South Africa Trip Help

Jan 19th, 2003, 10:12 AM
Tom Oliver
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South Africa Trip Help

We are in the process of planning a trip to so Africa in August. Can anyone give us some tips/advice for a three week stay.
Jan 19th, 2003, 11:04 AM
Selwyn Davidowitz
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Hello Tom,

Wow 3 weeks in South Africa – What a dream journey.!

To make this a journey really become a dream come true I recommend that you do the following:

Fly in to Johannesburg and get a days rest so as to get over your jet lag and also to prepare yourself for the balance of the ride.

1 day

Make your way to the Kruger Park, find a good guide/ranger and tour the park for a 3 day journey. While in the area do not forget to see the scenic wonders of Mpumalanga. To do this spend a day travelling around the territory by car enjoying the country.

5 days

Then travel via the Drakensberge to the Kwazulu Natal area. Visit the St.Lucia wetlands and also visit a game farm such as Hluhuwe or Phinda (all depends of what you can afford) for a 2 day visit

8 days

Visit Durban and spend a day touring the city.

9 days

Fly down to Port Elizabeth. Overnight in Port Elizabeth for 2 nights. While in Port Elizabeth travel to Addo and visit the Addo elephant Park.

11 days

Travel back to Knysna and reside in this town for 3 days while exploring the Garden Route using the town as a pivot.

14 days

Travel to Outdshoorn and make a point of going over the Swartberg pass. Overnight in Oudtshoorn.

15 days

Travel to the Cape winelands and overnight on a winefarm.

16 days

Explore the Cape Winelands and travel on to Cape Town.

17 days

Spend 4 nights in Cape Town and enjoy all that the city offers.
21 days

Fly back home

This is a very broad sketch of a plan to see SA in 21 days . Much will depend on what you want to spend and what your interests are. This means that the above might not work for you at all because for all I know you don’t want to see game and then the whole above plan falls through. Thus you have to pass on much more info before a better plan can be suggested to you.

With that said simply use the above as a guideline and plan from thereon.

Hope this helps.

Selwyn Davidowitz
Jan 20th, 2003, 06:32 AM
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Your plan sounds wonderful but will
it be too cold since it would be winter? What will the weather be like and what are the temperatures?
Jan 20th, 2003, 12:58 PM
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August is cold in some areas of South Africa in August but it is comfortable to hot in others. Namaqualand is usually between 70 and 90 F. It would be a very different look at South Africa than what you would see on the east coast - it is semi desert, has no major cities but is very interesting nonetheless. The URL for Namaqualand's site is
You got to love a country that has summer temperatures somewhere all the time You do not need to miss Cape Town - you will likely want to start from there, take in the Cederberg, see the Bushman's Kloof - there are any number of things to see and do on that side of South Africa.
Jan 20th, 2003, 02:03 PM
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Hi Selwyn: If you had unlimited time, but not unlimited pocket book, how long would you suggest in South Africa. I was thinking about two months. Understand that apartments can be found at a reasonable price by the week, and that meals are reasonable. Was thinking of starting in J'burg and finishing in Cape Town, with lots of stops inbetween. Best month without a lot of other travelers? Thanks
Jan 22nd, 2003, 12:53 AM
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Hi Jean
The great thing about SA is that just about any time of year is good. In my opinion two months will give you enough time to cover the country well. If you want to avoid tourist masses then I recommend either Feb/Mar/Apr (but not this year!) or Sept/Oc/Nov. There is an outfit called "Don Apartments" which has apartments for rental in most major centres. I have never used them so are not sure of the rates, but should be better than a hotel! In the smaller towns you can find guesthouses and B&B's at very reasonable prices. If you are paying in USD then food is very cheap (10 to 15 USD pp for a good evening meal including alcohol). From your address; if you are paying in AUSD then you can expect to pay between 15 and 20 AUSD pp for the same. Depending on the establishment and what you are drinking, drinks are about 2USD (or 3AUSD). This is very mid-range and you can get cheaper. Hope you come and visit!
Jan 22nd, 2003, 04:48 AM
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Hi, Traci. I was just about to reserve a trip to South Africa for the last week of April, first week of May (our 30th anniverary), but saw your warning about avoiding Feb, March and April of this year. Please let me know what problems you are referring to if we travel in April. Thanks for your help!
Jan 22nd, 2003, 08:07 AM
tom oliver
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Traci, what a find you are! We are tentatively scheduled to arrive August 28 and depart September 21. We now only have two questons and they are 1. weather and 2. is game viewing affected much? at all? by seasons/weather. We are even more excited after your response-thanks
Jan 22nd, 2003, 09:50 AM
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Dear Tom

While I have never been to South Africa, since I am married to an English cricket-lover I can hazard a guess as to why Traci suggests avoiding Feb-April of 2003.

The world cup of cricket is being hosted in South Africa for (fixture dates say) at least Feb-March, therefore LOTS of cricket fans will be in attendance from all over the world who will, of course, not spend all of their time watching cricket! Therefore many areas will be busy, and possibly by now it may not be possible to book at some places.

Good luck with your travel plans!

Jan 22nd, 2003, 09:51 AM
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Oops - my previous message should have been directed to Susan
Jan 22nd, 2003, 11:22 AM
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Hi, Nicole, thanks for enlightening me. Sounds like end of April should be OK. Hubby and I want to make this anniversary one to remember and it seems South Africa will certainly fill the bill!
Jan 24th, 2003, 04:16 AM
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Hi guys
Been busy working and so missed all of that.
Nicole is quite correct about the cricket fans - and I am one of them! Sue - The final game is on 23 March so a trip here at the end of April/beginning May should be fine.
Tom -
1. the weather: it depends on the areas you planned on visiting. September is the first month of Spring and so it will be warming up in Cape Town and it may not rain everyday (couldn't resist that one just for Selwyn!). However, if you are on the highveld this is a great time because the rains will not have started yet and it will be very comfortable.
2. the affect of temperature on game is that you won't see much when it is very hot. That is why reserves offer drives early in the morning or late in the day - in the middle of the day the game do the smart thing and head for the shade of a tree for a nap. I tend to prefer the bush in the winter months as the plants are not so thick that you cannot see any animals. In September this will not have had time to grow in yet so you should be okay.
Anything else?
Feb 6th, 2003, 04:47 PM
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Does it really rain that much in September? We will be in Cape Town from September 17th to september 21st..

IngridG is offline  
Feb 10th, 2003, 04:27 AM
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I guess the short answer to that is "Yes". But I must qualify it. My comment was largely directed at Cape Town based Selwyn - there is a degree of friendly ribbing between Capetonians and South Africans in other regions. Some Capetonians seem to think that beyond the mountains is a wasteland, and I couldn't miss the opportunity to get a "dig" in. Capetonians will probably say that we do it because we are jealous that we don't live there!
Cape Town is one of those cities that can have all five seasons in one day, and it is really odds on that you will encounter rain in September. But I doubt it will be set in grey skies from sunrise to sunset. That having been said, one thing that is amazing about the Cape is that the beauty is strangely enhanced in rainy conditions. If I remember correctly you were looking at shark cage diving - which is about the only outdoor activity that may be adversely affected - not so much by rain but wind.
traci_local_in_sa is offline  
Feb 19th, 2003, 01:37 PM
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well hello all you travllers hows your day. well iam so excited about my first trip to africa plus my first airplane ride. i have my trip all planned out iam sure to have loads of fun. my choice of hotels starts with the gold reef in gold reef city. i plan to go to gold reef amusment park rollercoasters . go horse back riding. i plan to stay in gold reef city 3 days by the way its 25 minutes from johannasburge airport. just to catch my breath i plan to spend one day in suncity. does this sound like fun . gambling vegas style they say its very beautifull maybe you should visit in on the web site. matter of fact the also have an amusment park in capetown. but nah. we not going there well the rest of my trip lands me in pertoria. where we shall visit the zoo amongst. other things. you say how long will i be there 18 wonderfull days in southafrica. oh yeah i promise to visit the mall in petoria.
bustamove772000 is offline  
Feb 20th, 2003, 03:38 AM
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Am curious as to your itinerary. Will you be following Selwyn's advice? (You didn't comment on his post above so I was curious about what you decided).
Kavey is offline  

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