African Safari

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Mar 10th, 2013, 09:17 AM
  #1
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African Safari

I've already purchased a 6 day safari in South Africa. I would love to visit another camp where I can stay in a treehouse. I thought maybe Botswana, because I heard I could see more animals. I haven't done my research yet, therefore still do not know which months would be best to go. Have not reserved air yet. A few questions:

1. Which months would be best to see the Big Five if possible? I know this is not guaranteed.

2. Which countries would you suggest as a second safari choice and camp for treehouse adventure and daytrips?

3. What sites would you recommend we not miss?

4. Is a trip to Victoria Falls a must? What

My trip is two weeks, not necessarily the whole 2 weeks in country and I realize I can't see everything. I like to enjoy what I can on each trip and not try to overwhelm myself with I must see everything. That's not a vacation for me.

I apologize for such a vague approach to all of this, I just have not been able to do much research yet. I'd love to hear what you have to suggest so I can begin my research with that bit of info. Budget will be somewhat limited, but the South African safari portion has already been paid for and I hope to get fights thru my miles, so I will start with a budget of about another $6,000 for both of us for the second part of the trip, but if I have to spend more to see and do amazing once in a life time things, then I will not hesitate to increase the budget, just need to be reasonable and wise about my choices.

I promise to research more, but thought I'd get a start this way. Please respond and get me started. Thanks so much.
Wandy1 is offline  
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Mar 10th, 2013, 11:21 AM
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S Africa is a big place. Another country is not necessary - I keep going back and no two experiences are the same.

You didn't say where you have already booked or when you are going. Start there so we can help.
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Mar 11th, 2013, 12:01 PM
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If I read your post right, you have already purchased (booked ??)a safari. So, now you are asking when to go??
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Mar 11th, 2013, 01:39 PM
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When have you booked your SA safari, and where? Without this info it's hard to advise anything else really.

I mean, Vic Falls is a must see, but not when the Zambezi is very low and the falls not impressive, so depends when you have already booked as to whether a falls visit would be worth it.
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Mar 11th, 2013, 02:53 PM
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As others what is already booked?
Without that and when traveling, difficult to offer suggestions.

Regarding Victoria Falls/VFA, it's an expensive extension from South Africa when you consider - airfare, hotel, visa, tours - and fact that you only need about 2hrs to view the falls. Might not be the best idea.
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Mar 12th, 2013, 03:53 AM
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Africa in this season is not a good idea in my opinion! its really hot out there at this time ! best of luck though hope you guys enjoys it.
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Jun 23rd, 2013, 02:27 PM
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Sorry, I didn't get back sooner; apologize for the vague post. I'm so overwhelmed with this trip.

Purchased a safari through an auction which includes 6 nights at Zulu Nyala http://www.zulunyalagroup.com/ Hluhluwe, South Africa for an incredibly low price.

Overall itinerary is arrive JoBurg from Houston, spend one night to rest if necessary then travel to Durban by air then rent a car from Durban to Hluhluwe if feasible. Or drive straight from JoBurg to Hluhluwe???

Spend 6 nights there (maybe if its worth staying that long)
Would love to spend 2 nights at another camp, maybe a treehouse, but want to see the Big 5. If time permits and budget, I could do a third camp, nice tented if it's nice. I've always wanted to travel to Botswana, but there should be plenty to see and do in So. Africa on this trip. Don't want to complicate things too much.
Then finally 3 nights or so in Capetown.
Bottom line the trip is flexible except that I will be in country approximately 17 days. I'm keeping it simple just in case it takes a while to get from one place to another.

I just haven't decided on month. I'm trying to choose whether to go in Sept, Oct. or Nov 2013 around the Thanksgiving holiday. My husband does not like cold weather like 40s in the morning or 90 during the day.
We want to see as many animals as possible as I love photography. So first question is related to the weather, which month would be best. Hluhluwe is just north of Durban.
2nd, We fly into JNB from Houston. Would it take us 5-6 hours to drive to Hluhluwe? That's what it looks like on google Earth, but not sure if that's accurate or worth the drive. I think flying into Durban may be inexpensive, therefore another option would be to drive from Durban to the Lodge. What are your thoughts on that?

3rd. I would like a suggestion for another park in South Africa that would be a great place to go see the Big 5. Zulu Nyala will not have the big 5. I may cut that stay short and am considering another park for another 2-3 night stay? Is Kruger Park an option? Which game reserve, I've heard a few comments about Sabi Sand, but not sure of the logistics from Durban. I'm willing to listen to all suggestions and see what the logistics might be. Budget will be middle of the road to slightly higher. Not luxury.

We usually travel either on our own or through a private guide. I'm thinking a tour operator might be too expensive, but I could be wrong on this. Would rather use a local outfit than one from the states. We don't like to travel with 20 other people either.

Hope this post is clear, as I said I get overwhelmed on logistics for this trip. That's why it's taken me so long to post. thank for your suggestions.
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Jun 23rd, 2013, 05:40 PM
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We were in Zululand in June 2011 and loved it. It's a pretty easy drive from JNB (6-7 hours all highway, just check on construction) and with a car, you have more options. You can do day trips to St Lucia, Mkuze and Hluhluwe from Zulu Nyala. To see the big five in the area, you could go to both Tembe Elephant Park and Zululand Rhino Reserve. I highly recommend both. St Lucia (it has a much longer African name now) is well worth a couple of days and Hluhluwe-Imfolozi NP is where the white rhino was saved from extinction the last time they were almost poached to oblivion. We had some very memorable game drives in the area and will be going back!! It's a personal preference, but I prefer 3-4 nights per camp. And dipping a toe in the Indian Ocean is pretty great.

On that trip we were there for three weeks - don't try to do too much in the time you have. Zululand is warmer than the Kruger area so I would go in Sept before the heat and rains. But again - I'd rather be cold than hot - it's personal. You can rent a one way car and drive from JNB to Zululand (or fly to Richards Bay and rent a car) and then fly to Cape Town from Durban. I like safari last, so I would do Cape Town first for 3-4 nights.

Enjoy your planning. If you want to see our very long trip report, click on my name and find the Waterberg to Zululand trip report. It was great fun!!
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Jun 24th, 2013, 03:36 PM
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Thank you. I will start reading. I think after 30 hours of traveling from Houston, we may just fly to Durban and pick up a car there for a 3 hour drive after a night's rest in Johannesburg. You've given me some good tips.
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Jun 25th, 2013, 04:14 PM
  #10
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Any more recommendations?
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Jun 25th, 2013, 06:45 PM
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From my house in beautiful sunny California, door to hotel door at JNB takes, like you, 30-32 hours. I'm more than ready to relax and sleep. So I/we always spend the first night in a hotel near JNB and begin our journey next day. Which is typically rent a car from Avis at JNB or catch SAA flight to Hoedspruit.

regards - tom
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