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RChandler1118 Mar 18th, 2005 05:05 PM

Botswana, Zimbabwe or South African Safari
Please help me determine which country would be best for me to do a short (3-4 day) safari. I am coming from Cape town and would'nt mind seeing Victoria falls if possible. I am looking into CCAfrica which hosts several safaris in Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Which one?????

Roccco Mar 18th, 2005 05:28 PM


What is your budget? Is your preference for the very best wildlife viewing, the best lodge or a wide possibility of activities? Are you willing to sacrifice better wildlife viewing in order to include Victoria Falls? Which month are you visiting?

Assuming you have four nights available, want very good wildlife and want to see Victoria Falls, and wish to keep your budget reasonable, my suggestion would be the following:

Makalolo Plains, Hwange NP (3 nights)
Victoria Falls Hotel, Victoria Falls (1 night)

You would really get a much better experience, however, if you could even add a single night more, at which point I would recommend:

Makalolo Plains (3)
Matetsi (2)

If you have a bigger budget and prefer the best possible wildlife in Southern Africa, then I would go with 4 nights in Botswana at Sandibe (CCAfrica), although this will be about double the price per night as either Makalolo Plains or Matetsi.

Really, though, it is very hard to advise you without a budget or month of travel.

atravelynn Mar 19th, 2005 12:37 PM

Your earlier post mentioned October as the month of travel. Expect highs in the 90s with very little rain. With a few more specifics and what you'd like to see in your several days, we can offer more advice.

A Matetsi and Makalolo (Wilderness camp) combination would provide the falls and wildlife all within Zimbabwe. Though I have not been to Makalolo, other posters have mentioned at LITTLE Makalolo, the elephants come drink at the pool while guests are sitting in there. In fact the camp's promotional materials feature this scene. October would be a hot time of the year when this could happen to you. Not sure if the regular Makalolo also has eles that frequent the pool.

I've stayed at Linkwasha, not far from Makalolo and enjoyed animals, especially elephants, drinking from the pans at sunset. Hwange National Park, where both Makalolo and Linkwasha are located, is the only place I've ever seen such large herds of sable so close. Other game was good too with excellent night drives.

I've never been to the CCAfrica's Delta Camps. But the Sandibe location should provide great game too.

RChandler1118 Mar 20th, 2005 12:57 PM

I am sorry to have been so vague in my earlier questions. I am travelling in October (is it way too hot?) I would like to see wildlife but dont necessarily need to have four full days of it. I am very interested in Victoria Falls. My budget is high average. I know Matetsi is even very pricey and the flights are about $2000 alone so I am prepared to spend quite a bit but would love any bargains if possible. If I choose Matetsi how will I get there from Cape town and where will I fly out of to get back to the states??? Thanks for all of your help

Roccco Mar 20th, 2005 04:10 PM


For Matetsi Water Lodge, you would fly from Cape Town - Johannesburg - Victoria Falls - Johannesburg (flying back to the USA from Johannesburg). I am guessing that airfare would likely be about $550 per person for your airfare from CPT-JNB-VFA-JNB.

For Matetsi, including road transfers, you are probably looking at about $275 pp per night sharing for a 3 night stay plus possibly $50 pp for the road transfers from/to Victoria Falls Airport.

Grand total would be $1,425 pp sharing and that would include your air from Cape Town and back to Johannesburg. The downside is that you will not see nearly as much at Matetsi as at Makalolo Plains. Yet, I think Matetsi is a must for its exclusive position on the Zambezi River and opportunity to go canoeing, take a sundowner sunset cruise and possibly enjoy an exquisite dinner in the bush (I enjoyed the best dinner ever while at Matetsi...filet mignon, bbq chicken, corn on the cob, fresh baked rolls, full bar, salad, all while in some spot close enough to hear the Zambezi River roaring, and with torches and armed guards surrounding the dining area all while enjoying silver platter/white linen service.

If, however, you were able to visit Makalolo Plains, you can count on about $400 pp per night sharing for a 3 night stay, and this would include your air transfers from Victoria Falls. Just for the 3 nights at Makalolo Plains, you would be looking at a grand total of $1,750 per person.

At that point, you could either add 1 night at the Victoria Falls Hotel for about $200 pp or the best, by far, thing to do would be to add TWO nights at Matetsi for $600 pp, for a grand total of $2,350 pp for an amazingly productive 5 night safari.

Do yourself a big favor and figure out how to swing the 3 nights at Makalolo Plains followed by 2 nights at Matetsi Water Lodge. THAT is the way to go.

Good luck.

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