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Suggestions for a Kruger-centric itinerary?

Huntington Beach...
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Suggestions for a Kruger-centric itinerary?

Greetings -

I'm so glad to have this wonderful forum to ask questions of. My brother and I are planning our first trip to South Africa (and Africa in general) for the purpose of going to Kruger (self-drive) sometime March-April 2018. We have up to 3 weeks to spend incl. travel, so roughly 2ish weeks in-country. I think 2 weeks of game viewing would be more than I could stand - I'm thinking more like 6-7 days. I'm looking for suggestions for what to do with the remaining 7-10 days. What other things are there to see and do in eastern South Africa - enough to make a worthwhile road trip? It seems like everything I see online is around Cape Town, which I imagine would eat up a day each way just getting there. Other than the hassle of getting there, I probably could talk him into it if it's a "must do".

I'm just beginning to look into this but I really would appreciate any advice or suggestions you could offer. If you could plan my itinerary, what would you do?

A few things to consider:

- neither of us are into big cities or nightlife or super-touristy things, more interested in outdoors, scenery, sightseeing and getting a feel for the culture and people - the real life - of South Africa.

- I don't want to come home feeling like I spent my whole trip doing nothing but driving.

Thank you in advance for any info you can provide.

8 replies to this topic
London, United...
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1. Re: Suggestions for a Kruger-centric itinerary?

A few random thoughts......

What is your budget?

SA is a big country, You could do a lot of driving. But there are also regular flights between the bigger cities.

For your first trip, I would suggest 5 nights in Kruger. Have a look at the top of the SA Forum. There is a sticky there with great info. If you still have questions come back and ask.

I would definitely go to Cape Town, and if you are into outdoors, the Natal coast is great. As is the Drakensberg (fantastic mountains).

Am sure lots of other people here will make suggestions

Pretoria, South...
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2. Re: Suggestions for a Kruger-centric itinerary?

I'd say a Kruger-centric itinerary should stick to the eastern side of the country: Mpumalanga, Limpopo and KwaZulu Natal.

Leeds, United...
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3. Re: Suggestions for a Kruger-centric itinerary?


Visiting Cape Town with the Kruger is a very good idea and lots of people do it. Lots of Cape Town's activities involve nature and the outdoors, as such it is very different to many cities around the world, and is also amongst the most beautiful cities in the world .

As Art says, read the sticky at the beginning of this forum to see how you want to do the Kruger.

Getting to Cape Town is very easy, you can fly there easily from any of the 3 airports that are around the Kruger. In fact Skukuza airport is actually in the park. You can also organise international flights that fly into Johannesburg and out of Cape Town, or the other way round, very easily. Getting to Cape Town doesn't take as much time as you think. You can be on a game drive in the morning and land in Cape Town late afternoon.

If you want to do a road trip, then maybe look at driving down to KZN, which has a huge variety of things to do - beaches, snorkeling, diving, wetlands area, more wild life, battlefield history, Drakensberg mountains...and more!

Edited: 01 November 2017, 17:20
Toronto, Canada
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4. Re: Suggestions for a Kruger-centric itinerary?

I love your idea,and I did the same thing in June and July this year. My original plans were to start in Kruger, spend 5 or 6 days there, then drive south through Swaziland, spending a day and night there, and then exiting Swaziland from the south and heading to the coast (St Lucia) and spending some nights at a private game park near there, then hiking around the Drakensberg mountains. I modified that before I left, but only because I was traveling solo and wanted to save the hiking for when I had friends along. So you might want to look at that route and check out some of the amazing hikes folks do in Drakensberg region, and KZN in general.

The Panorama Route just west of Kruger was really beautiful! And Swaziland was a lot more lush in the mountains and beautiful than I expected, too! And then back to the South African coast south of Swaziland and exploring the gorgeous coast there. I didn't mind the driving as the landscape changed pretty fast between mountains and farmland and then straight through crowded towns, then back out the other side of the town and on to coastal roads. Really beautiful.

I did end up going to Cape Town and honestly I could have skipped it completely. After the wildness of the east, there wasn't much for me in CT except to walk around the city and hike Table Mountain, which was indeed a really picturesque feature and for me a challenging hike, but other than that it was just a regular city.

Frankfurt, Germany
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5. Re: Suggestions for a Kruger-centric itinerary?

My experience or at least my perception is, that Brits and Europeans thoroughly enjoy Cape Town, while North Americans are not so excited. Either ways, the city and the area around Cape Town are very pretty and I think it would be a pity not to include them, for at least for 4 nights. One day for the city, one day for the Cape Penninsula with Cape of Good Hope, one the Winelands. I personally think that Cape Town trumps many other major tourist hotspots, like Munich, Madrid, Milan, Lisbon etc. I'd rather regret having been to Cape Town than regretting not having seen the Cape of Good Hope.

My suggestion would be to start in Cape Town for a few days and decide whether you want to see the Garden Route or KwaZulu Natal. End off with Kruger National Park. You might want to spend a few days in Johannesburg. I liked the city, but it is not a classic tourist city, but a good place to experience and learn about South African history and present.

Long Island, New...
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6. Re: Suggestions for a Kruger-centric itinerary?

Two weeks isn’t a lot of time! I’d spend it in Kruger and KwaZulu Natal. My two favorite areas of S Africa. Too much to do and see in just those 2 areas for 2 weeks! St Lucia for fun activities, Giants Castle for San Art and beautiful hiking, that season is beautiful for beach or snorkeling, the Natal Shark Board and Oribi Gorge. That’s a very short list....

If very adventurous, try the Wilderness Trails in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park. A little info here: www.kznwildlife.com/mfolozi-trails.html

7. Re: Suggestions for a Kruger-centric itinerary?

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Edited: 11 November 2017, 09:27
Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: Suggestions for a Kruger-centric itinerary?

There are plenty of other things to do in the Kruger area besides game drives. Others have mentioned the Panorama Route. There are also great hikes in the Blyde River Canyon, hot air ballooning, guided walking tours of local villages and much more.


Annette | Owner | Nkanyi House

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