Botswana/South Africa or Namimbia/Botswana

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Jan 4th, 2003, 06:06 PM
  #1
Ranjini
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Botswana/South Africa or Namimbia/Botswana

We are planning a trip to South Africa in August. I have thought of the following options...basically wanted advise on whether we should go to Krueger or Namimbia:

Capetown - 2 days
Krueger - 2 to 3 days
Vic Falls - 1 day
Chobe - 2 days
J'burg/Pretoria - 1 day

or

Capetown - 2 days
Namimbia - 2 days
Botswana (Okavango/Chobe) - 3-4 days
Vic Falls 1 day
J'burg/Pretoria - 1 day

Any advise on pro/cons would be appreciated. I thought we would fly from J'burg to Vic Falls and then drive to Chobe from there and fly back to J'burg.

Thx.
 
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Jan 4th, 2003, 11:21 PM
  #2
Karen
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Hi Ranjini,
Of course, a lot depends on your personal interests, but my choice would be the Namibia route. While it does not get the push to see it that the east coast does, the west coast is really spectacular. The west coast has it's own wine districts and is dotted with quaint little towns that often have not changed for eons though you have to leave the main roads to see them. The mountains are awe inspiring on that side of South Africa - etched by the winds and looking like statues. There is the desert which is very dramatic and especially interesting if desert life is of interest - desert life most often being lizards and insects. August is the absolute best time to see it - Namaqualand is bursting with desert blooms that attract people from all over the world and is celebrated with wonderful festivities. Then Botswana (Okavango/Chobe) is truly top notch and worth the extra time you have alloted though I think the drive up the coast may (should) take longer. Either way, your time will not be wasted, but thoroughly enjoyed. The main city in Namibia is Windhoek and has a lot of local history that is also different and interesting. If you go this route, you will need a 4 x 4 to drive the desert roads with. A guide - and all certified South African guides are highly qualified - can help you know what you are looking at and it's significance.
Hope this helps.
Karen
 
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Jan 5th, 2003, 06:35 AM
  #3
jill
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Since Namibia is so far from all of the other areas, make sure you will have time for it (look at flight times, how much time you will actually have when you land). I wanted to go there but opted to go another time when were spending more time in that area (we went to SA, Botsw, Zimbab). If you do choose Namibia, you may want to do it on one end of the trip or the other since all of the other areas are much closer--rather than flying all the way there and back in the middle of your trip.
That all said, I believe Namibia will offer a completely different aspect to your trip whereas Krueger & Chobe are more similar in terms of what you will see.
 
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Jan 5th, 2003, 11:03 AM
  #4
carina
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Namibia was fantastic, but I think you would have too little time to see much. If you wanted to go to the dunes (no animals), the drive is a day there and a day back. If you wanted Etosha it is about 5 hours from Windhoek and you can't drive around and see anything after about 6pm. If you can stretch your time by another couple of days Etosha would be great.

Unless things get better in Vic Falls I would give it a miss. I was there last month and things were very difficult . Has we have known what it was like we would have saved it for our next trip.
 
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Jan 5th, 2003, 11:19 AM
  #5
jill
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We were in Vic Falls for our honeymoon and although the Falls themself were beautiful, this was our least favorite part of the trip and I would opt to skip it had we known. The economic situation gave the feeling of being unsafe at any time. You can't be out after dark and you have to watch your back wherever you go. The only plus to this area was that it offered the best prices (by far) for wood carved goods which we shipped home directly from there. Other than that, we found it to be a small, very touristy area, where we were badgered by beggers constantly. If you do go, make sure you bring cash b/c you will get twice as much for your money (literally). We wish we had known before going. You can also bring items to trade with them them. They LOVED sunglasses. We went on from there to an incredible camp in the Motobo Hills (also in Zimbabwe) called Camp Amalinda. It was like the Flinstones--the entire camp was built into the rock. So beautiful. The main goal here was to go Rhino tracking. Very cool and different experience. In any case, we used Vic Falls as a stopover to Amalinda so it made the stop a little more justified.
 
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Jan 5th, 2003, 04:03 PM
  #6
Lisa Waverley
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Ranjini, I feel you are trying to fit too much into a short time and you will land up seeing airports. You are looking at 9 days and 5 places. I would cut your destinations back by half. You will see and appreciate much more if you do less! Don't forget each time you move to a new destination, you lose at LEAST half a day.(and that is being optimistic). I'll give you an example. When we flew from Zimbabwe to Cape Town, it was actually a whole day of traveling. You have to pack up, check out, get to the airport early wait around, fly to Jo'burg, get your luggage (which took forever),go through customs and immigration, change terminals, wait for the next flight, fly to Cape Town, get your luggage, get to your hotel and check in. It honestly took the entire day.

With your time frame, I would do Cape Town and one safari destination. It will be much more enjoyable.
On our latest trip where we took a group of friends, we had 6 days in Cape Town and it was not enough.
I would also advise cutting out Vic Falls at this time. It is really hard work getting there.

Whether you choose Kruger/Sabi Sand, Namaibia or Chobe you will have an incredible game viewing experience. One thing you may want to consider is that in Chobe, you do not go off road to see the animals. If you are in the Sabi sand reserve adjoining Kruger, you do go off road.
 
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Jan 20th, 2003, 10:33 PM
  #7
alison
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I agree with other posters that you are going too many places. I just ret'd from Botswana, Vic Falls and South Africa. We were in Chobe and liked it because we didn't have the luggage restriction of a charter and could get there so easily from Kasane airport. Then it was also easy transfer to Vic Falls. contrary to everyone else, I really liked being in Vic Falls. If you want adventure stuff like rafting, elephant back safari, bungee jumping, etc., it can't be beat. You just have to bring US green cash and negotiate the black market. It's not pleasant, but if you want all those activities it's a great place to be and the helicopter ride over the falls is great. figure out the activities you want to do and that's how many days you need. we stayed 3 nites to have 2 full days. Full day to get to Cape Town which was GREAT. You need 5 nites to have four full days. Once your itinerary is set many of us can give you pointers.
 
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