Travel to South Africa

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Mar 30th, 2006, 12:42 AM
  #1
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Travel to South Africa

Is September or October better for travel to SA? Any comments re travelling with Tauck Tours....we are thinking of doing the tour with them, as we like to stay in nice places and feel we can do the most in the t amounof time....any feedback? Would appreciate...
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Mar 30th, 2006, 01:04 AM
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malaysia,

I believe that if you post the itinerary and price of the Tauck tour, others will be able to provide you with more feedback.

I will take this opportunity to advise you, without even seeing the itinerary and price, that there is a 95% chance that you could get a better itinerary and better pricing out of a tour operator specializing in Southern Africa. A custom designed itinerary is definitely the way to go.

I believe October would be slightly better, allowing it to warm up a bit more, especially in Cape Town, assuming that a Tauck Tours itinerary will have Cape Town. Just so you know, however, high season usually starts on September 01st for safari lodges in South Africa. If you visited in late August, your pricing would be much better, but the tradeoff would be weather that is not so great in Cape Town.

Good luck.
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Mar 30th, 2006, 01:51 AM
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santharamhari
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Also, depending on how much priority you give to gameviewing........End August should be good also for game viewing. You may get lower rates in some top notch lodges. Got to chk.....
 
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Mar 30th, 2006, 04:45 AM
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Malaysia,

In my opinion, taking the Tauck tour depends on what you are looking for in terms of what you really want to see and do while in South Africa, and also if you like traveling with a group tour. Most of us have found that a private trip for two can be arranged by a travel agent that specilaizes in Southern Africa for the same price or better than the group tours.

I do not really like the Tauck itinerary because of the 10 total nights (including Vic Falls), only two nights are spent at a Safari Lodge. Myself and many others on this board are always looking for nights at safari camps and that is our high priority (except for Cape Town, which is a lovely area). The Tauck tour apparently spends one night at Pilgram's Rest and two nights in Johannesburg, and personally, I think that two of those three nights could be spent on safari. So it really depends on what you are looking for on your visit to South Africa.

The one thing about the Tauck tour you may like is that all of your day trips while in Cape Town are taken care of. On your own, you will either rent a car (but they do drive on the left side), or take group day trips, or perhaps take full day private tours one or two days which is probably the best bet if within your budget.

I believe there are several lodges that have reduced rates through the end of September, including Phinda (in KwaZulu -Natal) and maybe Sabi Sabi in Sabi Sands. But most likely, many of the Sabi Sands lodges will be back to full price by the first of September. I have only been in June, but I would think that either September or October would both be great months (October becoming much warmer and maybe hot), and September is definitely prime game veiwing season (when the grass has died down and before the rains begin).

Good luck with your planning!
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Mar 31st, 2006, 12:10 AM
  #5
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Brandywine and rocco ...thank you so much for your advice and input. I will certainly look into the suggestions ...thank you
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Mar 31st, 2006, 12:41 AM
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South Africa is so easy to do on your own & there are some fabulous hotels that aren't at all expensive. Check out www.portfoliocollection.com
They will send you free of charge their guide books on accommodation that go from B&B's to luxury retreats with all the prices.
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Mar 31st, 2006, 05:29 AM
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As a newbie on this site I hope you excuse some things that I'm getting used to on here. As a tour operator based in Cape Town and not having seen your itinerary, I would say that you would do well to contact any of the specialist operators in South Africa. Be aware that throughout the supply chain you incur an extra cost added for commissions etc. I agree with another poster that you should switch your JNB and safari time to spend more time in one than the other...of course you may have specific reasons for arranging the itinerary this way. September and October are also good viewing periods in KNP as this is after or during the rains, which allows for more grazing to the prey animals. A good website on SA is www.gopassport.com where you will find many different operators and accommodation etc.
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