South Africa Safari suggestions?

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Mar 22nd, 2011, 11:43 AM
  #1
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South Africa Safari suggestions?

We are planning a trip to South Africa. We have 3 weeks and would like to find a good safari company to show us around. Any suggestions. We want to see game, visit Victoria Falls and experience South Africa. Also, what is the best time of year to go?
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Mar 22nd, 2011, 01:08 PM
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Caryn,

Where do you live? If you don't live in Montana or North Dakota (or similar) I can probably suggest an expert safari planner close-by that you can meet face to face.

Craig Beal - owner - Travel Beyond
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Mar 22nd, 2011, 03:42 PM
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If you are interested in Cape Town for its cultural activities, nature, and unique wildlife such as penguins, whales, great white sharks, and baboons, you may wish to do the Cape Town portion on your own or use a local guide to show you around.

Check out this chart on when to go for wildlife in South Africa and elsewhere.

http://www.africa-adventure.com/dsp_besttime.html
(The above companhy does South Africa trips. While I have not used them for SA, I have for other Southern Africa destinations and all went well.)

Let me add if seeing breaching Great Whites or cage diving with sharks from Cape Town is of interest, June-Sept/Oct is best.

You can read which companies people have used on this index.
http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...port-index.cfm

I've used Eyes on Africa in Chicago for SA and Wayne of Take2Tours in Cape Town. Also used the Fallows of African Shark Eco-Charters in Cape Town. All went very well.

If you make the effort to go all the way to Vic Falls, consider spending a couple of days in Chobe in Botswana. It's a couple hour drive (with a guide or a group) from Vic Falls (or flights can be arranged) and has some of the most amazing wildife encounters from the river of anyplace.

South Africa has used the slogan "The Whole World in One Country" so it is great you have 3 weeks.
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Mar 23rd, 2011, 12:31 PM
  #4
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I will certainly check those companies out. We live in South Florida, so if you have a travel partner here let me know.
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Mar 23rd, 2011, 01:26 PM
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Here is recent discussion similar to your question, if you didn't catch it.
http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...-itinerary.cfm

regards - tom
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Mar 23rd, 2011, 02:03 PM
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How about this trip?

http://www.exploreworldwide.com/holi...rland?vid=3333
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Mar 23rd, 2011, 02:28 PM
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CampingCaryn-

Since you want to visit Vic Falls, Botswana is a nice option. Yes, it can be expensive but if your budget can handle it, it's a great safari destination. Three nights in 2 or 3 camps, Vic Falls for one night, two depending on your interests, then head over to the private reserves around Kruger NP. Cape Town is a very interesting city, with lots to do. Three weeks is a luxury, and you can do a lot.

If Botswana is not in the budget, there are options in KwaZulu Natal. Phinda and Tembe, as well as Hluhluwe NP are all nice. Mashatu, in Bots but easier access to S Africa, is a nice camp.

We have had very good luck using a safari outfitter to arrange trips, including transfers, internal flights, etc, but you don't need someone to "show you around". I thought the same thing the first time, but it really is ok to have arrangements made and go that way. Our first trip, also three weeks was Cape Town for three nights including a winelands tour, a Cape of Good Hope tour (including the penguins), did Robben Island (don't miss it), Table Mt and Kirstenbosch gardens. Then we went to Vic Falls, three camps in Bots, a camp in Kruger private reserves and home. It was all arranged perfectly, with just one minor airline glitch. So you can go it alone but still feel very taken care of!

No matter what you do and which agent you use, have a good idea of what you want before you call. There are all kinds of camps, with different luxury levels and costs, and if you have preferences it is good to have as much input as possible. A good agent will not be unhappy with a lot of input.

For wildlife viewing, May to Sept is best. Vic Falls is better May - July. Sept, when we were there was almost empty. It's winter, so it can be cold in Southern Africa.
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Mar 25th, 2011, 02:16 AM
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Hi Caryn

Here is one for you:

http://www.victoria-falls-hotels.com...num_Africa.asp

David Retief - Island Safari
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Mar 27th, 2011, 08:31 AM
  #9
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Wow! You've all been so helpful. Keep this advise coming.
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Apr 8th, 2013, 05:54 AM
  #10
 
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There is a stunning couple in South Africa you can get in contact with, their company is http://www.catztours.com they will take good care of you, there is also a website I recently heard of called http://www.cheapsouthafrican.com lol supposed to be a aid to travel on a budget but give Annekie a Henry a try at catztours
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Apr 8th, 2013, 04:43 PM
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"Wow! You've all been so helpful. Keep this advise coming."

Even if a year later??

regards - tom
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May 5th, 2013, 10:34 PM
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If you want to enjoy safari in South Africa than you have best option to visit Lalibela addo game reserve. I think this is the best place to enjoy the safari it is placed at the Eastern Cape of South Africa, close to Port Elizabeth and Addo.There are lots of things to visit and do like lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo & leopard as well as other predators like cheetah, hyena, jackal & lynx.
For more information visit: http://www.lalibela.net
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May 5th, 2013, 11:19 PM
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Will disagree with lalibela about safari locations. Although I have not been to the Eastern Cape, Addo, or other safari camps in that area, you will find the best game viewing, the big 5, in their natural wild setting, in the Kruger National Park area. Kruger itself is good but better are the safari camps in the Sabi Sand reserve that borders Kruger (but no fence there). Camp examples: MalaMala, Londolozi, Kirkmans, Lion Sands and others. Also camps in the Timbavati reserve just north of Sabi Sand. So how can I say this area is better for safari than Addo etc? Because every, every, professionally guided photographic tour in South Africa goes to the Greater Kruger area. I have been there 7 times in the last 8 years.

regards - tom
ps - replies to this thread is just the beginning edge of what we will be seeing of advertising here. As now allowed by Fodors recently.
Fodors - I'll tell you this - If I feel I have to argue/rebut every advertising claim now coming, I'll say good bye to what was a good forum.
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May 6th, 2013, 02:45 AM
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The Eastern Cape is a viable 2nd option to Kruger, it is a malari free area & a natural habitat unlike the Western Cape. Addo is great for elephants, the only thing I didn't get close to at a private reserve so on route to airport stopped at Addo for a couple of hours, within minutes of entering the park I got my wish :0)
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May 6th, 2013, 04:01 PM
  #15
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We leave in less than 2 weeks and will spend 17 days. For what it's worth, here's our itinerary:

Day 1 Fly Delta non-stop Atlanta to Joberg (15.5 hours....); arrive 5pm; stay overnight.

Day 2 Fly to Zimbabwe and spend one night there; see Vic Falls;

Day 3 Go to Chobe National Park in Bots via transport and stay in the park at the Game Lodge for 2 nights.

Day 5 Fly to the Okavango Delta in Bots and stay at Little Vumbura for 3 nights.

Day 8 Fly to Cape Town and spend 4 nights; we'll spend 2 days with Discovery Tours (discoverytours.com) who were highly recommended on trip advisor and who have been super helpful and prompt in planning things for us to do there.

Day 12 Fly to Kruger NP area and stay 3 nights at Nottens Bush Camp in Sabi Sand.

Day 15 Fly home.

Now, if we had more time, and money, we may have added a day in Joberg to acclimate and see the town; might have spent 2 nights in Vic Falls; and would have spent another night in Chobe NP.

We picked May on purpose. Supposedly a good time to see lots of wildlife without the rainy season.

We read here about the importance of using a travel agent, so I did. After contacting 4 and getting bids and itinerary recommendations, we ended up using SunSafaris (sunsafaris.com) which is based in Cape Town. I've been very pleased with our contact there, Anne-Marie. Very prompt and courteous. And so far, no hitches!
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May 6th, 2013, 07:21 PM
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And here we are replying to a post dated Mar 22, 11. Over two years ago!!!! I have to get a life.

regards - tom
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May 6th, 2013, 07:40 PM
  #17
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Yikes!!!! Thanks for the heads up, Tom. Sheesh.
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Jul 29th, 2013, 03:48 PM
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It's OK....it brought this much needed "old" info to my attention. Thanks!
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