Help me with our honeymoon plans, please...

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Jan 30th, 2006, 09:56 AM
  #1
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Help me with our honeymoon plans, please...

Hello everyone,

I have been reading these forums for several days, and it seems many of you are experts on the safari process. I must admit, I'm a newb and I am planning my first safari. On top of that, we are considering a safari for our honeymoon. Needless to say, a safari is not as straight forward as French Poly, so we want to do our research.

Could any of you make some suggestions in regard to destinations, realistic itineraries, and travel agents or companies.
I have looked into CCafrica, any opinions? Should we even consider a U.S. tour agency, or will we get a better price with another? What are some good travel companies to work with?

The main catch is we must fly into Johannesburg, so it seems we might be leaning toward a S. African safari.

It's our honeymoon, so ideally we would like some level of perks or luxury. We definitely don't want to be camping or pitching any tents. To be honest, although unadventurous, we would like the typical tourist thing with the adventurous feel to it. Admenities by night with safari by day.

Furthermore, any suggestion to islands or beaches would be wonderful. Is it common to do safaris and then islands in Africa, and if so, any suggestions???

We have been thinking about Botswana or Kenya. For first time visitors to Africa, do any of you have suggestions?

Thanks, Steve and Dureza
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Jan 30th, 2006, 11:08 AM
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aby
 
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Steve and Dureza

when? for how long? what r u dreaming of ? {budget? 300$ or 1300$ per night?}
@ CC is great
e.g. Islands: look at Mnemba Island (Off Zanzibar)http://www.ccafrica.com/destinations...ba/default.asp
or Seychelles if flying after Tz/Ke safari
maybe Mauritius from South Africa ?

give us more info - get a tailored unforgettable HoneyMoon
good luck

aby
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Jan 30th, 2006, 01:16 PM
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Hello and thanks for the quick response,
To be honest, just out of pure options, we are thoroughly confused. We must fly into Johannesburg because we have frequent flyer mileage on United Air... So thats the first thing. We have the airline taken care of now, so we don't have to cut into our budget with that.

We would like to do a 7-9 day safari/tour on approximately 2500 to 3000 per person.

I think since we were going on our 1st safari, we were drawn to NE Africa / Kenya.

What we would like to see
Kilimanjaro, the Crater, and good safari. This is primarily where I run into trouble planning this. We are flying into S. Africa. Any suggestions?
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Jan 30th, 2006, 05:04 PM
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Key question: when? What month?
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Jan 30th, 2006, 06:41 PM
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October 9th. We are thinking of a 9-11 day tour, and opting for a safari with beach side trip.
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Jan 30th, 2006, 09:14 PM
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Congratulations Steve! Africa would be a very memorable honeymoon.

With your time--October 9-- you might want to consider how much heat (as in daytime temperatures) you are willing to tolerate without airconditioning before booking Botswana. By this time of year things can get very hot, and unless you are dedicated wildlife/safari-holics it probably wouldn't be the best choice for a honeymoon.

Next question up: is it worth flying up to East Africa? Flying via Joburg makes this a long, tough flight and will add extra pure travel days to your itinerary. Will take a bite out of your budget as well.

Now on the other hand, October is a beautiful month to be in South Africa, and for first time travellers to Africa with a limited time and budget, it is a great destination. Wonderful natural beauty, one of the world's most beautiful cities (Cape Town), the romantic, historic and beautiful wine region (easy drive from Cape Town) and then some safari time in or around Kruger, say in Sabi Sands.

As much as I love the other areas of Africa, I think you could relax, enjoy and still see some great wildlife if you stayed in South Africa at this beautiful time of year.

There are lots of comments here about which lodges for you safari portion-- you can do a search to see the debates. Relative to the really high priced places, Mala Mala is reasonable, and it has some of the very best wildlife around.
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Jan 30th, 2006, 09:55 PM
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Stevopolis,

Try this luxury option on for size:

Chiawa Camp, Lower Zambezi, Zambia (4)

www.chiawa.com

Recommended room to start your honeymoon:

http://www.chiawa.com/pages/superiortent.htm

Luangwa River Lodge, South Luangwa, Zambia (3)

www.luangwariverlodge.com

Chichele Presidential Lodge, South Luangwa, Zambia (3)

http://www.starofafrica.com/circuit/...e/chichele.htm

(May as well enjoy some air-conditioning in your room for your final three nights)

While it will be hot in Zambia in October, the gameviewing should be spectacular. By staying at luxury lodges, you are sure to be as comfortable as possible and all three of these lodges are excellent.

For a beach extension, Mozambique works out well with South Luangwa. Here are some very nice resorts to consider:

www.raniresorts.com

It is quite simple to get to Zambia from Johannesburg...a direct two hour flight into Lusaka. From Lusaka, it is a mere 25 minute air transfer to Lower Zambezi National Park. To South Luangwa it is a 1 hour 15 minute flight from Lusaka. Then you may get an air transfer to Mozambique and instead of returning through Zambia afterward, you could fly right back to Johannesburg from Mozambique.

Botswana would certainly also be great, but you will find that a CCAfrica or Kwando camp will be about 25% more expensive than Zambia and most of the camps at this price range will not be as luxurious as the ones I mentioned. Wilderness Safaris 6 paw camps (their most luxurious) in Botswana start at about $1,000 per person per night and then go upward from there.

Wherever you decide to visit, you will not be sorry for choosing Africa as your honeymoon destination. Congratulations!
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Jan 30th, 2006, 10:00 PM
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Steve,

A couple parting thoughts...the Zambezi River is amazing and would offer you all kinds of activities (canoeing, fishing, river safaris) that are not available most anywhere else, all while having traditional game drives available, as well.

Chiawa is the most exclusive option in Lower Zambezi, but another excellent camp is Chongwe River Camp:

www.chongwe-river.com

Feel free to have a look at my photogallery from my recently completed September safari to Zambia:

www.kodakgallery.com/rocco

I stayed at Kasaka River Lodge, Chongwe River Camp, Luangwa River Lodge and Puku Ridge (located very close to Chichele and belonging to the same company...the reason I suggested Chichele was for the air conditioning).

Cheers.
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Jan 30th, 2006, 10:01 PM
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Sorry...the link you want is www.kodakgallery.com/rocco/2005_favorites unless, of course, you enjoy boxing photography!
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