South Africa Itinerary Help for December Holidays

Old Feb 12th, 2024, 12:37 PM
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South Africa Itinerary Help for December Holidays

Hi, My family will be traveling to South Africa for the first time during the December holidays. We have only 12 nights in the country and are flying in and out of Cape Town. We are a family of 4 (kids are 16 and 19). I know this is the peakiest of the peak season for Cape Town, but alas, like many others, this is the only time available for us so we will make do with the crowds! I would love some itinerary advice from those who have been there. Please share feedback on my three ideas, all ideas will start with 5 nights in Cape Town, I just need help deciding on the other 7 nights.

Idea 1: 2 nights driving along the Garden Route and lots of outdoor fun, 2 nights in Addo Elephant National area, 3 nights in an all-inclusive Eastern Cape game reserve. I would also love suggestions for some great all-inclusive options. I know about Shamwari, but that seems a bit out of our budget. I would be hoping for these nights to stay $2500 US dollars or less per night for the 4 of us. Again, I know we are in peak pricing, it can't be helped. Any thoughts on Kariega Game Reserve or others?

Idea 2: Fly to Kruger National Park for 6 nights ( again, our budget would only cover probably 3 nights of an all-inclusive reserve in like the private parks of Sabi Sands and we would need these nights to be in the $2500/night total for 4 people). Then three nights in more budget-friendly in Kruger. Any suggestions of places to consider for these 6 nights. Last night will be back to Cape Town for the flight.

Idea 3: Fly to Chobe/Victoria Falls for 3 nights, then to Kruger area for 3 nights at all-inclusive. Last night back in Cape Town for the flight hone. This is the itinerary suggested by one of the travel companies, which seems great but also seems way too ambitious for 12 nights and we would lose so much time for travel....

I am leaning towards Option 1 as it optimizing our time and has the least amount of lost-time to travel on such a short trip. Also, I understand that summer is not the best time for wildlife viewing in Kruger with the greenery and potential for heat. I guess what I want some thoughts are from people who have been there, are we crazy to go to South Africa for the first time (and who knows if/when we would go again) and skip Kruger and focus on Cape Town and eastern cape game reserves? Or is Kruger worth the time needed to get there, even if it is in the end of December.

Thanks so much for reading and thanks in advance for your thoughtful help!
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