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Costa Rica or South Africa

(29 Posts)
Queenie72 Fri 25-May-18 18:54:55

Will be my big 50 and was thinking would either like to do Costa Rica or South Africa , the dcs will be 12 and 10 .
I’ve heard amazing things about Costa Rica , but also fancy Capetown and a Safari . Any one have any recommendations?

decena Fri 25-May-18 23:42:47

What month are you thinking of going as that is vital? CR has a very wet green season during our summertime so you will get regularly soaked if you go then. It is also a place where most people travel to 3
Or 4 places rather than stay in one spot.
SA is also month dependent. It will be cold in their winter/ our summer although better if you go north to the likes of KwaZulu Natal rather than Cape Town. Again, you will probably be best to travel different places, depends what you want really. If you don't want to travel up to the Kruger, there are smaller private parks - we ant to Shamwari where Harry and William have been. We also did Cape Town, Garden Route, Sun City as well as Safari. Lots to see and do. CR is mainly wildlife for/ rafting/jungle walks/zip lining, some beaches although water can be too rough for swimming. SA has everything if you can travel to diffferent spots. 3 to 5 days safari is usually plenty.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 26-May-18 10:01:23

What time of year would you be travelling?.

Capetown is currently in the midst of a severe water shortage.

BubblesBuddy Sat 26-May-18 22:48:13

If you go to KwaZulu Natal, you can definitely go in our summer holidays. I think 3 days doing a safari would be very light! There are a number of great reserves as well as Kruger.

There are the Drakensburg Mountains, Battle Grounds and coastal areas to explore as well as the Kingdom of Lesotho (check spelling!). It’s a huge country and you don’t have to go to Cape Town.

QuentinSummers Sat 26-May-18 22:48:58

Costa Rica is amazing, i would go there.

SenoritaViva Sat 26-May-18 22:53:01

I can't speak for Costa Rica but SA lovely. Cape Town great fun but must be in their summer, sea freezing so make sure you have a pool. Winelands lovely (but for dc?). Rubbish for safari, better to get internal flight. Everyone talks of the Kruger but there are better places with research, especially money! I recommend cheetah ridge if money restricted plus not far from drakensburg which is super.

BubblesBuddy Sun 27-May-18 14:50:51

Cheetah Ridge is a lovely property in a private reserve. However, the reserve does weddings and has conference facilities. It’s where South Africans go for R&R. It really is not like a Bush Camp (such as Nottens in Sabi Sands) where you really connect with the wilderness. However, each to their own and there’s no right or wrong.

I haven’t been to Costa Rica but I’m sure it would be great at the right time of year.

Queenie72 Mon 28-May-18 21:09:07

Thanks everyone , we were thinking we’d probably do at Easter time so April x

applecatchers36 Mon 28-May-18 21:14:27

Think that is their Autumn so getting cooler, but maybe not such an issue if you go north to Kruger.

mozzybites Sun 17-Jun-18 03:30:59

Can't speak to SA but dc loved Costa Rica, a great mixture of animals, action and relaxation. It was booked rather quickly without much research but it really impressed us.

user1486076969 Mon 18-Jun-18 18:38:59

Haven't been to either but met someone who went to Costa Rica (last year I think) and found the in country prices eye watering...currency linked to US dollar. Price wise S Africa wins.

whydidIbother Mon 18-Jun-18 21:28:27

I can't comment on Costa Rica but I travel often at Easter to SA. They have many hot days with the odd cooler day. There are lots of places to visit and cheap internal flights with Kulula or Mango gets you from different places very cheaply (think easyjet). The whole country is an adventure with many options to suit budgets and interests and extremely affordable.

mozzybites Tue 19-Jun-18 02:15:53

A holiday in Costa Rica is similar in cost to a holiday in the US, meal prices are the same as a that, if you want a super cheap holiday it probably isn't the right destination, Mexico has much cheaper living costs.

applecatchers36 Tue 19-Jun-18 06:11:57

South Africa is very reasonable, only big cost is flights. But eating out, food and drink ( Inc great SA wine) much cheaper than UK, same for shopping, huge range of accommodation from cheap self catering to 5 star game lodges and everything in between.

hellokittymania Tue 19-Jun-18 06:33:57

Never been to South Africa, but I can vouch for Costa Rica. I was there in November, and I think I remember the weather being OK.

jellybeanteaparty Tue 19-Jun-18 07:05:33

Been to both ( one for my 50th!) Either would be amazing and a good choice.

SJane45S Tue 19-Jun-18 11:36:34

I've been to Costa Rica (but not SA at any time!) in August and while there is a big thunderstorm a day usually in the afternoon or evening, it wasn't unpleasant and certainly not continuous. The beaches and wildlife are great - there isn't much on the historical ruins side but lots of activities on the adventurous side and it felt really safe. I have a different opinion to the poster above who's friend went and found it extortionate - certainly 2 years ago it wasn't. Eating out isn't cheaper than the UK but it wasn't more expensive either and certainly not as eye watering as a trip to say Norway.

scopello Tue 19-Jun-18 20:11:36

We're going to Costa Rica at Christmas! Also DH's 50th birthday celebrations with 2 teenagers in tow. V.excited and have booked the flights & all the accommodation ( different places). It's definitely cheaper to DIY it.

catandpanda Sun 24-Jun-18 00:22:40

I've been to both and due to water shortages I would go for Costa Rica. We went last summer with kids aged 10 and 11 and had an amazing time - saw monkeys, cuddled a sloth in the wild, geckos, saw a family of raccoons, a coati, toucan, etc, ziplined through jungle, hot springs, horse riding, water slide through rainforest, active volcanoes, kayaked in ocean amazing time. Weather was still much better than our summer 25 to 30 each day and only the odd hour of rain.

SA did penguins on beach and big 5 safari, Table Mountain, lovely but high crime and water shortages.

viktoria Tue 17-Jul-18 00:42:04

Have been to both, CR without children, SA with. I would say SA as it's much more varied than CR.
Have spent last Easter actually in SA and even though our 2 teens weren't keen on the idea, they absolutely loved it. Cape Town (Zeitz Museum, Table Mountain, Waterfront, lots of walking around) then West Coast National Park which was absolutely idyllic. Then Jo'burg (where we visited friends), Kruger (again, amazing) and then back to Jo'burg where we went to the Arpatheid museum which was stunning, and also went to Soweto.
Crime is definitely a worry but we had no negative experiences.

Biggest advice though: if you travel to SA with minors you need to carry their full original birth certificate and if only one parent travels, a notarised letter giving permission from the other parent.
We were blissfully unaware and denied entry. We spent a very stressful day in Dubai while arranging for somebody to go to our house, pick up the birth certificates, have them sent to Dubai and only once we had the documents in our hands, were we allowed on a flight. It was awful while it happened but makes for a good story now...

ihatethecold Wed 25-Jul-18 17:27:10

@scopello, can you tell me where and how you booked it. We would love to go to CR and have teens but I don't know where to start.

cariadlet Thu 26-Jul-18 22:46:35

You don't need a travel agent for Costa Rica. We went a few years ago and did it ourselves.

Sort out your dates first, search a few websites to find the cheapest flights, work out an itinerary and then book the hotels.

When I first started going on holiday with dp (20+ years ago) we'd turn up in a town with a copy of Lonely Planet and wander around until we found a hotel with rooms available. But these days everywhere has a website and the internet has made it so easy to diy.

ihatethecold Fri 27-Jul-18 10:43:48

It more the areas to go to cariadlet

middleagedalready Fri 27-Jul-18 11:53:20

Google searches will help you, you can read lonely planet etc online to see what zones you want visit. There are people who run blogs etc, type, two weeks in Costa Rica, to start to look at possible itineraries.

scopello Sun 29-Jul-18 09:23:50

1st & last nights at airport hotel.
1st week split between a rainforest eco lodge hotel and a spa hotel resort in La Fortuna - our base for Arenal. 2nd week renting a holiday let in Manuel Antonio. Hiring a car to travel around independently. HTH.

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