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Holidays

Safari in SA

30 replies

SunbeamsOverhead · 11/01/2020 10:07

Has anyone done SA with kids?
Wondering if we can fit a safari & beach in during a couple of weeks.

Interested to hear about anyone's experiences... Smile

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BubblesBuddy · 11/01/2020 18:26

How old are DC? We went when ours were 13 and 11. We went to Sabi Sands snd Hluhluwe Imfolozi and the St Lucia wetlands area. This is around 3 hours north of Durban where there are lots of beaches.

You could also fly into Cape Town (many beach suburbs) and drive along the Garden Route where there are also many beach options. You can then fly from Port Elizabeth to Nelspruit (now got a different name) which is the gateway to Kruger and Sabi Sands for a safari. That’s easy enough to do in 2 weeks.

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SunbeamsOverhead · 12/01/2020 09:08

Thanks @BubblesBuddy
Kids are 7&10

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MTBMummy · 13/01/2020 09:15

I grew up in SA, so would say you can definitely fit in beach and Safari in a couple of weeks visit. BubblesBuddy has suggested some great options.

I'm visiting in a couple of months, and I'll be doing CPT beaches (penguins, whales) then flying up to Durban to do Pennington to St Lucia, and then inwards to the Drakensburg stopping via Tala Game Reserve

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ChilliMayo · 13/01/2020 09:36

We flew into CT and used a couple of days to drive across to Addo National Park via Oudtshoorn. Addo was great for wildlife, elephants, lion, hyena, warthog. Then we drove back along the coast taking in Knysna and Hermanus, then spent a couple of days at Aquila Reserve, again wonderful wildlife.
That took 11 days. You'd probably want more rest days than us (dc are teenagers and travel a bit better than youngsters) but it's certainly doable with a fortnight.
Travelbag organised the itinerary bespoke for us.

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ChilliMayo · 13/01/2020 09:38

I should say we also had a few days in CT. we stayed over near the Waterfront but I wished I'd had a night or so at Camps Bay. You'd also want to do Boulders and the Cape peninsula from CT.

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ContinuityError · 13/01/2020 12:44

I too think you’d want to do some things round CT such as penguins, the Cape itself etc. For DCs that age the Garden Route is lovely, some good things to do at Plettenberg for instance. Addo is amazing for elephants - you can stay in the park (there are lodges and a restaurant) and do your own self drive safari (no big cats though). There are lots of private game parks in the area - when we were travelling around several locals recommended Buffelsdrift near Oudtshoorn for a safari (didn’t get a chance to do it though).

It’s very easy to plan your own route with online hotel bookings sites, Google Maps and Trip Advisor. SkyScanner is good for tracking down cheap flights.

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snowgirl1 · 14/01/2020 07:47

We've done beach and safari in two weeks in SA a few times. It's definitely possible.

We've done Kruger park and then driven East to beaches in Mozambique and have also been down to the wetland coast in St. Lucia. The Eastern side of SA has a pretty nice climate year round - we've been in in UK summer, their winter, before and it was warm dry and sunny.

What time of year are you going and what are your must sees? If Cape Town and you want the chance to see big cats on safari, it might mean an internal flight.

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MyuMe · 14/01/2020 07:54

Kruger Park is a malaria risk zone. You'll need malarone.

I saw everything in Kruger: the big 5 including the rare leopard.

It is massive though and jam packed with cars and coaches. A private game reserve was much less crowded but less game though.

Can't comment on CT as I didnt go there. I stayed in the north west of the country.

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snowgirl1 · 14/01/2020 09:11

I've been to Kruger numerous times and never seen it jam packed with cars and coaches - although maybe MyuMe went during the SA summer holidays over the Christmas/New Year period which is the main holiday period in SA? If someone sees something worthwhile (lion, leopard etc.), they will stop and keep watching the game, then other people also come along and stop so you can get a group of vehicles all watching the game.

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BubblesBuddy · 14/01/2020 13:40

Leopards are prolific in Sabi Sands. Nottens Bush Camp is a great place to stay.

For a safari you need to think if you want somewhere that’s very touristy and has restaurants (and featured on The Apprentice recently) or whether you want the real wild South Africa that requires further travel and tablets. We never have had problems getting DC to take them but they are expensive! However if you want the real safari experience I would do it properly. Wildlife parks which are restocked farms are not quite the same thing.

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Applejack87 · 14/01/2020 18:37

We’re planning to book SA , & very undecided on our itinerary , we would be going in July would Kruger be quieter at that time of year ? Which is the best Safari ?

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BubblesBuddy · 14/01/2020 21:43

Kruger is fantastic and should be in your list. Sabi Sands adjoins Kruger and is famed for leopards.

Hluhluwe Imfolizi is famous for rhino. Other rewilded areas have everything that’s been encouraged to breed, and many have very swanky camps. Check out Ant’s Nest for example. In my view, the original reserves are best because they are “natural” reserves. There are lots of concessions reserves around Kruger, eg Mala Mala, Timbavati, and all have their attributes. Swaziland is also home to great wildlife reserves.

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BubblesBuddy · 14/01/2020 21:46

Sorry forgot to answer! We went to Sabi Sands in August and yes, it’s quieter in their winter. All the better in my view. July would be good. The early mornings will be ultra cold so take warm clothes in layers. You should be able to watch animals in peace!

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Applejack87 · 15/01/2020 12:18

We've been making some enquiries & was quoted £500 a night for 4 star accommodation which seems a bit steep to me is this the going rate ?
We were thinking around £ 250-300 which would be a short stay in Cape town then possibly onto Kruger , tbh we're not sure at the moment

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BubblesBuddy · 15/01/2020 18:06

4star accommodation where? In Cape Town per room? Or in a bush camp in Kruger? Camps are all inclusive of meals and game drives. They are never cheap because of this level of service. What was £500 for?

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YikesFeelSoStressed · 15/01/2020 22:12

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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ChilliMayo · 15/01/2020 22:32

Yes. The hire car was in great condition and the roads are really good, well signposted. The satnav sometimes sends you down a rough and dusty looking road but bear with - invariably Mrs Satnav proved our misgivings wrong.
A couple of areas had warnings posted regarding hawkers, possibly hijackers, but you keep your windows up, your doors locked, your valuables out of view and drive on through.
Watch out for rampaging baboons, they are buggers.

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ContinuityError · 15/01/2020 22:52

Watch out for rampaging baboons, they are buggers

They know how to try car door handles so always keep doors locked.

There are signs warning about problem areas in CT so keep watch and if in any doubt turn round and go back. Keep to the main tourist routes.

We've been making some enquiries & was quoted £500 a night for 4 star accommodation

This must be for safari lodges? You can get 4* 2 bed apartments in The Waterfront for £250 per night for July / August 2020, and outwith CT prices are much lower.

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Applejack87 · 16/01/2020 15:39

Is it safe for tourists to drive around CT , we
Were thinking of driving ourselves around

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isthismylifenow · 16/01/2020 15:46

We’re planning to book SA , & very undecided on our itinerary , we would be going in July would Kruger be quieter at that time of year

I am in SA so happy to help if I can.

July is our school winter holidays, so it can be a bit busier then. I just had a look it is earlier this year, schools go back on 7 July so you will definitely get better deals after that date.

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isthismylifenow · 16/01/2020 15:50

Is it safe for tourists to drive around CT , we
Were thinking of driving ourselves around


Yes it is safe, you would need to avoid the rougher areas though, and just keep aware. Doors locked and use Waze or Google Maps. CT traffic is quite something though, so always leave extra time for being caught in traffic. Remember here we have car guards at practically every place you park, so keep some coins handy, they will help you find a place, keep an eye on your car and direct you out.

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isthismylifenow · 16/01/2020 15:52

We've been making some enquiries & was quoted £500 a night for 4 star accommodation

Can you remember where? This is not normal pricing, I am thinking that its through of those booking sites that overcharge excessively.

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isthismylifenow · 16/01/2020 15:57

CT is a very popular tourist attraction so they do price some things differently for tourists unfortunately.

To get into a lot of places we have to show our SA id to get normal entry prices. If you cannot provide one, then you are charged tourist prices which are unfortunately quite a bit more. Cape Point do this, Boulders Beach (where the penguins are) as well as Duiker Island which is the boat trip out to see the seals, which is great btw. and Table Mountain. So just cater in your budget for entry prices to be more. Or if you have family here, ask them to get the tickets Grin

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Applejack87 · 18/01/2020 07:39

Has anyone been to Amakhala Bush ?

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isthismylifenow · 19/01/2020 12:46

Apple, I have not been there but have been been to Lalibela (albeit a very long time ago) which is in the same area. These are quite upmarket resorts, which I think reflects in the pricing Smile. The area is good in that it's close to the start of the garden route, if you were considering doing that as part of your holiday. It does look like an amazing place though. From a quick look there seems to be a variety of accommodation. It gets quite cold in winter here at night. I wasn't sure of the time of year if you were thinking of the tented camp. That's glamping for sure. Smile

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