One week in South Africa

edited January 2009 in - Southern Africa
Hi, having one week, i wonder if it is possible to do Cape Town and Kruger Park. How much it could be in US$ or euro?



  • edited 4:09AM
    On holiday in South Africa, it is possible to visit both Cape Town and the Kruger!
    You would need about 3 days in Cape Town and should try include trips to Robben Island, Table Mountain and the wine region. There are flights from Cape Town (not all direct) to Hoedspruit, where the nearest entry point to the park is Orpen Gate, and Nelspruit (Paul Kruger, Numbi or Phabeni gates).
    If you enter the park via Orpen Gate, nearby Satara has good game viewing and accommodation facilities. 3 or 4 days in the park should be enough time to experience its highlights (the 'Big 5', African landscapes, guided tours).
    Cape Town – Hoedspruit and Cape Town – Nelspruit return flights cost about $620, Kruger park entry is R140/day (about $14), Table Mountain Cableway rates are R145 (about $14.50) and Robben Island tours cost R180 (about $18).
  • edited 4:09AM
    If you want to stay inside Kruger (recommended) you must book far in advance. Another option if you have the money is to stay at a private game reserve on the edge of the Kruger. You will see much more game and have a luxurious experience. Expensive though!
  • edited 4:09AM
    Do not be tempted to go for a safari that is close to Cape town: Aquilla markets itself as a big5 game reserve 2 hours from Cape Town. It is not the real thing and in fact is very disappointing if you exepect the proper safari experience. Avoid! One closer option that is very good is Shamwari, in the Eastern Cape near Port Elizabeth. Other wise make the effort to go north and see the Kruger or the private reserves on its border.
  • edited 4:09AM
    Hi, I am planning on going to Cape Town in October with my husband...we are thinking of staying at the Westin Grand in Cape Town, and then at the Arabella Spa & Resort in Hermanus...anyone ever been here? Is Cape Town dangerous, as we have heard some stories which are not so tempting...

  • edited 4:09AM
    KELZ - Arabella Spa & Resort is very, very nice. One of the best golf courses in the country and a wonderful restaurant. Very beautiful and relaxing. I live in Cape Town and have very few fears for my safety. Take normal precautions, like don't wander around at night on your own, keep your valuables hidden, and drive defensively. Compared to Johannesburg, you are very safe here. Enjoy.
  • edited 4:09AM
    Hi David F.
    Thinking of taking fairly adventurous family( Us two ,ie. mum & dad, and 3 kids 7,10, & 13) to South Africa for 3 weeks ,if we can afford it!
    We'd like(essential Iguess),to do safari(big 5).This is in February 2009 - good time ?, bad time ? Kruger or private on edge of.
    Also, like fairly secluded beach , sun , and sand for approx 1week (maybe own villa?)
    And just about anything else , icluding wine good food , and any unmissable sightseeing.
    Any thoughts would be great -- we know nothing!

    Barney and Nyree.
  • edited 4:09AM
    Hi, I'd like visiting Johannesburg someday, specially in the FIFA World Cup 2010, but, What can I do for obtain a sure place?, How much money do I need for one a week? Can you help me?

    09 Feb 2009
  • edited 4:09AM
    Flintstone - February is a good time for safari, although there can be plenty of rain over this month, meaning two things: the grass grows taller making it harder to see animals, and there is more water so the animals dont always need to go to the big watering holes where the action is. It is still a good time though, especialy if you are on a private reserve where the ranger will ensure you see everything.

    For the beach option, either head to the Wild Coast, where you can rent a very rustic accommodation, or perhaps the Garden Route near Wilderness.

    for more info on what South Africa has to offer check out the Word Travels Guide:
  • edited 4:09AM
    I have about 2 weeks in the beginning of September and my daughter (24) wants to see southern Africa, she wants to see Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Arusha and if possible Zanzibar.
    we will arrive in Johannesburg and have to depart from Johannesburg. I was leaning towards Kruger national park and cape town... any suggestions? also will the weather be a factor?
  • edited 4:09AM
    I have a week holiday in October (end Oct) and would love to visit South Africa, with dreams of safari/cisit to game park as well as some relaxing holiday including wine tasting...
    CAn anyone recommend what would be good area to focus in if looking for both safari and some luxury? and is it feasible to do both in 1 week? or what else is must-see/do while holidaying in south africa?
    i'm so excited at the prospect of visiting this beautiful country!!
  • edited 4:09AM
    Go to a private game reserve and get luxury and private game drives. Based on my experience I can recommend Jackalberry Lodge in the wonderful Thornybush reserve (on the edge of the Kruger). Its a good value yet luxury camp - you'll love it, every single visitor there does! Let me know if you want more details.
  • edited 4:09AM
    Do you think it would be possible to do Cape Town, Kruger, Sun City (for the zip line), and Bloukrans (for the bungy jump), all within 7 days? I know it sounds like a lot, but just curious.

    Also, what's the best way to travel there? Should we get a vacation package? Or just book everything ourselves?

    Thanks for the help! We're hoping to visit in April.
  • edited 4:09AM
    travelislife - 7 days is too short i think. I would skip Sun City unless you love gambling and golf. I would also fly from Cape Town to Hoedspruit and rent a car there to see the Kruger or private reserves (that will save you a day of drive time). Bloukrans is up the garden route, about 5 hours from Cape Town, so quite a drive although worth it for the scenery and 200m jump! There is a shorted but still fun jump at the Gouritz bridge, about 2 hours from Cape Town along the same road.

    I would use a local tour operator to book the various options for you, but not buy a vacation package as it will hard to customise according tyo your specific timings.
  • edited 4:09AM
    Good advice from DavidF - but I think the Gouritz bridge swing is a little further than 2 hours from Cape Town though. It's about 350km which is going to take you 3 hours minimum if you travel remotely close to the 120km/h speed limit. But it is still closer to Cape Town than Bloukrans (which is about 550km from Cape Town).
  • edited 4:09AM
    Hi David,

    I am planning to go to South Africa for 2 weeks in November. Would it be a good month for safaris? Do you know any "Malaria free" safari parks? I will be travelling solo, I know everything is more expensive for one person, would you have any recommendation?

    Thank you!
  • edited 4:09AM
    Mary, November is nice weather, quite hot and occasionally rainy. This means the grass grows higher, so animals are harder to see, and there are lots of ad hoc water holes so animals do not concentrate at the bigger dams. These are not drawbacks if you are in a private park with ranger, but is a problem if in Kruger and confined to the roads.

    The further north you go the less malaria there is. But honestly I have been all over that area many times and never taken malaria meds and never contracted malaria. Its debatable whether you need the drugs or not.
  • edited 4:09AM
    While I remember: the only guaranteed malaria free parks are in the Easter Cape. However these parks do not have lions in their natural habitat. Dont' miss a chance to see the real bush up north near Kruger. Wear long pants in the evening and use mosquito repellent and you should be fine.
  • edited 4:09AM
    Dear David, I appreciate your comments, thank you very much. If November is not the best time for Kruger Park, which month would you recommend? Would you have any suggestions/recommandation should I decide to go to a private park. Thank you again!
  • edited 4:09AM
    I am attending the final game of the World Cup in Jo'burg with my 26 yr daughter. we will have time in Cape Town (4 nights). I am having a hard time picking a tour company to take us on a wine lands tour. How can I tell if the price is good or not. How do I know if the companies are reputable? If the tour is private (just us 2), what does the guide do when we eat? Do I pay for their meal too? How much do I tip? If all of the entrance fees and lunches are paid by me, then what am I really paying for? We are also going to spend time at Robben Island but I think I will just pay for tickets on-line. Suggestions welcome! This is a trip of a lifetime!
  • edited 4:09AM
    Mary - there is really no bad time to visit the gameparks. Perhaps January it too hot, but November is a decent time to visit. What is your budget? I can strongly recommend Jackalberry Game Park in the Thornybush reserve - this is my family's business. There are cheaper options, such as getting a tour to the Kruger and staying on a few of the camps. Highly recommended.
  • edited March 2010
    Soccermom - I have heard good things about - they get great feedback on their tour arrangements. Tell them we referred you please!

    You sound like someone who might be better suited to a self-drive tour. Buy a guide book, rent a car and explore the wine route on your own steam. Very safe and easy to do. As for Robben Island, you must book well in advance, online is ideal, as trips are sold out in tourist season. Note that heavy seas or bad weather will result in the boat cancelling its trip. Please visit our Cape Town guide and read more about the many things to see and do in Cape Town and surrounds!
  • edited 4:09AM
    Hi David! Thank you again! My budget? Well, I am not really interested in camping but I don't need a 5-star-hotel either, something in between. There are so many options, it's a bit overwelming.

    As for tours, I realize that we might be spending up to eight hours a day driving around. While this might be the best way to see a lot of country, I don't think that's how I see my vacation. I would prefer 3-4 days for exemple in Kruger Park, 3-4 days in Cape Town, 3-4 days in the Wine Valley, etc...

    Any suggestions?
  • edited March 2010
    I would not recommend trying to do both in a week as not enough times and you maybe dissapointed as you wont get the most from either.
    However if you decide to do both then flying is the only sensible option to get from Cape Town to Kruger area. Depending on where about you are going in Kruger will decide the airport, but it will probably be either Neilspruit, Hoedspruit or Phalaborwa. To get there from Cape Town, you would need to fly via Johannesburg.

    How much money is a big question and could be as much as you wanted! Go to Earth Lodge or somewhere like that and you are talking thousands of Dollars or as little (as 1000$).
  • edited 4:09AM
    Hi Mary, with a decent budget and 10 weeks on your hands I would propose the following broad itinerary:

    * 3 days in Cape Town, visiting Table Mountain, Robben Island, beaches, V&A Waterfront
    * 3 days in the winelands around Franschoek via rented cat seeing the countryside, tasting wine, eating fabulous food
    * Fly from Cape Town to Nelspruit or Hoedspruit and spend 5 days in the bush, either in the Kruger park in which case you will need a rental car, or in a private reserve (they will transfer you to/from the airport. Kruger will cost you R300 for a chalet that sleeps 2, the private reserve will be all-inclusive luxury from R2000 p/night. Worth it for a few nights I think.
    *While you are in the area don't miss seeing the Blyde River Canyon - South Africa's answer to the Grand Canyon, yet surprisingly neglected by most foreign visitors.

    On your next trip to South Africa try and see the Drakensberg in KwaZulu-Natal, the Wild Coast, and the Garden route.
  • edited 4:09AM
    Hi David! Although I don't have 10 weeks on my hand or even a decent budget :) I think I will follow your advice: 3 days in Cape Town, 3 days in the Winelands Region and 4 or 5 days in Kruger Park or on a Private Reserve ... although I think the Garden route would really be interesting specially in November ... still a lot of thinking to do, and some research as I would need to book everything with a travel agent since I would not be driving. Thank you for your advice!
  • edited 4:09AM
    Hi Mary..Went to SA last year visiting friends, going again 01/04..yay!..For a Malaria free park go to The Pilanesburg, couple of hours from Johannesburg, big 5 and fantastic viewing. Accommodation on site or we stayed in a lovey safari tent at Makinky Manzi close by. A lovely couple run it and their own area is beautiful. There are web sites for both. Hope that is useful.
  • edited 4:09AM
    Hi Hezzie, thank you for the info. I will look into it. Have a great holidays in SA.
  • edited 4:09AM
    Hello there :)

    I think if you have a crunch on budget , maybe think of going up the garden route and pop into the addo elephant park in the eastern Cape , its cheaper than kruger , but afcourse not as posh and as much animals to be seen :) my family and I went there a few years , had a great time though!
  • edited 4:09AM
    For a week in South Africa this December, we (including 2 kids aged 2 & 6) are Interested to see wildlife in their natural habitat (not confined by fence or by means of providing food). Is it a good idea to rent a car? Apart from camping, please provide the details of decent accommodation with decent price. Your suggestion is much appreciated.

    -Murugan, North Carolina
  • edited 4:09AM
    I am visiting Cape Town at the moment. i am looking to get as wild a Safari experience as possible and hopefully some local culture as well. Any advise on either The Garden route or Kwahzulu- Natal. Verses Kruger starting on january 24th. We also don't want to take the Maleria drugs. We are traveling with an adventurous 7 year old.
    Thank you
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