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Cape Town or Safari first?

In cooperation with: Cape Town Tourism
Detroit, Michigan
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343 posts
2 reviews
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Cape Town or Safari first?

As we are beginning to figure out more details or our trip, I wanted to ask:

Which is better to do first on holiday - Cape Town or Safari?

We will be coming from England so we will be exhausted, which is why I thought Cape Town first would be a good idea. Or am I wrong? I wanted to be rested before we begin our safari because getting up very early in the morning will be tough but even tougher if we're exhausted from travel.

What is the best way to go about this? Our CT stay would be 5 nights and our safari would be 4.

Thank you!

Harrogate, United...
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54 posts
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1. Re: Cape Town or Safari first?

While I haven't gone on my trip yet, I am taking the advice I was given to visit Cape Town first and then end with the safari in Sabi Sands. Since the safari part is the highlight of the trip for me, it makes sense for me to end the trip on the high note. I leave in 9 days and can't wait! I have 2 nights in Johannesburg first so I'll get over my tiredness from traveling from the UK while in Johannesburg.

Cape Town
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733 posts
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2. Re: Cape Town or Safari first?

You are not wrong. Do Cape Town first!

Mark September

Small World Tours

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1,573 posts
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3. Re: Cape Town or Safari first?

Agree CT first.

Cape Town Central...
7 posts
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4. Re: Cape Town or Safari first?

It's a very good idea to do Cape Town first and end on a safari "high" - your timing sounds good with 5 days Cape Town and 4 days safari. That will give you time to unwind and still explore Cape Town, Peninsula, winelands and possibly something slightly off the beaten track like the West Coast. Factor in your travel timings though - Cape Town - flight to Jhb or Hoedspruit then transfer can take a full day. If you plan to drive from Jhb it is a FULL day's travel!



Cape Point Route

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1,001 posts
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5. Re: Cape Town or Safari first?

I always advise do Cape Town first, to get over the flight - and to just relax into the holiday a bit too. Safaris are quite 'full on', so you need to be refreshed when you arrive, otherwise you will want to spend the entire time sleeping rather than enjoying the experience!

Tracey, Director - Travel Butlers

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2,529 posts
6 reviews
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6. Re: Cape Town or Safari first?

CT first!

Tanya * owner * Africa Direct

London, United...
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20 posts
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7. Re: Cape Town or Safari first?

It seems most people are in agreement - Cape Town first!

Coming from England means that you won't have to deal with jet lag, just general travel weariness.

Cape Town is a great city - full of cosmopolitan character and with lots to do for everyone. 5 days is a god amount of time to spend in the city. It lets you explore it nicely without having to rush too much.

Top things to do are:

- Cape Point

- Winelands

- Cape own city & Table Mountain

- V&A Waterfront - have dinner here and explore the harbour

-if you have time - relax on one of the beautiful beaches

Once you have had your fill of city life, it is an amazing contrast to enter the world of the animals on Safari! It makes you realize how special our planet really is and what an amazing amount of incredible natural beauty we have.

Going on safari and getting up close and personal with the Big Five is an awe inspiring experience.

The days do start early (around 5.30 am) for your first game drive if you are staying at a private lodge - but it is well worth the effort. Going in search of the game as they start their day and watching the sun rise is brilliant.

I hope that you have a wonderful time!

Simone Truter

African Sands

Northville, Michigan
1 post
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8. Re: Cape Town or Safari first?

I am scheduled to arrive in Cape Town August 21 and then do safari in Madikwe Game Reserve. I am concerned about the weather at that time of year but know August is best for our extension to Victoria Falls. Would love to hear your feelings on this. Thank you. carol

Randburg, Gauteng...
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977 posts
39 reviews
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9. Re: Cape Town or Safari first?

Hello Carol, August in Madikwe is cool. The weather is starting to warm up then, but your early morning drives will need to be wrapped up warmly with woollen hats, gloves, jackets and layered clothing that you can take off when it warms up when the sun beats down. You may also want to make sure that your visit to Vic Falls (if you are staying in Zambian side) has water flowing over the falls then. There is a dry period, and the Zambian Govt divert all the water in low season down a shute for hydroelectricity . Zimabwe does not have this problem and in my opinion is a better option any time of the year.

Lyn - Owner - Thorntree Tours and Safaris

Berkshire, England
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12,662 posts
59 reviews
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10. Re: Cape Town or Safari first?

JJDC09, don't worry you shouldn't be too tired after your flight from the UK as there is only a 2 hour time difference, so no jet lag. We just take it easy on our first day in Cape Town and are fine after that. If you are lucky, you may be able to have a good sleep on the plane. Have a great holiday.

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