Is March good time for trip toSouth Africa?

Dec 16th, 2007, 05:24 PM
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Is March good time for trip toSouth Africa?

I am taking my 14 yr old son to Africa, and I have the month of March to do it. Is March a good time? Having never been to Africa I don't know where to start! He wants to see animals (wants to be biologist or do field research or something). Is there some parts better than others as far as accomadations...I like the luxury side...the unusual... Is one airline better than another? We can leave from anywhere in California. Seems to me someone told me about their trip to a volcano basin where there was a great photo safari, great food, great tents, etc. Sound familiar to anyone? Anything anyone can tell me will certainly start me on the planning part. By the way...we don't do tours of more than 10..including us. Private guides are good. Anything will be helpful!
Dec 16th, 2007, 06:08 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
If you are including a visit to Cape Town, I believe that March is a wonderful time to visit South Africa.

From California, you will need a stopover but there are many places you may do this. To make it more fun, you may want to stopover for a couple nights in Europe or even Australia, as going through Australia doesn't really add much time when flying from California.

For your safari, a safe bet would be the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve. There are quite a few properties in the Sabi Sand, but here are a few to start with:

Also, there are other properties in South Africa to consider for a safari. A good safari company that features many properties in South Africa is CCAfrica:

You and your son are going to love South Africa. Have fun.
Roccco is offline  
Dec 16th, 2007, 06:20 PM
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March is quite a nice time in Cape Town. When we were there is was cool and pleasant.

I think the safari location you are talking about is Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania. Don't know of anything similar in South Africa. Ngorongoro is beautiful. We stayed in the Ngoronogoro Serena Lodge and loved it.

Africa is a big place. Your title suggests you want South Africa, but your post doesn't specify anything. You can do all sorts of things in South Africa - Garden Route, penguin colonies, safari, wine country (you have to enjoy this too!), Cape of Good Hope.....a huge list of things.

My boys are now 14 and 16 and we have been to South Africa twice (mainly Cape Town area) and it's still one of their favorite places.
Grcxx3 is offline  
Dec 16th, 2007, 06:21 PM
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Sounds like you are just beginning your research. This board can be very overwhelming. I highly recommend a book published by Fodor's called African Safari. It's a thin volume and a fast read. It really helped me figure out what I wanted to do from a big picture perspective before I dove into the details here and elsewhere.
hills27 is offline  
Dec 16th, 2007, 06:33 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
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I also got the Fodors book a few years ago as "a starting point" along with reading tons of posts here.

Since KayeN is at Mala Mala as we speak, I thought you might enjoy her wonderful photos from March at Mala Mala (Sabi Sands)

<) Carla
CarlaM is offline  
Dec 16th, 2007, 06:33 PM
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How long do you plan to travel? The entire month or a portion of the month of March?

These two sites show what places are best for wildlife viewing throughout the year.

Sabi Sands comes up a winner for March. If your son wants to see animals, the Sabi Sands is one of the most action packed spots you can go.

The Sabi Sands has outstanding accommodations. You do not rough it there. You can check the links provided. I stayed at Mala Mala in June, which is legendary for its wildlife. There are 3 levels of accommodation there. I found the most modest to be lovely and comfortable.

Here's weather.

You could have a little rain, but should be pleasant.

You can use South Africa Air or any US carrier to Europe, then SAA down to Johannesburg or Cape Town. Or British Air to London and down. I have no preference. If you look at, you can see if certain schedules appeal more to you, and of course the fares.

An agent or the accommodation where you are staying can arrange the flights from Joburg to the park(s).

Volcano basin is likely Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania. You cannot stay in the crater basin in tents anymore (which is what you mentioned), but there are many accommodations around the rim. Crater Lodge is a CCAfrica property and one of the most luxurious places in Africa (since you mentioned luxury.) March can be a good time in parts of Tanzania and for wildlife in the crater. The crater roads can be a bit muddy. But I know you requested South Africa.

It would be unusual for you to travel with 10 people in Africa. You can get a private vehicle or if you share, you can choose lodging and operators that would limit the total to 6, or to 4.

Some more specifics can be given when you know how long you'd like to travel, if you would like to include Cape Town--not a safari destination, but there are baboons and penguins, and if you are staying within South Africa only.

It will be a Spring Break of a lifetime for you both!

atravelynn is offline  
Dec 16th, 2007, 07:36 PM
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Thanks so much. This is helping. Time wise we could do up to 3 weeks if needed. My Uncle recommended South Africa, but I suppose if there is something better, Tanzania or something, that anyone really thinks is wonderful...we're still very open. I presume anywhere on the East coast?? I'll try and pickup the book that was recommended...I'll send for it, we live in the mts. and the bookstores local are VERY limited..thank goodness for Amazon!
Is it really that close to Australia? We always do Europe and Canada, so this is all very new territory for me, I really really appreciate your time in helping me try to figure this out. I would have to break up the trip, I can't do 23 hours of flying in one stretch, I'm either too old or too hyper or probably both! We are blessed that budgeting isn't a problem, and I am lucky that this year he had to Home School(health problems, since resolved). Next year he's off to High School, so it would be very difficult to go anywhere in March or April. Keep the suggestions really helps. Just a note....doesn't China have wildlife and is it closer? From what you've said so far, looks like Africa is the place, but he just mentioned China to me and made me wonder (he has friends living there at the moment..but I heard it was difficult to move about).
Dec 16th, 2007, 07:46 PM
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thanks so much for the photo link!!
What wonderful pictures, really sold us on the Africa trip. Do you happen to know what kind of camera and lens was used? Great photos, great photographer..and probably had fun to boot!! Thanks again, very very helpful in our decision.
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