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Advice, please: Addo Elephant Park to Cape Town AIrport on Garden Route

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Feb 4th, 2016, 02:26 PM
  #1
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Advice, please: Addo Elephant Park to Cape Town AIrport on Garden Route

I'm looking for advice on how to organize our visit along the Garden Route in early April. We will leave Addo on the morning of Wednesday, April 6 and we need to be at Cape Town Airport late in the evening of Monday, April 11. That gives us 5 nights and 6 days.

I thought of basing somewhere along the Garden Route (3 nights?) and doing day trips. What are the must-dos and must-sees and where should we base ourselves?

I'd like to stop in Swellendam (Drostdy museum) -- preferably to spend an overnight. Has anyone a view on Swellendam?

I also hoped to make a quick trip to the Cederberg area -- perhaps to drive there from Swellendam for an overnight on April 10 and have a full day there before driving in late afternoon on April 11 to CPT. Our KLM flight to AMS is around 11 PM.

But I'm open to dropping the Cederberg detour, which I know will involve a fair bit of driving. Should I reallocate that time -- to what and why?
____________

Here's some background that may be helpful:

We like dining well; we like nature, history, dramatic scenery. We don't like crowds and love to explore empty areas that few others visit.

We are too old for rough activities: surfing, cage diving etc are off the table. My spouse has a heart condition, so most of our exercise will be with our eyeballs.

Initially, we will spend 6 nights in Cape Town (2 days with a car, so we can visit the Cape and outlying sights). Next, we spend 3 nights in the Stellenbosch area. We travel via the R 62 to Oudtshoorn for 3 nights, to drive through the Swartberg Pass and visit the Cango Caves. Part of that time will be spent at Madi-Madi Game Reserve. Then we go to the Addo area for a couple of nights. These are fixed dates.
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Feb 4th, 2016, 02:49 PM
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PS: Ad you may have guessed, we're not especially interested in wildlife and the "game lodge" experience, writ large.

A brief time at Madi-Madi and then at Addo (a guided drive in the Elephant Park and a Schotia "Tooth and Claw" tour) will be enough for us, I think.
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Feb 4th, 2016, 02:57 PM
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We drove from Addo to Cape Town in three days, spending two nights in Plettenberg Bay. We stopped at Jeffreys Bay ("J-Bay" of surfing fame) on the way, and never felt rushed. We had previously visited Hermanus so didn't need to detour this time.

In the tube, J Bay - http://gardyloo.us/africa14J%20022a.JPG
Sunrise, Plett - http://gardyloo.us/africa16J%20016b.JPG
Sunbird, Plett - http://gardyloo.us/africa14J%20031a.JPG
Garden route scene - http://gardyloo.us/africa17J%20028b.jpg
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Feb 4th, 2016, 06:44 PM
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Those are great photos!
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Feb 4th, 2016, 10:06 PM
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Have you considered visiting Camdeboo and Mtn Zebra NPs north of Addo? Absolutely stunning, like nothing you've seen before. Stay in Cradock for easy access to both.
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Feb 6th, 2016, 11:44 AM
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Any more people out there with Garden Route advice to offer?
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Feb 11th, 2016, 12:14 PM
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We enjoyed Wilderness and Knysna very much, which isn't too far out from Cape Town. I notice you are also going to Oudtshoorn. You will catch some stunning scenery. I've got a trip report somewhere here..but the description of the "Garden Route" portion of our trip is here: http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...ern-africa.cfm
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Feb 11th, 2016, 12:16 PM
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The weather wasn't terribly cooperative for us along the Garden Route, but I'd like to do it again someday in better weather.
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Feb 11th, 2016, 12:20 PM
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hi tedgale, just found this.

two more places we particularly liked on the garden route were Knysna, [you can do a lovely day trip by boat and walk out to the "heads"] and the Tsitsikamma mountains, where we stayed at this lovely place:

https://bushbaby.travel/destinations...-country-lodge

[i could only remember where we stayed by going to the website of the firm we went with - who were very good, BTW]

BTW while you're in Cape Town, don't miss the trip to the Cape [a good day trip when you've got your car] Table Mountain of course, and the Kirstenbosch gardens. Definite MUST DOs.
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Feb 11th, 2016, 05:14 PM
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Annhig: Thanks -- we are getting the hire car 2 days early so we can, on Day 5, do Kirstenbosch and other stuff near the city and, on Day 6, visit the Cape.
We would prefer to avoid the Cape on a statutory holiday. I've read about huge lines.
But I've just discovered our visit - it's planned for a Monday - coincides with the March 28 national holiday, Family Day, which is also Easter Monday.
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Feb 11th, 2016, 05:20 PM
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And thanks too to uhoh busted. I'll read your report with interest. Too bad about the weather -- we may face something similar, I guess.
I understand why that mountainous coast is prone to rain and wind - but it still does seem odd to one who lives in the vast, flat, unvaried central regions of Canada
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Feb 12th, 2016, 09:41 AM
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We would prefer to avoid the Cape on a statutory holiday. I've read about huge lines.
But I've just discovered our visit - it's planned for a Monday - coincides with the March 28 national holiday, Family Day, which is also Easter Monday.>>

oops. I've read something somewhere about there being checkpoints now, [I don't remember them when we were there] which may add to the problem.

Get an early start perhaps and go there first, then work your way back?
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