We had a great holiday! Ridden a lot, maybe a little too often now and then. We wanted to see a lot in a short time. Because you drive less fast on average with a camper than with a car, the roads are not always easy to drive on and we were with a large group, it often took a little extra time, so we often only arrive at the end of the afternoon arrived at the campsites in the evening. The restaurants on the campsites were closed or not present a number of times, so we actually had to go straight to find somewhere to eat. Because it was usually (almost) dark then, this was a challenge from time to time.
Below our travel report:
Day 1) Flight from Amsterdam to Johannesburg. Our tour started in Johannesburg. We were taken to our hotel in two taxis and were welcomed in a friendly way. Neat rooms at Safari Club Hotel.
Day 2) The next morning after the breakfast buffet we were picked up by a taxi van and taken to the camper depot. Our three campers were already ready. First I received a lot of information and some explanation, which is really necessary. Then we could put our luggage in and we could leave. First did some shopping at the supermarket a little further. Then the first ride could begin. Some getting used to in the beginning that drive on the left, but after a few days you hardly know any better.
Fortunately, we had brought a few bags of pasta from the Netherlands for emergencies and ate them there. It was very cold that night and it even frozen!
Day 3) We then drove to the Golden Gate national park and slept at the Glen Reenen Rest camp. Really a super nice environment! We had to walk quite a bit to be able to eat a little further at the restaurant in the hotel. But it was very tasty!
Day 5) On our fifth day in ZA we drove to the town of Ballito. On the way we drove through the Howick falls and visited the U-shaka Marine world in Durban. Driving through Durban with 3 campers was just as exciting. It was very busy with traffic here, but you still had to go through it to get to U-shaka. Especially for the children this was very nice to see. At our next place to sleep, the Dolphin beach resort, there were plenty of restaurants within walking distance. We have eaten at restaurant Mozambique and we really enjoyed it.
Day 6) Our next stop is Richards Bay caravan park, here we lit the rented braai in the evening. The passage to the sea was unfortunately closed because the sea was getting closer. From here we would participate in the whale watching the next morning. Unfortunately we were called on the way that the trip could not continue due to a defect in the boat. Pity! But fortunately we were allowed to come from St. Lucia two days later.
Day 7) Today I drove to St. Lucia. First done a Hippo cruise on arrival. At 1.15 pm we were allowed to come and we had a boat for ourselves. It was quiet. We have seen a lot of hippos, some crocodiles and an osprey. Was really fun to do. The children also enjoyed the boat trip. We slept two nights at the Sugerloaf campsite. This was a bit disappointing. Perhaps because we were out of season and because we only had rain the next day, so everything was muddy, but there was also nothing to experience and the sanitary facilities we thought looked bad. We didn’t even want to use the showers. Fortunately there was a good restaurant within walking distance. At the St. Lucia Ski boat club. We have eaten here two evenings.
Day 8) Today we had nothing on the program. Did shopping in the village.
Day 9) This morning still the whale trip! At 6.45 we had to be ready. The children were not allowed to come along, which we already knew when we booked the trip from the Netherlands, so they stayed at the campsite with their father. We went with 1 camper that way. What an experience! We were all seasick on the boat, but definitely worth it! You had to hold on to the boat because you had to go through the surf.
We soon saw the whales in the distance. But we have also been able to admire a number up close. What beautiful animals!
Day 10) This morning at 9.15 am left for Swaziland. The border control all went reasonably smoothly happy. Since you can also spend a few hours there! Our tom tom unfortunately brought us to another entrance of the Milwane sanctuary, which we were not allowed to pass through. As a result we lost some time and we arrived at the park around 3.30 pm. Here we saw piggies, impalas and zebras. Again we were allowed to find a place ourselves, which makes a difference if everything is quiet. In the evening there was a buffet and our table was nicely set. We have eaten again delicious and friendly staff and good service. We also found this park very beautiful! Unfortunately we didn’t have much time to spend here, an extra night would have been nice afterwards. You can walk very nicely here.
Day 11) Today we leave Swaziland and head for the Kruger Park. Fortunately, the border crossing went reasonably fast again. We soon saw a giraffe in the Kruger Park. How cool! After finding a place at the Berg-en-Dal campsite, the first half of our group had a sunset game drive. We had divided ourselves into two groups, because the children are again unable to participate. You can eat well here at the restaurant ?
Day 12) This morning the second half of the group had a Sunrise game drive. Tip: get warm, because it can be really cold! Also in the evening! Then time to continue to Satara rest camp. We had a long drive ahead. Have seen a lot of animals along the way, elephants, giraffes, rhinos and even a leopard that just climbed a tree! We arrived at Satara around 5 pm. With a camper you can mainly only drive on the main roads. Then you still see enough, but once in a while it was a shame that we could not enter certain roads or see certain areas that you can see with a car. So we will take that for a next time. Now we also didn’t have the time to drive extra distances with such a long drive. And with Satara, the second half also had a night drive. Unfortunately not seen so much during this drive. Seen a genet cat, jackal and a civet cat. Also very special.
Day 13) Today the first half of the group a final Sunrise game drive. Then on to Mopani rest camp. Seen a lot again en route. Really super! Some of us even got a glimpse of a lioness, but unfortunately we didn’t find any lions for the rest. In Mopani we had rented two houses next to each other for a change. Had beautiful view of the lake. That way we could just see the hippos swimming from our terrace.
Day 14) After having breakfast in our cottages, we left for our next destination, Blyde River Canyon Lodge. One last bit through the Kruger Park. At the lodge it was difficult to park our campers because of the low tree branches. But finally managed to park them. Here again we have not slept in the campers. That way we could already get some of our stuff back together, because our vacation is almost over. At the lodge we were kindly welcomed by the staff and received with a drink. We were immediately escorted to our rooms and we as a family with 2 children even got a whole house! We did not expect that in advance, so this was a pleasant surprise. So we had a wonderful time with the four of us. We were served a 3-course dinner and again enjoyed the food.
Day 15) This morning we just saw zebras grazing in front of our house, we had hoped for that. The table in the restaurant was beautifully set and a delicious breakfast was ready. Then we drove to Sabie via the Panorama route and waterfalls route. The first stop was at The three rondavels, very beautiful view! Then stopped at Bourkes Potholes, also beautiful to see! Just stopped at God’s Window and here too we had a nice view. This is not always the case because of the fog. Unfortunately we had no time left (due to an accident with 1 of the campers and a passenger car) to go to a waterfall. Tomorrow then. We slept at the Merry Pebbles. Here they had a supermarket where we quickly got some groceries and a very nice restaurant where you can eat well.
Day 16) Especially for us they had prepared breakfast in the restaurant and we were able to drive to the Mac-Mac Falls with a full belly. We only had time for 1 waterfall, but it was beautiful to see. You can also go here for souvenirs. The road to our last destination, Olifants river lodge in Middelburg, was so bad that we were on the road for half an hour. They have a heated indoor swimming pool at this campsite, so we were able to swim with the children.
Dag 17) Tonight we went home, but first we wanted to visit the Elephant Sanctuary in Hartbeespoortdam. We had booked an elephant interaction here in advance. We had to drive quite a bit and already be there at 9.30 am. So they started driving at 6.30 am. We found it a very cool experience to be so close to the elephants. The children also clearly enjoyed the elephants. Whether we would do it again, do not think so, are not entirely convinced of the fact that they do not suffer from this, so well each has his own choice.