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Need help to plan trip to SA

Mumbai, India
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Need help to plan trip to SA

I'm planning to vacation in SA in May 2011 for about 12 days or so with family. What I would like to do is to spend 2 or 3 days in Cape Town, hire a car and drive along the coast, spend a few days 'doing' a safari and then head back to Jo'burg for our flight back home. What I would like to know is :

1. Is all this possible in 12 to 15 days ?

2. The safari experience is most important, so should we be looking at Kruger National Park, or a private Park ?

3. How long would it take to drive from Cape Town to Jo'burg via Kruger, and would it be worthwhile ?

I would love to have suggestions on how to plan the trip and what else there is to do. In terms of priority, the animal safari would get the highest priority, and the rest of the vacation could be planned around it.

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Cape Town
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1. Re: Need help to plan trip to SA

You would be better to spend a few days in Cape Town and perhaps down the Garden route then fly to J'berg and hire another car to drive to Kruger or fly in and stay there or in Sabi Sabi on a lodge that offers game drives so no need for a car.

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Cape Town
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2. Re: Need help to plan trip to SA

12 - 15 days is fine for this trip.

Choosing a private game reserve or a National Park really depends on your budget as the private reserves are quite a bit more expensive. If you have the budget then I would go for a private reserve as the rangers in most private reserves can drive off road so you can generally get much closer to the animals and they limit the number of vehicles at sightings.

You could drive from Cape Town along the Garden Route and then either extend your drive to Addo or one of the private reserves in the Eastern Cape or fly from George to Kruger (via Jo'burg) and then do either the Kruger itself or one of the private reserves there.

Mark September

Small World Tours

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3. Re: Need help to plan trip to SA

Kruger would definitely be the best recommendation for your safari destination! If you can afford one of the private lodges in the Greater Kruger National Park, then that would be first prize! For your itinerary, I would recommend that you fly from Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth, rent a car and tour the Garden Route up to Cape Town, spend a couple of days in CT, and then fly from there direct to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (Nelspruit). A 2 hour road transfer takes you from KMIA to some of the best safari lodges in Africa!

Tanya * owner * Africa Direct

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4. Re: Need help to plan trip to SA

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Removed on: 30 December 2010, 10:24
Mumbai, India
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5. Re: Need help to plan trip to SA

Thanks everyone for the replies.

Looking at the Sabi Sabi resort, it is clearly out of my price range, I wonder if all the private reserves are as expensive.

Shelldon, your Durban suggestion opens up a few new possibilities, I'm sure I will have a few questions and will take up your offer and ask you for help soon.

Thanks

6. Re: Need help to plan trip to SA

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Removed on: 30 December 2010, 10:24
Regina...
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7. Re: Need help to plan trip to SA

This past November I just took a guided Safari tour through Kruger National Park and found it be an experience of a lifetime. I booked my tour through African Budget Safari, and must note to you to beware of the intinerary listed on the website: the itinerary will not be followed exactly as there are many other companies that also allow bookings to Kruger and may list their own itinerary. I found that what mine said would not fully match what fellow-tourmates had on theirs, however, I did not feel shorted on the trip by any means. We did a game drive 3x a day, slept in the tents and then had 1 night at a nearby lodge. The lodge was beautiful and private, accompanied by a pool and a bar as well as a buffet with live entertainment in the evening. It was fantastic and I would recommend it to anyone! We also had an amazing group of people and a great guide, so it made the trip that much more memorable.

Anyway, we were driven to Kruger from Jo'burg, which turned out to be a long 6hr drive. While the views were enjoyable and sometimes eye-opening, it did call for a long day... and I can only imagine how long it would feel to drive from Capetown to Kruger...! What could possibly be done is have a flight arranged to drop you off at the small, local airport in Hoedspruit (sp?) and try to arrange a pick up to Kruger from there. That drive will only be about 45 min long.

Edited: 29 December 2010, 20:56
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8. Re: Need help to plan trip to SA

To answer you original post, although your ideas might have changed

1. Possible, but you wont have time to enjoy anything, so it is pointless

2. Depends on your budget and what level of luxury you are used to. Private reserves are really special, but not essential.

3. If you are talking about doing the coastal route, I wouldnt do the journey in under 3 weeks. 4 would be about right.

And other points -

Have you looked to Elephant Plains in Sabi Sands? The most affordable by far, but it books up very quickly. Their rates start at under R2000 a day.

A fully inclusive (standard accommodation and food) guided safari in Kruger National Park will cost in the region of R2000.00 a day.

A guide only will probably be in the region of R800-R1200 per person a day or, if you do shorter guided drives, you are looking at roughly R100 an hour per person.

It is possible to self-drive, or to have 1 or 2 days with a guide to get the hang of things and then self drive after that.

Edited: 30 December 2010, 07:23
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9. Re: Need help to plan trip to SA

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Removed on: 30 December 2010, 15:35
Mumbai, India
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10. Re: Need help to plan trip to SA

Thanks for the most helpful posts.

lamlee, looked at elephant plains, seems affordable. A question, would 2 days there be enough ?

Tanya, I think your suggestion of flying to PE, driving to CT and flying from there to Kruger sounds a good option, thanks for the tip.

mdub001, african budget safaris also sounds like a good option, will check out what they have to offer.

I'm sure that as I look at the options you all have suggested, I will have still more questions to ask.

Thanks everyone, and a Happy 2011 to all.

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