HONEYMOON: Greek Isles or African Safari?

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Nov 14th, 2005, 10:48 AM
  #1
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HONEYMOON: Greek Isles or African Safari?

My fiance and i have been researching different areas of the world for our honeymoon. We are both well traveled (Brazil, italy, spain, france, thailand, south africa, kenya, india, switzerland, hawaii, etc to name a few) But we are having trouble deciding on a honeymoon destination.

We have narrowed it down to the Greek Islands (Athens and the cyclades) and Eastern Africa safari/beach combo (tanzania/zanzibar or kenya). I considered botswana and the southern africa area, but i realize i'd get more bang for my buck in the Kenya/Tanzania area.

We are active and the mid 20's and both want some beach time(incl. watersports), some adventure, beautiful scenery and culture. We are going early september, so the weather is great in greece, and the game viewing is superb in africa...so that doesn't make our decision for us...

We'd probably be able to stay in some of the nicer hotels in greece, and moderately priced "tented safari lodges" and beach retreats in africa.
can anyone help give me some pros and cons or opinions? Thanks!


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Nov 14th, 2005, 11:26 AM
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Pros Greek Isles: the price

Pros African Safari: everything else.

This must be the easiest question ever asked on Fodor’s!

Congratulations!
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Nov 14th, 2005, 11:51 AM
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Ditto on last post, of course I'm partial to Africa as I've been to Greece many times and know I can always go back. I guess a lot depends on how much you want to be pampered on your honeymoon - you'll get more of that, nightlife and some cultural activities in Greece plus you'll be close to Turkey - one of my favorite places. But you'll also deal with traffic and smog in Athens. Getting to the Greek islands is usually an easy thing unlike getting to E. Africa. But if you like adventure,beauty,being in the unknown and probably getting a little dusty then it's Africa. If you want the fun in the sun thing and ease then Greece Isles is it.
Have fun deciding.
Best Wishes;
Sherry
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Nov 14th, 2005, 12:38 PM
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Build your honeymoon memories with brick - go to Africa.

I really like Greece but, as a honeymoon memory it will become blurred with other Mediterranian locales. "Were we in Capri? or was it Santorini? when you said..."
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Nov 14th, 2005, 04:09 PM
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Dear Beth,

I spent my honeymmon in Africa and have nooooooooo regrets at all!!!
Greece is a dream trip still on my mind, but I just toght I could go there later in my life.
Going to Africa was my husband´s idea, and at first I was scared, the price was huge for us (we leave in Brazil, not just our money is very low compared to dollar, but it´s soooooooooooooo far!!!!), and I thought of having something more "romantic", but as soon as I started planning I just fell in love with that continent (we´ve been to Kenya, Tanzania - where we had our wonderful safaris, Zambia, Zimbabwe (almost just for landing, we stayed at the Zambian side of the Victoria falls almost of the time) and undescribable South Africa. We rent a car in SA and drive down the cost departing from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town. 4 wonderful days stoping by. I have planned this honeymoon as much as I had planned my own wedding and still it surprised me all the time. And I am "well travelled" as you said too.
I have tons and tons of pictures, tell you would like me to email some of them.

Hope i helped!

Maria Carolina
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Nov 14th, 2005, 04:20 PM
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Favor,

Given the fact that my wife and I honeymooned in Istanbul for three nights, hopped on a weeklong Meditteranean Cruise that included the Greek Isles and finished up with three nights in Rome, I speak from experience.

I completely agree with your assessment. While we had a great time, it is still foggy whether certain things happened on Santorini or Mykonos, and to this day I wish that I had discovered Africa just a couple years earlier. Wow, I bet an African safari was nowhere near as expensive five years ago as it is today.

We stayed at the best possible places and had a junior suite on the cruise but I would still much rather go to Africa if I could do it over again. Share a lodge with maybe six other guests or share a cruiseship with 1,000 other guests?

A honeymoon is hopefully a once in a lifetime event and while the Greek Isles are beautiful they cannot compare to a properly planned out African safari. I have never heard anybody say, "I Dream Of Greece."
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Nov 14th, 2005, 04:47 PM
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I know many people who have travelled to the Greek Islands, for honeymoons or other romantic occasions, and they consistently say that it is possibly one of the most romantic places in the world. But no one turns into a Greek Isle-oholic and obsesses about going back as soon as possible,no one says it changed their life, and no says it smashed through every hope and dream of the perfect vacation and became their most memorable travel experience ever.

I'd say do Africa for the honeymoon, and save the Greek Isles for when you are older and need to rekindle that flame on a romantic anniversary trip.
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Nov 14th, 2005, 06:32 PM
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bat
 
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Go to Africa and "when you are older and need to rekindle that flame on a romantic anniversary trip" . . . go back to Africa.
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Nov 14th, 2005, 06:50 PM
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Way to go!
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Nov 15th, 2005, 03:27 AM
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bethsprack,

I have to throw in my bit here... been to Greece, had a WONDERFUL 2 weeks on Patmos, and it's an amazing holiday destination (I wouldn't go to Athens for a honeymoon though, go straight to an island!)... BUT...

I live in South Africa, grew up on a game farm, and I have to say, you won't beat the bush for a honeymoon! Greece is a hop away from Europe, but Africa is a lifetime investment in memories and experiences!!
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Nov 15th, 2005, 05:55 AM
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My guess is you'll get different responses if you post on a Greek Isles forum.
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Nov 15th, 2005, 06:07 AM
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She did and Africa is ahead at this point.
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Nov 15th, 2005, 08:43 AM
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Well, leave it to a practical Midwestern girl to weigh in with this thought: I loved Greece, and I'll take my first trip to Africa next year. I would pick Africa for all of the above reasons and for another: As you get older and settled in with jobs and, IF you plan to have kids (don't mean to presume), it may be more difficult for you to choose an African vacation later on. I realize that many people live for travel (and have a lot of money) and this may not be an issue. But for others, it very well could be. Greece is easier to do later. Just my 2 cents! Congrats and have a great time, regardless of where you go!
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Nov 15th, 2005, 10:59 AM
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Thank you for all your input so far... I need to do some convincing to get my fiance to consider africa...i think his mind is pretty much set on Greece.

Within reason, for a ten-or so-day honeymoon from the Boston area, what should we expect to pay for a safari (with either a couple days at victoria falls or the beach, with decent (not ultra-lux, but not roughing-it accommodations)
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Nov 15th, 2005, 11:19 AM
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Bethsprack,

Here would be my suggestion, and this would be dependent on you traveling from June - October...not sure you have mentioned what month you are traveling, but given the Greek Isles consideration,I would think that it would fall within this timeframe:

Kafunta Safaris 5 night South Luangwa package.

http://www.luangwa.com/bushexperience.htm

I would edit it so that you stay 3 nights at Kafunta River Lodge upon your arrival and then transfer down to Kafunta Island Bush Camp for 2 nights.

Upon completing your 2 nights at Kafunta Island Bush Camp, I would then transfer to Luangwa River Lodge for 3 nights.

www.luangwariverlodge.com

This will give you 3 nights of pure luxury, excellent food and great hosting by the owners, Barry & Tara, a younger British/South African couple who really run one of the best operations I have seen yet in Africa.

From here, I would finish it all up by flying down to Livingstone (Victoria Falls) for 2 nights at the Royal Livingstone. A perfect ending to your honeymoon in 5* comfort.

The approximate price?

Kafunta 5 night safari $1,240pp
Luangwa River Lodge 3 nights $1,200pp
Royal Livingstone 2 nights $375pp
Light air transfers from Lusaka $550pp

Grand total = $3,365 per person sharing

You would get to Lusaka by either flying direct from London or by connecting in Nairobi or by connecting in Joburg, although that would be bypassing Lusaka by a couple hours, waiting an couple hours during your layover and then flying back the same direction you just came from for two hours.

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Nov 15th, 2005, 01:38 PM
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Bethsprack,

As your honeymoon is in September you’ll have to go to the Mara to see the migration. Patty is Kenya right now and the cost for the 13-night Kenya portion of her private safari is $ 2907pp and in June I spent less than that for three weeks in Kenya including international flights. You’ll find Patty’s itinerary here - the final one is at the bottom:
http://www.fodors.com/forums/pgMessa...50&keyword=464
and mine here:
http://www.fodors.com/forums/pgMessa...50&keyword=464

On a trip of around ten nights I would spend all the time in the Mara with a night or two in Nairobi. In the Mara I’d recommend Basecamp: http://www.basecampexplorer.com/masaimara/en
Ilkeliani looks nice as well: http://www.ilkeliani.com/
Mara Serena is a bit big but it has the best location for the migration: http://www.serenahotels.com/kenya/mara/home.htm
These three places are expensive, but not among the most expensive.

You could also combine the Mara with Samburu or Tsavo. If you have to go to the coast I’d recommend Lamu where you can stay in very nice guesthouses for less than $15pppn. Or, if you want more luxury you could stay here: http://www.lamuworld.com/
Or here, directly on Manda Beach: http://www.diamondbeachvillage.com/



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Nov 15th, 2005, 04:52 PM
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OK I have been to both East Africa and the Greek Islands, even chartered a sail boat and went yachting around.. many lovely sunsets over the island of Santorini.. warm memories..etc. etc.. oh, but if you paid me a million bucks I would never set foot in Greece again!
Both spouse and I nearly dead sick in Greece.. like hospital time sick.. and had a heck of a time driving around, finding shops for sodas to ease our belly ache.. OMG we both ended up hating Greece!!! Though admittedly, this is entirely because of our illness..
Africa on the other hand was one of our least stressful vacations, and the dream trip of a lifetime..Africa in a heartbeat.. but of course, this is just IMHO...
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Nov 16th, 2005, 08:58 AM
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I've never been to Greece, but have done tons of research on it for a future trip, and have heard a lot from friends that have gone.

I will be traveling to Tanzania and Zanzibar for the 1st time in 2mos and I cannot wait!

I vote Africa all the way!

You say you're from the Boston area.. not sure if you've done a lot of research or not, but Thompson Safaris is right in Watertown. One of THE most expensive tour operators, but a good place to start if you want to check out how true luxury is compared to other companies.

Good luck planning!

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Nov 16th, 2005, 09:59 AM
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Hi Boston,
I agree with Thompson being rather high priced when compared to the local African co. But I actually found that they were pretty comparable to the US/GB based co. that I checked into. They're private and Photo trips are pretty high but if Bethsprack is looking for a medium trip (which I think she expressed) they're right in line $$$ wise. The only reason I didn't use them was that mostly everything was booked and I had very difficult time frames to deal with. They are so much easier to deal with than any of the others I had dealings with.
Of course, now that I know better I will use an African co. or someone closer linked to this site. Perhaps someone could make recommendations in this regard.
Let's hope that Beths. can talk her wonderful and soon to be heading to Africa fiance into seeing the light/bush/African coast.
Sherry
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