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10 days in SA, specifically Cape Town

Washington DC...
Level Contributor
16 posts
11 reviews
10 days in SA, specifically Cape Town

Fellow travelers, I need your opinions. I have 10 vacations I can use from November 20th thru December 1st. I really want to take another trip this year and I am trying to decide where to go. My trips this year have been okay but not spectacular. I wish I had a month to explore, but I don't and I am wondering if 10 days is even worth the long flight and the expense. I will fly out on Nov. 20th and arrive Nov. 21st. Based on my very high level research, I can explore Cape Town and do Kruger park. For what it's worth, I'm a travel and portrait photographer and I will be traveling alone.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Kruger National...
Level Contributor
2,064 posts
56 reviews
1. Re: 10 days in SA, specifically Cape Town

Hi there!

How exciting for you!

It sounds like you have hit the nail on the head - Cape Town and Kruger are definitely two of the most popular attractions when coming to South Africa.

With only 10 days, I would recommend 5-6 in Cape Town, and 3-4 nights in the Kruger area. It can definitely be done in your time frame.

In terms of traveling between the two, the quickest way would be to fly. There are direct flights from Cape Town to the Kruger area (different days/times depending which area you visit) or you can fly from Johannesburg. Alternatively, to save money, you could fly from Cape Town to Johannesburg, and catch the Ashtons Shuttle Service from the airport to the Kruger area for R650. They also do a return journey.

However, they leave at around 6:00am, so you might need to overnight in Joburg the night before, cutting out a night out of your 10.

And, as one more option, you could of course drive from Johannesburg to the Kruger area, taking around 6 hours. This would be a good option if you intend to self drive in the public Kruger (kindly see below for details).

Otherwise, you could stay at one of the reserves closer to Cape Town such as Aquila, but I would definitely recommend the Kruger above anything if time and budget allow.

In terms of accommodation within the Kruger, you have two general options;

1. SELF DRIVE

A self drive experience is where you rent out a car and drive yourself around the public Kruger National Park, staying in self catering SanParks (government) accommodation. The accommodation varies, some are camps are better looked after than others, but all are generally clean and comfortable for a night's rest.

If you do not wish to self cater, there are restaurants at the main camps serving burgers, pizzas, calzones, toasted sandwiches, breakfasts etc.

You may also book a guided drive through the main camps, where a guide takes you on a drive. However, they cannot go off road, they drive on the same roads you do.

This option is definitely cheaper, as accommodation averages around R500-800 per night for (depending on if you want shared ablutions, private bathrooms etc). But do keep in mind fuel costs, food for the duration of your trip, and daily conservation fees.

2. PRIVATE RESERVE

The 'private reserves' make up the Greater Kruger Area, being the Klaserie, Timbavati, Sabi Sands and Balule Reserve. These reserves surround the public Kruger via unfenced borders, allowing the animals to wander in and out, but not the people/cars.

When staying within a private reserve, the accommodation is generally all inclusive. This means that within your rate, you receive the following;

- Breakfast daily

- Lunch daily

- Dinner daily

- Tea/Coffee

- Dawn game drive safari

- Dusk game drive safari

- Optional bush walk daily

- Refreshments on game drives

- Then, depending on the lodge, you may also receive transfers, laundry and all beverages included in your rate.

Further to this, the game drives are conducted in specialized open safari jeeps, and are equipped with a highly trained and qualified ranger and tracker, to find and educate you about any of the wildlife you may encounter. They can also drive off road to follow or find an animal.

Rates start at around R1800 per person per night ($174), and can indeed range all the way to R10,000+.

Here are some good value mid range options that are great for first time traditional safari experiences;

- Gomo Gomo Game Lodge

Klaserie Reserve

- Elephant Plains Game Lodge

Sabi Sands Reserve

- Africa on Foot

Klaserie reserve (no single supplement - you will not need to pay more because you are traveling alone)

- nThambo Tree Camp

One of my favorites - in the Klaserie reserve, nThambo has treehouse styled chalets high above the plains - great views, and the camp is unfenced, so animals come right to you.

nThambo is more on the luxury side of the mid range budget, mixing the 'wild' feeling with the comforts of home. Also doesn't have a single supplement :).

Hopefully these places have given you an idea, or something to start with if you are looking into a private reserve :-).

Warm regards from the bush

Jacqui

-Co-owner/Operator-

Lodge Trackers Safari Specialists

South Africa

Edited: 12:16 pm, August 29, 2013
Washington DC...
Level Contributor
16 posts
11 reviews
2. Re: 10 days in SA, specifically Cape Town

Thanks Jacqui for your response. I like the idea of staying in a tree!!! You've given me a lot to think about. Guess I need also start doing some research since Nov. is not far away.

Kruger National...
Level Contributor
2,064 posts
56 reviews
3. Re: 10 days in SA, specifically Cape Town

Am happy to have helped!

I wish you the best of luck.

Warm regards

Jacqui

Kent
Level Contributor
1,575 posts
4. Re: 10 days in SA, specifically Cape Town

I'm sure you will be inspired by a trip to SA, it is well worth it & 10 days will give you a great taster & will want more!

5. Re: 10 days in SA, specifically Cape Town

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