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Help needed with Southern Africa itinerary

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Fellow travel experts: Please let me know what you think of the itinerary I've been working on with a travel company. I've lurked on these travel forums for years, learned tons in planning trips around the world, but never actually posted a query. Here goes!

My husband and I are planning our first ever Southern African safari for next summer. We're using miles and will most likely go for 16 days (not counting the international travel days). It's been incredibly difficult to limit ourselves since we're so excited and would like to go everywhere, but this is the current proposal, exact dates and lodges still to be determined although it looks like it will be late August/September:

Fly USA/London/J'Burg/Capetown and stay there for 3 days

Fly to J'Burg and spend night in airport hotel

Fly to Maun, Botswana/fly into the Okavango Delta and spend 3 nights there

Fly to Kasane/drive to Vic Falls, Zimbabwe - 2 nights

Fly to Hwange, Zimbabwe - 3 nights

Fly to Mana Pools, Zimbabwe - 3 nights

Fly Harare/J'Burg/London/USA

Questions: 1. We wanted to experience both Botswana and Zimbabwe as well as Capetown, but wonder if we're trying to do too much since we won't be able to get a good feel for all the different possibilities that the Okavango Delta can provide.

2. 1 night v. 2 in Victoria Falls? There seem to be a number of things we could do including visiting an orphanage and a school that are of interest in addition to visiting the Falls. Opinions? (Note - we're not interested in thrill seeing opportunities like bungee jumping although we might venture onto the back of an elephant)

3. Is there any way around spending a night in the J'Burg airport en route from Capetown to Maun? it seems like such a waste of time and money.

4. We will most likely have one more day to add to this itinerary. Where should it go? We don't want to stay fewer than 3 days at any of the safari lodges so it would be adding a 4th day someplace.

Many thanks!


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