South Africa for "Active" People

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Mar 23rd, 2005, 08:00 AM
  #1
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South Africa for "Active" People

Hello All,

My fiance and I will be taking our honeymoon this December and would like to visit South Africa. We are pretty active and are interested in hiking and doing some kayaking or canoeing. We'd also like to have some nice beaches for relaxing. During the trip, we also want to fit in a safari. Silversea cruise lines offers a trip to South Africa, with stops in Reunion and Mauritius. However, the excursions seem to be a bit overpriced ($225 per person for an 8-hour safari; $79 per person for a 3 hour "walking tour.") We're afraid that cruise ship excursions might not be geared toward more active people. Does anyone have any suggestions for us? Would we be better off just flying into Cape Town, say on British Airways, and getting our own accommodations and booking our own activities? Does anyone have any experience with this?

Thanks!
thall0672 is offline  
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Mar 23rd, 2005, 10:30 AM
  #2
 
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thall,

Honestly, I do not see a Silverseas cruise being at all complementary to a South African holiday. Seems like such a waste to focus on a cruise with mostly people over 60 years old for a fit young couple such as yourselves.

Southern Africa offers luxury that will parallel the luxury found on your Silverseas cruise and you will see so much more.

I used to "cruise", until I discovered Southern Africa. While I could afford Silverseas, I would much rather spend it on Southern Africa. I certainly would not go on an "8 hour safari" or a "3 hour walking tour"...what a mess...trying to lead around a bunch of 60 - 75 year olds...yech!

Although you may believe you have total exclusivity with Silverseas, it does not come close to comparing to a place like Singita (www.singita.co.za), although if you do not wish to spend $2,200 per night, there are other luxurious options such as Luangwa River Lodge (www.luangwariverlodge.com) for about 1/4 the price.

You want active? At Luangwa River Lodge, you will be able to go on 4 hour walking safaris, led by an armed scout. This is in addition to the normal game drives.

In another park, Lower Zambezi, you will be able to go canoeing in the Zambezi River, enjoy sunset cruises, go on walking safaris, fish for Tiger Fish (catch and release for the big cousin of Piranha's). www.kasakariverlodge.com

YOU ARE TOO YOUNG TO BE SURROUNDING YOURSELF WITH OCTOGENARIANS. HAVE A LITTLE FUN! LIVE A LITTLE!

Why shelter yourself on a cruise, and only see little controlled glimpses of Africa, when you can get the full experience for probably less than what you will pay for that Silverseas Cruise? You are still going to get complete luxury and a staff to guest ratio that blows away Silverseas.

Feel free to e-mail me or post any questions right here. You only get one honeymoon...make the most of it!
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Mar 23rd, 2005, 11:42 AM
  #3
 
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I'm with Roccco, dump the cruise. Don't get me wrong, I love cruising (have been on 5 in the past 2 years), but it's not the way to experience Africa.

There are pleny of active things to do in Southern Africa: white water rafting on the Zambezi below Victoria Falls, flying in a microlight above the Falls, horseback safaris, bush walks, canoeing. I'd also recommend checking out CCAfrica.com -- their lodges at Phinda would be perfect for a honeymoon: VERY romantic, great game viewing, and plenty of excursions including canoeing, rhino tracking, and swimming at their private beach. (Their are a variety of other activities on their website - I just can't remember them all).

No matter what you decide, you'll have an amazing honeymoon in Africa!
travelwmn is offline  
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Mar 24th, 2005, 03:01 AM
  #4
 
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Not to flog a dead horse but I have to agree with previous posters that a cruise is not the best way to experience Africa, especially given your preference for active sightseeing including hiking and kayaking.
Many of the plethora of wonderful national parks in South Africa offer a variety of hiking trails, some of which are of certain lengths that require a full day or a number of full days (camping en route) to complete. These would be excluded to you if you were docked only for a short time at each place. Not to mention the inability to visit all the wonderful places further afield from the ports.
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Mar 24th, 2005, 03:38 AM
  #5
 
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we have just returned from an amazing week in cape town and the winelands. our experience was greatly enhanced due to the savvy advice of posters here.

we are in our late 20s and, like you, consider ourselves quite active. there was no shortage of things to do--we mountain biked, hiked, and sailed. we tried to go horseback riding but that fell through. i'm still working on a trip report but wanted to jump in on this. definitely skip the cruise. south africa (well at least cape town and its greater surroundings in our case) is easy to navigate and there is more to do that you could even imagine!
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Mar 24th, 2005, 06:39 AM
  #6
 
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I, too, agree with the earlier posters. After we went on safari, we went to Cape Town. We rented a car the day we left Cape Town, and drove to Hermanus to do some whale watching and hiking, then drove to Knysna -- one of our favorite national parks for hiking was Tsitsikamma, and we did the canopy tour there, which was terrific. We also stayed in Oudtshoorn, and did the Swartberg pass, and then drove to the Winelands for a few days, which we loved. South Africa is a beautiful country and it sounds as if you'll enjoy it more seeing it on your own than through a cruise. Also, think about staying at a guesthouse in Cape
Town -- where we stayed was terrific and very reasonable.
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Mar 24th, 2005, 08:43 AM
  #7
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Thank you everyone! This is really great information. We will definitely not do the cruise. Sounds like our money will be much better spent elsewhere. I'm really excited to visit South Africa!

Thanks.
thall0672 is offline  
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Mar 24th, 2005, 08:46 AM
  #8
 
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I found the Lonely Planet Guide to South Africa to have lots of information on things to do for active people. I can't personally recommend anything (my vacation wasn't very active) but I think it would be a good place to get ideas.
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