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Sept. 2012 Southern Africa trip-need itinerary help

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I have managed to book frequent flyer tickets to South Africa for next September. We arrive in JNB on Sept. 14 and will have 18 nights. The main purpose of this trip is to see Cape Town and the surrounding region. We have been on safari in Tanzania (got much great advice from the Fodors posters), so seeing the big five is not a high priority, but we do want some safari time. Seeking help in trying to come up with an itinerary that mixes various types of flora, fauna, landscape and experiences.

My thought is 1 night JNB on arrival (hope that is enough to recover from 26 hours travel time), 2 nights Victoria Falls, 2 nights Chobe National Park (Chobe River), overnight JNB, 4 nights Sabi Sands, 5 nights Cape Town and 3 nights Bushmans Kloof.

I chose northern Chobe NP because it seems a good place to see elephants (a particular interest), and you can get there by road from Vic Falls. Not considering more time in Botswana, mostly to avoid flying in tiny planes, but also cost. I’m wondering if it will just be too crowded and that I would be better off going elsewhere, especially given the limited accommodation choices. If we keep Chobe, could I reduce Victoria Falls to one night? We would not be interested in “extreme” sports, so it really would be mostly to see the falls. Have been to Iguazu and enjoyed that—interested in hearing from anyone who has been to both.

Also, saw a recommendation here of Grootbos and must admit that is appealing too, so now I’m trying to figure out if we can do both that and Bushmans Kloof. Not much is written on this forum about the latter, but the activities look like a nice mix of some wildlife, hiking, etc. Would two nights at BK be sufficient? Is the end of September too late for wildflowers? What about two nights at Grootbos—would that be enough to see the fynbos and do some whale watching, or is 3 nights better? We live 1 hour from Napa, CA, so the wine region is not a high priority.

Thanks for all and any advice!

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