Independent vs tour to south africa

Reply

Jan 25th, 2012, 04:33 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 84
Independent vs tour to south africa

We are two active seniors who have travelled extensively on our own. COuld someone advise us on a 3 week trip to South Africa - including 3n on safari at a moderate private reserve. Seems like modest ($100 or less) hotels around Cape Town, Garden and Winelands are very hard to find. We are planning to travel in October or early November.
Any thoughts are travel to the Zulu areas around Durban -question safety issues?
Also any suggestions for flights from Capetown to the majr sites.
Any help planning would be great. Thanks
julebarbara is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 25th, 2012, 08:24 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 642
You can easily do South Africa on your own.

I'd suggest flying into Hoedspruit from either JNB or CPT and staying at a private lodge such as Umkumbe in the Sabi Sand or Shindzela in the Timbavati. If you want to visit Kruger this is a good area from which to access the park. Alternatively, you could drive from JNB out through the Blyde River Canyon stopping at scenic spots like Bourke's Potholes and God's window and then drive through the battlefields area for some colonial history. I can heartily recommend the Royal Hotel in Dundee.

You could then drive through Swaziland to the Elephant Coast maybe stopping at Hluhluwe-Umfolozi NP before heading to St Lucia at the coast before moving onto Durban from where you could fly to CPT or drive via the scenic Garden Route. I know that Drifters used to organise pre-booked self-drives if you would like some assistance with the bookings. I think they would also be able to recommend accommodation to suit your budget.

Its possible to fly to most major destinations from CPT, and if not the worse case scenario is usually that you would need to transit through JNB.

Blackheath Lodge is an elegant B&B in the Sea Point area of Cape Town which is just a little more than the price you are seeking, still its central and includes a good breakfast. I can also recommend Cape Eco-tours for day trips around Cape Town.

If you post a few more clues as to your interests in South Africa other travellers with great experience will chime in with their ideas.

Happy planning,


Pol
Treepol is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 25th, 2012, 09:31 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,285
We were in Zululand, north of Durban, in June. Never felt unsafe in the normal sense. It was much scarier driving with the potholes, children and goats in the highway! And badly marked speed bumps, road construction and very slow moving vehicles. But it wasn't all that dangerous, but you need to keep aware. We visited Hluhluwe NP, Zululand Rhino Reserve and Tembe Elephant Park. I would recommend all three, knowing they are not as luxurious as places like Phinda. Beautiful area and i would add St Lucia if you can. Durban? Just another city. The drive from the Kruger region through Swaziland requires an overnight. We stayed at a resort in Mbabane. (gambled all night and ate too much). Don't drive Durban to Port Elizabeth. That route is pretty desolate. There are lots of flights to get you where you need to go in all the major cities. Consider using Richards Bay for Zululand.

Just 3 nights on safari? Last time we were there, it was 20 nights, 17 nights on safari. Think about doing 2 camps in different areas for 3 nights each. There's nothing like it.

I can't help with inexpensive accommodations in CT. We stayed high end. Would you consider a B&B? There are many throughout the country.

Have fun planning. Let us know your plans as you decide.
christabir is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 26th, 2012, 03:28 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 184
October early Novemeber is a great time to be in Cape Town, it's whale season, it's warming up & spring flowers are blooming !

Do you intend to drive ? it's on the left side. Cape Town deserves at least 4 days, same for the Garden Route, then end in PE for a safari or flight to Durban or Jo.burg.

As mentioned there are many B&B's of very high standards, any local tourist office will be able to help.
braaiseason is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 26th, 2012, 03:35 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
flysa.com self guiding packages abound at great prices.
Hotels around flights otel.com booking.com under $100
cheap places on the otherwise as you road trip around.
seat61.com/southafrica can be cheap and fun if adventurous.

Have fun!
qwovadis is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 26th, 2012, 03:37 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
jenmansafaris.com good info might consider Sabi Sands
qwovadis is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 26th, 2012, 06:39 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 983
You can find lodging for less than $100 if you look into self-catering places. You get lots of space and a place to make your own morning coffee/tea (and all your meals if you like). A particularly nice self-catering chain is the Don Hotels. They're in most of the SA cities, and they give you a nice room with bath and kitchen for about $100. (At least that's what it cost two years ago -- might be a little more now.) You can book on-line. A search for "winelands self-catering" or some such will give you a lot of sites for inexpensive lodging.

I too think it's really easy to do SA on your own. My husband and I have done it more than a dozen times.

If it were me, I'd spend a lot more time on safari. In addition to, or instead of, a private reserve, you can stay in Kruger Park for about $100 a night, and go on game drives with the rangers as well as on your own. Kruger is really the world's greatest game park, and I wouldn't miss it. But I know you'll have wonderful time whatever you decide.

Celia
Celia 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 08:01 AM.