Our family of four (inc. 2 teenagers) arrives Jo'burg early August from the UK for three weeks (landing 9 am). We're thinking we want to spend about a week round Blyde River Canyon and Kruger before going back to Jo'burg to fly on to the Garden Route and Capetown for the remaining two weeks. We are excited about seeing the landscape and and wildlife, would it be better to spend more time here - also because of the weather - before going to the Garden Route and C'town?
1 - where would be a good place for us to stay on our first night, bearing in mind we will be tired but want to get away from the city? We like fairly quiet, decent but can't stretch our budget to luxury accommodation. Would Sabie or Hazyview be better? We will want to spend a couple of days seeing the Canyon. We are quite active and don't want to be cooped up in the car too much.
2 - will the waterfalls be worth seeing in the winter/dry season when we are there?
3 - will it be warm enough to swim in a hotel pool at this time of year?
4 - I'm thinking central to southern Kruger a good place to stay, but don't know whether to stick to one place or more. We'd prefer to stay put but not if we miss out on seeing a bigger variety of animals. Is Skukuza a good bet?
5 - We've been recommended to stay in National Park accommodation, not sure what the pros and cons are of this versus private lodging?
6 - please feel free to recommend what we do from and back to Jo'burg!
Thanks so much for any advice you can offer!