I'm in a bit of hectic process here trying to collect bits and pieces of info for a potential and FIRST South Africa trip.
Hectic because it becoming very rushed very quickly; i'm determining right now that we're not the people who plan years ahead unfortunately , and as the 25 anniversary quickly approaches (MID OF JULY 2015), we are now looking at our FIRST potential trip to SA. (We are in our mid 40s).
I would really appreciate your suggestions with S i m p l e itinerary without crossing SA border.
Basically we will be happy to stay 3-4 nights for the wildlife sightseeing (very important for us) and some nights in Cape Town and some nights somewhere else where you send us to .
I decided to post here after reading this post called "Well traveled...but not in Africa. Need help with itineraries!" and I copied and pasted a partial answer to it that on the very bottom here. That nice and simple, in my opinion, itinerary was suggested by the Expert Gardyloo.
Do you think with your help we can build something like that for us taking in consideration our timing etc..?
Unfortunately (again) we don't have the luxury of 25k OR many days, but just around 10-12 days(max). Can you please suggest what would be, in your opinion, the most productive and time efficient route for us "to go around", as not being familiar with pretty much ANything in SA, makes the rushed research exhausting fast .
So, it would be easier ofcourse without visiting Cape Town, but it stuck with me that it is a must do thing. So round up these 3 things is what makes it difficult for me.
Cape Town - Safari - JNB - TRANSPORT. I accept idea of self driving, but the distances might be just too long .. are they for 12 days max? I also accept the idea of internal flights one way, like to drive there and fly back, but little things like one way car rentals and winning camps and so on, can anyone please suggest "where and how"?
Most probably we will be arriving to JNB in the late afternoon (9pm). So, a night at the hotel around airport and rent of a car from there.
Lets say that the morning of the day we got hold of the car is July 17th, assume our plane ticket back home is for July 27. Assume we are leaving home from JNB as well. So how you, dear experts, would route us?
The Special Day is on July 23, so that day/ evening preferably to be spent (possibly as a part of 2-3 or 3-4 nights) in a bit of more comfortable accommodation...
I was priced for Kirkman's 3 nights 4k canadian, that is too much for us, maybe half or close to half of that would suit us. I looked at Olifants camp site, nice, inexpensive, but is it nice enough for The Big Day? We need to cook yourselves? lol, from what? i'm sorry if i'm sounding idiotic lol.
As you can see I will really appreciate a hand here.
If by any chance anyone from Ontario, Canada will be reading this and have done the trip before, please kindly share how you survived the long flight?? I saw KLM's one from Toronto - Amsterdam - JNB with 22 hours connection in Amsterdam and thought it might be not bad to spend a night and some day at the hotel there to break the long flight in half, rest, and even possibly to see the red lights street ...
I don't think we can take 15,5 hrs long flight on South African Airlines from New york - JNB... very long without a break.
Thank you very much and I'm sorry the post is so long.
Below is the itinerary that appealed to me, but without a basic knowledge of the country it is hard for me to apply it for now...
"Fly into Joburg and spend two days de-jetlagging yourselves. Do a tour of Soweto on one of the days. Rent a car and drive to Graskop, around four hours mainly on freeways and near-freeways. Graskop is a nice little town located on the edge of the Panoramic Route, a stunning collection of viewpoints and canyons on the escarpment of the northern Drakensberg mountains (which rise to over 10,000 feet farther south.) http://gardyloo.us/africa10J%20027as.jpg Stay at the cute, artsy and surprisingly romantic Graskop Hotel. Eat pancakes (Dutch/Afrikaans style) next door at Harrie’s – OMG.
Spend the next day touring the Panoramic Route. See the Three Rondavels, visit God’s Window (where the coke bottle was thrown in The Gods Must be Crazy) and other beautiful sights around the Blyde river canyon.
The next day, drive a couple of hours east to one of the lodges in the Sabi Sand reserve. You can pick the one you want – we’ve stayed at several, and (in my view) they’re all “the same but different” if you get my meaning. Comfortable, even luxurious, good food, most with traversing rights over neighboring lodges’ territories, and – really – all pretty much seeing the same sorts of wildlife on the game drives/walks. All the lodges cooperate, so if one party sees a group of lions or leopards, they report it by radio to all the other groups, and then they take turns, so over a period of two or three days, you’ll probably see most of what there is to see. (Which is not to say you’ll be bored by it – no way.)
But I would spend maybe four days/nights in the Sabi Sand reserve and move on. There’s so much more to see. By now it’s around the first week of September. Spring.
I’d drive back to Joburg, drop the car, and fly down to Cape Town. I’d pick up a second car and drive to Stellenbosch, a lovely old historic university town, then through unspeakably beautiful country to Franschoek, in the heart of South Africa’s winelands"
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