Cape /Town/Garden Route - a few comments

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Feb 5th, 2003, 10:03 AM
  #1
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Cape /Town/Garden Route - a few comments

Just got back from Cape Town and Kynsna - wow! will definitely be
returning. Was knocked out by my first visit to South Africa.

First, many thanks to Selwyn for your instructions on how to get from the
airport to our hotel - made everything nice and simple, we knew exactly which lane to get in etc. We found driving in Cape Town, and along the Garden Route very easy, if you're used to driving in town you would have no problem. Once you are out of town the roads seem deserted compared to the
UK. The only scary moment for me was parallel parking up at Table Mountain
by the cable car - backing the car into a space with a sheer drop on the other side... gulp!

We stayed at the Cullinan, which is a large Holiday Inn-ish type hotel, which we liked, might not be everyone's cup of tea. Now the Cullinan's blurb tells you they are opposite the entrance to the Waterfront.
This strictly speaking isnt true... its about a 7/8 minute walk down the road, no problem during the day and we did walk back at night a couple of times but I wouldnt like to walk back from the Waterfront on my own. But.. having said that, taxis are sooooo cheap.

In fact.... compared to UK prices everything is cheap. If you like M&S in
UK, drop into Woolworths, nothing like our Woolworths, just like M&S back home (one in the city and one in the Waterfront), you'll find lots of inexpensive tshirts etc here. Good food hall here too if you plan to
picnic. Kirstenbosch Gardens was a nice trip out of town for a picnic,doesnt take long to get there. You can also do a quick visit to Groot Constantia on the way back for some wine tasting.

Re prices - next time I won't bother packing any toiletries - I will just
pick them up in the PicknPay or wherever for a fraction of the price - all the brand names you get in the UK are available.

So, we had a week in Cape Town, did all the touristy things, everything run very efficiently, service both excellent and friendly wherever we went (now that made a real change from the UK I can tell you....) Out of all the things to do in Cape Town I would definitely recommend the District 6 museum - really brings home to you the complete social devastation that aparthied brought - its not just political history. For various reasons we didnt do a
Township tour which I know Selwyn recommends but maybe next time.

Then had a week in Kynsna. This takes about 5 hours drive, but as I say its
an easy drive and plenty of garages with cafes and loos to stop off at along
the way, if you dont want to stop off in a town. That stretch along the Garden Route just knocked me out - think Cumbria/Scotland scenery, multiply
that some and then throw in some beautiful deserted beaches and you've got it. Oh yeah... sunshine too. Bliss. The only hiccup we had was booking a trip on the steam train to George - we booked with Kontours for them to drive us to George, so we could get the train back... they didn't turn up. Phoned them, got an answerphone... they didnt get back to us. So I dont
know what happened there. Never mind, we can do it next year!

Two definite recommendations - if you're driving along the N2 towards Tsitsikamma, from Kynsna, do make a stop at Bloukrans Pass for amazing bungee jumping (yeah, you're right, I was just a spectator...) and also visit Nature's Valley - beautiful. The Kynsna elephants are cute too.

I've picked up some great tips on this site while researching so thanks for
everyone who's posted in the past. Hope my post will help a few of you out there, happy to answer any q's if you've got them. I'm happy to recommend bars/restaurants, anything else etc but I think its nice to amble along and try this and that out for oneself.

alison_in_london is offline  
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Feb 5th, 2003, 11:34 AM
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Hello

Glad you had a fantastic time, we are going in August to do the Cage diving with the great white Shark, however we will be going along the garden route on the way. Where did you stay along the garden route??

Also I have looked on the website at the elephants in Kynsna and are very intrested in going. How long do you need there are the elephants free roaming in a park land - are there any babys etc...

Thanks for your info on driving very useful to know

x
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Feb 6th, 2003, 03:31 AM
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Hi Barcardi..

We stayed at the Kynsna Quays Hotel, its down by the harbour, a Protea Hotel. Would recommend this if only as there are a few bars and restaurants a VERY short staggering distance away! Its about a 4/5 min walk up to the High Street, lots more there too. There is a very good tourist information office on the High Street in Knysna, very helpful staff and loads of leaflets for places to stay. You shouldnt have any difficulty at all finding a place to suit any budget in Knysna.

I think the elephants are definitely worth a visit, but I've never done a safari and wouldnt expect it would compare to that. There are five, two (I think) were originally a gift from the Kruger. You have to go with a guide, on a little bus type thing and you get driven down to a spot and dropped off, you can feed the elephants if you like. You get right up close and can stroke them too. They are really tame. No babies, but they are all lovely! If I remember rightly I think it takes about 45 mins, you get a short 5 min video first if you want to watch that.

Hope you have a great trip.
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