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Please help me plan my dream Cape Town, Sabi Sand & more

Rochester, NY
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Please help me plan my dream Cape Town, Sabi Sand & more

Hello Hello:

My wife and I were fortunate to have visited the Tanzania Northern Circuit parks this past February. I don't like using the words 'trip of a lifetime', but it was pretty darn close.

Our 20th wedding anniversary occurs in 2013. To celebrate (and to thank my wife for keeping me all of those 20 years) I'd like to plan a dream trip to South Africa.

I'm thinking of flying into Cape Town, spending a few days there doing day trips. From CT, I'd like to go to Sabi Sands for 4 nites of safari, move on into Zulu land for another couple of nites of sightseeing/safari, and ending up in Durban for a couple of days relaxing at the beach before flying home.

My budget will be approximately $12,000 US total, including international airfare. Flights will run me approximately $1,800 per person (from Rochester, NY), reducing my $12,000 budget to about $8,400 for the land portion of our trip.

I'd love to get some input from the SA experts on this forum on a proposed itinerary.

What area in Zululand should we stay, to be able to take in some original culture and a safari or two ?

Would you recommend going thru a SA travel agency, or 'do it myself' ?

Any/all help is greatly appreciated.

Thank you very much,

joearena

SOUTH AFRICA
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1. Re: Please help me plan my dream Cape Town, Sabi Sand & more

In my experience, the best safari destination in Zululand, is Phinda Private Game Reserve. They have a variety of excellent lodges to choose from, of which Forest and Mountain are the most affordable. The reserve is owned and managed by the reputable safari company called andBeyond, who also manage safari lodges in the Sabi Sand and Timbavati Private Game Reserve. They have a great "pay 4, stay 6 night" special offer, applicabl to certain months next year. If I were you, I would combine a Phinda safari with one of the other andBeyond lodges in the Kruger region, and make sure I benefit from their special offer. (You could also "pay 6, stay 8", making it 4 nights each.) From Phinda you could go on an escourted cultural village tour.

Whether or not you use an operator or do it yourself, depends on how you like to arrange your trips! It's easy to DIY in South Africa, or you could benefit from the expertise from an agent who specialises in the region.

Good luck with the decisions!

Tanya * owner * Africa Direct

Cape Town
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2. Re: Please help me plan my dream Cape Town, Sabi Sand & more

What time of year are you planning to visit?

Mark September

Small World Tours

Rochester, NY
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3. Re: Please help me plan my dream Cape Town, Sabi Sand & more

My apologies - I forgot to mention the time. I'm looking at September, 2013. I know it's a long ways away, but I remember how long it took me to put together my Tanzania vacation, so I'm starting early.

I'll probably start booking things in November, for the next September.

Thanx for the advice that has already been given. I look forward to using this forum to arrange this 20th anniversary trip.

Cape Town
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4. Re: Please help me plan my dream Cape Town, Sabi Sand & more

I think September is one of the best times to visit South Africa.

The game viewing in the Kruger area is at its best at this time as it is the end of the dry season and the bush will have died off so game will be much easier to spot. It is also starting to get warmer so your game drives will be a more pleasant but still bring lots of layers to wear.

While you are in the Kruger area, you may also want to schedule a night outside of a game reserve and spend a day exploring the Panorama Route. It really is very beautiful.

Cape Town may still have some cool and wet days but there will be whales around and if you are interested in flowers, you could take a trip up the West Coast to see the wild flower displays there.

If you do opt for Phinda, maybe think about doing the beach part of your trip in the St. Lucia area instead of Durban.

Mark September

Small World Tours

Arlington VA
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5. Re: Please help me plan my dream Cape Town, Sabi Sand & more

OP-What a great anniversary trip idea! We are just back from a similar trip and I have posted a trip report as well. We did a small group tour company (General Tours) that included Victoria Falls, safari time at a private lodge (Thornybush) as well as the Cape Town area and Winelands. We arranged Jo'burg on our own pre tour and as others have said SA travel is easy to plan yourself. Though we liked going in June, I would next want to go back in September when the wildflowers and jacaranda trees I believe are in bloom. Pack some layering clothes but being from Rochester I think you will find it comfortable (I'm originally from Syracuse area...lol)

6. Re: Please help me plan my dream Cape Town, Sabi Sand & more

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