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I've got £3000 / $5000 to spend....Help!

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Jan 20th, 2011, 01:15 AM
  #1
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I've got £3000 / $5000 to spend....Help!

Hi all,
I'm getting married at the end of June & looking for a honeymoon to spend £3000 / $5000!

I work for an airline in the UK so I'm not including any air travel in the budget

I'm want to give my fiancée 2 options which she can choose from - 10 days in the Maldives (I've already been getting quotes for many places there - thanks god for travel industry discount!) OR a Safari / Beach type holiday:

We fly into Nairobi, Jo'burg, Dar-es-Salaam, Entebbe & Lusaka so looking at safari's within a drive / short flight from there.

Seeing as there are so many choices, I was wondering if anyone can recommend a safari which is fairly luxurious (fit for a honeymoon anyway!) yet not going to blow the majority of my budget without leaving any for a few days on the beach somewhere!

I have had quotes from places like the Lion Sands River Lodge / Londolozi / Mala Mala but they are upwards of Zar4000 pppn (£800 per night for the 2 of us!!).

We'd be starting the honeymoon around the beginning of July so realise it'll be fairly cool in SA then but I assume it'll be warmer further north.

The safari itself, I'd prefer to be in a tented environment rather than a bog standard hotel - would be nice to be able to see / hear wildlife from the camp itself rather but it'd also be ace to be able to see the big 5 whilst we're there!
(I've done a couple of cheapy safari's before- one north of JNB & one in Pamuzinda safari lodge near Harare so I've seen my big 5!!)

All comments gratefully received!

Kind regards,
Nic
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Jan 20th, 2011, 02:17 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
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exciting trip you are planning!

just one question to be sure; the 5000$ is for the both of you? or per person?

I assume its for the both of you, and in that case it might be a bit tight to get the more luxurious experience in tented camps as this normally is the budget needed per person (in tanzania anyways...)
I think you have the best chance in South Africa for that budget...
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Jan 20th, 2011, 03:07 AM
  #3
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Crikey, sorry - yes the $5000 is for the both of us, but no long range flights!

Many thanks for the reply Nikao!
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Jan 20th, 2011, 04:33 AM
  #4
 
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Have a look at Beho Beho (superb for honeymooners) or Selous Impala Camp, if you want to sample something more economical.

Selous Game Reserve is a 40 minute hop from Dar, and the beach resorts of the coast or Zanzibar are only 20 minutes from Dar, too. (Small planes of Coastal Aviation connect with BA flights from/to London)

If those places don't meet your requirements there are several others in the area.

The big advantage of the Selous is the lack of other people - perhaps 1% of the northern safari routes. And it also has water-based safaris, as well as walking and fly-camping, which is well worth trying, but keep it a surprise from your fiancee, for maximum effect. Have fun
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Jan 20th, 2011, 04:48 AM
  #5
 
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www.e-gnu.com/chobe_marina_lodge_botswana.html

Lots of good romantc upscale but reasonable

lodging options here.

also might get some bids on www.zicasso.com

Congrats!
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Jan 20th, 2011, 05:17 AM
  #6
 
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Is Chobe within a short flight / drive of the places mentioned?
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Jan 20th, 2011, 07:36 AM
  #7
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Thanks guys, I have emailed a few of the places mention - Beho Beho has come back at $875pppn which is a bit too much!

Looks lovely though!
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Jan 20th, 2011, 08:02 AM
  #8
 
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Considering East Africa, whether Tanzania or Kenya - July being "peak" season with rates to match....

Selous would be too expensive for the camps mentioned above. Beho Beho, Selous Safari or Sand Rivers... just too hi. Though would be great area for remoteness and less visitors.

In Kenya's Masai Mara, on average in July, where you'll catch up with the "migration" and Big-5, you have to expect your daily rate at a small intimate camp (between 6-10/tents) per person to average about $500/person (including room/tent, meals, park fees, game drives and light aircraft flight to/from and taxes).

Sadly, $2,500/person doesn't give you much to play with, especially if looking for an area best suited for a honeymoon. Of course, if you consider larger properties with less intimacy, more guests... you may pull it off. Or if you consider less than 10/days.

Good luck!
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Jan 20th, 2011, 08:25 AM
  #9
 
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I assumed you would want 3-4 nights safari (it would be an excellent introduction and not too taxing) and the remainder of the time on a beach, chilling out/diving/snorkelling/sightseeing.

Spendng 10 days on a safari, if it is your fiancee's first time, might be a bit much and not relaxing.
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Jan 20th, 2011, 11:50 PM
  #10
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Sorry, I guess I didn't make that very clear - I reckon on 3-5 days on Safari (I want my new marriage to last longer than that if we do over a week in the bondu!) then a week or so chilling on a beach...

Thanks Sandi - it does seem as if that's the case!
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Jan 21st, 2011, 02:44 AM
  #11
 
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Ngala Tented Camp is a wonderful honeymoon safari destination in South Africa. They have a "pay 3, stay 4" night special offer which is great. There are daily direct flights between Johannesburg and Ngala, or you could fly with SAA to Hoedspruit and get an hour road transfer from there!
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Jan 21st, 2011, 03:05 AM
  #12
 
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For value and a great place, if not quite as wonderful as those costing much more, if you like elwphants try Satao in Tsavo East in Kenya. Also Finch Hattons or Severin Camp in Tsavo West. All are tented camps and quite luxurious but a step down price-wise from what has been mentioned before. Satao I can vouch for and I've not seen a bad word about Finch Hattons in a few years hanging around these forums. Don't know a lot about Severin, but it has a good location at least and looks the part.

I'd also check out Galdessa as a more glamorous option in a slightly higher price range. Take a look at the web site and you might think it is exactly what you are looking for - or not!

Not sure about Kenya's coast as I have never been there, but there is more choice than just Mombassa. Anyway, if this kind of thing looks right but Kenya not, people can probably better give you equivalents in other countries and other areas. If you want to price the above, best to try both direct and through a local ground operator as they have both package rates and accommodation and food only rates, and there can be a significant difference in the all-inclusive total depending on which they are trying to encourage.
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Jan 21st, 2011, 10:29 AM
  #13
 
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If only 3/days safari, even at $500/day person (including flights to/from, daily rate, meals, game drives, taxes) for luxe in the Mara, you can then fly to the Kenyan coast, maybe to Lamu Island for your R&R time. There is more to the coast than just Mombassa... areas south like Diani, as well Lamu which is north. The daily rates on the coast will be less than safari days. You can probably then pull it off with the budget you have.
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Jan 22nd, 2011, 01:16 PM
  #14
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That's brilliant info guys - many thanks.

I have sent off a flurry of emails & it's just waiting time now!

Shame there isn't a flight under 8hrs from Africa to the Maldives though!

Kind regards,

Nic
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