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chuck1 Apr 26th, 2005 10:13 AM

Kruger/Victoria Falls
Plan on going to SA with my wife in this August or October for a short time. So we want to see 2 spots. How does 4-5 nights at Kruger (Sabi Sands?) and 3-4 at Victoria falls. Can this be done without staying overnight in JNB at any point. We plan on arriving in JNB around 11:00 a.m. To get to Kruger would it be 2 more flights? (JNB to Nelspruit to I think Skuzza). Also Kruger to Vic falls in one day if possible? August vr October? Or forget Vic falls all together?

Thanks in advance, Chuck

Binkieloo Apr 26th, 2005 01:22 PM

There is only one airport near Kruger now - Mpumalanga/Kruger airport - it's outside of the park so you would have to be collected and driven, or drive your selves into the park.

Are you planning on driving from Kruger to Vic Falls? If so that may be a whole day's worth. Flying via Jo'burg would be your best bet. Your day allotment is pretty good.

August will still be quite cool in the evenings and mornings (for game drives) but is the best time to see animals. The grass is dead and low. By October you're well into spring and the animals will be less visible. But it will be warmer in the evenings and mornings.

I don't know that much about Vic Falls except that it's a very popular place. I would recomend staying on the Zambian side (Livingstone) rather than the Zimbabwe side. Livingstone is a little more expensive, but the political climate is better. You can cross the border into Zimbabwe which is where a lot of the activities are locates (bungee jumping, hang gliding, some of the cruise boats).

Hope this helps.

napamatt Apr 26th, 2005 01:38 PM

You can fly direct on SA Airlink to Mala Mala, which serves a few private reserves in the Sabi Sand. The problem is timing, that flight leaves at around 11am.

dreaming Apr 26th, 2005 02:24 PM

You can fly directly into most lodges in Sabi Sands from JNB. As Napamatt says, there is SA Airlink, also check Nelair. You'll probably find it easiest to pick your lodge and then coordinate the direct flight directly through the lodge or with your TA.

Again, as Napamatt noted, I'm not sure if you'll be able to get to Vic Falls from Kruger without the overnight in JNB. I wasn't able to accomplish it last year - my flight left Sabi Sands at 2. The flights to Vic Falls from JNB were in the late morning.

I love Vic Falls and would definitely still include it. However, 3 to 4 nights at Vic Falls might be on the long side - unless you look into the adventure activities or maybe even an overnight to Chobe?

Roccco Apr 26th, 2005 04:52 PM


You would be well advised to consider a place like Makalolo Plains. This would combine easily with Victoria Falls and would not cost you a night in Joburg.

Alternately, I would suggest that you consider possibly 4 nights at Makalolo Plains, 3 nights at Chikwenya (both Wilderness Safaris camps, and 1 night in Victoria Falls. For these camps you would need to fly in/out of Victoria Falls anyway.

Both Chikwenya and Makalolo Plains are considered excellent safari destinations and the pricing should be right. This would be a very diverse safari where you would be able to enjoy game drives, safari walks, canoeing and more. In the Sabi Sand, on the other hand, you are pretty much limited to game drives.

travelwmn Apr 26th, 2005 07:56 PM

Check out Federal Air (

They have a great shuttle schedule to/from Kruger and Sabi Sands which may help you make a connecting flight to Livingstone:

JNB to Sabi Sands & Kruger National Park

Depart Arrive
09:30 11:00 Limited Seats Available
11:30 13:00 Unlimited Seats Available
13:30 15:00 Limited Seats Available

Sabi Sands & Kruger National Park to JNB

Depart Arrive
09:30 11:00 Limited Seats Available
11:30 13:00 Limited Seats Available
13:30 15:00 Unlimited Seats Available

Daily Shuttle Service to Following Lodges:
Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve:
Singita Sabi Sand
Sabi Sabi
Kirkmans Camp
Leopard Hills
Lion Sands

Kruger National Park:
Singita Lebombo

Also, Nationwide Airlines has a flight from Jo'burg to Livingstone that leaves at 12:15 pm every day except Saturday.
You should be able to make that flight if you take the 9:30 am. Federal Air Shuttle.

3 nights in Vic Falls should be great (that's what we're planning for our next safari -- We only spent 2 nights on our last trip and felt a little rushed). It depends on how much you want to do: helicopter tours, micro light (sp?), elephant safaris, hikes around the falls, sundowner cruises, fishing, rafting, game drives, etc.

I agree with Binkieloo, Zambia is the safer place to stay due to political unrest in Zimbabwe. Some people I've spoken to have had no problems in Zimbabwe, while others never felt totally safe. The choice is yours.

Hope this helps. The main advice I'd give you is to book NOW -- the longer you wait, the less options you'll have. The better lodges tend to book up early.

chuck1 Apr 27th, 2005 07:31 AM

Thanks for the replies and that flight schedule from Travelwmn. Prob need to book soon. Do you all have good experience with these online booking agents such as Go2afria and would you feel safe in Zambia?


jcasale Apr 27th, 2005 07:52 AM

We booked an upcoming trip with go2africa. They did a great job for us. We are actually staying on the Zimbabwe side - I know people have recommended against it, but from everything I have heard and read (and also from the travel agent) the area around Victoria is pretty safe. And helping out the local economy is often a good way to help with the political situation. I found the Sabi Sands lodges can be expensive. Our agent put us at Elephant Plains. There was a posting a while back from someone who had stayed there and had a wonderful experience. It looks nice. We're staying at Ilala Lodge in Zimbabwe - walking distance to the falls! Again, comes recommended from some Fodorites.

tashak Apr 27th, 2005 09:42 PM

Safe in Zambia? Where do you live? (I ask that because I think you are safer there than in the US. I feel very safe in Zambia! As a tourist there you will be very, very safe.

Biggest danger is the usual one: traffic accidents on the highway. But for most people, that is true at home too.

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