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Going back for a visit


ystervarkie2006
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Hello forumites

My wife and I have been in Aus for 3 years without going back, that's the longest we've gone without setting foot on the "mother continent".

I'm really craving a decent bushwalk and cheap coffee around a campfire and hopefully seeing elephant coming done to the waterhole for an evening drink.

JHB, drakensberg, DBN, northern KZN, Swaziland, Kruger,.. should be a good road trip.

I'm a little apprehensive about driving in JHB etc, maybe I've been listening to too many horror stories. Anybody got any comments or advice for people like us who haven't worried about security for 3 years? Anyone been there recently that would recommend places to see or avoid.

Any comments are appreciated.

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Hi

We've been here 2 years, and also have not gone back. Would love to hear of your observations when you return, and any other comments.

Monica

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Hi,

I arrived in Johannesburg on Thursday and the traffic was chaos. They are presently upgrading all the roads around Johannesburg. I was a nevous wreck after driving for a couple of hours around Johannesburg. The speed limit is 80 but everybody ignores this limit. What has really surprised me is how expensive things have become in Johannesburg. The airport is world class and very efficient (surprise, surprise). But it is lekker to breath the fresh smog again....

Diveup

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Hi Ystervarkie2006

If you come to see the wildlide and spend time with friends and family you will enjoy yourself. I live in Edenvale JHB and the one draw back at the moment reallyis the state of the roads. I'm sure you will be surprised by the new malls, buildings and structures that have gone up in the last few years but you must be ready for a shock when it comes to driving in Jhb! On friday night we went out to dinner in Bedfordview and then we were going to go and see a comedy show at Gold reef city. It took 45 mins to drive to Bedfordview, normally a 10 min ride 15 min in peak traffic. The new digital roadsign thingy said staionary truck just before van Buuren road. At 7 the traffic had not died down so we had to go through Kensington and eventually Jules street to get on the highway further up. Thank goodness for GPS!!!! Jules street is scary during the daylet alone at night but we made it in time for our 8 15 show and for me to realise I'd booked for next friday.... Will I ever live it down???? What an idiot. Now to do it all again. THE RULE OF THUMB IS IF YOU HAVE AN APPOINTMENT ANYWHERE, LEAVE AT LEAST AN HPOUR EARLY, IF IT IS ANYWHERE NEAR PEAK HOUR MAKE IT 2. This all sounds bad and watch out for the quality of the "New roads", really rough and bumpy. The hubby isn't even keen to ride on some of them on his motorbike, even though it would save time. Thank goodness I work 2 mins from home.

BUT Don't let this put you off... as I said the game farms and camping resorts are still great. Went on my second canopy tour last week end and if you haven't tried this yet look into it, basically long foefie slides really high up. Maybe just limit your time on the roads and avoid peak hours although all hours seem to be peak. I think once the new roads are opened up it will be great, part of the problem right now is that many highways go from 3 or 4 lanes into 1 or 2. But if you are going to stay in the suburbs it will be fine.

Enjoy your holiday.... Those elephants and lions can't wait to see you

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Thanks for the posts.

I'll try avoid Jo'burg traffic as best I can, I'm sure it's nowhere near as bad as Mumbai. I live in small town Aus without any traffic lights (or robots) and a trip to the city here can even freak me out a bit.

We'll mostly visit family and catch up. My bro has a place next to the Kruger Park so we'll definitely be rellie-bashing there.

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  • 2 months later...

For those on their way to SA for a visit. I am leaving in 4 days. :ilikeit: Ok, we know it all, but still. I have not been back in a very long time..so to me it is helpful.

http://www.southafrica.to/Tourists/Tourists-safety.php5

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I went back to Johannesburg in October after having left 2 years earlier. What I noticed:


The newly upgraded international airport is first class.

Lots of development.

Increase of police presence and more road blocks.

The traffic is a disaster.

Grafitti has increased.

Litter has increased.

The cost of food and petrol has become astronomical.

Fourways mall has become a bit shabby.

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Hello forumites

My wife and I have been in Aus for 3 years without going back, that's the longest we've gone without setting foot on the "mother continent".

I'm really craving a decent bushwalk and cheap coffee around a campfire and hopefully seeing elephant coming done to the waterhole for an evening drink.

JHB, drakensberg, DBN, northern KZN, Swaziland, Kruger,.. should be a good road trip.

I'm a little apprehensive about driving in JHB etc, maybe I've been listening to too many horror stories. Anybody got any comments or advice for people like us who haven't worried about security for 3 years? Anyone been there recently that would recommend places to see or avoid.

Any comments are appreciated.

Hi guys!

With all said and done, I hope that you all have a wonderful and

safe experience.............enjoy and yes, some lekker frisco around

the campfire sounds like heaven!

Erica

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yes that leKKer 'kamp-koffie' (double ricoffee and whiskey) sounds real gOOd

Been back a few times - the 'guys' have said it all above - driving there now takes some doing,

but,

getting used to the casual 'pedlers' selling stuff or begging at the robots again,

taxi's with no regard for anyone's safety, and ... and ... sjoe !!!

gOOd lUCk - drive safe and enJoy the trip

:-)

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JHB, drakensberg, DBN, northern KZN, Swaziland, Kruger,.. should be a good road trip.

Aaah, man, sounds like exactly the last holiday we went on in July, minus the Swaziland bit. Sounds like an awesome road trip. There's nothing better than cheap, strong coffee that's too sweet and made with cremora because there's no milk, around the fire.

I've been back once a year for 10 years, so I guess I don't notice the changes as much each time, but if I think back to three years ago, a lot of development has happened, a lot of roads are being worked on, some towns are different places now (town centres are a lot busier - think African market places) OR Tambo is a different Airport (it's actually quite good!), but as most have said - the driving is shocking, you have to drive defensively at all times.

Have an awesome holiday!

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yes that leKKer 'kamp-koffie' (double ricoffee and whiskey) sounds real gOOd

Been back a few times - the 'guys' have said it all above - driving there now takes some doing,

but,

getting used to the casual 'pedlers' selling stuff or begging at the robots again,

taxi's with no regard for anyone's safety, and ... and ... sjoe !!!

gOOd lUCk - drive safe and enJoy the trip

:-)

Everyone mentions the driving, sounds like it is a big issue. I will leave the driving to the professionals then...my family. During my visit to Australia I was surprised to see how nice the people drive over there, unlike Houston where I lived for 17 years. Talk about scary driving, the Houstonians know how it is done, so I thought I will be ready for Johannesburg....guess I was wrong.

Shall one buy drinking water to be safe, or is that not necessary? Instant coffee.. I remember those days, but no thank you. Hopefully I can find a Starbucks or Gloria Jeans.

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yes that leKKer 'kamp-koffie' (double ricoffee and whiskey) sounds real gOOd

THIS IS WHAT I WOULD CALL COFFEE WITH ATTITUDE - HA HA HA

yes that leKKer 'kamp-koffie' (double ricoffee and whiskey) sounds real gOOd

Been back a few times - the 'guys' have said it all above - driving there now takes some doing,

but,

getting used to the casual 'pedlers' selling stuff or begging at the robots again,

taxi's with no regard for anyone's safety, and ... and ... sjoe !!!

gOOd lUCk - drive safe and enJoy the trip

:-)

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  • 4 weeks later...
I went back to Johannesburg in October after having left 2 years earlier. What I noticed:


The newly upgraded international airport is first class.

Lots of development.

Increase of police presence and more road blocks.

The traffic is a disaster.

Grafitti has increased.

Litter has increased.

The cost of food and petrol has become astronomical.

Fourways mall has become a bit shabby.

I just came back from a wonderful 3 week holiday in SA. OR Tambo is really first class. The weather was fantastic and I enjoyed everything.. the food, the warm ocean, the beauty of the country, the friendly people, the good wine, ect. ect. ect.

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So glad you had a good holiday after worrying about it for so long.

Jill

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So glad you had a good holiday after worrying about it for so long.

Jill

Thanks Jill. It took me about 3 days to feel comfortable. I think once you are there and spend time with the family you seem to forget about all the problems in the country. The first night at my sister's home in Randburg I kept on asking "are you sure the alarm is on..everything locked??"She told me to relax and not to worry so much. I spend a week in Johannesburg and then we drove to Ballito. We stopped at Howick, on my request. It did change, I guess it is not a popular stop over anymore. I just took a couple of pictures and bought some souvernirs and on our way again. We never made it to the Wildernis because we had so much fun in Ballito. We also spend 2 days in Pretoria.

I really enjoyed everything very much..but again holidays are different. Living there is another story.

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