South Africa for about 30 dayser

Oct 31st, 2019, 12:21 PM
  #81  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I'm sad to hear how much the wildlife has been impacted by the drought.
Kathie is offline  
Oct 31st, 2019, 03:10 PM
  #82  
 
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That is so sad. I hope that rains come. I would probably break down and cry to see the animals so desperate. I hope your next stop is better.
laurieco is offline  
Nov 1st, 2019, 07:11 AM
  #83  
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Laurie, we do too, but don’t hold out much hope.

our new hotel—Perry’s Hollow Bridge in Hazyview is very nice. Rooms are big, indoor and outdoor showers, huge bathrooms, very friendly people.
rhkkmk is offline  
Nov 1st, 2019, 07:13 AM
  #84  
 
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When we left the reserve this am there was an opportunity to donate

Rhino with a bale of hay
a bale of hay to help feed the animals, which we did. On our drive we found a dead baby giraffe that didn’t make it. Just too young and weak
kmkrnn is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2019, 02:56 AM
  #85  
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So we have seen the big 5 a few times now, so are pleased with that. Our new hotel in the dusty town of Hazyview is just outside of Kreuger about 15 minutes. The hotel is Perry’s hollow and is a complex of restaurants, shops, a bakery and maybe 50 very nice rooms. Our room is a mini suite I suppose$132.

Dinners have ben decent.

We drove into Kreuger twice for full days. The first day we were in the middle of the park and sightings were ok, but not fab, but yesterday we drove into southern Sabi and because there is more water there we saw lots of game: 3 different lion sightings, 2 or 3 leopards, tons of elephants, impalas, rhinos, giraffes, hens, among others. So this was our best day of viewing.

Karen. and I continue to be amazed at the results of the deadly drought, especially the effects on the animals. I hesitate to say this but: I’M NOT SURE I WOULS SPEND MY MONEY TO COME TO KREUGER UNTIL TIS DROUGHT IS LONG FINISHED. SORRY!

Today is a lazy day. It is 92 degrees at mid day. It’s a hang out day for us. The 3 of them went for massages and I stayed in the room. Italian for dinner tonight.

Heading back towards Johannesburg tomorrow with an overnight stop on the way.
rhkkmk is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2019, 04:25 AM
  #86  
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SA continues to be an affordable vacation spot. Food is generally very good, and also very affordable— my beef fillet last night was $10, if you can believe that.
Little to no shopping, except African trinkets. Wines are fab. K has been paying 160 zar to 300 for fabulous whites— chenin blanc, sav. blanc and Chardonnay. $10-20. Most are pretty fruity. P has been less than pleased with the vodka choices, mostly 2nd shelf, but so cheap even when Grey Goose or similar is on offer.

We have been very pleased with our Hertz Totoya Roadrunner SUVs. Economical and comfortable, with tons of luggage room. Plus they are high off the ground for game viewing.

We have not encountered a single sour person. All are welcoming and friendly.

A future trip to SA would be to visit the garden and wine routes only with a week or two around Franschhoek.
rhkkmk is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2019, 04:38 AM
  #87  
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Tipping is generally 10%, not included in your bill. We have often left 15+ for unusual service.

Vegan and vegetarian meals are readily available. We have drunk some faucet water.

Taxis and Uber available in the bigger tourist towns.

Spas at many hotels.

Mosquitos have not been a problem for us, but we take Malerone daily.


We bought the Wild Card, the SA entrance card 1 year membership to the National parks for more than $300. for the 2 of us. Our individual entrances would have been less.

There never was any wait to enter the parks for us.
rhkkmk is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2019, 07:37 AM
  #88  
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Please be aware that SA uses a unique 3 large prong adapter for electricity.
rhkkmk is offline  
Nov 4th, 2019, 12:02 PM
  #89  
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Last full day of the trip was today. Also the worst day of the trip, the only bad day...

Must continue after we get home. Anyone available to take my 14.5 hour flt to Atlanta tomorrow?
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Nov 4th, 2019, 02:25 PM
  #90  
 
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The end of a nice, long trip is always hard... especially when you have a long flight home.

Safe travels!
Kathie is offline  
Nov 5th, 2019, 05:32 AM
  #91  
 
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So sad to hear how severely the drought has affected the Kruger Park. But thanks for all the updates and have safe flight home.
Charlie15 is offline  
Nov 5th, 2019, 02:40 PM
  #92  
 
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I've enjoyed the trip report and look forward to the rest. SA seems like a great place to go but you are correct, I will wait until the drought ends. I couldn't stand to see animals sick and dying. That would not be a good time for me.
laurieco is offline  
Nov 6th, 2019, 01:23 AM
  #93  
 
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I’m happy you had such a great trip, and enjoyed your reports. I’m off to Cape Town in December to stay with in-laws for Christmas and New Year.
Heimdall is online now  
Nov 8th, 2019, 11:48 AM
  #94  
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So our last full day:

Left Perry's Bridge Hotel after a nice breakfast. This proved to be a great hotel choice for our days of visiting Kreuger-- gate only 15 min. ride. Nice day for travel. Mountains, working open mines, dust, excellent road (different than the one we came on), crops, cattle, vineyards, fruit groves.

Lunch time rolled around and past so finally we got off the road at Woven Boven, or some such name. Got gas fill up and looked for a restaurant in this tiny time forgotten town. K asked a woman for a suggestion... We were sent to an "inn" museum (oldest pre-historic settlement in world??

House had a large porch with tables, a veggie garden outfront and a couple of "diners". We took a seat and a "waitress" showed up in a few minutes. Hippie/druggie? She brought menus. She disappeared. 15+ minutes later she reappeared and we asked about soup of the day from menus. She had to go and ask.... 10 min. later she returned---broccoli soup. She took our orders. She brought our drinks. Sign: all food cooked to order. 1+ hours later she brought the 2 soups-- mush... veggie put in food processor with no other liquid, luke warm. Next she brought 2 chicken sandwiches--- I ordered not toasted and it was presented with warm chicken salad with warm mayonnaise and butter on the outside of each piece of bread?? I ate 2 bites and decided not to eat any more---warm chicken and warm mayo??? P's sandwich was ok, but soup was cold when sandwich came---he had asked for both at the same time. Finally after 1.5 hours L's pasta arrived and was delicious.
There were 2 Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs as pets. One came under the table and slobbered all over my slacks... next he did the same to L... She screamed. I ran inside and yelled for help in removing the dogs. While inside one of the dogs jumped up to the table and gobbled L's pasta. P lost it!!! We demanded our bill and got out of there.
Oh, I forgot the first thing that happened. K was eating her "greul" and garlic bread. After eating 1/2 of the bread she noticed mold on the bottom... Yikes. She stopped eating.

We hightailed it out of there and ate bars in the car.

Next:

We arrived at our hotel, Yalla Yalla in Witbank, which is located in a very upscale neighborhood. Warmly greeted and unloaded our stuff. Our room was small but nice but was 110 degrees--- no a/c.. I never thought to look when I booked in March.
Host helped us get a new place nearby. Full refund granted. I had pre-payed.
New hotel was an older brick building that looked like a dorm. Our rooms were to be on 2nd floor, no elevator... NO... They found us 2 rooms on first floor.. decent rooms. Dinner was strange but edible. I won't bore you. I slept in a chair because the bed was too small... and I was by now in a twit.

Drive to JNB the next AM was fine and took less than 2 hours. LONG WAIT FOR OUR FLT-- about 8 hours.

Speaking of long, the flt was 16+ hours. comfortable 777-200 plane. decent seats and leg room.

After customs we said our good-byes to P&L, sadly. They were overnighting in ATL before a flt to Honolulu the next day. We had a 3 hour layover and a good flt to Boston and the 2 hour bus ride to our town in NH.
rhkkmk is offline  
Nov 8th, 2019, 12:08 PM
  #95  
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To recap:


We had a fabulous time. Always so much fun for us to spend time with P&L!!! We all love good food, laughs, being non-PC and a drink or two--- OK, 2 bottles of wine each night at dinner and some "good vodka". The almost 30 days passed all too fast.
There was talk of India next fall, maybe.

On the south coast of SA we had fab hotels and even better restaurants. Our 2 autos, Toyota Roadrunners, were perfect and comfortable and held our luggage well, plus they were economical-- thank you Hertz. Our internal flights on Mango and COMAIR were economical, on time and comfortable. My wheelchair pushers were all some of the most friendly ever encountered--- most were foreign workers.

We found many menus to be similar and had pretty standard pricing. We mostly drank bottled water. ATM's are less available than in other places and can have trouble connecting. Cell phone coverage was pretty good. We used hand held phone sat-navs.

K & L report the white wines to be excellent and reasonable for the quality.

This is a great time of year to visit SA. Alternating cool and warm... a couple of 90 days. Good time to see baby game, although because of the drought not a generally good time to see tons of game, although we saw the big 5 multiple of time and were happy with the overall sightings, especially lions, leopards and elephants.

Home for the holidays and then SEA on DEC 28 for our annual trip.






to recap
rhkkmk is offline  
Nov 9th, 2019, 09:38 AM
  #96  
 
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Sorry you had that bad last day. But the rest of the trip sounds wonderful!
Kathie is offline  
Nov 9th, 2019, 02:31 PM
  #97  
 
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Sounds like a fab trip. But I beg to differ about shopping in SA. My bags were bulging with all I bought in J'Burg and, mostly, CapeTown (no trinkets but lots of nice jewelrey, baby clothing, home decor items.....there are fabulous stores in the Long Street area and Greenmarket Square hides some great treaures amidst some schlock) where we spent a week last month after two weeks (4 camps) safari in Zimbabwe, which I highly recommend to anyone looking for safari. Hwange was dry but there were no signs of any animals hurting. We saw tons of game and had guides repputed to be the best in Africaa due to their long and rigorous trainingn programme.

Again, I liked your report; just stokes my appetite for anotheer trip even though I got back just weeks ago!
ekscrunchy is offline  
Nov 14th, 2019, 02:54 PM
  #98  
 
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Only two bottles of wine each night for 4 people? What a bunch of amateurs.

Sounds like a wonderful trip, except for the drought and last day of bad food and hotel. I'm sure traveling with P and L was great. We had a blast with them (and Ken and his DW) at a yakatoria in Tokyo quite a few years ago. I'm really looking forward to going back to Africa and SA seems like a good choice if I can get good biz class award tix. I just don't want to go during a drought and see dead and starving animals. It would completely bum me out. When I'm ready to go, I'm going to pick your brain.

Thanks for the wonderful report.
laurieco is offline  
Nov 17th, 2019, 04:43 PM
  #99  
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
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Loving this report and so inspired by it and by you two. Hello to Karen.

Thank you for the ongoing inspiration. I hope that a future trip to South Africa is in our future. If so, we will be inspired and informed by you as we have been throughout SEA.

P.S. I saw a familiar looking woman at a little Greek restaurant in Belmont, Massachusetts, just the other day. After she left moments later, I realized that it was possibly Gpanda's Beth. Any thoughts? Wish there had been time to approach her...
Maryalice is offline  
Nov 18th, 2019, 04:36 AM
  #100  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
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I don’t think it was Beth. She is living in Tucson., and doing well. Give us a holler if you head out to Africa.
kmkrnn is offline  

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