Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Africa & the Middle East
Reload this Page > Prelim itinerary for 06/06 trip (JNB/CPT/KNP/Botswana) -- Need feedback

Prelim itinerary for 06/06 trip (JNB/CPT/KNP/Botswana) -- Need feedback

Reply

Sep 12th, 2005, 10:43 PM
  #21
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,501
Hello again,

Sorry -- I forgot that you will have already been to Etosha when you get to Botswana, and may have had your fill of the desert. In that case, you might prefer to spend all of your time in the Delta/Linyanti region.

Whilst in Namibia, I would highly recommend a visit to the Okonjima Cheetah Conservation project -- a great opportunity for close encounters with cheetahs and leopard.

Cheers,
Julian
jasher is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 1st, 2005, 11:07 AM
  #22
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 236
Julian, thanks again for your very helpful post.

I think I am going to eliminate Namibia -- it feels like I am trying to fit in too much.

I am also trying to decide whether to eliminate the Garden Route. Although it would surely be beautiful, it would be taking days away from safari -- the priority of the trip.

My current revision is below. I am hoping to send out some emails for quotes in the next few days. I will be going out of town for 10 days that should allow plenty of time to get responses.

Day 1 Arrive @ JNB late pm, overnight
Day 2 Drive to KNP in a.m.
Day 2-9 Kruger NP or Sabi Sands -- 7 nights (2-3 camps tbd)
Day 9 Transfer to George
Day 9-12 Garden Route -- 3 nights
Day 12-17 Cape Town -- 5 nights
Day 17 Transfer from Cape Town to Maun
Day 17-29 Botswana Safari -- 12 nights (3-4 camps tbd)
Day 29 Victoria Falls 1 night
Day 30 Fly from Victoria Falls to JNB, 1/2 day in JNB, evening departure

I don't know how time consuming the transferring between KNP + George, and between Capetown & Maun will be and would appreciate info on both.

Would also welcome constructive criticism about the itinerary.

Thank you!
ALadyNCal is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 1st, 2005, 11:26 AM
  #23
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,501
Hello,

On further reflection, I agree with doing Cape Town first for weather reasons. It's also easier from a logistical standpoint to transfer from Joburg to Maun. I would suggest:

Day 1: Arrive Cape Town
Days 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6: Cape Town (6 nights)
Day 6: Drive to George
Days 6, 7, 8: Garden Route (3 nights)
Day 9: Fly from Port Elizabeth to Nelspruit for Kruger (most likely via Joburg)
Days 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16: Sabi Sands (7 nights - 2 camps with 3/4 night split)
Day 17: Fly from Nelspruit to Maun via Joburg
Day 17-29 Botswana Safari -- 12 nights (3-4 camps tbd)
Day 29 Victoria Falls 1 night
Day 30 Fly from Victoria Falls to JNB, 1/2 day in JNB, evening departure

For the Botswana camps, the following would make a great combination

3 days Linyanti/Kwando/Selinda
3 days Little Vumbura (mixed water and land)
3 days Chitabe (land) or Kwetsani (water and land)
2-3 days Jack's or San Camp (on the desert pans)

Some people think 2 days at Jack's is enough -- if you agree after reading about it, you could add a day to one of the other camps.

If you're interested in some of the activities at Vic Falls (rafting, bungi jumping, etc) you may want to add the extra day there.

Cheers,
Julian
jasher is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 1st, 2005, 11:28 AM
  #24
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,501
Sorry, made a mistake -- there's no accounting for Day 9 in my itinerary. It's possible that you'll need an overnight in Joburg before heading up to Maun, so you could use that extra night there.

Cheers,
Julian
jasher is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 1st, 2005, 11:44 AM
  #25
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 236
Thanks very much (again).

I will add your lodge recommendations to my notes.

I am also going to try and get quotes for serviced camping. I am still on the fence about it...

I thought somewhere I found in a thread that you can transfer from CPT to Maun fairly direct. Does that sound familiar? If yes, that would save a night in JNB.

As for Cape Town first -- on one hand, the weather, but then again it's only one week, so hard to say if it's a huge factor. Secondly, I wondered if it would be nice to break up the two safari portions with the time in Cape Town???

Thanks
ALadyNCal is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 1st, 2005, 11:57 AM
  #26
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,501
Yes, there is a direct CPT-Maun transfer available. The reason I rearranged things slightly was to take advantage of the weather -- Cape Town and the Garden Route will be much nicer in May/early June, whereas the game-viewing in the Sabi Sands will be better later in June as the bush dries out. Reversing those two components of your itinerary maximises your chances of good weather in Cape Town and good game-viewing in the Sabi Sands.

Cheers,
Julian
jasher is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 1st, 2005, 11:57 AM
  #27
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 396
ALadyNCal,

We did a similar (shorter) trip with 10 days in SA (Capetown Garden Route) and 9 days in VF/Botswana. I would definitely NOT cut short the Botswana portion for Cape Town/Garden Route. While the latter is nice, it's nothing compared to how special Botswana is. We also went in May/June, and SA was quite deserted. Many times we were the only people staying at a particular B&B or hotel. The weather was fairly good (3 sunny day to every raining day), but cold. That area of SA is a very nice food/wine/beach/scenery holiday, but frankly very similar to California in landscape and style. Botswana is a totally different world. I agree with the people that say you should stay in Botswana for as long as you can afford.

BTW, I don't see this mentioned a lot, but if you're going to do the Garden Route, I highly recommend a day or two in Addo Elephant park. We stayed at the Riverbend and it was truly wonderful. We also got some incredible elephant sightings. It was a good first game viewing experience for us. It's only about 2 hours from George so easy to do, and we flew directly from PE back to JNB to start the real safari. We did this in lieu of Kruger to save time and money.

Judy
linjudy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 1st, 2005, 12:02 PM
  #28
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,501
You have a good point about breaking the safari portions up with the time in Cape Town.

Cape Town and the Garden Route share a similar climate, so this may be a factor -- it means that you're looking at about 9 days where the weather may have an impact on your trip. The amount of impact depends on how much you're into outdoor activities (walking, hiking, etc) -- those are the ones which will be more severely curtailed. Visits to the national parks probably wouldn't be as pleasant either.

If you're not into outdoor activities, this will be much less of a factor -- though if you're considering camping I'd hazard a guess that you're reasonably outdoors-orientated.

Cheers,
Julian
jasher is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 1st, 2005, 02:43 PM
  #29
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 236
Judy -- Addo sounds great -- but then I have to figure where to cut days to fit it in But I had thought of it before and might again... Thanks for mentioning it.

Julian -- Ahhh....that's the interesting part... I'm not a camper BUT I thought if I were going to do it ANYWHERE, it would definitely be a 'once in a lifetime' experience to do it in Botswana Plus, I would be looking at the serviced camping -- no pitching my tent or using sleeping bags.

I am still on the fence... Maybe serviced camping followed by 3 nights at a moderate lodge as a 'nice ending'. Sigh... Too many decisions!

Thanks for trying to help
ALadyNCal is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 1st, 2005, 02:45 PM
  #30
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 236
Julian -- To clarify: Are you saying if I transfer from Cape Town to Maun it could probably be done without an overnight in JNB but if I am transferring from Kruger NP to Maun I have to do an overnight in JNB?

Thanks
ALadyNCal is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 1st, 2005, 03:54 PM
  #31
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,501
There's no direct flight from Kruger to Maun, but there is a direct flight from Cape Town to Maun. It runs only on Monday and Friday, departing Cape Town at 10 and arriving in Maun at 130.

There is also only one flight from Joburg to Maun, departing around 9 or 10 and arriving around 11 or 12 (the timing varies depending on time of year). For most people, this means an overnight in Joburg.

If you did do an overnight in Joburg, it's not necessarily a wasted day -- there is a lot to see and do there. You could do a Sowto tour, visit the Apartheid Museum, or sample some of the great restaurants in Melville or Greenside.

Cheers,
Julian
jasher is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 1st, 2005, 03:55 PM
  #32
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,501
Sorry, forgot to mention that the Joburg-Maun flight runs daily, unlike the Cape Town-Maun flight.

Cheers,
Julian
jasher is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 14th, 2005, 08:50 AM
  #33
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 236
I am actually emailing out for quotes now -- that's progress

Day 1 Arrive @ JNB late pm, overnight
Day 2 Drive to KNP in a.m.
Day 2-9 Kruger NP or Sabi Sand -- 7 nights**
Day 9 Transfer to George
Day 9-12 Garden Route -- 3 nights
Day 12-17 Cape Town -- 5 nights
Day 17 Transfer from Cape Town to Maun
Day 17-29 Botswana Mobile Safari -- 12 nights
Day 29 Victoria Falls 1 night
Day 30 Fly from Victoria Falls to JNB

**I am hoping to book thru mtbeds for these nights

I am seriously considering a mobile safari for Botswana. If that is the case, is there any logic for reversing the itinerary and doing the Botswana mobile safari FIRST, then Capetown, and finishing in Kruger NP? Does it simplify the cost of internal flights any? I had originally thought to finish in Botswana because it is so highly regarded. Or is it all just 'personal preference'?
ALadyNCal is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 18th, 2005, 12:02 AM
  #34
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 4
An earlier poster mentioned that Garonga is more of a bush spa than a game lodge with an emphasis on yoga and holistic treatments.

My better half and myself spent five wonderful days at Garonga in late 2003. Unless the place has changed considerably since (which is possible, of course), that description is somewhat misleading.

While there is aromatherapy etc. available, there is most definitely great game viewing available and the atmosphere is lovely and IMHO less "industrial" than in many places in Sabi Sands etc.

The accommodations were great and the food superb, as well as the service.

They did not have buffaloes and leopards are scarce, but they did have plenty of elephants, lions, and rhinos. They also offer good walking safari options and you can also spend a night in a private camp out of the main camp.

We liked the place a great deal and thought it was an excellent value for money.

Cheers,
T.
Thalassa is offline  
Reply With Quote
 


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:53 PM.