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SA or Victoria Falls/Kruger

Ljubljana, Slovenia
13 posts
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SA or Victoria Falls/Kruger

We have 2 kids (9 and 12yr), 2 weeks and flying into Johannesburg (JNB).

I would like some advice on whether it makes more sense to just concentrate on the loop: JNB-Durban-Port Elizabeth-Cape Town-JNB or head north to Victoria Falls/Kruger?

I understand these are completely different and if going to Vic Falls it might make sense to fly somewhere closer to VIc Falls (make it a separate trip).

I'm torn mostly because I haven't had a chance to research SA. so getting your pointers would help me focus.

Thank you,

Ramona

Naracoorte
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2,863 posts
16 reviews
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1. Re: SA or Victoria Falls/Kruger

I think you would get better value for money and your time by sticking to South Africa only. However I would not want to leave out Kruger from your itinerary. What sort of budget level are you looking at and what sort of things are the most important for you to experience?

Tempe, Arizona
Destination Expert
for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
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2. Re: SA or Victoria Falls/Kruger

Ahh - Slovenia.. We don't hear much about Slovenia, which is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe.. That 'loop' you described in South Africa would tach you a lot about some different areas of the country and can include safari time outside Port Elizabeth at child-friendly lodges. You can stretch your budget by visiting Addo National Park - http://www.sanparks.org/parks/addo/ - or choose one of the numerous lodges off the N2 as you travel through that part of South Africa.

Going to Victoria Falls - and the surrounding areas - eliminates most of the benefits of a self-drive trip through South Africa. You will have limited options for lodging - touring the Falls takes 2 hours, no longer than that - and the safari lodges and camps will be mostly strung out along the rivers. In other words, not much variety. For your purposes, I think doing the whole trip in South Africa is a better plan.

But - why Durban? It's a good-sized city, and has the country's largest concentration of South Africans whose roots are in the Asian subcontinent. That adds some ethnic diversity to a Durban visit, and could be a reason to go there. But I would suggest doing some Googling to see what you find on your own.

Pickering, United...
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3,292 posts
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3. Re: SA or Victoria Falls/Kruger

Ramona, I agree with the above post. We go to Durban every two years to visit family and then add on either CT or Jo'burg but not both. The travelling time between is generally much longer than people think. Every other year we spend the 6 week summer holiday caravanning in Europe and to put it in perspective we do travel to Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia and even as far as Greece.

Ljubljana, Slovenia
13 posts
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4. Re: SA or Victoria Falls/Kruger

Thank you for helping me make the first decision, so we will tour SA. I only chose Durban as it seems it creates a "nice loop". Would you suggest a better loop for us to drive? From other posts it sounds like going to CT and JB is redundant. I'm trying to get oriented into where to go first and then I can research things in more detail but in general we like adventurous things (safaris, natural wonders, etc) and I want to do a cage diving with the great white. Thanks for the links, I will research.

If you come to Slovenia, do let me know. I will provide return the favor.

Thx.

Ljubljana, Slovenia
13 posts
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5. Re: SA or Victoria Falls/Kruger

Dear tryhard,

Thanks! Looks like everyone things I should stick to SA. We like traveling around stopping along exploring interesting things (natural beauty, unique things, I must do a notorious cage diving). It seems going to Kruger and doing the SA in 2 weeks is an overkill and there seems to be some safaris around P Elizabeth. I would only go to a safari if there are really animals to see. Budget is not that important but activities must be worthwhile. I know we have only 2 weeks but we are very used to have a very active days.

Thx.

Edited: 01 December 2013, 07:39
Pretoria, South...
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1,802 posts
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6. Re: SA or Victoria Falls/Kruger

Hi Ramona,

I'm glad that you've decided to skip the Vic Falls option, and the Falls are only really worthwhile at certain times of the year. It would be a big detour in your routing.

If you want to skip Kruger (and although I love it, it's a big chunk out of your trip), it might make sense to head down from Joburg to the Northern Drakensberg, then spin round the northern border of Lesotho, through the Golden Gate National Park, heading down to the Cape via Port Elizabeth. I agree that Durban is not really a destination that I would recommend.

There are a number of good game lodges around the Eastern Cape and Port Elizabeth area (too many to mention in an initial post), and then some great stuff along the Garden Route to explore, particularly with youngsters (I'd suggest the Tsitsikamma Canopy Tour, Birds of Eden, Monkeyland, maybe the Prince Alfred's Mountain Pass, the adventure at Cango Caves, to mention a few). The whale watching areas around Hermanus/De Kelders could also prove worthwhile (depending on the time of year).

Added to that, about 4 days in Cape Town should fill up your 2 weeks pretty adequately.

As Safarifiend has indicated, the travelling times are often much longer than you think, and roadworks often cause delays. If you're using Google Maps to plot your travel times, add at least 20% to the travel time. Google Maps is notoriously optimistic of travel times in Africa.

Be aware that weather patterns during different times of the year may shift focus from one region to another.

Edited: 01 December 2013, 19:28
Ljubljana, Slovenia
13 posts
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7. Re: SA or Victoria Falls/Kruger

Thank you all for your replies. I am now trying to work out some details for Drakensberg. I'd like to experience as many diverse things one can fit into 2 days:

- scenic sites to enjoy some of the most magnificent views of the Drakensberg mountains

- bushman and san rock art (Sebaayeni Cave, Cathedral Peak- Mdelelelo Wilderness Area, the Main caves in Giant's castle game reserve, Battle Cave in the Injasuti Valley and Game Pass Shelter in the Kamberg Nature Reserve)

- Zulu people experience

- battlefields

- gold searching experience

- short hikes (possibly with swimming option)

What stops do you recommend so I can accomplish most of it? Assuming some hiking is involved to get to the best spots and caves - how much time should I reserve for your suggested stops? Is Sani Pass accessible by a Toyota Corolla or similar car?

Thanks.

8. Re: SA or Victoria Falls/Kruger

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