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Old 06-26-2017, 12:28 PM
 
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My husband and I are looking at taking a 2-3 wk trip and considering Africa. I'm sure some of y'all have been but my forum search didn't show a ton. What are your favorite destinations? Any idea for reasonably priced safaris? We are fine with camping without running water but want to be relatively safe. Is it safe to do Airbnb in capetown or do you need to be careful? Any advice, suggestions or insights you have would be great. Planning to go in February most likely.
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Old 06-26-2017, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
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We went to Capetown for one month on a home exchange in November 2016. We spent about 10 days of that time on a small group tour of the Garden Route and a safari in the Eastern Cape. We saw no reason to fly all the way to J-burg to do a safari there, plus we didn't have to do the malaria pills in the Eastern Cape. Both experiences were, to put it mildly, spectacular.

In Capetown, there ARE areas that are not safe, so I'd be careful of Airbnb, but I wouldn't eliminate it entirely. J-burg is not a place that I would want to visit, primarily for safety reasons. The cost of food and wine in the Capetown area are incredibly low compared to the US.

The remainder of our trip was in a home in the eastern suburbs of Capetown, at the southern most point of the vast wine district. The wineries are beautiful, often large estates and many have EXCELLENT restaurants. Unlike the US, most have free tastings. Expect the wines to be very different than what you are accustomed to, and many of the restaurants serve game meat (the ostrich might have been the best meat I've ever tasted).

I would also highly recommend a visit to one of the two areas where you can see and get very close to wild penguins. I could have stayed and watch them for hours, especially the babies.

February is the beginning of the summer in Capetown. I'd consider backing it up to December or January if you can. Also consider a stop in Dubai as nearly all the flights from the US stop there. It's a great way to break up the VERY long flight, and an interesting (but expensive) place to visit.

If you need the name of the travel agent we used to set up our safari and Garden route tours, let me know and I'll dig it up. They were very, very helpful and efficient.

We hated the driving, partially because the vehicle we had from the exchange was a hummer. That size, combined with the other side of the road, was scary as hell. We drove very little at night.
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Old 06-26-2017, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
7,316 posts, read 4,154,596 times
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I'm interested in the responses to this thread, as a safari (probably in Namibia and Botswana) is on my bucket list for my 2019 vacation. I've been looking at trips starting in Cape Town and ending in Victoria Falls, but have also seen some nice offerings that do a loop tour of Namibia and pair it with a short trip in Botswana.

OP, what is your definition of "reasonably priced"? Knowing that might help narrow your choices down a bit.
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Old 06-26-2017, 02:18 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,555 posts, read 39,934,465 times
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Not sure if this tour is still available, but I had 6 friends who really liked it!
Touring Africa via DC3 / back-country airstrips

Travcoa Introduces the Ultimate African Safari by Classic DC-3
https://www.travcoa.com/tours/africa...2015/itinerary

other options
https://www.aito.com/expert-africa
https://www.expertafrica.com/
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Old 06-26-2017, 04:34 PM
 
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Botswana is considered the "jewel" of the southern part of Africa. I visited the town of Kasane in the northern Botswana. There I did a half day land safari as well as half day river safari which both were organized via the lodge that I stayed at. One can always take from there a tour to Victoria Falls (which I didn't manage to do during my stay there which was quite a few years ago). In general Botswana is considered a very safe country for travelers.

I also visited the Johannesburg area of South Africa. There my host took me by car to spend a day at the Cradle of Humankind (a world heritage site) which is a very large safari park and definitely a good place to visit. The city of Johannesburg itself had many areas that didn't seem that safe to be especially after dark.
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Old 06-26-2017, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Tampa
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I did safaris in Tanzania (Ngorongoro, Tarangire, Lake Manyara) and South Africa (Kruger), last year. Probably averaged around $200 per person, per day, and that was considered "mid-tier" I suppose. Perfectly comfortable, though certainly not "luxury". FWIW February is the summer in SA, so lots of vegetation makes it harder to see animals, at least in Kruger. We went during a historic drought last February, so we saw a lot, but there was plenty of rain this year to reverse it.

Cape Town is incredible. Just ignore the people asking for payment to "watch" your car. I found it quite safe in the areas you'd typically visit. The wineries are beautiful, and so cheap for tastings, it should be criminal (and frankly could be if you get behind the wheel after one too many).
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Old 06-26-2017, 06:21 PM
 
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Kenya and its safari are very accessible.

Amboseli and its iconic views Mt Kilimanjaro is a must.
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Old 06-28-2017, 02:58 PM
 
Location: On the road
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Capetown is fine, don't worry about booking an apartment there.

Africa isn't that expensive for just living, it's the animal viewing that kills a budget. I think you can get the most varied safari experiences in southern part of Africa since so much variation there... Namibia drier, Botswana with rivers, and SA savanna.

In Namibia Etosha can be done self-drive, but you won't have the advantage of guides who know every watering hole, what time they are good, and communication network where they hear about a lion pride and can take people there. Etosha does have black rhinos and they aren't hard to find.

Botswana is really expensive though, not many cheap options there. Namibia and South Africa can be much cheaper since DIY options. You can see more wild elephants and hippos in Botswana in a relatively small area than anywhere, it's amazing.

A good option is to get a place in Livingstone Zambia. It's a nice town, relatively safe, not too big not too small and an airport. You can see Vic Falls from Zambia side and walk to see it from Zimbabwe side using Kaza pass, you can book day trips into Botswana, you can even take an Intercape bus to Namibia and arrange something there through a budget outfit like Wild Dogs Safaris.
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Old 06-28-2017, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
7,316 posts, read 4,154,596 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lieqiang View Post
...you can even take an Intercape bus to Namibia and arrange something there through a budget outfit like Wild Dogs Safaris.
Do you have any personal experience with Wild Dog Safaris? I'm asking because they are one of the tour operators I've been seriously considering.
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Old 06-28-2017, 04:02 PM
 
Location: North Dakota
7,728 posts, read 9,024,418 times
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I haven't traveled to Africa, but I did go to the Galapagos with this company. It's a tour group but you still get lots of downtime. https://www.gadventures.com
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