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Independent trip to South Africa

Prophetstown...
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Independent trip to South Africa

We are 40 ish independent experienced travelers. We are flying in to Capetown on June 16 and out on July 1. I have tried getting quotes from several travel agencies and I can not seem to get what we want for the price we want - as usual I have decided to book this on our own. We enjoy local experiences and smaller hotels. Our current thoughts are to stay in Capetown for a few days - doing a few day trips, viewing wineries etc. - any suggestions on an agency to use for daytrips and a place to stay in Capetown? We then plan to drive some of the garden route - then we have to get to Joburg - how should we do this? We enjoy self drives - can we drive one way to Durban - then fly to Joburg - other suggestions? Planning to go to a Safari in Sabi Sabi - thinking of Arathusa - heard of it? After the guided safari planning to doing a self drive for a couple of nights in Kruger - staying at the local camp hotels. Is is advisable to drive from Joburg to Sabi Sabi and on to Kruger. Then end of the trip we would love to go to Vic Falls - feasible to go from Joburg? Haven't thought about this yet --- how should we do this and who should we go through? Thanks for your advice - _ appreciate this forum.

Florida
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1. Re: Independent trip to South Africa

Have you tried www.go2africa.com ?

I told them what I wanted, my budget range, and then they gave me a proposed itinerary within that range.

My agent was Bianca. Highly recommend.

Prophetstown...
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2. Re: Independent trip to South Africa

Thanks for your reply - we must travel alike! I did contact Go2Africa and I am still waiting for a reply back from Bianca - she has a delay with family health issues. Just curious - what was your ~ itinerary and what was your in country budget? We are not sure what to expect.

Thanks

Florida
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3. Re: Independent trip to South Africa

haha, you obviously haven't seen my way-too-long trip reports! Click on my name and look for "Trip Report: Part I, II, II", etc...

I am now up to part XI and am posting part XII tonight. I'm still not finished!

Shortened itinerary:

1 night jo-burg airport

2 nights Elephant Plains lodge in Sabi Sands

2 nights Honeyguide Mantobeni Tented Safari Camp in Manyeleti

2 nights Franschhoek

3 nights Garden Route---SKIP THIS!

5 nights Cape Town

If it takes too long, Bianca's supervisor, Rikke, is also spectacular.

I'll PM you her the price of her original quote.

Shrewsbury
Destination Expert
for Barcelona
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4. Re: Independent trip to South Africa

I'm probably bitter and twisted, but we've visited SA twice in the last 3 years and we arranged the bulk of it ourselves. We used a travel agent for convenience and possible discounts (we didn't get any) for a side trip to Zambia in October 2007 and we're still regretting it.

They made a real mess of our booking, taking far too long to respond and completely missing the fact that what theyeventually booked for us was for a shorter duraction than requested. If we hadn't scrutinised their booking details carefully we could have ended up in Zambia without anywhere to sleep and having missed our flight back to Johannesburg.

SATSA, the South African governing body for travel agents have so far been less than useful in helping us sort our claim for a partial refund out (we paid for three nights, received two nights and feel that we want some money back) although they have finally kicked it upstairs to their CEO so I'm hoping for some results.

I'm sure that most SA TAs are excellent and honest, but if you need to complain from a different continent, some at least are not that keen on responding. If you enjoy doing it yourself, then I'd say do it yourself.

BTW - it wasn't go2africa, but if you decide to go it alone I'll happily tell you who it was (send me a private message) and you can perhaps let g2a know why you've changed your mind.

Florida
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5. Re: Independent trip to South Africa

go2africa actually fought to get us a pretty significant refund from the tour company they contracted though who screwed up our garden route and cape point tours, and another one night refund from the management company of our cape town apartment...and we didn't even ask for money back! we just told them what happened and the next thing we know, we get a really good refund.

usa
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253 posts
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6. Re: Independent trip to South Africa

My husband and I have also booked a two week tour with go2africa.com. Our agent was Rikke Williams and we cannot say enough good things about her and the company. Very professional, good response to questions--no matter how dumb! And did a great job within our budget. I'll write back upon completion of the trip. We leave next week!

Florida
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7. Re: Independent trip to South Africa

Barbara-you are going to have so much fun. I have been back to the US almost a month now and I still feel "depressed"...I MISS SAFARI!!!!!!!

Ontario
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8. Re: Independent trip to South Africa

Try www.discoverytours.co.za We just came back from a 12 day safari with a company called GAP adventures and it was alright but we saw little and learnt even less but we booked Discovery Tours for a one day private tour and had a fantastic time. Tania made the day! Her knowledge of South Africa history and the route we took was amazing. She was constantly pointing out interesting and historical sites. She would stop anytime we wanted to take pictures, and was always checking that we were happy. Tania showed genuine enthusiasim at the sites we were seeing, from the landscape to the penguins to the wild baboons which were my favorite. My husband and I are planning to go back to Cape Town and are definitly going to hire this company again to do a multiday tour.

Rose

Toronto, Ontario
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9. Re: Independent trip to South Africa

I am planning a trip to South Africa as well and am thinking of going on the Stellenboch and the Garden Route Tour from Gap Adventures. If you dont want to go with a group (and risk them cancelling due to insufficient numbers) they can also customize your trip and provide a driver guide. Of course, this will likely cost double that of their guided tours. However, I believe GAP is cheaper than going to a travel agent. I've never been on a GAP adventure and I've heard good and bad things. However, they are all about grassroots travel which seems to suit your taste. They have quite a few tours to SA..

I too am still trying to find the best travel agent and or touring company to book with. I am going there for my honeymoon and my soon to be husband and I are not comfortable travelling alone due to safety concerns.

Los Angeles...
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10. Re: Independent trip to South Africa

My wife and I went to South Africa in August 2007, traveling independently, and booking everything by ourselves over the internet. I had no problems, of any kind, with the internet arrangements, nor with traveling independently. As long as you have some common sense, there is no problem at all going around the country by yourself in a rental car.