Help with my dream vacation in Africa. Affordable?

Apr 5th, 2003, 05:38 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Just use the keyword search and you may have to sift through a few messages, but you will find what you are looking for.
Roccco is offline  
Apr 5th, 2003, 07:10 AM
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sundowner is offline  
Apr 5th, 2003, 09:16 AM
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I'm so excited-I don't want to appear as a complete computer dummy and with ALL your help-I DID IT-I PRINTED IT I'm a genius thanks to all of you. Bravo-thanks indeedy for your help
pattysuericia is offline  
Apr 10th, 2003, 06:44 AM
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Ok. this is an update of the itinerary for my "Dream Vacation to Africa" after managing the frequent flyer miles options and restrictions and a "brainstorming" with my wife of what to see and do that pleases both of us.

1) My flying options are limited to go to Jburg and leave through Cape Town (via Jburg) to United States.

2) Places to visit: Victoria Falls (How many days would be Ok? What Lodge (not too expensive)?; Kruger: Which Private Reserve Safari if you have just three days for Game viewing? (Checked the price for the Djuma Lodge, as Roccco suggested, and prices are OK); Garden Route (my wife insists in this one) and Cape Town.

3)The total day for this trip would be 16 days. (I will be travelling from San Juan, Puerto Rico - 2 days for travelling from SJ and 2 more days from Jburg)

Now, my headache is how to prepare this itinerary: starting from and ending where. Need airfare for Vic Fall-Jburg and from Jburg to Port Elizabeth (Is there where the Garden Route begins?). Of the 16 days for this trip I'll definitely want to spend at least 5 days In Cape Town. Your suggestions are very welcomed. Remember that I have a maximum budget of $3,500 p/p, including local flights and transfers. Can this trip could be still affordabble?

Thanks to all of you once again.

Gilberto is offline  
Apr 10th, 2003, 06:46 AM
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I`ve forgot to tell you that this trip would start on September 25, 2003 from San Juan and end in October 17 in New York, flying the next day to Puerto Rico.
Gilberto is offline  
Apr 10th, 2003, 01:28 PM
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Is there any way that you could begin trip two weeks earlier to capitalize on low season prices in South Africa that will end on September 30th???

Also, if you are intending to spend at least 5 nights in Cape Town, 3 nights on safari, 3 nights in Victoria Falls and 2 nights in Joburg, then it would appear that you have little or no time for the Garden Route. It seems that you have to choose between Vic Falls or The Garden Route if I am understanding your time limitations correctly.

Please clarify whether you have 16 nights to spend in South Africa or whether you have 14 nights to spend in South Africa. Also is mandatory that you spend 2 nights in Joburg. Perhaps you could get by with only a single night in Joburg???
Roccco is offline  
Apr 11th, 2003, 04:03 AM
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Roccco, thanks for your prompt reply. By the way, I want to express my gratitude for all the time you spent looking for the options for my "Dream Vacation". It`s great to have this help from all of you.

Regarding my trip:

The total trip days in Africa will be 16 days (Johannesburg-Johannesburg). Of those 5 days (not five nights) will be at Cape Town. I understand that it will be cheaper to Safari in September but at this moment is not possible to leave before September 26. I will use Johannesburg just as a base for the Game viewing and Victoria Falls trip.

Thanks again for your time and info.
Gilberto is offline  
Apr 11th, 2003, 05:54 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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You are best off beginning your trip with a four night stay in Cape Town.
I would consider staying at the V&A Waterfront Hotel where you can stay for about $175 USD per night (www.attractiveafrica probably has the best rates).

From there I would do the Garden Route, but I would only spend four nights along the Garden Route because your time is limited. Spend two nights at Grootbos ( and two nights at Phantom Forest Eco Lodge ( in Knysna (about an hour or two outside Port Elizabeth).

From Port Elizabeth I would fly to Hoedspruit. You may catch a 9AM flight and connect in Joburg and be in Hoedspruit by 1:45PM. Spend three nights at Djuma Bush Lodge ( or if you want to splurge, three nights at Djuma Vuyateala at the same website but about $150 USD per night more.

From Hoedspruit, I would fly back to Joburg and spend one nights at The Michelangelo. Expect to pay about $200 USD.

I am going to throw a little curveball here and change directions on you for your finale in Victoria Falls. It appears that you will have four days left at this point. I suggest that you go to the Zim side of Victoria Falls and spend three nights at Matetsi Water Lodge ( and your final night at the beautiful Victoria Falls Hotel.

Matetsi will offer you a lot more activities than The River Club will and it is all-inclusive. You will do daily game drives and see tons of elephants and giraffes as well as Wildebeest, Buffalo, Crocodiles, Hippos, basically everything but lions and leopards. You will have the opportunity to go on a Mekoro (dug out canoe) where you will be in one with a ranger while your wife will be in another with another ranger. You will have the opportunity for included sundowner cruises down the beautiful Zambezi River, completely away from all the other lodges. Plus, Matetsi is only about 1 hour away from the Victoria Falls and during the day they will transport you there free of charge. Expect to pay about $500 USD per night.

For your finale at the Victoria Falls Hotel, you will spend a night in a hotel that is over 100 years old that will make you think that the year is 1903 instead of 2003. The grounds are impeccable. Expect to pay about $500 USD.

Nights 1 through 4 - Cape Town, V&A Waterfront Hotel $700 USD total ($170 USD per night).
Nights 5 through 8 - Garden Route, about $1000 USD total ($250 USD per night).
Nights 9 through 11 - Sabi Sand Reserve at Djuma Bush Lodge ($1,050 USD total)($350 USD per night)
Night 12 - Joburg at The Michelangelo. $200 USD
Nughts 13 - 15 - Matetsi Water Lodge. $1,500 USD total. ($500 USD per night)
Night 16 - Victoria Falls Hotel ($400 USD).

The following accomodations will cost roughly $4,850 USD. For another $1,650 I am confident that you can get all your air done within Africa.

I believe that the above would give you an incredible introduction to Africa. I really do think that you are cutting your safari experience far too short without the stay at Matetsi Water Lodge.

Think it over and I will be happy to offer more help.
Roccco is offline  

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