First time traveling to South Africa

Reply

Jan 4th, 2012, 10:09 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 26
First time traveling to South Africa

We are traveling to South Africa to visit Johannesburg, Cape Town and Sun City. This is our first trip to SA and we don't know much about Sun City. Does anyone have any advice or experience to share? Thanks.
Rebam is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 4th, 2012, 11:15 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,285
Are you interested in Sun City for the casinos, golf and restaurants, or for the wildlife? If for the wildlife, I would go on safari at Entabeni or splurge and go to one of the camps around Kruger. Sun City is a nice resort, but it depends on what your interests are.
christabir is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 4th, 2012, 01:01 PM
  #3
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 26
Not interested in the casinos but would like to go on a safari . Are there any day trips we can take since our hotel is included in the package we have.Thanks
Rebam is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 4th, 2012, 01:36 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
Isn't Pilanesburg (sp) nearby? Someone?

Otherwise, if not interested the the resort style Sun City, consider a 'true' safari amd head to areas specifically know for them. Kruger is a good place to start, where there are many options in the main park or the adjacent private conservancies.

Do further research for safari. It's a long way to travel to visit a Las Vegas-style resort.
sandi is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 4th, 2012, 02:20 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,285
Check with the package and see what is included. Sun City is attached to Pilanesberg and you should have the opportunity to do game drives. It might depend on what accommodations you are booked in. Ask how many drives are included (should be two per day). Wild dogs were recently released there, they have a population of brown hyenas and it's a big five park. If safari is why you are going, make sure the package includes as much safari as possible. If not included, you may be able to upgrade to the safari accommodations. Look into it and let us know. Because it's more "resorty" we don't hear much about it.
christabir is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 4th, 2012, 02:41 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 4,108
If you are interested in safaris there isn't much point in visiting Sun City unless it is for curiosity, since Pilanesburg is very close to Sun City. There is an entrance fee to enter Sun City and if you want to see the Palace of the Lost City there is a further entrance fee. It gets busy at the weekends.

We visited Pilanesburg and Sun City last October, rented a car from JNB and did the trip ourselves, self-drive is possible in Pilanesburg game reserve but you can take an organised tour which I did on my first visit, which included a visit to a cultural centre, Sun City tour, lunch at Bakubung in Pilanesburg then a game drive late afternoon.
Odin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 5th, 2012, 02:08 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
www.jenmansafaris.com Garth Jenman best of breed there his
company may have some nice safari options that will work for you. Sun City rather Disneyesque for me not my cup of tea but
to each his own.
qwovadis is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 5th, 2012, 02:21 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 813
I'd indeed skip SC, if safari is your thing. I mean; even the Pilanesberg game park is very Disney-like. At least that's what I've heard.

If you are already staying at SC; there are better options than there are better options nearby. Like Madikwe. See this map...

http://www.sunsafaris.com/south-afri...-reserves-map/

...and click on Madikwe.

Further east, in the Waterberg region, are a whole bunch of reserves as well, of which Entabeni was already mentioned, but Marakele-Welgevonden is equally nice. Another map:

http://www.sunsafaris.com/south-afri...waterberg-map/

Of course, since you mentioned Jo'burg as well; then Kruger may be your best option. It's a short flight to Kruger. Even better (in terms of quality) are the private reserves near Kruger. This map shows them all;

http://www.sunsafaris.com/south-afri...uger-reserves/

Click on any reserve to see a detailed map of lodge locations, traversing rights, etc...

Have fun, but expect to be bitten by the safari-bug. IOW expect to be back and do not attempt to see it all at once!

J.
pixelpower is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 5th, 2012, 06:46 AM
  #9
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 26
Thanks everyone.Great links, pixelpower and qwovadis . I have been checking the sites out, so much useful info. Like most of you, not crazy about Suncity but it is part of the land tour so we might as well make the best of it.
Could Madikwe be done in a day ? How far a ride from Sun city?
Rebam is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 5th, 2012, 07:23 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 767
If you wanted to experience a safari you could head over to Pilanesberg, doing either a booked drive or a self drive. It doesn't feel Disneyesque to me but it is a far cry from the Kruger region and the safari experience it offers. Regarding Madikwe, it would take a few hours to drive there. However, Madikwe is not a self-drive reserve. Day visitors can book game drives through reserve lodges and camps, and transfers can be arranged from Sun City. Doing it in one day doesn't seem like a great idea to me.

I think that other posters could offer better advice if the itinerary was outlined. But, as a general thought, I always think it best to manage to include the Kruger region (the national park itself or the adjoining reserves) in a trip to South Africa---it's simply one of Africa's best safari regions and a provider of great memories.
sdb2 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 5th, 2012, 08:46 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,215
sbd2 - "But, as a general thought, I always think it best to manage to include the Kruger region (the national park itself or the adjoining reserves) in a trip to South Africa---it's simply one of Africa's best safari regions and a provider of great memories."

I'll second that, so will Carolyn and my sister. It's hard for me to separate South Africa from Kruger.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 5th, 2012, 11:02 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,285
Did you check to see what's included in your tour? Can you upgrade to Pilanesberg?

Madikwe is not a day trip. Plus the animals are most active early and late, so you want to stay over. I would just add safari, if your flights are not already paid for, at the end of your tour. There are affordable options in Sabi Sand and Timbavati - game reserves near Kruger.
christabir is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 5th, 2012, 01:06 PM
  #13
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,215
Madikwe, other than being malaria free, nothing special about Madikwe Reserve. Was there in 2007 for 5 nights, would not go back, even if on-the-way with my SA itinerary.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 5th, 2012, 01:15 PM
  #14
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 767
Tom, just curious when you went and what the weather was like. Were mornings and evenings chillier than one would experience in Kruger region? Thanks, Steve
sdb2 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 5th, 2012, 04:25 PM
  #15
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,215
Went May of 2007, five nights each, Madikwe Reserve, Timbavati Reserve and Sabi Sand reserve. Start of Winter in SA and we had some, not all, very chilly mornings and nights. While at Sabi Sand an unusual cold front blew in and got cold nights. That's seasonal weather. Reserves were very pretty green grass and trees yet grass/bush not high to obstruct viewing. My trip report-
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=35016274

Infact, FWIW, I have BA flights for this May 2012 in/out of JNB (from LAX).

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 5th, 2012, 04:59 PM
  #16
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 767
Tom, thanks---that's a great report! I see you're breaking your oath not to go in May/June. I hope the honeymooners are not too giddy. But maybe you have that private vehicle! In any case, bet you can't wait.

BTW I looked at and enjoyed a bunch of your photos from various trips. I especially liked the shot from the bridge looking down on the elephant and croc---nice catch. Best, Steve
sdb2 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 5th, 2012, 05:31 PM
  #17
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,215
Thanks Steve. Yeah, I remember the honeymooners on game drives!! One young bride's hair was simply gorgeous outrageous, blonde, long big curls, she must have spent a hour on it every morning!!!!!

Main reason I picked May is because off/low season so hoping for some really big $$$ camp discounts. My plan is to call them in April and ask about deals for May. Good idea?? any others??

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 5th, 2012, 05:53 PM
  #18
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,087
Pilanesberg is adjacent to SC. You can do a safari from the hotel and there is nothing wrong with the P'berg for a safari experience. IMO there is greater species diversity there than in the So Kruger. You'll have the opportunity of seeing both species of rhino as well as a huge variety of plains game. Go for it. If you can do a night drive, another bonus as you can see both brown and spotted hyena.
mkhonzo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 5th, 2012, 05:54 PM
  #19
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Could you share your tour itinerary, Rebam? That might help with suggestions if we know what is there for sure. And is it for sure, as in paid for and agreed to or can you make changes?

Cary999, some of us just have naturally flowing and glamorous tresses that dance in the breeze of an open safari vehicle.
atravelynn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 5th, 2012, 06:56 PM
  #20
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,215
Aaaahhh yes atravelynn, your dancing flowing tresses, and those thigh-high waders, such are dreams made of .

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:26 AM.