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Anyone up for a challenge? Need help for 1st time visit.

Anyone up for a challenge? Need help for 1st time visit.

Jul 21st, 2011, 12:02 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 322
Anyone up for a challenge? Need help for 1st time visit.

There is SO much excellent info here as well as wonderful adventures to read about. Unfortunately I want to do everything I read and that's quite impossible. Here is the dilemma: DH and I would be coming from New York and have very limited time – about 8 days (not sure if that will include flying time or not). I’m a firm believer to take advantage of the time you have rather than wait until you have all you want b/c that doesn’t always happen.
That said I am interested in a whirlwind tour of one or two easily accessible highlights. The objectives of course to see the Big 5 and experience as much as possible. With so much to choose from, I’m really not sure what would be the best location
As much as I would love to do one of those incredible private reserves seen on the Travel Channel, simple is better but I HATE bugs - just want simple, clean, safe and EXCITING! . We are fit and active people.
Should I take some malarone now or am I delirious  is this possible?
123Go is offline  
Jul 21st, 2011, 12:43 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 86
123Go,

It is all very possible even if for just a few days. Let us know your travel time frame and if possible your appoximate budget. If on a limited budget you can still have a fantastic stay in Capetown (don't miss it!!) in any number of attractive, clean, beautiful and hospitable B&B hotels. As for the safari experience, check on Thornybush Collection - they have several lodges which are very affordable and will give you a memorable safari.

Happy planning and trust me - you will get there and will love it.
mkulove is offline  
Jul 21st, 2011, 01:05 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
The bugs won't bother you.

Are you interested in renting a car and driving yourself to Kruger and around Cape Town?
atravelynn is offline  
Jul 21st, 2011, 02:00 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
travelzoo.com

has packages that might work for you

with friendlyplanet.com at GREAT price points including air

best wildlife in short time porini.com ecocamps.
qwovadis is offline  
Jul 21st, 2011, 02:01 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
SAA packages for Kruger #2 choice for me...

cutteradvanced.com works fine for very short stay
qwovadis is offline  
Jul 21st, 2011, 02:28 PM
  #6  
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Posts: 322
We're able to travel sometime between mid October to early December. More interested in the destinations themselves rather than how to get there and the cost issues. I'm pretty experienced in the latter, just can't decide which area to focus on.

Originally looked at Kruger (like the idea of a bush walk)but a well traveled friend recently did Masai Nature Reserve and raved about it. got me thinking - that's why I started this thread.

Not afraid to self drive, but though many say it's great, I think I would prefer a small group with someone who can tell me what I'm seeing and where to look for it.

Hope that helps.
123Go is offline  
Jul 21st, 2011, 03:29 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
If you are leaning toward the Maasai Mara, that is in Kenya. Are you open to anywhere in Africa, not just South Africa?
atravelynn is offline  
Jul 21st, 2011, 03:39 PM
  #8  
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Not locked into anywhere open to all suggestion.
123Go is offline  
Jul 21st, 2011, 06:03 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
The tagline on the post showed South Africa, but if you'd go anywhere in Africa and you'd prefer a guide (which is my preference as well), and you have between 5 and 8 days on the ground, then I'd suggest:

South Africa--
Elephant Plains near Kruger (guided in a vehicle shared by others at the accommdation for your small group trip) for 3 nts and the balance of the time in Cape Town, with loads of wonderful activities from Table Mountain by aerial cableway to Robben Island where Mandela was imprisoned to Cape Nature Reserve to penguins in Boulder Bay, etc. etc. In Cape Town you could rent a car for these activities, arrange them through your hotel, or book a private guide. If you choose private guide, I'd suggest Wayne of Take2Tours.

Links with posted prices are shown for Thornybush, mentioned above and Elephant Plains
http://www.thornybush.co.za/game-lod...k-rates-prices
4643 Rand

http://www.e-gnu.com/accViewRates.as...rrencyType=ZAR
1940 Rand

There are almost hourly flights between Cape Town and Johannesburg, where you'd fly or drive to the lodges in or near Kruger.

or

Kenya--
Small group travel in Kenya is typically an escorted safari for 2, so you have your own private tour group. Definitely include the Maasai Mara, as your friend suggested, and stay at least 3 nights there. You can add another park such as Nakuru (flamingos and rhinos) and maybe a day in Nairobi (Karen Blixen Museum, Sheldrick Ele Orphanage, Giraffe Center, Kazuri beads.) The migration of wildebeests & zebras is in the Mara July through Oct.

or

Tanzania--
The wildebeest and zebra migration is usually in the Serengeti in Nov and Dec (2 months of your travel timeframe). I'd suggest flying from Arusha (near Kilimanjaro, the international gateway you'd fly into) to the Serengeti. Where you'd fly to in the Serengeti depends on exactly when you'd be visiting. Spend about 4 nights in the Serengeti with 2 in the central region (the other 2 depends on the month). Then drive to Ngrongoro Crater, World Heritage Site, with with highest wildlife concentration on continent. Spend a night or two and back to Kilimanjaro. Your guide can meet you in the Serengeti when you get off the scheduled charter flight. Like Kenya, a trip for 2 is typical.

For some ideas on Tanzania or Kenya trips of 5-8 days and prices, check this site.
http://www.essafari.co.ke/

Finding good places to visit in Africa is not challenging at all.
atravelynn is offline  
Jul 21st, 2011, 06:36 PM
  #10  
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Thanks atravelynn. Will check out your suggestions. South Afr tag line b/c that was the original plan .... until I got to reading trip reports, posts etc. It looks like the challenge isn't finding a good place, it's just picking one.
123Go is offline  

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