Image: Safari
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Travelers can take in the sights of South Africa for a reasonable price.
updated 10/26/2006 4:03:38 PM ET 2006-10-26T20:03:38

Book by: ASAP
Travel by: Various through December 2007

The Deal:
Getting to South Africa has never been easier or more affordable – this fall, get wild or get cultured for a fraction of peak-season prices. Want to hear the lions roar outside your window or get a chance to spot the ‘Big Five’ (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhinoceros) in the flesh? You can when you book a safari vacation. And since we know travelers will want to soak up some local culture along the way, we’ve included packages that will let you do just that. In fact, with the foursome of fantastic specials we’ve scouted out you’re sure to find one that suits your South Africa needs. Air-land packages start at just $2199 for November and December departures – but book now or risk settling for the Discovery Channel instead.

Safari in style from $2999
The trip of a lifetime should be done in style – book this safari from South Africa Airways and you’ll experience the great outdoors and great accommodations – all for a great price! $2999 covers airfare from the States, eight nights of lodging, tours of the Western Cape and Limpopo provinces, and a safari at Thornybush Private Game Reserve. Stay at the Michelangelo Hotel in Johannesburg, a five-star property which, claims Fodor’s, “. . .has all the class, comforts, and facilities you'd expect from a top establishment.” In Cape Town you’ll stay at the deluxe Commodore Hotel right on the V & A Waterfront with stellar vistas of Table Mountain and Robben Island. During the safari, your stay is at the upscale Jackalberry Lodge on the edge of world-famous Kruger National Park, with stylish chalet-style units and a chance to see the Big Five up close.

16-day South Africa adventure for $2945
Willing to forgo a little luxury for an active trip with a focus on local culture? Book this 16-day South Africa adventure offered by Djoser. Depart from New York on November 24 and you’ll get round-trip air, local hotels, all on-tour transportation, services of a tour leader, and park entrance fees – all for $2945 (add $225 if departing from L.A. or Miami). Start your trip in Cape Town and end in Pretoria, taking in along the way Kruger National Park, Cape of Good Hope, and the Winelands. Other highlights included are Plettenberg Bay with its white-sand beaches and Addo Elephant National Park with over 200 elephants. December trips cost $3220 but the price drops again in January to $2945.

South Africa in November for $3299
Those that desire first-class digs will love this package from General Tours. Depart from New York on November 25 and embark on a 10-day escorted trip for 3299 including airfare, first-class lodging for seven nights, meals (daily breakfast and five dinners), and a variety of guided tours. Visit cosmopolitan Cape Town, scenic Cape of Good Hope, and the wildlife-rich Kruger National Park. Activities include game drives, an aerial cable-car ride to the summit of Table Mountain, and a day trip to the unique seascapes of Cape of Good Hope with a cruise to Seal Island. The deluxe version of this trip is an additional $200 for stays at plush properties like the Bongani Mountain Private Game Lodge atop a granite mountain in Kruger.

Cultural diversity in South Africa for $2199
You won’t have to sacrifice wildlife for culture or vice versa on this trip – for just $2199 you’ll get to do it all on a vacation from Foreign Independent Tours. Billed as a “Culturally Diverse South African Experience,” this eight-day trip covers airfare from New York on December 1, lodging, meals, car rental, and tours. The Johannesburg portion includes a three-night stay at the midrange Rosebank Hotel with daily breakfast along with a guided tour of Soweto Township and the Apartheid Museum. On Day four, drive to the nearby Entabeni Wildside Tented Camp for a two-night stay including three meals and game drives daily. The finale is an overnight at Lesedi Cultural Village where you learn about South Africa’s numerous tribes and join in on an evening of traditional African song and dance.

The Dollars
See above for details. All pricing is based on double occupancy and excludes air taxes and fees.

The Catch
The encounters with the Big Five aren’t for the faint-hearted!

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