Can Roccco or anyone assist plse?

Reply

Jan 19th, 2005, 07:05 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 343
Can Roccco or anyone assist plse?

It will be our first safari, after reading many good things on Zambia this is where i want to go. Im 29 and it's time for Africa.
My only possible travel month will be october, 11-21 or 22. Fly out from Ams, arriving in Joho late at night. From there on i need help. I want to include Vic falls, half a day enough. I like Roccco's schedule but want to shorten it a bit. I like Kasaka river lodge, Kaingo, Luangwe river lodge, maybe kutandala. i need to know if certain things can be done by car or need to fly everything. Which place is better to stay 3 or 2 nites. Is october still ok to be there? I want as much variety as possible and preferably do 3 different lodges instead of 4. Unless its really worth it. Any thoughts are welcome, thanks a lot. Alejandra www.madelza.nl
Alejandra is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 19th, 2005, 07:15 AM
  #2
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 343
I see i can even fly KLM to Lusake via Nairobi, so i wouldnt fly to Joho if Lusaka is better. I vic falls is near livingstone, i need to fly?
Alejandra is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 19th, 2005, 07:33 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,916
If you can fly to Lusaka, you should do so, since from there you can catch short flight to Livingstone. Maybe I'm in the minority, but I think one day at Vic Falls is sufficient.

I'll defer to Rocco on the Zambia lodges. Even though I visited Zambia before he did, and even recommended South Luangwa, he has lapped me several times when it comes to knowledge of that park.

Michael
thit_cho is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 19th, 2005, 08:31 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Alejandra,

How many nights do you have available upon arrival? Will you be arriving in the morning or afternoon? If you arrive in the morning, you will be able to proceed right into your Zambian safari, but if you arrive anytime after 10:30AM, you may need an overnight in Johannesburg.

Given your limited schedule, I would go with something like the following:

Victoria Falls, 2 nights at Tongabezi.
Lower Zambezi, 4 nights at Kasaka River Lodge
South Luangwa, 4 nights at Luangwa River Lodge

I am choosing Luangwa River Lodge because it is the best value while also being the most luxurious looking lodge.

I do think you should allow 2 nights in Victoria Falls, especially since I recommend beginning with Victoria Falls rather than ending with it. You would be much better off ending with the incredible memory of South Luangwa, in my opinion.

It will be very hot in South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi by mid-October, but the gameviewing will be at its VERY best, with animals crowded around watering holes and the drying river. Also, tiger fishing should be at its best by then in Lower Zambezi and the elephants should be in the Zambezi River.

I would check to see if Victoria Falls is worth visiting in October. It is possible that the water may be at its lowest level, but I could be wrong. If you did find that it was at its least favorable time and elected to skip it, then at that point I would whole-heartedly recommend an itinerary as follws:

Kasaka River Lodge (4)
Kaingo (3)
Luangwa River Lodge (3)

The hippo hide at Kaingo must be incredible by mid October and would justify a trip to Kaingo all by itself, although you are sure to see lions, leopards, elephants, and a plentitude of other game (including hundreds of crocodiles right outside your room as you look down the river bank) while at Kaingo.
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 19th, 2005, 09:17 AM
  #5
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 343
thanks so far for the help.
If i fly into Lusaka on oct 12th we will arrive at 13.40h, midday.
My plan after reading this:
Lusaka to Livingstone drive or fly? Like to keep transportation cost as low as possible & dont particurly like tiny planes had bad experience. 2 nights at Stanley lodge or Tongabezi, rates? which is better value?

oct 14th, go to Kasaka for 3 nights, how to get there? rates plane & lodge p.p.p.n.

oct 17th, go to Kaingo for 2 or 3 nights? how to get there? rates?

oct 19th go to Luangwa river lodge, 2 o3 nights? How to get there? rates?

Flight back Lusaka to Ams is on sunday 23rd of october at 11.10 in the morning.

So whats better, 3 nights at kaingo and 2 at luangwe? or the other way round? or 1 night less at Kasaka. I can do 2-3-3 or 3-2-3 or 3-3-2.

I cant find the website of Luangwe river lodge, can you post it please.

which parts can be done by car?
Alejandra is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 19th, 2005, 09:24 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,834
http://www.luangwariverlodge.com

I am curious to see your plans and and hear Roccco's advice, as I am planning an almost identical trip for next year (hopefully)...happy planning.
cruisinred is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 19th, 2005, 09:28 AM
  #7
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 343
Thats very funny.......I just hope the prices wont be extraordinary!! Are you intending to be in Zambia for 10 nights too? What would you change in my itinerary if you were me? Just to hear someone else's plan....
Alejandra is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 19th, 2005, 09:31 AM
  #8
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 343
That link to Luangwa doesnt go for me
Alejandra is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 19th, 2005, 09:37 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,834
Yes, I am also planning on about 8-10 days, starting with 2 in Vic Falls. In Vic Falls I found one lodge that looks great, and is less expensive than some of the other 5* ones: www.siankaba.com, but haven't seen any feedback from someone who has stayed there.

Luangwa and Kasaka River Lodges look great. The one thing I was wondering, and was going to ask Rocco eventually, is if it would be better in terms of variety/scenery to go inland/off the river for some of the time and stay someplace like Puku Ridge www.star-of-africa.com. I would also definitely want to include time in a tented camp, either Sausage Tree Camp, Puku Ridge, or elsewhere.

It will be fun to see how your plans take shape this year, as I must wait until 2006
cruisinred is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 19th, 2005, 09:39 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Alejandra,

The good thing about Zambia is that the lodges are priced very well in comparison to lodges in South Africa and Botswana. The bad thing is that unless you have a lot of time, you absolutely will need to fly in smaller planes if you plan on going anywhere beyond Victoria Falls. The planes may range in size between 5 seaters to 19 seaters, but you should be prepared to fly on the very smallest planes.

My wife is also very fearful of flying on smaller planes, but after a couple previous visits to Zambia, I would say that she is no more fearful of a small plane now than she is of a large plane. The Zambian pilots are really excellent and I have never had a problem flying to South Luangwa or Lower Zambezi.

As far as costs go, you are looking at the following for your desired itinerary:

>>2 nights at Stanley lodge or Tongabezi, rates? which is better value?

Lusaka - Victoria Falls - Lusaka = $300 per person

Stanley Safari Lodge, 2 nights = $450 per person, including activities

Lusaka - Royal (Lower Zambezi) - Lusaka = $180 per person

Kasaka River Lodge, 3 nights = $850 per person

Lusaka - Mfuwe (South Luangwa) - Lusaka = $320 per person

Kaingo, 3 nights = $1,200 per person

Luangwa River Lodge, 2 nights = $700 per person (This would be a nice grand finale, but I do think I would recommend 3 nights at Kaingo if you only have the opportunity to spend 3 nights at one of the lodges).

Grand Total = $4,000 per person


If this is too expensive, you could always consider staying at a place like Flatdogs in South Luangwa, and that would cut your costs considerably. For Flatdogs, in your own private chalet and with all food and activities it would probably only cost about $600 per person for a 4 night stay. If you did stay at Flatdogs, I would make that the only place in South Luangwa, and would then extend your stay at Kasaka River Lodge to a 4th night.

MODIFIED FOR FLATDOGS

Lusaka - Victoria Falls - Lusaka = $300 per person

Stanley Safari Lodge, 2 nights = $450 per person, including activities

Lusaka - Royal (Lower Zambezi) - Lusaka = $180 per person

Kasaka River Lodge, 4 nights = $1,140 per person

Lusaka - Mfuwe (South Luangwa) - Lusaka = $320 per person

Flatdogs, 4 nights = $600 per person

GRAND TOTAL = $2,990 per person (a savings of over $1,000 per person)

Good luck.
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 19th, 2005, 09:41 AM
  #11
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 343
So none of Kasaka/Kaingo/Luangwa are tented? i like 1 place tented too. Are these 3 all by a river? that might b etoo much water....
Alejandra is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 19th, 2005, 09:47 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
cruisinred,

Puku Ridge is a beautiful camp with very luxurious and spacious tents. I only toured it for about 30 minutes (while I was staying nearby at its sister lodge, Chichele Presidential Lodge), but I would not hesitate for one second to stay there. It would make an excellent combination with a camp such as Kaingo.

I very nearly booked at Puku Ridge this year, but Luangwa River Lodge eventually won out. The biggest reason for staying at Luangwa River Lodge is that I was guaranteed my own vehicle for my party of four, along with slightly better rates, while Star of Africa was not willing to provide me with a private vehicle. If it were just my wife and I, that would have been fine, but I find it a bit awkward to be with a foursome if I am only with my wife, just as I would find it a bit awkward to be with another couple while I am with my wife, mom and sister. Too many competing interests.

Puku Ridge has this incredible swimming pool that looks out onto an open plain. While I was there, elephants walked right through the camp and there were zebra and antelope out in the open plain.

Puku Ridge, while 10+ miles away from most lodges, is still too close to most other South Luangwa lodges to consider a combined tour with. I would only recommend combining it with either Kaingo, Tafika, Tena Tena or possibly Luamfwa Lodge, all of which are a good 2+ hour drive away.
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 19th, 2005, 09:48 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Alejandra,

Kasaka River Lodge is tented.
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 19th, 2005, 09:53 AM
  #14
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 343
I dont want to stay in a place like flatdogs. When i arrive to Lusaka is it possible to drive to Livingstone? I heard its 4 hours. You didnt comment on Tongabezi, is that nicer than Stanley?
So you suggest 3 nights Kasaka, 3 Kaingo and 2 Luangwa? I dint completely understand the flights. Can i fly from Lusaka to Kasaka, from Kasaka to Kaingo and Kaingo to Luangwa? You must think i m totally not aware of teh possibilities but since you are there i m lazy and not yet figuring things out myself...
do all these places have possibility to refresh in a pool if it will be so hot?
Alejandra is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 19th, 2005, 09:56 AM
  #15
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,834
Roccco- Sorry to jump in here on Alejandra’s thread, but I have been reading your Zambia posts for a few weeks now.

Regarding the air transfers, is it ever possible to make the connections without having to go back through Lusaka each time? For example, from Vic Falls to S. Luangwa or S.Luangwa to Lower Zambezi?
cruisinred is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 19th, 2005, 10:02 AM
  #16
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 343
Where do both of you live? US?
Alejandra is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 19th, 2005, 10:04 AM
  #17
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 343
The good part for me is that at this moment $ 4000,- is equivalent to € 3079.- Euros, yeah...
Alejandra is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 19th, 2005, 10:33 AM
  #18
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
The only guaranteed way it is possible to fly straight from South Luangwa to Lower Zambezi or other combinations that bypass Lusaka is if you charter the entire plane. If you have a foursome, it is actually a little cheaper to charter a small plane than to go on the planned routes that require the stopover in Lusaka.

Hey, if Alejandra and cruisinred share the same dates and same lodges it would be a little cheaper and you would be able to bypass Lusaka on your transfers.

For Alejandra, I just noticed that you will not be arriving until the afternoon in Lusaka. You may or may not be able to get to Livingstone on the same day. If not, you may want to consider starting out with one night in Lusaka and then take an early morning road/boat transfer to Kasaka River Lodge. It would be about 90 minutes by road and then about 2.5 hours by speedboat up the Zambezi River. This would eliminate one flight and would probably be very interesting.

If you don't want to lose a night in Lusaka, then I strongly suggest that you fly on South African Airways from London - Joburg. There are two daily flights and you will arrive in Joburg either at 7:30AM or 9:30AM, and have the chance to arrive in Lusaka at an early enough hour to fly wherever you wanted.

I just would not count on driving anywhere. You need to fly between your destinations, especially given your limited timeframe.

To answer your question, Alejandra, I am from Los Angeles. There is probably no further place in the world that I may travel than Southern Africa. Last year, ending my trip at Chichele Presidential Lodge in South Luangwa, it took me about 40 hours to get home!

Chichele Presidential Lodge to Mfuwe Airport, Mfuwe Airport to Lusaka Airport, Lusaka Airport to Johannesburg Airport, Johannesburg to London Heathrow, London Heathrow to Los Angeles, and after clearing customs, etc., about a one hour drive home.

Even so, there is no place on Earth I would rather visit than Zambia.

Regarding Luangwa River Lodge, I have had no problems getting on their website this morning. Perhaps another page within their website will work better...copy and paste the following:

http://luangwariverlodge.com/rates/rates.html

Last thing...although it is more expensive and I don't know who the managing couple is for this year, Alejandra, you may want to consider staying at Chichele Presidential Lodge, simply to escape the heat on those last days. It will be scorchingly hot by the end of your trip and the air conditioned rooms at Chichele may offer a welcome escape from the heat:

www.star-of-africa.com (Chichele)

Rates at Chichele are $450 per person per night.

If you do choose Chichele, then I would recommend that you combine it with Kaingo, staying at Kaingo first and then finishing in grand style at Chichele. They have a wonderful swimming pool with views in every direction of the valley below.
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 19th, 2005, 11:00 AM
  #19
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 343
will skip Livingstone.
14 oct. arrive Lusaka 11.55 Take car and speedboat to Kasaka.
15 oct Kasaka
16 oct Kasaka
17.oct Kasaka to Kaingo via Lusaka?
18.oct Kaingo
19.oct Kaingo
20.oct Kaingo to Luangwe via Lusaka?
21.oct Luangwe
22.oct Flight out of Lusaka at 11.10 so perhaps is better to do one extra night at Luangwe.
what would be the airport names of each place? which airlines should i look at?
what would approx be price of this itinerary?
Alejandra is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 19th, 2005, 07:48 PM
  #20
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Alejandra,

I am afraid that if arrive in Lusaka at 11:55AM, it will probably be too late for that transfer, but I could be wrong...you should check with Kasaka River Lodge to be sure.

Really, I know what you are going through with the small planes (I have spent countless hours reassuring my wife), but once you fly with Airwaves Airlink, the preferred light air transfer company in Zambia, you will be very much at ease. Chances are, that you will be able to sit right alongside the pilot as I have seen many other frightened guests, as it is somehow more comfortable for fearful passengers to ride in the front seat than in the back or middle of the plane.

With your flight departing at 11:10AM on your final day, unless you charter a plane (it will be nearly double the cost of a scheduled flight), then you will probably need to spend your final night in Lusaka at the Taj Hotel, the Inter-Continental Hotel or the Holiday Inn (the Taj is supposed to be by far the nicest of the three).

Therefore, your itinerary would be as follows:

Kasaka River Lodge (3) $850 per person
Kaingo (3) $1,200 pp
Luangwa River Lodge (2) $700 pp
Taj Lusaka (1) $125 pp

Flights:

Lusaka-Royal Airstrip-Lusaka $180 pp
Lusaka-Mfuwe-Lusaka $320 pp
(It will be a 2 hour road transfer between Kaingo and Luangwa River Lodge and this will be a free transfer provided by Kaingo...if this road transfer were in South Africa, you could be sure that it would cost $100 per person!)
You will probably spend about $20 each way on a taxi if you end up spending your final night in Lusaka.

I suggest you visit the website of Remote Africa and click on their link that reads "Rates", as it will show you a full schedule of flights.

Therefore, by my calculations, you are looking at costs of $3,395 per person for the above itinerary.

Perhaps with proper planning, you may be able to force in the final night in Livingstone.
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:08 AM.