Initial Planning Steps-South Africa 2005

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Sep 12th, 2003, 09:53 AM
  #1
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Initial Planning Steps-South Africa 2005

I am planning a trip to South Africa for March 2005. How soon should I book the safari lodging? I am considering Mala Mala (Kirkman's), Phinda and Mpila. Also, has anyone used African Trave, Inc (in Glendale, CA) or Go2Africa in Capetown?
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Sep 12th, 2003, 11:28 AM
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Jammie,

I used African Travel for my air portion of my trip this last June. Their prices on air are great but their prices on lodging are overpriced.

I suggest that you really research your trip and build your itenerary yourself and then send it to a few different agents to quote.

I have had luck with www.attractiveafrica.com and www.tagasafaris.com when searching for low priced safari lodging.

Good luck.
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Sep 12th, 2003, 11:40 AM
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I really enjoy doing the research and planning the itinerary so I won't be contacting any travel agencies until I have it all planned out. Is it cheaper to go through AttraciveAfrica or Taga for the safari lodging than contacting the safari lodges directly?
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Sep 12th, 2003, 12:21 PM
  #4
sandi
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Jammie -

You have time to plan and as Roccco states, do your homework.

Also realize that between now and 2005 you can figure prices can increase between 5% - 10% annually, and then you have the exchange rate fluctuations between USD and SARand. So who knows where prices will be at that time. They can be up or down???

You can go to some camps directly, but many work thru tour operators only, so be prepared for this response. And if you can book directly, you'll be responsible for transfers, though some camps can arrange some part of transfers - mostly to their advantage.

Be prepared to book 9-mo to 1-yr out to get your accommodations (though March isn't considered hi-season/prime travel time). And considering the world situation, do not forget about travel insurance for cancellation and/or interruption.

Also as Roccco states, African Travel in CA can be a bit overpriced and I found from a quote received from Go2Africa that their prices were in the same range as African Travel.

For air I would contact Premier Tours located in Phila, Pa. They are a tour operator as well, so keep them on your "to get a quote from" - I use them primarily for air. Can contact at:

www.premiertours.com

and select their airfares.

As your plans come together, I'm sure you'll be able to get lots of input from the Africaphiles here at fodors.com.

Happy researching!
 
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