Decided SA over East Africa Now???Itinerary

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Jan 5th, 2006, 10:28 PM
  #1
FNS
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Decided SA over East Africa Now???Itinerary

We are looking into taking the OAT group safari possibly and also scrambling like mad to see if we can arrange a private safari which would be better yet comparible in price. Here is the existing itnierary below for 6300 pp including air from San Francisco. Is OAT the best group org to take for, 4 30 year olds on a first time safari? Looking forward to your comments as were absolute novices. Have logged hours on this board and of course still a rookie. We are looking to go in late July early August. I have also sent out for quote a few places to private safari companies I found on this board but I am sure there are must sees I am missing.

DAY 1 Fly from U.S. to London
DAY 2 Arrive London/Overnight Flight to Johannesburg, South Africa
DAY 3 Johannesburg /Optional Soweto Tour
Accommodations: Johannesburg Holiday Inn Garden Court
DAY 4 Fly from Johannesburg to Victoria Falls
Accommodations: Baobab Safari Lodge or similar
DAY 5 Wildlife viewing at Chobe National Park
Accommodations: Baobab Safari Lodge or similar
DAY 6 Explore Chobe National Park
Accommodations: Baobab Safari Lodge or similar
DAY 7 Fly to Namibia via Kasane
Accommodations: Lianshulu Bush Lodge or similar
DAY 8 Game-Viewing Drive/Sunset Cruise and Game Drive
Accommodations: Lianshulu Bush Lodge or similar
DAY 9 Visit Local Lizuli Village
Accommodations: Lianshulu Bush Lodge or similar
DAY 10 Fly to Okavango Delta via Kwando, Botswana
Accommodations: Wilderness Tented Camp or similar
DAY 11 Explore Okavango Delta/Moremi National Park
Accommodations: Wilderness Tented Camp or similar
DAY 12 Explore Okavango Delta
Accommodations: Wilderness Tented Camp or similar
DAY 13 Fly to Hwange National Park Area/Game-Viewing Drive
Accommodations: Linkwasha Tented Camp or Makalolo Plains Lodge
DAY 14 Wildlife Viewing in Hwange National Park/Game Walk
Accommodations: Linkwasha Tented Camp or Makalolo Plains Lodge
DAY 15 Ngamo School & Village Visit/Game Viewing/Sunset Drumming and Farewell Dinner
Accommodations: Linkwasha Tented Camp or Makalolo Plains Lodge
DAY 16 Fly to Victoria Falls
Accommodations: Ilala Lodge
DAY 17 Choice of Optional Activities in Victoria Falls Area
Accommodations: Ilala Lodge
DAY 18 Fly to Johannesburg, South Africa via Victoria Falls or Begin Trip Extension to Cape Town & the Cape of Good Hope
DAY 19 Fly to U.S.

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Jan 5th, 2006, 11:29 PM
  #2
aby
 
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Hi FNS
frankly i can't understand the background. Having considered East Africa (better game viewing in Kenya-Tz) means u wanted more than wildlife.
Let's say Vic Falls is a must, Okavango as well... If in Namibia why not see the Desert & the Dunes' the Himba (or Ovahimba) ethnic people, beautiful Skeleton Coast & amazing fur-seal colony at Cape Cross + Etosha park - This way having a more varied safary.
my suggestion: change concept fly to Windhoek (skip violent Joburg) do Namibia about 7-9 nights + Okavango(2-3 nights) + Vic Falls & Chobe (2 nights enough).
U r 30 - so i figure u can travel on rough roads to have a real wilderness experince (no need to fly in all the time), even camping can b an amazing experience. But if not u can have a fly-in in Namibia as well

Enjoy it anyhow

Aby
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Jan 5th, 2006, 11:34 PM
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My honest opinion is that you are hopping around too much. Perhaps you would be better served by picking out the places that you most want to visit and then plan around these places.

Have a look at this company to see if it appeals to you:

http://www.gametrailsbotswana.com/

Also, Wilderness Safaris has camping safaris, as well. I think you would be wise to consider adding the 3 night Mana Pools & Canoe Trail in Zimbabwe to the itinerary:

http://www.wilderness-safaris.com/sa...58&method=menu

The above 3 night package is only $900 per person and then you could add more time, if you wished at a Mana Pools camp such as Chikwenya or Vundu.

I just see Chobe and Victoria Falls as fluff and not key to your safari. Personally, I have never been a fan of planned departures. If you spend the time to custom design your itinerary, you will likely find that you may end up actually getting a better value while also staying at nicer places and eliminating unnecessary elements of the safari.

Good luck.
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Jan 6th, 2006, 03:41 AM
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Hello,

This trip sounds as if it's trying to do too much at one time. I would pick one or two countries and really spend some time there -- Botswana and Namibia are both worth trips on their own, or you could combine Botswana and Zimbabwe with a connection in Vic Falls. If you slow the pace down and see fewer places but spend more time in each, you'll enjoy your experience much more. True, you won't see as many different places -- but that's what return trips are for!

If you are interested in Botswana, I would suggest getting in touch with Eyes on Africa (www.eyesonafrica.net). Botswana is not a cheap country to visit, but EOA sends a lot of business there and their pricing is very competitive. I've planned my Botswana trips with them and been very happy.

The OAT trips are known to be good value group departures. However, as other people have mentioned on this forum, OAT tends to cater for older people (50-80, leaning more towards the older end of that range), if that's a consideration.

Personally, I would look into doing a custom trip with EOA or another outfitter rather than doing a group departure. You'll be able to do exactly what you want on your own time-table.

Cheers,
Julian
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Jan 6th, 2006, 06:04 AM
  #5
sandi
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Too much packed in. Though OAT is good value for money paid, the age of participants, in my opinion, not for 30-year olds.

As other mention, you can design your own trip and get in quite a bit with the accommodations you wish.

Fly into JNB, then to Windhoek in Nambia. Namibia is a great "drive" country to do at your own pace. A car rental can take you north to Etosha, stopping at Africat on the way, then to Etosha. Here you can self-drive and there are plenty of nice accommodations in the park or right outside. From here you can move down towards Swakopmund... plenty of places to sightsee along the way. Then head to Soussesvlei and the Namib Dessert.

Driving in Namibia can be a dream or a nightmare when you see those wide open roads and feel you can push the gas... some of those roads are tricky. Regardless, many people drive through Namibia with no problem whatsoever.

Back to WDH, there is a flight into Maun, Botswana (not daily, so check) from where you can vist in the Delta. The from here get to Vic Falls, then back to JNB for your homebound flight.

Yes, Botswana is the highest cost, but there are moderate accommodations available.

If you have the 17-days as the OAT itinerary you can do 9-10/days Namibia; 5-days (as two areas - water & land) in the Delta; 2-days Vic Falls, then back to JNB and homebound.

Since this would be an unbundled trip w/o airfare, you may want to contact Premier Tours (in Phila) who though a tour operator has a separate air department with excellent fares to JNB. Check their website, select airfares, but it's best to call their 800# for current prices and/or specials: www.premiertours.com

Another would be: www.consolidatorwebfares.com/afspecials.htm

A search on this board will find plenty of information - Celia has a great report on her drive through Namibia; there's a wealth of information on Delta accommodation options, as well as for time in Vic Falls.

Sure, it's a lot of work for you, but ask questions... you'll get plenty of answers and suggestions. Keep us posted.
 
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Jan 6th, 2006, 07:17 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,367
If you are the active type, you might try something like:
Okavango-Landela Walking Trails-or maybe a place with game drives initially
Chobe-game drives and boat cruise and lots of ellies
VF -white water rafting, microlite, ect
Mana Pools-canoeing and bush walks with
-Natureways
South Luangwa-Kafunta Bush Experience
game drives and bush walks

With 4 people they would charter small planes for you most likely for trransfers.
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