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-   -   Almost ready to book-need feedback on itinerary (https://www.fodors.com/community/africa-and-the-middle-east/almost-ready-to-book-need-feedback-on-itinerary-869819/)

godin Dec 15th, 2010 01:05 PM

Almost ready to book-need feedback on itinerary
 
Hi everyone

After many e-mails, quotations from different companies we are almost ready to book our south african vacation. All the companies we contacted were great. At the end, we are thinking of booking with go2africa.com. They offer us a great value for the lenght of stay. Before we book, I would lika any feedback on go2africa, the itinerary or the accomodations.
Here is the suggestion on itinerary and accomodation. Any one is welcomed to make any comments or suggestions. Thanks.
3 nights Vict falls: Ilala lodge
1 night Oliver's restaurant and lodge on our way to Kruger
3 nights Kruger: Simbambili lodge
4 nights Cape Town : not sure yet on the accomodation-maybe Abbey Manor
3 nights in Franschooek: Auberge Clermont
6 nights in Mauritius : hotel 20 degree

If anyone has any suggestions on wine tours, I would greatly appreciate this.
godin

Nikao Dec 16th, 2010 05:36 AM

just do a search for go2africa here on this forum. There is a lot of people mentioning them, so should be enough opinions. On the whole most are very happy with them I believe.

You might wanna post some of the things you are specific interested in (like wine ;) ) and are looking for in your holiday, makes it easier to comment on your itinerary

canadian_robin Dec 16th, 2010 06:07 AM

If it were me, I would want to spend more time on safari, but that is why I go to Africa - for the wildlife. I would give up some nights in Vic Falls and Franschhoek to spend more time in Sabi Sands/Kruger. I would want to add at least another 3 nights in Kruger, in a second camp rather than a longer stay at Simbambili. I have not stayed at Simbambili, but I prefer tented camps, where I can lie in my tent at night and listen to the sounds of the bush. The rooms at Simbambili look lovely, but too hotel-like for me. There are lots of luxury tented camps in Sabi Sands to choose from. I would select two camps and spend three/four nights at each. Four nights in Cape Town is about right - it will allow you to see the highlights, including a day trip to the Winelands. You could take one of your 4 nights in CT and spend it in Franschhoek.

I would eliminate one or two nights at Vic Falls - actually, if it were me, I would eliminate Vic Falls altogether and spend the time on safari. The falls are a tad out of your way and it will be a long drive to the Panorama Route and Oliver's. Frankly, I find Vic Falls over-rated, but then I am Canadian and we have Niagara Falls.

So, I would fly into Cape Town and spend 4 nights. Going to CT first (before Kruger) allows your luggage to catch up with you should it go astray and enables you to get over your jet lag before beginning your safari. I would visit the Winelands from CT either on a day visit or overnight. From CT I would fly to Sabi Sands/Kruger via JNB and spend 6/7 (dropping the night at Ilala) nights on safari.

I can't comment on Mauritius, having never been there, but I assume you could return to JNB from Kruger and they fly on to the island from there. This thread about travelling from Sabi Sands to Mauritius will interest you:

http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...s-same-day.cfm

You should search this forum for input on go2africa - again, I am not able to comment as I have no experience with the company. Robin

sandi Dec 16th, 2010 06:20 AM

Kind of agree with Canadian_robin - shorten stay at Vic Falls unless you have lots planned to do here besides just visit the Falls which can be done one morning and then... ?
Do you plan to take a day to drive to Botswana's Chobe?
2/nts would be more than sufficient if arrival VFA is mid-day.

Then on return to VFA via JNB to head to Kruger... believe there's only 2/flights daily, morning and late-afternoon... you may not arrive at Oliver's till late as it's a 5/hr drive heading to Kruger.

When it comes to CPT which is lovely, unless you're really "into wine", you can schedule 1/day while in CPT to visit the winelands. Four (4) nts is usually sufficient for CPT to cover - Shark Cage Diving, Town Tour, Robben Island, Table Mountain, Boulder's Beach/penguins, Cape Point, Kirstenbosch Gardens and even hanging around V&A waterfront.

Add the time taken from VFA and CPT for more time spent at Kruger, at two different camps for 3-4/nts each.

Can't comment on Mauritius.

When we visited, CPT was our first stop (4), then to VFA and some days at Chobe (4), then returning to SA for JNB (1/nt only) and onto Kruger on two different private reserves/camps (4).

WindowlessOffice Dec 16th, 2010 06:30 AM

godin, I just got back late last week from my first trip to Africa (Kenya), and I booked through go2africa.

I can't speak authoritatively on your itinerary as it's in a different region from where I went, but I thought go2africa did a fantastic job with the planning for my trip. They were very responsive to everything I requested, worked well within my budget and explained all the inclusions (transfers to and from parks, airports, etc.) and exclusions (trip insurance, etc.), and answered any number of additional questions I had. They always followed up promptly when I contacted them (even accounting for the time difference between the US and S. Africa, where they're based), and they continued to respond quickly and comprehensively long after they got the deposit; I've seen complaints about other places that seem to drop off the earth once they have your money in hand, but that wasn't a problem I encountered.

The only complaint I've seen about go2africa (and not one I had, myself) is that they might be toward the high end of the cost scale. I have no doubt that more expert travelers to Africa could have booked a trip similar to mine for less, but the peace of mind I got from allowing someone with experience to walk me through the arrangements were worth any extra I might have paid. I will say that they gave me plenty of options; I did not feel pressured to pick the most expensive alternatives, and I certainly didn't feel that what I paid was unreasonable.

christabir Dec 16th, 2010 09:22 AM

I second everything canadian_robin said. Unless you are going to Chobe, Vic Falls is far. Beautiful, but far.

godin Dec 16th, 2010 11:44 AM

Thanks everyone for your feedback..Lots of things to re-consider now. I agree that 2 nights in vict falls is too much. For sure we are changing that to 2 nights.We still want to see see the falls even though I understand they are far.

godin Dec 16th, 2010 11:47 AM

oops.Typo error-I wanted to say 3 nights in vic fall is too much..we are changing it to 2 nights.

godin Dec 20th, 2010 03:37 PM

To Canadian_robin
I am canadian too. We are now thinking more like you. you are right we have Niagara falls which, I must admit, I have not seen yet. Following your comments supported by christabir, we are now thinking of skipping Vic fall altogheter. If I want to see falls I could go to Niagara. That being said it changes our itinerary. I am back to the drawing board.

atravelynn Dec 20th, 2010 03:59 PM

I think your reduction of Vic Falls time is wise. In your case with magnificent falls so near, you might remove it altogether.

If you switch to safari activities, your cost will likely go up, but I'd still recommend a 2nd Sabi Sands camp. Do you have an idea of what you want to do in Cape Town? You could increase your time there too.

Sorry if I missed it. When is your trip?

canadian_robin Dec 21st, 2010 02:11 PM

I think you are wise to drop the falls - it is a long way out of your way. Never been to Niagara Falls? - I assume you are in the western part of Canada then?

Dropping the falls will allow you to spend more time on safari, a decision that I am certain you will not regret.

Perhaps the Sabi Sands experts on this forum could give you some recommendations regarding tented camps in the private reserves that border Kruger.

Happy planning! Robin

Tim416 Dec 27th, 2010 08:31 AM

Just as a thought. I agree with the comments regarding speding more time on Safari. As an option while in the Vic Falls area spend a day or two at one of the parks in that area. You could spend a couple of days at Kafue National park in Zambia, Mana pools or Hwange National park in Zimbabwe. This would give you the opportunity to experience African wildlife in an area other than Kruger.


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