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Multi-generational travel in SA

Vancouver, Canada
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Multi-generational travel in SA

Hello. We, elderly and mobility challenged parents, ourselves and teenage children plan on visiting SA in Jan/Feb. We'd like to fly into Cape Town, train to Joburg (Shosholoza train), 3-4 day safari in Kruger, fly to Durban then drive along Garden Route back to Cape Town. Time--and money--holding out, we'd like to get to Vic Falls and then fly home. Thoughts?

* how safe is it to do this itinerary on our own

* do we need a guide for Kruger--remember, elderly parents not too mobile. Guide/camp recommendation??

* how safe is the train?

* what should we be sure to see in Jo'burg--how much time to allocate and....where to stay?

Thank you

Johannesburg, South...
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1. Re: Multi-generational travel in SA

* how safe is it to do this itinerary on our own

The safety issue regarding South africa is greatly overblown.

100's of thousands of visitors come here annually, and tour around on their own, with no incidents.

We hosted the World cup football in 2010, with fewer incidents than occurred in the previous world cup, in Germany.


* do we need a guide for Kruger--remember, elderly parents not too mobile. Guide/camp recommendation??

You should consider the self drive option. It is very interesting, cheaper than the fancy lodges, you go at your own pace, and you definitely do not need a guide. thousands of visitors and locals do it all the time.

Stay in one or more of the SANparks rest camps. Look at these links:




* how safe is the train?

It is safe. The better option would be to take the Premier Classe... not much more expensive than the others, and definitely more comfortable.

I used it between Johannesburg and Durban and was very impressed.

* what should we be sure to see in Jo'burg--how much time to allocate and....where to stay?

Allocate as much time as you need, after you have decided what you would like to see. several days ought to be enough.

A list of attractions in and around johannesburg follows at the end of this post.

As far as where to stay is concerned, this depends on your preferences, and budget.

We have everything from five (six) star hotels to B&B's, backpackers lodges, family hotels, and everything in between.

Modern places in the glitzy areas, older places in the suburbs, you name it.

Sandton and Rosebank are often touted as the best areas to stay, but there are other areas, like Parkhurst, Melville, and even B&B's in Soweto.

Some links to get you started:




Johannesburg has over 100 “Blue Plaques”.. sites of historical or cultural importance.


Soccer, rugby, cricket, athletics, at one of our superb stadiums


Bungee jumping at the Soweto Towers

Cycle tour of Soweto


Soweto tour

City Tour Ho Ho Bus available

Lesedi Cultural Village, where one can see, compare and contrast the customs and culture of 5 of our indigenous tribal peoples/

Performing arts

Ballet, plays, at one of our superb theatres, either

in down town, or in Soweto, or in some of the “entertainment complexes”, like Monte Casino, etc

Fine art

Outdoor sculptures

Von Brandis Statue, Miners Monument, George Harrison Statue, Scottish soldier, Oppenheimer Fountain, Brenda Fassie, Kippie Moeketsi, The Firewalker etc.


Johannesburg Art Gallery, Having recently undergone an extensive upgrade:

Larger than the National gallery in Cape Town.

Contains works by Dutch masters, Henry Moore, Auguste Rodin, Picasso, and many local artists

Sadly the area around the gallery is a little “seedy”, now

Wits (University) Art Gallery

a treasure trove of African art displayed in a bright, airy, climate controlled environment.

The Origins Centre ( Rock Art)

Constitutional Court Art Collection

Numerous Private galleries

Artists under the sunhttp://www.artistsunderthesun.co.za/

First weekend of every month

Various pieces of art around the city, and in Soweto.


Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra (usually perform at Linder Auditorium)

Standard Bank International Jazz Festival August

Jazz on the Lake, free, at zoo lake in September

The Bassline Jazz club, in Newtown

The Coca Cola Dome

Other outdoor concerts at various venues, like the Zoo, or Botanical Gardens


World class malls:

Sandton Rosebank, East, North, South Westgate, Cresta, Maponya in Soweto,

African Craft Market Rosebank 7 days

Market on Main, Sundays

Neighbourgoods market Braamfontein, Saturdays

Rooftop Market, Norwood, Sundays

Bryanston Organic Market

Design Centre: Arts on Main

Cambanos for African Curios, tanzanite, diamonds ( in Midrand)

Irene Market, in the grounds of Jan Smuts House, second and last Saturday every month


Small but excellent Johannesburg Zoo

Melville Koppies (when open)

National Botanical Gardens, Roodepoort, AND Pretoria

Lion Park

Rhino and Lion Park

Crocodile farm

Krugersdorp Game Reserve


AECI Dynamite Factory Museum.

Museum Africa, ( not great, but interesting) which incorporates:

Bensusan Museum of photography, and the Africana Museum.

World of Beer Brewing Museum

Sci Bono Discovery Centre (Science Museum)

Workers museum

Apartheid Museum

Lilliesleaf farm , in Rivonia, where the arrests of Umkhonto we Sizwe leaders took place: a world class interactive museum

Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum

Gold Reef City Gold Mining Museum (and theme park)

Constitutional Court precinct, incorporating the old fort prison where bothMandela and Gandhi were imprisoned ( at different times), as well as the infamous Women’s prison

Satyagraha House, where MK Ghandi lived, and formulated his philosophy of non violent protest.

James Hall museum of Transport

It is largest transport museum in Africa

National Museum of Military history

Amongst others, contains aircraft found nowhere else in the world

Origins Centre, covering Human evolution and bushman art: a world class interactive museum

Adler Museum of Medicine. At Wits University, only by appointment

History of the health sciences in Southern Africa, with special reference to Gauteng.

Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Museum.( coming soon)

Gambling and shows

Monte Casino and theatre

Gold Reef City Casino and theatre

Emperor's Palace Casino and theatre


Cradle of Humankind (Sterkfontein & Maropeng: world class museums)

Has yielded more hominid fossils than anywhere else on earth

South African Airways Museum Germiston

Elephant Sanctuary Hartbeespoort

Monkey Sanctuary Hartbeespoort

Mountain Cableway, Hartbeespoort

Ann van Dyk Cheetah research centre Hartbeespoort

First place, world wide here cheetah were successfully bred for re introduction to the wild.

Also African Wild dog

Petra Diamond Mine

Only place worldwide where you can buy a diamond at the actual mine

Only place you can buy a “Cullinan Star Cut” diamond,

World wide patent held by the mine, for this new “cut”


South African Air Force Museum

Jan Smuts House He was prime minister twice, led S.A. during 2 world wars,

He wrote the preamble of the United Nations declaration of human rights

Only person to sign treaties concluding both WW I and WW II

Lawyer, soldier, politician, philosopher, botanist

Melrose House

beautifully restored Victorian mansion

Used as Headquarters of British army during Anglo Boer War 1899-1902.

Peace treaty was signed here

Paul Kruger House

Home of President Paul Kruger, who led the Transvaal Republic prior to and during the Anglo Boer War

Sammy Marks House.. built on land purchased from my great grandfather.

40 roomed mansion of South Africa’s first entrepreneur, who had interest in:

Gold, diamonds, coal, steel, farming, distilling, glass making, etc etc,

Church Square Pretoria with its historic buildings

Heroes Acre Cemetery

For the Australians…….. Breaker Morant’s Grave in the old Church Street Cemetery

Transvaal Museum of Natural History

National Cultural Museum

Union Buildings and gardens

South African Mint Midrand

Police Museum

Voortrekker ( Pioneer) Monument The story of the Great Trek.

Has the world’s longest Carrara Marble frieze.

Boer War forts, Schanskop and Klapperkop ( restored, Boer war museums)

Tswaaing Meteorite Crater

Youngest Meteorite crater on earth, only about 220000 years old

Vredefort Dome

World’s oldest and largest meteorite crater, 300 Km across About 2000 million years old

Pilanesberg ……

Malaria Free, big 5 Game reserve, in an extinct volcano, only 2 hours by road from Johannesburg

Sun City, South Africa’s “mini Las Vegas”, out in the middle of “nowhere”, near Pilanesberg.

Largest Buddhist temple in Southern Hemisphere Bronkhorstspruit

Largest Mosque in Southern Hemisphere Midrand

Etc etc etc……….

Enjoy your visit to my amazing country.


Gavin, Owner: Serval Tours and Transfers

Edited: 30 June 2014, 08:37
Port Elizabeth
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for South Africa
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2. Re: Multi-generational travel in SA

Unless you have 3 preferably 4 weeks, you are going to run out of time with your itinerary.

If you have less than 3 weeks, fly into Cape Town, drive to George or Port Elizabeth, fly to Durban. Drive Durban to Kruger, Fly/drive Kruger Johannesburg. Fly home out of Johannesburg.

Quainton, United...
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for Train Travel
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3. Re: Multi-generational travel in SA

The Cape Town-Jo'burg train is perfectly safe, and an amazing experience (not to mention a bargain).

It gets booked up, so sort your tickets ahead - you'll get more sense out of agency www.southafricanrailways.co.za than out of Shosholoza Meyl themselves.

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: Multi-generational travel in SA

Oh my GOSH! Wonderfully, wonderfuly informative. Thank you SO much. There is a lot here for us to chew on. Again. Thank you. I'm sure I'll have more questions after we've taken the time to look through all the links, etc.


Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: Multi-generational travel in SA

Actually we will have 3-4 weeks so we want to do it well....and right :)

6. Re: Multi-generational travel in SA

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