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ilkerix Aug 5th, 2009 07:41 AM

Adventurous South Africa ... Please help :)

We would like to visit south Africa with a friend at the beginning of September. We have 7 days. Please can you help what are the must places to see and to do. We like all the adventure and nightlife also willing to have a safari. I have always been wanting to travel to South Africa now my dream become true so i want the best possible itinerary. Thats why i am asking what will be the best itinerary. We will start the trip in Cape Town. How ill be the weather at the beginning of september? All the information needed and thank you all for the help ...

uhoh_busted Aug 5th, 2009 11:08 AM

It should be Spring-like and quite lovely. Seven days is a fine amount of time to enjoy Cape Town and its environs - but don't expect to see much more of South Africa. Do you have an idea where you will be staying? Have you looked at the "Destinations" links here on Fodor's website to identify possible hotels and decide what you want to see? Do you have a budget?

pizick Aug 5th, 2009 03:03 PM

My husband and I just went in May and had an amazing time in only 12 days - you have to work with what you have!

We started in Cape Town for 3 nights where we toured the city and went cage diving with great whites! I'm not sure if September is the right time for that though.

Then we spent one night in Stellebosch along the Garden Route which you should do if you enjoy food and wine.

We then rented a car and drove the Garden Route, stopping for a couple of nights along the way.

From Plettenberg Bay we flew to Kruger for 4 nights on safari wich was plenty of time to relax and see the big 5. We stayed at Elephant Plains which I cannot say enough nice things about (try to get the honeymoon suite).

I used to plan the trip and they were very helpful. We were really happy with them and would certainly use them again. Good luck and have fun!

satpacker Aug 5th, 2009 06:20 PM


Here is my suggestion (but obviously depends upon budget and preferences). It is very 'hectic' (i.e. tries to get a lot in for the limited time you have) - another alternative would be to stay 4 nights in Cape Town and 3 nights in the winelands (Franschhoek or Stellenbosch):

Day 1: Arrive at Cape Town International Airport. Hire your car and drive through to Camps Bay. Spend morning relaxing on the beach and - in the late afternoon (if the weather is good) take the short cable car ride to the top of Table Mountain. Return to Camps Bay for sundowners and dinner.

Day 2: Up and out early, driving across to the Victoria and Albert Waterfront to catch a ferry to Robben Island. Return to the Waterfront for lunch and people-watching. In the afternoon drive round along Chapman's Peak Drive to the Cape Peninsula to see the penguins and whale-watching (September to November). Dinner at one of Cape Town's excellent restaurants and drinks out at Long Street.

Day 3: Drive along the N2 through to Strand, then take stunning coastal road - the R44 - past Betty's Bay to the wild beach and a fresh seafood lunch at Hermanus. Take the R44 back to the N2, before coming off onto the R521 at Grabouw to take the spectacular mountain pass through to Franschhoek. Staying at one of the wide selection of boutique hotels or self-catering accommodation, indulge yourself in the gastro-capital of South Africa.

Day 4: Spend the day relaxing in the beautiful Franschhoek Valley taking in as many of the stunning wine-tasting vineyards as your liver can handle!

Days 5: Start your long journey along the Garden Route, meandering along the fantastic Route 62 through the dramatic Little Karoo. Stay at Tsitsikamma National Park or Storms River Village

Day 6: Starting early, begin your long but interesting drive along the N2, Arrive at your safari lodge in Addo Elephant National Park in time for a late afternoon game drive.

Day 7: Take a morning and afternoon game drive, with a good chance of seeing some (if not all) of the Big Five. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the African Bush where you realise that you're not at the top of the food chain. A truly magical way to end your short trip to South Africa. Fly back to Cape Town.

ilkerix Aug 5th, 2009 11:59 PM

Thank you very much for all the information and advice you gave, i cant wait to travel. We dont have problems with our budget. We can spend as much as needed.
Is it easy to drive around ? and how safe to drive? Is the driving left or right hand traffic?

Where you recommend and how many days for Safari?

Thank you again for all your help.

Gordon_R Aug 6th, 2009 04:55 AM

Driving is on the left hand side of road in South Africa. If you are confident and experienced with overseas driving, you should have no real problems.

On the positive side:-

- the road conditions are generally of a high standard, though there are the occasional dirt tracks in rural areas (but still driveable in a saloon car)
- even major roads are quiet outside the main centres (we saw very few traffic jams)
- direction signs are also good, so no real need for a GPS.

On the negative side:-
- there are a very high level of RTAs mainly resulting from poor standard of driving and recklessness: we witnessed a truly horrible motorbike fatality on the N2. Defensive driving and a high level of situational awareness are essential.
- wildlife on the road can be an unexpected hazard for foreign visitors (we came across ostriches, turtles and even a group of baboons on the highway)
- car-jacking and robbery incidents in the inner city are a greater risk than in N America or Europe. It pays to keep your doors and windows closed and locked and plan your route to avoid dodgy areas. Take a taxi for local night-time trips around the cities.

Cape Town is the wrong end of the country for a safari. Either include a side-trip by air to Kruger or do as satpacker suggested and visit Addo Elephant Park (and surrounding private game reserves) just north of Port Elizabeth (about 3 days drive to the east of Cape Town). Try to include at least enough time for one sunset and one sunrise safari.

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