Can Roccco or anyone assist plse?

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Jan 20th, 2005, 05:15 AM
  #21
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I ve sent my itinerary to www.tagasafaris.co.za and hope they will get back to me with an offer. Rocco do you suggest i start contacting the lodges myself? Or will Taga come up with an entire plane including flights?
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Jan 21st, 2005, 04:39 AM
  #22
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I havent got any reply from Taga, shoul di start contacting th elodges myself?? I m afraid they will be booked if i wait to long.
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Jan 21st, 2005, 05:09 AM
  #23
 
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Alejandra,

I would give it a couple more days. You will probably have a harder time getting responses from the lodges since they are mostly closed for the season right now and may only check their messages a couple times a week.

Taga will get back to you shortly. While sometimes it may take a couple of days, I can assure you that they offer very competitive pricing, and I don't know if this matters to you or not, but they accept credit cards, unlike the game lodges. If you were to book in high season with the game lodges, your pricing would probably be no better than through an agent AND you would have to pay wiring fees to wire the money into their bank accounts.

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Jan 21st, 2005, 05:21 AM
  #24
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Thank you i ve just emailed Luangwe river lodge with my itinerary. Her you go: Tell me if this is a good one.
Oct 10 Flight Amsterdam to Lusaka on KLM via Nairobi
Oct 11 Arrive Lusaka at 11.40 A.M. Take drive and speedboat to Kasaka river lodge
Oct 12 Kasaka River Lodge
Oct 13 Kasaka River lodge
Oct 14 Transfer from Kasaka to Kaingo Camp (early as possible)
Oct 15 Kaingo Camp
Oct 16 Kaingo Camp
Oct 17 Transfer by car to Luangwa River Lodge
Oct 18 Luangwa River lodge
Oct 19 Luangwa River lodge
Oct 20 Flight to Livingstone, Hotel Royal Livingstone
Oct 21 Very early flight back to Lusaka, our flight home leaves at 12.45 p.m
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Jan 21st, 2005, 08:17 AM
  #25
 
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Alejandra:

I too am waiting for a itinerary from Taga. I've checked with them - they are having a little trouble getting through to the Zambian lodges because of trouble with the phone lines, which is causing some delays. Per your question, Taga will come up with the entire itinerary including flights.

So, as Roccco said, you might expect it to be a few more days.

On the drive and speedboat to Kasaka - I don't see in your e-mail how many people are in your party. I had e-mailed Kasaka a couple of months ago asking about the costs of that transfer. They said they don't do it very often because of the costs... where the air transfer is US$ 200 return pp, the road transfer Lusaka to Gwabi is US$200 one way & the boat Gwabi to Kasaka is US$300 one way.

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Jan 21st, 2005, 08:26 AM
  #26
 
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Alejandra,

Your itinerary looks great, providing you can get all of your desired transfers. You may be arriving just a little too late to take advantage of the road/speedboat transfer. Also, as long as you are prepared to pay possibly an extra $300 pp extra for your transfer to Victoria Falls for just one night, then it looks fine.

If you don't care for paying that much extra to get to Victoria Falls, then I would not hesitate to spend a fourth night at Kasaka River Lodge.
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Jan 21st, 2005, 09:57 AM
  #27
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Dreaming,
I just received an email from Taga with the same answer about the phonelines. He sent my itinerary to his offices in Zambia and will get back to me.
About the transfer to Kasaka, that sounds really expensive....i thought it'd be much cheaper than the flight.

Rocco: I m already thinking 9 nights safari will be too long, i ve never done it but it must be all the same, day in day out,i hope i am wrong though but an extra night at kasaka sounds too much to me. If i can get the transfer to see the falls i would like it, if not i will have to stay a night at the Taj in Lusaka which i dont really want. I know i would go to Zambia only once, cos i have so many other dream destinations, therefor i would love to see the falls, even if its a quick visit. I m afraid my whole itineray wont be able to work out without taking charters. We are just 2, thats too expensive.will keep you guys posted about answers from Taga.
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Jan 21st, 2005, 09:58 AM
  #28
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Dreaming,
What itinerary do you have in mind?
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Jan 21st, 2005, 11:41 AM
  #29
 
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Alejandra,

9 nights is perfect for a first time safari, but I can almost guarantee you that you are going to fall in love with Africa and will be planning your next trip very shortly after you return from your first trip.

Do not worry about everyday being the same...it will not. Everyday will hold something entirely new. While you may have a couple days where nothing seems to happen, just as you are wishing that you would have shortened your safari, something amazing will happen and by the end of your safari it will probably be with much regret that your holiday is ending.

My first year, I only spent 6 nights on safari.

My second year, I spent 8 nights on safari.

Last year, my third year, I spent 11 nights on safari.

This year, I will spend 15 nights on safari! If I had the time and money, I would gladly add 6 nights in Kafue National Park, a couple nights in Victoria Falls and 4 nights in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, but that will have to wait until next year.
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Jan 21st, 2005, 12:28 PM
  #30
 
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Alejandra -

I have 13 vacation nights to plan. So far I am somewhat up in the air about the first 5 nights, but they will be in South Africa. Then, I'm planning on Kafunta River Lodge & Kafunta Island Bush Camp (2-2-1), then a couple of nights at Kasaka (2), my final night will be back in Jo'burg with some sort of day tour on the last day before my night flight out.

As far as whether or not your schedule will work out without taking charters, Roccco mentioned the flight schedule on Remote Africa - you might take a look at that to get a feel for timing. http://www.remoteafrica.com/flightschedule.asp
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Jan 21st, 2005, 09:29 PM
  #31
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Thank you, the schedule however is from 2004
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Jan 22nd, 2005, 02:04 AM
  #32
 
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Alejandra,

Although I can never find their website, the Zambian air charter company I most recommend is Airwaves Airlink:

Airwaves Airlink: [email protected]

They have regularly scheduled flights, in addition to chartered flights. For my chartered flights, Airwaves Airlink was about 25% less expensive than Proflight, so it may be worth your while into chartering at least some of your flights so you are able to get them at the times you want.

My experience is that these flights typically take place a little earlier (around 9:30AM) so that it does not interrupt their normally scheduled flights, but I have been told this is a good thing as it gets very hot in September & especially October by 11AM.

A few alternatives, with websites, are the following:

Proflight - http://www.proflight-zambia.com/

Zambian Airways - http://www.zambianairways.co.zm/
I believe Zambian Airways only serves Lusaka, Mfuwe and Victoria Falls airport of the airports you are visiting, as these are larger Raytheon Beechcraft 1900 aircrafts, seating 19 passengers.

Personally, I prefer the smaller Airwaves Airlink planes. With me, Zambian Airways has only a 50% on-time record, as we were once delayed for four hours as our plane at Lusaka took flight right before our eyes, in order to go pick up stranded passengers in Harare when their other plane (there are only 2 planes in their fleet) had mechanical problems.

As a result, instead of getting to Mfuwe at 1:45PM, we arrived at 5:45PM, too late for our evening game drive in what was already a short 5 night stay at Kafunta River Lodge/Kafunta Island Bush Camp.

So, if you like larger planes (if you can call 19 seats a larger plane), then Zambian Airways may seem the way to go. Personally, however, I would recommend Airwaves Airlink, or Proflight over Zambian Airways.

Avocet - http://www.avocet-charters.com/

Staravia - http://www.staraviazambia.com/

While you may see very high rates on some of these websites, those rates only apply if you charter the entire plane. Chances are, especially if you are going anytime between August - October, that you will be able to get a "shared" seat rate, which means that there will be other passengers on board besides you and your companion.

I suggest that you e-mail the above companies once you have firm dates in mind.

The airports that you will be using for your itinerary are as follows:

Victoria Falls - Livingstone Airport

Lusaka - Lusaka Airport

Kaingo - Lukuzi Airstrip (about 30 minute drive, as opposed to 2 hour drive from Mfuwe. This only applies if you plan on visiting Kaingo prior to Luangwa River Lodge. Between lodges, it will be a free road transfer provided by whichever lodge you visit first).

Alternately, you may opt to fly into Mfuwe, which will be a more available flight if you are sharing the plane with others, and will provide a nice 2 hour road transfer/game drive to the lodge.

Kasaka River Lodge - Royal Zambezi Airstrip. It is a short 10 minute road transfer from here to Kasaka River Lodge.

I would just send each charter company an e-mail with your dates, as follows:

>>Oct 11 Arrive Lusaka at 11.40 A.M. Air transfer required to Royal Zambezi for stay at Kasaka River Lodge.

>>Oct 14 Air Transfer from Royal Zambezi to Lukuzi Airstrip or alternately Mfuwe for stay at Kaingo.

>>Oct 20 Flight from Mfuwe (after 3 night stay at Luangwa River Lodge) to Livingstone for 1 night stay at Hotel Royal Livingstone.

>>Oct 21 Early morning flight from Livingstone back to Lusaka in time for 12:45 international flight.

Most of the flights, unless chartered, will likely have a stopover in Lusaka. However, if you charter any flights, chances are that they will be so early that you will miss your final morning game activity. With 15 nights worth of safari, I don't really mind this, but with only 9 nights worth of safari, you may not want to sacrifice 1/3 of your morning game activities in favor of chartered flights, but that is a decision you must make.

Good luck.
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Jan 22nd, 2005, 02:46 AM
  #33
 
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Still feeding off all Roccco's information and planning the Zambia trip.

We're actually now looking at a combination of Malawi and S Luangwa, staying at the Wilderness Mvuu lodge in Malawi and then Kafunta and Luangwa River Lodge in S Luangwa.

I happened just to look at Zambian Airways website and they have a special runing at the moment which suggests that you can buy coupons for $100 each (minimum 4 coupons maximum 8 coupons per person must be purchased). Each coupon covers one sector. This suggests that we can fly Lusaka - Mfuwe - Lilongwe - Mfuwe - Lusaka for $400 which seems a pretty good price.

Haven't checked this fully yet but thought I would post for other people.
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Jan 27th, 2005, 03:00 AM
  #34
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Rocco, need your advice again. I will post you the email i just got back from Luangwa river lodge, i havent heard from Taga yet.
Hi
I am just awaiting to hear from Kasaka on there best rates then I will send you a quote for the whole package.
With regards to Kaingo they are unfortunately fully booked for that date but there sister camp Mwamba has space....its still a nice bush camp but a little more rustic...but all the same charming.
I have attached a small article on Mwamba for your reading.
Sorry for any delay in replying but my comms had been down for the last 3 days.

regards
Barry

I have just looked at Mwamba Camp but I dont think I like it too much, do you have a option (or more) to go instead of Kaingo? It should be in that aread i guess.
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Jan 27th, 2005, 06:23 AM
  #35
 
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Alejandra,

I would suggest that you also try Tafika (www.remoteafrica.com). In certain respects, Tafika and Kaingo look very similar, especially in their common area.

Tafika is a little further north than Kaingo and it is the only camp/lodge in all of Africa, to my knowledge, that offers microlighting as an activity.

http://www.remoteafrica.com/microlighting.asp

It is only for the microlighting that I chose Tafika over Kaingo this year.

In Mwamba's defense, I will say that the guests that I met at Kaingo last year who had just stayed at Mwamba, loved it. Also, it does completely remind me of Kafunta Island Bush Camp and although it was very basic at Kafunta Island Bush Camp, I loved it. I really felt like I was part of nature.

You should consider that at Mwamba, you would still have the opportunity to visit Kaingo's Hippo Hide, and I believe this could be a real highlight of your stay. Then again, so could microlighting. But, if you have no intention of microlighting, then I would definitely stay at Mwamba.

The only other camp that I would consider staying at in the general area, but in reality, much further south, is Tena Tena, a Robin Pope Safaris camp. Really, besides Nsefu, which is another RPS camp, there is nothing else in the area besides a few very small bush camps operated by Norman Carr Safaris, a company that I have never considered using.

In checking availability on RPS website, there is still availability for your dates in October. Honestly, I think the reason why Kaingo is full on those dates is because the Hippo Hide will be so incredible by then that past guests do not want to miss it. All the more reason, I guess, to reconsider Mwamba.

So, bottom line, I would either go with Tafika, Mwamba or Tena Tena. I really do not think you can go wrong with any three of these camps.

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Jan 27th, 2005, 09:14 AM
  #36
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Thak you Rocco. I will consider it then, very upset Kaingo is fully booked. I will aslso try if they have place if its only for 2 nights.I m now even thinking of just doing 3 nights Kasaka, and 3 nights Luangwa. and then do a stopover on the return in Nairobi to have 3 days on a beach resort if there is any nice ones.
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