Dilemma

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Mar 24th, 2006, 08:20 PM
  #1
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Dilemma

So hubby and I decided to plan our summer winter vacations. In january we are going to India to stay at the Oberois (Agra, Jaipur, Tiger Reserve). The hotel is actually going to be free, we are just paying for the flight. No problems there.

But this summer (August), we want to go away. However, I have a budget of only $5-6,000 and about a 7-8 days to spare. We are tired of the carribean having been a trillion times. We figured we could do italy or some place in europe. But while I hate to sound spoiled, I really don't think I will enjoy any vacation since south africa. It was just so AMAZING. Who the heck wants to visit museum after museum once they were inches away from a lion?

Anyone have any solutions. Hubby is against visiting egypt or morocco. No 20 hour flights either.
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Mar 24th, 2006, 08:24 PM
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One last thing....

A safari and african adventure is just so exciting. Nothing can come close(except another exorbinate african journey)....At the young age of 27, I feel like I jaded and cursed myself for the rest of my life. While I am certain that their are many more luxurious vacations to africa in my future, they simply can't all be. Help.
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Mar 24th, 2006, 08:28 PM
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santharamhari
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Yip, Africa is addictive......i relate to your feelings.......

You have many options for August.....Masai Mara, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia.....take your pick


Hari
 
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Mar 24th, 2006, 08:48 PM
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Dr Andrea,

I really enjoyed Quebec City, staying at Le Chateau Frontenac in August 2004 for four nights.

It would combine very well with Montreal and would not be as overrun with tourists as Europe in August.

Quebec City is a wonderful little city that is small enough to walk around and excursions such as whale watching, visiting Monmercy Falls and other activities. We even did a midnight? ghost tour of the city, and this was good light fun.

Le Chateau Frontenac is one of the most celebrated hotels in the world, and one of the most recognizable.

Another interesting place, at least for me, in August, would be Iceland. One week would definitely not be too much time here from what I have read.

The final suggestion would be for you to jump on Luxury Link and just take a look at different options in Canada, North America, Mexico and Europe. I have had nothing but positive experiences with Luxury Link and their auctions usually offer an excellent value.

Good luck.
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Mar 24th, 2006, 09:57 PM
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I try to stay out of Europe in August. Half of France is on vacation in the month of August, let alone the rest of Europe and US.

You might consider Cusco/Machu Picchu, Galapagos, of even Tahiti.
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Mar 25th, 2006, 03:54 AM
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Dr Andrea:
I think it's time that you came to grips with the Africa fever... I have said this before and will say it again: Once it is in your blood you can't get it out, but you need to continue feeding it like a bad drug habit! Right?

Having said that the need only gets deeper, and you'll start to find that you are not lusting for the luxury, but that you are lusting for the sensations, the adrenaline, the beating heart, the tightening spinchter, the smell of rain a dry earth, the sound of distance thunder, the deep bellied roar, the early morning raucaus cackle of the francolin, the silence of the setting sun, the firts yawn and hicough of a far off hyena......

These are the elements that feed the habit: I suggest you take your $$$ and get a fix now, and I say "go real bush" go to Zambia. While the rooms lack the luxurious finishes that you had at all those
(if you don't mind me saying, pretencious) places you stayed on your last trip, they will offer you the fix of all fixes.

I am sure that you could get yourself to Lusaka and back for about a grand, then I know for a fact that for about $3000 you can stay at some really awesome little camps down the Luangwa river.

Go ... do it now... I can feel your pain.

And just a a last point on your trip to India, which I have explored in depth, DON'T do the Oberoi outside Ranthambore if you are there for Tiger viewing, while the hotel is magnificent, the Tiger viewing is saddly not. I believe that they have all been shot out. Rather head to Bandhavgarh or Cannah for extraordinary tiger viewing.

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Mar 25th, 2006, 07:51 AM
  #7
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I have thought about some of the other options you suggested, but many of them require VERY long flights from NY. What are your thoughts on Costa Rica? I would definitely return to africa and do it cheaper, but isn't the flight going to be around 20 hours regardless of where we go? I have been checking out Luxury Link, but all the africa options are in South Africa. I am definitely going to investigate the Tiger Reserve in India in terms of the game viewing. Perhaps, those other places that were mentioned are better options.
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Mar 25th, 2006, 07:56 AM
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Dr Andrea,
Your only problem is that you only have 7 - 8 days, but that’s better than nothing. As you, for reasons obvious to most people reading this post, want to go to Africa and you have the money – just go. Why would you have to go to Europe?
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Mar 25th, 2006, 08:04 AM
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If you were to go to Africa, I would suggest that you visit one destination only. If I were to visit and stay in only one park, I would have to choose Lower Zambezi National Park. Just the variety of activities and the ease of getting there make it a very attraction option. My top choices would be Chiawa and Chongwe River Lodge.

www.chiawa.com
www.chongwe-river.com

Kasaka River Lodge is also very good, but it is a bit of a distance from the entrance to the national park (about 30 minutes), but now that I have experienced an overland safari in East Africa, 30 minutes in each direction would be a cakewalk (Tarangire Tree Tops, for example, was 1 hour from the entrance to the park).

You could fly JFK - Joburg - Lusaka. The flight from Joburg to Lusaka is 2 hours and then it is a 25 minute light air transfer into Lower Zambezi.

Chiawa would be the most luxurious offering, but Chongwe River Lodge would definitely not disappoint either. Both are tented camps, but you will just love them.
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Mar 25th, 2006, 08:33 AM
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Dr Andrea, I regret that I have not travelled to Costa Rica, however I have been to a variety of other SAmerican and C American destinations.
8 hhours will put you in Brazil & thene there is the Pantahnal, what a place and great for birding aND UNIQUE FOREST GAME. JULY AUG is the dry season making egtting in and our reasonably easy, having said that: getting to SLV or LZV is far less stressful than cummuting to pusada pasagarda in the hear of the panthanal.

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Mar 25th, 2006, 09:11 AM
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Dr. Andrea,
I loved Costa Rica but haven't been there since 1990 (eek!). It is hot and humid and often rainy in the afternoon in August--still wonderful, though.

You know you could squeeze gorilla trekking in Uganda or Rwanda into a 5-7 day trip, though, don't you? >

Also, re: your dilemma: I should have such problems.

Good luck making your decision.
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Mar 25th, 2006, 09:16 AM
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What a lovely dilemma. Too bad you've warped your travel outlook at such a young age! At least you can become focused early on.

When I've had your dilemma of 7-8 days, I have opted for other than Africa, with Costa Rica winning out on one occasion.

On the Latin America board and every 4th post seems to be on Costa Rica. So lots of advice there.

Mkhonzo,

Do you have more Pantanal info? I'm planning an Aug 2007 trip there and my Pantanal questions on the Latin America board have not been that productive.

You could email me personally if you want so as not to get too off track here on Africa.

Now on to India, Sonali posted on THIS forum about her trip to Kanha (hope I spelled it right). Looked very worth while.

Thanks!

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Mar 25th, 2006, 09:45 AM
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Daktari Andrea,

The flight from Amsterdam to Nairobi is 8 hours, so it would be less than 20 hours flying time. In August you should go to the Mara to see the migration.

Atravelynn,
Someone I “know” used this company in Pantanal http://www.pantanaltrackers.com.br/ and he saw a jaguar.



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Mar 25th, 2006, 09:58 AM
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He doesn't want to fly more than 20 hours in total. Maybe I could convince him with 15.
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Mar 25th, 2006, 10:00 AM
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JFK - London (6 hours?), London - Lusaka (10 hours), Lusaka to Lower Zambezi (25 minutes)
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Mar 25th, 2006, 10:08 AM
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Pantanal seems like a good option. Just checked out website
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Mar 25th, 2006, 10:11 AM
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JFK - London (6 hours?), London - Nairobi (8 hours), Nairobi to the Mara (45 minutes)
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Mar 25th, 2006, 11:36 AM
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Check the weather for August before you decide.
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Mar 25th, 2006, 11:53 AM
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atravelyn: I'll find my notes and send you the info that I have, I was there late 90's. I back packed from Rio to Santiago, but recall that there was air service from Sao Paulo to Cuiaba, which is the last major city I saw before heading south on a road that well, it honours the track to call it a road, crossing many seriously rickety wooden, planked, bridges before getting to a really tiny town, where the owner of the local cafe radiod the boat men to take me down the piraim river to the puesada. I think most popular accesses to the mato grosso is through Campo Grande, the latter is a couple of hours bus drive from Igauzu falls hence it's popularity.

I stayed in a really small pusada spending days on end with an indian tracking jaguar, swimming in the rivers and fishing for pirranhs. Saw many great things, the most impressive was a fish eagle sized bat that hunts fish in the dusk. Awesome.

Yes to Kanha, it's great for tiger viewing and of course the other species, Corbett is also & so is Bandhavgarh, again spelling couold be dodgy. Much more on India, should I fill you in?

I'll write to your email, sorry DRAndrea for being distracted on your post.

And
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Mar 25th, 2006, 12:08 PM
  #20
sandi
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August is winter in Brazil and would be wonderful. Their winter certainly isn't a New York winter. And there aren't that many time zone differences... easier on the body. Anything exotic is going to be a long trip, even if you consider Africa via Europe - still 20+ hours with layovers door-to-door; and then not much time on the ground.

Argentina is another good option.
 
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