Which itinerary would you choose?

Apr 22nd, 2004, 10:43 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 18
Which itinerary would you choose?

I'm planning (late) a 10th anniversary trip and would like to get feedback on which which itinerary you would recommend for this August. Thanks.

Nites / Location

Option 1

3 Capetown
1 Vic Falls - Ilala Lodge
3 Mana Canoe Trail
2 Linyanti - Selinda
3 Chitabe Trails
2 Vumbura

Option 2

2 Capetown
1 Maun
2 Moremi - Xigera Mokoro Trail
2 Linyanti - Kings Pool
1 Vic Falls Hotel
3 Mana Canoe Trail
3 Mana Pools - Chikwena

Roger_Miller is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2004, 11:18 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 814
Wow...what an anniversary. I believe that with either you will have a super time!

My preference would be for option 1, primarily because I think ending up in the Okavango at Vumbura is a super way to cap your trip.

Capetown is spectacularly beautiful, and well worth 3 days. Maun -- no reason to spend a day here, as your 2nd itinerary does...I suppose this has to do with scheduling. You should know that Ilala is a fun place to hangout-- rooms are very large and on par with a nice business Marriott, but with more atmosphere. By no means luxurious or "colonial", like the Vic Falls Hotel. I prefer to save a bit by staying at Ilala, and just experience tea/ drinks on the lawn at VFH. But for a romantic anniversary, VFH would be more "special".

Sorry, don't know the Mana camps...Have heard good things about both Selinda and Kings Pool. I've been to both Chitabe Trails, which is great for people who really prefer small camps with tents on the ground (more like safaris of old...) but it is not as lux as other locations, either...I had absolutely EXCELLENT game viewing at Chitabe Trails. And I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Vumbura.

Hope others can comment on Xigera, and Mana...

Like I said...sounds like you will have a great time, whichever you choose.
tashak is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2004, 11:43 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,501
Roger, with an itinerary like that, you don't sound like a newbie, so my comment may be irrelevant. I don't know if you've been to Cape Town before. If you haven't been there, I really do recommend a minimum stay of 3 days.

Hope you have a great trip. I'm sure you will.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2004, 08:13 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 18
Tashak & Judy,

Thanks for your feedback. As for my experience, I was in Kenya back in 1990, but southern africa is all new to me. I decided SA would be our 10th anniversary present to ourselves, and just started reading and surfing the net (if you asked my friends they'd say put consumer reports to shame for doing research before deciding on major purchases).

Thus, I appreciate everyone's input to help us decide. I'm waiting for a third proposal from an agency in Capetown, and will post that as well.

To all, please provide your personal throughts.


Roger_Miller is offline  
Apr 26th, 2004, 04:04 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553

I like Option #2 with some modifications to make it flow smoother.

You have:

2 Capetown
1 Maun
2 Moremi - Xigera Mokoro Trail
2 Linyanti - Kings Pool
1 Vic Falls Hotel
3 Mana Canoe Trail
3 Mana Pools - Chikwena

I would suggest:

3 Capetown--you should really allow a third day to enjoy Cape Town.

1 Joburg--what are you going to do in Maun? You should still be able to get to Maun early enough the next morning to get over to your first game lodge

2 Moremi - Xigera Mokoro Trail--good

2 Linyanti - Kings Pool--good

1 Vic Falls Hotel--good

3 Mana Canoe Trail--good

3 Mana Pools - Chikwena--great choice, I do hope to visit here in the future and will be staying opposite Mana Pools at Kulefu Tented Camp on the Zambian side of the Zambezi while in Lower Zambezi National Park in early June.

So, by just adding a night in Cape Town and staying in Joburg instead of Maun, I think this trip can be improved upon significantly. At least in Joburg you can go out and have a nice relaxing night in Sandton, at some very nice restaurants, possibly do a little shopping and just people watch, where in Maun it may just be off to your hotel for the night doing nothing. And, if you happen to get into Joburg very early, you may even want an afternoon visit to Soweto on a half day tour, and still have the flexibility to explore Sandton in the nighttime.

By the way, the reason I didn't care for Option #1 is because it looks like you will be in Victoria Falls, then make your way deeper into Zimbabwe for the Mana Canoe Trail before doubling back to Botswana. Plus, you may getting to Victoria Falls in the late afternoon after first stopping in Joburg and then connecting to Victoria Falls, unless there is a morning flight from Cape Town directly to Victoria Falls.

Hope this helps. Good luck and congratulations on your upcoming 10th anniversary!
Roccco is offline  
Apr 26th, 2004, 04:41 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,552
I can't comment of the two choices in their entirity but I just wanted to give a couple of comments on the Zimbabwe section.

I did a Zambezi canoe safari (on the Zambian side because it was far cheaper at the time )about 7 years ago. It was really wonderful, there's something great about seeing the wildlife from the water...we saw alot of game but no cats on that particular trip.

I noticed it's for an anniversary trip and one thing to bear in mind (unless you are experienced kayakers) That arguments over steering a canoe can lead to divorce! Or at least that's what the guide claimed...I certainly remember in my case there were a couple of moments of angry silence in our canoe! Hoever, I highly recommend the canoe safari.

While I lived in Harare everyone raved about Mana Pools... it was one of those places that Zimbabweans just started rhapsidizing about with no excuse to just go on and on about it!

AS you probably know the Vic Falls Hotel is very "Old Colonial" rather than "safari"...I have stayed there once but it is expensive. However for a one night stay it is well located.

I loved Tongabezi which has more of a safari feel. It's is on the Zambian side of the Falls, I enjoyed it for it's luxurious personal service (dinner brought to us by canoe on a pontoon in the Zambezi) but it wouldn't be worth it for less than two nights.

I agree with the other posters on 3 nights in Capetown.

Hope that helps...let us know what you decide.

welltraveledbrit is offline  
Apr 27th, 2004, 04:05 AM
Posts: n/a
I go with Rocco re not doing a day in Maun. You can stay a full day (3rd day) in CPT, take a late flight to JNB. Stay at an airport hotel - the Intercontinental (expensive, but right across from the Int'l terminal) or a Holiday Inn (less expensive, a short airport shuttle bus, to hotel still on airport property). Then next morning you can fly out to Maun and connect to your Delta/Botswana camps. Then move onto the Zimbabwe stops; finally returning via VFA to JNB and homeward bound.
Apr 28th, 2004, 03:06 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 18

Thanks for the feedback. Unfortunately, the 2nd option did not actually work out - the agency wasn't able to get everything booked to maintain the sequence & lodges. Thus, I have gone with the first option, which I just found out gets us into Vic Falls at 1pm, in time for a nice lunch on VFH verandah/lawn and then spend a few hours hiking around the falls.

I guess that's the price I have to pay for my typical planning horizon. Actually, this is the farthest out I have ever planned a trip, including a 5 month backpack trip through southeast Asia back in 1991.

I used Adventure Africa out of Florida, and they've been really good about following up daily with myself and the lodges.

FYI, I was working through a SA agency as well, and they were not able to even generate a complete itinerary over the past 1.5 weeks.

Thanks again,
Roger_Miller is offline  

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