Honeymoon Questions

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Jan 15th, 2004, 08:56 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Jan 2004
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Honeymoon Questions

I have never been to Africa and have some questions as my fiance and I are thinking about going there for our honeymoon.
1) South Africa early July - too cold?
2) Book by ourselves or go through an operator?
3) Tour operator recommendations? Escorted or self-drive?

We're getting married June 26th and want to go soon after for approx. two weeks. We want to visit CPT, vineyards, see some animals. We don't want to spend more than $6-7k including airfare.

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Jan 15th, 2004, 10:39 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Cape Town in July is supposed to be wet and cold (southern hemisphere winter). I say "supposed to be" because in 2003 July was positively sunny with the cold only arriving later. If, however, you are unlucky and 2004 returns to "normal" wheather patterns you could be in for rain, more rain, cold and possibly snow on the nearby mountain peaks. Good for relaxing in front of a log fire with a glass of red wine, but not really for being out and about which is what Cape Town is all about.

The lowveld where the Kruger park and prime private game reserves are located is in a summer rainfall region - dry in June / July. The bush is less dense at this time of year and animals congregate at water sources, making game spotting easier. The temperatures are pleasant and mild as opposed to sweltering in summer. There are much less mozzies about than in summer. In short this is the best time of year to visit this area.
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Jan 15th, 2004, 12:58 PM
  #3
sandi
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nitajan -

You don't indicate from where you're departing, the States or from Europe. But if from the States, the cheapest air during low season (which isn't July)is approx $1,000 person departing NYC (JFK) or Atlanta (ATL) where you can fly into either JNB or CPT and the fare includes the one/way to the other.
Example: Fly into JNB, then fly to CPT, depart from CPT and vice versa.

If you wish to safari in Kruger, you can fly (adds to cost) or rent a car and drive (about 5-6 hrs, driving on left, and a cost is associated with this also).

So with a budget of $7,000 you've eaten up at minimum $2,000 for air. With the remaining $5,000 you can probably arrange a trip at $2,500 each, but that's a real tight amount amount of money. If you're in the States, try contacting:

www.2afrika.com

(located in NJ and a reputable budget operator, with an air consolidation department with good airfares).

See what type of proposal they can come up with which will give you an idea of what can be done. Then come back here with a preliminary itinerary for comments from the board.

And I'm sure other posters here might have other suggestions for operators to inquire of.
 
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Jan 15th, 2004, 09:31 PM
  #4
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Thanks for the name/website! The airfare is a bit daunting. I should have mentioned that we have one potential international ticket using frequent flier miles and are seeing if anyone might want to donate miles as a wedding present.
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Jan 15th, 2004, 09:32 PM
  #5
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Thanks for the name/website! The airfare is a bit daunting. I should have mentioned that we have one potential international ticket using frequent flier miles and are seeing if anyone might want to donate miles as a wedding present. Oh - and we're coming from New York.
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Jan 16th, 2004, 09:46 AM
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We just completed our first trip to South Africa, 2 weeks for ~$5000. (I'll post my trip report soon.) Our flights were $1400: $375 each NYC-London upgraded on United, then 75000 United miles plus $160 taxes each for business class on Lufthansa open jaw, London-CPT, JHB-London. Bought a one-way CPT-JHB on kulula.com for $160 each (could have been more like $100, but we were there over the Christmas/New Years holidays.)

If you're thinking of using miles from the U.S., consider buying a flight to Europe and using miles from there. A Lufthansa business award ticket from the U.S. would've been 125000. We saved 50,000 miles each by buying that $375 London flight; moreover we earned 16,000 miles each (double miles for elite flyers), so for $530 and net 59,000 miles each we flew business class to South Africa. Unbeatable. Flying via Europe you do lose a day en route (we spent our 12-hour layover visiting friends near Frankfurt), but unless your preferred airline is a South African Airlines partner, the miles more than make up for the indirect route.

For our 12 days on the ground in South Africa we spent about $3200, all independent travel -- basically, if it isn't 3rd world, I won't use a tour operator, and I presume the same holds true for many fodorites.

We visited Cape Town (1 day), Knysna (2), Oudtshoorn (1), Stellenbosch (2), Cape Town again (2), Pretoria (1), Pilanesberg/Sun City (1), Johannesburg (1), and Blue Mountain Lodge near Kruger (1 -- was supposed to be 4, but a death in the family cut our trip short). It was a good overview of South Africa: city, town, and countryside; game viewing; lots of wine and top restaurants; sunshine and adrenaline fixes; massages (*always* get rubbed abroad: even the priciest spas charge less than half U.S. prices); and mid-to-high end hotels. Lots of driving (2000 miles over those 12 days), but we like to cover a lot of ground (and I get to drive really fast abroad...)

Again, I'll post my report soon; just read as many fodors forum reports as you can to get ideas for your own trip. Good luck.

David
New York, NY
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