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Cheaper alternative to Okavango?

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This is going to be long and probably not very coherent, because I am only looking for some of your thoughts for a future trip to Africa (our first). Because DH does not want a safari only vacation, we are thinking to combine Cape Town area (5-6 days) with a few (4?) days safari in a private reserve of Kruger Park.

We can spend 14 -16 days all together, and I would like to explore different habitats, so I am looking for a 3rd destination. If money was not an issue, the other place to visit would be the Okavango Delta – but everything there is soooo expensive.

I want to go during wildflower season in the Western Cape, so I think that’s September. I know, high season in Okavango…Is there another option, similar to Okavango, but at a more reasonable price? We do not want to rough it, but we do not need luxury – although private bathrooms and running water are a must. I am looking for water and birds, hippos, and generally diverse wildlife.

We do not have a budget in mind, yet, but realistically we cannot afford more than $4-500/pppn – and that only for a few days.
I guess staying in SA would be the best, financially – would St.Lucia be an option for another 3-4 days? If not, what do you suggest?
Thanks

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