Price for Zimbawe trip


Apr 19th, 2005, 11:05 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 54
Price for Zimbawe trip

I am just wondering if you guys could tell me if I got a decent price for my Zimbabwe trip. As I lurk on these boards, I realise how much research you all do before a trip, and I did very little. I mainly relied on my travel agent. So I am hoping I didn't get took too bad!
I am going September 1-12th, and my intinerary looks like this:
1 night Joburg
4 nights Makalolo Plains
3 nights Matetsi Water Lodge
1 night Victoria Falls Hotel

Price was $4080 per person and included all airfair and transfers from Minneapolis, MN. I know the airfair from MSP to Joburg was $1730 of that, but I haven't see a breakdown of the rest of the costs. So what do you think?

beept is offline  
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Apr 19th, 2005, 05:06 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553

The price looks fair considering that it includes your air from Minneapolis.

However, please do not tell me that it was your agent that suggested 3 nights at Matetsi. Matetsi is fine as a gateway city linking Victoria Falls to Botswana, but it should not be the grand finale to your safari!

Instead, a better choice would be to go from Makalolo Plains to 3 nights at Chikwenya in Mana Pools. The gameviewing will be much, much better at Chikwenya than at Matetsi Water Lodge. At Matetsi you will see elephant, giraffe and buffalo but you will not see too many predators.

I would say that substituting Chikwenya for Matetsi would add about $500 pp to the price of your safari but that it would be money well spent. Unless you are planning on going white water rafting and hanging out in Victoria Falls, I just do not see any need to stay longer than one night in Victoria Falls.

Another alternative I would suggest would be to consider Zambia instead. Something like the following:

1 night Joburg (preferably at Westcliff Hotel)
4 nights Luangwa River Lodge
3 nights Kasaka River Lodge
1 night Victoria Falls Hotel or Stanley Safari Lodge

Keeping the price of your air the same at $1,730 pp, I am figuring that the above package would be about $5,375pp but that it would also be a better overall experience.

The highlight of your stay is Makalolo Plains and this is certainly a great looking lodge. However, it goes downhill after Makalolo Plains, and you do not specify your hotel in Joburg.

If you need help with a Zambian safari, e-mail me and I can put you in touch with a good contact to help you get the best price.

If you do stay with Zimbabwe, do yourself a favor and substitute Chikwenya for Matetsi (and then kick your agent in the butt for not suggesting this in the first place).

Here are the links to the Zambian places that I recommended:

Best of luck.
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