First time visit, lots of questions!

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Dec 4th, 2001, 07:42 AM
  #1
David Clarke
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First time visit, lots of questions!

Hi there,

My partner and I recently purchased a week's stay at Zulu Nyala Game Lodge at an auction. We're very excited, and are planning on incorporating this into a three week visit to S.A. We're thinking about going in March, April or May (probably April), and are tentatively planning on flying into Jo'berg, visiting Vic Falls, staying at the game lodge then flying to Port E. & driving the Garden Route to Cape Town.

We're hearing about $1400-$1500 RT from Seattle to S.A. - does that sound reasonable?

Does our schedule seem manageable? From what I hear, Jo'berg doesn't sound so great, so I guess we'll want to spend the bulk of our time at the other places.

How about clothing and what to wear that time of the year? We'd like to pack as light as possible.

I'm sure I'll have more questions as it draws nearer, but any information anyone has would be very appreciated.

Thanks,

David
 
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Dec 4th, 2001, 12:02 PM
  #2
L
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You'll love your trip. If that fare includes all flights, including any internal, I'd have to say it's a good one. Stay on top of SAA about your seat assignments - the flights are long, and SAA is unreliable.

No, you will be able to handle that itinerary without any trouble. If you rent a car, left-side driving will not be an issue. And the rental rates are excellent. Study a good map before you go. Also, rent a cellphone and make sure it works - your car rental person can deliver this (make sure they bring along a manual).

In the Cape Town area, you want to reserve one day for the city, and a second for driving around the Cape of Good Hope area.

The game lodge will be great fun - lots of game drives are what you want. Establish an e-mail link with the lodge and confirm this before you go.

Consult your doctor or the CDC in Atlanta about malaria meds - you may be in a prime area. Lariam is one med, and there are others.

As far as clothing: avoid dark or super light colors. Cottons of course. Shorts, t-s, long sleeve shirts, khaki's ... things that the lodge can wash for you, but do not need ironing. Good cap. Brown, tans and light greens work the best. Windbreaker. Good light-weight boots you can walk comfortably in, and a pair of something light to wear at night.

There are many threads on this site advising about clothes, camers, meds, etc. Try some research on 2000/2001.

Hope you enjoy your trip. Ciao
 
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Dec 4th, 2001, 01:37 PM
  #3
David
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Thanks so much for the info. The price on airfare is just RT from Seattle to S.A. We still haven't made any of the internal arrangements. I keep wondering if prices will change much in the next couple of months and how soon we should buy them.....

David
 
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Dec 5th, 2001, 04:50 AM
  #4
Lisa
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Airfare often depends on what time of the year you are flying and can vary. Sometimes specials are offered and if you book through an agency that sells a high volume of SAA tickets, they will give you discounts off the fares they get. If you need names of some agencies, let me know.I am not a travel agent or affiliated with any travel agency and have used a few different ones and know of a few more.

Definitely bring warm clothes for night and early morning drives. Although Natal/Kwazulu is warmer than Kruger camps, you will be in an open landrover and temps will drop at that time of year at night. Daytime temps will be warm. Bring bathing suits too. Don't forget the binoculars.

Cape Town is gorgeous and you will want to spend several days there. Knysna on the garden route has great art and galleries and don't miss Oudtshoorn, with a visit to the Kango caves and an an ostrich farm.

You will have plenty of time for this schedule and have chosen a terrific itinerary. Lucky you.
 
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Dec 5th, 2001, 09:36 AM
  #5
L
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David, in completing our own plans to return to SA from DC in 2002, I researched various sites for air tickets. Based on what I found the price you quoted sounds good. But as Lisa says, it will vary by time of year.

I've twice used an agent in Florida to obtain air - Lesley at Karell (www.karell.com) - you may wish to contact her and get a quote for comparison. Give her "Cameron" as reference.

When I first planned our trip this past October, I used SA travel firms for the interior items, and Karell for all air arrangements - the SA agents told me that would save me money. I followed their advice, and then used the SA agencies for the lodges, hotels, cars, etc. - and because everything was quoted in Rand, our trip of course became cheaper as time went by (the rate of 7.7 in 10/2000 had improved to 9.4 by 10/2001). So, that is one strategy you may wish to use.

Lisa's suggestions (paragraph 2) are right on the mark. And do search Fodors on "cameras" for tips about lens and film ... this helped us immensely. By the way, a zoom 70-300 mm is very useful. Fast film, say 400, also ... but we aware that the colors of animals and bush are very close ... and the light can imbue it with a washed out effect. You need sharp film, but it must be fast for late afternoon, evening and early morning shots. Forget tripods in the rovers ... no room ... be prepared to shoot quickly ... keep everything simple and convenient.

Hope this helps. Ciao, L
 
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