A bit whelmed!

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Jul 19th, 2003, 05:56 PM
  #1
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A bit whelmed!

I have been doing alot of copy/paste/printing threads to read on my commute - thank you all for 100+ pages of travel advice, trip repors and tips. Mary - I loved the photos!

So now I am a bit whelmed and I just want to do and see it all and I only have 3 weeks to do it in.

Here is the scoop: I am traveling solo at the end of Sept, and I am interested in Kenya, Tanzania, Bostwana and Nimibia - and seeing friends in SA. I want to spend my time seeing sites not traveling within the country, so I have a sense I'll narrow it down to two countries for this trip.

I am adventurous, but not so much that I think going with a group will be the easiest way to get around and be safe. I don't want to blow my entire savings as with A&K and Travcoa, so I am emailing Pulse Travel with the hopes that they will help me sort this out!(thanks Brit) Selwyn, can you recommend someone?

So one thing that will help my decision: At that time of the year(late Sept-early Oct), are there any migrations or anything like that, that I should make sure to see?

Any solos with advice?

Thank you all for your postings!
Kim
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Jul 23rd, 2003, 09:24 AM
  #2
SmilesTravel
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Botswana, the Delta area north of Maun. See Wilderness Safaris site for lodge details. You'll be there at a good time for game viewing.
 
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Jul 23rd, 2003, 11:38 AM
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sandi
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Kim -

The most expensive part of your trip wherever you decide to travel will be the single supplement for your accommodations.

You also don't indicate what kind of budget you have planned for yourself, nor where you're traveling from, whether you are male or female, even age. There is a young man (late 20s/early 30s) who has a shorrt trip planned as a solo traveler for sometime in Sept - because he likes white water rafting he'll be spending sometime at Vic Falls area, a few days on the Zambia side of the Falls and either time at Chobe in Botswana or Hwange in Zimbabwe.

You mention you want to see sights but not travel through a country - well, that is a bit difficult in Kenya and/or Tanzania as you have to either fly around the country (expensive) or drive from one area to another.

Though one recommendation was Botswana, note that Botswana is one of the most expensive countries to visit as far as your accommodation and flights.

While Namibia is an excellent destination (you can find budget accomm.), your choices for getting around is by car (do you want to drive alone) or fly between locations.

And since you want to visit with friends in SA, it might be best to stay in that vicinity, though there are regular flights between Nairobi and Johannesburg (4-hrs flight time).

Sometimes as a single traveler it can be more economical to travel with a group, but this doesn't necessarily have to mean with 20 other people, rather maybe 4 to 6, or even just 2 others which can save on your transportation to/fr.

Besides the prices that will be provided by Pulse, you're going to have to decide what are "the must sees" for this trip. Unfortunately most of us are faced with the same situation - so many places to see, not enough time (or money).

Can you provide us with more information on your likes/dislikes and budget.

 
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Jul 23rd, 2003, 12:20 PM
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Sandi's point are excellent. Regarding Botswana, expensive, yes. Can you give us some budget boundaries, say desired daily cost. Would love to help you - I have been there in your position ooddles of times.
 
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Jul 23rd, 2003, 12:20 PM
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.... blush -- point are? Smiles
 
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Jul 24th, 2003, 04:17 PM
  #6
sandi
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SmilesTravel -

You're forgiven!
 
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Jul 26th, 2003, 05:50 PM
  #7
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Thanks for your posts!

I am female, mid-thirties, an extensive traveller - this will be my 20th country - with the constant dilemma - go to alot of places and cover alot of ground or choose one place and fully explore it! I'll be travelling from Chicago. I want to be with a small group, with fun active people. I want to have the experience of being there - not spending the entire time in big hotels, cities, etc. I like to see things off the beaten path.

The first week -the last week of Sept -is with my JNB friends and we are going to Kruger. For the balance of the time - 10-12 days, I am on my own. I have fallen in love with the photos of Namibia, flamingos inclusive. For the time on my own, I am budgeting about $5k US.

After some more research, I have found a few safaris to Namibia - the one with Wilderness Travel and Journeys' international have been attractive and in the neighborhood of my budget. Unfortunately, places on closed on Saturday's! Please! So, more smilin' and dialin' during the week.

I have been reading about the migration and part of me wants to see it. But do I spend the time in Namibia, see what there is to see and then I have that country down - next time I can bring my travel buddy (currently in grad school - read: no travel $$), and we can do Kenya/Tanzania and see the migration then???

I am clear that it is a choice I have to make, but any thoughts either way?

Thanks,
Kim
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Jul 27th, 2003, 06:41 AM
  #8
sandi
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Hi Kim -

Thanks for providing some info on your background, schedule and budget. So I went to my files and found something I think you would like and within your budget, but these trips in Namibia leave on set dates.

My first throught was the Andersson Safaris - Luxury mobile camps which is 13/14 days, price about $4500 incl. single suppl. and just about every meal -- but unfortunately I just noticed that the Septemeber dates don't work with your schedule.

But don't give up, there is another called Namibia in Style which departs JNB to WDH Sunday morning with overnight at a lovely lodge, then next day tour takes you up to Etosha spending 2-dys at a/c lodge, next day at a/c Ongave Lodge which from recent photos received from friend who was just there - is lovely. Then into the Damarland, staying 2-dys at Etendeka Mountain Camp, then 1-dy at Mowani Camp (also quite lovely). Onto Swapokmund for a day. Finally heading out to the Sossusvlei for 2-dys at Mountain Lodge (great reviews in Conde Naste) with a/c, returning to WDH staying at the Country Club before departure next day to JNB and home. Again, all meals except for Bkfst only in WDH - price on this runs about $3740 plus SS (ranging from $530 up, depending on season).

The dates in September are - arrive in WDH Sun, Sept 28 to Thur Oct 9 (home 10/10). The earlier trip in September arrives WDH Sun Sept 7 thru Thur Sept 18.

One thing for sure, you won't find any "big" cities in Namibia. There's Windhoek and Swakopmund and they are what we would call "towns" small, compact, very clean, golf courses without grass, yes, no grass.

Then there are the fly-in safaris, but they are expensive though can go any day of week - these are 2-dys in the Namib/Sossusvlei, 2-dys Etosha and 2-dy Damaraland and these run about $4200+

The only way to save money is to do a self-drive and being along, might not be a good idea.

The prices in Namibia are pretty much set as every company owns part of another company - lodges own charter services own tour operators - kind of incestuous?

If this is out of line moneywise, you might want to spend more time in SA; Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities (few big buildings) and you've got the winelands there, down to Cape Point, the Kirtenbosch Gardens, Table Mountain. You can do a day trip to Hermanus/Gaansbai area to go Shark Cage Diving - not dangerous and lots of fun.

You can also fly up to Vic Falls and spend a few days on the Zambia side, even do some safari into Botswana.

Back in SA, you can go out to Phinda Lodge, a beauty and not far from the ocean which you can do for a few hours from Phinda.

There are options. Maybe too many - but let's see what some other posters recommend.
 
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Jul 27th, 2003, 08:07 PM
  #9
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Thanks Sandi for the info! This is awesome! I just downloaded some info from Pulse and I have to ring up Wilderness with a few questions this week. I'll definately be in touch.

The dates on the Namibia in Style look good - is there a web site I can surf?

Thanks again and talk to you soon!
Kim

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Jul 28th, 2003, 03:21 AM
  #10
sandi
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Kim -

The Namibia in Style itinerary can, I believe, be run by different tour operators, but this name in particular was from the tour operator I use here (5-trips to Africa) in the New York area. You can check out the site:

www.africasafaris.com

easy to navigate, select Namibia from Left column, then select Itineraries and you'll find all the details and current prices. You'll also find photos under "gallery".
You can contact Nickie who is South African by birth and speak with her for details or other options. Her prices are very competitive. And she's excellent in responding to client needs. She might have some other options for you, as well.

Re Wilderness Safaris - believe I read somewhere, that you have to go thru an agent or tour operator to book; apparently they don't take direct bookings, but you might want to get their brochure of all their camps. Quite interesting.

If other questions, just let me know.
 
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Jul 28th, 2003, 12:09 PM
  #11
 
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Hi Kkimkim,

As a fellow single female with an overwhelming love of Africa, I would like to throw my two cents in. I would recommend, you choose to either do Southern Africa (Namibia & Botswana) or Eastern Africa (Kenya & Tanzania) - don't try to mix and match. Both areas are lovely but as you have friends in SA, I would choose Botswana and/or Namibia and leave East Africa to do another time. (By the way, you can do East Africa on a smaller budget - I just got back from Tanzania in June and didn't spend near as much as you have budgeted).

Good luck and have a wonderful time.
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Jul 29th, 2003, 09:08 AM
  #12
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Thanks 12travel - just the kind of insights I was looking for!

K
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