Cape Town and Kruger in 1 week?
Replies: 14 - Last Post: Dec 4, 2012 12:14 AM Last Post By: LodgeTrackers
Nov 18, 2012 7:58 PM
Cape Town and Kruger in 1 week?Thanks in advance to all the info in prior posts, and for any thoughts concerning my question.
We have flights booked in mid-April to S.A. Due to our unfortunately inflexible work schedules, we only have 1 week in S.A., landing in JNB Friday afternoon, and flying out the next Friday. One person really wants to visit Cape Town, and the other really wants to visit Kruger.
A possible itinerary would be:
Fri - Arrive at JNB and then fly into CPT that night
Sat, Sun - Cape Town
Mon or Tues - This is the flexible part, we could fly/drive up to Kruger on either of these days depending on any recommendations?
Wed,Thur - Kruger
Fri - morning fly/drive back to JNB, and fly out of JNB in the afternoon
I feel like that would be very rushed for both places, however we would be willing to do it if we could at least hit the highlights. Does anyone feel that is feasible, or is this way too ambitious?
Thanks again for any advice.
Nov 18, 2012 11:22 PM
It is possible, absolutely - But it would be very rushed. If you are okay with this, then go ahead :-).
South African Airways now offers flights direct from Cape Town to Hoedspruit (Gate way to the Kruger & Greater Kruger) on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. There are also flights almost every day from Hoedspruit to Johannesburg almost every day, making your plan very feasible if it is what you would like to do.
Do you have a specific lodge or area in mind? Would you prefer to self drive & stay in the SANparks self catering camps, or would you prefer to stay in a lodge with all meals, game drives, and bush walks included in your stay? You could even stay at a B & B or a self catering area just outside the park too.
There are so many different options available - Do let us know if we can help :-)
All the best,
Nov 19, 2012 2:07 AM
2Cape Town to Kruger is long drive, especially if you're trying to fit it into a week, and so I wouldn't recommend it. Two days Cape Town and another day to do a day trip around the winelands.
Fly Cape Town to Nelspruit/Hoedspruit. Keep an extra day for doing the Panorama Route in the areas outside of Kruger and then spend the rest of the time inside Kruger. Leaving early the morning of your flight to go catch your flight in JHB (give yourself an extra hour leeway in case of traffic).
If you're planning to book SANParks accommodation inside Kruger, do so as soon as possible.
Nov 19, 2012 5:52 AM
3It is doable to do both. I concur with others who suggest flying into Hoedspruit or Nelspruit to save time. Mid-April could get busy so book early. SANParks website is sanparks.co.za
Jacqui from Lodgetrackers can provide you with excellent information on the private reserves so consider that as an option -- given your limited time.
If you consider self-driving, that is fun and somewhat addictive. I'd be happy to provide self-drive tips if you're open to that route.
Hope this helps.
Nov 19, 2012 7:30 AM
4I would fly, but I would do it. Ok,it's a bit rushed but you get to experience two fantastic places. I would however if you arrive in Jo'burg in the morning catch a shuttle to Kruger or fly to Hoedspruit/Nelspruit, go on safari, fly from Nelspruit to Cape Town, enjoy Cape Town and then fly back to Jo'burg for your flight back home. Or do as I normally do, fly home from Cape Town.
Nov 19, 2012 10:39 AM
5First, see if you can get an open jaw ticket wherby you land in one city and depart from the other so you don't have to backtrack. If you arrive in JNB as was suggested above go straight to Kruger from there. CPT is at the other end of the country. My recommendation: Fri: land/travel to Kruger/recover/maybe a game drive depending on timing Sat/Sun Kruger Monday fly to CPT, rent car drive to winelands for Monday/Tuesday; drive down to Cape Point and Boulders Beach Wednesday followed by going to your hotel in CPT proper Wed night; Thur/Fri around CPT. It's rushed, but it's doable.
Nov 19, 2012 2:25 PM
6Wow thanks for all the wonderful insight and suggestions! Unfortunately tickets are already booked via JNB. We are not really wine enthusiasts, so don't really feel compelled to see the winelands, which will hopefully allow us to see other things around Cape Town.
Traveling to Kruger we were thinking of possibly renting a car from JNB and driving to Kruger, as I read that you can have some great scenery when you are getting close. With 2 people it looks like taking a shuttle would be more than twice as expensive as renting a car, and petrol prices appear to be lower than the USA. We don't yet have plans on any particular style or place to stay (haven't gotten that far in the planning yet), but any suggestions are appreciated, especially for best value for the $ given our limited time. I was under the impression the high season isn't until a couple months later, as this is still the tail end of the rainy season?
If we were to fly, what would be reasonable prices for airline tickets that time of year? Currently the lowest prices for plane tickets I found are (per person):
JNB-CPT roundtrip around R1800 (US$200) on kulula, or R2300 (US$260) on SAA or mango
CPT-MQP (Nelspruit) 1 way R1930 (US$219), non-stop R2200 (US$250) on SAA
JNB-CPT, CPT-MQP, MQP-JNB R4700 (US$530) on SAA
JNB-MQP, MQP-CPT, CPT-JNB R4300 (US$490) on SAA or R4000 (US$450) by combining SAA/kulula
Would it be reasonable to wait for a sale since it is still several months away, or is this about as good of a price as you can get?
In terms of time, it seems like the responses indicate 2-2.5 days in Kruger is OK for a good experience, so maybe we can do 3 around Cape Town?
Nov 19, 2012 2:51 PM
7The drive from Joburg to Kruger (depending on where you stay in the southern area) is 5-7 hours. Balance that with flight times and wait times to determine the best way to Kruger. You do not have much time on your hands so see what time you land at MQP and compare that to driving. Gas in South Africa is more expensive than the US.
Those flight prices look right to me so if they work for you, grab the tickets. I believe the planes that fly to Kruger are small planes so space is limited.
I would suggest staying in a bungalow at Skukuza (around R950/night) or Lower Sabie (same accommodations as Skukuza with the option of a perimeter safari tent).
Hope this helps.
Nov 19, 2012 11:53 PM
Nov 20, 2012 5:39 AM
9easily done in a week.
You will land in JHB early morning. rent a car at airport, drive to Kruger (you will need it for self drive safari) which you will get to in time for lunch (400km). Stay inside Kruger or just outside (Hazyview is convenient and along the way) for a cheaper option. Drive back to JHB airport, catch plane to Cape Town...
Nov 20, 2012 9:30 AM
Nov 20, 2012 11:18 AM
Nov 20, 2012 11:48 AM
12Driving up to Kruger is very nice, but if you land in the afternoon you don't have time to Get there before it gets dark, and you should avoid driving at night. I doubt that flights to/from Nelspruit will get a lot cheaper, there aren't that many flights to Nelspruit and the planes aren't that big.
So option 1;
Friday: Fly to Cape Town in the afternoon/evening
Saturday: Cape Town
Sunday: Cape Town
Monday: Cape Town-Nelspruit-Kruger (or just Cape Town, early flights to Nelspruit)
Tuesday: Kruger (or Cape Town-Nelspruit-Kruger)
Friday: Kruger-Johannesburg-home ( it's a 5-7 hour drive back so it depends on your flight)
Friday: Johannesburg (or start your way up to Kruger by car, or there's a 5.30 pm flight to Nelspruit)
Saturday: Kruger (6.30 am flight to Nelspruit, a couple of hours driving after staying somewhere along the way or a full day if you caught the 5.30 pm flight to Nelspruit)
Tuesday: Kruger-Cape Town
Wednesday: Cape Town
Thursday: Cape Town
Friday: Cape Town-Jo'burg-home (or you can fly back thursday evening if you're scared of missing your flight)
I like option 2, and would go for that. Regarding the wine district, it's very nice but given limited time and lack of wine interest I would stay in Cape Town. There's so much to see and do there.
Nov 27, 2012 9:16 PM
13Thanks everyone for all the great replies. We took all the input into account when making our decision. This is what we will be doing:
Fri: arriving in JNB in the afternoon, then connecting to CPT arriving in Cape Town in the evening
Sat-Mon: Cape Town
Tues: CPT-MQP on the non-stop SAA flight arriving at 12:30 PM
Fri: MQP-JNB at 7:30 AM and then early evening flights home!
Thanks again for all the help on planning this itinerary.
Dec 4, 2012 12:14 AM
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