Africa with only 10 days to share

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Jan 5th, 2006, 11:03 AM
  #1
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Africa with only 10 days to share

Looking to celebrate my 50th. birthday with a Safari trip but only have 10 days. I was thinking about limiting myself to Singita and a trip on either the Blue Train or Rovos rail. I've been tempted by the Abu Back Elephant Camp in Botswana and the Ngorongoro Crater as well.
Looking to travel at the end of July. Looking to splurge on a trip of a lifetime.....suggestions?
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Jan 5th, 2006, 11:13 AM
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All of those sound great, but book soon. I bet that they are filled for most, if not all, dates in July 2006, but you never know. My guess is that Abu is the most likely to have availability due to its price and required several day stay, but you should check into them without delay.
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Jan 5th, 2006, 11:14 AM
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Nicco,

Perhaps you could splurge on a Botswana safari staying at Wilderness Safaris 6 paw camps.

www.wilderness-safaris.com

Their 6 paw camps include Kings Pool, Mombo, Jao, Vumbura Plains and Abu Camp.
Abu Camp seems a little overrated and it does carry a rack rate of $1,950 per person per night compared to $1,200 per person per night rack rate for Mombo and about $1,090 per person per nigh rack rate for the others. I seem to remember reading a report by someone who had stayed 5 nights at Abu Camp and felt that a couple nights was enough time for an elephant back safari.

I think a combination of Mombo, Jao and Kings Pool would be spectacular, possibly spending three nights at each one, with a night in Joburg at The Saxon Hotel to recover from jetlag. Otherwise, perhaps you could spend three nights in each camp and still have time to do Rovos Rail or Blue Train. Botswana does offer more exclusivity than Singita in the Sabi Sand. I have been to Singita and enjoyed it very much, but there are 20+ other game lodges in the Sabi Sand which is no bigger than the area that is enjoyed usually by one or two Botswana camps.
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Jan 5th, 2006, 12:24 PM
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thanks for the suggestion. Will definitely check them out.
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Jan 5th, 2006, 12:35 PM
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Nicco,

Be forewarned that you will likely love Africa so much that you will be looking to return for your 51st birthday, and 52nd birthday, and 53rd birthday, etc.

Pace yourself, man!
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Jan 6th, 2006, 02:44 AM
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I'm sure you're correct. Just in doing my trip research I've read about so many places that sound incredible that I know it will take many trips to see everything that I want to!
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Jan 24th, 2006, 05:03 AM
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If I had only 10 days I am not sure I would like to do Rovos.. of course it is a special atmosphere and dining but is it Africa? Not to mention that you have to take your evening wear and black tie to the bush... Anyway why not, if you want to splurge on that. Talking about splurge then why not Singita Lebombo more off the beaten track? Anyway I agree with Rocco: we went 3 weeks to S Afr. last year 5aug/sept our so-called once in a lifetime trip... Forget it: I am recently planning our next trip for this year. I take the opportunity to ask Rocco who seems to know them all -which one between Mandikwe Hills and Lion Sands??!! I viewed the sites but Lion sands looked almost too much and in fact it is my experience that you are not very often in your room! By the way although I agree that Londolozzi needs some shaing up: we had the most fabulous drives and ranger there and have seen really Everything -a buffolo kill, elephants chasing lions, 7 lion cubs etc etc. Fantstic. Ivee
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Jan 24th, 2006, 05:31 AM
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You hit on Rovos Rail, wgich is as they state arguablly the finest train in the world, I travelled with them a while ago, short trip as $$$ for the other trips was beyond my budget at the time.
It is a grand train that allows travel at a leisurely pace wityh some great excursions. I have no doubt that if you enjoy conversation and interaction that the train will be a treat. Now if you have the pallate for a good plate of grub, then you will find that the menu and wine cjoices on board fabulous. I to this day cannot believe what that small train kitchen was able to produce.

Next: Elephant back. No need to hike up to BOtswana, SA has it's own elephant back experience at Camp Jabulani. Five star and more with only a handful of tented suites. I went out with them a year ago in feb and was delighted by the camp. What I really enjoyed was the endless opportunikties to interact with the elephant, not just limited to the wlks, but all day and as I wished.
IMO this would be a great compliment to a private game lodge safari.
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Jan 24th, 2006, 11:19 AM
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Of course Abu's has the Okavango in its plus column, which is significant. I thought I heard that Abu's had dropped its minimum stay, too--check on that.
If you really want an over-the-top, all-out extravagant once in a lifetime adventure for your birthday, I'd consider not only Abu's (Okavango & elephant-back), Jack's Camp or San Camp (3 days here please) and one of the other 6 paws in Botswana. In fact, this trip would be so good, that if necessary, I would be willing to be flexible and celebrate my 50th with this trip whenever I could get it, rather than insisting on the dates and settling for the itinerary available.
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Jan 24th, 2006, 01:58 PM
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Abu is an awesome experience in the Okavango Delta, combining this adventure with Jack's Camp in the salt pans is truly out of this world. It is the striking difference between the landscapes, eco-systems, etc. that will make your trip so much more rewarding.
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