Notices

Itinerary for 15 -20 days in South Africa.

Reply

May 7th, 2012, 02:17 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 9
Itinerary for 15 -20 days in South Africa.

We are planning on a15 - 18 days holiday of S. Africa by about the mid of June '12, and I seek help and advise from fellow travellers for helping me form an interesting itinerary.

1. Is this time enough to do Kruger, Sun City, Cape Town, Wine country, and Garden route? If not, then which sector can be skipped ( Wine Country ? )

2. Which are the places for staying and number of days that you'll recommend in Kruger, wild life being the first preference? Would prefer economical accommodation.

3. Would like to do Garden route in a linear manner, where do you advise should our night halts be ? Can you recommend some places to stay? Don't mind doing our own cooking, if it saves on the wallet.

4. We'll be arriving from New Delhi, India, and landing at Johanessburg. Will Cape town be preferable?

5. Probably this will be our first and last visit to S. Africa, so would you recommend some not to be missed destinations, even if we have to extend our trip?

6. How should we route our trip?

Please do let me know if you ever happen to visit India, and need any assistance / information. We have a number of parks and Tiger reserves worth visiting. Gir Lion reserve has the biggest pride ( 32 members ) of lions in the world!

Thanking you,
Regards,

Sudhir Kochhar
sudhirkochhar is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 7th, 2012, 06:19 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,135
annhig on May 7, 12 at 4:04am
sudhirkochar - please don't miss Cape Town. we spent 4 nights there at the beginning of our trip a few years ago [at about the same time of year] and it wasn't a moment too long. we spent one day on Table Mountain and the Kirstenbosch Gardens, another exploring the town, and a third going down to the Cape itself.

then we drove along the garden route via the winelands - which unless you want fine dining and/or have a huge interest in wone might be the bit I'd miss out. finally we did a safari near Port Eliziabeth - but that would not interest you as you are going to Kruger.

I would allow at least 4 nights for Cape Town, and 6 for the Garden Route, [we only had 5 which was not long enough]. I can't help you with SunCity and Kruger, though as you have your own safari options at home, you may not want to spend too much time there.

BTW the weather in SA at that time of year isn't necessarily what you will be used to coming from India. on safari we needed coats, gloves and scarves, and CT was wet and chilly at times. also in CT you need to watch for when Table Mountain is not covered by the "tablecloth" of cloud that tends to collect on the top of it. if you see that it's clear, THAT's the time to go.



Femi on May 7, 12 at 6:15am

Hi Sudhir,
We (Fodorites) all have different preferences for travel which is great because it will give you lots to think about including options you might never have considered.

To answer your questions briefly here, I would highly recommend you land in Cape Town as annhig mentions above. It's one of my all time favorite cities. I end up in Joburg a lot, but only for connections to other destinations.

The 'skip'able part of the Western Cape is entirely up to you, as you have to choose which activities appeal to you most. I'm not much of a wine drinker, but the seting for wine country is gorgeous. Then again the garden route is also very scenic (I spent 6 days just outside of Plettenberg during my most recent visit).

Why do you want to go to Sun City?
Femi is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 7th, 2012, 06:24 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,135
Also - You'll need to define 'economical' as this varies from person to person. What's your budget?

Probably this will be our first and last visit to S. Africa...
Ha! Most of us thought our first trip would be our only trip, and look at us now!
Femi is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 7th, 2012, 08:45 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 50,332
transferring this over from the other thread:

On the garden route what are the places we should night halt at, and, since there are so many of them, which one's do we really concentrate on?>>

we made 2 stops along the garden route, but i wished we'd done 3, starting with Hermanus for the whale watching - you will be going at exactly the right time of year and you can watch from the shore [binoculars are useful] or [i believe] go out in a boat if conditions allow. we ended up in Hermanus after a day driving through the wine country, which might be a way that you could enjoy the scenery referred to by Femi.

as you will see if you read higher up on Femi's thread, you'll see a dicussion about Grootbos, which Femi really liked and we thought was ok - i felt that the other [eastern] end of the garden route was more rewarding, and if went again, would choose to stay at Knysna, where there is a particularly nice trip you can do out to what are called the "Heads".

our next stop after Grootbos was Plettenberg, where we stayed here:

http://www.hog-hollow.com/

i can't recommend it strongly enough. we mentioned it to friends who were visiting SA after us and they said it was the best place they had stayed, anywhere, ever!

because we were headed to PE area for a safari we missed out on this next area, [apart from the bungee jump at Bloukrans [http://www.sa-venues.com/attractions...ans-bungi.htm] but we wished we'd had time to stop at the Tsitsikamma national park - tree top walks and other attractions look very good.

PE [Port elizabeth] i would give a miss.

hope this helps!
annhig is online now  
Reply With Quote
May 7th, 2012, 08:52 AM
  #5
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 9
Hi Femi!

Thanks for your reply.

A visit to Sun City is just for it's much talked about beauty, and nothing else in particular.

By economical I meant that we'll prefer to stay in medium scale accommodation, be perfectly at ease with self catering too, but location should be scenic, good, and, safe. I think accommodation will be the major expense on this trip. Also, we plan to hire a vehicle and self drive. The budget is open as one has no idea about expenses, but hope become aware of in this forum.
sudhirkochhar is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 7th, 2012, 10:43 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,285
Sudhir - that's next month! Finding accommodations may be difficult, so be persistent.

I would fly into Cape Town, do 4 nights including wine country and the penguins at Boulder Beach. Then I would rent a car and do the Garden Route, winding up in Addo or the private camps nearby. Then I'd drop off the car at Port Elizabeth and fly to Kruger. Spend 3 nights in two separate camps - maybe one in Sabi Sand and one in Timbavati (or all Sabi Sand). For camps in all price ranges:

www.sabisand.co.za

That uses up all of your time. Sun City is a resort. I'd skip it, but I prefer safari. But you can fit it in between Addo and Kruger or at the end. You can fly out of JNB.

If you'd prefer, you can also choose to do three nights in Kruger on a self drive. It's really great. Finding accommodations at this late date will require lots of calling or checking online. But it's great.

You won't be disappointed with any of the camps in Sabi Sand. Choosing one is always difficult. Try to stay toward the eastern part and also consider Mala Mala. Have fun planning. Please ask about anything.

S Africa can be cold in June. Plan layers to add/remove as the days are warm-nights and mornings cold.
christabir is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 7th, 2012, 07:11 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,135
annhig I loved Hog Hollow! The staff were incredible.
Femi is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 7th, 2012, 07:18 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,135
From the other thread...
For a Travel Agent I've been happy with http://www.go2africa.com/
Femi is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 8th, 2012, 09:43 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 50,332
annhig I loved Hog Hollow! The staff were incredible.>>

we loved everything there - the accommodation in those little bungalows, the moneys running over the roof, the stories on the pillow at night, the birds in the garden, the company and conversation at dinner [and the excellent food] - the whole place was a joy.

and i agree about the service - wish we could bottle it!
annhig is online now  
Reply With Quote
May 8th, 2012, 08:29 PM
  #10
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 9
Thank you, Ann, Femi, and, Christabir! From your inputs and some research a plan that emerges is as follows;

1. Joburg O/n
2. Joburg to Kruger by self driven vehicle, Elephant plains at Sebi Sands and do evening or night safari. Check out the next day after doing the morning Safari.
3. Reach Kruger National Park ( State Run part of it ), do the self drive safari, depending on arrival time. 4. Check out, and proceed to Blyde river Canyon, and after a brief stopover proceed to Joburg and O/n.
5. Fly to Elizabeth, and proceed to Shamwari Game reserve and o/n.
6. After doing the morning safari at Shamwari, checkout and proceed to do the Garden route spending 4 nights enroute, 1 each at Knysna, Oudtshoorn, Hermanus, and Plettenberg.
11. Proceed to Cape town via the wine country and spend 4 nights in Cape town and also cover its sorroundings?
sudhirkochhar is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 8th, 2012, 08:31 PM
  #11
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 9
After completing cape town we fly back to Joburg and next day take the flight back home.

What are your views on this? Please comment.
sudhirkochhar is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 8th, 2012, 09:23 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,285
You're going to be very disappointed with your three one night safaris. Otherwise, it's fine - but you move every night to a new place. I'm exhausted just reading it. You'll see a lot, but aren't giving yourself any time to stop and just experience your surroundings. I would either extend your stay so you have more down time, or (I can't believe I, a safari girl, is saying this) skip Kruger and add more Shamwari. Your time at EP and Kruger and Blyde is too rushed and it's the best part, in my view, of your trip!! Either skip it or add more time there.
christabir is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 8th, 2012, 09:52 PM
  #13
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 437
Completely agree with Christabir, way too much moving around. Last year we had 15 days and we did 6 Kruger, 3 Sabi and 6 Cape Town. Can you add any more days ? If not, I would at the very least, stay in only one place for your safari time, either Sabi or Kruger. I am not sure if you have time to see Blyde on the way to JoBurg. We left Sabi after the morning drive, had a stop for lunch and just made it to the airport around 7 pm. Then, I think you could also either pick Knysna or Plett and stay 2 nights instead of 1 each to cut down the moving around a bit. Lastly, can you not get a flight out of Cape Town ?
kellyee21 is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 9th, 2012, 06:17 AM
  #14
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,135
Agree with christabir, spend more time in fewer places- 50% fewer places! Just reading your proposed itinerary is exhausting.

This is why so many of us end up on repeated visits. South Africa is a big country and you simply cannot do it all in one trip.

With your given time frame I personally would choose just Shamwari, the Garden Route and Cape Town. You'll have to come back for Kruger
Femi is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 9th, 2012, 08:27 AM
  #15
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 50,332
why are you racing around, subhir? honestly, there is no need [IMHO] to do safaris in Kruger and the eastern cape. and I thought that you had 15 -20 days, not the 10-12 you seem to be down to now.

if you just have the shorter time, i agree forget Kruger and Blyde River - just do Shamwari /or similar] plus the garden route and Cape Town.

if 15 days, you could do a Kruger safari, then fly to PE, stay in Plett and Hermanus, then Cape Town. in 20 days, you could add Blyde river, Knysna and/or TsiTsikamma into the mix.

i also feel that doing one night stays in safari lodges/camps is a waste of money - most of them offer a full board service, and unless you stay at least 2 nights, you miss out on half of what you've paid for. generally you get best vaule if you arrive before lunch - you then get lunch, an afternoon safari or activity, dinner, a night safari, an early morning safari, and breakfast.

arrive late, [which is a danger with your itinerary] and you will miss a lot.
annhig is online now  
Reply With Quote
May 9th, 2012, 08:37 PM
  #16
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 9
Hi everybody,

I guess what all of you, Christabir, Kellyee21, Femi, and, Annhig, say makes much more sense than what I propose !

I'll mull over your advice and come up with a fresh plan, incorporating the correct and realistic suggestions given by you.
sudhirkochhar is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 10th, 2012, 05:24 AM
  #17
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 50,332
I guess what all of you, Christabir, Kellyee21, Femi, and, Annhig, say makes much more sense than what I propose ! >>

don't be downcast, subhir.

we all have the advantage of having been there - that's why you came here, isn't it?
annhig is online now  
Reply With Quote
May 10th, 2012, 09:18 AM
  #18
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 9
Of course, that's why I came here.

The fresh plan is;

Now we'll skip Elizabeth, Shimwari etc for another time and concentrate exclusively on Kruger, Garden route, and Cape Town. We'll also add Vic falls !! We'll fly in directly to George from Kruger, from where we'll cover the Garden route and Cape town. The following is the plan;

Joburg - Kruger, 3 nights.

Kruger - Vic Falls, 1 night ( O/n Zambia Side )

Vic Falls / Kruger - George - Wilderness - We base ourselves at Wilderness for 3 to 4 nights and from here we cover the entire Garden route from Plettenburg bay to Knysna, Bloukrans Bridge, Outdshoorn, Cango Caves, Hermanus, Swellendam, and, Franschoek.

Wilderness - Cape town - 4 Days.

Please suggest some good safari operator who can offer accommodation and the safaris, flooding etc all inclusive. Can they book our internal flights too. Also, is it better to hire a taxi on a daily basis or take one for each sector?

From Cape Town we fly back to Joburg and take the return flight to New-Delhi, India.

Travellers views please .
sudhirkochhar is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 10th, 2012, 10:26 AM
  #19
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 50,332
Hi sudhir - much better - i think we're ALMOST there!

however, i would not try to do the garden route, Winelands and Hermanus ALL from Wilderness. you will spend an awfully long time on the road going back and forth - and on the same road at that.

this is one of those rare times when instead of 4 nights in one place, i would recommend 2 nights in the east [at Plett or Knysna] and 2 in the west [ say hermanus or Franschoek.] [3 in the east would be better].

we hired a car in Cape town and kept it til we got to PE, so you could hire a car in George and return it in Cape town when you fly out. i can't help if you decide to hire a car with a driver, sorry.
annhig is online now  
Reply With Quote
May 10th, 2012, 01:45 PM
  #20
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,285
I don't understand the one night Vic Falls addition. Seems like a lot of time and money for one night. You could go to Chobe NP for a couple of nights.

It's a 6-7 hour drive from Kruger to JNB. Are you flying? Where are you planning on staying in Kruger? In the park or the private reserves? Availability at this late date may be difficult.

You want a driver for the Garden Rt? It's really unnecessary unless you don't drive. It's easy in that area.

From previous posts, it sounded like you had arranged some of this or at least checked availability. A few posters have had good luck with Sun Safaris based in SA. Maybe Wild Wings? They will help you with the time it takes for all of your transfers. I would use someone based in SA - those are the only two I can remember off the top of my head. They should steer you in the right direction to make a plan that makes sense and arrange transfers between all of your airports and accommodations.
christabir 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



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:28 AM.