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Who has been to South Africa?

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Old 08-01-2017, 01:51 PM   #16
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Etihad should be good if you want cheap. You may check via skyscanner for more realtime prices depending on ur travel dates.

I've been to South Africa but mainly Port Elizabeth and Johanneburg area only. My take is Cape town can spend 3-5 days (depending on how tight you want to be), and Joh'burg probably 2-3 days depending on where u want to visit. Private game reserves are probably the best for luxurious safaris, but Kruger being the largest national park, has the best widlife (so you need not spend too much time in safaris at Cape town or Johburg). You can either self drive or join a tour in Kruger. Be careful though, Kruger is a malaria zone, so you should take preventive shots beforehand!

Also, I have about SGD300+ worth of South African Rand, if you guys plan to visit, you can change with me (i'll keep the rate slightly better than money changers here)

Anymore questions feel fee to ask or PM me!
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Old 09-01-2017, 07:27 AM   #17
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We are also planning to go Africa, sorry to hijack the thread a bit, what airline cheapest to SA? Also, do you fly open jaw? Ex: Arrive in CT, Depart at JB.

Our planning still messy, my friend also want to go Kenya besides South Africa, not sure 3 weeks enough.
Kenya you need to check as I think you need yellow fever vaccination.

The only airlines that fly Sin to JB / CT direct is SQ. The others all transit so SQ charges a premium. If you're also going Kenya, why not exit from Mombasa?

The only thing is to ask if you will be all safaried out if you go safari in both SA and Kenya? Safari is very expensive if you're doing the luxurious style (no other way if you ask me) and about a week is good - more than that, unless you absolutely love animals can get a bit too much. Of course if you want, you can always go trekking to Victoria Falls or take a beach holiday on Zanzibar... but I'd say break the trip into smaller ones
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Old 10-01-2017, 12:36 PM   #18
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safe or not ?
Tiagong so many terrorist such as Boko Haram with gun one leh.
is there a Boko Halal group?
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Old 12-01-2017, 02:09 PM   #19
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Thanks for replies here.

I, my wife and our family friend were invited at the wedding of our friend. Wedding will be at private game reserve (read - damn expensive) next to Kruger. Fortunately we will stay at the private game reserve only for two nights for the event.

We decided to add our own vacation and fly to Cape Town while flying back from Johannesburg on non-stop/direct flights via SQ. Booked Business class via miles - one of the best redemption of miles, but fees/taxes were $600 per ticket.

So we will be 6 days at Cape Town (rented a two bedroom house via AirBnB) and after that - three nights at Hazyview next to Panorama Route to explore such.

For cape town I think we will spend four days exploring the city and for two days venture around to places like cape of good hope.

If anybody has tips/suggestions - please share.
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Old 13-01-2017, 12:13 AM   #20
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I just back fm cape town mid dec. Self drive holiday is common there. People are friendly but beware of those groups that stand wandering at road

Go read tripadvisor, fairly good read for planning. Food is never a problem if you do not mind driving around. Just get phone card and use google map.

Just exercise basic self awareness and dont do stupid things.
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Old 13-01-2017, 05:02 AM   #21
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Nice timing, 3-4 days in capetown, and a few days out

if u like whale watching, and you're going in-season, check out Hermanus -
http://blog.roving-light.com/2014/08...th-africa.html

There's also vineyards and stuff u can drive to if u got bored in capetown, but capetown is nice....

Thanks for replies here.

I, my wife and our family friend were invited at the wedding of our friend. Wedding will be at private game reserve (read - damn expensive) next to Kruger. Fortunately we will stay at the private game reserve only for two nights for the event.

We decided to add our own vacation and fly to Cape Town while flying back from Johannesburg on non-stop/direct flights via SQ. Booked Business class via miles - one of the best redemption of miles, but fees/taxes were $600 per ticket.

So we will be 6 days at Cape Town (rented a two bedroom house via AirBnB) and after that - three nights at Hazyview next to Panorama Route to explore such.

For cape town I think we will spend four days exploring the city and for two days venture around to places like cape of good hope.

If anybody has tips/suggestions - please share.
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Old 06-03-2017, 02:15 AM   #22
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Couple of thoughts/observations after safari in South Africa

Hello everybody,

Spent couple of days at a private game (Karongwe) reserve where I and my wife been invited on a wedding. The program included driving safaris as well. After these safaris and checking with locals I want to share my thoughts based on information/observations. Comments/corrections are welcome, obviously.

If you do safari in South Africa, you basically have three options - from cheaper to more expensive:

- Stay at public park (Kruger) or nearby it and do self driving
- Stay at public park (Kruger) or nearby and sign-up on organized safari tours with driver/guide and tracker
- Stay at private all inclusive game reserves where safaris is part of the package


Each of above options have their pros and cons:

First option, with self drive:
Pros: Cheapest option overall, offers most flexibility - you are in charge designing your routes, time to spend, etc.
Cons: You really need to check what accommodation at the park/nearby will look like and what it offers, because number of such accommodations are nothing but glorified tents WITHOUT air conditioning. Secondly, because you do self drive, you won't have a guide/tracker who knows where what type of animals are - you can spend whole week driving around and never spot these 'Big Five', if you are after them. Finally, roads in the parts require nothing less than 4x4 and you need to know how to drive such vehicle.

Second option, with safari tours:
Pros: Contrary to the first option, you will have guide/tracker so your chances to see more and different type of animals are better.
Cons: All constraints of the lodging of the first option applies. You also have less flexibility with time/schedule - most safaris start very early in the morning (5AM) and they take 2-3 hours, while costing US $50-$100 (depending on schedule, length, amenities/vehicles/group size, etc). They also are quite tiring - if you do one safari in early morning and one - on afternoon, you can do such maximum on two days, after that you will be completely wasted, trust me on this.

Third option, with private game reserve:
Pros: All inclusive! Your job is to enjoy and have good time.
Cons: VERY expensive. Starts from several hundred USD per person per night and US $1000 per person per night is not something unheard of. Surprisingly, all warnings regarding accommodation applies as well - some private game reserve accommodations DO NOT have air conditioning! We managed to get in one such place and temp inside was +39 during the day and +30 during the night - we had to wet our bath towels and use them as blankets instead to somehow deal with the heat. Also warning about tiring driving/safari and animal spotting applies - we saw just one elephant and couple of rhinos (200 m away) after three safaris each with 3h.

So if you want to see all animals and have time constraints, instead of doing 'real' safari probably better idea would be to go to one of 'animal parks' where all those animals are around when you do self-driving. However, if you insist to see wild animals in their natural environment, then make sure that you have at least a week and good amount of money to spend on this.
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Old 06-03-2017, 07:13 AM   #23
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I think you were quite unlucky in your experience with the private game reserve.

I went for the private game reserve (Lion Sands) and it was brilliant. A butler looks after 2-3 couples so he remembers your food / drinks preferences and helps with whatever else. we had aircon so it wasn't a problem. Also, it was not summer (we usually travel spring / autumn for the long holidays).

As for the game drives, it's usually 2 long drives (morning to about lunch) and then late afternoon to evening) or 3 shorter drives a day. saw plenty of the animals (and ate the game meats as well). saw all the big 5 plus others like Wild Dogs (which are supposedly quite rare). Generally in the mid afternoon, the animals also like to hide from the sun and take a siesta so the better times for the drives is early morning and later in the afternoon.

While it is a lot less than when I went to Tanzania, it was a good introduction and it was a lot more luxe than Tanzania.
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Old 06-03-2017, 09:02 AM   #24
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Hello! I'm thinking of going SA this Dec/Jan for my honeymoon. Do you know how would the weather be like? Other than safari, did you go to cape town? I'm thinking of doing kurger NP public with guide tour (option 2) for afew days then self-drive at cape town. not much idea what to do yet..
How much should i budget for around 13days trip?

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Old 06-03-2017, 01:07 PM   #25
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I think you were quite unlucky in your experience with the private game reserve.
We've been there for a wedding, not for safari, which was add-on, pretty much one day only. We did see plenty of other animals - giraffes, three types of antelopes, zebras, warthogs, hippos, eagles and other birds

we had aircon so it wasn't a problem. Also, it was not summer (we usually travel spring / autumn for the long holidays).
That's the difference. Try without aircon in a tent during summer and see how it feels.

As for the game drives, it's usually 2 long drives (morning to about lunch) and then late afternoon to evening) or 3 shorter drives a day. saw plenty of the animals (and ate the game meats as well). saw all the big 5 plus others like Wild Dogs (which are supposedly quite rare). Generally in the mid afternoon, the animals also like to hide from the sun and take a siesta so the better times for the drives is early morning and later in the afternoon.
Our morning drive started at 5:30AM (wake up at 5AM, following coffee/tea with rusks) and we came back at 9:30AM, second drive started at 4:30PM and we came back at 7:30PM - 7 hours total in one day, it was tiring in these Defender vehicles.

While it is a lot less than when I went to Tanzania, it was a good introduction and it was a lot more luxe than Tanzania.
While my wife loved SA (she was expecting something like Thailand in terms of infrastructure/development) and we plan to go back and include Namibia and/or Botswana, I will have serious problems convincing her to go to inner african countries. She has minimum level of comfort requirements - paved roads, air conditioned lodging without caterpillars and centipedes inside are in that list.
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Old 06-03-2017, 02:11 PM   #26
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Hello! I'm thinking of going SA this Dec/Jan for my honeymoon. Do you know how would the weather be like?
28-34C during the day, cooler during night, dry weather. Hotter in game reserves/parks.

Other than safari, did you go to cape town?
Spent 6 nights/5 days there. Had great time.

I'm thinking of doing kurger NP public with guide tour (option 2) for afew days then self-drive at cape town. not much idea what to do yet..
There are PLENTY of to do. One warning - do not attempt South africa unless you have at least two weeks to spend there. Otherwise you might end up with disappointment.

How much should i budget for around 13days trip?
You did not say what are your preferences/requirements in terms of accommodations. We stayed only at AirBnB places - renting whole house (2 bedrooms/2bathroom) in Hout Bay for 6 nights was SGD $750

For food you can budget about $50-150 for two people (depending how fancy you want to go with food), but generally restaurant prices are cheaper than prices in cafes in Singapore malls while offering better quality food. If you love meat, you'd love food in South Africa - one of the best price/performance one can get. But if you insist to have Asian diet while there - you'd better pack your own food and cook everything on your own.

For attractions, $50 per day would be more than enough for two people - mostly it is admission price at parks
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Old 06-03-2017, 02:39 PM   #27
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28-34C during the day, cooler during night, dry weather. Hotter in game reserves/parks.


Spent 6 nights/5 days there. Had great time.


There are PLENTY of to do. One warning - do not attempt South africa unless you have at least two weeks to spend there. Otherwise you might end up with disappointment.


You did not say what are your preferences/requirements in terms of accommodations. We stayed only at AirBnB places - renting whole house (2 bedrooms/2bathroom) in Hout Bay for 6 nights was SGD $750

For food you can budget about $50-150 for two people (depending how fancy you want to go with food), but generally restaurant prices are cheaper than prices in cafes in Singapore malls while offering better quality food. If you love meat, you'd love food in South Africa - one of the best price/performance one can get. But if you insist to have Asian diet while there - you'd better pack your own food and cook everything on your own.

For attractions, $50 per day would be more than enough for two people - mostly it is admission price at parks
Awesome. So many people are telling me about how dangerous SA is for Asian. Is that true? Isit safe for two Asian to go for honeymoon?

How long would you recommend me to stay at Johannesburg and how long for Capetown?
I'm thinking safari & shark cage @ Johannesburg and self drive (campervan) @ Capetown.

We're thinking of campvaning road trip at Capetown while hotel+tour at Johannesburg.
Food wise, we're vegetarian so we're not expecting much. Won't be eating anything fancy.

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Old 07-03-2017, 07:30 AM   #28
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Wells, I did do tents in Tanzania, but they were semi-permanent type of tents and one of them even had it's own plunge pool and permanent toilets (not the safari bath type). No aircon, but it was spring so it was natural aircon. You don't realise it's a tent after a while.

The game drives is about there. It's not tiring if you do see animals or you're trying to track something. The excitement keeps you up and you're not the one driving / tracking. Also, go back for a siesta after lunch. I've had days when it was an early drive, back to the resort for breakfast, then another drive before lunch and then end with another drive in the late afternoon with a sun-downer (drinks and canapes while watching the sunset in the bush) before heading back for dinner. Most of the days is just morning drive and late afternoon drives (up to you when / how long you want to go out for - in SA it was 3 couples in the landrover and in Tanzania, the 4 of us had our own landrover).

In terms of comfort levels, I think it depends on how developed the area is for tourism and how much you're willing to pay for it. I was told that Kenya is more for mass tourists so it's cheaper and there's more tourist infrastructure, but it also means that when you're on the drives, there's more other tourists and when there's a crossing, everyone rushes to the same place and it can get crowded. I went with Tanzania instead which is less touristy but instead have more high-end resorts. I was very happy with it. Roads inside the game area are always going to be dirt tracks and between camps, we flew (small planes which can take about 10 passengers type and operate like a bus going from one airfield to another - on the longest leg, I think we did about 7 or 8 stops). We saw quite a few crossings and those are very impressive - when you're in the middle of it and the wildebeest go right by you, and you're talking about thousands of them.....


Lions were seen on a daily basis - there was even one that was walking past our landrover in it's shadow before lying down in front of our landrover in the shadow for some shade from the sun (and this was close to noon).

Leopards and Cheetahs were more difficult to track although we did get pretty good close views.



For the safari, South Africa was like the appetizer.... Tanzania was more like the mains. I've yet to get to dessert, but no doubt that will come. Happy travels.
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Old 07-03-2017, 07:46 AM   #29
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If u aim to photograph beautiful leopards EVERDAY, go to Zambia.

If not, Botswana wet season is breathtakingly beautiful with all the greenery and wild animals roaming.
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Old 07-03-2017, 10:01 AM   #30
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Awesome. So many people are telling me about how dangerous SA is for Asian. Is that true? Isit safe for two Asian to go for honeymoon?
Are those the same type of people who tell you never to go to Johor because you will be killed and you car stolen/etc/etc?

If you are aware of concept of common sense and follow it, South Africa is safe regardless if you are Asian or whatever.

Just read some articles (on wikivoyage and other places) and do research/ask questions (which you are already doing) before you go.

DO NOT blindly trust technology (read this section about Johannesburg how gps/google maps can get you into trouble) or expect that technology will be working everywhere - and you are fine to go.

How long would you recommend me to stay at Johannesburg and how long for Capetown?
I'm thinking safari & shark cage @ Johannesburg and self drive (campervan) @ Capetown.
I would entirely skip Johannesburg and devote minimum 4 days at Cape Town. You DO NOT need campervan at Cape Town - it is a city.

Four days at Cape Town are minimum:
- you spend one day to drive to Kalk Bay/Simon's Town and Cape Peninsula, coming back via Chapman's Peak
- second day: to drive to Stellenbosch and/or Franschhoek, however if you decide to see both towns then you most likely won't have time to visit wineries
- Third day: Table Mountain/Signal Hill/Lion's Head. That's driving/going up via cable car. If you want to do hiking to each of these places from bottom to up and back - that one day for each above
- Fourth day: Kirstenbosch Gardens and/or beaches

See, that above does not even include any museum or Robben Island which is full day activity as well. To me, Cape Town deserves full week if you want to see/experience most it can offer.

We're thinking of campvaning road trip at Capetown while hotel+tour at Johannesburg.
Wrong. See above. Safari is done at wilderness parks. There are no parks around Cape Town and Kruger is 6 hours drive from Johannesburg - you can imagine how much you will spend on gas, even considering cheaper prices in South Africa.

You do not need to have campervan unless you want to. There is perfectly possible to have ordinary car and do self drive around Kruger - that what most people do.

Food wise, we're vegetarian so we're not expecting much. Won't be eating anything fancy.
You won't have much problem.
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