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Opinions for African safaris near Capetown, Johannesburg, Nairobi or Zambia

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Oct 29th, 2013, 11:57 AM
  #1
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Opinions for African safaris near Capetown, Johannesburg, Nairobi or Zambia

I hope make my first trip for an African safari next summer; I will have enough advantage miles for a free flight. I need your opinions. As best I can tell, with my American Airlines miles I can fly into Capetown, Johannesburg, Nairobi, and Lusaka. I am a teacher, so I'm not rich and I'm on a budget. I don't want a luxury trip, but I don't want to sleep on the ground in a two-person tent when it's raining either. I'd like for it to be as untouristy as possible. I have heard it is better to use a local safari provider costwise. With the considerations above, which city would you fly into and which safari provider should I use. I plan on a 9-day safari. Thanks very much for your help.

Stu
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Oct 30th, 2013, 09:58 AM
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I have just returned from my second visit to South Africa, and can enthusiastically recommend local Cape Town agency, Southern Destinations. They did a superb job arranging both of my trips, which Included both Capetown and several "safari" destinations.


http://www.southerndestinations.com/
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Oct 30th, 2013, 10:46 AM
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THank you!
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Oct 30th, 2013, 10:47 AM
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Thank you!
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Oct 30th, 2013, 01:27 PM
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I think you'd have a better safari experience in Kenya, than South Africa. There are a lot of options there. If looking to do a lower cost safari, you might consider Nature Expeditions in Kenya. They might have some scheduled group departures that you could join. I've not used them, but know of US safari planners who do and have also met with their Managing Partner and was impressed with their operation. There is also Kennedy Muthoka of Waymark Safaris. I've used Kennedy for Nairobi tours and transfers, but not safaris. However, he does set those up, as well.
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Oct 30th, 2013, 03:59 PM
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If your priority is a great safari and visiting Cape Town is not mandatory, fly into Lusaka. If you can visit by early to mid June, you may get some places to still agree to low season pricing.

South Luangwa National Park is awesome and you can stay at a great place like Kafunta without breaking the bank.

The problem with Cape Town is that you're really nowhere near any quality safaris and would find yourself flying to Johannesburg, Durban or one of the smaller airports in the northern part of the country. Also, Cape Town in the northern hemisphere summer is in their own winter time and it can be cold, windy and wet.

With South Luangwa, you are far enough north that even in June it is not nearly as cold as it will be in South Africa.

For South Luangwa, you fly into Lusaka and then hop on a one hour small flight to Mfuwe, are picked up by your safari lodge and then it is a one hour drive to the lodge.

There are really nothing but great lodges/camps in South Luangwa but Kafunta is one that I know and trust and it was my first experience of many in South Luangwa. It would be about mid priced but I like that they also have two camps, Kafunta River Lodge and Kafunta Island Bush Camp, a 3 hour drive away, that combine nicely.

If you bump up the price some, then Kaingo is the way to go. Overall, it has probably been my favorite camp in South Luangwa and is awesome for its hippo hide and just overlooking the river on a small cliff.

If you bump down the price, Flatdogs Camp is a great value.

Just google these places and deal direct with the lodges as there is really no price difference and if you stay at another camp they can set that up for you as well as your flights from and back to Lusaka.
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Nov 1st, 2013, 05:21 AM
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Why do think you need to use a "safari provider" at all - especially if you are on a budget? If you can get yourself to JNB, you can rent your own car and drive to Kruger National Park. Staying in one of the official SanParks rest camps - in a perfectly comfortable hut/cottage/rondavel - is a fraction of the cost you'd have to pay to stay in a private reserve, and self-driving round KNP is a great way to see the wildlife at your own pace/maximum flexibility.

Nine days in country would give you time to acclimatise at JNB for a day on arrival, drive to KNP maybe stopping off in the Graskop area, spend 5/6 days in the park then head back to JNB to fly home.
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Nov 1st, 2013, 06:58 AM
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I second Gordon's advice. And besides driving yourself, you can go on drives with the rangers, early in the morning and at night. Take a look at sanparks.org.

Celia
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Nov 4th, 2013, 11:54 PM
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Really, it is so confusing there are so many options. Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and many more. I think safari planner can help you well on making best choice that fits your animal viewing desires.
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Nov 23rd, 2013, 08:50 PM
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Another vote for Kruger Park. It is incredibly cheap compared to the other Africa safari options. We have just reserved a perimeter tent at Lower Sabie Camp for our third visit there next September, about $80 US a night. Food isn't great in the park, although the concessions are being upgraded, but for budget friendly it can't be beat.

You will be flabbergasted at the wildlife you see from your rental car. However, if you are travelling alone, there is little opportunity to share your animal stories with other people, most of the other guests in the camps are in their own family groups and don't mingle much.

You could combine a few days with a semi-lux camp in the Sabi Sands with some Kruger self-drive and have a wonderful time that wouldn't cost a bloody fortune.

It is a very quick and reasonably cheap flight from Johannesburg to Nelspruit, then you can drive yourself in your rental car into Kruger in a couple of hours.
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May 15th, 2014, 01:53 AM
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Hey,

if you are looking for activities Cape Town, I advice this website: http://www.safari-cape-town.info/. I do a travel during one month in Cape Town and I go on this website when i don't know what to do. It lists activities including museums, safaris, events, festivals, bar and nightclub. Also it gives information about the city - culture, weather, money - and lists several kinds of accommodation. I hope it helps you.

Have fun,

Nick
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May 17th, 2014, 10:14 AM
  #12
 
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All are excellent destinations, but 8/days whichever country you select will only be a 'taste' of. While Capetown is beautiful, if animals are your wishes, I'd probably skip at CPT deserves 4/days.

For travel during the summer months, note these are peak season at the highest prices in Kenya and Tanzania, with Kenya often having more competitive rates and Nairobi/NBO is a airline hub city with more air carriers serving it(just in case there are no FF Award seats available as most book these almost 1/yr prior travel).

It might be late for booking some countries, so I sure wouldn't wait to decide where and when you do, contact a tour operator/outfitter pronto!

Good luck!
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