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Anybody familiar with the Plettenberg to Cape Town route, please comment on this itinerary...

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Apr 30th, 2004, 04:55 AM
  #1
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Anybody familiar with the Plettenberg to Cape Town route, please comment on this itinerary...

I would really like to advance past just Cape Town and spend some time further out in the Western Cape (and beyond?)

Is something like this reasonable without spending too much time travelling:

Day 1 - Fly into Plettenberg Bay from JNB. Two nights at Tsala Tree Lodge.

Day 2 - Tsala Tree Lodge.

Day 3 - George. 1 night at The Fancourt.

Day 4 - Hermanus. 2 nights at The Misty Beach Chateau.

Day 5 - Hermanus. Misty Beach Chateau.

Day 6 - Cape Town. 2 nights at Cape Grace. (with limited time in Cape Town, and with already five nights at previous lodging, I think the Cape Grace would be preferential to the Twelve Apostles).

Day 7 - Cape Grace.

I think the only potential problem is the distance between George and Hermanus. Worst case, what am I looking at, a 4 hour drive?

This segment would likely follow four nights in South Luangwa, Zambia, and four nights in Lower Zambezi, Zambia. I would rest up in Johannesburg for one night before this all started. Then hopefully, I would round out the trip with three nights at Mala Mala and three nights at Singita Sweni.

I do think that this could be an amazing week along the South African coast, but would like some feedback by those that have travelled these parts before. I realize that only a small segment is actually along the Garden Route, but I do really want to include time at Hermanus and Cape Town.

Thanks.
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Apr 30th, 2004, 05:58 AM
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Your itinerary looks good to me. I can't comment on your accommodations, just on the distances.

The Tsitsikama Forest is really worth seeing. You easily could drive through it, at least up to the Storms River Bridge, on the day you spend in Plettenberg Bay. If you felt up to driving as far east as Jeffrey's Bay, so much the better.

On your westward drive between Plettenberg Bay and George, it's worth diverting from the main road to see The Heads at Knysna.

From memory, I'm pretty sure it'll take you no more than 4 hours to drive from George to Hermanus.

If you want to be able to say you've been to the most southerly point on the African continent, you could leave the N2 at Swellendam and drive south through Bredasdorp to Cape Agulhas. From Cape Agulhas there is a paved secondary road that could get you to Hermanus without having to return to the N2.

This would add time to the drive, but we did it as a really leisurely activity, stopping here and there to get out and see things that interested us, and it made for a pleasant day.

If you don't mind slowing your trip down still further, there's a ship wreck museum that we found interesting at Arniston, east of Cape Agulhas.
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May 1st, 2004, 10:56 AM
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I fully agree with the previous poster on Tsitsikamma. It's well worth a (day)trip from Plett. On our way we visited Monkeyland, a monkey sanctuary that was quite fun to do. Then drove further in the direction of Stormsrivier on the scenic R102, took a short stop in Nature's Valley and drove the Bloukrans Pass (from there you'll have a view - if you take your binoculars - on 216 m high Bloukrans Bridge which is famous for bungee jumpers). In Tsitsikamma we hiked the Mouth Trail to the famous suspension bridge. We would have loved to do the Waterfall Trail as well but sadly enough we had no more time left.

From George to Hermanus can be done in abt. 4 hours I think. We drove Plett-Swellendam (about the same distance) in 6 hours. We always take our time, though!
If you want to sea Cape Agulhas (the southernmost point), add a few hours as it's 100 km longer. But certainly worth the detour.
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May 1st, 2004, 07:24 PM
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Ditto on Knysna, very attractive area.
You may want to consider the Cango Caves near Oudtshoorn -they are quite impressive.
Lots of ostich farms in this area too and usually on menus!
Grace is good,nice restaurant overlooking harbour.
Bon Voyage.
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May 2nd, 2004, 03:48 PM
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Roccco,

Question. Why are you opting for one night at Fancourt? In my opinion if you are not going to play golf at the venue it is an absolute waste of time and please do not think that Fancourt is that wonderful. As a mater of fact knowing you and STD reasonably well I reckon you will be very disappointed with the venue.

Personally I would try and move on to another town other than George which closes the gap between you and Hermanus however I must warn that from Knysna toward Hermanus you will not find your 5 star type venue that you are looking for. Personally I would not stop in George at all and would rather stay over at Swellendam as an overnight stop. Once again I must add that there are no plush accommodation facilities available in the area. (Klippe River is supposed to be the most plush but I dont think that this is really the case)

I also must add that theoretically it will take you 4 hours to travel from George to Hermanus however if you are going to stop in at little towns like Swellendam along the way and also take your time while travelling so as to enjoy the scenery then bank on 5-6 hours of travel time. I do this journey close on to 20 times a year and know that 4 hours is not a very practical number.

Hope this all helps.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
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May 2nd, 2004, 05:37 PM
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Roccco,

Go to: http://www.sanbona.com/default.asp

Damn expensive but it might interest your plush taste.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
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May 2nd, 2004, 10:50 PM
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Selwyn,

I really do not know where to begin with anything beyond Cape Town and Hermanus. I do know that I would like to see Plettenberg Bay and stay at Tsala, although it is not a top priority. If I do get that far, then I would also like to spend a couple nights in Knysna at Phantom Forest Lodge. That is where the problem comes in...the place that I spend one night between Knysna and Hermanus.

Maybe a couple nights at Sanbona after Knysna is the answer?

All depends on my budget for next year. Not so worried about my personal budget for next year, but like this year in Italy, I do seem to be attracting hanging-on'ers, that are cramping my style. I may be joined by my sister-in-law and her fiance, each five years younger than my wife and I and on a budget.

If I do end up going with them, Hermanus may very well be out the window, unless I can negotiate some decent prices on Zambian lodges as late as August, as I have no desire to wait until the very end of the season when Zambia is at its warmest.

On the other hand, Hermanus is one of the only places that I will find reasonably priced accomodations, staying at the Misty Beach Chateau. Are you familiar with this place? It looks great, as do the prices.

(okay, anybody not interested in one of my mindless hypothetical itineraries may change the channel now)

Next challenge...$5,000 USD budget for two in August (ground package only, frequent flier miles for air).

Day 1 - LAX to JNB
Day 2 - En Route
Day 3 - Arrive JNB - Transfer to Livingstone, (Victoria Falls) Zambia. 2 nights at Sussi Lodge. $200 pppns for repeat customer?
Day 4 - Sussi Lodge (Star Of Africa)
Day 5 - Transfer to Lower Zambezi National Park. 3 nights at Chiawa. $350 pppns (for 4 people, I should get a little discount from the $395 pppns standard rate).
Day 6 - Chiawa.
Day 7 - Chiawa.
Day 8 - Chiawa.
Day 9 - Transfer to Johannesburg. 1 night at A Room With A View. $100 pppns.
Day 10 - Transfer to Cape Town and onto Hermanus. 3 nights at the Misty Beach Chateau (5* B&B). $100 pppns.
Day 11 - Misty Beach Chateau. Whale watching or cage diving.
Day 12 - Misty Beach Chateau.
Day 13 - Cape Town. 3 nights at B&B or 2 bedroom condo? $100 pppns?
Day 14 - Cape Town.
Day 15 - Cape Town.
Day 16 - Dump the dead weight and send home excess baggage! Other couple flies home. My wife and I fly to Mala Mala. 3 nights at Mala Mala.
Day 17 - Mala Mala.
Day 18 - Mala Mala.
Day 19 - Transfer to Singita Sweni. 3 nights.
Day 20 - Singita Sweni.
Day 21 - Singita Sweni.
Day 22 - Transfer to Johannesburg. 1 night at Michelangelo Hotel.
Day 23 - Depart JNB
Day 24 - Arrive LAX

Price for other couple

Sussi Lodge (2) - $400 pps
Chiawa (4) - $1,400 pps
Zambian Transfers - $450 pps
A Room With A View (1) - $100 pps
Misty Beach Chateau (3) - $300 pps
Cape Town at ??? (3) - $300 pps
South African Transfers - $550 pps

Well, I failed miserably. $3,500 pps is the best I can do in putting together a quality 13 night Southern Africa package. I could shave off money by staying at a Kaingo or Kafunta, but I don't think this would offer as complete a safari experience (and in top notch lodging) as a Chiawa or Sausage Tree Camp would in Lower Zambezi.

By adding the 7 nights at the end for myself and scaredtodeath, I am adding the following:

Mala Mala (3) - $1,500 pps
Singita Sweni (3) - $2,750 pps
Transfers - $500 pps

Total package for the extra 7 nights including first 13 nights - $8,250 pps

That is not at all a bad price...$16,500 total.

RECAP

Sussi Lodge, Victoria Falls (2)
Chiawa Camp, Lower Zambezi (4)
A Room With A View, Joburg (1)
Misty Beach Chateau, Hermanus (3)
Nice B&B?, Cape Town (3)
Mala Mala, Sabi Sand (3)
Singita Sweni, Kruger National Park (3)
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May 3rd, 2004, 12:04 AM
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Roccco,

Hold your horses. Three nights in Hermanus is way to much. Even two nights would be a push, however if you want to go sharking then two days would be right. You might well get bored stiff after 2 days so please be aware of the problem with regard to 3 nights. Also be aware that the shark diving does not take place in Hermanus as it all happens at Gansbaai (Close to Grootbos)which is about 30 km from Hermanus. The shark dive operator will collect you at your place of stay on the day of the dive.

What bothers me about your intinerary budget is that you are not including car hire and with that said I assume that you wont be using this facility. With that said I must warn that to be without a car in Hermanus would certainly be problematic especially when you are whale watching as you travel from spot to spot as you see whales or as the reports of sitings come in. There is no other practical way of doing things. You could walk the Hermanus shoreline and could very well do some spotting as this generally works well but when it comes to a day when whales are scarce to be seen a car is essential. Furthermore dont even entertain the idea of staying at a place like Tsala or travelling on the Garden Route without a car. It simply cannot be done!

I dont know Misty Beach Cateau however I do know where it is located and I feel the location is good. In terms of quality I supsect it will be fine however from my own expereince in Hermanus no matter what the web pictures say I would say dont expect 5 star stuff. At some stage I will go and take a look at this venue (I hope to be doing a tourguide recognisance in July with two other tourguide friends) and will report back then. The same apples to Atlantic House which I hope to do a recce on in the near future as I dont know the venue.

As far as Phantom Forest is concerned please go to

http://www.fodors.com/forums/pgMessa...phantom+forest

where you will see my thoughts on the venue.

Hope all of the above helps.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
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May 3rd, 2004, 03:04 AM
  #9
 
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Rocco,

I agree - 3 nights in Hermanus is way too much. We stayed at Misty on Sea in their best suite and could watch the whales from our bed. It was very affordable, and the news owners were very nice.

Check out www.athollhouse.com in Camps Bay - we are staying there for a week in October and it looks stunning. They have given us a rate of 1100 rand (I think) a night per room.

I second Monkeyland as it is a hoot for an hour or so, and if your are going to do the Tsitsikama Forest the then treetop tour is a must do. Really fun.

Melissa
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