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Botswana, Victoria Falls, Kruger Park and Cape Town

Florence
posts: 127
reviews: 28
Botswana, Victoria Falls, Kruger Park and Cape Town

I am very confused. I have researched through the forum but still am confused.

We are a couple in our late 50's who have been to Tanzania previously where we booked a safari through a local company

(prefer to do that if possible) and had a fantastic time.

We are reasonably active but do not want to do any extreme sports activities. However, when in Tanzania we stayed at moderate lodges, expensive lodges and also tents. We preferred the tenting experience to be the best.

We would like to visit Botswana and do some game drives, Victoria Falls for a couple of nights and then go do a couple of game drives at Kruger and finally have about 3 days in Cape Town.

Can anyone recommend a reasonabley priced local company we could use who could arrange all of this for us and who would be helpful?

Thank you so much

north yorkshire
posts: 2,587
reviews: 18
1. Re: Botswana, Victoria Falls, Kruger Park and Cape Town

Are you looking for an agent who will book the composite parts of a trip or a single tour that will take in all 4 components of your wish list? if it is the latter you may be hard pressed since you're looking at four destinations in three countries (and the two in SA are over 900 emiles apart as the crow flies).

It would be really helpful if you could give us some basic information about the kind of trip you are looking for. Accommodation standards, budget estimate, how long you have, how you wish to travel between destinations, etc.

Florence
posts: 127
reviews: 28
2. Re: Botswana, Victoria Falls, Kruger Park and Cape Town

Thank you, perhaps we are being too ambitious.

Perhaps we should just do Botswana (but what about Zambia) and Victoria Falls this time and Cape Town, etc. next time?

We much preferred camping (not because of budget but because we enjoyed the experience so much more than the lodges).

We were thinking of approximately 2 weeks in this case.

Do you think Botswana over Zambia?

Thank you

geneva
posts: 764
reviews: 15
3. Re: Botswana, Victoria Falls, Kruger Park and Cape Town

You could fly into Johannesburg, rent a car, drive to the Tuli block in Botswana (with a one or two nights stop in a fantastic area of the Limpopo province), stay in a very affordable tented camp in Botswana on the Limpopo banks, then drive to the Kruger for a few more days, before heading back to Joburg.If you'd like more info on a more detailed itinerary, I'll be happy to give you suggestions of places we have stayed at.

north yorkshire
posts: 2,587
reviews: 18
4. Re: Botswana, Victoria Falls, Kruger Park and Cape Town

Homing in then! When you say camping, do you mean pre-erected East African style safari tents or mobile camping? Both are commonly available.

Again, are you looking for someone to take you around on a guided tour (small group or private?).

We have self-driven all parts of your wish list, with SA being the easiest and most affordable, staying in Parks Board accommodation including in Kruger (where pre-erected tents and campsites are available). As the previous poster said it would be easy to self-drive the northern parts of SA, through into Botswana (Limpop and Tuli areas). You will probably have to fly up to Victoria Falls (from where it is possible to do a road transfer or flight into Chobe) then fly back to Jo'burg. This year we flew from Joburg to Maun. we then took two weeks to drive up through Moremi (Okavango), Savute, chobe and onto Vic Falls. A great trip. We did it on our own but similar trips were common with tour group of various sizes. We met people of the more mature variety (like us!) travelling with Kiboko Adventures who were having a great time on their larger truck. Hopefully another poster will be able to advise on a company offering an organised safari of the areas you wish to cover in small groups or on private tours.

Botswana and Zambia are more expensive so you do need to consider how much you are willing to spend. In SA we usually hire a VW Polo but in Botswana/Zambia we had a landrover complete with tents and all equipment. That pushed up the price significantly!

Florence
posts: 127
reviews: 28
5. Re: Botswana, Victoria Falls, Kruger Park and Cape Town

Thank you everybody.

We were thinking more of pre-erected tents rather than mobile tents. We will investigate further.

Pretoria, South...
posts: 1,693
reviews: 11
6. Re: Botswana, Victoria Falls, Kruger Park and Cape Town

Hi Johnsonwax,

It's certainly possible and very easy to do the type of trip you're looking at. Much will depend on the time of the year you're considering travelling.

With fairly limited time, it might prove best to fly up to Botswana (either Maun or Kasane), do your wildlife experience up there (maybe 4-5 days), cross to Vic Falls using a transfer company, and spend two nights prior to flying back to South Africa.

You can fly directly to Kruger area or through Johannesburg, spend a few nights in Greater Kruger, before flying to Cape Town for 3-4 nights.

Although self-drives are often considered "cost effective", they can become very expensive if you take hidden costs into account (particularly when crossing borders). Fuel, park entry fees (for guests and vehicles), border crossing fees, border documentation, toll fees, tyre repairs, insurances, speeding and other fines, bribes for crooked cops (an increasing problem throughout Southern Africa), food, overnight rest-stops and roadside munchies all add costs which are often not mentioned (or are "excluded").

A decent sef-drive to Bots and Vic Falls really takes at least 10 days (2 days of hard driving in each direction just to get there and back), and costs are high. I drive to Bots from Jhb at least 10 times a year, and it's a killer journey (I also travel constanty throughout SA).

Tuli (as mentioned above) is a lovely destination a few hours drive from Johannesburg, and I usually consider this to be a halfway stop between Northern Bots/VF and Johannesburg when self-driving. It's also a great destination if you don't want to travel all that far, and as caviar mentioned, there are some beautiful reserves and overnight stops in far nothern SA en route to Kruger.

As mentioned, the time of the year makes a huge difference. If travelling in Southern summer (November to February), the wildlife tends to more active in the Central regions of Botswana, whereas in our winter (say June to September), wildlife tends to be more concentrated in the far north and around the Okavango (I say "tends" to ...).

If you're looking at Vic Falls between March and September, it doesn't matter really whether you do Livingstone (Zambia) or VF (Zimbabwe). If you hit VF in November - January, you'd be sorely disappointed if you chose Zambia (almost no flow), and then I usually consider Zim to be a far better option. In March and April, the falls are stupendous.

Kruger is fantastic at any time of the year, although May to September is considered best game-viewing time.

In our summer, Cape Town is idyllic, but in winter, you could expect some more unpredictable weather (cool and wet on occasions, but beautiful and sunny on others).

Botswana and VF offers some stunning options in the wet season (November to March), but very high temperatures, high humidity and a strong possibility of thunder showers. Temperature and humidity are very high in Kruger at the time as well. Winter (May to September) are prime periods for Bots, VF and Kruger. I realy don't like Bots between Oct and Nov -very hot, very sticky, and very dusty.

There's a range of fixed tented accommodation (safari tents), and everything else, in all regions to meet a range of budgets. Bots can also offer fantastic mobile safaris (where your tents are erected prior to your arrival at each mobile campsite).

Once you've considered what type of trip you'd like to do, what time of trhe year, and which regions you'd like to spend time in, we could make some more detailed recommendations regarding specific accommodation and transport or a suitable local company to help put a package together (there are many that operate in all 3/4 countries we're looking at).

Hope this helps.

Russell

Edited: 2:06 am, February 27, 2012
Florence
posts: 127
reviews: 28
7. Re: Botswana, Victoria Falls, Kruger Park and Cape Town

Wow!!!

Thank you so much for such an informative reply.

Pretoria, South...
posts: 1,693
reviews: 11
8. Re: Botswana, Victoria Falls, Kruger Park and Cape Town

It's a pleasure JW!

The countries are really vast, driving times can be extremely long, and depending on the season, driving can be easy or challenging to absolutely dangerous. Air flights are often irregular and unpredictable, and contingency planning helps, particularly if you're communicating with folk on the ground.

In say 14 days, you really won't have the chance to really see the incredible diversity that southern Africa offers. It becomes a foretaste of better and more focused trips in the future. But you've chosen some of the absolute highlights of the region. Next time you'll be looking at combining arid and stupendous Namibia with the Drakensberg mountains, the KZN battlefields, the remote lodges of the north, etc.

Wish you luck with all your planning.

Probably the two biggest questions will be "how long?" and "when?" It's then easy to put in all the comfortable stuffing.

Enjoy

Los Angeles
posts: 64
reviews: 10
9. Re: Botswana, Victoria Falls, Kruger Park and Cape Town

Hi, we are using Africa 2000 Tours to arrange the following: 4 nights Cape Town, including tours of winelands and the peninsula, 3 nights at Nottens Camp (Sabi Sand, Kruger area), 3 nights Victoria Falls (Zambia side) and 3 nights Chobe. Thye are based in South Africa and are very responsive via e-mail and try hard to accomodate your budget and special requests.

Gill & Graham Maskell

Africa 2000 Tours (Gallivanter Tours 2000cc)

P O Box 1025,

Knysna, 6570

South Africa

Tel +27 (0) 44 3841262

Fax: +27 (0)866718365

mobile: +27 (0) 828181541

Email: gill@africa2000tours.co.za

www.africa2000tours.co.za

10. Re: Botswana, Victoria Falls, Kruger Park and Cape Town

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