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Seeking advise on a beach - safari package for honeymoon

scottsdale, az
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Seeking advise on a beach - safari package for honeymoon

I've never been to africa and never been on a honeymoon, I have between 10-20K to spend on a 2-3 week vacation - lets say not including the airfare. I'm looking for a combination of beach and safari, on the assumption that the vacation will be (any preferred time) between april and june - dates don't necessarily matter, date recommendations would be helpful.

I would prefer to not have to think or plan much, and would prefer to have a all inclusive package but want to make very sure I don't get stuck with the typical tourist package designed for lazy people with cameras... whatever that may mean. Looking for a young vibrant, awesome honey moon style vacation where i don't have to think too much.

Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

Thanks!

Manchester, United...
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1. Re: Seeking advise on a beach - safari package for honeymoon

Are you intending to self drive? A package deal is always the most expensive. We are due to depart on the 28th July 2011 for a 7 week trip which includes a birthday celebration, a 44th wedding anniversary and our civil partnership union so in effect our honeymoon. I was born in SA and have lived in the UK for the past 19 years and travel back to SA as often as I can. I have solely made all the plans and done all the bookings for the 7 weeks via email and accomodatin websites and we are staying in the most fantastic places from 5 star to no stars including 3 different intimate game reserves and a house which has a garden meeting the sea - this is where we are having our ceremony. I have had nothing but fantastic emails and conversations with all the people we have booked with and have also negotiated on prices with the rand being strong. Nothing has been too much trouble in fact so much so that one of the people has been invited to the ceremony! You can save a lot by doing it yourself and keep the extra for spending money for when you get there! Good luck

durban
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2. Re: Seeking advise on a beach - safari package for honeymoon

April is still fairly good weather in the Cape, although swimming is cold there, the further North you go the warmer the ocean, Safari in the Cape is the Eastern Cape. But perhaps the best place with the most temperate weather would be Kzn. April, May is superb in Kzn, not too hot and not cold(best time to visit this region) and June/July is winter and still not cold, mostly cool nights and warm days, and water is cooler but one can certainly swim in it. Game parks are about 3.5 hrs from Dbn up North Coast of Kzn and we have the only game parks parallel to the coast. So one can also visit Thonga, Rocktail, Cape Vidal, pristine, untouched beaches in the middle of a Unesco World Heritage Site. If these don't fit your budget then a stay in St lucia (Hippo Hideaway) or one of the many bed and breakfast lodges, Serene estates etc. and or a stay in Hlhluwe/mfolzi park or one of the private reserves such as Phinda, Zulu Nyala, Thanda, etc.

Lots of options.

www.kimssouthafrica.blogspot.com

SOUTH AFRICA
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3. Re: Seeking advise on a beach - safari package for honeymoon

I don't agree that package deals are always the most expensive. They should rather be more affordable, as operators should give discounts in packages! I would recommend that you contact a couple of operators, see who you like, and then let that operator tailor make your itinerary so that it suites your exact requirements. Once you have your quote, make sure that it has not worked out more expensive, and that your operator has offered you some form of discount.

Good luck with the planning!

Tanya * owner * Africa Direct

Manchester, United...
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4. Re: Seeking advise on a beach - safari package for honeymoon

It is in our own experience that I have found package deals more expensive than doing the bookings yourself direct - having done this now 4 times and everytime we have saved so much money with booking our own flights, cars and accomodation with no trouble at all. I appreciate that not everyone has the time or wants the hassle of doing this however just in our own experience we have saved so much more. No offence meant by my previous comment. In the current economy where budgets are tight and if you have the time it is very easy to book accomodation direct with establishments in SA who often run special deals and also prepared to negotiate on prices. We have paid 10k for 7 weeks which includes 3 full adult tickets, internal flights, 2 cars one in Cape Town and one in Durban, all accomodation including 3 game reserves(3 nights, 3 nights and 2 nights all inclusive) some Bed & Breakfast, some all inclusive, some self catering and majority either 4 star or 3 star so not bad for 3 adults- it can be done if you have the time. We depart on 28th July and cannot wait. We have chosen late winter as it is always cheaper.

London, United...
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5. Re: Seeking advise on a beach - safari package for honeymoon

The best time of year to go depends on whether you want to visit Cape Town and the Western Cape. If you do, April is nicer than June, which can be pretty rainy (though it's worth noting that rain in Cape Town tends to mean a brief afternoon storm rather than the all-day drizzle which is typical here in London). On the other hand, June is definitely better for whale watching. From a safari standpoint, June is better, especially if you can go later in the month when the bush has started to thin out. In terms of cost, June is low season for most hotels in the Cape and for many safari lodges, enabling you to get more bang for your buck.

With 2-3 weeks, I would suggest visiting reserves in several regions of the country to experience different environments and see different species. South Africa's private reserves can certainly offer the more exclusive experience you've mentioned; in addition to a professional ranger and tracker to help you find animals and limits on the number of vehicles per sighting, you can drive off-road and at night which adds to the safari experience.

I would definitely recommend a visit to the Sabi Sand, the group of private reserves adjoining the southern part of Kruger National Park which is known for up-close encounters with big cats as well as superb rhino sightings. There are a wide range of lodges at different levels of luxury on private reserves within the Sabi Sand. I would also suggest including a reserve in the drier southern Kalahari region, such as Madikwe or Tswalu and a reserve in the lusher areas of KwaZuluNatal, such as Phinda or Thanda.

For your beach experience, you could stay within South Africa and go to KwaZuluNatal (Rocktail Bay and Thonga are both lovely) or go to Mozambique, Malawi, or the Seychelles.

An itinerary including about four nights in three game reserves plus a 5-6 days on the beach could work well - I'd also suggest considering adding 4-5 nights in the Cape.

Cheers,

Julian

Owner, Timeless Africa

6. Re: Seeking advise on a beach - safari package for honeymoon

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