travel to South Africa

Apr 28th, 2008, 04:37 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 17
travel to South Africa

I am new to this forum. I am planning a trip to South Africa for the upcoming winter vacation. I will be traveling with my husband, and 13 and 16 year old daughters. I didn't begin to plan until very recently, so availabililty at hotels/game lodges is limited. I contacted the Africa Adventure Company, after seeing a recommendation for them on the Conde Next Website. I have been working with Elena, and she has been incredibly helpful. One of the things I told her was that we wanted to limit our flights within the country, and that we didn't like tiny planes. At this point, she has us booked for 2 nights at Djuma Vuyatela Game Lodge and 3 nights at Londolozi Founders Camp. She said that we would be driven from one camp to the other. I was wondering if because the camps were in driving distance of eachother, if the land we were to cover to see wildlife would be too similiar? It appears that Londolozi is much more upscale then Djuma. We prefer upscale accommodations. Has anyone recently stayed at Djuma Vuyatela. I like that they are both family owned, and that my kids will have the chance to see local villages. We will then spend a few nights in Cape Town. Thus far, we are booked at a guest house, as she is having trouble finding availability on the waterfront. She then has us spending a few nights at Grootbos- has anyone been there? I think we'd prefer the garden route area, and have asked her to look into hotels in that area for us. I appreciate any feedback about Djuma Vuyatela/Londolozi Founders Camp and Grootbos. Thank you.
fullojoy is offline  
Apr 28th, 2008, 07:55 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
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I have always argued that moving from one lodge to another within the sabi sands is a waste of time. The topography is much the same, the species of game is certainly no different from camp to camp, so in mu humble opinion, stay at one for five nights.

I recently looked over a trip offered by National Geographic Expeditions. It is in their family section of the catalogue. It would suite you guys, as it offers cultural experiences, stays at Grootbos, couple of nights in cape Town and finishes up in the sabi Sand.

Whatever you end up doing, enjoy the trip.

mkhonzo is offline  
Apr 28th, 2008, 10:35 AM
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agree with mkhonzo: would not change within the very same reserve means opt for only one lodge and stay there for 5 nights!
any transfer between two lodges would mean packing fuss and time waste as you only get two different lodges and nothing else. so it's not adding to your safari experience at all in view to wildlife sightings.
i would go for one of the sabi sabi properties:
i particularly like earth lodge which is their high-end venue but also bush lodge which is bigger but also very up-market.

londolozi is also an exquisite venue. there you are also - as almost everywhere in sabi sands - almost guarateed a leopard ;-)

i have no experience regarding djuma.

but djuma and londolozi are definately 2 different products.
as your travel agent has split the safari i might assume it's because of budget. he/she seems to be budget loyal and therefore the split.
if it's not for the budget conciousness then there is absolutely no reason to split.
i would definately not split.

in cape town i would definately try to get accommodation at the cape grace
and would avoid in ANY case to stay at table bay hotel.
another choice would be the bay hotel or 12 aposteles which both are a bit off the track but with a renteal car should not be a problem to reach whatever you want in CT.

grootbos is a great place with wonderful accommodation and very good scenery. very knowledgeable guides for nature walks etc.

as you mention "winter season" and i am not sure which month you are having in mind: whale watching would be also an option which will be done from grootbos starting in june up until oct/nov.

Apr 28th, 2008, 01:13 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 17
thanks for your advice. I will talk to the travel agent again tomorrow about the 2 lodges. I am not sure if she did that based on price, availability, or the fact that I told her I didn't want to fly in a small plane. She has been able to book us at the V&A hotel in Capetown. I think this will be a good area to stay in, as I think my teenage daughters will enjoy this. It sounds like instead of staying in Grootbos, we will stay in Krysna, and take day trips from there to differnt areas of the garden route. We will be traveling in December
fullojoy is offline  
Apr 29th, 2008, 08:32 AM
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V+A hotel is a very good choice! it's right in the waterfront means in the middle of the "action", it's not as fancy as the cape grace. location wise you couldn't get a better accomm for that rate!

if you are a seafood lover: book a table at BAIA - great location in the waterfront!
Apr 29th, 2008, 10:54 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,215
Moving from one safari camp to another (in Sabi Sand) may be a waste of time but it shouldn't be much of a waste. If it can be done without missing a game drive then no big deal. That is, make the transfer after the morning game drive but in time for the afternoon game drive. There are differences in how camps operate, e.g. the number of guests per vehicle, where the tracker sits, and of course costs per night. I've been to two camps in Sabi Sand, MalaMala and Leopard Hills and I found the differences significant but not all that important .

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Apr 29th, 2008, 03:10 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,809
hi fullojoy,

you're planning quite a similar trip to the one we did last year with our kids aged [then] 16 & 19.

we stayed at grootbos for two nights [after 4 in CPT at the Radisson, which was great] and though we enjoyed it, it's VERY ecpensive and i think that with kids, somewhere in knysna would be better - there are trips to do, shops to see, a variety of restaurants, and best of all the boat trip to the featherbed nature reserve, which I'm still cross we didn't do.

good luck,

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Apr 29th, 2008, 03:28 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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I would love if you would contact me directly to my email. I am anxious to communicate with someone who has done this type of trip with teens. We are NOT going to Grootbos, we will stay in Krysna, probably at the Phantom Forest Lodge, and do daytrips in the area. The other hotel in Krysna is Pezula- which is a really fancy spa/golf course. It is very expensive, and doesn't look particularly kid friendly. Joy
fullojoy is offline  
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