Planning some mini-trips from Johannesburg

Oct 18th, 2019, 01:48 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 225
Planning some mini-trips from Johannesburg

Hi, my husband and I will be in South Africa for about a month, staying in the Johannesburg area for part of January and February. We have commitments each weekend but are planning to take a few trips midweek. At this point, we are thinking of heading to the Madikwe or Welgavonden game reserve for a few days. Or we may head to Kruger instead. We both enjoy photography. My husband only picks up a camera (and 100-400 mm lens) these days when we are likely to see interesting birds or other wildlife. So he may not want to be self-driving in Kruger though that would make the trip much more affordable.

We have experienced several safaris, including Madikwe many years ago, Pilanesburg, and two visits to Masai Mara in Kenya. So at this point, we are more interested in seeing a variety of wildlife including birds, than seeing the "Big Five." Would welcome your input and specific suggestions of places to stay - even though many are fully booked at this point.

We may also fly to Cape Town and explore the Garden Route or some other area we haven't seen before. We had a lovely visit to Cape Town last year and went to De Hoop nature reserve, Stellenbosch, Franschoek, etc. A friend mentioned the Addo National Park as an option as well.

Many thanks!
Sapphire is offline  
Oct 18th, 2019, 02:12 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Madikwe is going to be hot as Hades in January and February, but it's not a malaria area, unlike much of the Kruger area.

One benefit of Addo is that it's pretty compact and self-driving is quite easy. Plus you could spend a day out on the coast - Jeffrey's Bay, for example. You'd probably want to fly to Port Elizabeth rather than drive.

Have you visited West Coast National Park, an hour or two north of Cape Town? Birders' paradise; you could stay in lovely Paternoster or around St. Helena Bay. Map -
Gardyloo is online now  
Oct 18th, 2019, 03:03 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 225
Thank you, Gardyloo! I will take a look at the West Coast National Park. Too bad we won't be in South Africa when those gorgeous flowers are blooming!

When we went to Cape Town last year, it happened to be the weekend of the cycling race. So we weren't able to get down to Betty's Bay, etc. So we may choose to explore more of the coastline that way. And I think I had a pretty basic camera the last time we saw the penguins. Now I usually have Fuji and a Canon in my hands....

Thanks again for your input!
Sapphire is offline  
Oct 18th, 2019, 09:30 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
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February is an excellent month for birding Kruger. Especially if you get rain and a termite erruption..Carmine bee-eaters galore! We stayed in the air conditioned villas and it isn't that hot when you are out on drives. Saw very few mosquitos, only in the far north but I take malarone anyways. Punda Maria if you can get that far.

Last edited by mlgb; Oct 18th, 2019 at 09:35 PM.
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