September National Geographic

Old Aug 14th, 2006, 07:39 PM
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September National Geographic

The Joubert's report on Lions & Buffalo in Okavango - Duba Plains. Stunning photographs as usual. I believe they also will have a NG special this fall called Relentless Enemies on the same subject.
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Old Aug 14th, 2006, 11:50 PM
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This special "Relentless Enemies" has already been shown on the Nat Geo channel. But I'm sure it won't be long before it is repeated, it's well worth seeing!
Cheers
Marc
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Old Aug 16th, 2006, 08:19 PM
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Has any of you join N.G. Expedition tour trip? How was it if you did?
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Old Aug 17th, 2006, 01:33 PM
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vanillabean,

Copy the same itinerary offered by National Geographic expeditions, send it out to a couple specialist tour operators and you are guaranteed to get the same itinerary for much better pricing.
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Old Aug 17th, 2006, 01:46 PM
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http://www.nationalgeographicexpedit...ns~Africa.html

I don't even LIKE their itineraries for Southern Africa or East Africa.

Their Southern Afica itinerary includes only two nights at Mala Mala, three nights at Mashatu, two nights at Xakanaxa and two nights at the Royal Livingstone.

There is an optional 3 night extension to the Cape Grace Hotel for $2090 PER PERSON!!! That is $4180 for 3 nights for a couple sharing. OUCH.

The standard itinerary is also painful at $10,490 per person (even for the May departure) PLUS $1780 for the round trip flight from Washington DC to Johannesburg. The $10,490 works out to $1,165.55 per person per night for the standard itinerary.

Including the 3 night Cape Town extension, it is $12,500 per person for 12 nights, including internal flights ($25,000 for a couple sharing). Highway robbery, if you ask me and probably about 40+% over rack rates for May 2007.
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Old Aug 17th, 2006, 07:44 PM
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Thank you, Rocco.

I did notice the high prices listed. That's why I was wondering if their tours are any better than others.

Do you have suggestions for good tour groups? I have never been to Africa but would very much like to adventure through the area.
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Old Aug 17th, 2006, 09:45 PM
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vanillabean,

Most travelers on this forum, whether solo travelers or not, prefer to have an itinerary either custom designed personally or by a trusted specialist operator. For example, with that same budget of $12,500 per person sharing, I would suggest something like this for someone wanting to visit Zambia in May 2007 (the same time as one of the itineraries for National Geographic). While their safari included 2 nights in Victoria Falls and 7 nights at luxury lodges/camps, watch how far the same amount of money may go:

2 nights at Royal Livingstone, Victoria Falls, Zambia $550 pp

6 nights at Luangwa River Lodge, South Luangwa National Park, Zambia $1900 pp

4 nights at Puku Ridge, South Luangwa, Zambia $1360 pp

7 nights at Chiawa Camp, Lower Zambezi National Park $3475 pp

Air transfers, Lusaka to South Luangwa to Lower Zambezi to Lusaka $750 pp

Wow...I am ONLY at $8485 pp so far and I am already up to NINETEEN nights, 17 of them on safari.

For good measure, why not include the Johannesburg to Lusaka round trip flight for $250 pp more AND add 4 nights at Mala Mala, including air transfers from Joburg, for $3000 per person.

Okay, now I am up to $11,735 pp. Hmmm...still have $765 left over! Perhaps I could add a one way flight to Cape Town for about $165 pp and then with the $600 pp leftover, I may spend 4 nights at the Commodore Hotel in Cape Town, and add a night at the D'Oreale Grande Hotel at the Emperors Casino in Joburg.

Wheh!!! It was not easy spending that $12,500 per person in May but I finally have done so, and rather than the 9 nights on the National Geographic Expedition, I have duplicated the 2 nights at the Royal Livingstone, spent an EXTRA night at Mala Mala, added 4 nights in Cape Town at a very nice hotel near the Waterfront...oh, and how do you like that 17 night Zambian safari at the very finest Zambian camps???

Itinerary:

Commodore Hotel, Cape Town (4) $500 pp
Royal Livingstone, Victoria Falls (2) $525 pp
Luangwa River Lodge, South Luangwa (6) $1900 pp
Puku Ridge, South Luangwa (4) $1350 pp
Chiawa Camp, Lower Zambezi (7) $3475 pp
D'Oreale Grande, Joburg (1) $150 pp
Mala Mala, Sabi Sand (4) $2500 pp
Air & Road Transfers $2100 pp (and I am being very generous with the transfer costs)

GRAND TOTAL for 28 night May 2007 South Africa / Zambia custom itinerary = $12,500 per person

Of course, not everyone has 28 nights, but even for a more abbreviated combination of some of the above, terrific pricing is available.

Again, May 2007:

Commodore Hotel, Cape Town (4 nights) = $500 pp
Royal Livingstone, Victoria Falls (2 nights) = $525 pp
Luangwa River Lodge, South Luangwa (6 nights) = $1900 pp
Chiawa Camp, Lower Zambezi (7 nights) = $3475 pp
Internal Air/Road Transfers = $1500 pp

GRAND TOTAL FOR 19 Night Zambian Safari/Victoria Falls/Cape Town Holiday = $7900 per person sharing!

Hope this helps put things in perspective. The above safari, in high season, would still be less expensive than the cost of the National Geographic Expedition, but in May you would experience a wonderful safari, as well, at great pricing.

Quite honestly, although I know all of the above pricing I provided for the custom itinerary to be fact, even I have a hard time believing it in comparison to the NG Expedition pricing!

Here are the properties that I have included in my itineraries that do not appear on the NG Expedition itinerary:

www.luangwariverlodge.com

www.chiawa.com

www.starofafrica.com (Puku Ridge)

http://www.legacyhotels.co.za/content.aspx?h=2 (Commodore Hotel)

http://www.doreale.com/emperorspalace/default.asp
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