Vanessa
Expert May 2018

South African Honeymoon!

Vanessa, on July 5, 2017 at 3:31 PM Posted in Honeymoon 0 44
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Hi Ladies! FH and I decided on South Africa for our honeymoon, First Cape Town, then a safari, then Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.

We want to go for 2 weeks and our budget is about $8. Has anyone ever been? Is this a realistic budget? We are going in June of next year. If anyone has any tips/suggestions would VERY much appreciate!

44 Comments

  • Laura
    Dedicated July 2018
    Laura ·

    Fiance and I are traveling there in July of next year to get married and have our honeymoon! I think your budget is realistic, I'm assuming yo u meant $8k? Flights are pricy of course, but things over there are decently priced that time of year. My fiance went for a month a couple years ago and loved it!

  • Vanessa
    Expert May 2018
    Vanessa ·

    Haha! yes I definitely meant 8K. Let me know how it is!!!!!

  • Maria
    VIP March 2016
    Maria ·

    Is two weeks not very short when you are traveling that far? I have heard South Africa is fab. A good friend went there for her honeymoon she had an amazing time. I would go through a travel agent though.

  • Maria
    VIP March 2016
    Maria ·

    Is two weeks not very short when you are traveling that far? I have heard South Africa is fab. A good friend went there for her honeymoon she had an amazing time. I would go through a travel agent though.

  • Vanessa
    Expert May 2018
    Vanessa ·

    Maria, it probably is a little short...but that's the best we can do with our jobs/budget.

  • Maria
    VIP March 2016
    Maria ·

    Thats a pity, I know it's hard to get time off after a wedding. We could only go for 11 nights!! When you are going that far with that time scale I would try not to over do it by planning to go to see too many places. Are you going straight after the big day? A lot of people crash and burn for a few days after the wedding, add that to jet lag.. my friend stayed in some place In a safari park, and also another place that was up in the trees. Every evening they came in the place was all lit up and rose pettels every where. It sounded amazing. They had a month though so did a lot of traveling.

  • MrsBeetoBe
    Super October 2017
    MrsBeetoBe ·

    I'm leaving for cape town next week! because of the weak rand, you money will go much farther which will definitely make it amazing.

  • Amanda
    Expert September 2017
    Amanda ·

    I went to cape town a couple years ago. For just me for 2 weeks I spent about $3k including flights. But it was not a honeymoon, so while I splurged a bit, it wasn't super luxurious. I do think you should be OK though as far as the South Africa part is concerned. I was with friends and stayed mainly in Cape Town, but flew up to Kruger for a safari. We also went shark diving. We stayed most nights in a guest house in green point neighborhood, but spent one night at a boutique hotel on Long Street that was a relative splurge for a penthouse suite (for US$118). Once you are there, prices are really cheap. We ate well, got a massage, ect.

    We went with Nomad for our safari, it was four days for $660 I think and stayed in lodge housing. Not exactly posh, but comfortable and private.

  • JPCD
    VIP May 2018
    JPCD ·

    Haha $8

  • Karen Coleman-Ostrov
    September 2019
    Karen Coleman-Ostrov ·

    Hi Vanessa, and congratulations on your upcoming marriage. Have you considered working with a travel agent? They are often able to work with your budget to find you exactly what you want at a price that fits your budget. There are tons of options out there and a travel agent can help you sort them out. Most travel agents do not charge for their services. I highly recommend that you consider engaging one!

  • Vanessa
    Expert May 2018
    Vanessa ·

    I have considered a travel planner, I found a great lady I think I want to go with. I still wanted insight from people who aren't advertising.

  • Vanessa
    Expert May 2018
    Vanessa ·

    I would still LOVE to talk to someone who has actually honeymooned here. Please let me know if anyone has!

  • Jennifer VR
    VIP April 2017
    Jennifer VR ·

    Hi Vanessa, I live in South Africa and work with travel agents. I would love to give you some advice (I am not a travel agent and I won't try to sell you anything, I promise - just advice). I am not a travel expert, and I'm not even a South Africa expert, but I can give you some local advice on what you can expect to pay for things. You can email me on jennifer@the-gsa.co.za

    Safaris can definitely be expensive if you are staying in a private lodge, but there are less expensive but still comfortable ways to do it. When I went to Kruger, I stayed in a 3-star hotel just outside the main gates (literally 5 minutes), and we took daily safari drives in.

    I always use a travel agent when I travel, and have never found them to be more expensive, so I would definitely still recommend that you ask for a couple of quotes and make your decision from there. Most hotels and tour operators in South Africa can be booked directly via websites, etc - but it all depends on how much time and effort you have. For example, when I was booking our honeymoon, I definitely didn't still have time to research Bali on top of our final preparations for wedding plus studying and working full time. I was happy to book through a travel agent. It all depends what you can manage, but I think they are worth it!

  • Vanessa
    Expert May 2018
    Vanessa ·

    Thank you Jennifer, nice to hear from someone who lives there!

  • Jennifer VR
    VIP April 2017
    Jennifer VR ·

    Sorry, I wasn't on WW for a few days - was on a digital detox!

    I've been thinking alot about this, and because of everything you would want to see, I would really recommend going through a travel agent or tour operator. I have my own travel agent that I can recommend. If you're worried about charging commissions and all that, most hotels and tour operators have commission built into their rates here, so you'd be paying the same either way most of the time. At least with a travel agent, you get the correct info that you need.

    Also, don't forget to check if you need a visa for Zimbabwe (you probably don't - but just make sure).

    After flights - I am not sure what chunk of your budget would be left.

    Basically you would need flights from:

    USA - Cape Town, Cape Town - Nelspruit (unless you're planning to drive this, would take about 2 days), Nelspruit - Zimbabwe. As far as I know, Nelspruit flights are only out of Joburg, meaning that it would take about a day to get there if flying.

    Start by doing a check on travelstart or something to get an idea about what your flights would cost.

    As I mentioned, safari's can be quite expensive, especially the private lodges.

    Cape Town has a wide range of accommodation options though, from b&b's to luxury 5 star hotels. So it really all depends on what your level of expectation is.

    I've never been to Victoria Falls, so I can't give much advice here, I am afraid.

    If you go to a private lodge, usually your safaris, and all meals, are included. But in Cape Town, you'll want to budget for your day tours, entrance fees, uber/taxi's and meals. I'm not sure how the hotels around Victoria Falls do things, they may or may not include meals, but probably not activities.

    It is going to be winter when you come, but it's actually a good time for safari! We do have sunny days in winter, but it will still be cold. On the other hand, you might get unlucky and have cloudy skies for your Cape Town portion.

    The dollar is doing really well against the rand, but I have never been to USA either so I don't know if comparatively things are cheaper here. For example, hubby and I went to Mcdonalds last night, and 2 meals cost us R100. At the current exchange rate, that is about $8. Does that sound good or not?

    With regards to safari, Kruger is a malaria area. I don't think that winter is a high-risk time for malaria, and I have been to Kruger in June without taking malaria medication. But just something to bear in mind.

    In South Africa, you can probably pay for 90% of things with a credit card or debit card. I almost never carry cash. You'll want cash for taxi's, markets (souvenirs), tips and any small odds and ends that you don't want to swipe your card for. Only local currency is accepted in South Africa. There are plenty of places to exchange currency.

    If you need any more advice, please feel free to email me.

  • MrsMitch
    Master August 2017
    MrsMitch ·

    We are going in December which is their summer. $8K is definitely realistic. You can build a package with flights and hotel on Expedia.

  • MsMac
    Expert September 2017
    MsMac ·

    Africa is VERY expensive just to fly to. My best friend did study abroad in Ghana and had a health emergency scare. If she had needed serious medical treatment she would have had to fly to the UK because it would have been too expensive to fly stateside and back. I think you'll need at least 10k (probably more) for an enjoyable 2 week trip.

  • Jennifer VR
    VIP April 2017
    Jennifer VR ·

    Many countries in Africa do not have good health care options, but South Africa has good hospitals, well-trained doctors and nurses, and adequate availability of medications. However, I would recommend taking our travel insurance that includes medical insurance, because you don't want to end up in a public hospital (long queues and long waits for treatment), and you don't want to end up with a huge medical bill if anything goes wrong.

  • Vanessa
    Expert May 2018
    Vanessa ·

    Jennifer, my travel agent told me there have been no inoculations in years. Malaria is still prevalent there???

  • Jennifer VR
    VIP April 2017
    Jennifer VR ·

    Almost the entire of South Africa is malaria-free, except for like Kruger Park and a few other rural spots. It's usually fine in winter though, I think they usually recommend for the summer period of November - April for Kruger.

    I went to Kruger in June, and we didn't need to take any malaria precautions. We did use insect repellent and wore long clothing. I don't want to say that you will definitely be fine, but you probably will be, because it is a low-risk time.

    Here is a link to Sanparks website about malaria: https://www.sanparks.org/parks/kruger/tourism/malaria.php

    And an article from earlier in the year:

    http://www.traveller24.com/News/Alerts/kruger-issues-malaria-warning-20170518

    ETA: there was quite a lot of reported malaria cases earlier in this year, but it was still during the higher-risk period, because Kruger had a very wet summer.

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