south africa itinerary

Jun 29th, 2010, 02:25 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2
south africa itinerary

My husband and I are traveling to South Africa for the first time in October. We will be in Cape Town for a conference and would like to add on going on a safari as well as anything else we can fit in. I'm looking for tips on where to go and finding a guide/company. We would love to see the big animals, not blow all our money (but realize it is worth it) and use our time wisely. Please send ideas of how you would spend a week beyond Cape Town. Thanks in advance!
stasch is offline  
Jun 29th, 2010, 04:48 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 28,930
a drive along the garden route south east from cape town is lovely in october....we did it last year....the two towns which we liked the most were plentenburg bay and Hermanus....

we stayed in one of the nicest B&B ever in Plet: Halcyon House---spring for the one suite...
at H we stayed at Harbour house which could not have been more perfect for us and affordable and overlooks the waterfront.

at plett make sure to eat at emily moon, or you can even stay there....

our guided safari was from elephant plains in the north....good middle priced place....

driving in Kruger is very easy and there are very cheap places to see all the animals you will want right near to the road...
rhkkmk is offline  
Jun 30th, 2010, 12:33 AM
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 73
Hi there

Great that you will be visiting our lovely country! A good tour operator that I have used extensively in the past is Africa Direct -
Kruger is a wonderful place and I love going there, but not all the animals are right near the road all the time. To give you some statistics, only about 2% of the Kruger Park is visible from the road (and you are not allowed to go off road) so there is some luck involved as well. Many people who aren't accustomed to looking for animals, may for instance not be able to spot a leopard on their own even if it is fairly close to the road - simply because of its fantastic camouflage. Going on safari through a good tour operator offering you a range of prices and accomodation is your best bet if you are a first time visitor.

Kind regards
living4safari is offline  
Jul 1st, 2010, 06:05 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 730

if your objective is safari only then i recommend these options:

Option 1
Take the 1000am SAA flight from Cape Town/CPT to Nelspruit/MQP. On arrival take a scheduled charter flight to one of the many luxury lodges in the Sabi Sands adjacent to the Kruger National Park. My favorite mid-priced lodges are MalaMala Main Camp and Lion Sands River Lodge. Stay on safari for 3-4 days. At the end, fly on one of many scheduled charter flights to Jo'burg to return home. A scheduled charter means there are other people on the plane and you are not paying for the whole aircraft. Approximate cost (with charter flights) for the above mentioned lodges for three nights - $2,600 per person

Option 2
Take an early (730am thereabouts) flight from CPT-Jo'burg/JNB then connect to Harare/HRE Zimbabwe. Spend six nights at two safari lodges in Zimbabwe. This will be a fantastic itinerary. Three nights at Ruckomechi followed by three nights at Little Makalolo. End at Victoria Falls. Approximate cost $3,500 per person.

Option 3
Take an early (730am thereabouts) flight from CPT-Jo'burg/JNB then connect to Maun/MUB Botswana. Spend 3-7 nights on safari in the Okavango Delta, Linyanti, or Chobe. Approximate cost would be $3,000-$7,000 depending on days, lodges, and level of luxury.

How to book: Where are you located? If you are from the US there are at least 20 really good safari booking agent in our country. These operators will contract with just about every lodge and hotel in Southern Africa and have intimate knowledge of the country/countries. I have friendly relations with most of my competitors here in the USA and can possibly refer you to an expert you can meet face-to-face to plan this. Here is a list of some recommended companies from the Botswana Tourist Board:

If you are not from the USA or want to work with a local South African Company then Africa Direct (mentioned above) is a good company. I know the owner Tanya and she does great work!

Hope all this helps.

Craig Beal
Safari_Craig is offline  
Jul 9th, 2010, 04:48 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 65
I think you should take 1-2 days to check out Hermanus after your conference. It will be "whale season" in Hermanus (only a few hours drive from Cape Town) and depending on where you stay you could even see them from your room!

I'm all about the animals and the best safari we've been on was in Sabi Sands. It's a private reserve next to Kruger but we saw the Big 5 within two games drives. Our sightings were close so we didn't need to bring so many lenses for our camera. Kruger obviously has amazing sightings as well but I really loved staying in a private reserve (there aren't 20 different vehicles in my pictures, just the animals!).

Private reserves are more expensive but if you REALLY want ALMOST guaranteed sightings you need to go a private reserve. Sabi is known for its leopard sightings. Figure out which animals you want to see the most. The places with the best sightings/most regular sightings will cost more (in general).
Kits55 is offline  
Jul 10th, 2010, 12:34 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 409
If you have only have a week after Cape Town then I'd probably stay in South Africa and perhaps spend a couple of nights on the coast and then head up to Kruger/Sabi Sands. Elephant Plains is a good value option if you can get availability.
Lynneb is offline  
Jul 10th, 2010, 10:54 AM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 10

I, too, will be visiting South Africa for the first time. I will be leaving Sept 8 and staying until Spet 25. A dear friend of mine lives in Cape Town- we met when she was in the states working as an au pair. We just finished the itinerary of our first week and I thought I'd share it. Maybe it'll help

So, I will get into Cape Town on Thursday, Friday will be spent in the city with her boyfriend's mom. Friday night we will see a rugby game. Saturday is really when the craziness begins. We fly from CPT at 2:10 pm and arrive in JNB at 4:10. (less than $100 flight for 2 of us!) We will be transported from the airport to Bit O' Bush B&B about 3 km away. My friend will be taking me to dinner at Emperor's Palace- a casino/resort nearby. Home early for bed.

Sunday morning, about 6am, we will be picked up by our safari guide at the B&B and driven into Kruger. I am so pleased that living4safari gave a good review, as we booked with them. It was, by far, the best deal I could find. Less than $1000 for the two of us. Three nights, four days. This deal is under "Specials" on their site. It is designed to give the best opportunities for seeing the Big Five. Two nights in dome tents; one night in a private lodge.

On Wednesday, we will be returned to JNB by about 6 pm. We booked a 7:40 pm flight to Port Elizabeth and will have a rental car waiting for us. We will spend Wednesday night at her mom's friend's organic farm- which also has orphaned lion cubs that they care for!! My friend wants to spend a day at Addo Elephant Reserve and then take another night at the farm in Kirkwood.

Friday morning, we will start the drive back towards Cape Town along the Garden Route. We will stop in Hermanus, of course, hoping to see some whales, and continue on to Gordon's Bay- where she grew up and her parents still live. There are some bungee opportunities along the way that I am currently looking into. I believe that we are spending the night in Gordon's Bay and then finishing the trip to Cape Town in the AM. We are able to drop the rental car off at the company's office at CPT, for a small fee- R110, I think.

The last week I will spend in the Cape Town area, Stellenbosch, Robben Island, Table Mountain, Lion's Head, etc. As my friend will have to return to work. I will be exploring the beauty on my own! Possibly submitting resumes, applying for a long term visa, and looking for apartments!! I told my boss here there is a 99% chance of me not returning

Between the safari, 2 flights, B&B, and rental car, this week only cost about $1500 for the both of us-- $750 per person. I decided to pay the tab as a 'thank you' for the free accommodations for 2 1/2 weeks. I needed to keep it thrifty, while making the most of my time there.

Hope this gave you a few ideas! Have a blast on your trip
jkiefer27 is offline  
Jul 10th, 2010, 10:56 AM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 10
Ooops- I misread living4safari's post. Has anyone ever booked with Detour Africa/ have any reviews?
jkiefer27 is offline  

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