Johannesburg - good airfare - what to do?

Jul 25th, 2010, 05:54 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 148
Johannesburg - good airfare - what to do?

There is a super airfare offer to Johannesburg. Have not considered going there before but this amount is too good to pass up.

What is your suggestion for a short holiday (5-6 days) in Johannesburg? We're looking at March 2011 but need to get ticketed asap.

Stay in the city? Wwill we have things to do? Places to see? Reasonable place to stay (not cheap but good value)? These questions sound so shallow but we need to react quickly and have not done much personal research (something that makes me crazy when other people fail to do any work of their own).

Suggestions from your experience, please.
lukehead is offline  
Jul 25th, 2010, 06:24 PM
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It's really far even from the east coast. You're looking at three days of travel and 2 days in Joberg. If you can go longer, S Africa is an amazing country with tons to do.
christabir is offline  
Jul 25th, 2010, 07:41 PM
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Your in USA???
If so, you would have to -pay me- to make those flights for a 5-6 day stay in Joburg. Not my idea of a "holiday"!!!!

Having said that, I'd spend all 5-6 days in a safari camp in the Timbavati, Kings Camp or Sabi Sand, MalaMala, reserves. Total cost with flights from JNB to those reserves, 6 nights safari camp, around $4,300 per person.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Jul 25th, 2010, 07:42 PM
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your = you're
cary999 is offline  
Jul 25th, 2010, 09:23 PM
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I agree with Cary999, do not stop in Jburg, but go directly to Mala Mala. I would in a heartbeat.
ShellCat is offline  
Jul 25th, 2010, 10:30 PM
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What airline and timeframe are you looking at?
ShayTay is offline  
Jul 26th, 2010, 05:26 AM
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As others, with only 5-6/days "in-country" (I assume that's what you mean), then not in Johannesburg. On arrival JNB, take 1/day to recoup from jetlag (often cheaper than a nt on safari). Then best to spend your time out at Kruger. This can be in the park proper on a "guided" itinerary or lovely tented camps on the private reserves as Sabi Sands, Timbivati or Manyeletti. Then back to JNB and homebound.

Choice of where to visit and stay will be based on your budget. Just make sure that when visiting is not during school break and/or Easter holiday (check when these take place in SA); you might find limited space as locals also safari during this time.

Good luck!
sandi is offline  
Jul 26th, 2010, 01:27 PM
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I need to clarify - I'm talking about 5-6 days in addition to travel time. Flight from DTW/JFK arrives at 11:15 day following departure; flight from DTW/IAD arrives as 17:40 day following departure. Each flight stops in Dakar. (Haven't checked into time difference - we're EST.) I wasn't thinking safari at all but could be convinced. I recognize that Johannesburg is not a traditional tourist destination but I like city holidays. You all are thinking not the best idea?

Wildwings: Do you have a website for the Krueger safari you mentioned?

Shaytay: SAA/March 2011
lukehead is offline  
Jul 26th, 2010, 01:54 PM
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What have you heard about Joburg that interests you?? (You just missed the World Cup ). Capetown seems to be the preferred tourist city in SA, but I've never been there.

I go to South Africa for safari, only safari. If it's cities I want, I go to Europe or the Far East. Just my 2 cents FWIW

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Jul 26th, 2010, 02:47 PM
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Yeh, if going that far, I'd head to Cape Town and the surrounding areas... it's a keeper of a city.

Strongly suggest though, regardless a super airfare, best to have an idea of where you're traveling, what it has to offer, so you know why! Otherwise, it's not much different than "if it's Tuesday, it must be Belgium."

There are many great airfares to many places, but for what reason?

As tom, many visit SA for safari, so do consider this your "reason."
sandi is offline  
Jul 26th, 2010, 08:57 PM
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A short time in S Africa is better than no time IMHO. If you are interested in safari, look into Elephant Plains, Arathusa and Mashatu. They are all affordable for safari camps. June - Sept is the best time for animal viewing, and March will probably be pretty hot.

50 hours of flight time to get to/from JNB. I'd try to go longer if at all possible.
christabir is offline  
Jul 27th, 2010, 12:29 AM
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There ARE some things to do in Joburg but overall a safari is my top advice if you truly want to visit SA. I stayed at Arathusa and can highly recommend it. My friends stayed at Nkorho and really enjoyed it. Our American friends are in love with Cape Town and many have traveled there multiple times.

March will be pretty hot (depending on where you go) with possible storms/rain though not unbearable.
Kits55 is offline  
Jul 27th, 2010, 06:48 AM
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I lived in Jo'burg for nearly a year, a long time ago. We go back to South Africa every 2 or 3 years. Even though we loved living there, when we go back we only stay in Jo'burg overnight either on the way in to SA or the way out. It has a few things of interest, but it certainly doesn't justify the airfare or the jet lag on its own.

Things we like to do in Jo'burg: the SAB beer museum (much better than the name would suggest), eating (the city has some world class restaurants), visiting Sandton shopping mall, and visiting Rosebank, which was our old neighborhood.

If I were you, I'd try to get two weeks instead of the short time you have, but if you do go, spend a night in Johannesburg and the rest of the time in Kruger or Pilanesburg game reserves. Pilanesburg is closer than Kruger, but Kruger is better, I think.

Celia is offline  
Jul 27th, 2010, 07:37 AM
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Thanx to you all. It appears I have been seduced by a ridiculous airfare - not a reason to in itself.
lukehead is offline  
Jul 27th, 2010, 08:14 AM
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I wouldn't travel (even from EU) only for 2 nights.

But in case you can add some more days it would make sense to do JNB plus a 3 night stay at one of the game reserves in greater Kruger, Pilanesberg or Madikwe.

For JNB:

- Apartheid Museum eats up half a day
- SOWETO (township) tour also half a day
- nice shopping (Sunday's Rosebank flea market)
Rosebank shopping mall or Sandton mall

That would make 2 days.....

Too little for the hassle.

spassvogel is offline  
Jul 29th, 2010, 05:42 PM
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I would go. I was just there with a friend for some World Cup games, and I would go again in a heartbeat, if only for 5-6 days. If you do go, stay in Johannesburg for maybe a night to drive around and check it out, and don't miss the Apartheid Museum. (I'm not a big museum person, but that one is particularly well done, fascinating, disturbing and worthwhile.)

Then rent a car and drive to Kruger. It's about a 5 hour drive to the Malelane gate, on a nice, fast highway. You will see game everywhere, literally 5 km after you drive in. Skukuza camp was the only one with availability by the time we planned our trip, and I was concerned about the reviews criticizing its size and atmosphere. It ended up being just fantastic. It is large, but extremely affordable, comfortable, and tastefully built.

It was an amazing experience.

Here are a few more thoughts and pictures, if you're still considering. Highly recommended!

(And more to come, I'm still getting caught up.)

Have a great time!
evisch is offline  
Jul 30th, 2010, 11:17 AM
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Not sure if ok, but thanks anyway. I had heard that there were private organized group tours into Kruger but I'd never seen any info on them. Now I know, interesting. What is typical cost for such 5 day tour? (I'd guess maybe $650 total per person, with sharing a Kruger bungalow for 4 nights). Good way for someone to visit Kruger who doesn't want to rent a car (not inexpensive to do) and drive on the "wrong" side of ht road .

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Jul 30th, 2010, 09:42 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 195
Follow the cyberdiary on Mala Mala's site and you will see why it is worth the time and in my humble opinion, a visit. This always opens up too many voices, but the gameviewing is always amazing. Even while in camp., and the cyberdiary is updated every Tuesday. Bad addiction. or good addiction. Can't decide, but for three years it has been fun.
ShellCat is offline  
Jul 31st, 2010, 12:28 AM
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My reply above was to wildwings-Onne's posting which -was- just above mine. Fodors has since removed WW reply. In it he gave a link to a travel agency he represents. (Google it, you can find it in South Africa). They offer a 5 day, 4 night, tour into Kruger NP, staying at Kruger rest camp bungalows, and touring in an open vehicle - probably one of those small open sided trucks like Kruger themselves use for drives.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2010, 12:40 PM
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Hi Tom, yeah they removed the post and suspended my account for a while, bit of a misunderstanding, they did not see that Lukehead specifically asked for the url so I have been reinstated now. Thanks for standing in there. Lukehead, I won't take the risk of posting the url again, you will have to google 5 day Kruger National Park safari or something like that.
Onne from Wild Wings Safaris
wildwings is offline  
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