My Big Fat Africa Trip - Input Appreciated!!!!

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Nov 9th, 2013, 06:36 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Nov 2013
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My Big Fat Africa Trip - Input Appreciated!!!!

A friend of mine suggeted Fodor's forum was the best for getting some experienced input on our itinerary and travel suggestions. So, I am looking forward to hearing from people.

Timing for the trip is Sept/Oct 2014. We have a preliminary itinerary that looks like this: After arriving in Johannesburg, (Accom: Africa Rock)

Leg 1: fly to Antananarivo Madagascar. (Accom: Pavillon de L'Emyrne)
Stop 1: drive and stay 2 nights near Lemur Island (Accom: Vakona Lodge). Mantadia-Andasibe National park two days to see lemurs and chameleons.
Leg 2: Kruger, South Africa
Stop 2 is Cheetah Plains in Sabi Sands, and 3 days of safari.
Leg 3: Victoria Falls
Stop 3 is Zambezi Sun in Livingstone for one night
Leg 4: Botswana
Stop 4 is either Machenje Safari Lodge near Chobe or Banoke Camp in Moremi; and 3 days of safari.

I have a few questions/concerns: Is 3 days of travel worth it for Madagascar? I have always wanted to go to Mada, but am wondering if the 2 days is too little compared to the time to get there.

Any input on the accommodations is appreciated. Especially suggestions on guides, as I understand they are really what makes a difference in your experience.

I am not particularily concerned with seeing Victoria Falls, but the travel agent still is routing us through it. Is it possible to skip it?

Is it possible to visit the Moholoholo Rehabilitation center from Cheetah Plains? (I don't have a complete grasp on the details of local geography yet.)

Any other suggestions & input are greatly appreciated!
EverydayDuchess is offline  
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Nov 10th, 2013, 02:17 PM
  #2
 
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The only comment on accommodation I would have is that I have stayed at Banoka. It's nice, but is a step down from the top tier of Wilderness Safaris lodgings (I forget now what terminology they use to identify the camp tiers). The only thing that actually might be noticeable in this regard is that laundry is not included. The camp sits on a small lake and the bell frogs are incredibly loud all night long!! I loved it. The guiding was fine and food was good. I'd be very happy to stay there again.

Victoria Falls is definitely worth seeing since you'll be so close. The time of year you are going is the same time I went in 2011 - it's "low water" time, which is actually better because you can see the falls not just massive billowing mist. One day in this area is adequate.

Have fun!
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Nov 10th, 2013, 04:26 PM
  #3
 
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At Victoria Falls, even at low flow it's better seen from the Zimbabwe side vs the Zambia side.

If from Vic Falls heading to Chobe, it's an easy drive - about 1hr, but if to Moremi, longer distance and flight might be better.

However, with only 10/days though seems you're trying to cover too much ground, as tempting as it might be. Even with relatively short flights, most are 'international' thus have to be at airports minimum 2/hrs prior for check-in/security.

Important to verify current Visa requirements each country and if heading home from or via South Africa between countries (besides need of malaria meds), need of the Yellow Fever inoculation w/ proof of same. Sometimes it's the assumed little things that can get you in trouble.
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Nov 10th, 2013, 06:52 PM
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I agree this looks a bit over ambitious for only 10 days.

If you're not really interested in Victoria Falls then why go just cause you're kinda sorta close by? Price out what it will cost just to see the falls and the amount may be your answer.

I was in SA in June for 3 weeks & considered Vic Falls however once the cost was added up for flights & accommodation not including activities the total was around $1000 and I just wasn't $1000 worth of keen to see them! Look at adding that time to safari.
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Nov 20th, 2013, 01:00 PM
  #5
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Thanks everyone for your help. No way are we doing this in 10 days! After consideration, we are dropping the Madagascar portion this time. That will have to be a trip of its own, and spending a bit more time in the safaris. As for Vic Falls - not on my agenda, but the travel agent keeps pushing it. So, I am finally asking for an itinerary without it. I have seen lots of big waterfalls.

As for shots - already have my yellow fever from a South America trip. But will check with international health at the local hospital. They did a great job for Ecuador/the Galapagos.

Thanks again.
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Dec 7th, 2013, 05:08 AM
  #6
 
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You will enjoy the Victoria Falls however you will not enjoy the Zambezi Sun. If you wish to stay on the Zambian side there are many options including Tongabezi, if you want to stay on the Zimbabwean side there are again many options including Victoria Falls Safari Lodge and if you an to upgrade there, there is the Safari Club wing.
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