safari questions and capetown

Oct 3rd, 2005, 03:41 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 14
safari questions and capetown

i've been trying to plan our first trip to sa for the past few months and am still very overwhelmed by all the info.

we're headed there over xmas/new year's and are on a budget--given that i've narrowed it down to the following itinerary and would love some advice:

23 dec-arrive capetown, spend four nights
divided between bantry bay and either nordhoek or capetown center

we'd spend the time here doing markets, beach, robben island, an afternoon in the winelands--not sure if we should extend a night or not.

27 or 28 dec-fly out to safari--choices are:
madikwe river lodge or elephant plains lodge in sabie sands.

we'd do either 2 or 3 nights at a lodge, with 4 game drives. we'd want to to an add-on trip--i.e. i know botswana is one hour from madikwe, and i think swazi is a reasonable drive from sabie. in botswana i'm assuming it's more safari, in swazi we'd try to do the cultural village experience. we're also into river rafting and activities like that if i can manage to find any in these regions. (sabie river perhaps)

1 jan-overnight jo'burg
2 jan-tour jo'burg before pm flight home

there is obviously some room here to play with and i'd really love any feedback, insight etc.

many thanks in advance.
amyg is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2005, 05:54 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 14
Slight ammendment--Elephant Plains is not available so our choices are Madikwe River Lodge and Kapama River Lodge--two different areas as Kapama is near to Hoedspruit.
amyg is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2005, 06:12 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,354
Amyg, I am certainly no expert on Madikwe but is there a reason why you selected Madikwe River Lodge? It is located near the north-east edge of the park. Your game drives may be quite long if the game happens to be towards the southern areas.

Lodges such as Etali, Madikwe Safari Lodge & Madikwe Hills are more central.
climbhighsleeplow is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2005, 06:35 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,916
While the Botswana border may only be an hour from Madikwe, the best safari areas are in its north, which is too far for only a few days, and also not a budget destination if you're depending on flying into a delta camp.

Swaziland is quite close to Kruger, and its very interesting. I went on a game drive in Mkhaya, and while its small, you can track rhino on foot. We only spent 2 days in Swaziland, but plenty to do.
thit_cho is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2005, 07:07 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,715
Mashatu is in Southern Botswana and is in driving range of Joburg. Not sure how many days are available but it would be excellent to stay 3 nights in the Sabi Sands area, drive a couple of hours and stay at the Coach House (about $210 total)in Tzaneen where there is a spa, bikes, golf,etc., and then on to Mashatu for 3 nights before heading back to Joburg. Mashatu Tent Camp can be had for under $200 pppn (should be about $160 unless there is a holiday mark up). With EP not available Chitwa Chitwa Safari Lodge is a relatively cheap way to be in Sabi Sands (should be around $275 pppn). This gives a great combination of the in your face game viewing of Sabi Sands with the enormous, open African wilderness feel of Mashatu with a one day relax in between (would still have a game drive in the morning).

Feel free to email me ([email protected])if you want to know more about these places. I have set them up for a group trip that I will be the expert leader for and thus I have contact and rate info that I can share with you to make sure your deal is right.
PredatorBiologist is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2005, 08:33 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,087
You have posed some good q's.
River running, yes this can be done on the Blyde River, not sure of the upper Sabie River though.

Southern Botswana accessed from Madikwe is a game area too, however has limited accommodation options and generally requires self drive and camping, which you do not appear to be prepared for. Khutse Game Reserve & the Central Kalahari. Tuli is a huge haul by road from Gabs.

Madikwe has good game, despite the punters for the central properties opinions, you should experience it all in the couple of days that you are there.

Kapama is a small reserve and entirely contained by fences. It is a suitable alternate to the expensive lodges in the sands.

Since this is your first visit to SA with realistic perceptions, you will enjoy the value package that you are buying.
mkhonzo is offline  

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