Johannesburg to Victoria Falls

Old Jun 30th, 2005, 11:36 AM
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Johannesburg to Victoria Falls

We pretty much have all our plans made for our 1st Africa trip and now we think it's a mistake to pass on Victoria Falls. Without too much re-arranging we could fly up, stay for 2 nights and fly back before going to Sabi Sands. Any recommendations on packages of flights/lodgings.

jack_Eboy is offline  
Old Jun 30th, 2005, 12:39 PM
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I've been to Victoria Falls, and I can't be the only one who DOESN'T think its a mistake to pass. It was a nice break in the middle of a two-week safari, but I wouldn't sacrifice safari days to see the falls (unless you're really going to take advantage of the adventure stuff, which was OK).

There are flights, though, from JNB to VFA (check
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Old Jun 30th, 2005, 12:51 PM
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Agreed. It is worth seeing once, but I was there for less than 24 hours and that was plenty. We did a cruise in a small flat bottomed boat that put us above some of the rapids, where the booze cruises dont go, and we saw Hippo, Elephants and Waterbuck. That was probbaly the best part, other than that get the poncho's it sure is wet.
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Old Jul 1st, 2005, 05:07 AM
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We went to Vic Falls for two days in May and we loved it! We stayed at the River Club, which we thought was gorgeous! We flew from Joberg at the very beginning of our trip. We used the two nights to get acclimated to Africa time from the US and to rest up from jet lag and no sleep for 48 hours. We did the walking tour of the falls (included in your stay at River Club) and also a helicopter tour ($85 per person). I think it's something everyone should do at least once, if you're going to Africa, and I highly recommend River Club!

Our trip report talking about River Club and Vic Falls is here.
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Old Jul 1st, 2005, 05:59 AM
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I agree with Thit Cho. While I loved seeing the falls, had I just been staying at a hotel or local lodge, it would not have been worth the visit.

What DID make it worth the visit, however, was that I stayed 3 nights at Matetsi Water Lodge for my Victoria Falls visit, so I really did not sacrifice any safari time.

Also, as an alternative, it would be very easy to combine a Victoria Falls visit with a short safari to either Hwange, Mana Pools, Lower Zambezi or even South Luangwa. Depending on the time of year, such visits may be just as rewarding as the Sabi Sands.

The thing I see with the author's itinerary is that one night will almost surely be required in Joburg upon returning from Victoria Falls before proceeding to the Sabi Sands. Another thing is that for the amount of money spent at a good lodge in the Sabi Sands, the very BEST lodges may still be less expensive at the places I mentioned.

Possible alternative lodges would include Makalolo Plains in Hwange, Chikwenya in Mana Pools, Kasaka River Lodge or Chongwe River Camp or Sausage Tree Camp or Chiawa Camp in Lower Zambezi and Luangwa River Lodge, Puku Ridge, Chichele Presidential Lodge, Kaingo, Kafunta, Tafika, any of Robin Pope's camps, any of the Bushcamp Company's camps or any of Norman Carr's camps in South Luangwa.

As a first time visitor, Jack Eboy, the Sabi Sands would be an easy selection, but, quite honestly, must of us here have already been there and done that, and moved onto other safari destinations that are less commercialized. Sure, I will spend time at Simbambili in the Sabi Sand during my next safari, but it is just my dessert at the end of my 3 week holiday. The main course will be 12 nights in Zambia, and for many of the others who frequent Southern Africa on the board, their main course is Botswana for their safaris.

In all fairness, however, there are still some veteran safarigoers on board who choose the Sabi Sand time and time again.

Just make sure you know all your options before you book your trip.

Congratulations on your upcoming first visit to Africa and welcome to the Africa board.
Roccco is offline  
Old Jul 2nd, 2005, 05:06 PM
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It's definitely a mistake to pass up a trip to Vic Falls. We just got back - what an amazing couple of nights and day. I would actually recommend staying right near the falls rather than out at one of the more remote lodges. Especially if you are only there two nights. That is actually the exact amount of time we spent there. We stayed at the Ilala Lodge. it is a 10 minute walk from the entrance to the falls and you can also book any tours you desire from a tour desk right in the lodge. It is a small place and the service is fabulous! They also have a very reasonable and excellent laundry service. I had read a posting on this site about them getting red wine out of a pair of pants and wouldn't you know - I ended up with half a glass of wine being spilled on my pants. They got it out! if you stay there, walk over to Mama Africa one night for dinner. It is right across the railroad tracks. They have live music every night and the pot dinners are wonderful (get the peanut butter rice!).

Where are you staying in Sabi Sands? I recommend Elephant Plains. Wonderful place and great game viewing. Gideon and Prince were fabulous as guide/tracker team.

Enjoy your trip!
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