What would YOU do???

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Mar 29th, 2003, 12:28 AM
  #21
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Roccco,

You seem to be on what I would deem to be the correct route planning wise however take it easy and smell the roses because if you do your planning with less intensity you will achieve much more. Just a small hint from the big book of life. )

I am on the Garden Route touring right now and if I have a chance I will look in on your new Garden Route thread and try and help out if possible.

Selwyn Davidowitz
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Mar 29th, 2003, 03:10 AM
  #22
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Selwyn,

I am a guy who sleeps an average of four hours per night, drives a Porsche, works 50-60 hour weeks and prefers running marathons, even if I am no shape to run them, over stopping to smell the roses!

I don't see how I could do my travel planning any different. In a way, I suppose it is a form of cheap entertainment. I am certainly not out at any fancy restaurants or nightclubs...I find it much more stimulating to really squeeze out as much knowledge as I can out of something that interests me.

The funny thing is that I probably know more about Cape Town, at this point, than I do about my hometown Los Angeles!

Anyway, as if I am not already a big enough thorn in the side, I have a new strategy and I am trying to get out of my 4 night committment at the Michelangelo. Thankfully I paid with my American Express Gold Card and from my limited experience, they REALLY bend over backwards to please the customer.

Really, though, the Michelangelo deserves to have the package cancelled as they have been completely non-responsive and have passed me from person to person via email before finally stating that I needed to telephone them in South Africa. Well, in all my dealings in the last 18 months of planning South African trips, I do not believe that I EVER had to call South Africa. I have been trying to get a response out of the Michelangelo for the last three weeks.

I don't know if I will be successful in my quest, but I sure wouldn't mind two nights at the Westcliff instead, for about $180 USD less than my $620 Michelangelo package.

Okay, it is almost sunrise, I better climb into my coffin before the rays of sunlight begin burning my flesh!
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Mar 29th, 2003, 07:10 AM
  #23
 
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Aaaw Rocco

I DO know how you feel - i am often in a tizzy when planning because I want sooo badly to get it just right.

Once it's booked then I'm the exact opposite - it doesn't matter what I learn after that about a different camp I should have included - I don't care. Once it's booked all I do is wait impatiently for the trip itself.

As for your questions above.

Just to throw the cat into the pidgeons - I can understand why you are leaning towards the 5 day safari - with your wife's preferences to take into account AND ensuring enough time in CT - it does seem the better option.

BUT - I don't like the idea of only a single night in a place anymore than I like the idea of too many nights in one place.

COULD you opt for a 6 night safari with 2 nights at each of the three camps/ lodges you mention?

That would seem an ideal compromise to me, though I don't know if you are choosing from pre-set packages here.

4 nights in Tsala does seem excessive - especially at the expense of time on safari or in CT.

I'd limit it to 2 (but that's just me).

Anyway, you know I am not an expert - you know a lot more than I do and Selwyn knows a heck of a lot more than either of us - I'm just someone who feels your confusion and recognises it - that energy and passion when planning trips is the same thing that infuses me! So the only help I can offer is another viewpoint but no more expert than your own or many others.

GOOD LUCK Rocco!

Kavey
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Mar 29th, 2003, 11:14 AM
  #24
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Kavey,

Actually with the 5 night safari it is three nights at one place and two nights at another place. The part that has confused some is that it is two nights at the Kafunta River Lodge, followed by two nights at the Kafunta Island Bush Lodge, and then returning to the first lodge, the Kafunta River Lodge for one last night.

Kafunta doesn't have three or four lodges like Robin Pope or the Bushcamp Company, at least not all located in South Luangwa. They do have other lodges to take you to in North Luangwa if a person opts for a longer 8 or 10 night South Luangwa/North Luangwa safari.

I do know that once the package is booked that I will be at peace with the world. Right now, however, it feels like I am on the 22nd mile of a marathon that will not end. I know there are four tough miles ahead and I am just hanging in there and trying to get it done at this point. I am so beat up by this travel planning but I only get one shot at this, at least until next year.

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Mar 30th, 2003, 09:48 AM
  #25
 
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I meant to tell you, I read today of a marathon (26 miles standard) being organised for JUNE this year, in Kenya - WITHIN a reserve!

I think it was Tusk.org or something similar.

With the info above about the kafunta safari - ie not one night only in a camp - perhaps 5 night safari would fit your needs best. Why do they need to move you twice? Can't they put you two nights in one and then all three nights in the other? Would seem easier to me.

That said, I'd personally opt for longer safari BUT both hub and I would choose the same way so it's not the same as your case.

Anyway, GOOD LUCK!
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Mar 30th, 2003, 03:30 PM
  #26
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Kavey,

They could probably keep me in the same lodge uninterrupted but the Island Bush Camp is about a three hour walk away from the base Kafunta River Lodge.

It seems to make sense the way they have it, as I would not want to have to check out of Island Bush Camp, walk three hours back to the base camp, catch a plane from Mfuwe-Lusaka-JNB-CPT, all without the benefit of a shower!

Same way, I would not want to fly from JNB-LUS-Mfuwe, check into Kafunta, only to have to walk three hours as darkness approaches to the Island Bush Camp.

Regarding that marathon, it is called the Safaricom Marathon.

http://www.marathontour.com/kenya/index.shtml

I met a British girl that I ran most of the Vina Del Mar (Chile) Marathon with whom had run the Safaricom last year. She loved it but said that it was difficult due to the dirt road and altitude (5,000', I believe).

Personally, I think that running a marathon is hard enough at sea level on asphalt without worrying about dirt roads at a high altitude with lions lurking in the bushes. At private game reserves we are taught not to run, so that predators do not confuse us for lunch, so I think I will pass up this marathon.

Regarding the length of the safari, if I could have my way, I would be in Zimbabwe for a 12 night safari that included Chikwenya in Mana Pools, Matusadona Water Wilderness on the shores of Lake Kariba, Makalolo Plains in Hwange and The River Club in Victoria Falls.

Anyway, hopefully after this year my wife will start getting more accustomed to bush experiences, although going from Singita to the South Luangwa may be disasterous and I am keeping my fingers crossed. If she had her way we would be in Italy and Greece but as long as I take her later in the year then I shouldn't have a problem next year. I probably shouldn't have forced Chile last December but it was too late in the year for anything but South America, Africa or Australia/New Zealand and I was so into my running at the time that I chose Chile for the opportunity to do the Vina Del Mar marathon.

Although not my first choice, I am looking very forward to South Luangwa. The final reason why I will not opt for the seven night safari is out of consideration for my wife (and for the completely selfish reason of not wanting to jeopardize future longer safaris). Anyway, when five days are put together, it will be a nice experience, as compared to last year when I had only 3 nights Singita, an interruption in Cape Town, and then 4 nights at Matetsi.
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