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Ideas for where to go in southern Africa August-September 2009?

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Oct 2nd, 2008, 05:23 PM
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Ideas for where to go in southern Africa August-September 2009?

I suppose we have become Africa addicts although we do go other places too! Anyway, we have been to Tanzania's northern circuit once, Kruger twice, Sabi Sands once, Cape Town once, Kwando's Botswana camps once, and this December we will be going to Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in SA in addition to Mapula, Little Vumbura, and Chief's Camp in Botswana.

We have just started thinking of where to go on vacation next August-September and it occurs to me that we always go to Africa in November-January so maybe we should think about going in August-September for a change this time. We have enough frequent flier miles to get us as far as Jo'burg. Would like suggestions for where to go in August-September from there, with between 2-3 weeks to spend in total. I'm thinking maybe Namibia (Etosha) or Zambia (South Luangwa), and am also interested in Mapungubwe and Marakele in SA as well as Mashatu in southern Bots. Perhaps some of the above in combination. Maybe there are other parts of SA we should consider as well -- we love South Africa! Would not rule out Madagascar either. Would appreciate any suggestions. Priorities are wildlife viewing, photography, culture, and scenery -- not luxury. We like self-driving too and can go either way on that. Our favorite trips combine some self-driving time in self-catering national park accommodations with some time in somewhat nicer digs as well.
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Oct 2nd, 2008, 05:29 PM
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Based on your desires and preferences, I'd say Namibia! You are stacking up your trips, good for you.
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Oct 2nd, 2008, 05:42 PM
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I agree with ATrav, 3 weeks and unafraid of self drive = Namibia.
Hire a car in JNB, head west. First night at Augrabies Falls....After that cross the Orange and just keep going.

you could plan it so that you finish up along the Caprivi strip with a final three days to get back to JNB through Botswana... Although the last days would be transiting down the countries eastern corridor and will perhaps not be that exciting.

Although a stop at Chobe and Nata en-route might offer some diversity to the long road to ORTIA.
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Oct 3rd, 2008, 09:44 AM
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You could do SLNP, Mana Pools NP, Kafue NP and Vic Falls/Livingstone on a self drive/self catering. This includes some of the best self drive wildlife game viewing in Southern Africa. If your time is right, you might be able to include a tribal ceremony- one of Zambia's big 5. Routed properly, it will include some great scenery. And of course, the opportunity for bush walking in a few parks and canoeing the Lower Zambezi if that floats your boat.
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Oct 3rd, 2008, 02:11 PM
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My recommendation would be to start back at Sabi Sands - great viewing in the winter as there is less visual obstruction from foliage, there are no bugs, and the weather is usually great.

Then I'd head south and out to the West Coast north of Cape Town for all the wildflowers around Darling, plus the beautiful coast and coastal villages - Paternoster, Yzerfontein, etc. The West Coast National Park is a gem, and it's only an hour or two from CPT.

Here are some photos of the area that I took last September -

Fishing boats at Paternoster - http://gardyloo.us/aug24b%20016s.JPG

Wildflowers at West Coast NP - http://gardyloo.us/aug24b%20044s.JPG

West Coast NP - http://gardyloo.us/aug24b%20066s.JPG
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Oct 3rd, 2008, 04:14 PM
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If we're looking at roughly, say, August 15-September 7th timeframe, is that too early for the wildflowers?
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Oct 3rd, 2008, 04:26 PM
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the wildflowers are expected in oct!

but what about the migration in tanzania or massai mara/kenya or a combo of both?

no self drive but fly in.

would be ideal time wise!

div
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Oct 3rd, 2008, 05:23 PM
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The wildflower pictures I posted were taken on August 24th last year.
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Oct 3rd, 2008, 05:47 PM
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gardy
really?
was that exceptional season based on extraordinary rain?
we were told the flowering starts late sep/early oct.

div
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Oct 3rd, 2008, 06:54 PM
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gardy
really?
was that exceptional season based on extraordinary rain?
we were told the flowering starts late sep/early oct.


Really.

I think the flowers bloom in different areas at different times. My pix are from the coast, inland (around Darling) things hadn't really started up yet (but there were some in evidence.)

Here's a pic from the same day, but a bit farther inland - basic dark Satanic mill in the posies.

http://gardyloo.us/aug24a%20106s.JPG
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Oct 5th, 2008, 04:46 AM
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You call yourselves "Africa addicts" but you've never been outside "southern Africa", except for Tanzania, and then only for the game parks. There's a whole continent out there - 50 countries or thereabouts, and all different.

So now you're thinking of going again to "southern Africa" and are choosing your destination based on FF points.

Why not turn it around. Your FF points will take you to somewhere in Europe from whence you could fly on (maybe even on a cheapie) to West Africa (love Ghana and Mali) or North Africa (Morocco and Egypt are wonderful). Look at it this way, what it will cost you to get to other destinations from Europe is more than likely going to be offset by the cheaper cost of accommo, food, everything.

Or you could visit Uganda (glorious) or Malawi - both so easy to travel around.

Do you go to "Africa" just for the animals? Do you have any interest in other things?

Cheers.
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Oct 5th, 2008, 08:09 AM
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The flowers of the western cape are a spring phenomenon which peaks between early august and late september. Seldom into the weeks of october.

I would suggest if you are planning a trip around the flowers that you target the last week of august into the first week of september. Remember also that the terrain will cause the variety and species to change, so try and pass through the mountains into the karoo to enjoy the full spectacle. I would also suggest that you time your visit to coincide with some of the flower shows/displays in the area, Clan William perhaps having the greatest reputation.

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Oct 6th, 2008, 07:30 AM
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Thanks for all of the ideas so far.

For "afterall" re: the frequent flier miles, for 100,000 miles we can fly to Europe in business class, or for 120,000 miles we can fly to South Africa in business class. (BTW, we fly in business class rather than coach now because I got deep vein thrombosis several years ago after flying back from Australia in coach and ended up in the hospital with massive pulmonary emboli, long story...). So in terms of value for miles, we prefer to use our miles to go e.g. to Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, southeast Asia. We go to Europe too but it doesn't make sense to use our miles to go there IMO. There is still a lot of Africa we have not seen, as I indicated -- and we want to see almost all of it eventually! Of course we are not only interested in animals -- otherwise I would not have been asking about the wildflowers obviously -- but the wildlife is a very big draw for us. In my original post I mentioned wildlife, photography, culture, and scenery as our priorities. For whatever reason, when I check on availability of frequent flier tickets (Delta, NW/KLM, Air France, Skyteam), flights to JNB for next August are showing pretty good availability whereas e.g. to DAR or JRO or other parts of east Africa are not.

Anyway, please keep those ideas coming!
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Oct 6th, 2008, 12:46 PM
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For whatever reason, when I check on availability of frequent flier tickets (Delta, NW/KLM, Air France, Skyteam), flights to JNB for next August are showing pretty good availability whereas e.g. to DAR or JRO or other parts of east Africa are not.

Are you checking online or by phone? FWIW I've found Kenya Airways (KQ) to have fairly good availability in business but I don't know of any way to check other than by calling. KQ could get you to DAR but not JRO (closest would be NBO).
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Oct 6th, 2008, 05:09 PM
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For whatever reason, when I check on availability of frequent flier tickets (Delta, NW/KLM, Air France, Skyteam), flights to JNB for next August are showing pretty good availability whereas e.g. to DAR or JRO or other parts of east Africa are not.

i could bet because of the migration!
tickets from europe to nairobi are about 1300€ on klm or emirates - ECONOMY in aug/sep 09!

div
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