Solo game drive?

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May 5th, 2012, 09:21 AM
  #1
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Solo game drive?

I am visiting Joburg for 2 weeks in September staying privately. Planning among other things to visit Vic Falls while I am there. I have not experienced a safari although this will be my second trip to S. Africa. As my traveling companion is not interested in a safari, I will be essentially alone in trying see some of the Big 5. Is it worthwhile doing a one day tour including a morning game drive or is this too hit-or-miss in terms of sighting game? I am 62 and hesitant about roughing it on my own because of health issues. Any suggestions/recommendations? Thanks.
bzetraveller is offline  
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May 5th, 2012, 09:45 AM
  #2
 
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You could do an overnight at Pilanesberg or Entabeni. Both are within a few hours of Joburg and you won't have to be "roughing it". Very nice accomodations. Although one night is not enough, at least you get to experience a couple of game drives. Try to talk your partner into it. There's really nothing like it.

Or while you're at Vic Falls, take the short trip to Chobe. Vic Falls is a long way - you may as well extend your stay in the area - the falls are lovely, but a day is plenty.
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May 5th, 2012, 05:43 PM
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Can you get away for a couple of nights? There are lots of Sabi Sands lodges that include flights from Joburg as part of the package, everything taken care of. You would not be roughing it and you likely would be joining others from the lodge in a vehicle for game drives. If you preferred having your own privately guided vehicle, that can be arranged to for an extra charge.

The Chobe option from Vic Falls that Christabir mentions is also good. Again if you could stay overnight, for even 1 night, in Chobe that would be better. Game viewing in Chobe is by vehicle or boat, each most likely on a shared basis. No roughing it in Chobe either. Chobe does not have rhino, so seeing Big 4 would have to do in this park.

I also agree that one day spent viewing the falls is sufficient.

If you could arrange for 3 nts Sabi Sands and 3 nts Chobe that included a day trip to Vic Falls from Chobe, you'd see the falls, have a good chance at Big 5, have a great wildlife river cruise on the Chobe River, and not need to rough it at all.
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May 5th, 2012, 08:19 PM
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Good suggestion above. Will second suggestion that out of Joburg you go over to Sabi Sand reserve for 3 or more nights. You will have outstanding big 5 viewing there. Suggest safari camps MalaMala, Londolozi, Lion Sands, Exeter River Lodge, Dulini, Kirkmans. Camp rates will be about $500-$700 per person per night plus airfare to/from JNB.

regards - tom
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May 6th, 2012, 09:24 AM
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... and where will your friend by if you visit Vic Falls and/or choose to head off for safari at Pilanesburg, Etenbani or other game reserve/s in South Africa?

There is no LAW that says a visitor to a camp on a reserve MUST GO ON GAME DRIVES.

Do realize that the side-trip to Vic Falls doesn't come cheap, with airfare to/from Johannesburg, Visas hotel, visit to the Falls, etc. and for only 1/day... or even if a game reserve for only 1/day.

To make VFA worthwhile, you can spend 1/nt here, do the Falls Tour next morning (it only takes a few hours) and then arrange road transfer via Kisane to Chobe (in Botswana) for at least 2/nts safari, then back to VFA and JNB.

Or if only safari in South Africa, Sabi Sands* as mentioned (or other conservancies adjacent to Kruger Park)... do give yourself at minimum 2/nts (3/nts is better), where your game drives will be shared with other guests at the lodge/camp you stay.

*many of the properties on the private conservancies can be rather expensive; consider instead just visiting Kruger Park itself where accommodations are more reasonable, there will be activities for your friend (pool, walk or simply relaxing in a great environment) other than game drives while you go out on these with other guests. Unless you wish to pay for private game drives (rather costly).

When you travel with a friend, it's understandable that both might not have the same interests, but it's a matter of being flexible with one another... trying to combine a bit of each others interests in the total trip. Unlike a visit to a city somewhere in the world, where one can visit museums while the other shops... it's a bit different in Africa where distances are great, crossing borders and a variety of things to do.

Besides Vic Falls and possible safari that appear to be your interests, where else are you visiting, for how long, specific things you plan on doing that take in the concerns of your travel companion?
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May 18th, 2012, 11:59 PM
  #6
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Thanks, everyone, for all your advice - very helpful. Will check on the Sabi Sands lodges of which I was unaware.
Sandi, I will also be re-visiting Cape Town. Missed Robben Island and Table Mountain last time because of strong winds and poor visibility at that time. Considering a side trip from Joburg to Durban traveling overland to take in as much of the landscape en route as possible. My friend will be attending a conference in Joburg for a week while I am trying to see the Big 5. She is very much at home in S. Africa having visited many times and so will have old friends to visit etc. if I go off to Durban. We will do Vic Falls together. I am tempted by the Chobe option. I will check on the costs involved.
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May 19th, 2012, 01:09 PM
  #7
 
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Hello bzetraveller
There are many game reserve options in South Africa and everybody has their own opinions. Mine are as follows: Kruger for me is where I go everytime and have not been disappointed on any of the trips (11 at last count). You can have the option of staying inside the park at one of the camps and do game drives from there or you stay outside the park at say Hazyview and get picked up for your game drives in the morning and returned in the evening.
For the drive from Joburg to Durban I would recommend going via St Lucia for a late afternoon boat ride on the estuary or if the battlefields interest you, go via Dundee for a battlefields tour (although spending 2 weeks there and you would not get to visit all the battlefields).
When you get to Cape Town, before deciding on Table Mountain, check the following site for weather conditions: http://tablemountain.net/
Robben Island you unfortunately need to book in advance. You can take the chance of going to the ticket office and waiting to see if there are any no shows and then taking those places - it does happen and has worked in the past.
hope this information is helpful and let me know if you require anymore info.
Regards

Allan
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