The wedding's off, a safari is on! Little advice?

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Feb 10th, 2007, 08:49 AM
  #1
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The wedding's off, a safari is on! Little advice?

I'm getting married in June, and we have just decided to cancel the big wedding and go to Africa instead! It'll be our first trip and it's kind of late to be planning this, so I could use some advice. I was thinking of using one of CC Africa's lodges right in the middle because we want to get married on June 2 (sentimental reasons) and it would be nice to be at a swank lodge for that part. So maybe Ngala Tented Camp--unless somebody tells me otherwise? If we did that for 3 nights, we could have 3-4 nights elsewhere on both ends. From what I've seen on this forum, it sounds like we need to go to Sabi Sands for the best game viewing. We def can't afford Londolozi, but I read here that Elephant Plains was good. So how does this sound--4 nights (May 27-May 31) at Elephant Plains, 3 nights at Ngala Tented Safari Camp (May 31-June 3), then fly down to Vic Falls on the 3rd and spend 3 or 4 nights at the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge. Is that a good combination, or would anyone recommend tacking on something else besides Vic Falls at the end? And would anyone recommend other accomodations there, such at Matetsi? I thought the Vic Falls Safari Lodge sounded good and it's pretty inexpensive, but I'm glad to hear a case made for something/somewhere else. Thanks so much in advance for any advice!
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Feb 10th, 2007, 09:21 AM
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Congratulations on your upcoming marriage. What a wise decision to spent the $$$ on a trip to Africa!! I haven't been to any of the places you mention, but am sure you'll get excellent advice on this forum. Your marriage will have a memorable, exciting beginning.
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Feb 11th, 2007, 06:22 PM
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cw
 
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Hi,

Can't answer all of your questions, but we stayed at Ngala Tented last September. We loved it. Here is a link to my trip report: http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34898193.

I think going to the Sabi Sands is a good idea but I have no experience with Elephant Plains.

I think if you want to go from Ngala or anywhere in SA to Victoria Falls, it may require an overnight in JNB.

You might want to price out more nights at CCAfrica camps, since longer stays mean discounted prices. Air transfers will add to your cost.

Congratulations on your marriage--you definitely made the right decision--Africa v. big weddding.

CW
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Feb 12th, 2007, 04:14 AM
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Just FYI.

I doubt if you are going to get many of your choices at this late date. You better start working overtime for anything decent in June.

Good luck.
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Feb 12th, 2007, 05:34 AM
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That's awesome katelands. Best of luck with your planning.

J
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Feb 12th, 2007, 06:58 AM
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If you want good value for the money Nottens Bush Camp would be great. I was there in April 2006 with my wife and three children and had a fantastic time. It is comfortable, the food is good and game viewing superb, plus it would cost you half the price compared to top of the range lodges (like Londolozi)...

www.nottens.com/
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Feb 12th, 2007, 09:14 AM
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Katelands,

I think that CCAfrica has a special for Ngala (and also for Phinda) with 4 nights for the price of three. Combined with the lower rate for the low season which would include June, that should be a pretty reasonable price. Take a look at the CCAfrica website (the ASAP portion).
I haven't been to Victoria Falls, but it seems that 3 or 4 nights there are too many, unless you are planning on some of the activities such as river rafting, bungee jumping, etc. But I'm sure others can advise you better on that.
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Feb 17th, 2007, 11:58 AM
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Thanks everybody! And Brandywine, thanks a lot for that info--I found out it's true that if you stay for a minimum of 4-nights at any combination of either Ngala Lodge OR Ngala Tented Safari Camp with the Ngala Walking Safari you receive the 2nd night at the Ngala Walking Safari free. The other offer relates to Ngala Lodge only ... "Stay for 3, Pay for 2." I have been thinking of doing the walking tour, but my concern is that it'll be early June and quite cold at night--only hot water bottles in the beds for warmth. Anybody know about this or have ideas regarding the level of discomfort that would entail? THANKS!!!!!!!
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Feb 17th, 2007, 01:39 PM
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Hello Katelands,

First, congratulations -- a safari offers much better value for money than a big wedding!

You may want to look at a Phinda-Sabi Sands combination for more variety in your trip (unless you really want to stay in a tented camp, as there aren't a huge number of those in SA). Phinda Forest Lodge is very reasonably priced in June, and Phinda is in KwaZuluNatal which is warmer than the lowveld where Ngala is located.

You could then combine this with Kirkman's Kamp in the Sabi Sands, which is also a CCA lodge and very good value for money. There is an offer on which would give you free return transfers from Joburg, which would save you about R3500 (about $500 at today's exchange rate).

Cheers,
Julian
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Feb 17th, 2007, 02:01 PM
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Hi Katelands,

Just wanted to say congratulations! We too decided to ditch any 'big' wedding back home and go on Safari to get married

We're off in May to South Africa, good luck with your choices I'm sure you'll have a great time, we can't wait for ours!
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Feb 17th, 2007, 05:16 PM
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santharamhari
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Actually, you'd be surprised how cold it can get in Phinda during an ocassional cold front.....this was the same cold front that caused the freak snow flurry in Joburg last winter....it was the coldest part of my safari. Unusual, but, better take the needed warm clothing...in fact at the end of one drive i can remember warm cider waiting for us as opposed to the iced tea.....

Hari
 
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Feb 17th, 2007, 05:17 PM
  #12
santharamhari
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forgot to say......Phinda is a fenced reserve...
 
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