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South Africa

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East South Africa

1. Posted by jaxstar84 (Respected Member 415 posts) 6y

Hey guys!

Im heading to south africa for a month in november, for a friends wedding... our friends are going to show us around cape town and the surrounds for a week or so, and then the rest of the time im free to do whatever... however at the moment i have no idea what south africa has to offer!

I know i want to go cage diving with some sharks, go out on a boat to see the great whites breaching the surface while hunting... has anyone been on any of the boats to go out ans see this? did you see anything? is it worth it??

also want to go into a safari park and see all manner of wild animals! but which one? there are loads in south africa and am at a loss at to what i should be looking for.... a bigger popular one (kruger) but is it overrun with tourists and commercial? or a smaller one which is a bit more rugged and natural (but less there so wont see anything??). where have you been??

while im going to be doing my own research into it, id love to know what everyone else has done thats worth it! also there are so many safari companies etc that itd be great to know whos legit, worth the $$ etc... i have little experience with tours/tourism companies, as i usually dont like paying all that extra to go on them and prefer to make my own way, so dont know how it works in south africa with national parks etc!

Have travelled alot of europe, lived there for 3 years but havent really been anywhere else (aside from australia where im from!) so would appreciate any south africa tips! Thanks in advance!

2. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5596 posts) 6y

Hi there,

You might consider renting a small car, like a VW Chico or something, for probably just €15-20 a day or so. Roads and signs are good and even dirt roads are generally passable in a regular car.

Now, regarding national parks with wildlife, I don't think that you should skip Kruger NP because of possible crowds. It's busier yes, but probably still beautiful with huge numbers of animals and you can always escape the crowds by going a bit more to the north of the park.

My personal recommendations for South Africa are the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and Madikwe National Park. The latter is spectactular with few people and many different species of wildlife. I saw two packs of wild dogs there, plus leopard, lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo, zebra etc. etc.

Kgalagadi is in the north/northwest, a couple of hours north of Upington. Madikwe is central north, along the border of Botswana. The first one is selfdrive, the second one tours only: you park the car in Madikwe and are picked up. Unfortunately, the only one in Madikwe that is somehow affordable is Mosetlha Bush Camp, and that's not even cheap. It's worth it though!

Cheers
Michael.

3. Posted by jackjones (First Time Poster 1 posts) 6y

Kruger is a must, although it can get busy, you will definitely won't forget the experience. I went last year and it was immense. Another one to check out is the Addo Elephant National Park - it's about an hours drive from Port Elizabeth, and has loads to see and do.

[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]

4. Posted by jaxstar84 (Respected Member 415 posts) 6y

thanks guys - your posts are really helpful!

will def head to Kruger - i guess its the biggest and most well known for a reason! there are so many there that i dont know which ones to choose from!! is the wild card worth it? how much is it?

and thanks for the tip on Addo! i was looking at that one and wondering how it was... and ill look into the mosetlha eco park a bit more, i did have a quick look and ur not wrong its pretty expensive, how long would you recommend staying there?

5. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5596 posts) 6y

Quoting jaxstar84

thanks guys - your posts are really helpful!

will def head to Kruger - i guess its the biggest and most well known for a reason! there are so many there that i dont know which ones to choose from!! is the wild card worth it? how much is it?

and thanks for the tip on Addo! i was looking at that one and wondering how it was... and ill look into the mosetlha eco park a bit more, i did have a quick look and ur not wrong its pretty expensive, how long would you recommend staying there?

We stayed 3 nights, but if you are low on money, 2 nights is still enjoyable. You'll get 4 safaris lasting about 4 hours each with 2 nights. We had 6 safaris.
Cheers
Michael

6. Posted by soupatrvlr (Respected Member 385 posts) 6y

if you're in cape town, you could rent a car and drive the garden route hitting Addo and Tsitsikamma National Park along the way...not to mention the longest bungee jump in the world if you're an adventure seeker! You could then fly out of Port Elizabeth to Nelspruit, renting a car there and then hitting the Kruger. I've been to the Kruger loads of times, and really, unless you're there during school holidays or on a weekend close to the gates, the crowds aren't too bad. You can drive for hours without seeing another car. its easy to drive around on your own and they offer all kinds of cool thinks from game drives, night drives, game walks to hiking/camping excursions and beginner to advanced mountain biking. so if you really don't want to be with crowds, you could sign on for one of the hiking trips.

shark cage diving is out of gans baai, but if you have a moral issue against chumming the water to bait the sharks, you can use an operator out of hout bay. chumming pretty much guarantees you're see a great white or two. we went in march and it was pretty exciting. so i felt worth it once in my life.

really whatever you want to do is possible there, it just depends on your budget to determine how you can do it. It's a very easy, and safe country to self-drive. people are friendly, the roads aren't confusing, its rather inexpensive, and high on exciting activities. good luck and feel free to get in touch for any other tips.

7. Posted by jaxstar84 (Respected Member 415 posts) 6y

wow thanks for the info! whats chumming water though?
ive heard of the garden route and ill have to look more into it... but it all sounds pretty awesome. i definately want to do something with sharks but will look more into the environmental factors, if there are any. to be honest i havent checked up on that much but thats on the to do list.

i read about addo and it sounds pretty good, and i know the sharks are at gansbaai so ill head over there for sure...sounds like ill have to head to kruger as well! all coming together now!!

thanks heaps guys your advice is really helping me out!

8. Posted by Ofelia (Respected Member 142 posts) 6y

I would absolutely recommend the Drakensberg mountains and a trip to Lesotho. The rugged Drakensberg peaks are stunning if you like mountains, and is a welcome break to a string of coastal towns and beaches which I'm sure you'll see. The park is huge, full of hiking trails, but even the scenery as you drive along the roads is gorgeous.

A great place for animal spotting is also the St Lucia wetlands, full of hippos and crocs, lush and beautiful. I would, as have a few other people, recommend hiring a car as some of the places mentioned are a bit out of the way, and hard to get to.

Quoting soupatrvlr

if you're in cape town, you could rent a car and drive the garden route hitting Addo and Tsitsikamma National Park along the way...not to mention the longest bungee jump in the world if you're an adventure seeker!

Sorry, but this is only the 3rd highest in the world. Still a pretty impressive jump, but their advertising is very misleading.

Post 9 was removed by a moderator