What are the ten must see sights in Africa.

Reply

Mar 27th, 2003, 04:39 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 314
What are the ten must see sights in Africa.

this is what I have so far, based on what I've read here.
Victoria Falls
Ngorongora Crater
Kruger
Capetown

help me here on other important sights/activities

thank you very much
mariacallas is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 27th, 2003, 04:50 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,032
Wildebeest migration in the Serengeti/Masai Mara area.
NoFlyZone is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 27th, 2003, 06:32 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
I would put in a vote for the Zambezi River. There is so much wildlife right around the Zambezi and to go on a mekoro (dug-out canoe) within very close proximity to hippos and crocodiles is an unforgettable experience. Plus, you get the opportunity to see so much more game right on the river banks and soaring overhead (as is the case with the Africa Eagle).

I was at Matetsi, just an hour away from Victoria Falls, in Zimbabwe near the Botswana border. While the service wasn't that great, the setting was amazing and the rooms were very nice.

I have been to Victoria Falls (Zim side) and give it a big thumbs up.

Although it is completely for tourists, I really enjoyed the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. I don't know if it is top 10 material but it is a lot of fun.

I have been to Sabi Sand but at Singita. I don't think that the other places in Sabi Sand should be compared to Singita, just as probably no other place in Okavango / Moremi should be compared to Little Mombo.

Other things that I would like to do in Africa that I have not done year that may qualify include:

1. Okavango Delta
2. Namibian Desert and Skeleton Coast
3. Mana Pools National Park (Zimbabwe)
4. South Luangwa (Zambia)
5. Ngorongoro Crater (Tanzania)
6. Mount Kiliminjaro
7. Garden Route
8. Great White Shark Cage Diving
9. Cape Winelands
10. Mountain Gorillas in Uganda / Rwanda (kidnapping insurance, anyone?)


I am completely ignorant of the Masai Mara and Kalahari so I cannot yet comment. However, I do wish to avoid Kenya as I am told that it is completely overrun with tourists and nothing like I experienced at Singita or will experience in South Luangwa.
I have been read that South Luangwa is like how Botswana was 20 years ago before all the fancy places moved in. Its supposed to be great game viewing and provide a genuine African experience, whatever that means.
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 28th, 2003, 02:29 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 165
Roccco

Kenya doesn’t deserve the bad reputation that you give it! In my opinion it is still a fabulous country to visit and the next time I go there it will be my 11th visit. I have written about Kenya before and I write in its defence again. Certainly parks like Masai Mara are popular but they are still a wildlife enthusiast’s dream. Some of the major wildlife documentaries are still made in Kenya and not Sabi Sands or Kruger! (Big Cat Diary is an example). Have you asked yourself why? It is Kenya’s prolific wildlife in over 40 parks (did you know that??), stunning landscapes, the Great Rift Valley and its bird-filled lakes and the friendly tribes that draw not only the top wildlife documentary producers but also those who appreciate and understand its natural assets. Neither Kruger nor Sabi Sands are a patch on Kenyan wilderness. Kenya also has several fine private reserves based around the Laikipia area. The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is one of the best conservation success stories in Africa. There is no better place in Africa to see black and white rhino and photograph them, with the glorious Mt. Kenya providing a spectacular backdrop. You can stay in Laikipia at top lodges that almost rival Singita and cost one third the price - Wilderness Trails, Loisaba Conservancy, Borana Lodge, Mukutan Retreat, Ol Malo. In addition Kenya has pioneered community lodges, such as Il Ngwesi, Tassia and Shompole, which are run and owned by the local masai tribes, thus giving them opportunities to benefit directly from tourism. Tsavo National Park is one of the largest national parks in Africa. Amboseli has Mt. Kilimanjaro as its backdrop and some of the best researched elephants in Africa. I seriously think you should visit Kenya. It is still one of the finest wildlife destinations in Africa. It is also not as overpriced as South Africa.

Tanzania – Ngorongoro is a marvel but suffers from severe congestion at game viewing times. Serengeti on the other hand is vast, contains over 2 million animals and is the starting place of the incredible wildebeest migration that crosses over into Masai Mara. There is nothing as wonderful as that in Botswana, Zambia or in Kruger or Sabi Sands, which are both manufactured parks containing ‘connected’ animals to make it easy for you to see the ‘Big Five’. Serengeti in a natural wildlife theatre with one of the highest densities of wildlife in Africa while Kruger and Sabi Sands have one of the lowest and hence the need to tag the wildlife to aid game viewing! Tanzania has other parks which most people never even consider visiting – Selous, Ruaha and Katavi. These are wild places that beat the pants out of Kruger, Sabi Sands and indeed many other established parks in Africa.
king is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 28th, 2003, 02:30 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 165
Botswana � Okavango Delta is without a doubt a top wildlife place and rates equal with Serengeti, Mara, Selous, etc. Here the advantage is that wildlife viewing can be done using various means of transport - canoe, boat, feet, 4x4 vehicles, elephant. However, it is seriously expensive when compared to East Africa. There are other places also worth considering while in Botswana � the Kalahari and the immense saltpans which attract spectacular birdlfe during and just after the rains.

Vic Falls � This natural wonder over a mile wide should not be missed and the best way to experience the area is by staying on the banks of the Zambezi River (I have mentioned the River Club before). You can really experience the pulse of Africa from the banks of the Zambezi. You will have the opportunity to do white-water rafting, gliding, bunji jumping, fishing but nothing bits the gin & tonic on a Zambezi sunset cruise.

Zambia � Luangwa Valley offers the finest foot safaris in Africa and my dream is to experience one. South Luangwa also has an excellent reputation for wildlife viewing. Lower Zambei National Park is Zambia�s answer to Zimbabwe�s Mana Pools which was very popular before Mugabe turned mad. Here you can do the canoe trails on the Zambezi, which is another way of exploring wilderness and experiencing nature.

Namibia � this country is blessed with incredible landscapes - the spectacular dunes of the Namib Desert, the stunning mountain scenery of Kaokaland/Damaraland and the wild beauty of Skeleton Coast. The breathtaking scenery is simply awesome and should be experienced from the air as well as the ground. Etosha National Park is a popular park especially during the dry season when the animals congregate at man-made waterholes. Huge crowds gather at the waterholes, making it very unpleasant at times. But private reserves exist around Etosha which provide a better wildlife experience in the dry season.

Zimbabwe � A sad case now but in the past was a popular wildlife place. Mana pools, Lake Kariba and Hwange were prime wildlife destinations.

Uganda � Only 600 Mt. Gorillas remain in the wild and Bwindi in Uganda has 300 of them. You can also view them in the Virungas in Rwanda. This is the ultimate wildlife experience. Forget about the insurance, etc. Take a risk and go and see them before they disappear from their natural habitat in another 30 to 40 years. Uganda also has chimps and the best place to see them is Kibale Forest which is near Uganda�s other prized assets � the Ruwenzori Mts, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Murchison Falls. Also don�t forget that the source of the River Nile is in Uganda.
king is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 28th, 2003, 02:31 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 165
South Africa – what can I say! Apart from Cape Town and perhaps the garden route, don’t even consider Kruger and Sabi Sabi. I would rather be in Masai Mara overrun with tourists than Kruger or Sabi Sabi. How can one justify paying over $1000 per night for one of the worst wildlife experiences in Africa!

Just to summarize the top list – Serengeti, Ngorongoro (just for its beauty), Selous, Ruaha, Katavi, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Masai Mara, Tsavo, Amboseli, the Great Rift Valley and the lakes, Laikipia, Okavango Delta, Salt Pans of Botswana, Vic Falls, Uganda/Rwanda for Gorilla and Chimps, Namibia landscapes, Luangwa Valley, Lower Zambezi, Cape Town.

Then there is Zanzibar, Lamu, Seychelles, or the more remote areas such as Lake Tanganyika, Lake Turkana, Lake Natron, Chyulu Hills in Kenya, or countries unscathed by tourism such as Malawi, Ethiopia….
king is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 28th, 2003, 02:31 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 165
Phew! It's all out of my chest now!
king is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 28th, 2003, 04:00 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
King,

You may very well be right about Kenya. I am just repeating what I have heard but I realize that every travel agent has his/her own agenda.

One bad thing about Kenya that is undeniable, however, is that you are nowhere near Cape Town. I guess that is more allowable if you are a European, but for an American to come all the way to Africa but not enjoy a few nights in Cape Town seems like a cardinal sin.

I am sure that I will eventually get to Kenya, but it is way down on my list.

If I had my way, these would be my next trips:

2003 - South Africa and Zambia. 2 nights Joburg, 5 nights South Luangwa, 4 nights Cape Town, 4 nights Plettenberg Bay area (Tsala Treetop Lodge).

2004 - South Africa and Botswana. 1 night Joburg. 3 nights Jicana or Little Vurumba and 4 nights Little Mombo. 3 nights Cape Town, 4 nights Garden Route.

2005 - South Africa and Zimbabwe. 1 night Joburg. 2 nights Victoria Falls at the River Club, 2 nights in Hwange at Makalolo Plains, 3 nights in Mana Pools at Chikwenya, 2 nights in Matusadona at Matusadona Water Wilderness. 5 nights in Western Cape at a place convenient for Great White Shark Cage Diving. My future brother in law will probably be with me on this trip (as well as my wife and sister-in-law) and we would like to go cage diving.

2005 - South Africa and Namibia.

2006 - Keny...sorry, I can't do it. South Africa and Botswana.

I just don't think I will be able to go to Kenya. Maybe if I ever live in South Africa I will go, but other than that, I don't think it will happen.
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 28th, 2003, 04:23 PM
  #9
caribtraveler
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I don't have 10, but I did spend a year in South Africa.
You can't miss Cape Town [including Robben Island] and the Kruger National Park.
I'm sure Victoria Falls is simply breathtaking.
 
Reply With Quote
Mar 28th, 2003, 07:12 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 723
Message:

I have to agree with "King," who defended Kenya so eloquently.

The Mara is a place to behold, and because of its abundant wildlife it is a popular destination. However, I can guarantee that if you stay at a camp at the north-western end of the park you will not have to deal with as many tourists as other areas. This is the area of the park that "Big Cat Diary" is filmed. We saw both Simon King and Jonathan Scott filming while we were in the Mara last September.

More important, however, was the crossing we witnessed. Pure luck and a lot of patience resulted in us seeing one of the most spectacular sites in the world.

I am one of the few people who visited Selous Game Reserve last year. I can vouch for the fact that tourists are not tripping over one another in that vast area - nearly 50,000 sq km, but no human habitation allowed - only a handful of camps.

We were there for several days and the only time we saw other people was when we returned to camp at night. You can drive for hours and never see another vehicle. In Selous we tracked lion spoors (with an armed ranger), startled hundreds of crocs at Lake Tagalala (which has the highest density of crocs on record) and were enchanted by three lion cubs left alone while the rest of the pride was out hunting.

The Mara/Serengeti and Selous are areas that should not be missed, in my humble opinion.
SusanLynne is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 28th, 2003, 11:38 PM
  #11
DE
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
How does the following intinerary sound for our trip to Africa:

2 nights - Heinitzburg Hotel - Windhoek, Namibia
3 nights - Sossusvleli Wilderness camp
5 nights - Chobe Chilwero Lodge - Botswana
3 nights - Kings Pool
5 nights - Mombo
1 night - Grace Hotel - Joburg
5 nights - Table Bay Hotel - Cape Town to explore the Cape Region & relax before return home.
 
Reply With Quote
Mar 29th, 2003, 01:25 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
DE,

Seems like you found not only an extra day, but perhaps an extra week or more!
(Wasn't it you that didn't have an extra day to spare in Victoria Falls???)

24 nights in Southern Africa but no Victoria Falls seems a little odd. I guess you could be planning a day trip from Chobe to Victoria Falls.

Since you are already going to be in Namibia, I would suggest you consider a 3 night stay at Ongava Lodge in Etosha. Possibly cut Chobe by two nights and Mombo by one night (oooh...blasphemy!!!). As others on this board have stated, it may not be such a great thing to spend more than three or four nights at a single lodge.

There is a great brochure that you should try to get your hands on that has dozens of great lodges throughout Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe (as well as a few in Victoria Falls (Zambian side), Malawi and South Africa. It is the 2003 brochure for Wilderness Safaris, a collection of lodges that includes, to name a few, Mombo, Soussusvlei Wilderness Camp, Kings Pool and probably 50 others. It is 185 pages of full color photographs on an 11"x17" brochure.

If not Ongava, maybe you want to consider the Skeleton Coast in Namibia instead. It seems like you will get all the wildlife you can handle in Botswana and may not want to add more in Namibia beyond the wilderness camp.

Whatever happened to Victoria Falls???
You will not get the same experience with a daytrip from Chobe as you will by staying on the Zambezi River at a place like The River Club on Zambian side or Matetsi Water Lodge on Zim side (probably not too far at all from Chobe, as it is about 45 minutes before Victoria Falls).

You can have the most incredible trip with the 24 nights that I have counted in your itenerary. I do think you should really consider a stay on the Zambezi River, as it really is spectacular.

So, just curious, are you still going to Chile???
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 29th, 2003, 01:33 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 165
Rocco

I am sorry I cannot convince you about Kenya. It is your loss. I have heard Jonathan Scott who does the Big Cat diary and has spent nearly 20 years in Kenya say that he went to Botswana from Kenya and then moved away from Botswana back to Kenya because after his short stint in Botswana he decided there is no place on earth like the Mara! I have been to Botswana, Namibia, Zim and South Africa but I will return to Kenya more times in my lifetime then any of the other countries put together. You cannot miss the wildebeest migration, or the beautiful setting of Naivasha and Loldia House, or the elephants of Amboseli, or the savage wilderness of Tsavo. Then there is Mt. Kenya and the astounding landscapes of the Laikipia and northern frontier district, Mt Elgon and the cave elephants, and the Rift Valley lakes containing thousands of breeding flamingo and pelican. Remember 'Out of Africa', 'White Mischief', 'Man-Easter of Tsavo', 'Flame Trees of Thika', I dreamed of Africa' and now a new academy award winner ' Nowhere in Africa'. Kenya has been an inspiration to writers, photographers and artists and consequently the travellers. Kenya gave birth to Safaris in Africa and still continues to provide some of the most exciting safaris in Africa. Botswana and Tanzania are only pretenders to its crown!
king is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 29th, 2003, 01:45 AM
  #14
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
King,

I am sure one of these approaching years that I will want to spend a week in Europe and at that time I will take the opportunity to spend seven or eight nights in Kenya. You can be sure that I will be staying at one of the very exclusive and sparsely populated private game reserves, far away from the crowds.

I do thank you for your very informative replies about Kenya. Anybody that is that passionate about Kenya must be onto something special. Yours are probably the most informative comments that I have seen on Kenya in the 15 months or so that I have been visiting this forum.
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 29th, 2003, 06:06 AM
  #15
DE
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
HI Rocco,
Thank you for all your suggestions for Victoria Falls, the brochure, etc. I think you may have me confused with another poster about any time restrictions on our trip though, however you are right about Chile. As we have chosen this wonderful new destination this year and are scheduled to go in July, the Atacama Desert will wait for another time. I am sure you would whole heartedly say we made a much better choice with Southern Africa. It's an expensive trip but I know will be well worth the cost. DE

 
Reply With Quote
Mar 29th, 2003, 06:55 AM
  #16
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,183
Although for most camps (that I've experienced anyway, which I know isnt that many) I'd agree that 3 nights max is sufficient.

We spent 4 nights in Little Mombo and it was all I could do not to WAIL and chain myself to the trees when it was time to leave.

The couple we met there (who return to Africa every year and have been to Mombo a number of times) said their ideal number of nights there is 5 (which is why they remained when we left)...
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 29th, 2003, 09:04 AM
  #17
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 165
DE

I have been to Ongava and don't recommend it. Your itinerary is fine except for 5nts at Chobe Chilwero. I urge you to go to River Club in Zambia and then fly over to Chobe Chilwero. By flying over, you will be able to see Vic Falls from the air. So I recommend the itinerary this way round:

Fly from US (I assume you are in US) to Johannesburg and take the Nationwide flight to Livingston for River Club on the day of arrival.

3nts River Club Zambia (visit Vic Falls and relax on the banks of the Zambezi)

3nts Chobe Chilwero

3nts Kings Pool or Xigera (at Xigera you can do mekoro trails which you can't at King's Pool). Also try Duba Plains which has the largest no. of lions in Botswana and is renowned for lions hunting buffalos. You can do mekoro at Duba Plains when the flood waters are in between July and October.

4nts Mombo

1nt Windhoek. Fly from Mombo to Windhoek via Maun. I think Wilderness safaris do this on Saturdays but you need to check with your agent. Otherwise you will have to either do an expensive charter to fly back to Johannesburg and then to Windhoek. I don't recommend more than one night in Windhoek. Use it as a stop over night.

2nts Sossusvlei Wilderness Lodge

2nts Wolwedans Dunes (do the baloon ride)

5nts Cape Town (fly from Windhoek to Cape Town direct or via Johannesburg if direct flight unavailable. I recommend Cape Grace Hotel(I received excellent service). I have heard good things about Ellerman House also. Table Bay is very large and impersonal, athough it is right next to the shopping Mall.

1nt Blue Train from Cape Town to Pretoria and fly out to US the same day. Blue train sevice runs on Wed and friday only I think. Blue Train would be the perfect end to your trip.

I wish I could do the above.


king is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 29th, 2003, 09:12 AM
  #18
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 165
Some corrections sorry:

1nt Windhoek. Fly from Mombo to Windhoek via Maun. I think Wilderness safaris do this on Saturdays but you need to check with your agent. Otherwise you will have to either do an expensive charter to WINDHOEK OR fly back to Johannesburg and then to Windhoek. I don't recommend more than one night in Windhoek. Use it as a stop over night.

1nt Blue Train from Cape Town to Pretoria and fly out to USA ON THE SAME DAY AS BLUE TRAIN ARRIVES IN PRETORIA. Blue train sevice runs on Wed and friday only I think. Blue Train would be the perfect end to your trip.
king is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 29th, 2003, 09:13 AM
  #19
LizFrazier
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
King and SusanLynne-
Before mariacallas has her thread taken over by a discussion as to Kenya-SA, I must add-
Having been to Kenya 4 times and Botswana twice (but only once on safari), there are things that attract me to each that the other doesn't provide. I fell in love (with Africa) in Kenya. It was probably on the Mara. My next trip will most likely be to see the Wildebeests either on the Mara or in the Ngorongoro Conservation area, and that is truly one of the GREAT spectacles on earth. Nothing in Botswana compares to that. I think I will start a new thread on the subject to get some of your opinions, but I know how Rocco feels, as I share that same stubborness, if you will, between Capetown/SA and Botswana. I have tried so desperately to want to go to Capetown, but alas, I cannot bring myself to cut a day (let alone a week) off Botswana to visit Capetown or South Africa game parks. Put me in a tent where I can hear all sorts of wild animals during the night, sit by an open bonfire and watch to incredible stars of the southern skies while a hyena whoops, off in the distance, and I cannot imagine giving up a day for a big city. I guess I can only hope to meet Selwyn if he lets me know on one of his rare jaunts to Botswana and I meet him there around the fire after dinner to share a drink and listen to him wax poetic about Capetown as I muse the heavens and other galaxies.
Lest I get carried away in my dreams, mariacallas, I say the Mara/Serengeti, whereever the Wildebeests happen to be, as surely one of the spots (is it ten or could we please expand it to 100)? tee hee. Liz
 
Reply With Quote
Mar 29th, 2003, 09:47 AM
  #20
DE
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
TO ALL,
Thank you again for all your recommendations. It's difficult making decisions with so many wonderful choices but we will work within this itinerary as any further changes may alter Mombo (which are difficult dates to get ). KING, you mention Taking the Blue Train from Cape Town to Pretoria. As our final flight is booked out of Cape Town, can one do an overnight on the train to Pretoria and back to CPTN. As we have 5 nts. in the cape area we have time to do whatever sightseeing we would like to. Thanks. DE
 
Reply With Quote
 


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:52 AM.