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Newbies leaving 8/08 for SA, Botswana, & Zambia with odd questions!

Newbies leaving 8/08 for SA, Botswana, & Zambia with odd questions!

May 20th, 2008, 11:54 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 81
Newbies leaving 8/08 for SA, Botswana, & Zambia with odd questions!

Hello Helpful Fodors Friends,
My husband and I are leaving Aug. 19, and heading for Kruger (Imbala Safari Lodge, and Djuma Bush Lodge), 5 nights in Capetown,3 nights on a group tour ending in Port Elizabeth, then 3 nights in Zambia (Singabezi), and 4 nights at the Chobe Marina Lodge, and 3 nights at Gunn's camp. I know Kruger is malarial, and Cape town isn't, but I don't know about the other places. It would be nice if we didn't have to take Malarone for the whole time!
I would also like to know if anyone has any specific recommendations for rangers or rooms for these places.
I'm a little concerned about dressing for the weather, since all the charts I have seen give a huge range for that time of year. We'd love to get by with just carry-ons(since I've read all your stories about lost luggage!) so I don't want to bring everything from long johns to shorts unless it's really needed.
My other question is the weirdest. Due to a medical condition, I can only eat 1200 calories a day. I know some cultures think it's rude if you don't clean your plate and I don't want to offend anyone. Here (in California) I usually plate-split. We'd like to try a lot of the restaurants I've read about here, and I don't know if this will be any kind of problem. I've read so much about all the wonderful food that I can't wait to try it! Thanks in advance, for any advice you can offer, Kym
KymH is offline  
May 20th, 2008, 03:34 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Is Singabezi new? Tongabezi has been along the Zambezi for a long time and I've heard is very nice. I have not heard of Singabezi but new places are popping up all the time.

Chobe, the Okavango, and Zambezi are malaria areas from what I know. Your best advice would be from an international travel clinic. When heading to new areas or in doubt, that's where I go.

You are correct about the range of temps. The answer is Layers! Zip-offs save room.

You can eat however much or little you want. I am sure there alll sorts of requests from veggie to kosher to low sodium and heart healthy, so your diet requirements won't phase them. I've never had food pushed on me.

At buffets or family style meals you are in control. I would ask the provider of the group to tell you which places have individually served meals. When you arrive at these, mention to the camp mgr. that you'd like half portions and maybe no dessert. Whether you used an agent or booked directly at the other places, I'd do the same thing. You could also ask if diet sodas will be available if you drink those. Sometimes they are sometimes not.

Have a great trip. Your itinerary is a good one.
atravelynn is offline  
May 20th, 2008, 04:10 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 81
Thanks, atravelynn, so much for all the great info! I really appreciate it! I guess I will just stay on the Malarone for all 40 days. I am glad to hear the itinerary is good. I've been lurking here for a while(I had a lot of trouble getting registered). There is a lot more I'd love to do, but budget and time won't allow. I hope we'll be able to go back some year...

Singabezi is part of Tongabezi, a little island that's a 15 minute boat ride away. It's our splurge-even with no electricity! 5 cabins, very private. We were booked for the Zamezi Sun, but after reading so much about it here, we upgraded.

I'm so relieved to hear about the food. I've been places where "pushing" is the cultural norm. It can be difficult, when you really don't want to offend. I feel a lot better now!
KymH is offline  
May 20th, 2008, 04:41 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,188
It's really Sindabezi and we stayed there last July. You can eat as little as you want there, no problems. The "tents" in Sindabezi vary quite a bit. We had asked for a large bed and they gave us a tent with two separated twins, in a not particularly charming location. When we protested they gave us a great tent with lovely view and a large bed. We really enjoyed our stay on Sindabezi. Have a great time!
Marija is online now  
May 20th, 2008, 11:08 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 90
Hi KymH

With regards to the food, I would definitely let the lodges know in advance. And if there is anything special you require (low calorie food)then just let them know before you leave and they can cater for your needs.

Bring a scarf. The cold wind howls down your jacket and a scarf really helps a lot.

Have a superb trip. Looking forward to your feedback, especially for Gunns Camp which has a new owner who is upgrading a lot.
Poppins is offline  
May 21st, 2008, 08:10 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 81
Thanks Marija-I had it miss-spelled in my itinerary! I will make sure to request a double bed.

Poppins-thanks for the scarf suggestion-I'll be sure to pack one. I think I'll be fine with the camps regular food-I can eat everything, just not very much of it! I'll be sure to write a trip report when I get back. I'm so excited to be going on this trip-it feels like such an adventure!
KymH is offline  
May 22nd, 2008, 05:09 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 437
I'm sure your travel doc can confirm better than I can, but I believe that the only case in which it might make sense to take a Malarone hiatus is if you had a 9 day or longer gap in a non-malaria area. Your travel doc can give you the best recommendation for your specific situation.

As you indicated that you have a medical condition, it is especially important to get qualified medical advice, because your situation may be different from our well-intended but anecdotal experience. Even the choice of which anti-malarial to take should consider not only your itinerary, but also your personal health history.
ann_nyc is offline  
May 27th, 2008, 11:38 AM
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Weird-this post shows up on post-a-reply only. Sorry for any duplications!

Author: KymH
Date: 05/22/2008, 02:14 pm

Thanks for the advice, ann_nyc. Yes, I've been to the doc, and Malarone is the one for me, best choice given all the possible drug interaction problems with what I already take. I was just hoping not to be on it the whole time, since drugs are weird for me anyway(aspirin=sleeping pill, etc!). But since almost everywhere I'm going is malarial(and I'm a mossie-magnet) I'll just take the pills and hope for the best. We only have an 8-day Cape Town/Garden route break. Thanks for the help!

Does anyone have any recommendations for specific rangers at the places I'm going? I've read how much difference it makes-although for our first trip I'm sure we'll be staring wide-eyed at everything!

KymH is offline  
May 27th, 2008, 12:40 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,739
Hi KymH

when we were in SA last July, we found we got VERY cold on safari, especially in the early morning.

warm socks and boots were very useful as were gloves and hats. as well as a scarf.

some very kind people we met who were going home as we arrived let us have their hand-warmers - little pouches that you can get from camping shops, that you can put in your pockets. or even I gather, your boots. they were the best!

we were at Shamwari and schotia, which are further south than kruger and therefore in theory colder , but who knows?

give my love to CPT - we just loved it and would be thrilled to be able to go back.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
May 28th, 2008, 03:04 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 81
Thanks for the warm gear reminder. I keep thinking it's going to be hot! Now I'm trying to figure out what to wear over my zip-offs! Maybe I'll make some zip-off sweats! Kym
KymH is offline  
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