South Africa - itinerary and flight recommendations(12 Posts)
We are looking at going out to South Africa to visit friends next Easter. We went out about 10 years ago and I’m at how much the flights have gone up! So I was wondering if anyone could advise on whether £750 is a good price or if we should hold out for another couple of months in case of an airline sale (Emirates do one in sept iirc). Also interested in any airline recommendations - favouring Emirates at the moment as we are up north and they fly direct from Manchester.
Second query is that we are looking for recommendations for a new area to explore. We spent 2 weeks doing CT and the garden route and wine lands last time. We will probably do a week in CT revisiting places and catching up with friends but after that I would like to go somewhere different. I have been looking at Addo elephant park and that is an option, but I wasn’t sure if there was much in the area around it. I’m a bit apprehensive about security risks so would like to avoid Jo’burg and driving too far off the beaten track.
We have driven West from Durban to Pietermaritzburg and then into the Drackensburgs. You can go to the battle sites too. There is plenty to see and do.
Another idea north of Durban is to drive to a Lodge in Hluhluwe Imfolizi. There are good sightings of Rhino there and you can visit the St Lucia wetlands too. I would say visit Kruger or Sabi Sands rather than Addo which is on the Garden Route near Port Elizabeth.
Driving is easy if you stick by the rules. Make sure you don’t stop in the wrong places.
Flying to Joburg makes sense for Kruger but you could go to Durban instead for the routes west and north. Many people like south of Durban too.
By the way, apart from the Garden Route, most of SA is off the beaten track. That’s what’s great about it! If you are nervous, do a tour?
Thanks Bubbles. I’m not so nervous that I want to be constrained by a tour. I just remember my friend’s mum telling me last time ‘I wouldn’t drive anywhere without a gun in my glove compartment’ I find it hard to gauge what the genuine risks are - some of our SA friends are hyper vigilant whereas others are very relaxed.
That sounds like a really good price to me. Have a look at KLM too, you have to change in Amsterdam but prices can be much cheaper as you don't have to pay UK duty.
We went to Addo & stayed at a place called Kuzuko Lodge. It was absolutely amazing, beautiful & a bit of luxury after quite a busy hols. You don't have the numbers of animals like in Kruger, but you also don't end up seeing more Jeeps than wildlife either so it suited us.
From CT to Addo is a well trodden route, and safe enough! We lived in SA so have done lots of game parks, I think Addo is a bit underwhelming compared with more remote places, but it fits in very well with other activities & ticks big game boxes pleasantly enough. Book now for accommodation on site though as it can be very busy.
I think you will find the specialist subject of most South Africans is security! No, they don’t all carry guns but keep windows closed at traffic lights and your doors locked. Be very careful about asking for directions (preferably don’t) and don’t stop in Townships. We were once told “if someone wants to take your car, they want it more than you do!” So be careful, keep your wits about you, park where there is a paid car park minder and know your route! We have never had a single issue. Most tourists don’t.
Thanks all! I will have a look at Kuzuko Lodge, that sounds fab. Will look at KLM too.
Bubbles - great advice, thanks. It is common sense really isn’t it. We had such a great time last time we went and I’m excited to go back!
We always fly direct because the time difference is only 2 hours and you can hit the ground running in SA. I don’t like wasting time sitting around in other airports. If you can fly direct from your local airport I would do it.
Addo is great - so many elephants, as well as plenty of other wildlife, although you wont get the wildebeests sweeping majestically across the plains. if you wanted to push the boat out, Shamwari is not far too. Malaria free, which is a bonus. Also recommend looking at some of the battlefields around the Drakensbergs.
I am looking to fly out at Easter from Manchester too...I would say hold out and be flexible on the days as +/-1 day each side can bring it down massively. I've always found August/Sept the best time for flight sales to SA and usually get them for about £400 (last time was £375 with Qatar) but with one change - usually Paris, Amsterdam, Abu Dhabi or Doha.
We went at Easter and flew KLM via Amsterdam. Paid about £700 each to Cape Town we did the Cape Peninsula. DH is from there so he knew the area well.
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