to layover a day or two or not? Africa trip


Feb 7th, 2014, 05:18 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
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If you are in Bots and are headed to Vic Falls, I assume you'll be going through Kasane. One of the best experiences I've had on safari was the Ichobezi safariboats on the Chobe River. Officially, they are out of Namibia, but you just leave Kasane and cross to an island, check in, and head to the boat. "Game drives" are via speedboats, which your kids might enjoy (you, too!) The boat ties up on the river at night where we were surrounded by elephants all night long. It's a magical experience!
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Feb 8th, 2014, 01:50 PM
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I get on the plane, settle in and fly straight onto to JNB. Out of JFK, it's easy even If a long haul. Can easily read and even sleep. And once at jNB, we collected bags and boarded flight to CPT which run about every 2/hrs... my head on pillow by 10pm. I have time to sleep if needed once at my destination.
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Feb 8th, 2014, 11:08 PM
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We are stopping in Paris for a week en route bc the best miles tix I could get were Air France business class (actually less miles than delta economy). My kids better behave! You just have to know how to find the hidden miles fares. Flyertalk has lots of info on that.

The other cool thing about our flights between paris-jnb is that they are Airbus380s. Like 747s. Massive double decker jumbo planes. That alone is going to be amazing. Esp in biz class. Ahhh!

I had the same thought as you: get over jet lag during a lull in my trip not during my first 3 days of safari.
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Feb 12th, 2014, 11:21 AM
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@profenglish - I also looked at flights on Air France and it seems they have a good route. It all comes down to trying to use these "points" and "miles" for the bus class upgrade. My husband and I have resolved to just invest in two bus class seats and then hope to use upgrades if available for the kids.

These flights have made everything so confusing - it literally made my head spin!

You mention bringing kids - do you mind my asking what your safari itinerary is and is it your first trip? What time of year are you planning?

We resolved for next summer, but now I am contemplating Christmas vacation……

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Feb 12th, 2014, 11:24 AM
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@ekscrunchy -

The plan is to stay at Lion Sands River Lodge and Hamiltons Tented Camp in Sabi Sands/SA

Do you know of either of these? Do you have recommendations?

In Botswana we plan to stay at Chobe Game Lodge. Perhaps also add on something in the Delta? Any other options in different area of Botswana?

And then Islands of Siankaba in Vic Falls.
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Feb 13th, 2014, 10:43 AM
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I stayed at Lion Sands (Ivory Lodge) and at Islands of Siankaba.

I wrote a trip report with details about these places, and most of the others I visited; this is the link. I did not finish it; we also went to Linyanti reserve, in the Chobe area. If you can only choose one area in Botswana, you should choose the Delta, I think.

Victoria Falls flow varies a lot by season. In October, we had to travel to the Zimbabwe side (not far) to see the most water.

You definitely need to add a lodge in the Delta. I would ask Southern Destinations, if you are working with them. I think you will be so excited and thrilled by the destinations you are speaking about that it may not matter much which lodge you choose. More important is to settle on the regions, for example, I think you should include Sabi Sands without a doubt. I'm not sure that you need to stay at two different lodges in that reserve...if you have limited time you might want to either spend longer at one lodge, Lion Sands in your case, and add a lodge in the Delta. You will find tented camps there...for example, I stayed at Stanley's Camp, where guests had tents. It was not one of the most upscale camps but I loved my time there.
Just one example, there are so many your head can spin!

One other spot you might consider is one that offers meerkats, such as Magkadigadi Pans in Botswana. I just cannot tell you how fabulous it was to get "up close and personal" with these little creatures. One of my best travel experiences ever! Ask Southern Destinations about this..

Now, are you talking about Christmas 2014? If so, I think you might want to book fairly soon to get your first choice of lodges.

Maybe you can write your itinerary, or proposed itinerary, here and ask for comments. I've been only twice, but there are others who are really experienced travelers in this part of the world.

I am now contemplating a third trip; once you get a taste, it is difficult to refrain from dreaming of these places!
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Feb 18th, 2014, 11:31 AM
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thanks @EK - I opened a separate posting about our proposed itinerary and would welcome any thoughts/suggestions.

I think we will not choose to go at Christmas - very hot and very very expensive time of year to travel.

I love the suggestion of meerkats in Mag Pans….great idea!

I also like the idea of Stanley's Camp - a tented camp in the Delta as opposed to S. Africa.
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