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value options for 5 adults to Botswana/Victoria falls

New Jersey
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27 posts
19 reviews
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value options for 5 adults to Botswana/Victoria falls

5 adults of middle age, man and woman, plan for 10 nights 11 days around Aug 20-30, 2019, to Okavango Delta, Botswana and Devil's pool, Victoria Falls. Budget US$8,000 pp, meals and game drive and flight included. Any suggestion of the what will be the most we can save $ in this trip?

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Okavango Delta
Okavango Delta
North-West District, Botswana
Devil's Pool
Devil's Pool
1,351 Reviews
Livingstone, Zambia
Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls
Matabeleland North Province, Zimbabwe
7 replies to this topic
Sydney, Australia
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31 reviews
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1. Re: value options for 5 adults to Botswana/Victoria falls

Point of clarification which will help to elicit appropriate responses from posters. You state budget $8000 flight included. Is this for flights say from Joburg - Botswana return and local return flights from Maun to the Delta. I assume it is not including flights from US & return. Budget total minus flight costs would be useful.

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london
Destination Expert
for Zambia, Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park
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5,701 posts
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2. Re: value options for 5 adults to Botswana/Victoria falls

Note that the Devil's Pool usually only opens around the end of August, the exact date depends on the water levels. So with your dates, it's possible it might not be open, certainly if you go to the falls first. If you put the falls as your last stop, I'd say you have a decent chance of it being open but it's not guaranteed. So I'd suggest starting in Maun and ending in Livingstone/Victoria Falls.

If you want a couple of nights at the falls, that leaves 8 nights of safari. August is peak season so pretty pricey in the fly in camps, but you could do a private mobile (which can be fairly luxury camping) from Maun into Moremi and Khwai and then fly from Xakanaka airstrip to Chobe and stay a couple of nights at a lodge there, or there are houseboat options which I have heard great things about but never tried myself. Then get a road transfer to Livingstone. Devil's Pool is on the Zambian side of the falls so it probably makes more sense to stay that side.

I'd guess that could be done within your budget even if flights from Johannesburg are included. I mainly travel on my own so I'm not that familiar with exact costs of private mobiles- not very cost effective for one person but you have a group of 5 so I imagine it would work out quite reasonable.

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Devil's Pool
Devil's Pool
1,351 Reviews
Livingstone, Zambia
Livingstone
Livingstone
Southern Province, Zambia
Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls
Matabeleland North Province, Zimbabwe
Moremi Game Reserve
Moremi Game Reserve
Okavango Delta, Botswana
Johannesburg
Johannesburg
Greater Johannesburg, South Africa
Cape Town Central...
6 posts
1 review
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3. Re: value options for 5 adults to Botswana/Victoria falls

Hie

Devils pool is opening second week of July. With your budget your can successfully do all the good tours and activities in Victoria falls and bots.

Best wishes

New Jersey
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27 posts
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4. Re: value options for 5 adults to Botswana/Victoria falls

Include local flights from JNB only. I won’t dare to think of including international flight.

Sydney, Australia
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1,432 posts
31 reviews
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5. Re: value options for 5 adults to Botswana/Victoria falls

Botswana is an expensive destination. Noting your budget includes local flights possibly Joburg to Maun or Kasane, Botswana, your budget is probably limited to mid range choices to cover the 11 days you have allotted for the trip. .

Without knowing your travel style, it is hard for posters to offer suggestions. However, if you want to save some $$ you could consider doing a private mobile camping safari. We along with another senior couple did a 5 day mobile safari from Kasane to Maun but it can be done in reverse. If you are open to camping or glamping you could do a non participatory safari whereby you have staff to do the driving in your own safari vehicle, all meals/drinks included and you can opt for dome or large meru style tents with private en suite bathroom, as well you can personally choose your route, length and itinerary. The ground staff handle all the housekeeping and cooking. It means being out in wilderness but the great advantage is just that & the chance be in the midst of wandering wildlife. At the mid range level expect to pay $360 -440 USD PPD all inclusive, i.e. meals/drinks.

We used Lelobu Safaris, a local Maun tour operator to arrange the safari. The alternative is to stay in lodges but those out in the wilderness & Delta are expensive, plus you have chosen peak season to visit Botswana. There are some mid range Delta lodges which are an option. For more budget friendly ideas & lodge specials have a look at this link https://www.botswanabudgetsafaris.com/lodges

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Kasane
Kasane
North-West District, Botswana
New Jersey
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6. Re: value options for 5 adults to Botswana/Victoria falls

Thank you for valuable advice.

Tenerife,Spain
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6 reviews
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7. Re: value options for 5 adults to Botswana/Victoria falls

Devil´s Pool is currently closed due to high water levels. It is very rare the pool opens in July. Usually the season starts in August to visit Livingstone Island but to swim in the pool water levels must be very low for safety reasons. If our main interest is to enjoy Devil´s Pool I will delay the trip as much as possible!! Better to start in Maun and make your way up to Chobe/Kasane. Then a road transfer to Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) and another road transfer to Livingstone. If you are planning on visiting both countries, then get a UNI Kaza VIsa (USD50) which is valid for entering both countries (I believe you are a US citizen, hence not a problem to obtain the VISA upon arrival in Zimbabwe - this visa can be obtained at VFA airport, land borders, Kazungula border with Botswana and Harare).We have just came back from that trip and we followed our local based agency Botswana Holidays advice - they were very knowledgeable and efficient. We did not know any thing about this VIsa or which areas were the best to visit depending on the time of the year. We travelled now as August is peak season, hence, more expensive. Our final cost (excluding international flights) for the entire trip was USD 5400, staying in a mid-high end lodge in the Delta followed by a fully catered mobile safari and 3 nights in Victoria Falls. I believe they will be able to assist - they did a wonderful job and organized an unforgettable safari for us! Good luck and enjoy beautiful Botswana

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Livingstone
Livingstone
Southern Province, Zambia
Kasane
Kasane
North-West District, Botswana
Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls
Matabeleland North Province, Zimbabwe
Harare
Harare
Harare Province, Zimbabwe
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