South africa-durban-elephant plains- cape town

Oct 3rd, 2011, 10:18 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 5
South africa-durban-elephant plains- cape town

I am going to South Africa in January. We really want to stay at Elephant plains lodge in Sabi Sands, and the only availability is right in the middle of our trip. We are flying into Jo'burgh and want to minimize the amount of flights within the country. We would like to spend time at a beautiful beach for the first part, then sabi sands, then head to cape town and maybe the garden route.
Any suggestions on bus tours or itineraries that would be helpful in planning? Or any recommendations for different game lodges or safaris?
dangerousd is offline  
Oct 4th, 2011, 12:12 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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How long is your trip? You could combine the beach and Cape Town. Or combine beaches/safari on the Elephant Coast (north of Durban) or Addo/Garden Route beaches. All depends on the amount of time you have. If you are ok driving on the left, a Garden Route self drive is better than a tour, and flying in/out of Sabi Sands is easy on your own. But if you're set on Durban/EP/Cape Town, you'll have a lot of flying.
christabir is offline  
Oct 4th, 2011, 03:38 AM
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Kruger/Elephant Coast combo nicest for beach/safari

Thonga Beach Lodge nice many other cute places.

Personally have saved with fly/drive self-guiding

Garden Route safest best for that (Avis JNB last) for Elephant Plains

Guides/Safaris lots more very doable with good budget. excellent locals... Happy Planning,
qwovadis is offline  
Oct 4th, 2011, 07:55 AM
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Thanks Christabir, we are going for 3 weeks. I don't think we would be comfortable driving on the left. I will look into elephant coast. Is there anything you could recommend doing around Johannesburg for a few days?
dangerousd is offline  
Oct 4th, 2011, 02:09 PM
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The Cradle of Humankind, apartheid (sp?) museum and a Soweto tour in Joburg.

Three weeks is a nice long time. Personally, I'm a safari girl so I would do mostly safari (just did that actually!). We did a ten day tour a couple of years back that we loved - EP (or similar in Sabi Sand - we chose Arathusa because they have a water hole), Pafuri in N Kruger and Mashatu in SE Botswana. It was easy - we flew to SS, then had drivers to Pafuri and Mashatu. Then a driver back to Joburg. You could do that and CT and the Garden Route (I don't know anything about tours there) and hit the beach in either CT (Atlantic Ocean) or near Port Eliz (Indian Ocean). Don't miss Addo while you're in the neighborhood.

Without driving, doing all you want is difficult and expensive. You could do beaches and Phinda, Thanda, Zululand Rhino Reserve and/or Tembe in/near the Ele Coast. Get drivers for transfers. But if you really want to do all three, CT, Durban and SS, they are all far apart and you'll need to fly to all. I'd pick two - you're going to be planning you're return before your flight home lands!

Have fun planning!
christabir is offline  
Oct 5th, 2011, 12:42 AM
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Elephant Plains are always difficult to get into. Not sure of which rooms you were looking at - lux or the rondavels, but if the luxury then in the same price category and literally neighbours of EP is either Arathursa or Nkhoro that could be able to assist you.

If you in the coast in Natal anyway then agree that Tembe is great and also look at Amakhosi Safari Lodge. You can easily do a trip down from Johannesburg do Swaziland a night or two (only about 4½ hours from Johannesburg) and then head to Tembe, the coast (Thonga is lovely) and do a night in the North Coast so you close to Durban and take a flight to Port Elizabeth and head on down the Garden Route ending up in Cape Town.

Just a thought!

Happy planning!
Leopardress is offline  
Oct 5th, 2011, 02:30 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
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I booked my EP rooms one year in advance, and could not get what I wanted (had to switch two lodges in my itinerary). So no surprises re your plans in Januari.

Have you tried alternatives?

See this map:

Arathusa has about the same traversing rights but prices are about 1/3rd higher.
Or Nkorho; about idem traverse as well. Don't know about prices though.


pixelpower is offline  
Oct 5th, 2011, 09:30 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Leopardress - I would have suggested the same thing (we did it in June and it was easy) but the OP doesn't want to drive. They could fly to Richards Bay, and get transfers. I liked the Elephant Coast a lot.
christabir is offline  
Nov 4th, 2011, 07:47 PM
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ok, so we have decided to start by flying to port elizabeth and driving to cape town. We are staying the first two night in Jeffrey's bay, we were thinking of spending 4 more days on the Garden Route but not sure where to stop. Hotels seem quite expensive and not that nice. Any suggestions??

Also any suggestions on hotels or guesthouses in Cape Town that they could recommend? We will be spending 5 nights there.

dangerousd is offline  
Nov 5th, 2011, 05:31 AM
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From Jeffrey's Bay there are many places to visit, Natures Valley, Storms River, Knysna is a lovely town, the St. James hotel is a very nice hotel here, heading towards Cape Town (CT) there is 2 routes you can take, carry on along the N2 highway to places such as Wilderness, Mossel Bay, Riversdale, Still Bay, Witsand, Cape Agulhas (the southern point of Africa & where the two oceans meet), Swellendam, Gansbaai for shark diving, at Somerset West you could head inland to the winelands of Stellenbosch & Franschhoek with Cape Town only 1 hours drive away. Or after Knysna you can head inland through the Klein Karoo & many scenic mountain passes most visitors go to Oudtshoorn (ostrich capital & Cango Caves) then take the R62 route towards CT places like Calitzdorp, Ladismith, Montagu, Ashton or McGregor (a hidden jewel off the beaten track), you are in the heart of the winelands, there's Robertson or Worcester or head further onto Franschhoek or Stellenbosch.

Sorry can't recommend any hotels as only been to the one mentioned above having mostly stayed in B&B's or self catering.

Would add driving is very easy especially as you're not used to the left side, well signposted, the N2 highway is a long stretch of road with not a lot of coastal views but nice scenery whereas the R62 route is hardly any traffic or trucks, take it at your own pace with wonderful mountain passes & views.

There are plenty of hotels in CT, the V&A waterfront seems to be popular with visitors but not my choice, places like Camps Bay, Bantry Bay or Sea Point on the Atlantic side are popular but slightly out of town, a bit further is Hout Bay or Llandudno, my preference is the False Bay side but it's up to an hours drive from the city but in the middle of stunning mountains & sea & on the famous peninsular drive.
braaiseason is offline  
Nov 5th, 2011, 10:36 AM
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Are you going to Addo Elephant Park? If I were in the neighborhood I wouldn't miss it. The accommodations at Storms River on are a great value for oceanfront.
christabir is offline  

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