Would you combine safari with time in South Africa?

Jul 25th, 2002, 08:53 AM
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Would you combine safari with time in South Africa?

We are planning a safari vacation for the end of September/beginning of October this year. Right now we plan on flying into Johannesburg then a 15 day safari in Botswana and Zimbabwe.
The itinerary we have for the safari sounds good(3 days Mana Pools, 3 days Hwange, 2 days Vic Falls, 3 days Kasane, 2 days Mombo camp, 2 days Okavango Delta), however, I was wondering if we should change the trip to cut out a few days of the safari and spend a couple of days seeing South Africa.
We have never been there before, so I wasn't sure if any of the camps/locations are similar (i.e. if you see this one place, skip the next) and we should add South Africa sightseeing in... or just stick with the safari itinerary(the way it is or change it) and do South Africa in a separate trip some day.

Any advice on this type of a trip would be greatly appreciated.

Jul 25th, 2002, 09:36 AM
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One idea would be to do as we did--add on Cape Town and see that area and skip more game parks, etc. We saw Cape Town, short tour of the wine country, Cape of Good Hope, and would have loved more time to see more of that area. It's so different from the safari areas. More like Europe. And just the idea of being at the southern-most point in Africa was great. Although the southern-most point is really Cape Agulhas, a little further away from Cape Town that Good Hope is. Beautiful area. You may never be that close to that area again, you know.
Jul 25th, 2002, 12:47 PM
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Okay, this is my opinion, and as I have nothing to gain or lose from your going or not going, it is truly an objective opinion.

I truly think you will be doing yourselves the hugest disservice to go all the way to South Africa and not spend some time there, especially in Cape Town which is imho, not only one of the most beautiful cities in the world but also one of the most interesting with so many facets to offer.

We are taking a group of our friends (19 in total) to South Africa for 2 weeks. We are spending exactly half the time in Cape Town and I still don't think that is enough time to do it justice. We will be in Vic falls for 2 days, on safari for 4 days and in Cape Town for 6 and a half days.

I would not know where to tell you to cut your safari time short but 15 days is a long time to be on safari (and I LOVE going "on safari".) Sept/Oct is a pleasant time to be in Cape Town as it is shoulder season and not filled with holiday makers. I would finish up your trip in Cape Town, but would I miss it. Never!

Do a search here on cCpe Town or go onto one of the many websites on Cape Town to get an overview of what the area has to offer. You can hike up Table Mountain, enjoy the sunset from on top, take the cable car down, swim iwth penguins, go whale watching (although it may be a little late in the season), go to beautiful wine farms, see incredible scenery, enjoy nightlife, visit Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years, go to magnificent beaches, have scones and tea surrounded by gorgeous gardens at Kirstenbosch and see one of the world's most abundant floral kingdoms.

As Patricia says, you never know when you may get back.
Jul 26th, 2002, 05:26 AM
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I do not know about your specific camps so I am unable to tell you if your camp locations are similar or not. However, we spent 14 days at 5 different camps in Botswana and Namibia and each was unique. We also spent 2 days in Victoria Falls and 4 days in Cape Town. If I were "forced" to give up any of the time spent in southern Africa, I would eliminate Victoria Falls and Cape Town. Although I thought both of these places were extraordinary, the safari experience was so awesome that I would not have wanted to have missed a day. You can see great cities and waterfalls in other parts of the world, but you will never be able to approach anything like the wildlife that exits in these countries. Cities will continue to exist and grow, but the future of the wilds is so very threatened. Enjoy it while it is available.

If you would like a copy of my trip report, you can write to me directly and I will forward it to you.
Jul 26th, 2002, 01:51 PM
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Agree with all the above. If you are not from Africa you HAVE to see the animals. Let me add to the list the folks above have - the cave paintings in the Cederbergs & Kimberley which is diamond country. Tons and tons of cultural venues here - there are 13 I think it is, official languages. If you can swing it, there is a most fantastic and luxurious train called The Blue Train which has several different runs but one goes from Pretoria (near Jo'burg) to Cape Town and stops in Kimberley for a tour of that town. But that books up fast so if you want to take it better try asap. Actually, maybe you ought to plan a second visit If you don't get to see South Africa this time, at least buy a bottle of the fabulous SA wine on your way through the airport. Whatever you do, have a grand time.
Jul 30th, 2002, 12:16 PM
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Your camps are great - especially Mombo. I usually go to East Africa (Kenya/Tanzania) but have started doing South Africa/Botswana. I go for game viewing, not sightseeing. However, Cape Town is an absolute must. It's area is beautiful and there is a lot to see (they even have penquins there). Add time for the winelands - that area is more beautiful than our Napa Valley in California. Cape Town is very cosmopolitan and you will always be thankful you added it to your list of places on your upcoming trip.
Jul 31st, 2002, 05:00 AM
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I already posted and continue to read the comments from others as the views are so varied and often opposed to each other. I have noticed this often in other topics as well. It is tough to make decisions when there are so many wonderful opportunities and perhaps it is the reason so many people chose to go on packaged tours rather than do this work. It comes down to a matter of personal priorities as it is impossible to see it all on one limited visit, or even two. It's a "forced choice", but all choices are right in this case.
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