Attending conference in Jo'burg, need some ideas

May 11th, 2011, 03:43 PM
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Join Date: May 2011
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Attending conference in Jo'burg, need some ideas

I'll be attending a last-minute conference in Jo'burg for three days in mid-June. Not sure of where they are putting us up, but I'd like to go somewhere interesting for 1 or 2 nights prior to the meeting. Any thoughts? I've spent extensive time researching wildlife all over East Africa so I have reservations about going as a 'tourist' for a safari experience. I have been to Joburg, Pretoria, and Timbavati, but that was over 13 years ago, and again it was a quick jaunt for a conference! I'd be keen to stay somewhere not too pricey, with good food, and perhaps some game viewing. I won't have a vehicle. Any suggestions?? What do you think about the Cradle of Mankind area? Sounds interesting but I'm not certain how I'd get there from the airport. Thanks for your help and suggestions.
Ol_Kurrukur is offline  
May 11th, 2011, 04:38 PM
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Ooops...just re-read my post and don't like how I phrased my safari experience. What I mean, is that I'd be keen to do something a little different since I don't "need" to do a full-on big 5 excursion. So perhaps something with night game drives, or simply just a wonderfully scenic place to stay outside Jo'burg. I've never been to Kruger, but I'm a little intimidated about fielding all the logistics from here, especially since I only have perhaps two nights extra to play with and I'm not sure if such a short stay would be realistic.
Ol_Kurrukur is offline  
May 11th, 2011, 11:33 PM
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Kruger NP is a bit too far for just a short trip, but why not try Pilanesberg, an easy 2hr drive north of Joburg with big 5 viewing in a lovely landscape. It should be good weather in June too, sunny and not too cold. The lodges have very decent chalets and tented camps at the edge of the park (I prefer the Bakgatla one in the north) so you can be in at dawn.
jeroenvm is offline  
May 12th, 2011, 11:23 AM
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great suggestion thank you!

If I want to avoid hiring a car, what's the best way to get there (and still be able to do some game viewing)?
Ol_Kurrukur is offline  
May 13th, 2011, 03:43 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I went to Pilanesberg last year on one of my airline layovers and loved it. We saw EVERYTHING in one day and it really is a beautiful area.I would highly recommend it for your short stay.
dutyfree is offline  
May 16th, 2011, 09:26 AM
Join Date: May 2006
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We visited the Cradle of Humankind at Sterkfontein in May 2007. We hired a geologist I found here on the forum: Tom Wallmach. I believe he can be reached at [email protected]. (If I find a better e-mail address I will post another note here.) Tom was wonderful -- engaging and knowledgable. He met us at the airport upon our arrival in SA, and drove us to the archaeological sites, where he led us on a very thorough tour geared to our interests. Then he took us to a museum at the University, which helped to put the experience into perspective. He definitely knows his archaeological history, and is also charming and just plain nice. Even after the long flights from the east coast of the US, with a few hours' stop in Europe, the tour was very engaging.

I would only recommend this full-day tour, however, if you're really interested in archaeology and/or our common African ancestry. For us, the experience gave context and meaning to our first stop in Botswana: Jack's Camp and the Kalahari, where we had an amazing encounter with a group of San bushmen. We wanted to experience and learn about our common ancestry before heading to Botswana and meeting the bushmen. It was well worth the R1250 or so he charged each of us. If you have more questions feel free to post them. I'll try to find a more direct e-mail/phone number for Tom in the meantime.

This year, we are visiting SA and have another full day in Joberg before traveling elsewhere in SA. We will do a Soweto tour, which we did not do last time.

I hope you enjoy the planning and the visit.
bevor is offline  
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