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First Trip to Africa, first safari...which itinerary should I go with?

First Trip to Africa, first safari...which itinerary should I go with?

Old Feb 20th, 2017, 08:01 PM
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First Trip to Africa, first safari...which itinerary should I go with?

So I will start by saying that I know I have a tendency to try to do too much in a single trip. I want to ensure that we experience a diversity of environments and see lots of animals. I don't have a checklist per se but I have a weakness for big cats, my boyfriend really loves rhinos and giraffes, and we both really love elephants. Also while we really want to be safe and comfortable (actual bed over sleeping bags, in suite toilet preferred) luxurious touches like swimming pool and lavish rooms aren't what we are looking for. Finally I will add that we are in our early thirties and pretty fit, so I think we are up to a walking safari. Goal budget $450 to $550 per person per day, max budget is $700 per day.
Heres the plan so far:
Leave Hawaii September 21st, arrive capetown south africa on Sept 24th at 6pm,and we will leave on October 9th at 7:15pm on johanessburg. Everything else is still to be determined. Here are my plans in progress:

Plan A:
1.September 24th-27th Capetown, boulder beach, tabletop mountain,hermanus
2.Sept 28th through Oct 3, Botswana walking tour with and beyond (okavango, chobe, savute)
3. Oct 3 to October 9th, sabi sands (nottens, Kirkmanso camp or elephant plains

Plan B
1. Sept 24th-27th, Capetown
2. Sept 28th-31st,begin safari Sabi Sands
3.Oct 1st-8th, Zambia,South Luanga, Norman Carr safari
4. Overnight Johanessburg before returning to honolulu

Plan C
1. Sept 24th-27th, Capetown
2. Sept 28th-31st begin safari Sabi Sands
3. Oct 1-2 Victoria Falls
4. Oct 3-5 chobe
5. Oct 6-8 (or 9th) okavango
6. Oct 9th return to honolulu

Plan D.
1. Sept 24th-28th capetown
2. Sept 29th- Oct 3, Drakensberg mountains,phinda
3. Oct 4th-9th Sabi sands
4.leave on the 9th

Which of these looks most promising? Any other places I should consider instead?
trailandtide is offline  
Old Mar 3rd, 2017, 11:26 AM
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3 days in Capetown is plenty but please add a Robben Island tour to your list. We took day tours that took us all over which was great.

We also went to an area near Sabi Sands - there wasn't a large body of water in the area and you don't exactly see any plains. Still, it was a great experience for us.

Here's a blog post with pictures and our itinerary:

Enjoy trip planning!
lindygirl is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2017, 08:42 PM
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I've done itinerary D, so I know that one works fairly well. You get the leopards in Sabi Sands and the cheetah in Phinda. However, the type of safari is pretty similar in both - lodge-based game drives.

I've done safaris in South Luangwa with Norman Carr and Robin Pope which I thought were great. The walking safaris with Norman Carr can be very good and are an interesting change of pace from game drive safaris. The lodges seem to meet your requirements, as well.

Logistically, I find adding in Sabi Sands to Plan B to be a bit of an outlier. Is the plan to fly to JNB and then transfer by plane to your lodge in Sabi Sands, then transfer by plane back to JNB and then fly to Lusaka and then fly to South Luangwa and then fly back to Lusaka and then onward to JNB for your flight home? That's a lot of transfers - it adds to the cost of the trip and takes time away from actually being on safari. I'd reconsider Sabi Sands and think instead of the Lower Zambezi camps. I think Norman Carr runs some camps down there and keeping everything with them might result in some discounts. The Lower Zambezi gives you a very different environment along with river activities.

The one downside to skipping Sabi Sands and staying in Zambia is you won't see any rhino.

I have the same concerns with Plan A and C - why Botswana and Sabi Sands? Why not just stay in Botswana? Is this about the lack of rhino in Botswana?

In general, I would suggest picking one country and sticking with it just to minimize time on transfers. Also, pay attention to how much those transfers add to the cost of the safari.

Plan D is a pretty good first safari - lots of game density with nice lodges.
lifelist is offline  
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