Help with honeymoon itinerary please

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Sep 9th, 2004, 05:11 AM
  #1
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Help with honeymoon itinerary please

Hi, I am just starting the process of looking into a honeymoon in Botswana & Mozambique. We have never been on safari before and have only ever visited North Africa, so we are total novices at this!

How does this itinerary look? Would you recommend adding/removing anything?

Royal Livingstone Hotel, Vic Falls - 3 nights (white water rafting, bungee, etc)

Chobe Chilawero - 3 nights (water safari, game drives, etc)

Stanleys Camp, Okavango - 3 nights (game drives, mokoro canoes, walking safaris, walk with elephants, balloon safari etc)

Johannesburg - 1 night, Holiday Inn (or possibly upgrade to Westcliff Hotel depending on cost)

Mozambique - 10 nights, either Marlin Lodge, Benguerra Lodge or Quilalea Island (relaxation, beach, scuba diving, bird watching, etc)

What do you think of this?

Would it be a good idea to substitute two of the nights in Mozambique for 2 nights at Jacks Camp? Does anyone have any feedback on the choice of camps/lodges or any better recommendations? Thanks.
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Sep 13th, 2004, 12:51 AM
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ttt
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Sep 14th, 2004, 07:39 AM
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Cailin: It would help some to know what time of year you are looking to travel.

I think a Botswana safari with Mozambique islands will be an incredible honeymoon. I am doing likewise with Namibia and the islands in November.

I did a safari in Botswana and you will love it. I stayed at Wilderness Safari camps so I can't comment on those specific camp choices. I personally would skip the Chobe Chilawero and stay in a camp in the Linyanti/Savuti region. I base this on the Linyanti/Savuiti area having much less people and it is famed for predators -- Lion and hyena films shot in this area and its one of the best places to find the rare African wild dog. I think the best Botswana safari experience would consist of 2 to 3 nights in each of the Linyanti/Savuti, Okavango, and Moremi areas. Moremi is in the delta but is often a more dry area that is reknowned for its incredible wildlife viewing and thus well combined with a more water oriented delta camp.

I have not been to Jack's Camp but it gets incredible reviews from everyone and is supposed to be very romantic. I am going to be staying at the Bengeurra Lodge and I'm big on island experiences but I think the chance to vary your experiences by taking in a whole new envrionment at Jack's and still having 8 nights on the island should be great and plenty of time to absorb the whole island and relax.

I would also drop a night off of Vic Falls to add to safari. For me one night is good at Vic Falls but that is because my passion is the wildlife and I can do adventure activities in other places -- although I understand the rafting is pretty amazing. If you are heavy into doing the adventure activities than 3 nights is probably great, if you want to see the falls and do one exhilirating activity you could easily cut to two nights.

A lot of it comes down to personal taste but you have picked magnificent areas that you will be amazed by. It can get difficult deciding on which camps and how many nights but they are all pretty extraordinary for a first time visitor.
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Sep 15th, 2004, 01:01 AM
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Thank you so much. We are planning to travel next August, so I'm thinking that it's not the right time of year to visit Jacks Camp as it will be dry season? or am I wrong? Thanks.

Our travel agent was the one who recommended 3 nights at Vic Falls. We have both done rafting before in New Zealand, so aren't bothered if we don't do it again. We would, however, like a day or two to unwind after the wedding and would love the helicopter ride and (unfortunately) I have promised my H2B that I will do the bungee - as he did it in New Zealand and I chickened out!! However I now think that 2 nights may be enough at Vic Falls, as 3 does seem like a lot.
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Sep 15th, 2004, 06:31 AM
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Cailin: August is prime time for safari in Botswana so you should have some great wildlife viewing.

As far as Jack's camp you are right that the dry season will not be the primetime for wildlife viewing but you should see interesting wildlife that is different from the rest of the safari. It will also be much cooler since its winter time and the desolate landscapes that make the area so special will be at their best.

You should ask your agent about the activities you want to do in Vic Falls and then figure out how many nights. I think it is a great first stop to catch up on sleep and unwind from the travel. I would think you could see the falls, bungee, helicopter, and do a little shopping in town without much rushing around on a two night stay but perhaps 3 would work better.
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Sep 15th, 2004, 08:39 AM
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Thanks for that. Yes - I'm thinking that after the wedding and flight we will be pretty tired, so may need the three nights to unwind before our early starts for game viewing at the camps.

I have found information on the dry season at Jacks Camp and have printed it off for H2B - he's the zoologist and specialises in birds, and I can see that there's a lot of birdlife around there in the dry season, so that will probably be of interest to him! Thanks.
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Sep 15th, 2004, 09:25 AM
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Cailin,
I'm not sure what the rafting was like in NZ but just to let you know the rafting at Vic Falls is extraordinary...alot of the rapids are class five and frankly here in the Satates there would be liability issues that would prevent you running a commercial operation on a similar river.

I did the trip some time ago but it was very adventurous a real rush...everyone seemed to end up out of the boat at some time or other. However, I'm not sure that it's very relaxing and the walk out of the gorge is hard going.

I highly recommend Tongabezi (on the Zambian side) I've stayed at a variety of places at Vic Falls over the years and to my mind it's the most romantic of the places I know...it's the place I chose for our honeymoon trip.

Have a great time!
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Sep 16th, 2004, 10:53 AM
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Cailin: I am a wildlife biologist based out of Colorado. Your H2B is going to love it. What kind of work does he do?

Be sure and get him Newman's Birds of Southern Africa. It's the best bird guide for the region. I think I ordered it at Amazon.
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Sep 17th, 2004, 03:26 AM
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PredatorBiologist - my H2B isn't actually doing zoology anymore. He did it as his undergrad degree at university, but has since digressed into other areas!! He's now a budding writer! I've just ordered Newman's Birds of Southern Africa from Amazon - thanks for the recommendation!

I've now received another quote for a slightly different trip and was wondering if it's better than my first itinerary (it's also slightly cheaper!)

Royal Livingstone Hotel, Vic Falls - 3 nights
Chobe Chilwero - 3 nights
Little Vumbura - 2 nights
Chitabe Camp - 2 nights
Jacks Camp - 2 nights
Mozambique - 9 nights at either of the same three as in itinerary 1.

I'm now leaning more towards itinerary #2....would the combination of Little Vumbura, Chitabe & Jacks camp be better than Stanleys on its own? Thanks.
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Sep 17th, 2004, 07:38 AM
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actually...scrap that 2nd itinerary...it's almost double the price of the first. The agent got back to me to say what she had quoted was per person, not the total price as had been insinuated by the itinerary! Shame!
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Sep 17th, 2004, 08:20 AM
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Caitlin,
Congratulations on your upcoming marriage!

Jack's Camp is an amazing experience--don't think there is anything quite like it anywhere else. However it is not like the other camps in one way: it's not a great place to visit for a day or two. A minimum of 3 days is really recommended to ensure that you'll have time for the subtleties of the desert to unfold for you. Personally, I'd recommend 3 days/nights or save it for a future trip. (Check Kavey's opinion too...she was just there in June...but I think she would agree with me on this point.)
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