We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

(Hluhluwe, SA) + which one - Kruger/Chobe/Sabi Sabi in June

Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
215 posts
3 reviews
(Hluhluwe, SA) + which one - Kruger/Chobe/Sabi Sabi in June

In June 2017 we (2 parents, 15 & 17 year olds) are going to Africa for the 1st time. We have arranged to stay at Zulu Nyala (Hluhluwe, SA) for 6 nights through our church.

I’m looking for a place(s) to visit for 3-5 nights, which will provide another kind of African experience. I’ve looked at Kruger, Chobe, Sabi Sabi, and can’t decide which would be the most interesting pairing (different landscape, animals, activities) taking into account travel distance, transportation cost, and lodging/safari expense.

I'm not looking for extreme luxury, but want a nice place that doesn't have a crowded/tourist feeling. We're healthy & active. We’re not interested in visiting Capetown or another city. We want to focus on places that can only be found in Africa.

I appreciate any suggestions or advice. Thanks in advance or your time & guidance.

California
Level Contributor
750 posts
26 reviews
1. Re: (Hluhluwe, SA) + which one - Kruger/Chobe/Sabi Sabi in June

One option to consider is St Lucia and the wetlands area. It's quite close yet the animals in the wetlands will be quite different. You could also consider Tembe Elephant Park or Kosi Bay (wetlands including snorkeling). These are all a manageable distance from where you will be.

Kruger and Chobe are a long ways to go for just a few days.

United States
Level Contributor
1,200 posts
68 reviews
2. Re: (Hluhluwe, SA) + which one - Kruger/Chobe/Sabi Sabi in June

Sabi Sabi is part of Sabi Sand, which is a private reserve with no fence between it and Kruger National Park. I think if you are looking to stay away from luxury then Sabi Sabi lodges (and most lodges in Sabi Sand) would not be ideal for 4 people since the cost can add up. Plus driving there would take several hours.

Tempe, Arizona
Destination Expert
for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Level Contributor
9,698 posts
65 reviews
3. Re: (Hluhluwe, SA) + which one - Kruger/Chobe/Sabi Sabi in June

Reality Check - Zulu Nyala is located in an area that makes Kruger or Chobe an expensive and clumsy option for that something-else-to-do that you are asking about. They are just a looong way away.

Duncan's suggestion is right.. Isimangaliso Wetlands offers some diverse experiences and St. Lucia is a good base from which to visit them. You can learn more here: http://isimangaliso.com/

Getting to Zulu Nyala is done by flying either to Richards Bay (easiest) or Durban (3+ hours away, but a lot more flights). I would rent a car large enough for the four of you, and keep it. Why?

Because six nights at Zulu Nyala is a long time to be in this relatively small reserve.

You will be soon introduced to their marketing concept. They offer excursions from their reserve to some of the surrounding attractions and these are not inexpensive.

I would plan to go out from Zulu Nyala on a day (or two) using it as a 'base' for some excursions you do on your own. I would even consider not staying there all six nights. Spend a couple of nights at a different lodge.. Leopard Mountain comes to mind. It's close to Zulu Nyala..

Long Island, New...
Level Contributor
7,117 posts
21 reviews
4. Re: (Hluhluwe, SA) + which one - Kruger/Chobe/Sabi Sabi in June

It's too bad they sell those Zulu Nyala packages for so long. The Reseve is nice but quite small. 2-3 nights is plenty there. There is so much to do in the area around ZN! It's my favorite part of S Africa!! If you stay there for more, rent a car so you can do excursions on your own. Mkuze, Hluhluwe-iMfolozi and St Lucia are nearby.

Definitely do some research into St Lucia and the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. It's lots of fun for kids and adults. Lots of great accommodations there - condos, guest houses, b&bs. See www.stlucia.co.za for some good info. The drive to Cape Vidal might be my favorite drive anywhere - scenic, wildlife, ends at a gorgeous beach.

The Drakensberg mountains are beautiful and there is hiking and other activities.

My favorite reserve, Zululand Rhino Reserve has large predators and elephants, unlike ZN. I just came back from Rhino River Lodge there and it's as nice as ever. Great accommodations there for a family - the new cottage, the homestead or the log cabins can accommodate you all at a great value. Tembe Elephant Park, north of ZN, is a wonderful, community owned park (returned through reconciliation). Highly recommended and they have family tents too.

I disagree it's hard to get anywhere from ZN. If you leave early you can reach Kruger park in a day (I just did it) through Swaziland. Or give yourself a night in Swaziland for a nice drive from ZN to Kruger. Durban airport has connecting flights. ZN is about a 7 hour drive (though through an industrial part of S Africa and not very pleasant) from JNB. And it's near the Indian Ocean which is warm and gorgeous.

Have fun planning!

Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
215 posts
3 reviews
5. Re: (Hluhluwe, SA) + which one - Kruger/Chobe/Sabi Sabi in June

Thank you! I wasn't familiar with those places and will looking into them right away. I'm not comfortable rending a car. Anyone else have other ideas? I appreciate everyone's time and knowledge.

California
Level Contributor
750 posts
26 reviews
6. Re: (Hluhluwe, SA) + which one - Kruger/Chobe/Sabi Sabi in June

If you've driven in Los Angeles, you shouldn't have any trouble driving in South Africa. It's much easier.

Yes, it takes a bit to get used to driving on the "wrong" side of the road. You just need to remind yourself and have your passenger remind you.

You will have so much more freedom if you drive. You can take tours once you get to St Lucia and other areas, so you're just driving between places.

Just consider it. I've spent enough hours on our So Cal freeways to know what you're coming from.

Long Island, New...
Level Contributor
7,117 posts
21 reviews
7. Re: (Hluhluwe, SA) + which one - Kruger/Chobe/Sabi Sabi in June

How were you planning to get to Zulu Nyala? In KwaZulu Natal and most areas of S Africa (like LA) a car is the easiest and least expensive way to go. Yes, you'll be driving on the left but it doesn't take long to get used to. Just avoid driving after dark as the roads are not lit and there is wildlife and livestock on the roads. Take care on schooldays as the children walk to/from school on some main roads with no sidewalks.

There is no public transportation in KZN to speak of. I don't know how else you'd get around unless you hire a car/driver. Could get pricey.

8. Re: (Hluhluwe, SA) + which one - Kruger/Chobe/Sabi Sabi in June

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 12:17 am, June 07, 2017