Comments on SA itininery

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Oct 23rd, 2005, 01:03 AM
  #1
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Comments on SA itininery

Hi I posted here in the summer thinking of going on safari to Zambia with my husband and 10 year old daughter. Unfortunately I just couldn't get away and now will be travelling just after Christmas - which unfortunately is rather expensive. Zambia is in its wet season so I have decided to go to SA. Can anyone comment or help with my plans:

29th arrive Jberg, overnight Westcliff
4 nights Kruger Lukimbi Lodge - anyone been here?
Fly to Durban
4 nights Zimbali Country club for some R&R : again anyone been here?
3 Nights Phinda Mountain Lodge : is this going to be OK ? -its the one recommended if you have children
3 nights Thonga Bay Lodge : for snokelling and wilder beach experience
back to J burg for 1 night and home

I could add 3 nights at the start in Cape Town but the cost is mounting and I wonder if I'll really enjoy another city experience: any thoughts?

Thanks Yvonne
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Oct 23rd, 2005, 04:10 PM
  #2
Lin
 
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Hi Yvonne,

I can comment on a part of your plan. The Westcliff is fabulous! Just stayed there last summer and got upgraded to a suite and had an awesome spa day, which was great after the long flight and before safari. Several years ago when Phinda just opened, I took my kids, I guess they were about 10 and 9, and it was a fantastic experience for them which they still talk about! Our guide was lovely to them, let them drive the vehicle, and taught them so much about Phinda's conservation efforts. They will never forget how he opened the elephant dung for them and let them handle the insides while he explained, and one night drive when game was sparse, he stopped at several huge spider webs and told stories. My son was in complete awe of the guide and his gun, and my daughter was in heaven watching the animals. I'm sure they have continued this fine reputation for family safaris. Phinda is very luxurious and all your needs will be met.

Good luck to you and your lucky daughter!
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Oct 23rd, 2005, 04:18 PM
  #3
Lin
 
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Yvonne - I'm curious, why do you think you would need R & R? Are you sure you wouldn't rather try another game lodge instead of the country club, especially since you have four nights? Or maybe that is a game lodge, I haven't heard of it. Here's a suggestion for a nice cultural experience - a place called 'Simunye', a Zulu village and cultural heritage site. It's beautiful, you arrive by ox-cart or horseback and there is no electricity, but the villagers take good care of you, dance for you and draw you a heated bath! Here's the link:

http://www.uyaphi.com/Acc/kzn/KZNsimunyezululodge.htm

Anyway have fun planning.
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Oct 23rd, 2005, 10:36 PM
  #4
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Hi Lin thanks for your help, I have rethought since your post. Zimbali is a luxurious country club by the coast , but I think you are right and now will spend just 2 days by the beach North of Durban in Izulu Hotel ( anyone heard of this /)and then 2 days at Zululand tree lodge ( mixed reports of this on Fodors ) any comments anyone Yvonne
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Oct 23rd, 2005, 11:51 PM
  #5
 
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Yvonne,
If it were me I would go for 2 nights Zimbali over 2 nights Izulu. Izulu is a lovely property but its not in a great location being close to the main coastal road. Also I would recommend taking a night away from Lukimbi and adding a night to Phinda - if the budget allows. Game viewing in the newer private concession areas in the Kruger Park can be a bit sparse at times.
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Oct 23rd, 2005, 11:52 PM
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PS - It would be a real pity to come all this way and not experience some time in one of the world's favourite cities - Cape Town!
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Oct 24th, 2005, 12:40 AM
  #7
 
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YvonneM,

Have to agree with Tommo's comment about visiting Cape Town. If you do so it would be a case of not only you but your children would also enjoy the city to the full.

As an example here are some of the wonderful activities you could enjoy with your childern in the Mother City let alone all the scenery, great food and fabulous atmosphere that the city exudes for you to also enjoy.

Visit the penguin colony.

Trip to Seal Island by boat

The Scratchpatch in Simonstown.

The Cape Town aquarium

Visit the World of Birds in Hout Bay.

Visit the working harbour of Fish Hoek.

Have fun at the Barnyard restaurant

Visit the Butterfly Farm in Simondium.

Have fun at a chocolate factory in Franschhoek.

Visit and pat the cheetahs at the Cheetah Foundation near Stellenbosch

Watch how wine barrels are made in Stellenbosch.

Visit and undertake the challenge of finding your ways through a real maze of trees in Green Point.

Go down to the Cape Town Waterfront. This is also a place where the kids can have much fun.

Oh I could go on and on about Cape Town for children and families.

Hope all of the above helps you in making up your mind with regard to itinerary planning.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
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Oct 24th, 2005, 12:09 PM
  #8
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I can't thank you all enough for your advice. I followed up on your comments and found that yes indeed the wildlife is shy at Lukimbi, the lodge is pretty expensive so we would be really disappointed to come all this way and see little game. Our problem is travelling to Kruger over the New Year period where already our SA safari agent says most places are booked. Could this be true?. I am thinking I will have to start and call them all myself from the UK to find some alternative accommmodation, any ideas wherre would be good I'm thinking now of just going to each of the lodges in Sabi Sands. I also agree it would be better to stay at Zimbali than Ibuzi but Zimbali demand a minimum of a 4 night stay so its not possible. Lastly I would like to go to Cape Town but there's just not enough time and money to do everything. THanks everyone for your help - back to the drawing board for me. Yvonne
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