Trip Planning

We are best live, so feel free to bombard with questions, emails, calls, we’d be happy to plan the whole thing with you. We’ve booked for my parents down to their flights on the phone. Let us know what you need.

More links and details on flights, Car, visas, currency, helpful tips are all found on our wedding website

But you may have more qs, go for it! Definitely fly direct from New York, Washington or Atlanta – you’ll have to connect from your hometown anyways and again when you enter SA to get to Durban (3 flights already) so you definitely do not want to be connecting in Senegal or Abu Dhabi or something.

Durban / accommodation / wedding

Durban is spread out, lots of suburbs up and down the coast and into the hills. So you’ll need to rent a car.

There will be lots going on the week before the wedding in Durbs.

The actual wedding is in Pietermaritzburg, which is about 45 minutes north from most areas in Durban. Sometimes more. So you will need to stay at the wedding venue overnight.

Graham’s family lives in Pinetown, we have friends who live in HillCrest (south) and Umhlanga Rocks (north)

We suggest if you are staying in Durban for longer than just the wedding that you book in the Northern Beaches, that’s what we have done. We are staying in Ballito with a beach view (about 30 minutes drive to G’s parents in Pinetown and about an 1 hour 15 min to wedding venue).  Umhlanga Rocks and Umdloti are beach suburbs too that are nice. We got a beach house for a week, so for the evening of the wedding we are double booked, sucky but the way it works out.

We used these websites. If you tell us what you want to do in Durban (beach, mountains, short stop just for wedding etc.) then we can help you find best spot.

http://www.sa-venues.com/accommodation_south_africa.htm

http://www.ballitoaccommodation.co.za/

What to do in Durban / KZN

  • Drakensberg and driving Sani Pass to Lesotho
  • Oribi Gorge
  • Diving Aliwol Shoal with ragged tooth nurse sharks
  • Valley of 1,000 hills
  • Microlight flights over the coast in Ballito (highly recommend, I saw whale sharks!)
  • Durban beach front, Ushaka marine park, kayaking
  • Snorkeling at Umdloti Beach
  • Botanical Gardens
  • Tala Game Reserve – day drives, (not big five though)
  • GAME RESERVES – Kwazulu Natal boasts the best game reserves in the country after Kruger National Park. My family is going to Hluhluwe Imflozi

What to do in Johannesburg

  • Joburg is for flying in / out of. It’s not safe, nor scenic. But you do get to Kruger National Park, the best game reserve in South Africa from Joburg.

What to do in Cape Town

  • Cape Town is incredibly beautiful. You can also fly direct from the US to Cape Town (or Joburg).
  • Table Mountain… half the price and incredible views at sundown (you can bring a picnic!)
  • You could go without a car, but it’s worth having one if you are driving to the wineries and to Cape Point. But in the city just take the hop on/ hop off tourist bus and walk everywhere else.
  • Cape Point – where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet, baboons greet your car on the ride up. (keep windows up!!) also on the way is  Boulder Beach where all the penguins are, very cool
  • Victoria & Albert waterfront – lots of shops, restaurants, tourist stuff.. fun to walk around.
  • District 6.. history of apartheid tours
  • Hout Bay, Fish Hoek… cute little bays on the water, nice restaurants
  • Shark Diving
  • Wineries – Stellenbosch is the most famous. Graham just drove us but there are tours if you want to drink. We just got a map with all the wineries listed and picked a few famous ones and drove around. Spiers (also a cheetah rehab center), Ernie Els… can name more… very cheap tastings,some free and some for like 15R ($3 or donation and big pours)
  • There are no big five game reserves that I know of in Western Cape, you have to see the animals in KZN

What we are doing:

We have a google calendar with our dates and trip we can share, email Sarah so you can view at a glance.

Graham and I arrive March 17th (G’s 30th birthday!!) in Durban

March 20-23 (Tues to Fri) Sarah & Mom are going to Cape Town! Stellenbosch wine tasting, Table Mountain sundowners, livin the life at Camp’s Bay beach hotel!! Victoria & Albert waterfront… Cape Point, tip of Africa baby!… where the Indian Ocean meets the Atlantic!

March 23-30 (Fri to Fri) – Week before the wedding we will be in Durban doing wedding stuff and fun stuff with everyone who is arriving! probably a South African hen’s and stag night too (bachelor / bachelorette)

We are in Durban right before the wedding.

Then on April 2 (Monday) we take off up the northern coast (Dad, Bro, Kathy, Larry, Sarah, Graham and our friend Rebekah and anyone else who joins in) all head to the North coast to a place called St Lucia which is in the isimangaliso wetlands park – a Unesco world heritage site. 4 nights in a self catering (we cook) unit in a place called ingwenya lodge. Nature walks, hippo and crocodile watching, market places, beaches, game viewing.

We will be there from the 2nd and will depart on the morning of the 6th. Graham booked for a guided game drive at tembe elephant park which is on the border of SA and Mozambique, it is famous for its elephants’ tusks.

From Friday the 6th till Monday the 9th we will be in huhluwe umfolozi park, staying at hill top camp, there we will be self driving and spotting game.

Basically about 10-15 maybe more people will all be headed up to Huhluwe  Easter weekend, the weekend after the wedding.

April 10-14 – hanging with Graham’s family in Durban and soaking up South Africa til the next time 😉

Costs

Flights: $14-1600 each (CORRECTION – they are now like $800!!!!!)

Car: $300 for two weeks

To give you an idea of accommodation costs, this is how much it is costing Graham and I for accommodation only:

Suntrap beach house in Ballito, Durban: 28th-2nd  $280 (this is the condo on the beach)
Ascot bush lodge: wedding night the 31st  $90
Ingwenya lodge 2nd-6th  $325  www.ingwenyalodge.co.za   www.isimangaliso.co.za
Tembe elephant park game drive 4th, $60  www.tembe.co.za
Huhluwe umfolozi game reserve 6th-9th ($320 + cash game entrance fees)  www.kznwildlife.com

The only costs you’ll want to plan for while there are food and curios (markets with souvenirs) and entry fees for the game reserves which will be cash at the gate.

Suggestions for what you should do:

  • If it were me, I would fly into Cape Town before the wedding and then meet in Durban, then go to a game reserve after the wedding. If you didn’t have time to wait til Easter to go with us, then we could give you tips on where to go.
  • Or, go to Cape Town, then drive the Garden Route  (http://www.gardenroute.co.za/) to Port Elizabeth, stopping in Addo Elephant Park. Then fly from Port Elizabeth to Durban for the wedding and then fly from Durban back to CT to US
  • Or, fly into Joburg and come straight to Durban for wedding and then perhaps go back to Joburg and go to Kruger National Park, it is the best.

Here’s some photos to paint a picture of some of the stuff I’ve been describing (these are all facebook albums so you’ll need to have a facebook account)

Hluhluwe / Imflozi Game Reserve:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.569870003994.2162762.21303408&type=1

Garden Route (w/ Addo Elephant Park)

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.569872828334.2162768.21303408&type=1

Cape Town:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.569870003994.2162762.21303408&type=1

Durban: (mostly people but some shots of Durbs and Ballito)

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.569873292404.2162771.21303408&type=1

Durban: Sani Pass/ Drakensberg (also Phinda Game Reserve in KZN)

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.525896671904.2090873.21303408&type=1

KZN/ Northern coast (where we are going after wedding, we did this trip a few years ago)

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.525902959304.2090904.21303408&type=1


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