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Combining Kruger and Cape Town

Edinburgh, United...
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Combining Kruger and Cape Town

It's my 50th birthday next July and my wife and I would really like to visit Kruger and Cape Town to celebrate. About 3 or 4 days in each location would be ideal. Should we look for a travel company that could offer a combined trip to both places (and if so, any recommendations?) or should we book a safari for Kruger and organise an internal flight and accommodation in Cape Town ourselves?

We've got quite a while to plan the trip so any advice or recommendations at this stage would be much appreciated.

Cheers,

David.

Cape Town Central...
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1. Re: Combining Kruger and Cape Town

With some really good research i think you will be able to make all the bookings you need. Accommodation and internal flights is easy to book with the correct websites and back ground checks, which is where Tripadvisor comes in very handy. Cape Town is very straight forward, and you can have a look at www.safarinow.com for a search for accommodation and also www.villageandlife.com for some self-catering apartments.

Hank - Owner - Ulungele Tours

Hong Kong, China
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2. Re: Combining Kruger and Cape Town

>>>>or should we book a safari for Kruger and organise an internal flight and accommodation in Cape Town ourselves?<<<<

If you start to research South Africa, you'll find that it is rather simple place to self organize your travel. I'd first consider the self-drive vs. private reserve consideration for Kruger as this will influence car rental pick-up and drop off needs. With this decided, you can decide from where to fly into Cape Town for the time you want to spend there.

Here are review we produced with some thoughts on the Self-drive vs. Private Reserve consideration. Have a read, it might help you think about which you prefer.

Kruger National Park (Self-Drive vs. Private Reserve)

tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g312633-d159…

Then, here is a trip list we compiled for our personal favorite activities for Cape Town. Lots to do and see there that can easily fill your 4 days.

Cape Town Top Attractions (our favorites)

tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i32409-Cape_Tow…

These lists have been helpful to TA members in the past. Hopefully they will help get you started in the right direction for how you go about planning your South Africa holiday.

3. Re: Combining Kruger and Cape Town

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Removed on: 18 April 2013, 13:35
Johannesburg, South...
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4. Re: Combining Kruger and Cape Town

Hi David,

Although you can do your own research and book everything yourself, there are so many different choices, and especially for a 1st time traveller to SA, I would agree with Paul C that using an agent is the way to go.

The agent will be able to assess your requirements and your budget, make recommendations on that basis, and tialor an itinerary for you as well as give you invaluable experiental advice on flight times and logistics around your trip. An agent especially an SA based agent will be your point of contact on the ground in SA, and agents in general give you a single point of payment and are able to do all the ground work for you.

SA, by the way, is a great choice to celebrate your 50th. I hope my advice helps you. I am happy to assist further. Let me know.

Rgds

Brett, Owner, Safaris For Me, SA

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5. Re: Combining Kruger and Cape Town

Hi David

Completely second what has been said by Bradjill and Hank.

Naturally tour operators will want you to book via an agent but there is no need, especially when you are planning such a simple trip. South Africa is a wonderful country to self drive and easy to plan, especially when you can come here for help from other travellers.

Do lots of research you will find more than you ever need on this site. As Bradjill says you do need to decide the type of safari you want this is a very important decision along with your itinerary of course. Like them we have a trip report that may help you with some information, it was from our first of four self drive holidays to SA...

tripadvisor.com.au/…29073542

We did all our planning and booked everything from our kitchen table, car, phone, accommodations, and it was wonderful having the personal communication with the people that we then went on to stay with. After all that is half the fun.

You say three or four days in each, I would suggest no less than four if possible.

Oh and did I mention the complete flexibility that you have doing it on your own rather than being shepherded around on an organised tour.....unless of course that is what you want then please forgive me.

Enjoy planning and do come back with more questions.

Johannesburg, South...
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6. Re: Combining Kruger and Cape Town

Hi,

Everything above is mostly accurate It is probably relatively simple to do this yourself. By booking through an agent though, you are not necessarily booking a guided tour, and will still have flexibility without having a babysitter, unless this is what you require.

As I mentioned, an agent will give you expert destination advice and assist you with recommendations and logistics around your requirements and budget. There is largely a misconception that by booking through a tour operator or agent you will be more than booking direct, which is not the case at all. Honest agents will charge what the lodges/hotels charge, and will pass on any specials or discounts to their clients and this is how they earn their living.

Rgds.

Brett, Owner, Safaris For Me, SA

Washington DC...
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7. Re: Combining Kruger and Cape Town

I agree with the others that it's easy enough to do all your bookings yourself after doing some research and deciding on what you'd like to do, both in Cape Town and in the Kruger region (i.e., self-drive or private reserve). I usually book everything myself for the sighting seeing aspects of my trip (e.g., exploring Cape Town or the Garden Route) and use an agent in SA for the safari parts (including in-country flights and camps/lodges in a private reserve; this way my safari bookings, which often include multiple lodges that want to be paid a deposit and then later the balance, can be handled by the single agent thereby minimizing my transfers/payments).

You'll no doubt love either a self-drive or private reserve in the Kruger region. Seeing how it's a pretty special occasion, I'd suggest the private reserve if your budget can handle it. And, at the risk of having others tell me I'm all wet, I'd suggest CT first and then a safari. For me, I've never experienced a high from sightseeing in Africa that quite measures up to those on safari. But again, maybe that's just me.

Ontario, CAN
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8. Re: Combining Kruger and Cape Town

So....I will sit squarely on the fence in this discussion!! We are independent travellers for several reasons, but the main one is that we usually have several weeks to spend - with no pressure of a timeline we can make our own bookings and schedule. The research and bookings is something I like to do, for the most part! And given your trip is months away, you have lots of time to arrange it - and know that South Africa is quite easy to do on your own, including Kruger! On the flip side, with a very limited timeline - 10 days or less - and if you are not so inclined to do it on your own - I would not try to steer you away from using an agent and having your trip arranged - from transfers to lodging to flights etc. If you get stuck with a glitch (delays or whatever) you've got a resource to contact and get you back on track. I would always recommend a free day or two so you can "do your own thing"!

9. Re: Combining Kruger and Cape Town

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Removed on: 19 April 2013, 00:05
South Africa
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10. Re: Combining Kruger and Cape Town

Something to consider when combining Kruger and Cape Town is whether to fly to Nelspruit or to Joburg. Many safari companies offer guided open vehicle safaris to the Kruger National Park departing from Johannesburg, but the departures are early in the morning so you would need a very early flight if you do Cape Town first. To avoid a 4 am start from Cape Town or a stopover night in Johannesburg, it is usually better to pay a bit more and fly from Cape Town to Nelspruit. From here you can either rent a car and do your own self-drive trip to Kruger, or you can join a guided open vehicle safari with a tour company, or you can book your safari at a private safari lodge. BradJill did a nice comparison between self-drive and private reserve. I recently posted a summary of the 3 popular ways to "do" Kruger: self-drive, guided open vehicle safari, or private game lodge. You can read the post here: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g312618-i9872-k641…

Cape Town can also very easily be booked yourself. The benefit of an agent, if you choose to use one, is that they can recommend suitable accommodation to match your requirements and preferences, plan your itinerary and book any tours or activities you may wish to do. However you can also book everything yourself, if you don't mind communicating with and making payments to multiple different suppliers.

Happy 50th birthday, enjoy the planning and be prepared to fall in love with South Africa!

Onne from Wild Wings Safaris