My husband and I are in the planning stages for a safari in Africa next year for our 25th wedding anniversary. We are experienced travelers, but this will be our first safari. We have set a budget of $25,000, and can travel at any time next year, depending on what is our best option.
We've narrowed our focus on Southern Africa, rather than Kenya/Tanzania. Our primary focus is on wildlife and culture. Both avid photographers, we'd prefer small groups of no more than 6 or even private vehicles. We're also hoping to renew our wedding vows while we're there. We would prefer not to be moving around every 2 days, or spend long hours in vehicles trying to get from one location to the other.
I have received 2 possible itineraries from 2 separate companies. They both look promising. Would love to have more experienced eyes take a look at them and give some input.
* Arrive at the Johannesburg International Airport. Transferred straight to
the Kruger National Park OR fly to the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport OR
Skukuza, depending on the time of their arrival at Johannesburg.
* Spend four nights at a private lodge in the Imbali Concession of the
Kruger National Park. This will place the customers centrally in the Kruger National Park. A variety of wildlife is to be found in this area: Frequent lion and big predator sightings, an abundance of birdlife and game. A dedicated guide will be arranged to take the customers on game drives and to be at their service, trying to find and view as many different species of wildlife as is possible. Both day and night game drives will be arranged.
* Fly back to Johannesburg for a connecting flight to preferably Kasane or
Maun in Botswana. Met at the airport and transferred to the Ngoma Safari Lodge, set on the banks of the Chobe River and 5km from the Ngoma Gate entrance to the Chobe National Park. Stay for three nights. A dedicated guide will be arranged to be of service to the customers. Chobe is a pristine wilderness area and is famous for large herds of elephants, zebras and other big game. Lions, leopards, cheetahs etc. are usually sighted in abundance. The Chobe river is rich in birdlife. A boat ride on the Chobe will afford a unique vantage point to view wildlife, including hippos and crocodiles.
* Transferred to Kasane and then to the Victoria Falls Hotel (Zimbabwe).
Stay here for one night.
• Fly to Johannesburg, and then onwards to Zambia.
2 nights Kafunta River Lodge
2 nights Island Bush Camp
1 night Kafunta River Lodge
Day 1 Arrive Johannesburg and transfer to Outlook Lodge for dinner and overnight. (D) Days 2-4 Take a scheduled flight to Hoedspruit and enjoy superb game viewing in the Thornybush Game Reserve (BLD)
Days 5-7 Travel south to the world famous Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve for 3 nights, with day and night game drives and bush walks (BLD)
Days 8-9 A scheduled flight brings you to Livingstone, the Zambian side of the spectacular Victoria Falls, and the idyllic Siankaba Lodge situated on two untouched islands in the mighty Zambezi River – the ideal location for your vow renewal (BLD)
Days 10-12 A road transfer takes you cross border to Botswana where you take a small aircraft flight to the Chobe Enclave, best known for its large populations of elephant and buffalo for a 3-night stay (BLD)
Days 13-15 Today’s charter flight takes you over the awe-inspiring oasis of the Okavango Delta, where you end your safari in the prime location of the Xugana Lagoon (BLD)
Day 16 Board a light aircraft to Maun and connect to your homeward flight.
I thank you in advance for your help!
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Well traveled...but not in Africa. Need help with itineraries!