south africa in june or july

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Nov 19th, 2005, 06:18 PM
  #1
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Posts: 54
south africa in june or july

I thinking of a trip to Africa in June or July to celebrate 50th birthday and 25th anniversary. Have previously done active vacations(the past 2 years bike trips through europe) and are looking for once in a lifetime experience. My husband is concerned that there will be too much time sitting on land rovers etc and not enough
activity. We have about 2-3 weeks to do the trip. Suggested itinerary was:
2 nights- Cape Town - Cape Grace Hotel
2 nights- Winelands(Le Quartier Francais
3 nights Phinda Lodge
2 nights Victoria Lodge Hotel
3 nights -Nxabega Okavango Safari Camp
How cold will it be in June/July? We live in Florida and would like to go to a more tempid climate in our summer but don't want to freeze. I am just in the beginning stages of planning and so I welcome any suggestions. I have used Fodors posts for many of my past trips (Europe and Australia) and find the unbiased opinions ( not from a travel agents) invaluable.

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Nov 20th, 2005, 08:12 AM
  #2
 
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Posts: 316
Elz,
Yes, you spend 3-4 hours each morning and each afternoon/night sitting in the Landrover. However, most of us on this board do not find that boring at all, and usually don't want game drives to end. But your husband is right in that it is not really physically active. Have you considered the walking safari at Phinda for something more active? You do spend the nights in a permanent tented camp however, instead of the regular camps, so not the same level of accomodation, and will probably be cold nights and early mornings. You can find out more about that on Phinda's website.

It looks like you are purposely excluding Sabi Sands area, maybe because of the colder weather there compared to Phinda or Botswana?

Why are you thinking of Nxabega instead of Sandibe, as I would think that Sandibe being more of a land camp (and Nxabega more of a water camp)would be more likely to have better game viewing. You can bring up Nxabega and Sandibe in the search to find some reports.

Also, I guess that you are getting some kind of discount for 6 nights at CCAfrica camps. If not, then you might as well consider Wilderness camps in Botswana too (rather than just Nxabega and Sandibe).

Have fun planning!
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Nov 20th, 2005, 11:30 AM
  #3
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I am thinking of revising my suggested itinerary and skipping the winelands. Rather spend more time on safari. That gives me a couple extra days to play with. Do you think that Sabi Sands is a better place to spend our time than Phinda? What will the weather be like the end of june, beginning of July. This itinerary was suggested by CC Africa. Taga suggested itinerary is
BOTSWANA PORTION: (Quoted in USD Dollars)
Option 1: Premier Camps
2 nights - Okavango / Vumbura Plains
or Jao 2 nights -
Moremi / Mombo 2 nights - Linyanti / Kings Pool /Classic Camp
2 nights - Okavango / Kwetsani 2 nights - Moremi / Mombo 2 nights - Linyanti / Kings Pool
SOUTH AFRICA PORTION (Quoted in South African Rand)
(On arrival from Botswana you will need to overnight in Johannesburg and depart the following day for Singita Game Lodge/Private Game Lodge in Sabi Sands area)

1 night - Inter-Continental Hotel at the Johannesburg Airport including breakfast

PRIVATE GAME LODGE

3 nights - Singita Game Lodge / Boulders or Ebony

Do you like this itinerary better? I keep reading everyone's suggestions and it is difficult to pick and choose? Given that I am going in late June what would be the optimal trip to see the most and yet have a variety of experiences as far as lodging.

From my readings I am getting the idea that booking the lodges on my own would be most economical. Any and all help is welcome.Thanks in advance for all the help.

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Nov 20th, 2005, 04:59 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 11
Hi
Just wanna warn you to make some calls and check availability. We booked a trip for late July 6 weeks ago and could not get into Mombo or Phinda. Savute and Sandibe were booked as well. We did get lucky and get reservations at Nxabega and Chief's Camp, though that was before Chiefs was named "best blah, blah in Africa" in Conda Nast.
Good luck and Happy Travels
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Nov 21st, 2005, 08:20 AM
  #5
 
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Hi elz1 - we did a very similar trip last June and so I can answer some of your questions. Yes, there is a lot of sitting on the game drives, but it is pretty "active" sitting - if that makes sense. You are so enthralled with what is going on, and the bouncing of the vehicles keeps you pretty busy just hanging on, that we never noticed it as being a bad thing. I tend to get very "antsy" if I'm not being active and I had a fabulous time. We stayed at Nxabega in the Delta - so I can with certainty say that you will have a wonderful experience there. The staff and the guides are terrific and they really go out of their way to make your stay the best it can be. As for the temps there - it will be cool at night (although it was not as cool as it was in Sabi Sands the nights that we were there) and in the mornings, but by mid morning it will be getting warm. By noon I was usually in shorts and a sleeveless top. Layers with something that will cut the wind on top is the answer. I was even glad that I had brought my mittens and a hat (although I HATE hats) because until the sun came up it was chilly. I was also worried about being cold sleeping in the tents at Nxabega, but the comforters they have are SO warm that I found I was almost hot and one night I had to throw the comforter off of me. You will probably have morning drives that are a bit cooler at Phinda Lodge (similar to Sabi Sands) but again - if you have layers you'll be fine. There I was in shorts and a T-shirt by noon. We also did some walking after breakfast with a guide in Sabi Sands - usually about an hour bush walk. So that helped with the activity level.

My only sugestions on your itinerary is to add at least a day in Cape Town (we stayed 3 nights and even that wasn't enough) and possibly another night in Vic Falls (we stayed two nights and although we got everything done, it was very rushed). Of course with the Cape Town addition - we didn't do the Winelands at all, but just within Cape Town there is lots to do. By the way - don't let anyone talk you out of going to Vic Falls and staying on the Zimbabwe side. I loved being able to walk to the falls and see the major portion of it up close. And I NEVER felt unsafe in Zimbabwe. Just make sure you have plenty of hard currency with you (US, Euro, Rand, etc) since very few places other than the hotels will take credit cards. And lots of small bills for tips.

All in all, you have picked a fabulous way to celebrate a 50th birthday and 25th anniversary. My parents went with us and they celebrated their 51st anniversary in Vic Falls. Hope you have as great a time as we did.
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Nov 21st, 2005, 10:10 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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It can be very cold in Botswana in June. Some mornings we needed all of long underwear, blankets, gloves, hats, scarves etc, until the sun warmed things up.

Mombo is pretty full if not completely full for next June already.
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