Londolozi and Pungwe

Old Feb 12th, 2022, 10:32 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Londolozi and Pungwe

Hi, currently planning my first safari trip, and cost wise cannot spend an entire 6 days at Londolozi, but would like to visit there for leopards as a photographer. My question is this: would two full days at Londolozi, with private safari vehicle both days, be long enough? Especially since if I only did 2 days there I would have 4 days at Pungwe (which is significantly cheaper). I just want to make sure I get amazing leopard shots and sightings before moving on from Londolozi. If 3 days would be better please lmk, I'm willing to put off the trip an extra year to save up if need be. I would also be going to the Moremi area in Botswana (most likely Xakanaxa then Kwhai) after so keep in mind I would get sightings of other game species there as well. Thanks!
misskaileen is offline  
Old Feb 21st, 2022, 06:04 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 748
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Misskaileen,



Londolozi does a great job putting leopards in their branding but they do not have the market cornered on leopard sightings. The same river that flows through Londolozi continues for another few miles before transecting MalaMala which is a much larger property than Londolozi. I have never been to MalaMala without seeing a leopard. Nothing wrong with Londolozi (I have seen leopard at Londolozi too) but you can look on a map and see that Londolozi has not geographical advantage over its western neighbor (Singita) or Eastern (MalaMala). In the Sand River Valley, the leopards can go wherever they want (well, the males might have to fight if they leave their territory!). Probably the cheapest place to see leopards in the Sabi Sands is Kirkmans Camp.



Your odds of seeing leopard in the Moremi are somewhat diminished since you are restricted to the road network. If you are serious about leopards and big cats and looking for an authentic stop for your second safari to pair with Londolozi or MalaMala (or some other Sabi Sands property) then you should consider Mashatu Lodge in Botswana. It is the one place in Africa where I routinely see all three big cat species every day!



What time of year are you traveling? It makes a big deal especially in the Moremi. The animal viewing in Moremi in Jan/Feb is very challenging compared to Aug/Sep.



The one other place where I have had exceptional leopard sightings every day is South Luangwa National Park in Zambia.



Good luck!



Craig Beal – owner – Travel Beyond
Safari_Craig is offline  
Old Feb 22nd, 2022, 04:31 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks! I'm thinking June at the moment, it seemed like the waters will be high enough in the Delta and everywhere I looked said wildlife viewing should be good in June both in the Moremi area and Sabi Sands area.

I'm looking those lodges you mentioned up as I type! I think the main reason I was thinking Londolozi is that they seem to cater to photographers, especially with the (expensive!) option for a solo safari vehicle, but I suppose most lodges would help position you for good photos. Thanks for your answer! It looks like you own a travel company, and while I don't mind figuring out trip logistics myself it's always nice to work with a good one so I'll look that up as well.
misskaileen is offline  
Old Feb 22nd, 2022, 12:23 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 748
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Misskaileen,

A friend of mine, Craig Glatthaar, just arrived at MalaMala yesterday. He saw 8 different leopards in his first 24 hours.

What is your objective for going to Botswana and the Okavango Delta?

Good luck!

Craig Beal – owner – Travel Beyond
Safari_Craig is offline  
Old Feb 22nd, 2022, 12:37 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Craig, I guess my thinking was, besides wanting to experience the Delta, that I might have a better chance of seeing wild dogs and cheetahs up there. I know some people who have been to the Delta area and absolutely insisted I go. If Mala Mala is as amazing as that, though, maybe I should save the Delta for a second, separate trip and just do Mala Mala and Mashatu for the first trip. Or I guess I could do only 2-3 days at Mala Mala, since it's so expensive, and would still have a good chance of seeing leopards in that short amount of time. I'm trying to sort it all out well in advance since I'm guessing to get the dates and the camps I want I'll have to book around a year in advance.
misskaileen is offline  
Old Feb 22nd, 2022, 06:25 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 22,307
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I love Londolozi but am not a photographer..there is an imperitive article in todays NT TIMES 2/22 about poaching in Zambia. I know off topic but worth reading:

Saw lots of leopards in Londo, Mombo and other camps, I encorage travel to Zim,,,just my personal take..wild dogs there and in Bots...my trips were always in May or September/October...

Craig is an expert!!!
ekscrunchy is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2022, 08:46 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 22,307
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I forgot, for the moment, Zarafa Camp in the Delta (Selida reserve) They seem to cater to photographers to the point of loaning out (free) upscale cameras with huge long lenses..

We were there once a few years ago....sightings were not the best but the guides do know about photography and I believe we saw wild dogs, and cats. The camp if run by the Jouberts, of fame in the wildlife community and photographers extraordinaire. Read about them! I urge you to look into that camp. It IS expensive, though; we stayed only three nights as I recall which is not enough at a good camp.

Look into it, and see what Craig has to say.

Again, I recommend Pamushana in Zim, where my next safari will take place with luck. Next time I will stay a week, not the other option which is four nights. Again I am just a tourist while Craig knows all of these camps........curious to what he thiinks of the two I mentioned. Also, Londo Pioneer has my heart but Pamushana is a close second. I've not bee to Zambia save a few days at Islands of Siankaba...not really for game except water-based hippo viewing. Nice place, though. We stayed to see the Falls but frankly, although we were there in October when flow was lot, I would not spend money on that, although we liked Livingstone's museum and market.......

Last edited by ekscrunchy; Feb 23rd, 2022 at 08:51 AM.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2022, 12:23 PM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi eskcrunchy, when you traveled before, how did you transfer between camps? Did you book through a tour operator or figure out the transfers yourself?
misskaileen is offline  
Old Feb 24th, 2022, 05:57 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 22,307
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Usuaually we fly on the small planes (sit up front is you are prone to motion sickness) (Or dead fear, like me; it was quite the embarassment when we landed at Vumbura airstrip and yours truly, let's say, messed up the walkway to the room!!!)

My safari planner is in CapeTown and she has an 800 number: Liesl Mathews at SOUTHERN DESTINATIONS.COM. She is a marvel!
She does alll the planning and these are the only times I have used a travel agent.

Last edited by ekscrunchy; Feb 24th, 2022 at 06:04 AM.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Old Feb 24th, 2022, 12:14 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 748
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi misskaileen. Your safari planner will book your entire trip door to door. We even have an air department and book flights from the US if the client is not trying to use miles or points. Most of the lodges outside the Kruger that have been mentioned can be accessed by shared small planes. The flight to Pamushana is a shared plane 2x per week from Johannesburg but you can charter any day of the week for about $10,000 (not worth it IMO). I am taking my entire family to Pamushana in November using the shared plane.

Southern Africa is not as well known for cheetah as East Africa. Many places in Southern Africa have the wrong habitat for cheetah. To have their best hunting advantage, they need wide open grassland. I have seen cheetah a few times in the Kruger area, a few times at Mombo and a handful of other times in various places in southern Africa. The only place in southern Africa where I have seen cheetah every day on every visit is at Mashatu. You often see cheetah on every game drive in Masai Mara and Serengeti.. My family took this video on iphones at Mashatu:

Over the past few years, the most reliable places for wild dog sightings in southern Africa are the Linyanti region in Botswana (Selinda, Kwando Legoon and Lebala, & Wilderness Safaris Linyanti), Chitabe/Chitabe Ledibe/Sandibe/Qorokwe and Kwando Kwara/Splash. I have been to all these camps and every Great Plains lodge in Botswana and Kenya. Their guides are well trained for photographers. Wild dogs are HIGHLY mobile and are only stay put when they have their puppies from roughly June-August. In 2021, there were dens at Vumbura Plains, near Kwando Kwara and two near Chitabe that I know of for sure.

From the little I know about you so far, you should indeed consider Mashatu and be sure to book the photographic vehicle and photographic hide session. Then go to MalaMala and also book the photo vehicle if you really want a kitted out safari vehicle.

Craig Beal - owner - Travel Beyond

Last edited by Safari_Craig; Feb 24th, 2022 at 12:23 PM.
Safari_Craig is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
pixelpower
Africa & the Middle East
4
Dec 5th, 2010 01:52 AM
Lolazahra
Africa & the Middle East
38
Dec 10th, 2005 03:07 PM
Lisa1224
Africa & the Middle East
8
Jun 29th, 2003 01:34 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information