Africa After All


Aug 26th, 2004, 09:16 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,916
Africa After All

Well, I didn't think I would make it back to Africa this year and that my five-year safari streak would end, but I am getting married in November and we have decided to honeymoon in Africa.

So, today, I got two biz class tix (using Delta SkyMiles) flying from NY via Paris into Johannesburg and returning from Mauritius.

We arrive in JNB at 10:45am on November 30, and probably will spend 5 or 6 days on safari, and I'm considering either Botswana or South Africa.

It will be my wife's first safari so I don't want to go too far off the beaten path, eg, Central Kalahari, but my fifth so I don't want to go to the same places.

I am thinking of Jack's Camp and then one of the Wilderness Delta camps, and maybe 2 days in Sabi Sands.

Any thoughts on interesting places in Botswana or SA (and I'd even consider Hwange if its safe and game is good in December).

thit_cho is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 26th, 2004, 01:39 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 814
Well congratulations on the wedding!

While Jacks would be would be a great choice for a 5-timer who has not yet been are aware that it could be really, really REALLY hot in Botswana in November and beyond. I'm not sure I'd take a first-timer to this area when it is so very hot.

I was there in September and midday was broiling hot then. (We didn't get the mid-day temps, but my guess is that it was far more likely to be 110 degrees F. than 100 degrees F...( based on comparison to times when I did know the temp). It is dry heat, but there is really no relief because there is no air conditioning (!) and even water consumption (showers) are discouraged. (And it would be expected to get even hotter by late November!)

Most people were fine, but 1 woman had terrible problems with the heat. People react very differently to these temperature levels, and it could become a honeymoon that is memorable for all the wrong reasons...

I love Botswana, but can't really say this is a great time to honeymoon there-- unless your beloved loves deserts and extreme temperatures!
tashak is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 26th, 2004, 02:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,182

Jack's is a very romantic and magical place but I don't know about heat/ temperature etc.

I'd also check when the wet season starts as you may not be able to quad bike if water in pans is too extensive.

But it IS a place that's perfect for a special and romantic trip.

We were glad it was our last place before Wolwedans itself.
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 26th, 2004, 06:20 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Thit Cho,


How much time, if any, are you considering spending in Paris?

Sorry, but I am no help with early December, as I have never considered traveling during this time, except to Chile (perfect weather in early December). But, I am thinking something more coastal, like Phinda, may not be too hot, although it may be more commercialized than someone as well traveled as yourself may desire.

Wherever you choose, best of luck!
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 26th, 2004, 07:14 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,916
Well, I've made some progress and have an interesting bit of trivia. I used 300,000 Delta Skymiles for 2 biz class tix from JFK to Johannesburg and returning from Mauritius. I then asked the price if I were to purchase the tix, and each ticket would be $9,700 or $19,400 for the two tix. This is by far my best use of frequent flier miles.

Well, current plans are as follows:

Sunday, Nov 28 -- depart NY for Paris
Monday, Nov 29 -- spend day in Paris and overnight to JNB
Tuesday, Nov 30 - Saturday Dec 4 -- four day safari (considering mix of Sabi Sands and maybe Hluhuwe, sp?, or Phinda)
Saturday Dec 4 -- fly to Madagascar for five days visiting 2 national parks to see lemurs and other stuff
Wednesday Dec 8 -- fly to Mauritius for 3 nights
Saturday -- fly Mauritius to Paris and overnight in Bristol or Crillon
Sunday -- return to NY

So after all that, any tips for Sabi Sands, Hluhuwe or Phinda. I think we'd like 2 night Mala Mala or Kirkman's and then one of Phinda lodges. I'm gonna look at Mark Nolting's book now.

thit_cho is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 26th, 2004, 08:37 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Thit Cho,

Your timing is perfect for an excellent special at Phinda, if you choose to go the Phinda route:

Exhilarating Walking Safaris for just ZAR 1865 per person per night sharing for this 4-day / 3-night experience

CC Africa's Walking Safaris are available at renowned Phinda Private Game Reserve and Ngala Private Game Reserve. They feature luxurious, fully serviced tented camping with en suite facilities and delicious bush cuisine. Specialised, professional rangers qualified in leading Walking Safaris provide in-depth interpretive wilderness adventures - a unique learning experience with the opportunity to study micro- and macro-systems. Guests are guided on a four- to five-hour morning walk, and a short pre-sunset walk and night-drive combination (the latter unique in South Africa).

Price: Just ZAR 1865 per person per night sharing for this 4-day / 3-night experience (normal price ZAR 2665 per person per night sharing)

Date: Valid until 30 November 2004 (For booking within 28 days of travel)


It works out to only about $280 USD pppns.

Here is some more info on Phinda:
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 27th, 2004, 05:20 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,922
Congrats on your upcoming nuptials and another trip to Africa!!

For Phinda info, you may want to do a Phinda search because I'd just written up alot about it when Rocco was considering going.
If you have any specifics questions about the game reserve, let me know. I'll try to answer as best I can. It's a favorite subject of mine.
divewop is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 27th, 2004, 06:14 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
I just received a quote from CCAfrica for Phinda and Madikwe Safari Lodge and I was shocked at how reasonable it was...less than rack rates including all air & road transfers!

Now if they would only post some photos of Madikwe Safari Lodge it would help me decide!
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 29th, 2004, 10:08 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 596
Michael, just wanted to congratulate you. And honeymooning in Africa... I can't think of anything more romantic and memorable.
Clematis is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 30th, 2004, 03:37 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 686
Rocco, I don't know what kind of photos of Madikwe you're looking for, and if there is more than one Madikwe. But have you tried the best local (Africa option) search engine Aardvark? (

A search using just the words madike photos, gives hits such as
ArthurSA is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 30th, 2004, 04:00 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553

Thanks. Actually, I am looking for photos of CCAfrica's new lodge in Madikwe, "Madikwe Safari Lodge." However, I imagine that with a November, 2004, opening date, that it is currently under construction.

I have had very positive communications with the very upscale Madikwe Hills, and even though it is more expensive, chances are that I will be staying at Madikwe Hills. (

I am trying to get to six nights worth of CCAfrica lodges elsewhere, in order to realize a big savings, as CCAfrica heavily discount stays of six nights or longer. I am really feeling a strong pull to return to Matetsi Water Lodge, and will likely mix it with three nights at Londolozi, camp to be determined based on prices, although I am hoping to stay at Londolozi Tree Camp. Since I am WITHOUT A DOUBT spending a minimum of three nights at Simbambili, I do want to combine it with Londolozi to prevent so much hopping around.

Unless Matetsi does not happen, Phinda will just have to wait. But, there is always the option that I will do the following itinerary to save money:

Twelve Apostles, Cape Town (3)
Bushmans Kloof, Cedarberg (2)
A Room With A View, Johannesburg (1)
Simbambili (4)
Madikwe Safari Lodge (3)
Phinda Forest (3)

This would definitely be a lot lower cost than my currently planned itinerary of:

12 Apostles (3)
Matetsi Water Lodge (3)
A Room With A View (1)
Simbambili (3)
Londolozi Tree Camp (3)
Madikwe Hills (3)

I just cannot see giving the Sabi Sand less than four nights total, and would prefer the six nights, as I have it above.
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 30th, 2004, 04:09 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 686
I obviously meant madikwe for the search, madike wouldn't have given me much. Although when I was curious and tried that, I still got one relevant hit, there was the same misspelling on the site found!

But is "Madikwe Safari Lodge" different from "Madike River Lodge"? I see the reference to the former on the CC Africa site. But when I do a search on that name (in quotes) using Aardvark it doesn't generate any hits.
ArthurSA is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 30th, 2004, 04:10 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 686
I posted my 2nd before seeing your reply!
ArthurSA is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:48 AM.