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Author: dollywood

Joined: 4/3/2010
Posts: 11
Traveler Since: 2001

January 05, 2013

I would like to hear from someone who has done the Highlights of South Africa trip in July.  A teacher friend and I will be on this trip in July and wonder what the experience is like during their winter season.  I would appreciate any comments you might have concerning both the timing of the trip and any advice or suggestions you might have for us. 

Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 230
Traveler Since: 2007

January 06, 2013

 We took the OAT Ultimate Africa trip in July.  Their winter is, from our perspective, relatively mild.  In Kruger, in the morning when we got up, the temperature was in the high 30's-low 40's, but it warmed up relatively quickly.  We wore sweatshirts under our Grand circle jackets for the morning game drive, which we removed as it warmed up.  By the time our morning game drive was half-way done, it had warmed up to the point where we had removed the sweatshirts and jackets.  the bulk of the day was warm; in the 70's.  When the sun went down, it started to get cold, however, we were out in the bush for our entire trip; you won't be.  The cities areconsiderably warmer. 

Author: dollywood

Joined: 4/3/2010
Posts: 11
Traveler Since: 2001

January 06, 2013

Thank you so much for your reply concerning S. Africa in July.  Actually we would prefer cooler temperatures, so this sounds great.  What about the animals on your excursions?  Were you able to see many of them in the mornings when the temperatures were in the 30-40's?

 

Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 230
Traveler Since: 2007

January 06, 2013

dollywood-we saw just about every animal there was to see on our trip.  We even saw lions make a kill.  But we took the OAT Ultimate Africa trip, which is different from yours.  Our trip was spent almost all in the bush, so we went on considerably more game drives than you will.  Your trip will emphasize more of the 'civilized' part of South Africa, while ours emphasized the natural aspects.  Our trip was also not limited to South Africa, and the only reason we went to South Africa was because we took the optional extension to Kruger, which was very impressive.  We don't know if it's included in your trip; very likely is. 

Author: fleetfoot

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 45
Traveler Since: 2006

January 07, 2013

dollywood,

We took the Highlights of South Africa trip July 14th to August 6th, 2012 which included the post trip to Victoria Falls.  We selected the month of July for better game viewing at Kruger, Addo, and Chobe (post trip), and to view Victoria Falls at mid volume water flow.

The game viewing drives were the highlight of the trip for us.  You will love Kruger.  The first day of game drives in Kruger is in an open safari vehicle.  On the second day there is an optional "Intimate African Safari"  for $120 to use the same type open safari vehicle.  Or you can go with the bus which is no additional cost.  All of our group except for three people did the optional open safari vehicle.  The advantage of the open safari vehicle is you have a guide, the guide has radio contact with other vehicles to better locate animals, open safari vehicles can go on gravel and hard surface roads (buses can only go on hard surface roads).  Also taking photos through a bus window is more difficult  with glare and tint issues.  For us it was a no brainer to take the optional "Intimate African Safari".

We saw the big five (leopard, lion, elephant, rhino, and cape buffalo) on the first day.  We also saw many other animals including giraffes, zebras, hippos, baboons, and even the rare wild african painted dogs. 

You are lucky because the itinerary changed for 2013.  There is one less day in Johannesburg and one day added to include a game viewing drive through Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve.

The coldest part of the trip were the early morning game drives which were in the  low 40s.  We wore layers of shirt, zippered fleece, and light jacket.  Some also had gloves and hat.  As the day went on it got warmer.  The rest of the trip was warmer but we seemed to start out the day with the same setup of shirt, fleece, and light jacket and took things off if it got warmer.

We had sunshine most days with two late afternoons of light rain.  Our Program Director said the Garden Route and Cape Town can have rain that time of the year.

Author: dollywood

Joined: 4/3/2010
Posts: 11
Traveler Since: 2001

January 10, 2013

Thank you so much for the info about the South Africa trip in July.  Hearing from someone who took the trip at basically the same time as we will be doing was very helpful.  We are excited about the trip and will welcome any other comments you or others might have concerning the trip.  The more we know ahead of time the better we can prepare and also be more informed during the trip.  So thanks to all who might comment!!

 

Author: dollywood

Joined: 4/3/2010
Posts: 11
Traveler Since: 2001

June 12, 2013

I posted back in January about GCT's South Africa trip in July and received some very helpful responses. My trip is coming up on July 11 and I would like to hear from anyone who will be on the trip July 11-30.

Author: jseeman4@gmail.c...

Joined: 6/24/2013
Posts: 1
Trips Taken: 0

June 23, 2013
I am 70 and in good health. Will this be a good group to join? Anyone my age? Thanks. Julianne

Author: dollywood

Joined: 4/3/2010
Posts: 11
Traveler Since: 2001

June 29, 2013

To answer your question, I am 74 and will be taking the Highlights of South Africa this July. It has not crossed my mind that I may be too old for this trip! Hope you will decide to make the trip.

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