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Southern Africa : Please critique my itinerary !!

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East Southern Africa : Please critique my itinerary !!

1. Posted by larondey (Full Member 105 posts) 6y

Hey guys! It has been awhile since I've posted anything on here.. but I'm back and hoping to get some of your expert advice :)

I'm planning a trip through Southern Africa with 3 of my friends. We're graduating from college this May and leaving two days later for the trip of a lifetime! I went to Cape Town for about a week last year and had the chance to venture into Namibia (Walvis Bay, Swakopmund area) for a couple days. I was visiting friends in both places and LOVED it! Here's what we are thinking for this trip...

ANY suggestions for things to do, places to stay, etc. would be much appreciated! I don't have the luxury of a local guide this time around.. we don't have any reservations other than the lodge at Chobe National Park and our flights to/from Africa.

21-May: Fly USA to Cape Town (overnight)
22-May: Arrive Cape Town
23-May: Cape Town area
24-May: Cape Town area
25-May: Cape Town area
26-May: Cape Town area
27-May: Fly to Livingstone, Zambia - Victoria Falls area
28-May: Livingstone, Zambia - Victoria Falls area
29-May: Drive to Kasane, Botswana - Chobe National Park
30-May: Chobe National Park
31-May: Chobe National Park
1-June: Chobe National Park
2-June: Drive towards Etosha National Park (spend the night in Rundu or Grootfontein, Namibia?)
3-June: Drive to Okaukuejo, Namibia - Etosha National Park
4-June: Etosha National Park
5-June: Drive to Walvis Bay/Swakopmund (staying with friends on Long Beach)
6-June: Walvis Bay/Swakopmund
7-June: Walvis Bay/Swakopmund
8-June: Fly to Cape Town in the afternoon
9-June: Last full day in Cape Town area
10-June: Fly back to USA in the afternoon

Once again, ANY suggestions would be much appreciated! We are rather budget-conscious.. but definitely willing to spend $$ if it seems to be worth it!

Thanks for any help you may have !!! :-)

2. Posted by AfriFriend (Budding Member 15 posts) 6y

Hello Larondey

Great itinerary, just some forewarning, Livingstone (Zambia) its the start of their busy season, if you prebook some tour arrangements with your agent who you have booked your accommodation in Livingstone you will get good rates. As its busy season for across border, if you don't prebook your tours you may not get to do all you want to do. Depending on which hotel/lodge etc you stay at, you could do your own Tour of the Falls on the Zambian Side (better this time of year than the Zim side), all you would do is pay your Entrance Fees to the Falls then, curio market is opposite the falls, you must barter with them, can bring them down from US5 to US2 - 3, really good bargins there, just stay away from animals skin bangles, drums etc you won't get them into Botswana!

All the tours you can do on the Livingstone Side, its the same as doing it on the Vic Falls side, there is plenty to choose from bunji jumping, helicopter flip, jet boat, rafting (full day only at this time of year), elephant back safaris, visit a local village etc etc.

Just to forwarn you from Chobe to Etosha its a L O N G drive!! Stop over at Ngepi Camp http://www.ngepicamp.com/ one of the best in the area's, great hosts, all the bathrooms come with a view and fantasticly designed, great to walk around just for a laugh!! Good Game on their property which is a game reserve, fantastic for spotting roan antelope!!!
Must pre-book as they are popular and booked quiet well in advanced. Must take spare fuel with as the fuel stations are few and far between and as we found out do not always have fuel!!

Namibia, you must definatly prebook campsites or bungalows, especially Etosha Pan, but watch out, their prices have just gone up drastically!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Are you driving from Walvis Bay to Windhoek Airport to fly to Cape Town? Watch your timing, its about 1 hour drive from Walvis Bay to Swakopmund and allow for 4 hours from Swakopmund to Windhoek!!!

Enjoy the trip, Its great, not too many mosquito's around, but still take precautionary measures, especially when staying in Livingstone and Chobe!! Don't be surprised but Etosha as well!!!

Happy journeying, send me photo's!!!!

Regards
Natasha

3. Posted by larondey (Full Member 105 posts) 6y

Natasha,

Thanks for the help! I've already taken a good look at Ngepi Camp - seems like it would be a good pit stop! I def understand it's a long drive from Kasane to Etosha.. any idea how long? I'm having a hard time finding any sort of distance chart online - I know it's about 100km or so from Kasane to Katima Mulilo.. but can't even find #'s from KM. I got a quote from Avis Car Hire in Kasane and they'll let us drive the car to WBay which is fantastic! It'd be much more interesting to drive than fly.

We'll def be booking our places once I firm up the dates. We'll prob be staying at Jollyboys Backpackers while in Livingstone - can't argue with great reviews and US$8/night! I'll need to get a good idea of what my friends want to do there so we can pre-book an activity or two.

By the way, we'll be flying from Walvis Bay to Cape Town non-stop on SAA.. I found it was the same price as the flight from Windhoek.. which def avoids that long trip from WBay to Whk. Chances are I'll prob avoid Whk entirely.. I'm sure it's nice but I don't have any business there - all my friends are on the coast and I want to spend some quality time there, if possible!

By the way, any chance you could tell me what to expect for weather in late May/early June in the Cape Town area? I was there last December and the weather was PERFECT. You live in such a beautiful country. Hope to one day get a nice vacation home in Camps Bay :)

James

4. Posted by soupatrvlr (Respected Member 385 posts) 6y

james, from kasane to etosha you will need to stop at least once. It is a safe 2 days drive. you can stop off near popa falls, namibia where you will find a lot of camp sites. ngepi camp is really good. that's about a bit more than a half day's drive from kasane. if you stay at a lodge here, the mahangu game reserve is well worth a drive through. you can also stop in rundu, namibia if you want to go a little bit further. there are a lot of lodges there as well. from katima mililu to rundu is about +/- 650 kms. when you drive from rundu to etosha, if you want to stick to the tar road, you will have to go down to tsumeb. keep that in mind. you will probably have to stay at the 1st camp site in etosha, namatoni. good luck with the rest of your planning. sounds like a great trip!