Travel: South Africa - General

School terms keep kids in school and parents sane. Holidays can be boring to kids if they are left alone. Discuss vacation ideas and how to make good use of the free time for both children and adults.

Travel: South Africa - General

Postby traveladdicted » Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:13 pm

Original Title: Anyone been on a trip to South Africa recently ?

Hi,
Has anyone been to South Africa on a holiday recently ? Can you please share your experience in terms of safety etc.
Planning a trip next year and this is what I have in Mind ( Am a little worried about the crime & the safety situation in SA ) –

1. 4 Days in Cape Town - Visit Table mountain, Cape Peninsular, Beaches, Robben Island. Staying in Southern Sun @Waterfront area.
2. 4 Days Garden Route Tour – Starting Cape Town and ending at Port Elizebeth
3. 4 Days Kwandwe Game Safari ( Staying at Ecca Lodge) with daily twice game drives in open 4x4 Vehicle
4. 1 Night stay in Johannesburg at Southern Sun which is 500m from the airport
5. Fly to Kapama Game Lodge (East Gate) for 2 Nights Game safari with 1 Hot Air Balloon Safari

We are considering “Guided/Escorted” tour of the city and the Garden route tour. Game drives should be safe in terms of safety in concerned i.e Mugging etc - No issues here I guess. The worry is the city tour and the Garden route tour.
Please share your experience i.e Did you feel uncomfortable moving around the city / Garden route tour even with a guide around.

Thanks all.
Cheers

traveladdicted
KiasuNewbie
KiasuNewbie
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:04 pm
Total Likes: 0


Postby mum03 » Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:41 pm

Hi travel addict,
I just came back from a 21 Days SA trip (5-25 SEP). I organised the trip all by myself, and did directly with a agent in south africa for my Safari with ecca lodge. You will not regret staying at the Ecca Lodge. We hired a car and drove all around the Garden Route and end up in Cape Town.
South africa is not a crime bustered place. You have to be careful as you are anywhere in this world. The people are so friendly, and we intend to go again next year. Their service is excellent.
If you plan the trip by yourself you will save a fortune. If you need more inform I could let you know. Remember the world cup is on next year in June and all the accomodation as been booked up. Hopefully you are not going in June.

mum03
BlueBelt
BlueBelt
 
Posts: 338
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 11:25 am
Total Likes: 0


Anyone been on a trip to South Africa recently ?

Postby traveladdicted » Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:59 pm

Thanks mum03 for the update. I am doing exactly the same – Organizing the trip by directly contacting a travel agent based in Cape Town.

I have paid a small deposit to secure the bookings and I have time till March to make up my decision. Deposit, they tell me will be forfeited if I don’t make the full payment by the due date – I still have ample time. But, I have already made up my mind now – I will be going to SA for sure.

I am planning somewhere in May i.e Just before WC kicks off. Hopefully, that time there should be extra patrolling for WC to curb crime in the city.
I know SA is a beautiful country but what I was a little worried on the crime aspect that’s why I have decided to go during WC time. Also, I am engaging a local tour guide to be with us during our trip to CT and Garden route.

Game drives and Hot Air Balloon Safari is something I am looking forward to – I have 4 Nights at Ecca Lodga and additional 2 Nights at Kapama which is in Kruger National Park area.

Could you tell me what’s the tipping guidelines for Rnager’s and tracker’s in Ecca ? Do you tip them per day or at the end of the Safari ? I was hoping if tipping can be charged to the credit card, this way we need not take CASH along with us .
What exactly you did for tipping on Game drives ?
For the rest, I am aware the tipping guidelines is 10% of the bill amount. But for Rangers/guides and trackers I believe the format is different.
Any advise ?


Thanks again mum03 – appreciate your prompt reply and glad to know that you had a great time in SA and decided to go again next year.

Cheers

traveladdicted
KiasuNewbie
KiasuNewbie
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:04 pm
Total Likes: 0


Re: Anyone been on a trip to South Africa recently ?

Postby mum03 » Mon Nov 02, 2009 4:39 pm

traveladdicted wrote:Thanks mum03 for the update. I am doing exactly the same – Organizing the trip by directly contacting a travel agent based in Cape Town.

I have paid a small deposit to secure the bookings and I have time till March to make up my decision. Deposit, they tell me will be forfeited if I don’t make the full payment by the due date – I still have ample time. But, I have already made up my mind now – I will be going to SA for sure.

I am planning somewhere in May i.e Just before WC kicks off. Hopefully, that time there should be extra patrolling for WC to curb crime in the city.
I know SA is a beautiful country but what I was a little worried on the crime aspect that’s why I have decided to go during WC time. Also, I am engaging a local tour guide to be with us during our trip to CT and Garden route.

Game drives and Hot Air Balloon Safari is something I am looking forward to – I have 4 Nights at Ecca Lodga and additional 2 Nights at Kapama which is in Kruger National Park area.

Could you tell me what’s the tipping guidelines for Rnager’s and tracker’s in Ecca ? Do you tip them per day or at the end of the Safari ? I was hoping if tipping can be charged to the credit card, this way we need not take CASH along with us .
What exactly you did for tipping on Game drives ?
For the rest, I am aware the tipping guidelines is 10% of the bill amount. But for Rangers/guides and trackers I believe the format is different.
Any advise ?


Thanks again mum03 – appreciate your prompt reply and glad to know that you had a great time in SA and decided to go again next year.

Cheers


If I am not wrong, in may you will be paying higher price, as you could see that world cup is just around the corner. Are you going with any kids. cause Ecca Lodge is Malarie free area, however in Kruger you have to take malarie pills, that was one of the reason, I did not go to Kruger.
It does not matter whether it is world cup or not, while we were there we did not encounter any crime or mugging, the police is always around.
There are always a car guard station every where and they look after your car while you are away, and you have to pay a tips of maybe $1 regardless of how long you park.
Has for tips at ecca Lodge we paid abt ranger Rand200 per day, Tracker Rand100, General staff Rand 100. You could give them the tips at the end of your vacation at the safari. We in fact gave them more, as we were extremly please with their service. I have never encounter such services in my travel history.
If you could drive, I will highly recommend that you do it yourself instead of engaging a guide/driver.
You could hire a GPS at the airport, and it will direct you to all the places you want to go.
IMOP we have never got lost anywhere and we did reach our destination safely.

mum03
BlueBelt
BlueBelt
 
Posts: 338
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 11:25 am
Total Likes: 0


Anyone been on a trip to South Africa recently ?

Postby traveladdicted » Mon Nov 02, 2009 4:56 pm

Yes, I am going with 2 Kids aged 8 and 11 years. Ecca, Yes it’s Malaria free area. As for Kruger I will be taking Malarone with me.

I have already checked with hospital here and they have stock of Malarone.

May will be starting of winters, so the risk of Malaria could be low during this time. Also, Kapama is not exactly inside the main Kruger area. It’s a private reserve next to the kurger park. It’s a “Low” risk malaria zone and with winter around the corner, guess the risk may be low.

Anyway, I will be taking necessary precautions.

The idea of Kruger was to do the Hot air Balloon Safari. There are couple of other places where you can do this activity but unfortunately due to WC it’s already booked. The only place available was at Kapama.

Yes, I agree in May/ June the prices are quite high.

Thanks for the tipping info - that was really helpful.

BTW, I happen to read your travel report posted on one of the travel site. I assume it’s you as the travel dates seems to be the same and the poster is from Singapore.

I very much liked your report . Most likely I will be meeting the same team of guide and the ranger at Ecca - Ranger Alistar and Tracker Daliwong.

Unfortunately, I don’t drive so I have to go in for guided tour. I know it works out to be more expensive but I have no other option.

Thanks once again for the valuable inputs especially the note on the tipping – Very helpful.

Cheers

traveladdicted
KiasuNewbie
KiasuNewbie
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:04 pm
Total Likes: 0



Postby Emelyn » Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:36 pm

Sorry for eavesdropping... but wow.... sound like a lot of fun.

Just curious, when is the best time to visit South Africa ?
As I have school-going kids, so can only go either June or Dec.
But sounds like next June is out since World Cup is on.

Regards

Emelyn
BrownBelt
BrownBelt
 
Posts: 582
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2008 5:24 pm
Total Likes: 0


Travel: South Africa - General

Postby traveladdicted » Mon Nov 02, 2009 6:02 pm

June-July is winter season in SA. Depends upon what you like to see. If Game drives/Safari is your priority then winter’s is a good time to go (May to August) . The peak safari time is in the dry winter months as this is when the game concentrates around the water sources. The bush is at its thinnest, so game viewing is easier, and the temperatures are mild. There's very little winter rainfall in the north.

You can even plan end of May after the term exams gets over. It’s starting of winter, the climate will be perfect – Not too cold, A dry winter months.
In most parts of Southern Africa, the rainy season is generally from November to March. This is particularly true for the safari areas.

So, if Game viewing is the priority the dry winter months is the right time to plan your safari.

However, The chances of your trip being cancelled to the Table Mountain and Robben Island during winter month due to bad weather are quite high. As these attractions are weather dependent.

Table Mountain is a must see attraction in Cape Town.

If you plan your trip during Dec~Jan, then do take note that,
“South Africans tend to take their annual holidays in summer, causing tourist destinations to be crowded from mid-December to late January”

Hope the info helps you plan your next trip to SA.

Cheers

traveladdicted
KiasuNewbie
KiasuNewbie
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:04 pm
Total Likes: 0


Postby mum03 » Mon Nov 02, 2009 7:27 pm

Probably you must have read my reports in trip advisor. Yes, what you say is true about Robben Island and Table mountain. Has for robben Island the trip could be cancel any time regardless which month you go. Our trip was cancel on the actual day, but we manage to see it before we flew back home on another day.
Has for safaris, which ever month you go you could still see some animals, but whether you see the BIG 5 is another thing. we saw 4 of the big 5"s.Missed out on the leopard, very elusive.
Another thing you should do while you are there is to go to Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope. You will never regret it. Its sooooo beautiful.
If you need any more info you could PM me, you also could see my photos in my face book.

mum03
BlueBelt
BlueBelt
 
Posts: 338
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 11:25 am
Total Likes: 0


Re: Travel: South Africa - General

Postby micollh » Fri May 04, 2012 10:34 am

Which is a better mth to visit south Africa ? will it be safe to bring young kids there?

micollh
KiasuGrandMaster
KiasuGrandMaster
 
Posts: 3320
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:28 pm
Total Likes: 0


Re: Travel: South Africa - General

Postby touristmaniac » Sat May 26, 2012 4:49 am

Cairo’s chaos whirrs around a medieval core that has remained unchanged since the founding days of Islam. Upriver, Luxor, the site of ancient Thebes, is lined with warrens of opulent burial chambers and boasts some of the most formidable monuments in all antiquity. Further south at Aswan, even more geometrically imposing temples write a testament to the power of archaic gods and omnipotent pharaohs. It is here that the Nile is best explored by ancient sail, on a felucca (Egyptian sailing boat) at the hands of the prevailing currents and winds.

touristmaniac
KiasuNewbie
KiasuNewbie
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 1:15 am
Total Likes: 0



Return to Holiday Ideas