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1st Timers to ZA,need hoilday advice +tips

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posts: 146
reviews: 4
1st Timers to ZA,need hoilday advice +tips


were are a family of 3 and are thinking about a hoilday in October to ZA,but to be honest we are not sure where to go,everywhere looks very nice.The places we were thinking about were The Garden Route area,in and around Durban,Western+Eastern coasts look good too.

Really need advice on hotels,car hire,places to see,cost of eating out,shopping,who to fly with etc etc ,I know its a lot to ask but starting to get confused now :-)

And i really want to make the trip this year,have been uitting it off for a while ,but like i said i need your help please.

Thanks in Advance

Lee,Nikki,Christina(aged 8 )

Glasgow, UK
posts: 20
reviews: 8
11. Re: 1st Timers to ZA,need hoilday advice +tips

Hi Lee,

If this is your first visit to Africa then I think you should definately try and visit one of the national parks or game reserves, preferably the Kruger or adjacent private reserve.

Seeing animals in the wild in a fantastic experience and one i'm sure your daughter would love.

When I first took my fiance to SA about 5 years ago she was really excited by visiting Cape Town and not too keen on the Kruger atall. (just didn't think the safari thing was for her) Whilst we had a great time in Cape Town, and have also enjoyed time around Durban undoubtely going on 'safari' was the highlight.

posts: 7
12. Re: 1st Timers to ZA,need hoilday advice +tips

I agree with Jhan1978, definitely make time for a safari experience, it's such a highlight! You could either fly to Kruger from Durban or drive up to the Hluhluwe or Phinda (you can also include Zulu cultural experiences in the area). There's plenty to see and do in Cape Town and Durban which are both great cities. You'll need 2-3 days for a game reserve so I'd cut down the Garden Route (maybe fly from George instead of Port Elizabeth). And the Drakensberg is also highly recommended.

posts: 95
reviews: 23
13. Re: 1st Timers to ZA,need hoilday advice +tips

Hi Lee,

My husband and I are travelling to SA next February, and with the help of an agent, have divided our time as follows:

3 nights in Capetown at the Victoria and Alfred hotel

1 night in Franschhoek at the Franschhoek Country House

4 nights on safari in Kruger at a private game reserve (Tinga)

1 night in Johannesburg--Sandton area-Westcliff hotel

1 night at the Royal Livingstone in Zambia to see the Falls

We have rented a car during our time in Capetown and the Winelands.

If we had more time, we would have included the Garden Route.

Hope this is helpful.

posts: 2
14. Re: 1st Timers to ZA,need hoilday advice +tips

Hi, I am an ex Durbanite, having lived in Canada for the past 11 years, but still regard Durban as my home and visit every 2 years. Some suggestions of things to do are:

Daytrip to the Game Reserve in Eston. You can drive around in your car safely as there are no predators. It's is absolutely beautiful - I go there every visit. There's a lovely restaurant for lunch.

Another daytrip could be to Midmar Dam, which is a great place for a picnic - you can cycle, canoe or swim. Carry on driving from there through the 'Midlands Meander' - beautiful drive with lots of B&B's, tea gardens, African markets.

Another interesting country drive is to Valley of a Thousand Hills - fantastic scenery, Zulu dancing, market and tea gardens.

Drive up the North Coast to Salt Rock - lovely beach, also animal farm.

Other beaches up the North Coast include Zinkwazi, which has the longest lagoon in KwaZulu Natal - go on a ferry ride on the lagoon- also a bird sanctuary.

Uvongo beach down the South Coast is lovely, with a beautiful lagoon, waterfall and tidal pool. You can hire boats, there's a nature reserve and tea garden.

Willard Beach at Ballito up the North Coast has a 2.4km shorline boardwalk where you can watch dolphins. Can also go on rugged walking trail from Willard Beach through a hole in the cliff (walk at low tide) to Chaka's Rock, where you can watch ski boat launchings.

In Durban, a drive to Botanic Gardens where you can wander amongst the beautiful plants and trees, duck pond and tea garden with scrumptious cream scones or huge crumpets with cream and syrup. Nearby is the Sutton Park swimming pool, which is very nice.

For Shopping, go to Gateway or Pavilion, or drive up to Hillcrest for smaller village shops and markets.

Hope this helps.


posts: 2
15. Re: 1st Timers to ZA,need hoilday advice +tips

Hi, I forgot to mention the best part - the Drakensberg Mountains. Please give yourself at least 4 days for this. Some of the best places, but not the most expensive, to stay at are:

The Cavern

Champagne Castle

The Nest

Sani Pass is great, have stayed there twice, but it is more expensive.

The Cavern is the best value for money and is a family oriented holiday resort.

There's lots more if you go on the web for Drakensberg Hotels. The scenery is breathtaking at these resorts, where you can go hiking, play tennis, swim, play golf, horse-ride, etc. etc. etc. and include all meals, teas etc.

Bye now


posts: 2
16. Re: 1st Timers to ZA,need hoilday advice +tips


I came across this site by chance and became interested in the replies. I would like to plan a trip to either Cape Town or Durban areas and that depends on which accommodations my timeshare pulls in. I am reading some negative replies about Durban (city) as being not safe or otherwise. Can anyone expand upon that as to what is or is not safe to see or do there? I have never been to South Africa. I would hate to make the wrong choice about where I should stay. I am very open to change in cultures etc. but I do want to be safe and able to enjoy the surrounding areas of the resort, restaurants and shopping areas. I am not registered on this site and did not see a place to sign up for replies. So If anyone cares to reply to me, you can do so at this email address: ricmic0306@hotmail.com

Thanks, Rick

London England
posts: 40
reviews: 1
17. Re: 1st Timers to ZA,need hoilday advice +tips

If you have not already managed to arrange air tickets then I suggest you shop around using last minite .com or direct through the airlines, KLM and Air France often have specials - ie £480 return to Johannesburg.

We travel every year in February - and always arrange car hire in the UK either using Hertz or Avis - - prepaid - unlimted mileage etc - works out cheaper Petrol if about half the price here and a meal for for should not cost more than £20's

If you are starting in Cape Town then the next step would be the Garden Route and then North to Durban - I would suggest Ballito or Umhlanga Rocks as your base . As for game viewing depending on the rains - which start in August September - could restrict your viewing as the bush in bloom - gives the game more cover.

You could also book a flight into Cape Town out via Johannesburg.

The National Roads have tolls so be sure to have plenty of small change and notes with you .

The main roads have tolls so have plenty of small notes and change with you when travelling on them.

Accommodation is on the whole excellent - we normally go self catering try www. chl.co.za for your Zwa Zulu - Natal bit.

BB's arr good value, and in certain parts of the country you have an

organisation - www. forever resorts.co.za which is good value for money.

Hope this helps if you need any moire contact me on peter.twidle@renault.co.uk

Durban, South Africa
posts: 116
reviews: 6
18. Re: 1st Timers to ZA,need hoilday advice +tips

Hi Lee,

The "give Durban a miss" is a bit misleading. The inner city is suffering from urban decay just like Johannesburg's inner city and many cities worldwide.

The 'city' of Johannesburg has migrated to the Sandton area and similarly, Duban of old ('Durban by the Sea') has kind of migrated to the Umhlanga area. Having said that, the best restaurants are in the Berea/Morningside area in old suburbia and of course Ushaka Marine World is world class as an aquarium complex and the Cargo Hold there is also a great restaurant; this area verges on the red-light (and not-nice-at-all) Point Road area but in itself is very new and completely safe.

The two huge shopping malls are west and north of the 'decayed' inner city being north to Gateway in Umhlanga (La Lucia actually) and west to the Pavillion near Westville.

Starting your visit in the west you would go Cape Town first, then Garden Route (southern South Africa) then Durban (east coast) then 2 hours west to the Drakensberg mountains then east again to the game parks then north-ish back to Johannesburg.

I usually use Avis but Imperial, Hertz etc all offer decent cars at reasonable (compared to UK!) rates.

Lots of specials between the airlines: SAA (national carrier), Mango (SAA's low cost alternative), 1Time (my least favourate) and Khulula (my favourate) have price blitzes and you can get a return Johnannesburg/cape Town flight for less than R1,000 (GBP70-ish). Just keep shopping.

Enjoy your visit.


19. Re: 1st Timers to ZA,need hoilday advice +tips

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