Cape Town


Sep 28th, 2002, 06:27 PM
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Cape Town

Can someone explain is there any difference between private game reserve and safari drive?In most package tours they have 2 games and do you think that if I only allocate 1 day for this game thing will be enough (as I intend not to follow any tour but to do on my own)and about the cost of this game,can give some details?Beside the sun and the beach are there any other places of interest as I can't swim.To have 2-3 days in CT I wonder where to go and how about safety?Heard so many bad news at the same time heard it is so beautiful!Lastly is MAy or Sept a good time?Thks Florence Singapore
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Sep 30th, 2002, 02:07 AM
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Hi Florence

I will try to answer some of your questions ...
In South Africa there are a number of National Parks Board (government operated) game reserves. These are open to the public at a fee usually on a per vehicle basis. Within these game reserves there is accommodation for hire. The best known of this type is Kruger National Park. Then you have the private reserves which for the most part have private lodges/resorts/hotels. The biggest difference is that the private operations (aside from being much more expensive) have game drives with rangers/trackers/guides. You therefore have a much better chance of seeing any wildlife than you do in the National Parks Board operations. The national parks are pretty good, but a very different experience to the private game reserves. I guess it depends greatly on what is important to you. If you really want to see some wildlife and have never been into the bush before, I would not recommend that you take your own car and set off into the wide blue yonder - you are unlikely to track much down. The game rangers will also be able to give you valuable information about what you are actually looking at! One day is very short - I would recommend 1.5 at least as this will give you enough time for an afternoon/evening and early morning drive. The price range at game reserves is very wide - depending on location and facilities. Most structure on a full board basis including all game drives - you need only pay for your drinks. There is a lot to do in SA aside from the sun and sea - I will focus on Cape Town for you as you appear to be interested. Take the cable car up Table Mountain, spend a day driving through the winelands, take a drive down the Peninsula to Cape Point, take the ferry out to Robben Island, spend a day on a township tour. Search for "Cape Town" under the South Africa postings for lots of good suggestions from locals and visitors. On safety - statistics released last week (and disputed by many) have put the Western Cape province as the most dangerous area but I want to stress that this is really not such an issue. What causes this is the very unfortunate situation on the Cape Flats where gansterism is rife and violent crime by locals against locals is common. However, as a South African I have never felt unsafe in Cape Town. You just need to follow the same common sense rules you would in any other big city: keep your valuables secure; don't wander around dark places by yourself at night; watch out for pick-pockets; stick with reputable tour operators. If you do hire a vehicle, keep your doors locked and windows closed and be alert when stopped at intersections. May and September are both okay - but I would recommend September as you can then include some whale watching on your itinerary in Cape Town. Also - your game vewing should be better. May will be just after the rainy season, so the bush will be thick and you will battle to spot any game. September is just after winter and the rains will just have started (hopefully!) so you will be able to see much more wildlife. I hope all this helps.
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