late August 2006 Africa

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Feb 28th, 2006, 01:56 PM
  #1
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late August 2006 Africa

Never been to Africa and planning honeymoon trip for late August 2006. I've read this board till my head aches and realize that I need to trust others that have been there before. Open to all suggestions but am considering sensibility of and would appreciate any advice on:
USA to Johannesburg
2day/night @ Londolozi ($tree lodge-she wants some luxury)
2+- days then want to do rustic tent camp
2-3 days like to do Masai Mara for migration (balloon ride) and Ngorongo Crater looks/sounds great too.
Have between 8-12 days for travel. I want game walk(s), night game drive(s), and be outdoors as much as possible - she would like same but with a tad more luxury (surprise).
Open to all suggestions as to length of stay, pros/cons of lodge hopping, costs, anything that can make a special difference. Thanks for your insight/kindness in advance.
P.S. Any issue with taking malaria medication and trying to get pregnant?? Had to ask.
korenwijn is offline  
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Feb 28th, 2006, 02:08 PM
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I'd strongly suggest choosing one region, either East Africa or Southern Africa if you have 8-12 days rather than flying from place to place every few days.
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Feb 28th, 2006, 02:43 PM
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I strongly agree. If you have twelve days max, I would consider climbing Kili and then heading to the crater. I'm not sure if you're a hiker, but the climb is awesome. I'd be happy to send you my photos (I just got back yesterday). We climbed Machame, then went to the Serengeti for a two day safari, then finished in Zanzibar and had a wonderful time snorkeling.

Try and stay at a Serena lodge. Those are the best resorts and you will appreaciate many creature comforts, especially air conditioning!

The game walk sounds great. Wish I had done that. I couldn't stand being cooped up and cooking in a Range Rover all day joyriding around the Serengeti. It was awesome, but would have much preferred walking.

Are you on Larium? I'm still on it and having really crazy dreams! I don't think there is a risk, but you should check w/your doctor.
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Feb 28th, 2006, 03:46 PM
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Hmmm one suggestion to stay in 1 place and another to climb Kili ... perhaps my bride and I can honeymoon separately
Thanks so far, appreciate all other advice
Suggestions for guided tent in bush for stars and roars??
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Feb 28th, 2006, 03:53 PM
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Larium + trying to get pregnant + other shots for Africa + being exposed to disease in Africa = a BAD RECIPE

My wife and I went in October and we were advised to wait at leeast 3 months after coming back before trying. My wife is a nurse and she talked to a doctor. No one said specifically Larium cause XXXX, but universally they said 'give it a little time to let everything get out of your system'
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Feb 28th, 2006, 07:23 PM
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santharamhari
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Given the time of the year......either Kenya (Masai Mara will be awesome that time)

OR

Go to BOTSWANA!!!! 8-12 nights either with Wilderness safaris or Kwando safaris.......both fantastic optins
 
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Mar 1st, 2006, 04:53 AM
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sandi
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In 8-12 days you don't have sufficient time to visit both southern and eastern Africa. The flight alone between JNB to Nairobi or Kilimanjaro is 4-hrs each way (assuming you'd be returning to JNB for your homebound flight).

August is the ideal time to visit the Masai Mara in Kenya - minimum 4-days which you can split 2-days each with a lux camp and a more rustic one. You can also visit Tanzania - Tarangire Park and the Ngorongoro Crater. Your budget will determine accommodations that would work for you.

I would suggest, however, if interested in Kenya/Tanzania, you do so quickly, as space is booking up - this is high-season.
 
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Mar 1st, 2006, 12:48 PM
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Hello,

I agree with other posters that you should decide on either Southern or East Africa for your honeymoon to avoid spending too much of your time on planes.

I would recommend considering spending your honeymoon in South Africa. It's extremely good value for money -- you will be able to afford surprisingly luxurious places at less than you would expect. Despite being the best time for game-viewing, August is considered the low season in South Africa (unlike the rest of the continent, where it is considered the high season) so you will be able to get good deals on accommodation.

Whilst it doesn't have the migration, South Africa does have superb game-viewing in a wide variety of different environments, as well as historical and cultural sights if you would like a few city days at the end of your safari, perhaps in Cape Town.

I've stayed several times at Londolozi, and Tree Camp is my favourite camp -- it's luxurious and very elegant, and each room has a private plunge pool and private sala (both of which you will appreciate in August). I've had superb game-viewing at Londoz as well, particularly for leopard.

If you decide on Southern Africa, you may want to consider combining Londoz with Phinda, a reserve located near Durban. Phinda is a wonderful reserve which offers a tremendous range of activities which should keep both you and your bride happy -- in addition to game drives, there is rhino tracking (on foot!), fishing, scuba safaris, and more. Take a look on www.ccafrica.com. I've stayed at Phinda, and really enjoyed it. Of the two less expensive accommodation options, I'd definitely recommend Forest Lodge. In addition to being a wonderful reserve, the fact that both Phinda and Londoz are run by CCAfrica will mean that you may qualify for a long-stay discount.

I've never gotten around to posting them, but I have pictures of all four Londoz camps. Drop me an email and I can send them to you.

Cheers,
Julian
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Mar 1st, 2006, 06:26 PM
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I agree with all others that you should definitely choose either East or Southern Africa and not try to do both in that amount of time.

If you decide on Southern Africa, and stay at Londolozi, then really 3 nights would be much better than two. It will give you a little time to relax after the long flight, and to get to know your ranger, and see more wildlife. And yes, try to stay at Tree Camp for your honeymoon, it is small and intimate, great service yet very relaxed. Make sure your agent lets them know it is your honeymoon, and they will provide some special touches such as returning to your room one night to a candlelit bath filled with rose petals, serving dinner on your sala just for the two of you (by lantern light), etc.

If you want to try a tented camp, you could combine with Ngala Tented Camp which is another CCAfrica camp north of Sabi Sands (Jasher has been there and can tell you about it).

Or head up to Botswana for the remainder of the trip. The end of August will be high season in Botswana, so the camps there are probably already filling up, so may need to find out as soon as possible about that. Quite expensive there that time of year also. If you are looking for something a little more "rustic" then try the 5 paw Wilderness camps instead of the 6 paw camps.

Or of course, fly down to Cape Town for a few days, either staying in Cape Town or out in the wine region such as Stellenbosch or Franschhoek (full of great restaurants and wineries).

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Mar 2nd, 2006, 02:24 AM
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Hello,

Ngala Tented Camp is a wonderful camp and would make a nice contrast to Londoz. It was a great experience -- very different from other lodges I've stayed at in South Africa.

The tents are huge and very luxurious -- built on raised polished wooden platforms with full baths and indoor and outdoor showers -- so you never get flashbacks to your scouting days. Being under canvas in the bush really brings the wild in 'wilderness' home to you. You feel much closer to the environment than you do in a lodge.

Like the other CCA camps, they are very good at doing the little touches that make a safari special. I came back from a game drive to find my tub full of hot water, bubbles, and rose petals (and I wasn't even on my honeymoon!)

Whilst not quite at the same level as Londo, game-viewing at Ngala was very good -- I saw an African wild cat with a kitten on my first game drive, and also had the opportunity to see Ngala's resident pack of wild dogs (wild dog sightings are very rare in the Kruger area -- I've also seen them twice at Londoz). I followed lions on the hunt, and witnessed the bizarre slow-motion combat of two male necking giraffes. Antelope were plentiful and easily spotted.

I also have some photos of Ngala if you want to see them.

Cheers,
Julian
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