Elegant Adventure July 31, 2015

My husband and I signed up for this tour back in July, our first trip to Africa, and our third with Tauck. This forum has been pretty quiet since then, and the departures for next summer still show many vacancies - just wondering if anyone else has registered for this date. We are from Connecticut and will be flying from Boston via London into Cape Town on July 30. It looks like an amazing trip; I'm sure I will have many questions as my planning becomes more specific, but thank you to everyone who has contributed to this forum. I have already gathered a wealth of information.


  • I booked this tour a couple of weeks ago. It now shows limited space available so it looks like it is filling up.

    Several travel guides that I looked at say that May - Sept. is the best time to go to South Africa so I am hoping this will be a good time to be there.

    I will be traveling on my own. I live in San Jose and will be going through London and arriving in Cape Town on the 30th as well.

    Looking forward to meeting you on the tour.

  • I booked the trip for September going SOLO and arriving early. Anyone else on this particular journey?
  • My brother and I just booked this trip this week. We got the last two slots. Haven't booked flights yet but looking at arriving either the evening of July 30 or around 8am the morning of July 31. Looking forward to meeting everyone and finally seeing and experiencing Africa.
  • Hello RSJ. We also live in San Jose and will be taking this tour on September 25th. Would love to compare preparation notes with you and particularly hear about your experience while you are traveling and upon your return.
  • rsjrsj
    edited May 2015

    There is a lot of good information on this and the other Africa forums that I am using for preparation. I'll try to add anything else I find.

    I found a website that has monthly average temperatures and rainfall for Kruger Park - sanspark.org/parks/kruger. (It's easiest to find if you Google "Kruger weather" and look for the PDF labelled Average Monthly ...). For August the average low is around 48 degrees. I guess that's why everyone says to bring some warm clothes.

    I saw you are going through Dubai. I am going from SF to London and then to Cape Town so won't be able to comment on the flights.

  • Hi RSJ. if you look in the Before You Go section on the tour page, there is a very good area on weather, giving highs and lows for all the places you will be visiting. When we did the tour, they gave only Average temps which of course is very deceiving. We did research and realized how cold it gets in Kruger, but for you it's all their provided by Tauck
  • The hotel websites have some additional information on the safaris and the stay in Kruger Park (including daily schedules, which vary by time of year).

    You can find them by googling "Lion Sands" and "Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge".
  • We are now 2 weeks from our flight. Can't wait. Are others arriving early? Would love to hear from fellow travelers.
    I'm wondering what people are planning to do with their extra time. As we will be jet-lagged when we arrive, I am thinking we should plan relaxing activities that first day, perhaps a visit to Kirstenbosch Gardens for some light exercise and then the waterfront area, where we can do whatever we have energy for. We will then have a full day on the 31st, and a half day on August 1, for which I am considering several possibilities: the hop-on and off bus, with some stops in the city to see greenmarket, the Cathedral, District Six, etc.; or the Heart of Cape Town Museum, where the first heart transplant operation was performed; or an organized walking tour that includes several city sites. I think taking the hop-on/hop off bus out to Constantia for a wine tasting and lunch would be fun, but am wondering if that would be redundant, considering that is where Tauck is taking us for a wine-pairing dinner. For those people who have already visited Cape Town or those who are researching what to do there, what recommendations do you have? I wonder if the transportation provided by the Cape Grace is readily available and easy to arrange. And has anyone had any experience with organized tours in Cape Town or with recommendations made by the Cape Grace concierge?
  • I ordered an adapter plug for South Africa, Type M, but am wondering about Zimbabwe's plug. Online it looks like the same 3 round prongs, but I'm not sure if they are the same thickness as the one for South Africa. When I called Tauck I was told to bring 2 and 3 prong plugs. Does anyone know?
  • We are looking at booking this trip. Any idea the age of the travelers? My husband and I are 50 and wonder if this trip will be active enough for us.
  • PaulH wrote:
    We are looking at booking this trip. Any idea the age of the travelers? My husband and I are 50 and wonder if this trip will be active enough for us.
    See my thoughts on your other post
  • I see lots of questions about plugs and clothing and such. I haven't been on this forum for a while. I was just going to wait and get an adapter in South Africa, either in the airport in Capetown or somewhere in the city. Then, I would be sure to have the right one. I would also assume that the hotels have them, is that not correct? When I went with Tauck to China they had US outlets in the rooms. Is there a weight limit for the luggage that is less than the standard 50lb US weight limit? I know Tauck advises to keep in mind that local carriers may have different weight restrictions but I didn't see where they specified what that restriction was. I just want to make sure I don't go over. A friend from law school married a South African man and they advised me to pack a mix of fall and summer type clothing, things that can be layered. So that's what I'm doing. I'm also packing several items of clothing that are in good condition, some new, that I will have no problem wearing and leaving there. My brother and I are making this trip from the east coast, he's in his early 50s, I'm in my early 40s and we are just excited to meet all of you and enjoy this trip of a lifetime.
  • For on-tour flights the limit is 1 suitcase per person weighing no more than 44 pounds.
  • edited July 2015
    I have a vague memory that the Cape Grace hotel had either adapters to borrow or even a U.S. Style outlet for use in the room. But the Cape Grace is one heck of a hotel, we loved the service, the included BMW limo for our use and so on. It is really the other places you will be staying that you will need to supply your own adapters. I cannot think of anywhere in the tourist area that might have a store you can buy adapters, but if you are traveling via Heathrow, they are very likely to have adapters there that may be UK to South Africa and also Zimbabwee , but you can add a U.S. Adapter to that to configure it all correctly, we have done that before with success. Do not assume hotels have adapters to loan. We usually carry our adapters in our hand luggage because one time at Heathrow my husband had all his adapters and computer wires taken from his checked luggage on a business trip so now we carry them.
    My husband has several colleagues from South Africa and when he mentioned that we were going to Johannesburg, one said don't go without wearing a Bullet proof vest! It is after all I believe the murder capital of the world, yes I could almost believe Pistorius might have thought there was a gunman in his house when you see how high the walls are around the huge homes in Jo'burg, even more impressive than the Hamptons. Any way, we did not wear the vests, I mean of course we did not buy any, and my husband sent his colleague the message, For Sale, one Bullet proof vest, unused. Of course Tauck does not take you to the crazy parts of Jo'burg, in fact, when our tour group was asked about their favorite part of the tour, it happened in The Jo'burg location not the safari part for pretty much everyone on the tour, but I am not giving any more away here. This is a great tour, have fun!
  • Regarding adapters, a link provided somewhere in this forum suggested that Zimbabwe uses either a Type D or Type G configuration. We had no difficulty ordering the type D as well as the Type M (that South Africa uses) on Amazon. The Type D seems to be a smaller version of the Type M. We also will take an adapter that has multiple configurations. If these don't work in Zimbabwe, I guess we will have to go without our devices while we are there. Not being able to find out what the hotel uses is frustrating, but I don't know what else to do about it.

    Can't wait to get to Cape Town and meet everyone.
  • Thank you so much for the info to pack the adapters in the carry-on luggage. I've never done that before but I will now. FYI-I was told that the Johannesburg airport store, Out of Africa, might have many things we will need on our trip, should you be inclined to wait until then.
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