Need advice on a Trip to South Africa please

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East Need advice on a Trip to South Africa please

1. Posted by mrjames2k (Budding Member 32 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi everyone. I would like to go to South Africa but have no idea of where to go and what the best things do there are. I mainly want to go to the BEST safaris and see a kill as well as all the other main things and places to go and stay at. I was also wondering when the best time during the MY summer(from mid july to end of August)is to go to South Africa. Any other useful advice is also greatly appreciated.

James G

2. Posted by aelric (Budding Member 13 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi James,

Mid July through August is pretty much smack in the middle of our winter. Which i your case is probably a good thing. Winters in SA are dry. evenings are cold but the sunshines most of the time.

Best place i can think of for safaris is to get to kruger national park. probably be easier to see animals during winter as they will tend to all hang around the watering holes.

A visit to the drankensberg is a good idea (but winter is damned cold up there)

If you scuba dive, the raggie sharks will be in aliwal shoal (umkomass near durban) around then and makes for awesome experience.

I would recommend starting in Johannesburg and going north to the kruger park for game viewing and then making your way south along then N2 (east coast) you'll have great time especially if you head through the wild coast all the way through knysna and the garden route and up in cape town.

All depends how long you have... i would say about a month is best

3. Posted by GaryM (Budding Member 3 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Don't worry too much about the winter weather down here, its really lovely clear blue skies all day and chilly over night.

The Drakensberg might be a little windy then as we suffer what are called Berg winds at that time of year.

Stacks of people go to the Cape but its a little pricier than the rest of the country.

Kruger has fantastic self catering accomodation that is clean and well looked after.



4. Posted by nick_tarr0 (Budding Member 4 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

just come back fomr a year in africa.
it depends what you want in South africa; if you want a bit of a different experience in SA, then try head to the wild coast - between east London and Durban. Tjere are some little gems in this area, Port St Johns coffee bay, Belungula backpackers- get off the beaten track in south africa get some of the culture ( in this area it si lived in predominantly by the Pondos and the Xhosa's.)
if you want more mainstream, then do the garden route -you will be in very commercial SA -loads of tourists and does not feel too african
hope this helps, try get a mix of both, and try get off the main tourist rioute, many miss out the wild coast -making it really unspoilt. weather is perfect - 20 -25 degrees, and always a blue sky
have fun

5. Posted by Karanne (Budding Member 3 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi James
You don't say what budget you are on and which part of South Africa you want to go to - my best safari experiences have been in Gauteng/North West Province and the closest game reserve which is malaria free would be the Pilanesberg (we were there Jan 2006 and we saw a cheetah kill a buck, 2 lions take the buck away from the cheetah before she could even eat it and then a hyeana be chased away by the lions while he tried to get in on the action - this all in 20 minutes on a night drive - awesome - if you have the money and are not looking for out of the mainstream experiences then the best place (but pricey) to stay which is right next to the park is
If you are looking for the backpacking kind of adventure and prices then this is pretty good
Also if you would like to see the WHOLE of South Africa at a budget price then this is definately your best bet

6. Posted by AfriFriend (Budding Member 15 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi James

Towns, beaches, mountains and pubs stay where they are - Game unfortunatly you have to go and look for! The season is great but a lot depends on being at the right place at the right time. Kruger is good but big - Hluhluwe/Umfolzi is smaller and Rhino is almost a cert. Have been lucky with Leopard and Wild dog too lately.


7. Posted by Antony_R (Budding Member 2 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!


I have been to south AFrica many times (fav country) and have gone to many Game Reserves with extremely knowledgeable friends.

Seeing a Kill is EXTREMELY rare (even Rangers typically only see one every few years).

Kruger has largest biodiversity of any African reserve (ober 140 Mammals) and if you want to see many things there (especially leopard) you MUST get to the Gate as it opens - or preferably about 20 minutes before and wait! Gates open anytime between 4.30 and 6.30 am, depending on Season.

if you are loaded, going to private reserves adjoining Kruger is better as they can guarantee you seeing Big 5 (which is totally not guaranteed in Africa) - but they are very expensive. Mala Mala, Phinda and Sabie Sabie are all excellent. I have been in one called Bongani that was wonderful - but they do not guarantee big 5 (though I saw big 5 in a day there). if you google those different reserves you will find their contact details.

if in SA, also go to Cape Town which, I think, is the world's most beautiful city.

Have a great time in my favourite country!

Need any more advice - just ask...