We're Going to South Africa!

Mar 24th, 2010, 12:24 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 972
We're Going to South Africa!

It's the trip of a lifetime for my mother and me (or is it my mother and I?) - I just had to post about it! We are leaving in October for 11 nights:
2 nights at the Ilala Lodge in Victoria Falls
4 nights at the Westin in Cape Town
2 nights at the Arathusa Lodge
3 nights at the Ngala Safari Lodge

I am sure I will have a million questions as that date gets closer... In the mean time, feel free to give me any helpful hints or advice. Thanks everyone!
kcapuani is offline  
Mar 24th, 2010, 03:28 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 357
Congrats! I am also going to South Africa in 5 days. We will be staying at the Westin in Cape Town for 7 nights and at Arathusa for 4 nights (in their new luxury units). I can post reviews when I come back if you want.
mcbg1 is offline  
Mar 24th, 2010, 05:47 PM
  #3  
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Please do - I would love to read your feedback!
kcapuani is offline  
Mar 24th, 2010, 07:00 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,286
kc-

I am so jealous!! Been to both Arathusa and Ngala. They were building the new units and spiffing up while we were there. We really loved it. We had a very fun group - younger than all of the other camps we've been. I have a special spot in my heart for Ngala - saw our first rhinos there. Cape Town is a great city. If you are into flowers, don't miss Kirschenboch (sp?) gardens. You can spend as much or as little time there as you like, but my mother loved it, as did I. My best tip is to time your visit to Robben Island (assuming you are going) so that you return around sundown. Watching the sunset over the city and Table Mountain is spectacular and just adds to a fantastic experience.

We were in Vic Falls in Sept 2006 and the water level was very low. Absolutely still amazing. Are you planning a river cruise? Except for the resident hippo at Arathusa, that might be your only opportunity to see hippos (I think they are cool).

Enjoy your trip. Sounds great to me!! I thought our trip in 2006 would be our only time to Africa, but we were wrong. It changed our lives. And I definitely want a trip report. Tell Ryan, one of the rangers at Arathusa that the "no blood, no foul" couple says hi!!
christabir is offline  
Mar 25th, 2010, 04:59 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
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thats a good trip. I am in victoria falls and i can help you if you need anything from transfers and activities to do and more advice to design the best itinerary for you.
africazimtravel is offline  
Mar 25th, 2010, 07:35 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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FWIW now, hope you were able to take advantage of Ngala Lodge discount for 3 nights -
http://www.andbeyondafrica.com/luxur...dge_specialsif
at Ngala Safari Lodge, stay 3 nights pay for 2.

Or if not that deal, for what you payed for 3 nights you could stay another night free. Pay for 3 stay 4.
http://www.andbeyondafrica.com/speci...gnature_offers

(Different deals, different payment due schedules).
regards - tom
ps - or if you didn't get the deal, I hope your TA pocketed the discount
cary999 is offline  
Mar 25th, 2010, 07:40 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Hmm, first link above for 3 for 2 deal does not seem to work. And since we have no edit function here at Fodors , I can't correct it. Soooo, try this link -
http://tinyurl.com/yctwjak

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Mar 25th, 2010, 07:44 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,215
yes, above tinyurl link works for Ngala Lodge 3 for 2 deal. And since I can't edit a post here at Fodors , I have to make this, another, post to confirm it.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Mar 26th, 2010, 06:39 AM
  #9  
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Thanks for your comments everyone! And yes, we are supposedly getting the 3 for 2 deal (although the price for this vacation is so expensive I probably wouldn't even notice if it was or wasn't incorporated).

Tom - Was it your trip report where I read you were disappointed with Ngala? I will be sure to push for us to leave on our afternoon drive before the light gets too dim!
kcapuani is offline  
Mar 26th, 2010, 09:12 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Happy to hear you got the 3 for 2 deal, know what you mean, easy to not miss $400 in amongst $6,000!!

Yep, that was me, I was at Ngala Lodge for eight nights in Sep of 2008. It was ok, but won't go back. But, in 2009 went to another &Beyond camp, Kirkmans Kamp (Sabi Sand reserve) and would go back there. Right, try and leave earlier than 4pm for that afternoon game drive because for every game drive we went south deep into Ngala property (near Ngala Tented) and this more or less wasted 20-30 minutes each way. Maybe make a deal with them if you have to, leave an half-hour (or hour) early, come back an hour early.

FWIW, here is that trip report from 2008 year -
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=35161085

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
May 20th, 2010, 12:48 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 73
Hi there

You are going to LOVE your trip - I'm quite sure of that. &Beyond's lodges are GREAT - I've been to a number of them and their rangers are the best. I hope you fall hopelessly in love with our country and that we will see you again and again!
Kind regards
living4safari is offline  
May 20th, 2010, 05:12 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
You'll have the trip of a lifetime!
atravelynn is offline  
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