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weekend from Joburg - 3rd trip to city

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I just found out I'll be headed to Johannesburg in October for 2 weeks of work (3rd trip to Joburg; 4th to SA). I won't be able to take extra time for vacation like I have in the past, but I will have a free weekend in the middle and probably an extra day at the beginning or ending of my trip. I want to go somewhere; not stay in Johannesburg, but need advice.

I've visited everything I want to in Joburg, Soweto, Pretoria, and Capetown area. I've taken evening trip to Lesidi. I"ve been on one safari trip to Klasere and Sabi Sands. It will be nice to see the Jacaranda trees (hope I'm not allergic) as I've never been in October.

I want to find a trip with small tour or shared van or private guide if necessary, but not self-drive alone. I can fly to start from another city. I can go for wildlife, natural beauty, and history.

Are my impressions of the Cradle of Humankind accurate? Reviews leave me skeptical that I would enjoy the visitors center or caves. While I like educational/historical destinations, the hands on orientation to entertain children doesn't sound good and the caves would not in themselves be a different experience than other caves I have been in except for the discoveries were made in the complex, but not where one walks.

What do you think of Pilanesberg after one has been in Klasere and Sabi Sands? I could arrange a group or private tour for day or overnight. Some open and some closed truck drives. I think I saw someone includes walks. Close enough, but will it be disappointing after Kruger area?

I am not opposed to doing a mad dash trip to the Kruger area or the Durban/St Lucia area for wildlife (not on the beach). I know most people here would say wait until you can go again with more time, but I don't control this trips and never know if I will be invited again, so I want to make the most of my opportunity. If I get to go again and stay longer next time, great.
If I make up my mind quickly, there are very low cost flights to DUR or MQP. I could probably arrange to leave for the airport at noon on Friday and have to return by Sunday evening, so maybe not in time for Friday evening game drive, but I could get onto drives on Sat/Sun or I see some day tours from Durban to St Lucia to ride on boat to see croc and hippos (love hippos).

I saw Blythe Canyon from the air, but not from the ground. I see one company offering a one day on drives and one day in the Canyon from MQP. Is October a good time to visit the canyon?

Is there an idea that I am missing? Everything depends on availability, of course. Price is always a factor, but I am mainly looking for value.

Thanks for brainstorming.

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