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Africa- Uganda, South Africa trip help

Africa- Uganda, South Africa trip help

Old Jul 15, 18, 9:09 pm
  #1  
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Africa- Uganda, South Africa trip help

We're planning a trip to Africa for August 2019. Our main goal is to see animals. I could use some advice about how to allocate our time and what things to prioritize. We are planning to spend 3 to 3.5 weeks there.

Currently, I'm thinking that we fly using the united excursionist perk with stopovers. I'd like to break up the flight there and home with a long stopover somewhere in the middle. If there are suggestions on best places to stopover for a day or two that would be great (flying from SAN).

Thinking we'll fly into Kigali in Rwanda. Spend a couple of days there and then drive across the border to Uganda to trek mountain gorillas in Bwindi. Then want to spend several more days in Uganda (need advice on best places to go). We do want to whitewater raft on the Nile in Jinja.

Then fly out of Entebbe to South Africa (probably Jo'burg). Drive to Kruger and spend some days there (how many?). Will probably spend some days at the Protea Kruger Gate and then 2 or 3 days at a more luxurious lodge inside the park. We'd like to end up in Cape Town but need suggestions on what to do in between.

Obviously, the itinerary is pretty vague still. If anyone has experience and can give advice I'd appreciate it. Planning to spend 3 to 3.5 weeks there. Thanks in advance!!!
WombatCA is offline  
Old Jul 16, 18, 1:08 am
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Flying with United, you might be quite limited in your routings and therefore stopovers, particularly being ticketed through to Kigali.

You say you want to drive from Kigali to Bwindi. If you mean self drive, check about restrictions on taking cars across the border one way. Also check about gorilla permits. Many many years ago, self organised had to collect the permit from the head office in Kampala. Not an issue if you will use a tour operator.

There are lots of places to see in Rwanda, including sites commmorating the genocide. When in Uganda also go to Kibale NP to see the chimpanzees.

Depanding on flight logistics, you could do Entebbe or Nairobi to PLZ or CPT via JNB, drive across or around CPT for 10 days and then fly direct to Nelspruit for Kruger. Then your international goes from JNB which could be cheaper. Driving from JNB to Kruger is 4 hours minimum with not a lot to see until you are nearby.

I would personally recommend you do start with self driving in Kruger (book your accommodation in the park when it is released 11 months ahead for the best options, you can change it easily), then a few nights in a lodge in one of the adjoining concessions in the greater Kruger area. With the Protea, you will have to queue at the gate each morning and it limits how far in to the park you travel (noting best predator sightings are at dawn and dusk). Note that the lodges within the NP are restricted by park rules, whereas the neighbouring lodges aren't.
konagirl2 is offline  
Old Jul 17, 18, 3:09 am
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As mentioned by konagirl2 it would be a pity to go to Uganda and then not also include Kibale and possibly Queen Elizabeth National Park as well. You could easily spend 10+ days doing just Rwanda and Uganda. Rwanda is definitely positioning itself at the very top end of the spectrum in terms of tourism, looking at a similar model to Botswana, going for high yield, low impact. Hence the policy of increasing gorilla trekking permits to US$1,500.00 per day, while they remain at US$600.00 in Uganda.

August is a great time for safari through most of Africa. Unfortunately because it is such a good time it also means many of the lodges do sell out quite quickly, so just be sure to get in sooner rather than later.

Protea Kruger Gate is a very good property. Although the park will be full in August, there really should be no issues queuing at the gate, which normally happens only over Christmas, Easter, school holidays and some long weekends. The only long weekend in August 2019 will be 9/10/11 August. There are no school holidays during August 2019. The distance from Kruger Gate to Skukuza is around 13km (8 miles) and from Skukuza you can branch south, east and north so a good central point from which to explore. Protea Kruger Gate also offers a much more refined experience that the Kruger park restcamps, especially in the evenings if you want to sit on the deck overlooking the park, with bar service, a good boma etc. However, personally, for a true Kruger experience, a couple of nights in the restcamps can't be beaten. I would also plan your route in Kruger according to where you will be staying for your private lodge experience. For instance, if you decide on a property in the Timbavati, then enter Kruger in the south and spend a couple of days working your way north and exit via Orpen gate.

If game is your main reason, possibly also consider looking at options beyond South Africa.

August is an incredible time to be in Kenya, and the migration is likely to be in the Masai Mara at that time.

There are also daily flights from Nairobi to either Livingstone or Victoria Falls (fly EBB-NBO-LVI/VFA) and combine the magnificent Victoria Falls with a safari in either Zambia or Zimbabwe, or even Botswana. These countries all offer, arguably a more wild experience than South Africa, and parks like South Luangwa in Zambia are absolutely amazing.

Much in the end will come down to budget, as the South African safari experience on the whole can be much more affordable than other areas of Africa.

Realistically without just spending your whole time travelling, you would use three weeks just to do Rwanda, Uganda, Kruger and Cape Town.
wijibintheair is offline  
Old Jul 17, 18, 11:09 pm
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When in Uganda anyway, you might as well do all your game viewing there.

Of the African savanna biome national parks, Kidepo is in my opinion the prettiest of all, and the game viewing is excellent. With the exception of rhino, you get all the charismatic species, many in far larger numbers than in Kruger, and easier to see to boot. Kidepo also has the great advantage of being remote and off the radar. Compared to the Masai Mara and the Serengeti it is an oasis of peace and quiet.

Johan
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johan rebel is offline  
Old Jul 19, 18, 7:26 pm
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Just some ideas of additional travels. These are some of the places we plan to go on our next trip to Africa in addition to Kruger.

Masai Mara Kenya
Serengeti Tanzania
Chobe Botswana
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Old Aug 11, 18, 10:05 am
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Late August is Reed Festival time in Swaziland!
A drive down from JoBurg, keep heading south to Drakkenspeek, then turn west to Cape Town. Cage diving with the great white sharks is something you won’t do almost anywhere else. Wild penguin colonies also dot the southern coastline. The White Shark Guest House is a lovely B&B whose owner also runs a shark diving tour boat.
Be sure to enjoy ostrich filet at least once, and outstanding SA wine at least once per day!
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