General Questions re SA Planning for a 2 month stay

May 20th, 2008, 12:25 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,363
General Questions re SA Planning for a 2 month stay

I posted a couple of days ago looking for an instructional thread for African planning for next Jan/Feb 2009 - atravelynn said we should stay in Africa the whole time (two months) and I think she's right.

Trying to figure out what that would look like - maybe something like this:

Mid January - arrive Johanneseburg (I think that's the most likely landing place for *A airlines).....and then off for safari(s) - don't know where yet.....and am somewhat concerned about the time of year being too hot/rainy? Maybe 2 weeks.

Then 3/4 weeks in a villa rental (I started looking at the False Bay Coast after atravelynn mentioned Great Whites - would have to do that!).... could drive the Garden Route (which has struck me to be like the Great Ocean Road in Australia for some reason)

Then - well, don't know yet. Maybe Chumbe Island for diving (I know, I know - I said no beaches but then found this!) - but maybe late Feb/early March is not the time to go.

A few (of many) questions:

- overall how much does South Africa cost - a somewhat ridiculous question but if you could equate holiday rentals/grocery costs/mid level restaurants/bars to either the US/Canada/New Zealand or Australia I could get a sense of it. On some websites I'm seeing nice holiday rentals for under $100US/night in February

- could we wait and book safaris once we're there? We have done that successfully in other locations (i.e. Galapagos) because we're there and have time to be flexible and can save some money

- what about staying in the False Bay area for 3/4 weeks? We stayed in the Napier area (North Island/NZ) for 3 weeks and loved it.

So much to think about! So many more posts to come!

Thanks for anyone's input.

Elizabeth_S is offline  
May 20th, 2008, 12:44 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
Chumbe Island - you do realize that it's in Tanzania, located off the coast of Zanzibar Island!

Well, you sure have time to fly from JNB to DAR to ZNZ and ferry to Chumbe and then return to JNB. You might want to consider something closer, like Mozambique.

sandi is offline  
May 20th, 2008, 12:49 PM
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Hi Sandi - yes I do!

My title wasn't quite correct.

I have to explore my flights option in to and out of Africa via Air Canada/other Star Alliance partners, but right now figure we can travel within on regional airlines.

What would you suggest in Mozambique?

Thanks - my learning curve is very steep here!
Elizabeth_S is offline  
May 20th, 2008, 01:20 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Elizabeth -

Hakuna matata - no problem!

It was a funny big continent, so many places, great distances. You'll get it worked out.

Mozambique - sorry, not much more than what I've garnered here, but there are quite a number of threads to be found here on Fodor's. Do a search in the box above.

Lots of new areas with lovely properties. Also, believe it'll be easier to get to from SA.

sandi is offline  
May 20th, 2008, 01:24 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,999
We only spent a few days in SA last year, but I thought the cost of dining out was a bargain compared to the US (we're in southern CA) and the ZAR has actually lost value against the dollar since we were there (must be one of the few currencies that has!). We didn't buy groceries and haven't been to NZ/OZ (though I'm currently planning that) so can't help there.

A site I've read about here for last minute bookings is though I haven't used it myself.

I'm unfamiliar with Aeroplan rules but if you have access to all of SA's network, that certainly opens up a lot of possibilities!

Good luck with your planning!
Patty is offline  
May 21st, 2008, 01:18 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,809
hi elizabeth,

generally, the cost of living in SA seems a lot lower than the UK, and the US, especailly if you are going to be there for such a long time, relatively, to the rest of us.

If possible, i would suggest starting in CPT and working east. a 3-4 week stay in that area would be a very good start IMO - there is loads to do and see especailly if you were prepared to take one or two 2-3 day trips to teh winelands, knysna, etc.

then if you were going to use the rest of your time profitably, I'd head for the drakensburg mountains and Kruger - we haven't got there yet but are planning for enxt summer.

after that - it'll be easy to access Tanzania etc. from Jo'burg.

good luck,

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
May 23rd, 2008, 12:19 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 90
Bear in mind that January/February are high season, so I would recommend booking.

Let me give you some prices for comparison.

Milk R8 for a litre
tin of cool drink R5.50
Lean mince is R45 per kilo
Macdonalds meal is around R25
Thai food take away is around R50-60
A steak in a restaurant starts at R80
A bottle of wine that is drinkable would be from R40 in the shop and from R80 in a restaurant

Most restaurants in Cape Town (barring the really touristy ones) will allow you to bring your own wine and may or may not charge you a corkage fee of usually 10-20 rand). Meals at the places I visit would be around R100-120 per person

(as you can tell, I don't cook much!!)

I would start your holiday in Cape Town and explore the winelands. Then head up the Garden Route. From there, fly to the Kruger and onwards to Mozambique.

You could also consider the northern coast of South Africa for diving. Rocktail Bay or Thonga Beach are stunning and not as expensive as Mozambique.
Poppins is offline  
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