fly or drive to sabi sands from JNB??

Old Apr 15th, 2008, 08:45 AM
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fly or drive to sabi sands from JNB??

A question for some of you experienced safari goers....we've been given the following options:

1. 3 nts. Capetown, followed by a flight to JNB, then self-drive to sabi sands with an overnight in Graskop on the Panorama route, or...

2. 4 nights Capetown, then fly to JNB and a Federal Air transfer to Kirkman's.

This is our first trip to Southern Africa and we want to see as much as possible, so ....extra night in Capetown, or the Panorama Route???
jgoebel is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2008, 09:10 AM
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hello jgoebel

would most definately go for 4 nts cpt and DRIVE to kirkmans.
when you book an early morning flight to joburg it should be sufficient to get there by 0300pm early enough for your afternoon game drive.
and save me the panoroute for the way back to joburg - but that depends on your departure time the last day.
Old Apr 15th, 2008, 10:15 AM
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Your first time in SA and first safari?
If you don't mind driving on the wrong side of the road, I'd opt for the 3 nts CPT and drive to Sabi Sand from JNB. (I'm not a big city type of guy to begin with). Driving directly JNB to Sabi Sand (no sight seeing) I believe takes at least 4 hours and maybe closer to 6. The last 20 miles on a rough gravel road is very slow going. (No sense in arriving at safari camp after game drive, you've just spent many $$$$ on only a room). So spending the night at Graskop-Hazyview area is good idea then driving into Sabi Sand the next morning. Same thing if you want to drive back out and do the Panorama route. You need to spend a night somewhere.

A lot depends on your fondness for driving and timing of flights. The Panorama Route is nice - but - not spectacular if you are familiar with the Southwest of the USA.

regards - tom
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Old Apr 15th, 2008, 11:33 PM
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Why don't you start in Cape Town for 4 nights, the fly directly to the Kruger Airport (Nelspruit) and drive to the lodge. Then on your last day, leave the lodge after breakfast, drive the panorama route and to Johannesburg. I would imagine that your flight out will be in the evening anyway, so you can just as well fill the day.

I wouldn't spend a night on the Panorama Route and miss out on a night in Cape Town.
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Old Apr 16th, 2008, 04:53 AM
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Is there a direct flight from Capetown to Nelspruit, or is that a connection in JNB?? Seems like almost everything in SA hubs through there....
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Old Apr 16th, 2008, 05:12 AM
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There is a direct flight from Cape Town to Nelspruit on SAA.
There is also a flight on Nationwide that goes via Johannesburg to Nelspruit without you getting off the plane.

The SAA flight is of course the faster option!
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Old Apr 16th, 2008, 06:51 AM
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I would drive and include Graskop.

Driving from JNB (assume the airport) to Sabi Sands will get you to the lodge (probably) too late for the evening game drive, thus reducing the comparative value of the first night, whereas stopping in Graskop will allow you a good few hours' touring the Panoramic Route, then the next day you'll arrive at the lodge in plenty of time for the afternoon activities.

You don't say when you're traveling, but if it's during the southern winter the weather around Graskop/Sabi will likely be nicer than in Cape Town too.

We stayed at the Graskop Hotel a couple of years ago and thought it was fine. If you get there before closing (or the next day) don't miss the pancakes at Harrie's.
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Old Apr 20th, 2008, 11:13 AM
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We flew SAA from Cape Town to Kruger - Nelspruit in March and it went fine. We then flew into Sabi Sands on a small plane but drove out to Kruger to catch our SAA flight to Jo'berg. The flight on the small plane into Sabi Sands was a fun experience. It does mean you have to pack a little more compactly to be sure the luggage can squeeze onto the plane.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2008, 02:16 AM
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I would def not add another night in Cape town and add that night on the Panorama Route, you could fly SAA Cape Town to Kruger Mpumalanga International and then get a transfer to kirkmans. After Kirkmans you could do a full day Panorama tour with a guide and a driver and get them to drop tou off at somewhere like Chestnut Country House, Tanamera or Cybele and have a wonderful last night, and then the next day you could explore it a little more in the morning and then fly from KMIA to Johannesburg for you flight home. It is BEAUTIFUL and really worth seeing!
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