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Well traveled...but not in Africa. Need help with itineraries!

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Apr 6th, 2015, 11:06 AM
  #21
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I've asked the operator to give us an itinerary that adds South Luangwa and eliminates Botswana...here are the two basic ideas they came up with:

Option 1:
1 night Outlook Lodge, Johannesburg
3 nights Chapungu Camp, Thornybush
3 nights Nottens Camp, Sabi Sand
2 nights Siankaba Lodge
1 night Kafunta River Lodge, South Luangwa
3 nights Chamilandu, South Luangwa
2 nights Kaingo Camp, South Luangwa

Option 2:
1 night Outlook Lodge, Johannesburg
3 nights Chapungu Camp, Thornybush
3 nights Nottens Camp, Sabi Sand
2 nights Siankaba Lodge
1 night Mfuwe Lodge, South Luangwa
2 nights Island Bush Camp, South Luangwa (with walking safaris as main focus)
3 nights Kaingo Camp, South Luangwa - including 1 night elephant hide sleep out.

These run a little more money than the first itinerary they sent me, but they include the Shenton camp. What do you think?
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Apr 6th, 2015, 11:48 AM
  #22
 
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I'll just comment on the South Luangwa section.
I assume they have given you a one night stop at the beginning because you arrive on the last flight into Mfuwe (about 6pm) and don't have time to do a longer transfer to one of the more remote camps. In which case, you will miss your afternoon activity. Have you mixed up the two itineraries? It seems more likely you would do 1 night Mfuwe Lodge, then Chamilandu then Kaingo, or 1 night Kafunta then Island then Kaingo. Mfuwe Lodge and Chamilandu are co-owned, as are Kafunta and Island. It seems odd that you would be mixing them like that.

Island Bush Camp is very far south and Kaingo very far north. That will be a minimum 5 hour drive between them. Given the short time you have I would forget that.

With option 1, I think 1 night Mfuwe Lodge, 2 nights Chamilandu and 3 Kaingo would make more sense. Although I would personally switch Chamilandu for Kuyenda which is also owned by the Bushcamp Company.
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Apr 6th, 2015, 02:46 PM
  #23
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I copied it right from their email- so that's what they wrote. They did suggest staying at Mfuwe or Kafunta because of the late arrival from Victoria Falls.
Would there be an issue with being able to charge batteries and such at Kuyenda? I don't see anywhere on their site about being able to do that.
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Apr 6th, 2015, 09:34 PM
  #24
 
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In your original post, your focus was wildlife and culture. I see no culture in your plans. Spend a day or two in Joberg and do a Soweto tour and/or the Apartheid Museum.

With just two weeks my personal feeling is you are trying to do too much. Africa is big - bigger than Europe and the US combined. I wouldn't try to see Yellowstone, Grand Canyon and Yosemite on a two-week trip. Too much travel. You also mentioned you prefer stays of longer than two nights. We did the same thing on our first southern africa trip - we thought it would be our only opportunity, so we tried to "see it all". If you love it the way so many do, you'll be back. It's exotic, but not so exotic that it is out of reach anymore.

You will see the big five in three nights in Sabi Sand. It's not a zoo and there are no guarantees, but you are very likely to see those five animals - but there is so much more. Since you seem to want to visit Sabi Sand and Vic Falls (beautiful, but very dependent on water levels. Too low, kind of dull, too high, you can't see much through the spray), I would combine them with Botswana or Zambia, not both.

Here is an itinerary that you can modify so you stay three nights or more per location and change the order to suit you:

http://www.mashatu.com/pdf/SOD.pdf

Please avoid the elephant rides - those elephants are not treated as well as we would like and are leg chained at night.
I don't see any reason to do two camps in the private reserves near Kruger. Choose one (and maybe stay more nights). The ecosystems are basically the same. Sabi Sand is famous (and expensive) for good reason.
Do your research to be sure no more than six people per vehicle on your game drives at all of those camps you are considering. That was one of your priorities for good photos.
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Apr 6th, 2015, 11:01 PM
  #25
 
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Re battery charging, the situation will be the same at Chamilandu, Kuyenda and Island Bush Camp- there will be no power points in the rooms and battery charging will only be available by giving it to the manager to charge back of house. Even then, electricity may be from solar, so charging a battery may be slow. I always take multiple batteries with me on safari. However, at camps where the main activity is walking, I wouldn't expect to be taking anywhere near the number of photos as you would on game drives.

If those itineraries are correct then #2 makes no sense. As I said, the IBC-Kaingo transfer is really long, but Mfuwe Lodge to IBC will be too, and I doubt Mfuwe Lodge will drive you all the way to IBC. Chances are they will drop you at Kafunta, and Kafunta will arrange the transfer to IBC. So it would make far more sense to spend the first night at Kafunta, and even then you would probably arrive, miss the afternoon drive, and the next morning transfer to IBC, and the transfer may not be much of a game drive. But even if you switched Mfuwe for Kafunta, I think #2 has too many lengthy transfers in too short a period of time. I haven't visited since 2008, but then we did the transfers from Kafunta to IBC through the GMA (game management area) outside the park and we didn't see much on the way apart from a lot of tsetse flies, and it took 3-4 hours. If they are doing the transfer through the park it might be better (but might be longer).

I tend to feel the same as christabir, that you are still trying to fit in too much.
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Apr 7th, 2015, 12:15 PM
  #26
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Thank you both. This was our original issue with the Kenya itineraries- too many places, moving around too much.

The first travel company I contacted gave me more of a detailed itinerary, but somehow I get the impression this guy is no longer all that interested in helping us. To be fair, apparently he blew out his knee in a skiing accident and has to have surgery. But when I asked for a more detailed itinerary than the one he sent me, I got this:

Day 1 Arrive at the Johannesburg International Airport. The international flight's arrival time will determine whether a road transfer or flight to the Kruger Park is advised. The ideal will be to fly to Skukuza, but a flight to another nearby airport can be arranged (For example to the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport). We use the flight to Skukuza as the preferred option. We will also make contact with Federal Air Charters regarding their flights at the time of the bookings.
Fly to Skukuza Airport which is located inside the Kruger National Park. There are two direct flights daily, departing at 10:00 and 13:20 respectively. Arrive at Skukuza at 10:50 or at 14:10. Met at Skukuza and transferred to the Imbali Safari Lodge, situated in the Imbali private concession of the Kruger National Park. A private guide and 4 X 4 safari vehicle is at your service. You can spend the rest of the day resting, have an early night, and then rise early for the first game drive, OR you can on the first day already go on a game drive.

Days 2, 3 and 4: You will spend three full days in the Kruger National Park. The Imbali Concession is strategically situated inside the Kruger National Park and allows you to be relatively near several prime game viewing spots (although it is of course
impossible to guarantee that certain game will be at a certain location at any given time). The game rangers are however in contact with each other and share game sightings. Your guide/game ranger will do his utmost to ensure that you view as large a variety of game as is humanly possible. Your schedule is completely flexible and you can arrange your daily activities to suit your requirements.
Imbali overlooks a seasonal river which adds to the diversity of wildlife to be sighted. The Kruger National Park covers a vast area and the game is constantly moving to where the best grazing and hunting opportunities are. Certain areas are however known for regular sightings of for example Rhino and leopards, and this information will be known to your guide/game ranger.
The best game viewing opportunities are usually at the waterholes, both early in the morning and late afternoons.
Certain spots are excellent for birding, and will also be known to your game ranger/guide.
The best strategy will be to rely on your game ranger/guide to cover the area which he is familiar with, and where he knows from experience and updated sightings, the best game viewing opportunities are to be found.
Refreshments and meals will be arranged to be taken along on the game viewing excursions according to your requirements and daily schedule.

Day 5 An early breakfast, and then transferred to the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport for the flight to Johannesburg.
Arrive at Johannesburg at 09:15. Depart for Kasane (Botswana) at 11:45 and arrive at 13:25. Met at the airport, and transferred to the Ngoma Safari Lodge.

Days 6, 7 and 8: The schedule at Ngoma is the same as at Imbali, and can be arranged to suit your requirements. There will be ample opportunity to cover a sizeable area in the Chobe National Park, where your game ranger/guide will try his best to ensure that you are presented with the best possible photographic opportunities. Also included is a boat trip on the Chobe River (Take note that this is not a private excursion).
Meals and refreshments will be served while on safari.
Chobe is known for regular sightings of great herds of game and it is trusted that your game ranger will help you to locate these events, which usually present excellent photographic opportunities.
The game is followed by the big predators, which provide for further photographic opportunities during night game drives.
Ngoma is situated on the banks of the Chobe River, and is ideally located to view especially giraffe, elephants, zebra and sometimes buffalo - often coming close to the lodge. Chobe River is known for it's prolific birdlife, which provides
an extra dimension to photographers. This is apart from the crocodiles and hippos which can be sighted from the safety of the boat.

We are confident that by combining the Kruger National Park and Chobe National Park, the total of six full days of dedicated game viewing should provide you with a very high probability to capture most of Africa's wildlife on film.

Day 9 After breakfast depart to the Victoria Falls. The transfer is by road and will take about two and a half hours. You will stay at the famous Victoria Falls Hotel on the Zimbabwe side of the Falls. There are a huge variety of activities to select from, (Apart from visiting the famous falls!) all to be arranged through the concierge: Sundowner boat cruise on the mighty Zambezi River; walk to and visit the rainforest; evening drumming session and live entertainment; elephant
back safaris; helicopter and microlight flips over the falls; several adventure activities including zip lining and white water rafting, bungee jumping from the Victoria Falls bridge; visit to a nearby cultural village.

Day 10 Day at leisure at the Victoria Falls. The Victoria Falls Hotel is the best situated of all to view and experience the Falls.

Day 11 After breakfast transferred to the Victoria Falls Airport (Zimbabwe) for the flight to Johannesburg. Recommended is the Air Zimbabwe flight which departs at 11:00 and arrives at 12:45. Flights are also available from the nearby
Livingstone Airport (Zambia) - these however depart after 13:00 and arrive at Johannesburg at 15:00 and 15:15 respectively.

Then you can travel onto Kafunta and choose either their 6 or 8 day extended safari.
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Apr 7th, 2015, 12:56 PM
  #27
 
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So you arrive at Johannesburg at 12:45 and "then you can travel on to Kafunta"?

From memory, the last Proflight flight from Lusaka to Mfuwe leaves at 16:00. With connection time in Johannesburg and Lusaka, I don't think that is possible. I think you'd need to overnight in Lusaka.

But going from Vic Falls back via Johannesburg doesn't make any sense to me when you can just go to Livingstone and with Proflight via Lusaka to Mfuwe.

I see this itinerary now has 2 nights at Vic Falls hotel, whereas originally (original option 1) it was only one.
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Apr 7th, 2015, 04:24 PM
  #28
 
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Both of the lodges in kruger and Chobe are in national parks. No off road to get closer to the wildlife and no night drives. I would choose different lodges in private concessions around Kruger and question an agent who would choose these for you. You can fly directly to many camps, so this is not an issue. I'm also not sure how you can have total flexibility in your schedule unless you are arranging for private vehicles for all of your game drives. Same with the meals and refreshments taken with you - that is not common without private vehicles - but still no off road in national parks. I would prefer Kirkman's or Mala Mala with a max group of six with off road and night drives. Or somewhere like Arathusa and arrange for some private drives. I admit to being a bit perplexed without a breakdown of cost or saying that you have private vehicles. We also went to private concessions in Botswana for the same reasons. It's way more expensive, but you do get more opportunity for viewing. We have been on private game drives and game drives on full vehicles. We prefer going with other people - meeting others is half the fun.

We loved the Vic Falls Hotel. It is grand and safe. You can't stay closer to the falls. I have no idea what the current situation is, but it was struggling under the economics of the terrible government. I wonder if the very fun casino is still open just up the block. If you aren't going to do a lot of the adrenaline junkie activities, one night is plenty. We flew into Vic Falls, had a road transfer to Kasane and onto charters for our Botswana adventure, then Maun to Joberg on our way home.

There are lots of ways to travel into Zam from Vic Falls. Not many go through Joberg. Like I said before, I would question the agent. A lot.
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Apr 8th, 2015, 10:29 AM
  #29
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Okay- so I feel like I need to just wipe the slate clean and start from scratch.

Basics I should keep in mind:

Plan on about $500-700 pp pn,

What's the travel distance between locations

If flights is involved- weight restrictions for luggage

Difference between dedicated guide and private guide

Things not included in price.

Anything else?
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Apr 9th, 2015, 01:51 PM
  #30
 
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I've said before, I hate planning trips.

What I would do is something like this trip but in reverse. http://www.nationalgeographicexpedit...-africa/detail

Start at a camp in Botswana - Chobe or Savute area or see if you can do a mobile safari for 6 or 7 days (Masson Safaris has had good reviews) and see one or two areas in Bots (not water camp). Then go to Mashatu for as long as you can (I've stayed 6 nights there and it wasn't too many). Then go to MalaMala for 3 or 4 nights (I've stayed there 6 nights also but when it was cheaper ).

You will have a well rounded safari, 3 totally different experiences, and see a large variety of animals and landscape.

I haven't been to southern Africa since 2008 but from what I remember, you'll see:
Elephants - Chobe/Savute and Mashatu.
Lions - all 3.
Leopards - Mashatu and MalaMala.
Cheetahs - Mashatu and chances are good at the other two.
Hippos - Chobe/Savute.
Rhino - MM.
Cape Buffalo - MM
And know that just because I didn't list elephants at MM doesn't mean they aren't there. The list is what you will leave each place thinking OMG I can't believe I saw so many leopards at MM. Or we saw cheetahs every single day at Mashatu. Or there had to be 500 elephants at the Chobe River that night.

I like the mobile safaris because you stay with the same staff but travel to different locations. The food is good, it's a private safari, more intimate and you don't feel like you are just another dollar, it's a little rustic but hey, man, you're in AFREEKAH!!! You do have to pack up your suitcase when you move camp but it's a seamless process for you. You game drive to the next camp and the staff does all of the work of moving the camp, cooking, heating water for showers.

If you are interested in a mobile safari, start there and get that worked out and then add the other camps. One agent can probably do all the planning/logistics. The mobile company may be able to set it all up too.

Don't be put off by the Nat Geo price on the first safari because I'm sure you can put the same thing together for longer and less $. And I said to go in reverse order because the Chobe area is so beautiful and will give you the OMG I can't believe we are here. WE ARE IN AFRICA!! The second area will give you a different feeling and ending in Sabi Sands will have you saying OMG, after Botswana I didn't think it could get any better and I was so wrong!!

And I would choose MM or Kirkmans (I haven't been there) over Notten's because of what someone told you up thread about the location.

I do not know the logistics but a travel agent can do all that for you.
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Apr 9th, 2015, 06:18 PM
  #31
 
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good tips!
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Apr 10th, 2015, 09:43 AM
  #32
 
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Destination wishlist

Africa, Easter Island, Peru, Galapagos, New Zealand

We have set a budget of $25,000, and can travel at any time next year, depending on what is our best option.

Our primary focus is on wildlife and culture. Both avid photographers, we'd prefer small groups of no more than 6 or even private vehicles. We're also hoping to renew our wedding vows while we're there. We would prefer not to be moving around every 2 days, or spend long hours in vehicles trying to get from one location to the other.

Okay- so I feel like I need to just wipe the slate clean and start from scratch.


---

I’m coming late to the discussion with some alternative and probably off-the-wall suggestions, but, hey, on Fodor’s you get what you pay for, right?

I had a look at the above points and also at the “wish list” on your profile, and had a couple of thoughts, based on some travels my late sweetie and I had over the past decade or so.

First, Africa is addictive. Seriously addictive. You WILL want to come back, you can take that to the bank.

Second, it is actually possible to overdo the whole safari thing. On one trip to South Africa we took a few years ago, we visited four different national parks and/or game reserves back-to-back over a three week period. With all due respect to the wonderful lodges and trackers and chefs and drivers and… well, it all started to sort of blend together in our heads. I know it sounds silly, but another day of exquisite food, stunning encounters with lions and hyenas and crocodiles and leopards and eagles and elephants… overload.

And, while the medium-high end safari experience is like nothing else, it’s hard to forget that you’re really in a social and cultural bubble. The southern Africa countries – and here I’m talking mainly about South Africa, but generally applicable – are complex, amazing, diverse places, with dynamic societies living through some remarkable times.

So let me just lay out an alternate scenario for your trip – and beyond – for you to consider. Just a “thought experiment” as Albert Einstein would say.

Timing: late August. It’s the dry season, the animals come to water (makes it easier.) No mosquitoes, no need for malaria prophylaxis, low humidity, nice warm sun but chilly at night.

Skip Botswana and Victoria Falls this time. You’ll be back, no worries.

Fly into Joburg and spend two days de-jetlagging yourselves. Do a tour of Soweto on one of the days.

Rent a car and drive to Graskop, around four hours mainly on freeways and near-freeways. Graskop is a nice little town located on the edge of the Panoramic Route, a stunning collection of viewpoints and canyons on the escarpment of the northern Drakensberg mountains (which rise to over 10,000 feet farther south.) http://gardyloo.us/africa10J%20027as.jpg Stay at the cute, artsy and surprisingly romantic Graskop Hotel. Eat pancakes (Dutch/Afrikaans style) next door at Harrie’s – OMG.

Spend the next day touring the Panoramic Route. See the Three Rondavels, visit God’s Window (where the coke bottle was thrown in The Gods Must be Crazy and other beautiful sights around the Blyde river canyon.

The next day, drive a couple of hours east to one of the lodges in the Sabi Sand reserve. You can pick the one you want – we’ve stayed at several, and (in my view) they’re all “the same but different” if you get my meaning. Comfortable, even luxurious, good food, most with traversing rights over neighboring lodges’ territories, and – really – all pretty much seeing the same sorts of wildlife on the game drives/walks. All the lodges cooperate, so if one party sees a group of lions or leopards, they report it by radio to all the other groups, and then they take turns, so over a period of two or three days, you’ll probably see most of what there is to see. (Which is not to say you’ll be bored by it – no way.)

But I would spend maybe four days/nights in the Sabi Sand reserve and move on. There’s so much more to see. By now it’s around the first week of September. Spring.

I’d drive back to Joburg, drop the car, and fly down to Cape Town. I’d pick up a second car and drive to Stellenbosch, a lovely old historic university town, then through unspeakably beautiful country to Franschoek, in the heart of South Africa’s winelands. http://gardyloo.us/902JS%20071a.jpg

Map, northern part - http://goo.gl/maps/SIw3W
Southern part - http://goo.gl/maps/QkioO

Spend a couple of days in one of the higher-end hotels in Franschoek, doing day trips up into the hills or even down to the coast at Hermanus (whale watching, shark encounters.) This might be a good place for your wedding vows to be renewed.

Then continue northwest up to the village of Paternoster near West Coast National Park on the Atlantic coast. This is a relatively undiscovered (by foreigners) part of the Western Cape, but in the spring… well, you have to see it to believe it. Imagine whitewashed thatched cottages sitting on beaches consisting of millions of mussel shells. Imagine mountains and meadows covered with wildflowers so thick you can barely make out the antelope and zebra laying down in them. Imagine more varieties of birds in one place than anywhere else. http://gardyloo.us/aug24b%20016s.JPG http://gardyloo.us/aug24b%20044s.JPG and http://gardyloo.us/aug24b%20066s.JPG

Spend a couple of days on the west coast while you eat local fish and fill up your cameras’ memory cards – again – then two hours later you’re back in Cape Town. Spend some time in the Mother City – ride the gondola, visit Robben Island, watch the street performers at the V&A waterfront, maybe go see the penguins at Simons Town…

But also visit the District 6 museum, visit the Bo-Kaap district (maybe for some Cape Malay food – OMG) and get in touch with the cultural and vibrant human side of this remarkable region.

Then off you go.

Driving yourself is really not hard. Yes, you need to get used to being on the “other” side of the road, but the main roads (e.g. the freeway leaving Joburg airport toward Kruger) are very good so you can get used to the drill without worrying about cross traffic or roundabouts. But the main thing is that the car will let you see the country, and the people – as you travel. The car, too, is a bit of a bubble of course, but I suspect you’ll soon feel that you end up knowing more about the land and the people from having seen it at ground level – traveling past the shanty towns and the rural villages, the estates and the orchards and vineyards… it’s pretty terrific.

Can you do all this on $25,000? Oh hell yes, and with lots left over. Sadly (for them) the USD-ZAR exchange is very favorable at the moment, and you can find perfectly good lodgings in the Sabi Sand reserve for under $500 pppn (for example, a suite at Elephant Plains is around $360 pppn.) South Africa has a vast selection of extremely luxurious B&Bs – all rated by a central and very reliable authority – and prices are very good for the quality.

Anyway, that’s a pretty different plan than the ones you’ve been working on, submitted just for your consideration.

Now I mentioned earlier that I had looked at your “wish list” on your profile. Why am I bringing this up? Well, because trips to South Africa and travel bucket lists are compatible on a couple of levels.

I’m way out on a limb here, not knowing you, but you seem to be fairly adventurous, and maybe you’re like us and like to “leverage” your travel budget if possible. So here’s the deal: use South Africa as a launch pad for a year’s additional – very comfortable – travel around the world.

Our first visit to South Africa took place on a “round the world” (RTW) trip we took a decade ago. We used an “RTW” airline ticket that we had purchased in Turkey the previous spring.

RTW tickets are sold by various parties, including some “do-it-yourself” travel agencies, but the ones I’m talking about are sold my member airlines of the various global alliances. These tickets are good for a year, and allow you to take up to 16 flights using the alliance’s airlines. There are many rules, of course, but the main thing is that you have to cross both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans in the same direction and end in the same country where you started.

The other big aspect of these tickets is that their priced very differently from one country to the next. This gets to the “why Turkey?” question. Well, because at the time, a 4-continent business class Oneworld Explorer RTW ticket bought in Turkey was half the cost – $5000 v. $10,000 – of the same ticket bought in the USA.

On our first RTW we started in Istanbul, traveled home to Seattle, used the same ticket for trips to New York, California and Hawaii, then went to Australia (for the first time) and on to southern Africa (visited Chobe, Victoria Falls, Kruger and Cape Town) before returning to London, then Israel to visit some family, and ending up back in Istanbul months later. We didn’t travel the whole time, to be sure – we had jobs and dogs and a house to worry about, so the NYC trips etc. were done over long weekends etc. during the months between Istanbul and Oz/Africa.

Well, here it is ten years later. What would the same ticket cost today? Guess what… the same, provided you buy the ticket and start the trip in South Africa.

Look at this map - http://tinyurl.com/p98alar - as an example of what you could do with the same type of ticket.

Start the ticket in Joburg when you return from the Sabi Sand reserve and fly down to Cape Town. After that, use the ticket to blast up to London and over to Paris for R&R. Then home to Detroit. Over the next months, use the ticket for… a trip to Florida? New York?

Then when it’s time to attack the bucket, down to Dallas and then to Ecuador for the Galapagos. Down to Lima (and flights to Cuzco are pretty cheap if that’s your target in Peru) and on to Santiago.

Out to Easter Island and back, then over the south Pacific to Auckland. Visit New Zealand, then hop over the Tasman to Sydney, have a pie at Harry’s, then it’s back to South Africa for – another safari? Or maybe you’ve become addicted and just re-up the ticket with another one, and this time maybe head home via Hong Kong or Japan.

I won’t go into the depths of RTW-lore (I am rather OCD on the subject) but instead will refer you to a little “guide” I put up on TripAdvisor on the subject - http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic...ir_Travel.html which is fully as wordy as this post.

In my view, your $25K could probably pay for both this trip and a year’s flying around the world after it. And I should also mention that you could earn enough frequent flyer miles in the process that the following year’s travel could be done on the seriously cheap – maybe free.

So there, I’ve “master planned” your next two or three years of bucket emptying. Cheeky, eh?
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Apr 10th, 2015, 08:47 PM
  #33
 
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Cheeky and brilliant all at the same time Gardyloo!
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Apr 16th, 2015, 01:16 PM
  #34
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All I can say is WOW!
Sorry- been down with the flu for the past week or so, haven't been on here to check if there had been any posts. And what posts I have come back to!
Sundowner- I will look at the Nat. Geo itinerary. We have received a couple other itinerary suggestions but they were both over budget. So I'm still looking.

Gardyloo- I'm speechless. I have a fiend who booked one of the RTW fares and loved every minute of it. WE looked at the single continent option a few years ago for South America, which sadly never came to fruition. If I understand the RTW ticket restrictions, you have to travel in the same direction for all the flights, correct? So if we started our journey in Johannesburg we'd either need to continue east or west...

You've certainly given me something to mull over!
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Apr 16th, 2015, 04:08 PM
  #35
 
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If I understand the RTW ticket restrictions, you have to travel in the same direction for all the flights, correct? So if we started our journey in Johannesburg we'd either need to continue east or west...

The airline industry in its wisdom (LOL) has divided the world into three big regions, named... I, II, and III. How inventive. Area I comprises the Americas, II Europe and Africa, and III Asia and Oceania.

RTW tickets require that you proceed from one area to the next in order, so 1-2-3, or 2-3-1, or 3-2-1, etc. Basically, the key rule is that you cross both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans in the same direction, either westbound or eastbound. They also generally - with exceptions - prohibit "backtracking" between continents. But within the continents, you can backtrack and zigzag all you want.

Like I described above, you could use the ticket to fly home from Africa, use it to travel around North America (which includes the Caribbean and Central America) for a few months, then maybe head down to South America, then over to Europe and back to Africa within the 12 month life of the ticket.

It might be fun for you to play with the online booking tool at Oneworld - http://www.oneworld.com/flights/roun...world-explorer - just to get a feel for the possibilities and a sense of the prices. For the time being, it's hard to beat a Oneworld 4-continent business class ticket starting in South Africa, 16 flights in business or first class for a base price of around US$4800, probably around $5500 after taxes. That's around $350 per flight, okay for Detroit to Miami, killer for Sydney to New York or Chicago to Hong Kong.

For us at least, travel planning has been a lot of fun, and putting one's bucket list on a calendar is pretty heady stuff. This might be one way to approach it.
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Apr 17th, 2015, 10:45 AM
  #36
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So you pay one price, as opposed to the single continent pass where you pay by mileage?
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Apr 17th, 2015, 11:02 AM
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So you pay one price, as opposed to the single continent pass where you pay by mileage?

Yes. The Oneworld product that I think is the best is priced according to how many continents you touch or overfly (3-6.) Other RTW products, such as those sold by Star Alliance members, are priced according to how many miles you fly, with "tiers" from 26,000 to 39,000 flown miles. But they're all the same in that you can use up to 16 flights, they're good for a year, and you can make changes relatively easily with much smaller change fees than you'd have with conventional tickets.

Have a look at the Tripadvisor post I linked above for more details.
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Apr 20th, 2015, 06:16 AM
  #38
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I think we're going to hold off on the RTW pass- but definitely am going to put it on the back burner for our next adventure. Patiently waiting for the newest itinerary...really hoping this one will do the trick. At this point I'm growing weary of the whole process.
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Apr 21st, 2015, 11:31 AM
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So what is everyone's opinions on Zimbabwe? Have an itinerary that would include Rhino Island Safari Camp, Zambezi Life Styles Camp,and Somalisa Camp,in Zimbabwe in addition to beginning the trip with Chapungu, Nottens and Islands of Siankaba.
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May 13th, 2015, 06:52 AM
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Thank you for all your wonderful suggestions. We've finalized an itinerary,and have sent in the deposit. It's official! Thanks again for all your invaluable assistance!
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