Helpful Hints For South Africa


Sep 29th, 2002, 07:44 PM
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Helpful Hints For South Africa

As I finalize a surprise trip for my husband what would you recommend for a first timer to South Africa, given we are in the following locations.

-Visiting Cape Town (Cape Grace Hotel)
-Visiting Singita Game Reserve
-Visiting Victoria Falls (Vict. Falls Hotel)

Health considerations (pills/shots), must visit restaurants, airport insight, unique shops, don't miss photo opportunities, or anything you thought was special.
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Sep 29th, 2002, 11:07 PM
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Sounds like you are going all out! I would suggest the following:
Make sure you fly on SAA and not Air Zimbabwe to Victoria Falls. While in Victoria Falls, you may want to spend three or four nights at Matetsi Private Game Reserve (not in Singita's league, but still nice and in the most beautiful location, right on the banks of the mighty Zambezi river). Then it would be nice to finish up with two nights at the Victoria Falls Hotel, a truly beautiful hotel with amazing grounds and a ballroom type restaurant that is right out of a classic movie.
Matetsi is very interesting because besides the game drives, you will get the opportunity to go canoeing down the Zambezi and get up close and personal with crocodiles and hippos, although the experienced rangers keep a safe distance. The Zambezi is beautiful and peaceful beyond explanation.
The Cape Grace is a beautiful hotel, although I stayed at the Table Bay and Mount Nelson during my stay. I stayed eight nights in Cape Town (in two separate four day stints) during my trip last March, and I could have spent an extra eight days without getting bored! I would suggest that while in Cape Town, make sure you do a Cape Point tour (it should make many stops along the way and last a full day). Be sure not to waste all your time on the waterfront. There are other interesting places to see such as Camps Bay, Bantry Bay and even Hout Bay.
Singita is incredible. They will take excellent care of you. My only suggestion would be to fly FedAir directly to Singita, instead of flying to Skukuza and then transferring. But, only do this if flying on small planes does not frighten you. While it was fun on the way over on a 12 seater in perfect weather, it was a little scary on the way back on a 6 seater in turbulent conditions.
Be sure to take a great camera. You will have the opportunity to take the most amazing pictures at Singita (and Matetsi, if you add it to your itenerary). You will literally get within 25 feet of elephants, 10 feet of lions and possibly within 5 feet of leopards (my heart skipped a couple beats and I could not breathe as a leopard approached the parked defender we were tracking, got within two feet of the vehicle and seemingly looked me in the eye!!!).
If I had to assign my optimal schedule to this itenerary, I think I would do five nights in Cape Town, four nights at Singita, four nights at Matetsi and two nights at Victoria Falls Hotel. If you have any longer than that, spend it in Cape Town. If you need to skim a couple days, take one away from Matetsi and one away from the Victoria Falls Hotel (my wife and I mostly used it as an opportunity to clean up and rest up from our stay at the game lodges whether it Singita, Matetsi or other, the days begin at 6AM and often don't end until 10PM).
You will have a great time. Good luck.
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