Honeymoon in Africa in July ?

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Jul 9th, 2001, 05:45 PM
  #1
Aengus Hallinan
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Honeymoon in Africa in July ?

Hi there

I have been reading with interest all the great stories, feedback and advice in your Africa message forum and everything I have seen there makes me want to go...!

My fiance and I are getting married in July 2002 - so are a little concerned about the weather at that time of the yr.

Is this a bad time to go on a Safari in Africa ? Given the time of yr, where are we best to go to ? Kenya, S.Africa...? What will it be like at that time of yr ?

Also, ideally we'd love to take a few days off by the beach after safari to relax after the stress of the wedding etc. Is that just not possible in July in Africa ? Someone suggested Mombasi in kenya - not sure about July - or Mauritius etc.... I have no idea !

We're open to ideas - any advice you may have would be great.

Thanks !
 
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Jul 9th, 2001, 09:17 PM
  #2
Nigel
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July is an excellent time to visit Southern Africa.Temperatures are a pleasant 12-26 C and Game is plentiful. The Okavango Delta has its new waters, the only slight drawback is that July is High Season - so lots of Tourists around.
The Islands are also excellent weather - no rain, and little wind.
Check out Benguerra Island as an alternative to the big islands - it is a perfect honeymoon spot, very romantic, a pristine unspoiled tropical island with superb beaches, diving, snorkelling and fishing.
see http://benguerraisland.island-safari.com
 
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Jul 9th, 2001, 10:21 PM
  #3
local
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Definitely South Africa! No question about that.

You do not say how much time you have but I would try to do Cape Town, the Kruger Park and the area around it, the Garden Route (around George & Knysna) and the Drakensberg on the KwaZulu-Natal side - in that order. It involves quite a bit of travelling though.

I made some suggestions about safaris in another recent thread about "Canadians" coming to SA on safari - maybe that could help.

July is winter here and it is normally very cold for us at about 17/18C - sometimes a lot colder with snow - we are not used to snow. It is most definitely not a good time to visit SA, especially the southern part of the country. Cape Town in winter is a mess - it is rain season and it can rain for a week, non-stop. The day before yesterday, a person was killed there due to a storm and 20 ships had to wait outside the harbour due to the bad weather. This also applies to the Garden Route area. You may have snow on the Drakensberg which would make it very cold. The only beaches that I would consider during this time of the year to try and swim in is the northern part of KwaZulu-Natal (east coast) - the rest is just too cold. It may sound negative but it is unfortunately true.

But then again, I live here and may not appreciate the country that much during winter. Somebody else may be more positive - Lisa?



 
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Jul 11th, 2001, 02:02 PM
  #4
rachel
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i have very simple advice. Go to kenya. In July the Masai Mara receives over a million wildebeeste from Serengeti and the spectable is amazing. There are lots of luxury lodges fit for the honeymoon couple. www.vintageafrica.com, whom i used last year, will be able to advise you on what you can do.
 
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Jul 12th, 2001, 11:09 AM
  #5
Kavey
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As Nigel has already said, the weather is good in July to visit the countries of Southern Africa.

We just returned from a romantic trip taking in Namibia and Botswana and a large number of the couples we met were on their honeymoons.

Not that we met that many people because these 2 countries offer many small and intimate lodges which are ideal for getting away.

Out of the lodges we stayed in I would recommend most of all Wolwedans Dune Lodge in Namibia and Little Mombo in Botswana's Okavango Delta.

Little Mombo only takes 3 couples max anyway, and they offer a seperate provate lounge and dining area should honeymooners wish to have a romantic dinner alone.

Little Vumbura, another camp we stayed in was not quite on the extravagant scale of Mombo and Wolwedans in its accommodation, though still very luxurious for a tented safari camp, but we learned from the honeymooners that they have one tent which has an extra for honeymooners, an outdoor bath. Note that a bath is a real luxury in Botswana as most of the camps feature showers, as the water must be heated by solar panels and so baths are difficult.

If you do want to stay at camps like these, one tip would be to book at LEAST a year in advance, much more if neccessary.

If the cost of a flying safari between camps is prohibitive, we met a number of couples, one also on honeymoon, doing a self drive in Namibia (not feasible in Botswana) who were loving it.

Kavey
 
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Jul 12th, 2001, 04:24 PM
  #6
Sherryl
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I traveled throughout South Africa on a tour from Capetown through the Garden Country, to Durban, through Krugar National Park, to Drakensburg and KwaZulu-Natal, and finally to Johannesburg in April of 1999. It was a beautiful, incredible, two week trip but definitely caution should be exercised in Johannesburg, Durban, and Mossel Bay.

There were definitely certain areas of South Africa that our tour guides would not let us walk even a few blocks un-escorted. Johannesburg was the worst. A caucasian couple in our group went down the block to the bank and the bank manager would not let them walk back to our group by themselves. He sent an armed escort! Our tour guides had to pay people to guard our tour vans while we walked through the capital.

South Africa has some beautiful beaches...definitely a great vacation but do your homework -- read the tour books. Have fun!
 
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Jul 12th, 2001, 06:47 PM
  #7
john lowery
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First off Congrats on the engagement. My wife and I just got back from our Honeymoon in South Africa. We Loved it! We flew South Africian Airways told them it was our Honeymoon and they upgraded us to Business class. We started out in Capetown at the Mt Nelson Hotel. Its a place that hasnt changed for about 50 years. It was charming it retains a Colonial English Feel. They upgraded us to a suite of rooms with champagne and flowers because of the honeymoon and the fact that winter is there low season. The Mt Nelson Breakfast was the best in Africa, they had cavier, champagne and smoked salmon on the Buffet. Next we flew to Port Elizabeth to a Private game reserve called Shamwari. Also wonderful two nights was just the right amount of time. Flew back to Cape Town and stayed in the winelands for 2 nights in Franschhoek at La Quartier francais, a really nice country inn. They also greated us with champagne. Dont miss the local wineries the wine is good and cheap we shipped a case home for about $65. Next we took the Blue train to Pretoria and yes more champagne. We transfred 2 hours to Sun city Lost Palace Hotel. It was something to see but more like disney than Africa. Sun city could be anywhere in the world, but it gave us a chance to golf and have a massage. Nextwe went to Mala Mala game reserve. The Animals were great and yes we did see the Big five. Finally we flew to Joberg were we stayed the night at the grace hotel in the suburb of rosebank. The Grace was just as nice as all the other hotels and we were told it was sake to walk within a few blocks of the hotel even a night. There was a very nice shoppiung complex there called the zone... we didour last minuet shopping and took in the new Tombraider movie. The movie costs about $8 for both of us. The Grace greated us with more champagne flowers and rose petals in the shape of a heart on the bed. Looking back We can't think of a better honeymoon. The weather was in the 70s in the south and in the 80s in the north in the day. It was cool a night. You will need warm clothes including a coat and maybe a hat for the game drives a night especially if you visit Shamwari. We used trans africa safaris out of cape town. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions.
 
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Jul 23rd, 2001, 08:05 AM
  #8
Lisa
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Hi to all,
My reply may be a little late as we have just got back from a month's holiday to Europe. Thank you for calling on me, Local.

My 2 cents on this subject are:

we have traveled back to SA many times in July because of family commitments and school vacation in USA. We live on the east coast of America so are used to very cold winters. While I grew up in South Africa, I had forgotten how warm and pleasant the winter days are in South Africa.

Winter is definitely the best time to visit the Game reserves in South Africa. there is better viewing due to the increased visibility, prices are MUCH lower and the days, while pleasantly warm are not as hot as the summer months. It is VERY cold on the early morning and evening game drives if you are in an open landrover so take very warm clothes. It is also warm enough to swim during the day although the water in the larger swimming pools may still be cold from the overnight chill.

Yes, it is true that winter in Cape Town is the rainy season. We have, however, been lucky on our trips and had great weather there but of course, there is no guarantee.

We've also been in winter to the Natal coast. Umhlanga and Ballito Bay are two resort areas which spring to mind. The are traditionally holiday resorts for those living in Johannesburg and other inland areas for their winter vacations.Think Florida in winter.

I have never been to Kenya but on our cruise we were discussing the merits of South African safaris vs Kenyan safaris with a couple who had done both and they confirmed my thoughts in saying that they much prefer going to South Africa because the country has a much better infrastructure in terms of cities, medical care (should you need it) airways, transportation, facilities etc while you still have the advantage of really outstanding game viewing areas and good conservation standards.

In addition, I would recommend going to Victoria Falls and or/other areas in Southern Africa as it is warm and pleasant and definitely swimming weather during the day.
 
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Jul 23rd, 2001, 08:09 AM
  #9
Lisa
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Hi to all,
My reply may be a little late as we have just got back from a month's holiday to Europe. Thank you for calling on me, Local.

My 2 cents on this subject are:

we have traveled back to SA many times in July because of family commitments and school vacation in USA. We live on the east coast of America so are used to very cold winters. While I grew up in South Africa, I had forgotten how warm and pleasant the winter days are in South Africa.

Winter is definitely the best time to visit the Game reserves in South Africa. there is better viewing due to the increased visibility, prices are MUCH lower and the days, while pleasantly warm are not as hot as the summer months. It is VERY cold on the early morning and evening game drives if you are in an open landrover so take very warm clothes. It is also warm enough to swim during the day although the water in the larger swimming pools may still be cold from the overnight chill.

Yes, it is true that winter in Cape Town is the rainy season. We have, however, been lucky on our trips and had great weather there but of course, there is no guarantee.

We've also been in winter to the Natal coast. Umhlanga and Ballito Bay are two resort areas which spring to mind. The are traditionally holiday resorts for those living in Johannesburg and other inland areas for their winter vacations.Think Florida in winter.

I have never been to Kenya but on our cruise we were discussing the merits of South African safaris vs Kenyan safaris with a couple who had done both and they confirmed my thoughts in saying that they much prefer going to South Africa because the country has a much better infrastructure in terms of cities, medical care (should you need it) airways, transportation, facilities etc while you still have the advantage of really outstanding game viewing areas and good conservation standards.

In addition, I would recommend going to Victoria Falls and or/other areas in Southern Africa as it is warm and pleasant and definitely swimming weather during the day.
 
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Jul 24th, 2001, 03:16 AM
  #10
local
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Hi, Lisa, welcome back! I thought you have left the country. How was your holiday and where did you go?

Just getting back to the question at hand. The following is an extract from the Sunday Times of 22 July:

Johannesburg recorded its first snowfall since 1994;
The main highway between Gauteng (Johannesburg) and KwaZulu-Natal (Durban) was closed because of heavy snow;
Heavy snow fell on mountains in the Western Cape and Northern Cape; and
Cape Town recorded its highest rainfall for July in 44 years as downpours continued in the city yesterday.

See full story at www.suntimes.co.za/2001/07/22/news/news01.htm

It is 14 degrees Celsius here today with a freezingly cold wind blowing.
 
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Jul 24th, 2001, 03:09 PM
  #11
Lisa
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Hi local,

Thanks for the newspaper URL. WOW!! That is major cold. And I am sure you are feeling it as the homes are not geared up for winter, there. I will send you a reference for a mini report on our trip, but I don't want to hijack this thread of Aengus for an irrelevant discussion.

All I can say re the weather, is that I am putting in a request for good weather for the last 2 weeks in August 2002 when we bring a group of Americans who are looking forward to seeing the incredible sights SA has to offer.
 
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