Hi B. Great questions. First, I would suggest calling LL and talking directly to them if you are under a time frame. Sad that you missed the auction!! (It looked great!) Then, I would work with the concierge service at LL to check on the cost to add on a few days if you did win the package. They might be able to have some ideas/suggestions for you. I would also post your "trip requests" under the suggestion marked" suggestions for LL properties. I know that I have requested a property (Hotel Filadelfia) and it finally came up for bid. So, LL does read our requests and might have some future surprises. I hope this helps and that I understood your questions. Good luck!
There have been other safari offerings on LL in past years. I, too, would love to see some return--like sister properties that are easily combined --one was a river stay and the other was bush location. I would keep an eye on "andBeyond" offers and of course, I agree that Cheli Peacock was outstanding! Don't hesitate to call LL staff if that's convenient for you. I don't particularly get good results with email at LL. The personal attention is so much better!
You could do as one of our members has and make your own combos--she chose 4 different LL offers and worked them as a circuit--including Cape Town, Joburg and 2 safaris ( I think) We're doing a South Africa safari this fall and trying to combine it with a stay at Mkuze or Victoria Falls.
I realize it really takes some major effort to plan those trips but you could hire an agent to do the piece-work--booking flights and connect hotels while including your LL purchases. We should soon hear from the member who did her own--she's probably bogged down with thousands of photos. Watch for her posts/reviews--betsyv
Great suggestions from everyone. Another tactic is to call the property you are interested directly. Speak to their marketing manager. Just ask about the type of package you are interested in and find out what they are going to have on LL in the future. Ask about adding days to a 4 day LL package to get the time frame you want. I have found they are happy to provide you with the information.