Need advice/tips for a 2-3 week trip

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Jun 23rd, 2005, 08:09 AM
  #1
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Need advice/tips for a 2-3 week trip

I am considering a 2-3 week trip to Botswana and S Africa in August this year. But, I am not sure if it is a good idea with two young kids (5 and 16 years), and if it too short time to plan for it? Please let me know. Also, any good suggestions to focus only on Botswana or S Africa or even rather consider easier options (due to 5-yr old) like Kenya? Any good agency to contact? We all (including 5-yr old) are avid wild-life enthusiasts, do not care so much for luxuries, and would be open to both private reserves or package tours. Thanks for your help.
ratan is offline  
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Jun 26th, 2005, 09:04 AM
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I fear that you are too late to plan this or get the reservations you will want....but you can try. A couple things to think about/ look into:

(1) at this point, and with kids, it might be easier to use a tour company or travel agent who can plan the whole thing. And a big issue will be finding options that will allow a 5 year old. For example, the Wilderness Safari camps in Botswana will not. And I doubt most packaged "tours" will either.

(2) With a 5 year old, options like Kruger (you could do a self-drive, or hire a van with driver...not all that expensive) and Mokolodi near Gaborone (perfect for kids-- it's set up to be an educational reserve, with lots of kid-friendly options, and family friendly self-catering chalets-- www.mokolodi.com). You'll also need to rent a car-- but that's not a problem in Gaborone.

But since August is high season, you might have problems getting reservations at these places. And these options would require that you make the reservations.

Kenya also might be an easier option-- I hope others respond to you about that. But I do think that for any chance of an August trip, you'd be better off now checking with a good agent. Otherwise you'll go crazy trying to piece things together, and it will take alot of time just to discover if a trip is even feasible given what is available.
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Jun 26th, 2005, 09:13 AM
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I have to agree that "time is tight" for an August visit to ANY of these destinations, and this would probably include a Namibia option as well. But, it doesn't harm to try, and I have meanwhile located the e-mail address of the operator I suggested previously who was so good to us and to our friends. If Namibia is an option for you, why not try him? The e-mail is: [email protected]
Best of luck, Anne
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Jun 26th, 2005, 09:22 AM
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Thirding the opinion that you may not have time to a) do the research on what you really want from the trip and b) get the accommodations that suit you best given how short the timeframe is but...

Firstly, I'd suggest getting advice from your own GP about whether or not your youngest child can safely take anti-malarial medications, as if the doctor advises against it you'll need to restrict yourself to certain malaria-free destinations.

Secondly, as has been said, many of the luxury safari lodges/ camps do not accept children under 12. That said, there are still many places, mainly in South Africa, that do.

Can you give an idea of budget as this will have a huge impact on what people recommend to you.

Self-driving can be a great option as there's a real thrill in learning about animals and spotting them on your own. On the other hand one can learn such a lot from a good guide and they can adapt the experience to the interests of individuals in your group. It all depends on budget and interests.

South Africa and Namibia strike me as much better options for self-drive and for family-friendly options than Botswana.

Can you tell us more about budget/ specific wishlist and also your doctor's response to the anti-malarial issue?
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Jun 26th, 2005, 09:49 AM
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I have just returned from Namibia (my fourth visit) and at the moment - and still during August - Malaria is not really a problem in Namibia. The rains only start after August, then it is advisable to take precautions. Maybe this could assist in a decision. Percy
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Jun 26th, 2005, 11:26 PM
  #6
 
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In South Africa, I would recommend a visit to Kruger Park and a stay in Cape Town. The latter has a LOT to keep kids busy, and if you're not choosy about accommodation that won't be a problem, it's got dozens of good hotels and B&Bs. I would take them for a ride up Table Mountain, go see the penquins in Simonstown, hang around the Waterfront where there's lots of entertainment, really, the list is endless.

For Kruger it may be easier if you can go on a selfdrive visit so you can pace yourself according to the youngsters' needs.
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Jun 27th, 2005, 05:47 AM
  #7
 
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I know you can still get reservations in Madikwe in SA near Botswanan border. There are also places along the Garden Route like Addo. We're still planning our trip for August and have had no problems getting reservations.
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