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Southern / Eastern Africa for 4-6 weeks

Malta
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157 posts
8 reviews
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Southern / Eastern Africa for 4-6 weeks

I am planning to go to Africa with my girlfriend next year. We have shortlisted these countries : South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia/Zimbabwe (Victoria falls), Tanzania, Kenya.

Could anyone tell me any suggestions on which to drop or a rough itinerary?

The main reason for choosing Africa is wildlife, but we do not want to see only wildlife. What else is there to see and do? I have found some safari companies but they are either very expensive, or there are no toilet/shower facilities. So perhaps we could go on 2 7/8 days safaris in different countries, but I don't know if this makes sense and what to do in the rest.

Also which time of year would be the best time to go to Africa?

If I should post this in another forum pls tell me.

Thanks

David

Tempe, Arizona
Destination Expert
for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
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1. Re: Southern / Eastern Africa for 4-6 weeks

Well, safaris usually are what most of us think of as expensive. The best way to save $$ - especially in South Africa - is to spend your time in the national parks, such as Kruger or Addo. You'll need a rental car, and you can expect to do some of your own food preparation (and use the restaurants in the camps some of the time as well). The camps within the parks can give you game drives, where you pay per drive - and you can do game drives in your car. www.sanparks.org is the place to start.

Speaking now of Kenya and Tanzania - these are not countries where you can easily do your safari by yourselves. Lots of reasons. Renting a vehicle that is suitable is expensive. Park fees are expensive. Very few places where you can camp. Simply not getting lost within the reserves is a challenge. It's simple in South Africa, pretty simple in Namibia, not smart in east Africa for people with absolutely no experience traveling on their own.

Finally.. If you are seriously asking "what else there is to see or do", then you don't need this forum. You need a guidebook. Get one at the library or buy one for southern Africa. The Lonely Planet series has one, for example.

South Africa
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2. Re: Southern / Eastern Africa for 4-6 weeks

I agree with bwanadave. Combining Southern and Eastern Africa on one trip is possible, but rather expensive and you will spend a lot of your time travelling between places. Better to narrow it down to either Southern Africa or Eastern Africa, and then as Dave said Southern Africa is easier to do on your own, and is also easier on your budget. For example, start by combining a few main destinations within reach of each other, like Victoria Falls, Cape Town and the Kruger National Park. Then do your research and see what there is to see and do in each area and what you can combine it with. For example, Vic Falls is easy to combine with Chobe National Park in Botswana. Cape Town is easy to combine with the Garden Route and even Addo. The Kruger National Park is easy to combine with the scenic Panorama Route, and of course the private game reserves adjacent to Kruger like the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. If you want to include beaches, you may want to include Kwazulu-Natal as a destination. A map and a guidebook is a good starting point.

Malta
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3. Re: Southern / Eastern Africa for 4-6 weeks

Thanks for your replies. We have removed Kenya and Tanzania from our list. We are now thinking of this route :

Arrive in johannesburg, spend 2 nights there (are 2 nights enough?) and rent a caravan / motorhome. Then drive to Botswana and spend 7/8 days including Victoria falls. Another 7/8 days in Namibia and then to Cape Town. We then think of spending 15 days in Cape Town and Garden route. Then perhaps 1 week in Mozambique or stay in South Africa.

Does it make more sense to rent a caravan or is it better to rent a car and stay in tents/lodges?

We will buy books and read and do more research etc, but we want to have a rough idea of which countries we should focus on.

Also when is the best time to visit these countries?

Any comments are appreciated.

Pickering, United...
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4. Re: Southern / Eastern Africa for 4-6 weeks

There are lots of places to stay if you just hire a car - this is what we usually do. SA guest houses are great. Self-catering accommodation in the game reserves is good (Namibia too). There are tarred roads in all of these countries and we managed to plan accommodation and drove around Namibia last year and SA for 20 years in a VW Polo. However, hiring a campervan would give you more freedom through from Jo'burg (what do you want to do there?), into Botswana, up to Vic Falls, into Namibia via the Caprivi strip. You could even then drive down Namibia to Cape Town but I don't think you've enough time to do this in the 7/8 days you have allotted! We are planning Botswana and Vic falls for next year in a 4x4 camper and staying around 11 nights.

5. Re: Southern / Eastern Africa for 4-6 weeks

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