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Need South Africa honeymoon suggestions!

new york, ny
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Need South Africa honeymoon suggestions!

Hi all! My fiancée and I are starting to plan our honeymoon in South Africa and am very much in need of some expert suggestions :)

We have booked our main flights from JFK to Johannesburg- we will be getting to JOhannesburg at 815am on Sunday October 27th and are leaving at 830pm on Saturday November 9th.

We are looking to do a few nights at a private game reserve in Kruger,4-5 days in Capetown and the wineries, and then spend the remaining time at the beach.

Here is what I would love help with:

Would you recommend going to Capetown or Krueger first?

Any advice on flights/ driving from Johannesberg to those locations and back?

Beach locations- a friend had gone to Mauritius and loved it, but wouldn't mind other suggestions on other beach areas that might work well with our flights?

As I mentioned, just starting the process so any advice or recommendations about the private reserves, things to do or places to stay in Capetown, transportation, and beach suggestions would be greatly appreciated. We are very excited and want to make this the trip of a lifetime!

Frankfurt, Germany
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for Garden Route
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1. Re: Need South Africa honeymoon suggestions!

Hi, first of all, congratulations on your upcoming wedding. As for itinerary, you already have a good idea. As to where to start ( Cape t vs Kruger) it really doesn't matter that much., both will be fine. You land early, so you could fly to both destinations or you could drive to Kruger, on that one budget might be consideration. Arriving at 8.15 am you will have car ready at tenish, if you intend to drive. The drive to e.g. Nelspuit or Hazyview might take 4-5h. Stay there for the night, rest and then on to a safari. However you will probably be very tired and have not driven on the left before, so this a bit tricky, but a good use of your time on the first day, if you want or need to save money on domestic flights.

From Joburg to CT there are lcc flights available,so that might save you a few bucks.

Dividing your time I would suggest

5-6 nights CT

2-3 nights Winelands

3-4 night safari ( which you might or might not want to split into 2n luxury lodge, 2n self drive, always a debate here. Even with limited time I would suggest both, both are just fantastic experiences and very different).

1-2 nights Panorama Route (at the end a fantastic day trip from Kruger, really)

IMHO you won't have the time for a beach holiday like in Mauritius or alike. The coast and the beaches near Cape Town are spectacular, but the ocean is freezing.

Have fun planning!

Johannesburg,South...
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2. Re: Need South Africa honeymoon suggestions!

Hello ! Congratulations.

I agree with the previous post - you will see we have many similar comments.

I hope you receive many suggestions - South Africans are very friendly and helpful.

Here are some ideas for you to start with. I see you have 13 nights in South Africa.

I would go to Cape Town first. You are arriving early in the morning and can connect directly to Cape Town with one of many airlines without losing a day. Allow about at least 2 hours between flights. About two hour flight. You can be in Cape Town for lunch. But you will most probably pass out from jet lag and sleep. I suggest you hire a car with a GPS – public transport not to great.

In Cape Town you can stay in the Central area against the mountain with fantastic views or in the V&A Waterfront – lots to do – or on the coast. Bantry Bay, Hout Bay, Camps Bay. The Guest Houses and B&B’s are also great – check Tripadvisor for suggestions. Much to see and do n Cape Town. Book about 3 – 4 nights.

Although the major winelands (Napa Valley of South Africa) are only about 1 hour away - I would book two nights in the winelands. Franschhoek is the most romantic – but also Stellenbosch or Paarl. Many fabulous guesthouses, B&B’s and restaurants. (see Tripadvisor)

Then back to Cape Town Airport for your trip to the Game Lodges. This is in the north of the country. You can either fly to Johannesburg and drive up to the game lodge. About 4-5 hours. Or you can connect from Johannesburg to Nelspruit and hire a car there. (see travelstart.co.za for local flights) Nelspruit is very near the Kruger National Park. For private game lodges see bushbreak.co.za. You are looking for lodges in the Limpopo or Mpumulanga provinces. At least 3-4 nights. You will be sad to leave.

You will then have 3-4 nights left to do something else. You mentioned the beach. Firstly – Mauritius is a different country and about a 4 hour flight away from South Africa. I would not recommend this for anything less than 5 nights. If you are looking for a tropical beach experience you can consider flying to Mozambique from Johannesburg ( 1 hour flight) or Durban (1 hour flight). The beaches nort of Durban (known as the Dolphin Coast) are very nice. Also much warmer this time of the year than Cape Town . Both Durban and Mozambique are on the warm Indian Ocean and more tropical than the Cape.

I hope this gives you something to start searching and planning. Have fun !

new york, ny
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3. Re: Need South Africa honeymoon suggestions!

Thanks! Starting to look into Mozambique now. Would like something upscale but not completely overboard. So far bazarato and vilanculos are looking good. Any opinions or other suggestions? Also wondering the best way to get to the island. Thanks again!

Johannesburg,South...
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4. Re: Need South Africa honeymoon suggestions!

There are flights from Johannesburg to Inhambane and Vilankulos. Check out both towns for accommodation on Tripadvisor. Read reviews carefully - depends what you can afford but go as upmarket as possible.

If you can afford Bazaruto island it would be perfect. You would fly to Vilankulos from Johannesburg. Check with the hotel for mainland pickups.

It might be worth your while to work with a South African travel operator for this trip - packages including flights are good. Search for e.g. Bazaruto honeymoon etc.

It might be good idea to do Mozambiquan reservation first and then plan the rest of your trip around available dates. I would do this as the last leg of your trip if possible. so you will have to plan backwards.

You will also have to find out about visa requirements to Mozambique.

It is important to note that Johannesburg Airport is the Hub - flights to Cape Town, Nelspruit and Mozambique all leave from here.

Tempe, Arizona
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for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
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5. Re: Need South Africa honeymoon suggestions!

FYI - There's a daily nonstop from Cape Town to Nelspruit. No need to go through Johannesburg. There's also a nonstop from Cape Town to Hoedspruit Tuesdays and Thursdays. Both of those airports serve the private game reserves. I also like the idea of continuing to Cape Town the morning you arrive from JFK. Where to stay? In no particular order, I use Cape Grace (has a 4-for-3), Table Bay, Victoria & Alfred, Queen Victoria, Dock House, Cape Cadogan, Cape Heritage (the Suites or Junior Suites here), Abbey Manor Guest House (has 2 beautiful suites), Romney Park Suites for my clients. For a beach place, one that's a little trouble to get to, but amazing place: Thonga Beach. As for safari, I would look at the AndBeyond properties with their 4-for-3 offer - especially Exeter River Lodge, Ngala Tented Camp. Dulini is another good one, and also has a 4-for-3.

Dave Patterson - Owner - The Africa Safari

new york, ny
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6. Re: Need South Africa honeymoon suggestions!

Thanks! We did a lot of research and booked 3 nights at Pondoro Game Lodge and 4 in Bazarato for now. We need to book the Capetown/Wineries section and your hotel recommendations sound great. Any recommendations for the Winelands? Would one night be sufficient to get the experience?

Northampton, United...
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7. Re: Need South Africa honeymoon suggestions!

Hello, I should above really and not sure if I mentioned it before but Thonga Beach Lodge is a stunning place in a stunning location!

Mark - Owner - SafariKZN

Johannesburg,South...
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8. Re: Need South Africa honeymoon suggestions!

I have just checked out Thonga Beach. It looks absolutely idyllic ! Do you need a 4X4 to get there ?

Northampton, United...
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9. Re: Need South Africa honeymoon suggestions!

Hello and it is lovely, I was there in March and managed to see turtle hatchlings which made it a very special stay. No you don't need a 4x4. The lodge has pick up times from a secure car park. There is a small charge for this and it takes about an hour on a sand road. I have an article about my stay there on my site.

Mark - Owner - SafariKZN

Greeley...
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10. Re: Need South Africa honeymoon suggestions!

I am planning my honeymoon October 19 through Nov. 1 as well! I am using an agent, she is excellent and honestly she's saved me money. Have you looked at Madagascar at all? We are thinking of adding 3 or 4 days there, I love lemurs!