Need Safari Help

Sep 16th, 2007, 08:33 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 187
Need Safari Help

I am planning an Africa trip for next year starting in Capetown for a meeting and then heading out to get my feet wet. Everyone seems so high on CC Africa that I have started working with them.

They are suggesting Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge for 3 nights, Phinda Forest lodge for 4 nights, Kirkman's camp for 4 nights (Sabi Sand)and then up to Victoria Falls for 3 nights at the Matetsi water Lodge.

I am not sure if I am getting the canned south africa plan or if this is really a good plan for me. I see others mention Medikwe Safari Lodge and the game reserve.

Any suggestions on the best way to spend 14+ nights after I leave Cape Town?

Also, I have read the frequent flyer threads and am still confused about how you do your 330 day return when you are planning your flight out? I am at 345 days now as I expect to head out around 9/1/08 hopefully with British Air Bus. Class on miles.

One other question, I am coming from the west coast so this is a 2 night flight. What is the time zone difference to Capetown and how many days should I come in early to plan on jet lag recovery or should I lay over in London?
gfeibleman is offline  
Sep 16th, 2007, 09:51 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 642
Hi gfeibleman,

I've successfully used a couple of strategies that might work for you.

Last time I booked FF seats on the One World program, I booked a return using a 'fake' return date and then used a few extra points to change the bookings.

I waited for about 3 days past the 330 day limit in order to get my 'real' outbound flights and a realistic dummy return date in order to make this work though. This strategy was advised by the Qantas employee doing the booking and I did get the flights I wanted.

I have just booked using FF points for next year and reserved 2 single journeys. Again, I got the flights and dates that I wanted.

Good luck,

Treepol is offline  
Sep 17th, 2007, 08:14 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 187
Thanks Treepol. I will call in 2 weeks and see what happens. Luckily my dates are flexible. So it sounds like you are saying that if I want to leave on 9/1 I should call about 10/4 so I can have a small return window?
gfeibleman is offline  
Sep 17th, 2007, 08:33 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 7,391
I think 2 nights at Victoria Falls is enough, add the other night to one of the other lodges. The game is not that good in the Vic Falls area and unless you want to do every andrenalin activity there is, 2 nights is plenty
As far as time zone, it's 9-10 hours different from the west coast. Maybe come in 1 day early, no need to overnight in London unless you want to.
matnikstym is offline  
Sep 17th, 2007, 05:05 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 642
This is confusing isn't it?

Yes, I would call about the 4/10 or as soon as the airlines computer will let you book outbound and the short turnaround dummy inbound flight to be changed later.

However, I'm not sure how long you plan to be away and if it is less than a month you may want to wait and book the return fare all at once. Depends on the competition for FF seats 12 months out and how many points you have in the 'bank'.

I went for 2 months in 2005 and will be staying away for the same length of time in 2008 - hence my creative booking strategies. The longer the gap between the outbound and inbound flights the less chance to get the flights that allow maximum use of holiday leave.


Treepol is offline  
Sep 17th, 2007, 05:24 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 708
What is it you want out of your safari, big five, variety of ecosystems, birds, etc? Knowing that will make it a lot easier to advise. Madikwe has great birds and they may have wild dogs, perhaps someone else can update that, along with the usual cast of characters. Kwandwe has some of the hard to see smaller animals, porcupine for example, as well as the normal reserve animals. My wife loved the lodging at Kwandwe. Phinda and Kirkman's will not dissapoint. As for the number of nights at Matetsi, you can take the daily shuttle into Vic Falls for sightseeing but there is lots more to do at Matetsi. There are boat and canoe trips on the Zambesi and excellent gameviewing as well as birding. Some of our best sightngs were there, including a wild lion/hyena encounter and a pack of wild dogs hunting. Sable are also common there. So you won't be sorry you spent 3 nights.
tuckeg is offline  
Sep 20th, 2007, 02:26 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 4

I always find jet lag to be worse when I travel east.

we live in South Africa and when my husband returned from the States in January he was really battling with jet lag. Our phamacist suggested he try Melatonin which I must say worked a treat. It is all natural and just helps you to adjust your sleep cycle.

If I can be of any assistance with your travel plans, don't hesitate to contact me. I have quite a bit of "safari' experience as my husband & I owned a safari company in Zimbabwe prior to moving here 5 years ago.

I have to agree with you a lot of the wildlife in South Africa is "canned"!
Litty is offline  
Sep 20th, 2007, 04:25 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440

Would you care to share with us what camp?
atravelynn is offline  
Sep 20th, 2007, 04:35 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440

Great Fish--no knowledge

Phinda--I did a week at Forest. Lovely. Consider doing a rhino tracking walk. Fabulous. Please note Phinda is a fenced reserve and cheetah conservation area. You do see fences at times.

Kirkman's--Next to Mala Mala. I think I'd go with Mala Mala, but Kirkman's is good too. I was actually on their property when at MM and saw great game. MM is not a CCAfrica camp. If you chose MM, don't know if that means you'd have to book with another agent rather than direct with CCAFrica. My experience was that booking with an agent for CCAfrica was the same price as going direct.

Tuckeg asks a good question. What are your goals?

CCAfrica is a bit more expensive than other options. They do good conservation work and are very reliable.

Compared to South Africa, Zimbabwe had a more remote feel to it when I was there a decade ago. But I the safari I took last summer to South Africa was fantastic.

If you would like links to my report on Phinda and Forest with the rhino tracking or the report on Mala Mala, next door to Kirkman's, which addresses the "canned" comments, let me know and I'll post them.
atravelynn is offline  

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