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Joy Jul 9th, 2001 03:52 AM

Canadians planning trip to South Africa and Safari-help please??
We are trying to plan a trip to South Africa and do a Safari. Have read many posts on this sight and am totally overwelmed by all the information. Can someone give me info on the best time of year to travel, safari that will give us the best for our dollar (not too luxurious but comfortable)and where to go and what to see in South Africa. We will probably only want to be away just over 2 weeks so don't want anything more than a five day safari. Hoping you can help me, I need it. Thanks

local Jul 9th, 2001 04:57 AM

For me, October and February would be good months to pick - not as hot (most of the time) and fewer tourists. I have not gone on a safari here myself but a good friend of mine in the tourism industry recommends that you check out He spoke specifically about Bongani, Ngala or Phinda. He also mentioned Tswalu in the Northern Cape - website: (Note: the area around the Kruger Park and the northern part of KwaZulu Natal is malaria area.) With R5,40 to one Canadian dollar, everything must be cheap here! <BR> <BR>Apart from this I would definitely go to Cape Town. I also have an affinity for the Drakensberg on the KwaZulu Natal side. But it all depends on you likes and dislikes....! <BR>

Don Jul 10th, 2001 05:23 AM

Hi there, <BR> <BR>I have just returned from four months in Montreal and have developed a high regard for Canada and Canadians so am delighted that a Canadian is planning to visit SA and would be delighted to give you any advice I can on your proposed trip. <BR> <BR>The SA tourism board have an excellent website: and is an excellent local travel magazine. <BR> <BR>The other message is referring you to the site of Conservation Corporation which is a very upmarket travel company. Of course if that is your bag, you will do no better but you can do SA much more cheaply as we have a very well established tourism infrastructure. Our national parks are execllent and very inexpensive. Try <BR> <BR>Overall if you are planning to be here for 2 weeks, I suggest you fly into the Mpumalanga area where the Kruger Park is, via Johannesburg. This region is very spectaular and has more to see than just Kruger Park. You could easily spend half your time here. Any time of year is good for game viewing (safari), you just see different things at different times. You can hire a car and drive yourself around Kruger which is very nice. There are tricks to game viewing which anyone can learn such as getting up early, etc. but the more expensive private game reserves will guarantee that you see the big five which you may very well not do on your own. The best kep secret in Kruger are the walks. These are wonderful. You camp at a wilderness camp and walk in the reserve with a ranger. You will find info about them on the Parks Board site. Despite the thrill of seeing lion, elephant and other game, just being in the bush has a very special vibe. <BR> <BR>From here you can then fly direct to Cape Town and spend the rest of your time visiting areas around the Cape Peninsula which is simply stunning. Winter in the Cape can be dodgey but then the weather there is always a bit if a guessing game. You can then fly out of Cape Town direct to the USA or Europe. <BR> <BR>You will get better deals via a tour operator even if you want to travel independently. There was a company in Toronto that used to advertise SA in the Globe and Mail. The tour looked very good. It's always best to go to your own travel agent. If you want some input on what they suggest, please feel free to email me.

angela d Jul 18th, 2001 02:31 PM

I can highly recommend a travel agent I used in South Africa.Last year my husband and I booked a trip through Pulse Africa who can be reached at I dealt with Sandy Inglis, the owner, she was so helpful and really knows the areas, the best operators, smaller and more reasonable places to stay etc. Because they are based in South Africa their consultant visit the places regularly and she was able to offer excellent prices on our 14 day trip to Zambia and Zimbabwe. I really recommend her because she was so efficient, responded to my emails and went out of her way for us. So many of the US travel consultants I contacted were only interested in putting together very formulaic tours and seeemed less than enthusiatic when I dared to suggest I wanted to get the most for our money.Plus it feels good to support the local economy in South Africa rather than giving your commission to an American agent.That's my two cents worth hope it helps. If you are at all interested in wine don't miss the wine country outside of Capetown, plus with the exchange rate you won't believe the bargains.

liz Jul 23rd, 2001 12:33 PM

Joy - We did a 4 night safari at Mala Mala 2 years ago. We stayed at 'Kirkmans Camp' which is the mid price range in Mala Mala. Initially the price may seem a bit steep but it inculudes all your meals ( which are delicious), really comftable accomodation, 2 games drives a day with no more than 4 other people in each land rover and your own guide who will also take you on a walking safari at not extra charge if you wish. The camp only takes 20 guests at a time so there is a really good atmosphere. You can fly to Skukuza from Johannesburg or Cape Town and you will be collected and dropped back when your stay is finished. Have a great time.

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