I'm planning a trip to SA for me and my boyfriend in April 2012 (it'll be the first time for both of us). The trip will be at least 2 weeks long. As a somewhat of an obsessive travel planner, I've got a rough idea of what I would like our trip to look like, but am anxious for more tips and ideas.
Just a short note on our travel style: We like a little luxury, but would take a charming 3-star over a Disney-esque 5-star any day. We're both foodies and love small hotels.
So here's what I have so far:
Flight from Berlin - Cape Town, rent a car
2 nights in Cape Town at Parker Cottage or Abbey Manor, excursions to Cape Point, Table mountain etc. (don't think we need a tour guide for this stuff)
2 nights in the winelands (most likely Frankschhoek) - here we'd love a 1-day guided (or at least driven!) wine-tasting tour, preferably private or in a small group.
Garden Route - I need a little advice here. As it won't be whale season, I've read that it's not worth overnighting in Hermanus. So I guess Mossel Bay and on to Plettenberg? As much as I'd like to ride an ostrich and play with a baby cheetah (yes, I admit it), I'm deathly afraid of falling into a tourist trap. Anyone have a tip in terms of route and stops along the way?
After the Garden Route I was thinking of heading to the Elephant Coast, maybe even all the way up to Mozambique, for a couple nights on the beach (and I mean RIGHT on the beach…I miss the ocean). In this case we'd dump the rental car and fly from Port Elizabeth. After that I'd like to do to Garonga Lodge for approximately 4 nights. I'm toying with the idea of skipping the beach and doing 3-4 nights at Kruger instead.
Transfer to Johannesburg, Flight to Berlin
I know this is a lot of info…thanks to anyone that's read the whole thing! A couple more questions:
1. Can anyone recommend a good tour operator that could help me plan this? I worked with Argeus Travel while planning our Turkey trip and they did a perfect job of turning my inspiration into a real trip.
2. Do I need to be worried about driving around in the rental car? With this itinerary driving around with a car full of suitcases, etc. will be unavoidable.
3. Foodie tips welcome!
Thanks in advance for your help!
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Cape Town, Windlands, Garden Route, Beach, Makalali...advice please!