Itinenary Comments

Jan 29th, 2007, 01:36 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 72
Itinenary Comments

Planning a month long trip to include Botswana and hiking in South Africa for September 2008

Suggested camps are

Duma Tau or Kings Pool - please comment
Vumbura or Mombo - please comment

In South Africa, plan is

West Coast Bushman's Kloof
Franschoek Le Petite Ferme
Hermanus Grootbos Private Reserve
Knysna Belvidere Manor
Drakensberg Catherdral Peak

Cape Town ??

Love to hear comments. Thanks
RSS is offline  
Jan 29th, 2007, 02:46 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,501
Hello RSS,

Wow, a month in Africa -- I'm jealous! The longest I've ever managed is three weeks.

I'm glad to see that you've included the Pans as well as the Linyanti and the Delta in your trip. Jack's is great in the dry season -- I'd recommend three days there to be able to take in all the activities on offer. I only had two days on my last trip and had to miss out on some of them, though I did get to see the meerkats and brown hyaenas and do the quad-biking.

In the Linyanti, it depends what your focus is. That area will have amazing game-viewing in September, so you should have excellent sightings no matter which camp you stay at. King's Pool is the most luxurious option, and a favourite of many people who post here. Duma Tau is very nice as well. If you like elephants, I'd also recommend considering Savuti for the woodpile hide and superb game-viewing from camp, and Zib for the lagoon which will attract a lot of game.

Of your Delta camps, it depends on whether you want to be able to do any water activities in the Delta. Chitabe and Mombo are land-only camps which focus on game viewing, whereas Little Vumbura and Vumbura Plains (not sure which one you meant) are mixed camps offering both water and land activities. The game-viewing is generally better at the land-only camps, but that being said I've found the Vumbura reserve very good for cats.

If you only want to do two camps and want a well-rounded Delta experience with superb game-viewing, I'd recommend Mombo and LV / VP. Of course, you could do all three which would be even better!

Your South African itinerary sounds good. If you do Cape Town it would fit most naturally between Bushman's Kloof and Le Petit Ferme.

jasher is offline  
Jan 29th, 2007, 03:50 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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I would ditto Julian on the Botswana comments.

Mombo has more spectacular game, but Vumbura was very good and gives you a chance at sable. Little Vumbura is less expensive than Vumbura and offers a 10 minute boat ride to/from the island camp. The game drives are done in the exact same areas.

The Vumburas are your only water activity camps for mekoros, boats, etc. in the delta.

San would offer a less expensive option to Jack's, with better views from camp. It's also a smaller camp. That's where I stayed, but I did visit Jack's and that was lovely.

Every Botswana camp you've listed would offer a wonderful experience.

SA-Making my 1st trip in June so cannot offer advice. Your stops look interesting.

Cape Town--I'll just mention what I plan to do there. Keep in mind I have not done it yet. Since my interest is nature, I'll be spending most of my time in Simonstown where you can see the penguins and even kayak with them on a 2 1/2 hour trip that leaves at 10:00 am each day. About 10 minutes away from Simonstown, by car, you can do an afternoon walk with habituated baboons.

Sept would be excellent for whale watching. There also are the Great White Shark trips. I am using African Eco Shark Charters owned by the Fallows in Simonstown. But they pick up from Cape Town for their trips, and the whale trip operators will transport you too.

Spier has a cheetah outreach program and also vineyards and wine tasting. I've seen comments it is a bit touristy, but I'm going for a half day.

I'll spend a day and a half in the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve with no special agenda.

One afternoon I am visiting Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.

Robben Island requires half a day, about 3 1/2 hours. Ferries leave frequently & I'm taking the 9 am ferry. It is best visited from Cape Town itself.

Since you mentioned hiking, I'm sure you'll be spending time on Table Mountain.

Will you be doing your own driving? I have a guide for all of mine since I'm alone and not comfortable driving on the opposite side from what I'm accustomed.

You'll have a spectacular month.
atravelynn is offline  
Jan 29th, 2007, 05:39 PM
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Thanks.....yep, we are planning to do our own driving except in the Drakensberg's.
We like to keep our feet on the ground, don't do well on water, e.g. whale watching, so we will mainly drive and then hike.

There is a 7 miles cliff walk at Hermanus where you can see the whales while walking.

We will be getting guides in some locations based on feedback from several people.

Any suggestions for places to stay in Cape Town.

RSS is offline  
Jan 29th, 2007, 08:30 PM
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You doing the cage dive to see the great white sharks? Should be fun....

If you are doing this....could you post more information...thanks

Jan 30th, 2007, 12:26 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
I am not going to Cape Town until July of 2008. I plan way ahead.

I will do 5 Great White Shark trips. The Fallows give free accommodations, (basic self-catering) with 5 shark trips, plus in July trips can be cancelled due to weather. That's why so many.

My plan is to go in the cage least one time. Honestly the cold water is more of a deterrent to me than the sharks!
atravelynn is offline  
Jan 30th, 2007, 01:08 PM
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Are you actually planning to do 5 trips with the Fallows or are these fall back dates if the weather does not cooperate? I went with them this past August in very, very rough seas. We had 4-6 foot waves and it was tough maintaining footing in their small boat. Plus, Chris tears off like a banchee (sp?) when he sees a predation and we all had to hold on for dear life. The experience was fabulous despite the fact we couldn't get into the water as it was too rough and they didn't want to bait the sharks too close for the same reason. We saw 17 live predations of the seals including at least one full breach out of the water by a Great White. I would absolutely do it again and am interested as your ability to cancel if you have had your "fill" after a day or two.
eyelaser is offline  
Jan 30th, 2007, 02:53 PM
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Wow Eric! That's a lot of action in one outing, did you see right whales as well?

I'm hooked on this now. I'm hoping to get to Grootbos in 2008 for sharks and whales.
PredatorBiologist is offline  
Jan 30th, 2007, 03:28 PM
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Eric, Was your outing a trip of the year? Does that sort of thing happen often?

I am reserving and paying for 5 consecutive days to be sure I have a spot on the boat and to realistically go out 3 times. If the weather does not cooperate, I think the Fallows will do something else in Cape Town with the guests during the day. Since I don't expect action like Eric's in one trip I'm increasing my outings to increase my odds. If I have my fill of Great White Sharks after a couple visits, then I'll just do something else at my expense and figure I got my money's worth. I am planning on going on each trip, though.

I am also planning on taking Bonine, which has saved me in previous high seas adventures.
atravelynn is offline  
Jan 30th, 2007, 05:50 PM
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Lynn, Thanks....
Jan 30th, 2007, 06:31 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 317
Chris and Monique were very reluctant to go out that day but knew we would not have another chance as they weather was to get worse over the next 2 days, and we had been cancelled the year before (with another outfit out of Gaansbai) due to weather so we braved the elements. According to them, it was the best day they had in a year for sightings, as a "normal" day is about 5 or 6 predations. It was very exciting but I get sea sick watching the video we took which has only a few glimpses of the sharks as it was virtually impossible to steady the camera and remain in the boat. For obvious reasons, staying in the boat was a must. I promised my wife who gets sea sick on the dock and so didn't accompany my 3 kids (17-23) and me that I would return with the exact amount of children as I left with . We actually only stayed out till about 10:30 or 10:45 instead of 1pm as it was getting too dangerous. But there were some crazies in rubber rafts with outboards trying to get close to the sharks. One landed within 10 feet of the raft and was at least as large as the raft. Now that would have been a grissly video to say the least. Chris radioed the local harbor police to try to get them out of the area for everyone's safety. But what got them even more pissed off was that Chris' other boat which is larger was being used by a French film crew who had mounted a $70,000 gyro on the back of the boat for a high def. camera and the small rubber raft kept getting into the shot. I fully expected them to ram them any minute.
Simon's town is a nice area within an hour from Cape Town and they arranged to pick us up from the Cape Grace and return us later that afternoon. Since we did not have a full day Monique offered to discount our trip which I felt was nice but unnecessary as she really did US the favor of taking us out when otherwise they would have stayed in port. Bonine or dramamine is a must if the weather is anything but perfect. I have seen some documentary footage of False Bay when the seas are not too rough but I wouldn't count on it.
I suspect I will do this again the next time I am in Cape Town. I tried to get my Capetownian cousins to come with me but they thought I was nuts. They are probably right
eyelaser is offline  
Jan 30th, 2007, 06:35 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 317
Sorry, forgot to answer the Right Whale question. We did not see any whales but lots of interesting sea birds including an albatross that made Chris' day. Also saw hundreds and hundreds of seals...most of them alive!
eyelaser is offline  
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