Okavango Delta & Sabi Sands Both?

Aug 30th, 2007, 08:11 AM
  #1  
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Okavango Delta & Sabi Sands Both?

Hi --

First time poster that would appreciate any thoughts from the experienced Africa travellers here!

A friend and I are putting together plans for our first trip to Africa. We are planning to go not longer than 14 days total(including travel in & out from the US). We are looking at doing the usual circuit (Cape Town, Victoria Falls and safari). We are estimating spending about 7 days on safari. The one major place our planning is breaking down is whether to see the Delta or Sabi Sands. We had been looking at doing either the 7-day, 3 camp Delta plan, or spending 3 days near Krueger (can't remember the name of the camp) and then 4 days at Mala Mala. However, we started to wonder whether it would be possible to split the 7 days between Sabi Sands and the Delta. I would love any opinions -- is it too much travel time to be doing both? Are the experiences "different" enough that it would be worth it to try and do both? My friend is worried that Sabi Sands would be more a Yellowstone-type experience versus the Delta (more "Out of Africa" in her mind) while I'm attracted to Sabi because I've read the game viewing is "surest" there. Any correction of our misapprehensions would be appreciated as well!
Jess_D is offline  
Aug 30th, 2007, 09:03 AM
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First question: what time of year are you planning to go?
ShayTay is offline  
Aug 30th, 2007, 11:09 AM
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"Out of Africa" would be more like Kenya would it not?
regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Aug 30th, 2007, 11:14 AM
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How about 6 or 7 nights in the Maasai Mara. At a couple of the Governors camps. Unless wrong time of year.
regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Aug 30th, 2007, 11:51 AM
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It would help to know how much time you are spending in Vic Falls and Cape Town. Also where do your international flights arrive and leave. Plus when you are traveling.

The delta and Sabi Sands are different enough to warrant a visit to each, but it could be too much running around.

Tom's idea of a week in the Maasai Mara is something to consider also.
atravelynn is offline  
Aug 30th, 2007, 03:20 PM
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Okay - Sabi Sands is nothing like Yellowstone!
If you go there first you will get great animal viewing and lovely surroundings, then go onto Botswana for a different landscape / experience.

Here is my upcoming itinerary.

9/22 SFO-LHR
9/23 LHR-JNB
9/24 Mala Mala
9/27 Sun Intercontinental at JNB
9/28 Kings Pool
10/1 Little Mombo
10/4 JNB-LHR
10/5 LHR-SFO
napamatt is offline  
Aug 30th, 2007, 04:33 PM
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Our time frame is very open at this point -- we are looking at anything from mid-May to end of September, with our preference to be at the beginning part of June to get the shoulder season rates.

We would probably spend something like 3 days in CT, and 2 in Vic Falls and 7 on Safari, though more and more I am tempted to drop the CT portion of our plan for more Safari time.

Kenya for us is out due to its status with the US Dept. of State (travel warning). I know the likelihood of anything happening is remote, but that's what we've agreed to with our respective families.
Jess_D is offline  
Aug 30th, 2007, 05:38 PM
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Substituting Cape Town for safari would appeal to me.

If you did all safari, NapaMatt has a great itinerary.

9/22 SFO-LHR
9/23 LHR-JNB
9/24 Mala Mala (3 nights)
9/27 Sun Intercontinental at JNB
9/28 Kings Pool (3 nights)
10/1 Little Mombo (3 nights in the Delta)
10/4 JNB-LHR
10/5 LHR-SFO

His has no Vic Falls and has 3 nights at Kings Pool in Linyanti, an area of Botswana that is north of the Delta, and is also excellent for a variety of animals. Little Mombo is a premier game destination and one of the more expensive locations, primarily because of the good wildlife. I don't believe you can do any water activities at Little Mombo.

For a delta experience that offers great wildlife and the opportunity for boat or mekoro rides in the Okavango Delta, you could substitute the less expensive Little Vumbura for Little Mombo. You could spend 2 nights at Vic Falls, instead of 3 in Kings Pool. You’d probably still have one more day to add for safari. Maybe to Mala Mala. Hopefully, that 3rd day would not just be for transport.

May or June would be good. I was at Mala Mala 4 nights in June this past year and it was great. Mala Mala in the Sabi Sands is about as sure of a thing as you can get in wildlife viewing and nature.

atravelynn is offline  
Aug 30th, 2007, 06:48 PM
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I'm all for adding safari time to your itinerary....i personally would keep Cape Town and substitute Vic falls for more safari time. But, that's just me!

As Lynn says, both Delta and SSGR deserves a visit! Delta- you can't go wrong with any of the popular camps. SSGR is the best place in the world for leopards! (Mohammed-if you are reading this, i haven't been to Sri Lanka yet....so i will make the comparison next year to your leopards there...)

Hari
HariS is offline  
Aug 30th, 2007, 07:01 PM
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Hi Jess, I am also a newbie and a first time safari visitor to Africa, coming up in October. For me, I wanted a *real* experience of the Okavango (without the "silk duvet" accomodation so often talked about here -- not to mention the expense of that). Also, I wanted a "sure shot" at seeing a high degree of quantity and quality of wildlife. So, I have chosen to do both the Delta (rustic) and Sabi (fairly luxurious). My safari will include the Wilderness Safaris "Migration Routes" camping trip (8 days / 9 nights) exploring areas of the Delta and Chobe, and finishing at Vic Falls, followed by 3 days / nights at Mala Mala. I am *hoping* to get the best of both worlds this way...
rickmck is offline  
Aug 30th, 2007, 08:52 PM
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Rick

Great itinerary, particularly if you end up with Grant Atkinson as your guide for the wilderness portion.
napamatt is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 10:28 AM
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Rickmck,

That itinerary should wonderful.
atravelynn is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 12:49 PM
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A quick note to napamatt - it looks like we will be at Kings Pool the same time as you - 9/28 thru 10/1. I have been lurking here a lot, once in a blue moon I have something to post . It will be cool to meet a Fodorite in "real life".

To Jess, on our first trip to Southern Africa (Sept 2005), we spent 3 days in Capetown, 2 days at Singita Lembobo, 3 days at Kings Pool and 3 days at Vumbura plains. We were very happy with that combination, felt like we got a great mix of environments. For a two week trip, there is a definite balancing act between getting a nice variety and spending enough time in one place to start to get the feel of the place.
Dlemma is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 02:50 PM
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Dlemma

I'm the really cool, good looking one...
napamatt is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 08:06 PM
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napamatt & atravelynn, thanks for your endorsement of my itinerary... I am *twitching* with anticipation for this trip...
rickmck is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 08:19 PM
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You've got a couple months of twitching, Rick!
atravelynn is offline  
Sep 4th, 2007, 09:36 AM
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Dlemma

Just checked my itinerary, I'm at KP the 1st through 4th of October. Do you leave on the 1st or 2nd?

Matt
napamatt is offline  
Sep 4th, 2007, 10:32 AM
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We found Cape Town, Sabi Sands, Vic Falls and Botswana or Zambia to be too much running around for 2 1/2 weeks. We even tried just keeping Vic Falls and leaving out Botswana/Zambia. The travel was a killer (having to go back through Jo'burg too many tims) and it added a huge expense to our trip. We ended keeping Cape Town and Sabi Sands and adding Phinda, and leaving Vic Falls and Botswana/Zambia for the next trip.

I'm with Hari. I wouldn't get rid of Cape Town. It was fantastic. I wish we had had more time.

Also, if you've nixed Kenya because of your family's concerns over the State Dept. warnings, then you may want to rethink Vic Falls. There's no way your family will let you go to the Zimbabwe side, from which I've been told the views are dramatically better (particularly during the dry season, when the Zam side is said to go down to a trickle).
hills27 is offline  
Sep 4th, 2007, 01:58 PM
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Jess

You will have a great time whatever you choose but you really should not take the US state dept warnings too seriously. I have bene to both countries many times and to say that South Africa is considered sfare to 'dangerous' Kenya is wholly incorrect ...

Phil
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Sep 4th, 2007, 04:10 PM
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Hi napamatt,

We leave Kings Pool on 1 Oct. Oh well, maybe we'll cross paths at the airstrip.

Hope you have a great trip.

In two weeks, I'll be in Africa
Dlemma is offline  

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