No budget..

Old Dec 26th, 2009, 08:46 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 35
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
No budget..

Please write a ten day (no budget) south africa itinerary with two gaming lodges and trip to Cape Town. Please be specific...places to stay and things to do
boardingblonde is offline  
Old Dec 26th, 2009, 10:31 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 745
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Still at it Mrs. Blonde? Merry Christmas!

Day 1 Arrive Johannesburg. Have a high-end meeting service greet you and take you to your hotel. Weekend - go to the Westcliff. Weekday - go to the D'OReal Grande.
Day 2 Fly to the Sabi Sands and stay at MalaMala Rattrays or Lion Sands Ivory for three nights. Key advantages for Rattray's will be cost and four people per vehicle max (your party is four people...) Lion Sands Ivory will have the modern luxury.
Day 3/4 Safari
Day 5 Fly to Cape Town. Depending on Airlink grounding you could take a charter to Nelspruit and fly from there direct to CPT. Upon arrival have a high-end meeting service take you to the Cape Grace for three nights. This evening, have dinner at Baia.
Day 6,7 Tour the Cape Peninsula, Robben Island, and a township (for your teenage kids). Dinner at Pigalles. Lunch at a wine estate in Constantia. This way you can touch on the wine experience without forcing your kids to endure it for a full day. Alternative: send your kids on a shark dive while you go on a wine tour. Most parents won't seperate from their kids in Africa...
Day 8 Take a morning flight o Jo'Burg. Upon arrival, take the Phinda shuttle at 1130am to Phinda Vlei for three nights.
Day 9,10 Phinda Vlei
Day 11 Phinda shuttle to Jo'burg. Go home.

Craig Beal
Safari_Craig is offline  
Old Dec 26th, 2009, 10:48 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,215
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would do the exact same routing/timing but totally different accommodations on the more stylish side:

Johannesburg: The Saxon (being one or two nights) Under no circumstances would I stay at the loud and crowded D'oreal
Cape Town: Ellerman House
Eateries in Cape town: Baia/Waterfront is a very godd seafood eatery. LeQuartier Francais Franschhoek for one evening (Chauffeur service back and forth) is a MUST and lunch at Constantia Uitsig's Rivercafe is a MUST as well - if time of year is right. The same for the shark dive and wine tours which is no fun in miserable weather.
SS: Granite Suites at Londolozi.
Madikwe: MATEYA. Take a fedair flight up to malaria free Madikwe and get spiled at MATEYA.

SV
spassvogel is offline  
Old Dec 26th, 2009, 10:49 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,215
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"spoilt" at Mateya - sorry for the typo
spassvogel is offline  
Old Dec 26th, 2009, 11:00 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 745
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I was thinking about this trip for you last time your were posting. I never presented this idea because I assumed you had gone ahead and booked something. In my opinion and given your constraints (older teenagers, first time on safari, late March, no limit on the budget) I recommend you skip Cape Town and go all-out on the safari experience.

Day 1 Arrive Johannesburg. Have a high-end meeting service greet you and take you to your hotel. Weekend - go to the Westcliff. Weekday - go to the D'OReal Grande.
Day 2 Fly to the Sabi Sands and stay at MalaMala Rattrays or Lion Sands Ivory for three nights.
Day 3/4 Safari
Day 5 Fly back to Johannesburg. Have a top notch cultural touring company like http://www.spearofthenation.co.za/default.asp take your family on a Apartheid history experience or something else cultural. These types of tours led by PhD or similar experienced guides are worth the money. I have had many clients say the Jewish history tour and Apartheid tour by this company are some of the best private touring they have ever had. In the evening, drop back off at the Airport (Intercontinental or D'Oreal).
Day 6 Fly to Maun, Botswana on Air Botswana. Go to Savuti Camp for two nights.
Day 7 Savuti
Day 8,9,10 Go to Mombo Camp for three nights to finish it off in grand style!

In my opinion based on a lifetime of safari experiences in Botswana back to 1984 (when I was 14), Mombo is the best safari lodge in the world. Conde Nast agrees ranking it #1 safari lodge in Africa for 2009 in their November issue. Savuti is really impressing my clients (3 couples total since November 15, 2009) this rainy season and has had excellent wild dog and cheetah sightings recently. The channel is flowing past camp now and the animals have not dispersed this rainy season as they historically do. This may change by March but Savuti is amazing. If not Savuti, go to Little Vumbura. Savuti has been so productive this rainy season from a game viewing standpoint, I moved two sets of my clients that were supposed to go to Duba Plains next week from Duba Plains to Savuti.

As discussed on your last forum posts, you likely will not be seeing cheetah in the Sabi Sands. Mombo also has cheetah and I saw two within my first several hours at Mombo last time I was there.

If you take the Air Botswana optiona, Delta Airlines has a very attractive ticket price if you book it in conjunction with the Air Botswana ticket. This has to be booked with an agent (which you said you are working with already). You can fly business class and stick the kids in the back (ha ha)!

Craig Beal
Safari_Craig is offline  
Old Dec 26th, 2009, 11:26 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have not read Safari Craig's suggestions so I am not biased by them. I even scrolled his out of sight while writing. I'll condense some of the highlights of my 2 South Africa excursions into a single 10-day trip.

1 arrival and overnight in Cape Town
Don't know when you will get there, but I'll assume in the evening, having traveled during the day, so this day does not count.*

I stayed at Waterfront Hotel because it was easy to walk to the ferry from there (and to the Waterfront) but there are lots of places to stay.

Day 2
Morning ferry to Robben Island where Mandela was held prisoner
Come back and have lunch at Waterfront
Afternoon cable car up Table Mountain (which I have no personal experience with because it was not operating when I was there but it is a highlight for many)

Day 3
Day trip to Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, hike a little or a lot, also stop at Boulders Bay in Simons Town and overnight in Simons Town because the activities I suggest the next day are based in Simons Town. Quayside would be next to the water and a very nice place. I really enjoyed my stayed across the street at Central Hotel that had a lot of character at a great price and the best views of the harbor from the balcony.

Day 4
I forget when you are going, but if June-Oct, I'd recommend an early morning departure to False Bay with African Shark Eco-Charters to see the Great White Sharks around Seal Island. In the afternoon do a baboon walk with Baboon Matters. Fly that eve to Joburg and overnight near the airport. I have stayed at Southern Sun O.R. Tambo.

Instead of sharks, baboons, or Robben Island, maybe you'd prefer the world renowned Kirstenbosch Garden.

Or instead of the Simons Town day of sharks/baboons, you could do a wine tour, which I never did so I have no recommendations.


Day 5, 6, 7 Fly to Phinda on a flight they arrange and stay there 3 nts. I loved Forest Lodge. But there are also three other lodging options to choose from, two a step above Forest, and one at the same pricing.

Day 8, 9, 10 Since you stated budget was not an issue, take a charter flight* from Phinda to Mala Mala or another Sabi Sands accommodation.

Day 11 Leave Sabi Sands and by evening you are out of South Africa and on to your next destination.


* If you do not count the arrival day as #1, then instead of a charter flight between Phinda and Mala Mala, you could overnight in Johannesburg. That would still add up to 10.
atravelynn is offline  
Old Dec 26th, 2009, 11:33 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My goodness we are similar.

"Day 8 Take a morning flight (from Cape Town) to Jo'Burg. Upon arrival, take the Phinda shuttle at 1130am to Phinda Vlei for three nights."

That would save you a day without a charter flight and it would break up your safari time with something else in the middle. But I wonder if the Phinda and the Sabi Sands could be swapped because you'd likely see more animals in Sabi Sands, making it a fitting finale.

I know there was a noon flight to Mala Mala from Joburg.
atravelynn is offline  
Old Dec 26th, 2009, 11:35 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Our similarities were with the first post, not the one mentioning Botswana.

Is your entire Africa stop 10 days, or is just South Africa 10 days? Maybe you can tack on Botswana as well.
atravelynn is offline  
Old Dec 26th, 2009, 11:37 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I saw private plane in your other post so then you don't need to worry about the cost of a charter or making scheduled flights.
atravelynn is offline  
Old Dec 27th, 2009, 01:45 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 22,269
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would add Botswana!

We also loved Lion Sands Ivory Lodge. Make sure to arrange a private vehicle at each lodge, since $$ is no object!
ekscrunchy is offline  
Old Dec 27th, 2009, 04:32 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Check this link to a recent account of a weekend in Cape Town.
http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...own-photos.cfm

Their shark trip took place in Gansbaai, which might be a better bet in March, though I don't know. Probably no whales in March.
atravelynn is offline  
Old Dec 27th, 2009, 07:10 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 105
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
All good responses.....my only thought would be not to count too much on seeing cheetah at Mombo. Mombo is excellent, but when we were there in September this year, we saw no cheetah and the general discussion around the camp was that the cheetahs had moved away due to the large numbers of lions in the area. This may change based on the time of year and certainly with the passage of time, but that was the situation in September. Don't let this put you off Mombo, however. Craig is absolutely correct in saying it may be the most special place in Southern Africa. I'd also second his thoughts on Savuti. Our wildlife experience there was equal (although very different) to Mombo. Also, with any of the Wilderness or &Beyond camps, check their websites for recent reports on their sightings and be sure to check back to last March as well. Those reports are very helpful. Have a wonderful trip!

Debbie
debwarr is offline  
Old Dec 29th, 2009, 02:53 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,215
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Debbie
Excellent advise!
We stayed at Chiefs - NO CHEETAH there as well! Game in general was "so la la" but certainly anything but rather average.

It's not a zoo and so game is pretty unpredictable even at camps which charge if game were ;-)

What about the attitude "appreciate what you see" - of course püropper planning/reasearch can help but is no guarantee at all!?

Makes safari so much more relaxed than the chase for the BIG FIVE! Or any other game wish list.

SV
spassvogel is offline  
Old Dec 29th, 2009, 06:02 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just don't put the Fodor posting title of "No Budget" as the subject line in your correspondence with travel agents.
atravelynn is offline  
Old Dec 29th, 2009, 06:54 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 745
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Come on Lynn - don't discourage such negative behaivior (ha ha)!

Craig Beal
Safari_Craig is offline  
Old Dec 30th, 2009, 05:19 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,147
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Frankly, boarding, if your search for upscale accommodations slighlty outweighs the gameviewing, which it sounds like, I would avoid Phinda. The lodges in general are much larger and the food and amenities are way more downscale than, say, Singiota or Londolozi. Although I haven't been there so can't vouch for Vlei camp, which is more intmate and marketed as more elite. If you decide to tack on Botswana to Sabi Sands, I would also add Little Vumbura. Very chic, plus great gameviewing and top notch guiding and management in my experience (2007).
LAleslie is offline  
Old Dec 30th, 2009, 05:31 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I am a spoil sport, eh?

I think Vlei or Rock would qualify for upscale and elite, though I have not stayed there either.

Phinda would be the best bet for cheetah out of anything mentioned so far, though, if trying to see one is important. Not to mention the nyala antelope. But I don't think that's at the top of BoardingBlonde's list.
atravelynn is offline  
Old Dec 31st, 2009, 12:15 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,147
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My reading between the lines of her posts, Lynn, was that she really wants top-of-the-line places, and doesn't care as much about individual animals. Naturally I could be wrong. But given the longer trek to Phinda I would think she'd be better off in the posher So. Africa places, and maybe Botswana most luxurious places. I've only stayed at Phinda's Forest, though. It was a bit large for me, the food wasn't great, and the guiding was below par, but that's because we got a newbie by the luck of the draw. I really only minded the inexperienced guide, but I'm thinking BB wouldn't abosolutely love Phinda as much as some posher camps.
LAleslie is offline  
Old Dec 31st, 2009, 12:26 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Now we just have to wait for the verdict and see if it is shared with us.

Sorry about your Phinda experience. I'd mind an inexperienced guide too.
atravelynn is offline  
Old Dec 31st, 2009, 01:28 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,147
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well, since it's a training ground for And Beyond, I spode it's inevitable. She was lovely, veeery sincere and totally into it, but, frankly, she could barely even drive the vehicle. The tracker, a local, knew what he was doing but sometimes they weren't on the same page. I felt sorry for the tracker, having to be follow the lead of some young European woman.
We spent one entire drive looking for black rhino. We must have driven 100 miles. Nothing (though of course we did see other things along the way). When we got back to the lodge one of our good-humored safari mates, from the Netherlands, ran into the gift shop and bought me back a postcard. "Here's your black rhino," he laughed, handing me a picture of one.
We did see a fair amount of cheetah and an "almost" nyala kill by a cheetah running so fast in front of our Land Rover that she was amost a blue. A real National Geographic moment.
LAleslie is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:29 PM.