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South Africa & Victoria Falls June 2014

Tulsa, Oklahoma
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South Africa & Victoria Falls June 2014

Please let me know if my itinerary sounds feasible and any recommendations you might have. I have never tried to plan a trip so close to my travel dates before, so sorry for not being more educated (I am reading more every day).

Arriving in Cape Town (June 2) spend 3 nights in Cape Town and then drive to Port Elizabeth to fly to Johannesburg.

Arrive in Johannesburg (June 6th @ 8am) and Drive 3-4 Hours to Kruger. (Route recommendations are greatly appreciated). Spend 4 nights in Kruger I am thinking partially self catered and partially game reserve. I need to average $150pp per night ($300 night), which I understand is low but I am hoping with self catering some it may be feasible. If this is not feasible to achieve while still getting the "true" experience, please let me know.

June 10th drive back to Johannesburg for an outgoing flight (leaving at 11:25 am) to Victoria Falls 1 PM 6/10. Spend 3 nights near Victoria Falls maybe travel 1.5 hours over Chobe National Park. (Is hiring a car for this leg of the journey smart or would you recommend joining a tour group?)

Fly Home June 14th.

A little bit of background on us. We are in our late 20s and will be celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary. I would probably like to stay somewhere fairly nice on our anniversary (6/7/14), however outside of that day I would prefer a safe, clean place to lay my head and spend more money on activities and getting the best experience possible. I prefer to stay pretty active, and I am a bit of an adrenaline junky. My husband is very laid back and more of a go with the flow kind of guy.

Thank you so much for your help!!!

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Cape Town
Cape Town
Western Cape, South Africa
Port Elizabeth
Port Elizabeth
Eastern Cape, South Africa
Johannesburg
Johannesburg
Greater Johannesburg, South Africa
Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls
Matabeleland North Province, Zimbabwe
Chobe National Park
Chobe National Park
355 Reviews
Kasane, Botswana
Richtersveld National Park
National Parks, Nature & Wildlife Areas
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1. Re: South Africa & Victoria Falls June 2014

Your itinerary is "crazy" ::)). Not enough time to all of what you want and get a great experience out of it.

You will need more than 3 days to really experience Cape Town. Note that June is winter in Cape Town so you may encounter rain, does not really get cold.

You want to drive to Port Elizabeth in 1 go, +- 470 miles just to fly to Johannesburg. This drive is through some of the most beautiful parts of South Africa and deserves 4 days minimum by itself.

So if you cant lengthen your holiday then cut this out and fly directly from Cape Town to Hoedspruit, this puts you at Kruger and cuts out the 5-6 hour drive (yes it is a lot longer than you have planned for) from Johannesburg.

Bear in mind that you have to fly to Victoria Falls from Johannesburg on an International flight. This will add a lot of extra travel hours in both directions to your trip, and a lot of extra cost.

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Cape Town
Cape Town
Western Cape, South Africa
Port Elizabeth
Port Elizabeth
Eastern Cape, South Africa
Johannesburg
Johannesburg
Greater Johannesburg, South Africa
Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls
Matabeleland North Province, Zimbabwe
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2. Re: South Africa & Victoria Falls June 2014

That's too ambitious in my book. Give some thought to making it an all-SA trip with perhaps 4 nights in CT, 3-4 nights along Garden Route and the rest of the time in the Kruger region. Alternatively, if VF a must, perhaps 4 nights in CT, 4 nights in Kruger and 3 nights in VF, with one day set aside for a Chobe day trip (you'll need a night in Jo'burg between Kruger and VF).

Some specifics:

-June not optimum for CT or GR, so maybe expect rain

-Consider flying from CT to Hoedspruit or Nelspruit and renting a car there to make the driving much shorter

-So you can make the most out of your time in Kruger plan to stay in Jo'burg a night before going to VF rather than rush a drive to make the late morning flight to VF

-If you stick with your itinerary nix that drive from CT to PE

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Garden Route
Garden Route
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Western Cape, South Africa
Nelspruit
Nelspruit
Mpumalanga, South Africa
Tulsa, Oklahoma
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3. Re: South Africa & Victoria Falls June 2014

Thank you both for your input. I will weigh my options and send you an updated itinerary.

Johannesburg, South...
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4. Re: South Africa & Victoria Falls June 2014

Hi Acolpitt,

Congrats on your upcoming wedding anniversary!

I agree with Lengau and Steve. Your itinerary doesn't make a lot of sense.

I would definitely add a night or 2 to Cape Town. Its also pointless driving to PE just to fly to JHB. It's a long drive and will take about 8hrs. Most people who do this will finish in PE after having done 4 plus nights on the Garden Route.

I would fly from Cape Town directly to JHB, Nelspuit or Hoedspruit depending on the day you leave CT (direct flights to Hoedspruit from CT only operate on a Tuesday, Thursday or Sunday), and hire a car at the airport. I would definitely look at one of the lodges in the Hoedspruit area as there are cheaper options in that area in reserves like Klaserie or even the Northern Sector of the Sabi Sands. I would split 2 nights each between self drive in the Kruger National Park and 2 nights in a private lodge. This will help balance the budget a bit and give you 2 completely unique experiences.

You will almost definitely have to spend a night in JHB after Kruger before flying to Vic Falls whether you drive back to JHB or even fly. The flight back from Hoedspruit will not give you enough time to catch the flight to Vic Falls. The rest of the itinerary looks good.3 nights in Vic Falls is good. I wouldn't self drive to Chobe from what I have been told and read. Rather to a Chobe Day Tour run by one of the Vic Falls tour operators.

I hope this clarifies the pit falls with your current proposed itinerary, and refines it to something much more workable and easier, in order to make your trip enjoyable and memorable.

Regards.

Brett | Owner | Safaris For Me Tours & Safaris | South Africa

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Cape Town
Cape Town
Western Cape, South Africa
Garden Route
Garden Route
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Western Cape, South Africa
Hoedspruit
Hoedspruit
Limpopo Province, South Africa
Klaserie Private Game Reserve
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5. Re: South Africa & Victoria Falls June 2014

Chobe is in Botswana so you would have to drive across the border, not for the faint hearted. IMO, miles better to go with a group. However, you are going to Kruger so Chobe would be the first thing I would drop if looking at your time frame.

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Tulsa, Oklahoma
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6. Re: South Africa & Victoria Falls June 2014

Thank you for your input!

Port Elizabeth
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7. Re: South Africa & Victoria Falls June 2014

Depending on what time you land in Joburg, fly directly to Victoria Falls.

Victoria Falls 1/2 nights

Fly Joburg Fly Cape Town

Cape Town - 3/4 nights

Fly directly to KMIA airport

Kruger 3/4 nights

Fly/drive back of Joburg

Maybe?

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Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls
Matabeleland North Province, Zimbabwe
Cape Town
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Western Cape, South Africa
8. Re: South Africa & Victoria Falls June 2014

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Tulsa, Oklahoma
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9. Re: South Africa & Victoria Falls June 2014

Thank you!

Doesn't the Zambia side significantly reduce the view of VF?

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10. Re: South Africa & Victoria Falls June 2014

I have taken some of my escorted groups through Victoria Falls in 1999, 2001, 2002. In June, the water flow is so strong that some of the folks gave up and walked back to the reception center (this, on the Zimbabwe side). In June, you have trouble even seeing the waterfall from the walkway. It's all spray and people get drenched, even with the rain ponchos the tour operators provide.

I always use the Zim side because the walkways along the Falls are directly opposite for almost a mile. From Zambia, you look more down the length of the Falls. Plus, new currency rules in Zambia complicate a short trip for first-time travelers. That, plus the cost of the flight to Livingstone from Nelspruit and the cost of lodging in Zambia prompts me to say - Zimbabwe. Now, with the budget you described , you might not be able to make it work unless you stay in some of the really budget lodging.

We really haven't helped you with suggestions that meet your budget hopes. Hopping on a plane to fly anywhere in southern Africa is relatively expensive. You mentioned driving between Johannesburg and the Kruger area… which I do myself. But it's 5+ hours to anywhere.. not 3 or 4.

My advice.. stay in Cape Town maybe 4 days, then use about $300PP to fly to Hoedspruit and rent a car. The CPT to HDS service doesn't operate every day, but you can go on www.flysaa.com and play with it to see what days would work. You need to look in the upper right of that home page, and set the country to South Africa. (It may pick up that you are in the US and you will need to change it). Use about 6 days for safari.. some in Kruger in a bungalow, or chalet (worth the extra cost) and then come out to stay at Nthambo, or Motswari, or Serondella or Monwana in the Thornybush reserve. Each of these has its own special nature that will stick with you long after you get home.

Dave Patterson - Owner - TheAfricaSafari

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Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls
Matabeleland North Province, Zimbabwe
Nelspruit
Nelspruit
Mpumalanga, South Africa
Johannesburg
Johannesburg
Greater Johannesburg, South Africa
Cape Town
Cape Town
Western Cape, South Africa
Hoedspruit
Hoedspruit
Limpopo Province, South Africa
Thornybush Private Game Reserve
Thornybush Private Game...
Kruger National Park, South Africa