Help with Safari Plans and possible travel companion

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Aug 8th, 2005, 05:25 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Aug 2005
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Help with Safari Plans and possible travel companion

Hi,

I would like some info. about where would be the best place to go on safari to see the Big 5 in September. I have a total of about 3-5 weeks to travel around Africa and am mainly considering around South Africa/Kruger/Vic Falls. I am definitely on a frugal budget and don't mind 'roughing it'. I would also appreciate some info. on tour companies, weather, safety, places not to miss, etc. I am also considering a travel companion. I am a 32 year old female who is interested in safari and cultural activities and not too much of the party scene, so if you are planning a similar itinerary, please let me know!

Thanks.

Amy
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Aug 8th, 2005, 10:47 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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South Africa is a really easy place to do a self-drive and the park accommodations in Kruger National Park are comfortable and reasonably priced, with a huge variety available. You can book your park stay yourself, no need for a tour operator if you'll be roughing it (look at www.sanparks.org) -- but I personally would definitely book in advance, as soon as you can, as park accommodations are very popular, and you're going so soon. We saw all of the Big Five when we were there. The only thing we did not see that we really wanted to were cheetah. It is really easy to meet other travelers in the park too. We stayed at Olifants and loved it. I thought it was excellent value for money and would definitely go back. Lower Sabie is supposed to be a very nice camp too. With the length of time you have to spend, you could really see a lot. I'm envious. I couldn't believe how uncrowded the park was when we were there, especially compared with national parks here in the U.S. Make sure you book a game walk at least one day -- that was one of my favorite experiences. You can also book night drives. You can do the daytime drives yourself and you won't believe how much game you can see, even without a guide. Massive herds of elephant! We saw rhino, lion, hyena, buffalo, wildebeest, hippos, crocodiles, giraffe, zebra, tons of birds, etc. all on our own. The only thing you may not see on your own without a guide is leopard which is why I would recommend booking a night drive (you can't do night drives on your own). Not sure about the weather there in September -- we were there in November and the weather was perfect -- I'm guessing September would be cooler but shouldn't be too cold. Others here should be able to recommend other parks in South Africa. I haven't been to Vic Falls yet so others will have to advise you there. Make sure you spend some time in Cape Town as well -- it is just gorgeous and there is so much to do and see. Think about staying at a guesthouse in Cape Town -- there are lots to choose from in a wide range of prices. Maybe Selwyn will chime in here and recommend some places, or look for his old posts. Might be a bit on the chillier side in September but should be lovely anyway. Make sure you go to Robben Island, Boulders Beach, etc. We felt very safe in South Africa. Yes, you might feel safer and have more fun if you find someone to spend at least part of the time with -- I think you may be more likely to find other travelers willing to "rough it" on lonelyplanet.com's Thorn Tree forum. For what you're considering, I really think South Africa would be ideal.
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