Southern Africa Feb - Does this itinerary look realistic?
Replies: 13 - Last Post: Jan 20, 2012 2:14 AM Last Post By: MrCheez
Jan 19, 2012 7:08 AM
Southern Africa Feb - Does this itinerary look realistic?20 days in February ... fly in and out from Cape Town.
- Cape Town, SA
- Fly to Windhoek, Namibia
- Tour south-west desert and northwest (Etosha Nat Park)
- Fly Windhoek -> Vic Falls (via Maun in Botswana)
- Visit Zambia/Zimbabwe sides
- Fly Vic Falls -> Port Elizabeth via Jo-burg
- Drive the garden route back to Cape Town
That's a rough plan... no times yet for each. It's an improvement on my earlier itinerary anyway ;)
I'm guessing a visit to Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe would be off the cards?
(I could choose to skip Etosha and do Hwange instead ... which would be better for wildlife viewing in Feb?)
Jan 19, 2012 7:26 AM
Jan 19, 2012 7:41 AM
Jan 19, 2012 7:48 AM
3Spend the 20 days in 1 country. You always need at least 1 month for a country. And you always need at least 4 days for big cities. The exception is Hong Kong. 7 days for Hong Kong.
The 2 top countries in that of Africa are Botswana and Zambia (there are 6 top countries in Africa alltogether).
And don't forget to get 1-2 good travel guide books.
Jan 19, 2012 8:01 AM
4Sorry I think you're missing the point of my question ... it's not to ask how long to spend in each country, it's to ask if the journey is feasible in the given time.
If I take out Etosha and visit Hwange instead it might work out easier, but I'm not sure what Hwange is like in Feb.
Jan 19, 2012 8:05 AM
Jan 19, 2012 9:32 AM
Jan 19, 2012 1:11 PM
7One normally has to book Etosha in advance, although Feb would probably be low season and you might still find something there. However it will certainly be easier to get into Hwange, but you will need transport to get there and around and I am not sure whether you will be able to arrange that in Vic Falls. I have gathered, from previous reports, that Hwange has relatively few visitors these days.
I would prefer to see your detailed planned itinerary before commenting on the feasibility of doing it all in 20 days.
Jan 19, 2012 1:37 PM
8Thanks Rudik, I guess my main decision regarding Etosha vs Hwange would be:
- What the weather is typically like in Feb (I take it that Kruger is currently flooded, I wonder if this also affected more northern areas?)
- Which would provide more game-viewing opportunities.
I'll tweak the itinerary to suit, based around which of the two parks I'll go for.
My google-fu is failing me at the moment... searches for "Etosha vs Hwange" and the like return nothing
just did a search, and seems you can rent cars at Victoria Falls airport (not cheap mind)
Jan 19, 2012 2:11 PM
9I guess it's all in one's perspective... we Americans don't typically get 20 days off and even if we had a month to spare, we likely wouldn't choose to spend it all one country when from our perspective, the countries are not all that large and fairly close to one another. I've frequently put together itineraries with twice that much in half that time. I have a lady doing Victoria Falls, Tanzania, and Cape Town in 2 weeks total. That's probably too rushed, but yes, you can very easily fit Etosha, Botswana, Victoria Falls, and South Africa into 20 days with room to spare... I bet you could even fit in Hwange as it's not far from Vic Falls. We rarely have anyone spend more than 3 full days in Cape Town, and if they do, they are going out and about into the Wine Lands, to Hermanus, etc. I think it's very doable, especially if you are up for being active. Maybe I'm just used to people being that much 'on the go' and even more so... often people want to do that much in only 2 weeks! And yes, it can be done and it depends on your pace and interests.
Jan 19, 2012 2:17 PM
10Also, are you overlanding across Namibia? 7-10 days is quite a long time there, though I suppose you will be able to see pretty much the whole country in that much time! I have someone who is there for a week while her husband hunts, and she is doing... Sossusvlei, Skeleton Coast, and Etosha to fill her week.
To answer about Hwange, we use a local company in Vic Falls that does our transfers from the airport to the hotels in town and can also transfer you out to Hwange. And we have a company that does lodges in Hwange- so covered two ways. Hwange is a really neat place... and doesn't have all that much seasonal variation in weather... Feb may not be 'the best', but it's not bad in any case. All depends what you are looking for too, it will be a very different environment than Etosha. Etosha = dry, desert, Hwange = tropical, lush. You could check at fodors to see anyone has been to both and could compare for you. Our field guide who has been to Namibia and the Falls loves the desert beauty of Namibia, but always returns to Botswana and the Okavango Delta as her preference.
Go Africa Adventures
Jan 19, 2012 3:46 PM
11Thanks Jill ... good to see some positive helpful responses on this thread from yourself and RudiK...
I don't want to be too rushed on the trip as it is a holiday after all so I'm only really after one safari situation and then pacing myself (I was in the Serengeti a few years back so a safari won't necessarily be a new experience per se, but I'd like to experience as much variety as I can in the given time)
Glad to hear that it IS doable, though, if I really want to cram it all in!
Jan 20, 2012 12:04 AM
12To do southern Namibia and Etosha in the short time that you have would mean that you would spend most of your time driving (or being driven). Concentrate on either the south (Kolmanskop, Quiver Tree Forest, Sossusvlei, Walvis Bay and Windhoek) or the north (the Waterberg, Etosha, Twyfelfontein, Walvis Bay and Windhoek).
Hwange is very close to Vic Falls (an hour or two by car) and you would therefore not be going out of your way to visit it, whereas Etosha could add many miles to your itinerary.
Weather-wise - Etosha would be very hot in February, as would all of Namibia except possibly the narrow coastal strip. In Hwange it will not be as extreme as In Etosha. The liklihood of thunderstorms in Hwange cannot be ruled out as it is the rainy season. In Etosha it would be far less likely to rain.
Jan 20, 2012 2:14 AM
13RudiK, that's also what I'm thinking ... it would definately mean less driving, and a bit cooler if going to Hwange.
The main thing I would be worried about would be less visible wildlife in the high-grass, although I take it that Etosha is probably not any better at this time?
hmm seems Hwange has a flood alert at the moment... http://www.newzimbabwe.com/NEWS-6960-Met+Office+issues+flood+warning/NEWS.aspx
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