South Africa itinerary - help with logistics please

Apr 17th, 2013, 08:22 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 8
South Africa itinerary - help with logistics please

Hello travelers! I am in the early stages of planning a 16 day trip to South Africa with a friend and I am looking for some help with my itinerary. We are two women in our 40's and are fairly well traveled. I mainly want to know if I have enough time to do all this and best way to plan the route.

I will be flying from Atlanta, GA to JNB. Here is my rough draft:
Fly to JNB (it's direct from ATL)
Fly to CPT - spend 5 days (see local sights, winelands, shark diving)
Drive Garden Route to Port Elizabeth - not sure how long to allow for this. Stop along way in Knysa and Hermanus.
Spend a couple days in Drakenberg area - what is the best way to get here? Perhaps fly from PE to Durban and then rent a car? How long will this take?
3 day safari in Kruger (Sabi Sands area, looking at Elephant Plains, Lion Sands, Ulusaba) - again, what is best way to get to this area from Drakenberg and how long?
Back to Jo'Berg - Spend 1 day sightseeing, Soweto
Fly home from JNB

Is it better to go the opposite way? Do safari first they go to Drakenberg, GR, CPT, etc.?

Thank you all!
demodiva71 is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2013, 12:48 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 184
What month are you looking at ? Hermanus is an hours drive from Cape Town not really on the Garden Route, Gansbaai is the place for shark diving, suggest you overnight close by for early start ? From here you could go to Cape Agulhas the southern most point of Africa & where the 2 oceans meet, if interested. Other places of interest on route are Swellendam, Witsand, Oudtshoorn, George, Wilderness & then Knysna, Nature's Valley, Storms River, PE & Addo NP. I would fly to Durban from PE. Can't help with the rest.
braaiseason is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2013, 04:49 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 813
All rental companies allow to rent a vehicle in Capetown and drop it off at Port Elizabeth, or vice versa.

For Drakensbergen & Kruger; fly to Hoedspruit airport("HDS"). To see the drakensbergen (aka the panorama route); rent a car at HDS and you're there in 30 mins. For Kruger private reserves; don't bother getting a car. After Drakensbergen, just drop your rental car at HDS again, and ask the lodge to pick you up. That will be cheaper.

Note; Ulusaba and EP are in the northern section of Sabi Sands, so HDS is the closest. But if you opt for Lion Sands, Nelspruit ("KMIA") might be closer.

Protip; Sabi Sands is the most known of all private reserves, and thus the most expensive. However, there are other private reserves that are cheaper AND closer to HDS airport. For example; if you go to Timbavati or Klaserie, the lodges there often do not even charge anything for transfers to/from the airport.

This PDF contains a map showing all Kruger private reserves, and more than 100 lodges:

It also shows which reserves are fenced and which are not. Plus you can click on any lodge on the map; it will take you to a web page for that specific lodge, with pics and prices etc.

Have a good safari!

pixelpower is offline  
Apr 24th, 2013, 04:45 AM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 2
I have just returned to UK from a 16 night trip to RSA. If you email me I will send you our experiences. Geoff ([email protected])
Geoff_fowler47 is offline  
Apr 24th, 2013, 08:42 AM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 625
I agree with Braaisseason above - do you plan to travel in SA winter? Then the Berg (SA name for Drakensberg) may be cold, it may even snow. You plan to cover a lot of ground in two weeks - from Cape Town to PE is a long way with MANY lovely places to visit. You can easily spend a week en route. You may consider not going all the way to PE, and rather fly from George (near Knysna) to your next stop. Give us more clarity on your time of travel, then we may make better suggestions. But: all the places that you want to visit are great!
kovsie is offline  
Apr 26th, 2013, 03:24 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 8
Thank you all for the very helpful replies. I will use this info to fine tune our itinerary. Still not sure what month we are going...but so happy to be going at all!
demodiva71 is offline  
Apr 28th, 2013, 12:52 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 184
Best time to see whales would be September same with spring flowers, very hot Dec-Mar, I would be wary of August, can rain a lot, all applies to CT can't say for Kruger but Durban in July (?)has the sardine run. PE to Durban flying takes about 1 hr as far as I can recall.
braaiseason is offline  
Aug 1st, 2013, 08:10 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 8
Hello all,
Premier Tours is now planning our itinerary. Here is what we have agreed on so far. Would love your feedback/suggestions!
Jan 15 - 31, 2014
4 nights CPT (More Quarters)
Car delivered to hotel
1 night Franschhoek (Lodging TBD)
1 night Oudtshoorn (La Plume)
3 nights Plettenberg Bay (Beachy Head Villa)
Fy from George to Durban
2 nights Drakensberg (Cathederal Peak Hotel)
Fly from Durban to Nelspruit
1 night Rissington Inn
1/2 day tour of Panorama Highlights (Blyde River Canyon, God's Window)
transfer to Sabi Sands
3 nights Elephant Plains Game Lodge
1 night Jo'berg - City lodge OR Tambo Hotel
1/2 day private tour of Jo'berg
Fly home to USA that evening.
demodiva71 is offline  
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