Finally, Everything's Booked!

Apr 12th, 2008, 07:15 PM
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Finally, Everything's Booked!

After a rocky start (booked award tickets on Aloha, they went bankrupt, then tickets on ATA and they went bankrupt) I've finally booked everything! Now the wait is on! T minus 5 months and counting...

Sept. 9- Hilo-Honolulu-San Francisco
Overnight Clarion Hotel. Early morning flight on United (SAA codeshare) to JFK, and a 3 hour layover for the SAA long flight to JNB.

Overnight at the Southern Sun. Early morning SAA flight to Upington, pick up car, buy supplies and drive to Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park for 11 nights in KTP- 7 of the nights in wilderness camps with NO fences! The smallest of the wilderness camps have only 4 tents, the largest has only 12! The other 4 nights are at rest camps with the largest having only 19 cabins + camping.

1 night in Upington and fly to JNB, 5 hour layover then off to Dulles and on to San Francisco. 3 nights in SF visiting family and friends then back to Hawaii.

Got a great deal on the SAA flights through Vayama- $650 less than the SAA website! (confirmed through SAA)

For anyone considering KTP it's around $100 a night and the rental 4X4 is around $130 a day. Then there's the gas, food and gin.

150 days to go!
matnikstym is offline  
Apr 13th, 2008, 04:40 AM
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i think i would have given up when i had had such a bumpy start ;-)

and by looking at your flight schedule:
i admire such characters - really!
i wish you safe travels and a fantastic time in south africa! your itinerary - except the flights - sounds very good!
i am sure you will have a great time!
happy landings !
Apr 13th, 2008, 08:58 AM
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Thanks pippa! This will be my fifth trip to Africa and this itinerary is the same as my first trip- long and miserable yes, but no long layover in the U.K. as I did on two trips and MUCH shorter than my last trip when I went west through Hong Kong and Dubai-60+ hours!
matnikstym is offline  
Apr 13th, 2008, 09:08 AM
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Congrats, Dennis! It sounds like a WONDERFUL trip and wish we were going this year again!

Don't forget we're going to the Pantanel (spelling?, sorry if I got that wrong!) in 2010.
LyndaS is offline  
Apr 13th, 2008, 09:10 AM
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Wasnt your first trip somewhere around September 2005 to Zambia? and you also stayed at Luangwa River Lodge? I guess we are equally hooked since then
Alejandra is offline  
Apr 13th, 2008, 09:15 AM
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wish you are right regarding the layover in the UK at the time you travel....;-) maybe you can avoid the "magnificent" terminal 5 at heathrow!
Apr 13th, 2008, 09:36 AM
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Congratulations, Dennis! Iím glad you didnít have to swim to Africa. Though it probably wouldnít have stopped you.
Nyamera is offline  
Apr 13th, 2008, 01:42 PM
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Congrats, Dennis! Looking forward to hearing all about it when you get back.
Patty is offline  
Apr 13th, 2008, 04:43 PM
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Dennis, my hat is off to you! Perseverance pays. Can't wait to read the report.
Leely is offline  
Apr 13th, 2008, 04:53 PM
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Dennis, 11 nights in Kgalagadi is great. Any nights at Kalahari Tented Camp? Its the only one of the wildnerness camps I stayed at, and it is stunning. I was only in Kgalagadi for a few days, so I don't have the same logistical issues as you will, but how are you going to stock supplies for 11 days -- are you going to fill up in Upington before driving to the park? While you can purchase "basics" in the park, they won't have nearly the same level (or quality) of supplies as in Upington, which has a good market (likely more than one, but I only made a pitstop at one before driving to the park).

In Upington, the restaurant run by Le Must was very good (nice to have a well-cooked meal after suffering thru my own cooking in the park).

Sounds like a great trip -- you'll see a lot in 11 days, maybe even some brown hyenas!
thit_cho is offline  
Apr 14th, 2008, 07:17 AM
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sounds, awesome-Dennis!

HariS is offline  
Apr 14th, 2008, 12:03 PM
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Dennis - Please could you let me have details of the car rental you've sorted out. amol_karnik at fastmail dot co dot uk

I still havent booked my car hire for November.
amolkarnik is offline  
Apr 14th, 2008, 12:25 PM
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Kavey is offline  
Apr 14th, 2008, 04:55 PM
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You weren't kidding when you said you got off to a rocky start. Not one, but two, bankrupt airlines. I am so glad you got it all worked out. Have a fantastic trip!
Dana_M is offline  
Apr 14th, 2008, 05:21 PM
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Michael-Yes, we have 2 nights in Kalahari Tented Camp. All the Wilderness camps look quite exciting and isolated. Hopefully we'll see some brown hyena but what I'm really hoping to see is the lion that's near Nossob that comes up to the cars and looks in the window and has now learned to use the door handle to try and get that would be exciting! As far as supplies, we'll stock up in Upington and hopefully the meat will stay frozen and the veggies will be o.k. As long as I don't run out of gin and tonic I'll be fine!

Alejandra-yes, good memory... we've both been hooked about the same amount of time.

amol-I'll email you soon.
matnikstym is offline  
Apr 14th, 2008, 07:19 PM
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Well, as long as the lion chips in for gas, I guess I'd let him in!

I also had a lot of frozen meat, and I would de-frost it by letting it sit in a water-filled pot while I was on a game drive. They also sell this wax/soap-like stuff in the park that's amazing for starting a fire (and obviously sell wood in the park).
thit_cho is offline  
Apr 15th, 2008, 11:34 AM
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Michael - Did you have a fridge/freezer in the car to keep meat frozen while driving during the day?
amolkarnik is offline  
Apr 15th, 2008, 12:53 PM
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No, I didn't have a freezer/cooler in the car, so I purchased meat/supplies each day at the nearest store, put it in my room, and then let the meat soak while I was on my drive. When I returned, usually after 6:00 or so, it would be defrosted well enough to grill (although sometimes, if it felt firm, I let it warm up on the grill's edge). A cooler with icepacks probably would work fine -- and you could refreeze them each night.
thit_cho is offline  
Apr 15th, 2008, 01:38 PM
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Dennis & amolkarnik -- Interesting that we are all planning trips to KTP this year! I think it is gaining in popularity. The waiting is the hardest part. We are booked for December: 1 night Twee Rivieren, 3 nights Nossob, 2 nights Urikaruus, and 1 night Twee Rivieren. I'm very excited about these accommodations. We have reserved a Nissan X-Trail through Hertz in Upington Airport. I think the price is a little over $100/day. I wish we could stay longer but we are splitting our time between KTP & Botswana. Hope you post trip reports upon your return.
lisa is offline  
Apr 15th, 2008, 01:43 PM
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Lisa~yes it seems to be gaining in popularity. Two Fodorites are there now-safaridude and celia. Can't wait for their trip reports.
Have you been checking out the trip reports and photos over at Incredible photos and seems to be an exciting destination for cat lovers!
matnikstym is offline  

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