Help: 4 days, 3 nights in (or our of) Johannesburg


Apr 22nd, 2014, 07:42 AM
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Help: 4 days, 3 nights in (or our of) Johannesburg


My husband has a business trip to Johannesburg the first week in June. He will be busy through 5:00 p.m. on Thursday the 5th and doesn't fly out until 8:00 p.m. on Monday the 9th. He would like to spend that time seeing wildlife but we have no idea what is feasible and/or reasonable to do in that time period.

While he isn't necessarily trying to see the big five in one weekend, he would like to see some of the iconic African mammals. He is also a birder, so birds are good also.

We would truly appreciate any help or suggestions that you can offer on what might be reasonable to attempt in that short time frame.

Thank you for your assistance

Pamela (on behalf of Vic)
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Apr 22nd, 2014, 08:28 AM
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Would he be willing to drive to a game reserve? What about a short flight?
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Apr 22nd, 2014, 09:28 AM
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You can rent a car and drive to Pilanesburg. Its about 2-3 hours from JNB. We did this last December and saw a great variety of animals including 4 rhinos, giraffes, zebras, elephants, hippos, buffalos, assortment of birds etc. We stopped at Bakubung game lodge for lunch. It is easy to do a self drive excursion within Pilanesburg, lots of people take their car, you do need GPS however. Elephant Sanctuary on the way to Pilanesburg,
The Lion Park near Lanseria is also good.
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Apr 22nd, 2014, 10:59 AM
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If budget permits fly somewhere in Sabi Sands like Mala Mala Main Camp.

He'll see so much wildlife at such close proximity and be so well looked after that he'll return home a very happy person!
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Apr 22nd, 2014, 11:45 AM
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What kind of budget does he have? Fly or drive more comfortable?
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Apr 22nd, 2014, 12:04 PM
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He would be more comfortable driving than flying. He won't specify a budget but I am sure he is going to suffer some degree of sticker shock (I will try to talk him through the ss). However, I do think Mala Mala is out of the price range.

Thanks for your assistance!
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Apr 22nd, 2014, 12:11 PM
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Pilanesburg is certainly an option, or a couple of hours further, Madikwe.

If he's a birder, a quick, cheap flight down to Cape Town and 2 hours in the car puts him in West Coast National Park, a huge birding destination. He could stay in Paternoster, a very picturesque village on the Atlantic coast near to the national park. No big predators in the national park, but many antelope, some zebra, and LOTS of birds.
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Apr 22nd, 2014, 08:41 PM
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He could drive three-four hours north of Joberg and visit Entabeni, mostly major highway. There are 5-6 different camps in different price ranges. There are many game reserves around there, but Entabeni is the largest (and quite reasonably priced). We loved it, and if he golfs there is a lovely course. He can also visit Sun City/Pilanesberg for a less authentic, but very fun experience - safari and casinos!! Other locations (Kruger area, Madikwe) are a bit far in my opinion to drive to for such a short trip.
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May 17th, 2014, 12:01 PM
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Hey! I am from Johannesburg Does he need advise on what to do while there?
Pilanesburg is very good and close by- he will see a lot. Also have a look at the Diamond Route and Birding Route
- a bit of a unique experience to the normal "kruger" thing and very informative. Shout if you need more information on this
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Oct 26th, 2014, 06:17 PM
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Jenka from johannesburg, We will be there for 3 days before going to Kruger and then Capetown. Other than getting over jet lag what should we check out in Jo, without a rental car?
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Oct 26th, 2014, 09:11 PM
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Hi Cherylbr,

I have been living in Joburg for the past year and there is a lot to do here. Getting around is a bit tough without a car, and you don't mention where you are staying but maybe your hotel can help you with taxis or a driver.

Soweto is a must. A really fun way to experience it is on a bike. Check out :

We did the 4 hour tour, which is great but you don't get the time to visit the museums which was fine for us as we can go back, but you may want to look at the all day tour where they are included. You can see some photos from our tour on my blog here:

Another thing that I recommend is the Big Red Bus Tour. This is a fantastic way to see some of the sites in and around the CBD (Central Business District). They have 12 stops total, but you won't be able to see them all in one day. Their website is here:

Don't miss the stop at the Carlton Centre for the 360° panoramic views. There is also the Apartheid Museum (we went back later and spent over 4 hours here) and Constitution Hill (highly recommended though I haven't personally visited yet). The Mining district was also interesting but I only recommend it if you are visiting on the weekday as the area was deserted on the weekend. My blog post about our visit is here:

There are also some fun food markets to visit if you are here on the right days. Braamfontein and the Neighbourgoods Market on a Saturday:

Sundays is Market on Main:

Those are my favourites but there are others too such as the newly opened [email protected]: that is receiving rave review but I haven't had time to visit yet.

There are a lot of walking tours around the city to get to know some of the areas of the city more difficult to visit on your own. I highly recommmend Ancient Secrets if there is a tour during your visit (they are only offered about every 2 weeks, usually on a Saturday or Sunday). The facebook page is here:

We have done about 6 of these tours and they are always fantastic. I have written about 3 of them so far here:

There are others with good reviews but as I haven't done them yet I can't personally recommend them but you can also check out Dlala Nje or Past Experiences

There is of course much more but I hope that gives you some ideas to start with. Have a great stay in Joburg and South Africa and let me know if you have any other questions, I'll be glad to try and help.
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Oct 28th, 2014, 04:06 AM
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If you are planning to drive from JNB, then I would definately go to Madikwe. If you want to consider a short flight out of Jo'burg (1 hour in light aircraft transfer) then I would do go to Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve. You have basically a weekend and so I would go where you are sure to see the Big 5 and have very good guides/rangers with you in the jeep who communicate with other rangers to secure sightings. What is your budget? I'm sure there are plenty of options that will work. Happy to help!
Dianne, Africa Direct USA
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