Trip to South Africa

Hi! My husband and I are planning a trip to South Africa for our 40th birthdays this year for two weeks (that's as long as we can leave the kids with grandma..), likely right after Christmas. We definitely want to do a safari for several days, but is that possible in South Africa, or do we need to fly to another country? Who are the best operators? I would also love any travel suggestions as well - we aren't really "tour" people but if that makes the most sense for a short time frame, we'd consider it. Thanks for any recommendations! 

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RE: Trip to South Africa ()

You can definitely do safaris in South Africa (Kruger National Park, for starters), but if you can squeeze in another country on your trip, I highly recommend you visit Botswana. It is a beautiful country with very friendly people and some incredible wildlife. It's been a few years since we went, but we really loved Selinda Camp and Duba Plains Camp, both in the Okavango Delta. In South Africa, give yourselves a few days in Cape Town, which is an amazing city. Have fun!   

RE: Trip to South Africa ()

Check out safaris at Kruger National Park. There are tons of options- we did one on the Sabi Sands Reserve (private part of the park) and it was great. For the rest of your trip, Cape Town is incredible: amazing views/beaches, culture, food, the wine lands in Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, Table Mountain, Robben Island, tons of cool markets and a lot of off-the-beaten-path, more local stuff if you head out of Cape Town proper. The Garden Route would also make a wonderful trip. You could probably do all 3 (safari, CT, GR) if you want to pack it in, but you could easily spend at least a full week in Cape Town/winelands and not run out of things to do, with ample time for relaxation. Enjoy!! 

RE: Trip to South Africa ()

I second Botswana and Cape Town, which is a must. I would not stay in JoBurg more than 3 days, it's not that amazing IMO. But Cape Town is magical! We went to a Madikwe game reserve on the Botswana border and stayed at the Makanyane lodge - breathtaking amenities (the Obamas stayed there too). Make sure you visit Franschhoek if you like wine!

https://www.madikwereserve.org/?matchtype=e}&term=madikwe%20game%20reserve&device=c&geo=9032082&campaign=963110626&gclid=Cj0KCQjwkoDmBRCcARIsAG3xzl-hNPprHe_BqaGlziluaSqKweEBfCTIpNlwQ08W2Zyf6S-4DO0BUsgaAkciEALw_wcB

https://www.madikwereserve.org/lodge/makanyane-safari-lodge 

RE: Trip to South Africa ()

We used Sabi Sand as a base for a three-day safari. We spent days in SS and Kruger, with night rides in SS. It was fantastic! We stayed at Umkumbe, also fantastic.

RE: Trip to South Africa ()

Spend the extra money and go to a private game lodge either in South Africa or Botswana. The Sabi Sands private game reserve is contiguous with Kruger and at a private lodge you can go off road with a guide who can find all of the animals. We did two days on our own in Kruger and thought we saw lots of animals but then the private reserve was mind blowing. At one point our guide couldn’t move our car because while we were watching  lion cubs play just feet in front of the Jeep. a larger lion lay down on the shade behind the car. Costs are very high but it was truly a once in a lifetime experience. We spend most our budget on two nights at the game lodge and then stayed at much less fancy places elsewhere. Cape Town and the garden route are also spectacular. Go to the beach when the penguins live. 

RE: Trip to South Africa ()

Yes, there are tons of safaris in South Africa - from exclusive private resorts to the Kruger, where you can camp and do self-guided tours. Two weeks is not that much time to explore, so I'd advise you do a safari for 4-5 days, then fly to Cape Town and spend the rest of your time there (wine farms, beaches, amazing restaurants). You're going to have an amazing time.