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Distance Advice

Massachusetts
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140 posts
10 reviews
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Distance Advice

After reading many posts and going through a lot of the guides on Tripadvisor, I beginning to worry about having quality time in S.A. with only 12 days total (2 of which are blown flying back and forth from the States) My husband and I want to experience Cape Town/Western Cape and Kruger in that time frame but I don't want to spend all our time traveling. Can anyone advise what the best way would be to travel between both areas? What kind of driving time are we talking about? What kind of flying/ how would we fly btwn the 2? Is it really feasible? Thanks so much.

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Cape Town
Cape Town
Western Cape, South Africa
Cary, North Carolina
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385 posts
4 reviews
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1. Re: Distance Advice

People tend to forget that Africa is about twice the size of the USA. If you are limited with time, I suggest to spend some time in and around Cape Town and/or do a trip along the Garden Route to Port Elizabeth. It will take you 2 full days of driving from CT to Jhb. Rather fly from Cape Town or Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg. There you can rent a car and drive to the Kruger N.P. (about 4-5 h drive). Follow this route or the other way round, depending on where your port of entry is.

Werner

Eko Tracks

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Garden Route
Garden Route
106 Reviews
Western Cape, South Africa
Cape Town
Cape Town
Western Cape, South Africa
Port Elizabeth
Port Elizabeth
Eastern Cape, South Africa
Johannesburg
Johannesburg
Greater Johannesburg, South Africa
Somerset
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3,529 posts
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2. Re: Distance Advice

With your time restrictions it would be far better to spend have your time in Cape Town, say 5 days. Then fly direct from Cape Town to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (just near Nelspruit). This is a 2 hour flight leaving Cape Town daily just after 10 am and arriving KMIA around 12.30 (one flight daily) and pick up a car there and you are then about an hours drive from kruger NP Malelane Gate or Numbi Gate) or another half hour to Phabeni and Paul Kruger Gates.

If you can arrange you longhaul flights so you arrive in Cape Town and fly back to the States from Johannesburg you could then either fly from KMIA to Johannesburg (or drive back there in 5/ 5-1/2 hours. Otherwise you would have to fly back from KMIA to Cape Town (daily flight leaves around 2.30 arrriving Cape Town around 5 pm.

With 10 actual days in SA you could certainly have a worthwhile stay in Cape Town followed by your Kruger experience but definately don't even think of driving Cape Town to Kruger or to Johannesburg.

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Cape Town
Cape Town
Western Cape, South Africa
Mpumalanga
Mpumalanga
South Africa
Nelspruit
Nelspruit
Mpumalanga, South Africa
Malelane
Malelane
Mpumalanga, South Africa
Johannesburg
Johannesburg
Greater Johannesburg, South Africa
Washington DC...
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4,546 posts
14 reviews
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3. Re: Distance Advice

Ditto to everything somersetal says. Because of family obligations I've had to limit trips to SA, Botswana and Tanzania to an approximate 10-day time frame---and every trip was GREAT. You will have a terrific time if you split your time between CT and Kruger as suggested. I would recommend that going from Kruger to JNB you fly. It will be an incredibly long day with the over night flight home and I think flying back to JNB will be a little easier on you both.

Good luck planning.

Steve

The Safari Advisor

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Johannesburg Intl Airport
Johannesburg Intl Airport
Johannesburg, South Africa
Massachusetts
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140 posts
10 reviews
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4. Re: Distance Advice

Thank you very much for the advice. Although I'd like to drive the Garden Route we will be there in August and I've been told that this is not an ideal time to see this area. We were thinking of flying into Cape Town and spending 1/2 our time there, doing day trips from the area to wine country, Table mountain, the land based wale watching town and then touring Sabi Sands area and upon return flying from Cape Town to Jo'burg or I guess with somersetal's suggestion to KMIA and leave for the states from Jo'burg through KMIA. Would we need to stay over in Johannesburg to catch the int'l flight? or do you think we could maximize our stay by flying from KMIA to JNP the same day we fly out? any airline we should book or avoid once in S.A? Thank you so much!

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Garden Route
Garden Route
106 Reviews
Western Cape, South Africa
Table Mountain
Table Mountain
16,834 Reviews
Table Mountain National Park, South Africa
Cape Town
Cape Town
Western Cape, South Africa
Johannesburg
Johannesburg
Greater Johannesburg, South Africa
Washington DC...
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4,546 posts
14 reviews
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5. Re: Distance Advice

You don't need to overnight in Jo'burg, unless you wanted to (my preference is to get home and not wait around). There are SAA flights from MQP (Nelspruit) to JNB at approximately 1:30 and 2:45 pm that should get you to JNB in time for your int'l flight, although you need to check the time of the int'l flight. Right now the cost is about $114 for the one-way flight, which is pretty good. The flight takes about an hour. Flying rather than driving back to JNB also ensures that you will get your a.m. game drive in at your lodge.

Best-

Steve

The Safari Advisor

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Nelspruit
Nelspruit
Mpumalanga, South Africa
Johannesburg Intl Airport
Johannesburg Intl Airport
Johannesburg, South Africa
Wayzata, Minnesota
Level Contributor
2,932 posts
31 reviews
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6. Re: Distance Advice

Why isn't Jacob going on safari with you? Perhaps he is too young.

Here are my thoughts...

From CT it will be very convenient to catch the 1130 AM flight on SAA from JFK to Jo'burg. This flight is non-stop and arrives in Jo'burg at 815AM. The flight leaves JFK at 1030AM right now but this will change in the summer during daylight savings. When you land in Jo'burg you can connect to Cape Town about two hours later. In Cape Town you can rent a car and drive to your city hotel. This will be a good base from which to explore the Western Cape for about five days. I would definitely plan on visiting the whale town. It is called Hermanus and it is 100 km from Cape Town and makes a good day trip. I would also spend a night or two in the wine country given your overall time. Perhaps at the Rusthoff guest house in Fransschoek?

There are many excellent hotels in Cape Town. One of my favorite safari lodges in the Sabi Sands is called Lion Sands. They also own a hotel in Cape Town called the Cape Cadogan. During the low season of May 1 to August 31 they offer two nights free at their hotel if you stay at their safari lodge for three nights. Maybe consider this.

My favorite safari lodges in the mid-price range are Lion Sands River Lodge and MalaMala. Both are accessible from the AAM air strip in the Sabi Sands. Right now, the commercial flight serving this route is grounded for a mechanical issue, but it should be up and running again soon. You can drop your car in Cape Town and fly to Jo'burg and onward to MalaMala Air Strip (AAM) from there. From there, Lion Sands or MalaMala will pick you up.

You can also fly direct at 1000AM from Cape Town to Nelspruit (MQP) and take a quick charter or road transfer to any lodge in the Sabi Sands from there (including MalaMala or Lion Sands). I recommend a three day minimum safari and August is an excellent time.

You may consider buying all your airline tickets on SAA on one ticket including the internal flights you need in South Africa. If you use a US based air consolidator for SAA you should be able to find arifare that beats the internet handily. Be sure the flights like CPT-MQP are included on the international ticket and don't buy them seperately.

One of our competitors in Connecticut is called Classic Africa. They are up in Hartford and you may consider them to book this trip for you. They will do a good job and you can meet with them face to face which IMO is the best way to plan a safari. I see based on your post history that you do maticulous research in planning your internatiional travel. A good consultant like Classic can put your mind at ease and you can put the planning behind you and prepare for the safari! http://classicafrica.com/

I lived in Groton/Mystic several times when I was a submarine officer in the Navy. I was never there in the winter - always June-September. I trust it is not as cold there as it is in MN. This morning was the coldest day of my life and I have lived 23 of my 38 years in MN. It was -21F (-30C) this morning! Time to go to Cape Town!

Good luck.

Craig Beal - owner - Travel Beyond

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Cape Town
Western Cape, South Africa
Western Cape
Western Cape
South Africa
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Hermanus
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Nelspruit
Nelspruit
Mpumalanga, South Africa
Cape Cadogan
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751 Reviews
Cape Town Central, South Africa
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Lion Sands River Lodge
792 Reviews
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7. Re: Distance Advice

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