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South Africa & Zimbabwee

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Jul 23rd, 1997, 04:35 PM
  #1
Beth
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South Africa & Zimbabwee

I am going to South Africa and Zimbabwee in September (1997) with 3 other girls. We are going to start in Cape Town and then do a Safari in Kruger National Park and at some point see Victoria Falls. Do you have any Recomendations for hotels, things to see and additional information. Our schedual is pretty open. Thanks!
 
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Jul 24th, 1997, 12:29 AM
  #2
Carl
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How long will you be over here? What type of budget are you on (First class, Tourist, El-cheapo)? Do you have any special interests (scenery, Nightlife, Ecology etc)? Age group (young, medium, ancient)? Let me have some answers and I'll send you some suggestions re itineries, accommodation etc.
 
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Jul 24th, 1997, 08:50 AM
  #3
Beth
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Okay. first we are all around 28 and are intersted in the wildlife, ecology, and some nightlife...no nightclubs because I am not bringing anthing that cool. Just some good laidback places to eat and hang out. Also our budget is more tourist. We are staying 2-3 weeks. Like I said we are open. But we just want some good info from someone who has been there. By the way do you know if getting around by car is that difficult since we drive on the otherside of the road? Thanks for responding.
 
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Jul 24th, 1997, 08:52 AM
  #4
Beth
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Okay. first we are all around 28 and are intersted in the wildlife, ecology, and some nightlife...no nightclubs because I am not bringing anthing that cool. Just some good laidback places to eat and hang out. Also our budget is more tourist. We are staying 2-3 weeks. Like I said we are open. But we just want some good info from someone who has been there. By the way do you know if getting around by car is that difficult since we drive on the otherside of the road? Thanks for responding.
 
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Aug 10th, 1997, 05:06 AM
  #5
Leigh
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I stayed at the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge and it was OUTSTANDING! Don't know the price. They have their own watering hole so the animals come to you. Sunset are great from the bar and pool area, good food too. Shopping was real good at an outside market, bring extra bags to lug it all home.
You can go rafting so if you are interested plan for that. Bungee jumping is available.
 
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Aug 11th, 1997, 02:45 AM
  #6
Carl
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Suggested Ittinery: Fly into Cape Town (direct via Miami?) Rent a car in CT and drive trrough to Port Elisabeth with the following stopovers: Cape Town (2 Nights) to Stellenbosch/Winelands (3 nights) to Oudtshoorn (1 night) to Knysna (1 night) to Port Elizabeth. Fly Port Elisabeth to Johannesburg. Rent a car and drive through to the Kruger Park for 3 nights (stick to the southern part of the park). Spend a 4th night in the area (White River?) and back to Jhb. Fly to Vic Falls for 2 nights and then back home via Harare or Johannesburg. You can drive between PE and Jhb (cheaper than flying for 4) but plan for a full days drive.

Suggested accommodation: Cape Town - City Lodge, Waterfront (Fax +27 21 4190460) or Breakwater Lodge (Fax +27 21 4061070). The latter is great value for money but the rooms are small! Stellenbosch - Avenues (+27 21 8872733) or Willow Tree (+27 21 8872267). Oudtshorn & Knysna both have ample good value guest houses. Book once you get to Cape Town. You must book ahead for the Kruger Park (www.pix.za/kruger_park/). Suggest you stay in Lower Sabi or Skakusa camps). I have no experience of Vic Falls.

Driving on the left side of the road should not put you off. The first day feels odd but you soon get used to it. If you rent a car stick to a manual drive. Automatics are expensive. Most rental companies give 200 km per day free and then charge per Km thereafter.An alternative is to work on an unlimited milage basis (higher daily rate) but this may work out cheaper depending how far you plan to drive. Work out your estimated milages before deciding.

If I can help with more specifics send me a note to my Email address.

Enjoy your trip!
 
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Aug 13th, 1997, 08:22 AM
  #7
Beth
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Thank you so much for all the info it really helps.I am really looking forward to my trip!
 
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Aug 18th, 1997, 04:28 PM
  #8
Deb Survil
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Carl gave a great itinerary. If you get to Vic Falls, you really should go a little further south an visit Hwange Nat'l Park-I liked it better than Kruger. We stayed at Umkombo Safari Lodge (non-hunting lodge), where our guide Rob knew everything about the plants and animals-even the toothbrush tree and toothpaste shrub! They are right off the road in Gwaai; PO box 4881 Harare, tel 263-4-620008 or fax 263-4-620006. We felt much safer in Zim than SA-in fact, we were nearly mugged on a main drag in Pretoria. As far as driving, pick up your car in a more rural area, and you get the feel of driving without the hassle of the city. The only real problems are turns-we developed a mantra of "STAY WELL LEFT" (Something our guides had reminded us to do) as we were making each turn, and only ended up in the wrong lane once in 14 days!. Going straight is no problem. You are going to love this. I went last summer, am going back next summer, and feel like every spare penny I have for the rest of my life will be spent going back to new places in the "dark continent". Good luck, and enjoy. Take lots more film than you think you will need-you'll use it!
 
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Aug 21st, 1997, 04:13 PM
  #9
karen
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Carl,
Here's a challenge...I'm a 28 year old american. I plan on traveling to SA in December alone...I'm sort of budget...but willing to pay a little more for convience and safety. I think I'll fly into Jo'burg and take it from there.

I like seeing the "behind the scenes" of countries as well as the main attractions.

So, can you help me?
-- Karen
 
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Aug 22nd, 1997, 06:59 AM
  #10
Carl
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Karen, I never could resist a challenge but I need some help on this one.(If there are any Vaalies or Banana Boys with local knowledge out there, especially when it comes to "behind the scenes" info, please laat waai with input). I'll break this down into categories of info. TIMING: December is a great month from a weather point of view. It should be hot on the north (high 30's) to warm in the south (high 20's). Rain should be minimal (looks like another drought year). Convenience wise it is a bad time. It is the height of the SA holiday season so accommodation is difficult and prices are high. The best time to visit (weather and cost wise)is mid Jan to end March. ACCOMMODATION: The larger centres on SA offer the full range of accommodation from dirt cheap (the dirt is free) to the 5 star ripoff. Most backpacker/youth hostel type places are clean and offer value for money. Another cost effective category is the small Bed and Breakfasts/guest houses scattered throughout most towns in the country. If you are into the former have a look at the Lonely Planet website feedback pages for some usefull addresses and commentPOST http:www.fodors.com:80forumsnma.cgi HTTP1.0
 
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Aug 26th, 1997, 03:17 PM
  #11
Sara McG
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I go to S. Africa for Animals and heavy-duty photography. That is why I will keep going back to Kruger. I traveled through all the northern provinces, and the areas I drove through were all alot like my home Texas,,,,cattle ranches, cornfields, mines, forest products mills, logging. Not alota culture, etc. Not what I go on TO AFRICA on vacation to see. So Kruger Park is the only place in the northern part of the country I would go back to. It is SUPERB and you are going at a good time (my dad says their winter is by far the best time to go, as I do not care for a blistering hot vacation). So I would concentrate any time in the Northern half of the country in Kruger. A superb park. The night drives are outstanding, (bring camera, 1000 speed film and flash) and a bargain at $12 (book ahead with your lodging). I heard in July they started 1 day-long hikes with rangers, I'd love one of those (it gets boring just having to stay in your car).
I am also a young woman....my dad had trouble seeing so at midnight our first night in SA I took over at the wheel, scared about driving! It wasn't so bad, like the other guy said, we kept saying "Left is easy, right hard" or something like that at each turn. The roads seemed narrow, with deep dropoffs, so drive very carefully.
SARA
 
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Aug 31st, 1997, 04:17 PM
  #12
Beth
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Thanks again for all of your information. It has been very helpful in planning our trip!
 
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Sep 3rd, 1997, 07:23 PM
  #13
Maye Musk
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In Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, how can you keep fit? Can you jog in the streets? As a woman, can you go for walks at night? Are there health centres you can use for a day? Thanks
 
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Oct 3rd, 1997, 04:44 PM
  #14
HILLARY
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So. Africa in November--I am a 29 yr. old woman travelling alone, budget. Going to SA Nov/Dec. and looking for info on hostels/ courier travel/ and what use a bike would be. Leaving for SE Asia on a world trip in January. Would appreciate any info on places in Singapore, Bangkok, India (has anyone been to Calcutta or Mother Teresa's Ministry?)Turkey, Europe. Plan on camping, biking and hostelling the whole way. Also ferry routes and rates would be mucho appreciated. Thanks. Hillary
 
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Jul 23rd, 1999, 07:04 AM
  #15
t
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To the person who asked about jogging in Johannesburg: I did and had no problems. I would not go at night, but I think you'll be able to sense that when you get there.

To the people who have asked for itineraries for trips to Southern Africa. I spent several months traveling through the region alone about a year ago, and figured everything out on the trial and error method. The trip as a whole was great, but I have to say that I enjoyed Zimbabwe more than South Africa. I think the itineraries suggested so far have marginalized Zimbabwe. There is much more to do there than spend 2 days in Vic Falls (although that is really fun). There's Hwange National Park, hiking in the Eastern Highlands, a visit to the Great Zimbabwe ruins. And, people tend to live in more traditional tribal communities there, so it is a good place to be introduced to real African culture. Also, in my opinion it is much cleaner and safer.
 
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