xxx. There were signs on the track, and on my T4A that said a special permit was required for this route. Fortunately the wife was also feeling adventurous so we set off and had a thoroughly interesting drive with some great waterholes and seeing some nice animals and birdlife, and meeting no vehicles along the entire route until we came to the first villages. The highlight was a massive herd of buffalo at one of the watering spots. I must add that the sand was particularly thick in a couple of places, more so than the Savuti to Linyanti route from the previous day but the Patrol cruised through with tyres at 1 bar. Actually I was happy in the end that I did not drop pressures any lower, as it ended up that I had to drive all the way to Kasane with 1bar tyres - which included a long stretch of prepared gravel and about 30 kms tar road before we found any air (I did not have my compressor with me unfortunately). There were also no petrol stations seen the entire route, and as we neared Kasane I needed to transfer from my aux tank to mains. At Kasane the Shell garage was empty and I was very happy I had filled the extra 50 ltrs in Maun. Later we did find petrol at Kazungula just a couple of kms from Kasane.

What irritates me no end in this area of Bots is that people like us, on self drive trips, are very restricted in where we can drive. The majority of the parks and probably best areas too I’m sure, are reserved for concessions i.e. the rich folk on expensive lodge type holidays… (I need say no more)!
We had booked into Senyati Safari Camp about 20kms from Kasane for 3 nights and the plan was to explore the area and do a day trip into Chobe, and also do a river trip. The main Chobe gate Sidubu, is also only 20 kms from Senyati.

Senyati had been recommended by various friends and turned out to be a very convenient and comfortable camp – again, its important to inspect all the available sites when you check in as initially we were not that happy with our allocated site. When we moved however we moved to another one the next morning however we were really happy. The camp sites have a permanent brick and thatch structure with kitchen area and bathroom (and hot water). There is a watering hole for elephants about 20meters from the verandah and pub area where we gazed at the continuously arriving family groups of elephant and other animals arriving for fresh water and a bathe. There is also an underground tunnel right up to the edge of the water hole where you can sit and view the ellies from only a couple of meters as they drink and spray water over themselves, providing what I thought was an unprecedented opportunity for the photo buffs.

Web site Senyanti - http://senyatisafaricampbotswana.com/

We also decided that this time we would not do the day trip to Vic Falls as we had been there previously.

The next day, Thursday, we took it easy in the morning, moved our camp, and then decided to do a river trip. We booked through the office at Senyati and drove to Kasane to the jetty behind the Spar where the smaller river craft operate from. Our tour guide, who owned a small aluminium boat. Was really good and he managed to get us into some great positions for some amazing sighting. I would recommend the smaller boats rather than the larger and probably better catered tour boats. The smaller ones are far more private and fun I thought, than sitting there with a bunch of noisy other tourists. So, for an amount around R600 we had a great afternoon/evening on the river along with one other couple.
Particularly interesting I thought was when we went slightly down river, where the larger boats do not venture due to rapids, we got very close to the nesting trees where, amongst others, yellow billed storks and spoonbills nest.
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Re: Trip Report Part 2 - Savuti, Chobe, Kubu

Post by Chris Skinner » 13 Jun 2017 14:27

On Thursday we left Sinyanti quite early and headed for the Chobe gate just outside Kasane. We decided to take the shorter route that is a dirt track that heads in the direction of Kasane and basically runs directly to, and around the fence surrounding the Kasane airport. Lo and behold we had a great elephant and buffalo sighting on this road, in fact the large Buff herd was within a few hundred meters from the first dwellings just outside Kasane – to me, this is really good testament to the that fact that the animals are really relaxed and at home around the humans and there is obviously not much poaching etc going on around here, even outside the park.
We entered the park and then turned right towards the river and then followed it west towards Ihaha camp. Many people had recommended Ihaha as one of the camps to stay in but we had not been able to get a booking there and I wanted to see what it was like first hand.
It was an amazing drive, probably one the best game drives I have ever experienced. Breeding pairs of fish eagles approx. every km or so, amazing bird life, hoards of elephant and massive herds of buffalo, we saw massive crocodiles and even some of the biggest legavans I have ever seen. We got as far as Ihaha and the staff let us enter to look at the camp sites. It looked pretty decent, much along the lines of the camp at Linyanti and I would definitely use this as one of my stop overs for 2 or 3 nights on my next trip, mainly due to the quality of sightings we had.
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Re: Trip Report Part 2 - Savuti, Chobe, Kubu

Post by Peter Connan » 13 Jun 2017 17:43

Beautiful photos from the boat Chris.

This area is indeed the best place for sheer quantity of life i have ever seen.

The tunnel and underground hide at Senyati was built after our visit in 2012, but represents the latest trend in photography. However, every other place i know of with these underground hides is insanely expensive.

Just for interest's sake, google Zimanga...
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Re: Trip Report Part 2 - Savuti, Chobe, Kubu

Post by Chris Skinner » 14 Jun 2017 09:47

Saturday 27 May: Kasane to Kubu Island
The drive south from Kasane was fairly uneventful. There is a veterinary disease control check point approx. 60kms north of Nata – they do not allow meat to pass this point.
When we got to Nata, there was sign and barricade on the main road to the west - Gweta/Maun direction, saying the road was closed. This was not good as I did not want to drive all the way around the south to get to Kubu. When refuelling however the petrol attendant told me the road was actually open as the pans had dried sufficiently. Anyway, I only needed to drive approx. 10kms in direction Gweta to get the turn-off south towards Kubu. We travelled west and found the small obscure track with a sign saying Kubu 91 kms. The road was pretty good but very narrow and some places really quite overgrown so if you worried about ‘bush rash’ rather choose another route (the scratches did polish out when I got home though). It took almost 3 hours to complete the distance and we arrived at Kubu well I time to set up camp quickly and then go out and view a beautiful sunset.
A lot has been said about Kubu by many, and its pretty general knowledge so I wont go into much detail suffice it to say that it really is a special place. The sunset and sunrise (yes, we got up really early and quickly folded the tent and drove out onto the pan), was magnificent. I used my cell phone and took a bunch of panorama pictures and was quite impressed with the outcome actually.

Sunday 28 May – Kubu to Centurion
Soon we were on our way for the long drive home via Martins Drift. Total distance was 810 kms. It was fairly uneventful except for when we assisted some fellow South Africans who had broken down in a Jeep Cherokee 15kms short of Martins Drift. I towed them to the petrol station at the border.
Well – that’s it… end of report!
Total km’s travelled was 5500 kms. Average fuel consumption for the entire trip incl the desert was 4,3km’s/ltr. Excluding the desert, the average was 4,8 km’s/ltr.
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Re: Trip Report Part 2 - Savuti, Chobe, Kubu

Post by Chris Skinner » 14 Jun 2017 09:52

Some more photos - hard to choose what to post as I have so many and they all good in my slightly biased view! WWW
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Re: Trip Report Part 2 - Savuti, Chobe, Kubu

Post by JoshJ » 14 Jun 2017 11:05

Thank you for taking the time to share. It was a very good read. And some great photos to.
Glad you had an awsome trip. :thumbup:
Being alive is a Blessing!!

Regards,
Joshua

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Re: Trip Report Part 2 - Savuti, Chobe, Kubu

Post by Jules » 14 Jun 2017 12:27

Great report and Pragtige pics , thanks for sharing!! Your consumption was very good I think

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Re: Trip Report Part 2 - Savuti, Chobe, Kubu

Post by offroadbiker » 14 Jun 2017 12:28

Very extremely nice :thumbup:

April and Aug 2018 now seems even further away :redface:
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Re: Trip Report Part 2 - Savuti, Chobe, Kubu

Post by Chris Skinner » 14 Jun 2017 12:53

Jules - All in all I think the consumption was okay - theoretically I could add 10% if I make the correction form the larger tyres to the original ones fitted on the Patrol.
Given the big RTT and the side awning, lots of headwind, all the dirt track driving and game viewing, I'm happy! I don't mind this small penalty given the reliability, and brute strength of the 4.8 :biggrin:

Someone asked earlier about the costs and what the Namib desert trip cost.
My total costs excl petrol, for accom, parks, river trip, etc were R 29 000 - of which 5 day Namib trip was R 20 000
My total fuel bill for the full 5500kms was R 14 000

... and I still think it was worth every cent! :mytwocents:

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