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Thinking about South Africa trip #6270
11/09/2007 12:04 PM
11/09/2007 12:04 PM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 122
SXM
SxmNer Offline OP
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SxmNer  Offline OP
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SXM
I'm in the early stages of planning.

Can i get input from those who've been there done that?....

*How much did a 2 week stay run you?
I'll be departing from the caribbean so i figure there'll be extra airfare involved, i just need a ball park idea so i can compare with the quotes.

*Besides safari and sightseeing, what else is there to do?

*how is security? did you feel safe? Any guidelines you can offer?

* Currency, should i exchange USD for rand? what is the rate? how are prices? for food for example? is dining out expensive? I'm a foodie are there good eats in SA?

*I'm thinking summer, is that a good time of the year to go? will it bwe too hot and muggy?

I thank you all in advance for your input and suggestions.

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Re: Thinking about South Africa trip [Re: SxmNer] #6271
11/09/2007 02:23 PM
11/09/2007 02:23 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 65,193
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Central Florida!
When you say "South Africa", do you mean the country, or southern Africa?? What are your interests--safari, wine country, general scenery, beaches, what??


Carol Hill
Re: Thinking about South Africa trip [Re: Carol_Hill] #6272
11/09/2007 04:27 PM
11/09/2007 04:27 PM

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Hi Carol, thanks for responding.

I meant south africa the country. My interests are:
Safari, all things nature, sigthseeing, history, food, soaking up the culture...

Re: Thinking about South Africa trip #6273
11/09/2007 04:28 PM
11/09/2007 04:28 PM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 122
SXM
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ooops that was me above

Re: Thinking about South Africa trip [Re: SxmNer] #6274
11/10/2007 10:13 AM
11/10/2007 10:13 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 65,193
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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The only trip we made was to Botswana, not to South Africa, so a lot of my information would not be terribly useful to you. There are a lot of websites out there from travel agents and various safari companies that have a huge amount of information on them. Kruger Park is the big safari destination for South Africa, so you might try a google search for that, and see what you come up with. Regarding weather, SA I think is opposite US seasons, so I think summer would not be as hot as during January, for example. However, you can get average high temps on the web at various places and see for yourself. Capetown is a wonderful place to visit, for scenery and wine country, so again, do a google search for that and see where it takes you. With regard to money, the trip we did was an all inclusive one to Wilderness Safari camps, so our experience would not help you there. I believe that Wilderness has some camps in SA, so you could check out their website, which has an extraordinary amount of information. For Americans, the price of any trip to SA has gone up tremendously, with the weakness of the dollar. If you are paid in Euro, it might not be nearly so bad for you. Best wishes planning your trip!


Carol Hill
Re: Thinking about South Africa trip [Re: SxmNer] #6275
11/12/2007 07:27 AM
11/12/2007 07:27 AM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 117
Stiv Offline
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Stiv  Offline
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Quote
SxmNer said:
* Currency, should i exchange USD for rand? what is the

rate? *I'm thinking summer, is that a good time of the year to go? will it bwe too hot and muggy?

I thank you all in advance for your input and suggestions.


For current exchange rates this is a very good tool:

http://www.xe.com/ucc/

As far as summer remember thier seasons are reverse the northern hemisphere ie the Northern hemispheres winter months are thier summer.

~Stiv


Google Polo's bastards
Re: Thinking about South Africa trip [Re: SxmNer] #6276
11/12/2007 06:19 PM
11/12/2007 06:19 PM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 10
gary99 Offline
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gary99  Offline
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Hello,
To put it in a word: GO!!!
My wife and I went to South Africa last Oct. Stayed 4 nights in Capetown and went to the wine country, Cape of Good Hope point, Robbin Island (like Alcatraz), etc. Wonderful international tourist destination. You will want to stay in the tourist areas. I suggest somewhere near the V&A Waterfront shopping/restaurant district.

Didn't stay in JoBerg and I feel that was the right move. Our flight crew said they aren't allowed in the city there except at their airport hotel.

Safari- Experience of a lifetime. I think that South Africa near Kruger park gives you the best opportunity to see all the big game of anywhere in Africa. We said hang the cost and stayed at a private game reserve. $750/nite was way over our budget, but never regretted spending a penny of it. Can spend $3000/ a nite as well.

We used Thompsons tours (www. thompsonssa.com) who is the largest tour company in the country. Did a fabulous job taking care of us. Highly recommend them for airport transfers, hotels, tours, etc.

Hope you get to go. Spend a little time looking at climate/rain for when to go. October was great.

Regards,
Gary
Oklahoma City

Re: Thinking about South Africa trip [Re: gary99] #6277
11/13/2007 09:28 AM
11/13/2007 09:28 AM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 1,340
South East US, Carolinas coast
sailn Offline
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sailn  Offline
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South East US, Carolinas coast
we went as Eric and Carol did with Wilderness safari and had a good trip- also spent 3 nights in capetown- great city

Re: Thinking about South Africa trip [Re: gary99] #6278
01/05/2008 11:05 PM
01/05/2008 11:05 PM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 2,925
Milton, MA
JudyG Offline
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JudyG  Offline
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Milton, MA
Gary, did you stay at the Inyati Lodge?

And totally agree with you advice...GO, GO, GO! It was the most thrilling and terrific trip we have ever taken...the videos we got to take were amazing! We went in August (11 years ago), which is their winter so since there is less bush and it is easier to see the animals. My honey is thinking about a return and we both agree that we'd go back in a minute.

Re: Thinking about South Africa trip [Re: JudyG] #6279
04/05/2008 01:31 PM
04/05/2008 01:31 PM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 122
SXM
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Soooooo.............. It's decided I'm going to Africa July 4th to the 18th. I'm so exited i can hadly breathe. Thanks everyone for the suggestions thus far.

I have a ton of questions:

When you say winter, does it get really cold? or is it light jacket automn weather?

Part of the tour is a visit to the diamond mines,anyone else did this? will i get great bargains on loose diamonds?

I'll be back with more questions i'm sure

Re: Thinking about South Africa trip [Re: SxmNer] #6280
05/08/2008 06:38 PM
05/08/2008 06:38 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 10
S
SFY Offline
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SFY  Offline
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I'm a South African now living in San Francisco. Its a great country to visit - I'd be happy to answer questions.
On weather:
Johannesburg gets cold over night in winter (usually some frost over night) but the days are usually clear and warm enough for a light jacket. Unlikely to have rain.
Cape Town can be horrible. Likely to get rain, but you could be lucky. I suggest a wind break that will also keep the rain off. It will be cold but not too bad.
July is the very best time to visit the game reserves - mild weather and safer for Malaria. Expect shorts and T shirt weather is the North East, but have a light jacket ready in case.
You will have an amazing time.

You don't need long in Johannesburg - 1-2 days. Heada for the game parks and/or Cape Town. Lots to do in Cape Town.

Try some Biltong!

Re: Thinking about South Africa trip [Re: SFY] #6281
05/08/2008 06:48 PM
05/08/2008 06:48 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 1,340
South East US, Carolinas coast
sailn Offline
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sailn  Offline
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South East US, Carolinas coast
Customs in the US asked me if we had brought back Kudu Biltong and I could not tell if that was a joke or a serious question.

Re: Thinking about South Africa trip [Re: sailn] #6282
05/08/2008 06:52 PM
05/08/2008 06:52 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 10
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SFY Offline
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You are not allowed to bring it into the US!!!
You can make it at home - do a search for biltong making - loads of advice available. If you like it!!!

Re: Thinking about South Africa trip [Re: SFY] #6283
06/19/2008 01:00 PM
06/19/2008 01:00 PM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 122
SXM
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SxmNer  Offline OP
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SFY, i do have a few questions. July is fast approaching. I'm so exited!

Thanks for the insight on the weather, I've been checking the weather almost daily and it warries so much from region to region.

I was thinking of purchasing a GSM sim card and using that instead of CC at hotel (shared rooms). Given that it's a group/guided tour trip i won't have the oppertunity to do personal excursion early on, is this something i'll find easily? How about reloading, easily accessible?

Should i change US to Rand or just pay in US?

These are the areas we'll visit:
Johanesburg
Pretoria
Ohrigstad
Hoedsruit
Swaziland
Hluhluwe
Santa Lucia
Durban
Cape

Durban we will have some free (unscheduled) time to explore on our own, any advise here?

Thanks in advance


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