africa = luxury lodges and not much else

Oct 3rd, 2007, 12:14 AM
  #21  
 
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"With Lonely Planet being acquired by BBC and going online . . .".

Am I missing an inference about "online"? Because LP has been 'online" for many years. And its travel forum (the "Thorn Tree") I find much easier to use than Fodor's'. Especially being able to subscribe to a thread and get an e-mail copy of any new post to it.
ArthurSA is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 12:26 AM
  #22  
 
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Ah. Now I've scanned that article and read the comment from LP: "If you think of the depth of content and experience of the guidebooks, the Web site doesn't quite match that yet."

That's true. But then in general I've also found that of the websites of other guidebook publishers. Perhaps the BBC takeover will give impetus to such websites in general, for competitive reasons.
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Oct 3rd, 2007, 04:54 AM
  #23  
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Hey - great replies.

Some serious points made to what was meant to be a serious discussion. But none I can see from folk who stay in those $800+ a night "lodges".

I'd like to reply in a considered way, so see you all tomorrow.

But in the meantime, I agree about the "middle way" being squeezed and not just in Africa. I bet the numbers of humble B&Bs are shrinking in the UK, and they are almost impossible to find in Australia. It's all chocolates on the pillow and huge bathtubs and all that sort of stuff. When all one really wants is a good clean place to sleep, without necessarily being a backpacker.

I'v been one, though, so I wouldn't quite make some of the sweeping statements about them that are often made.

Another thing I feel strongly about!!

And yes, momlitz, I have.

To be continued ..
chimani is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 08:30 AM
  #24  
 
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There IS still a middle price market in Africa, at least in Southern Africa. I just booked a fabulous trip (which I'll post in a different thread), which is not costing the earth.

I think it's great that there are people who have lots of disposable income and want plunge pools and gourmet food in the bush. I think I'd like that myself, if I had a bit more moolah than I do. And I think it's great that there are people who want to hitchhike across Africa with nothing but a backpack and an intrepid spirit. I know I would not like that myself, though.

What I do like, and what I find on every African trip (about 15 in the last 27 years) is comfort, good safaris with great guiding, excellent food, wonderful people, fabulous experiences.

I'm glad the market is so varied. I just get peeved at the media articles that portray African travel as only for the super-rich and super-shallow. We here all know that's not true.
Celia is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 10:15 AM
  #25  
 
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<<The fact that most people choose to support good causes that are man-related (as opposed to animal-related causes) is just another proof of what a self-centered species we are.>>

How many animals choose to support man-related causes? Aren't they just as self-centered?
thit_cho is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 10:23 AM
  #26  
 
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<<<<The fact that most people choose to support good causes that are man-related (as opposed to animal-related causes) is just another proof of what a self-centered species we are>>>

So choosing to support schools for children in Africa, or organizations fighting HIV/AIDS in Africa, instead of
supporting animal causes makes someone self centered? WTF
cruisinred is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 11:42 AM
  #27  
 
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@thit_cho: what kind of deduction is that?! We have a self-consiousness, they have not. Animal life is threathened by man almost everywhere. Lots of species are on the brink of extinction. Are you saying "that's OK, because if 'they' were given the same chance, they'd do it to us too"?

Strange reasoning imho...

@Cruisinred; where did I say things like that?! Another strange deduction imho. What I'm saying is this; if you make a pie chart and divide it in a) good causes for mankind and b)good causes for wildlife, then you'll see that the "a" slice is 5 times bigger than "b". While, if you condsider the trouble wildlife is in (as opposed to the trouble mankind is having) the balance should be just the opposite. And THAT, my dear friend, IS a clear PROOF that we are "navel starers" (guees that's perhaps a bad translation from Dutch, so for the record I mean; a proof that we are self-centered as a species).

Get it now?
pixelpower is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 11:52 AM
  #28  
 
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pixelpower, reduction ad absurdium
thit_cho is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 11:52 AM
  #29  
 
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reductio (my fingers naturally type "ion" instead of "io")
thit_cho is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 11:06 PM
  #30  
 
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>> reductio ad absurdium

The fact that most people percieve my viewpoint as absurd, is yet another proof.

Instead of just saying "this is absurd", why donesn't anyone provide proof of the contrary?
It's the _truth_ that most $ goes to human related good causes. It's the _truth_ that mankind as a species is in no trouble whatsoever. It's the _truth_ that this planet by now is about 8 times too small to give everyone the same amount of luxury/comfort/resources as you and me. And it's the _truth_ that right now the last unspoilt places on earth are under great pressure from our species. And so on...
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Oct 3rd, 2007, 11:10 PM
  #31  
 
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Yup, i agree ...... that's why in our country we have only a few tigers left (numbers exaggerated by the Govt officials), read about the havoc elephants create on farmlands (farms taking away a lot of forest space), more and more and more people everywhere, and oh! the excuse of wanting India to be the next big global player ...... ofcourse, we humans are very self-centered.
HariS is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 12:02 AM
  #32  
 
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"I bet the numbers of humble B&Bs are shrinking in the UK, and they are almost impossible to find in Australia."- chimani

Where on earth did you get that idea? Talk about 'sweeping statements'! We go for a drive in the country in our part of Australia and can't escape B&B signs. There are more B&B establishments than there have ever been. My wife's son, far away in the UK, sent her a B&B voucher for her birthday, so Australian B&B is easily detectable and accessible from overseas. And I've just been emailing an American Fodorite friend to tell him about humble B&B style accommodation in the bush, and hope that one day, he'll find his way out here to enjoy both B&B and a bit of truly roughing it camping as well.

John
afrigalah is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 03:30 AM
  #33  
 
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Sometimes posts on this forum makes me smile and sometimes the replies are even better

If I should comment on the original post I think chimani has a point that this forum is mainly used for people who do the high-end travelling and I guess that some of the people that have done a 10 day luxury safari thinks that they experienced Africa. They have in my opinion experienced a part of it and that great.

All people donīt like to be squessed into locals busses who drives like maniacs or get the chance to get sick from visting the local restaurant



I have done a 4 monts backpacking tour to Namibia( with Vic Falls), Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania and even though my main interest was gameviewing I loved to talk to locals and really get under the skin of the people. I canīt say I liked the local buses, but after they are good stories to tell afterwards.

In july I went to Zimbabwe and South Africa for a month and this time I had my own car(or went with friends) and me and my girlfriend agreed that we missed really talking to the locals on their terms. At the market, in the buses etc.

I allways travel to countries were there are good gameviewing, but some of the places defintely still are Africa.
jesron is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 04:15 AM
  #34  
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Having trouble here gathering my thoughts for a cogent reply because there are so many facets to the original question.

But thx for all the replies and keep em coming.

Not so hard, though, to respond to Afrigalah.

Mate, please say where your part of Australia is. And what the average price for all those B&Bs would be.

I am not questioning the fact that they exist. I guess you took my word "humble" to mean not 5 star hotel, when what I meant is "humble" as in no frills place to sleep - which is what B&B once meant.

And that kind of place has disappeared from the landscape.

Now if you can tell me of somewhere in your area that charges less than $150 (aud) a night then I'd be right chuffed.

Can you?

chimani is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 04:23 AM
  #35  
 
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Hi jesron,
I'm not sure how old you are but I'm assuming that your young.

My point; I think it's safe to say that most of us here (or at least myself) did this type of travelling when we were younger - we had more time and less money.

As stated by you, this is an absolute wonderful way to travel and I hope most people get the chance to see the world and mingle with locals on a personal level. It can only enrich one's life.

Unfortunately, now that I must work to provide this doesn't happen as much. Health also factors in a bit here, as well.
My hope is that once older I can get back into the longer trips again. This truly is only way to savor and learn about other cultures.

For now, I can only be happy with taking the last 3 days of my upcoming trip to mingle a bit with locals in Botswana. This, as you can imagine, is not a typical itinerary or one that you'll see in the brocures.

chimani,
Explain if you will luxury. By my usual standard of travelling the basic camps I've stayed at were luxury. I say this not b/c the camps/tents were luxurious but b/c all my needs were met - someone drove us around, cooked meals etc. etc.
Believe it or not, to self drive in many parts of Africa doesn't always work and can sometimes cost more money. Parks fees alone will prevent any person on a tight budget to reconsider. As you know public transport doesn't always take you where you want - very prohibitive in most cases, btw, if one wants to view wildlife.
Another alternative would be to take one of those lg. truck tours, but these as well, are not cheap.

The fact that flights alone are so high make going to Africa prohibitive for most. Where are you from, if you don't mind me asking?
Just the act of flying in from a far away location puts one in a different class than most around the world. You may have an the attitude that your just like the locals but your not if you're able to afford to fly in.

Unless someone is staying around urban areas, the rural options are fairly limited. Most of us here, as you've observed want to go on safaris which are rural.

We're basically at the mercy of TA's and travel books who mostly cater to mid. class+. Again, the cost of flight factors in.
At any rate, if you have some info. on the logistics and great places to see and stay, I'm sure that many here would love to hear about it. We love any and all info. on Africa.

You may be surprised that there's even a few reports here that feature less costly options if you research - check it out.
As for the rest, try not to judge too harshly.
Peace.
cybor is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 03:12 PM
  #36  
 
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Chimani,

Humble often has little to do with price. I rarely put the two together.

But yes, I can name a place...Getaway cottages, near Barossa Valley $140 a double...quite cheap in my language and therefore it might qualify as humble for many people. Funnily enough, though, I don't regard it as a humble 'no frills' place...looks too fancy for me. Plenty of humbler places around, either in terms of facilities or price (which criterion determines 'humble'?). Those in remoter or prime locations can be more basic but more expensive. You'll get shearers' quarters on pastoral properties, in the 'real' bush, with clean and comfortable facilities for what some would regard as 'humble rates', but you'll have to make your own breakfast and provide your own bedding.

John
afrigalah is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 05:29 PM
  #37  
 
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Hi Chimani,

You can't just start a debate and then not have a statement yet RE your views?

Cheers,
Hari
HariS is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 03:47 AM
  #38  
 
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Sorry to put my 2 cents into this conversation, but, if you take a look at Chimani's past post's, it is very obvious that she only wants to rile up the true travelers who are looking for information or to share good information with others. If she thinks you must ride on a chicken bus or train in India or Africa in order to say that have have seen that country, great for her. In our travels, we have run into many travelers who to save a buck would eat their own feces. I guess a lot of posters on Fodor's are not as hungry as Chimani!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dr_Ralph is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 05:48 AM
  #39  
 
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Dear cybor

Thanks for the reply, I donīt think I am that young but I try to keep in shape Just to be seríous, you reply is one of them that makes me smile. My point is that it seems that people on this forum very easy get offend or they think that their reality is the thruth. I just wanted to make that clear.

Or maybe you just think I am young because my spelling is bad, but try to write this in danish.
jesron is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 08:05 AM
  #40  
 
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Hi jesron,
I assumed that you were young because of your attitude and b/c you had xtra time to travel - I'm envious. Us older folks seem to get too tied down - I'm working on that, though

As for your English, it's excellant. I wouldn't have guessed that it's your 2nd (or whichever) language.

Thanks for replying.
cybor is offline  

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