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Help with starting to plan South Africa Trip

Dallas, Texas
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94 posts
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Help with starting to plan South Africa Trip

I'm planning a long awaiting trip to SA probably around thanksgiving for about 11-12 days. I have considered booking a package from a tour company like Go2Africa or somewhere, but then (since I go everywhere else on my own) figured I could probably do the same things a save alot of money by just booking and exploring on my own.

I would like to spend a couple days JoBurg. (Assume I could just book a regular hotel like Westin, Marriott or something) Unless something else is recommended. Would appreciate knowing some popular things to see while there.

I would like to spend a couple days in Cape Town and figured I could drive there via a rental car. I think that is the panorama route? (Assume I could just book a regular hotel like Westin, Marriott or something). Would appreciate knowing some popular things to see while there. I already know about Table Mountain.

I would like to go to Kruger. Considered self-drive (does it cost for entrance or it free). Also, there are alot of routes to take, any more preferred than others. I also am considering a private safari as I've heard alot of good things about those. Sabi Sands, Royal Malewane, etc. But I don't want to pay $2,000 USD a night, so would like recommendations on top private safari places that are under $500 USD a night.

Would like to see Victoria Falls and stay at the Victoria falls hotel 1 night.

Would anyone help get me started with my planning with suggested itinerary, lodging and safari recommendations, driving routes, etc.

I would like to keep these trip under $5,000 USD with the flights costing about $2,500 USD already. So I'm trying to stay under $2,500 USD while I'm over there for about 9--10 days.


Johannesburg, South...
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1. Re: Help with starting to plan South Africa Trip

With only 9-10 days I'd skip Victoria Falls unless this is a real priority for you. Going to the falls for just 2 night entails alot of travelling, you'll end up spending more time at the airports than anywhere else, adding this will also take alot away from your budget for only 1 night. For 10 nights I suggest the following itinerary:

1 nights Johannesburg

5nights Cape Town

4 nights Kruger

1 Night panorama route

Have alook at lodges in the Sabi Sands reserve, I think for $500/night you'll have a fair amount of choice and alot of lodges run specialis like pay for 3nights and stay the 4th for free. For the safari part of the trip I suggest you contact tanya at africadirect. She is a regular contributor to this forum and travellers always have glowing reviews for her. (-: The panorama route you can combine with your trip to Kruger, as it is enroute.

Tempe, Arizona
Destination Expert
for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
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2. Re: Help with starting to plan South Africa Trip

Unfortunately, your $2500 might not pay for the things you have asked about. Examples - the flight you would need to get from Cape Town to the Kruger area (or vice versa if you do the safari first) will use $300 of your budget for that alone. The type of hotels you listed are expensive. Staying in Sabi Sand might be possible at Elephant Plains or Chapungu - if they have space. And Victoria Falls would not only use a lot of the budget but also 3 days of your time - unless you went for just one day! If you can add another $1000 or shop for less expensive international airfares - then yes, I think you can have a quality trip.

Dave Patterson - Owner - The Africa Safari

Bergville, South...
7 posts
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3. Re: Help with starting to plan South Africa Trip

Hi there south africa is a vast country and the distance between places can me rather long i suggest you do safari which s kruger, the mountains which is drakensberg very scenic and the beach which is cape town .. In the drakesberg i will recommend karma backpackers which is very nice and they are close to lesotho if you spend 2 nites you can get to do both

Johannesburg, South...
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4. Re: Help with starting to plan South Africa Trip

Hi rsingleton,

I think you US$2.5k for 9 - 10 days is probably a bit too low especially for what you are looking to do. A 3 - 4 night safari in one of the cheaper lodges will cost alone in the region of US$1100 - US$1500 depending on which lodge you are able to get into and that's not taking into account any flights / transfers etc. Vic Falls will definitely take you over budget Flights to Zimbabwe are quite pricey, and would definitely give that a skip on this trip. Also, it is not feasible for you to drive to Cape Town from JHB with only 9 - 10 days, and you definitely need to fly.. It will take you 14hrs at least to drive. The Panorama Route is in the Kruger area, and could be easily done before or after your safari. You will probably need the best part of a full day to do it.

This is what I would suggest: 1 Night JHB - 3 Night safari - 1 Night Panorama Route - 4/5 Nights Cape Town. You might have to adjust the hotels you choose to get a bit closer to your budget. As suggested already, I would speak to an agent who could tailor make a trip for you around your budget and requirements.


Brett | Owner | Safaris For Me | South Africa

5. Re: Help with starting to plan South Africa Trip

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