Capetown or Durban

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Mar 1st, 2005, 08:35 AM
  #1
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Capetown or Durban

I'm going to South Africa and Botswana in May with a group of students in a master's degree program with me. Our itinerary currently includes both Capetown and Durban, but we are over budget and may have to cut one. Would love to hear any opinions on which one is better and why - and spots not to be missed in either place. Thanks,
Karen
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Mar 1st, 2005, 09:46 PM
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Despit being a Durbs boy "born and bred" (but now living in Jo'burg), I have to say that there will be more variety in Cape Town. Unless you have time to visit any of the game parks in Northern Kwa-Zulu Natal.

The time of year is sometimes a factor (Durban in Winter being a far more pleasant prospect than Cape Town), but probably not in May.
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Mar 2nd, 2005, 12:47 AM
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I think it's important to know what the master's program is about. For instance, if the program was about "The rise and fall of King Shaka Zulu" you'd have to go to Durban!
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Mar 2nd, 2005, 08:30 AM
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And if the program is about cane or banana agriculture, you'd have to go with Durbs, but otherwise, no contest -- Cape Town!
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Mar 3rd, 2005, 04:02 AM
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What ^^^they^^^ said!

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Mar 3rd, 2005, 10:28 AM
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Cape Towm, Durban is a nasty highrise tourist trap.
Richard,
Photos of South Africa and a few othetr places.
http://www.franceinfocus.net
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Mar 3rd, 2005, 11:01 AM
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rdkr- That elephant in Tsavo without a trunk was something I've never seen. I can not imagine how the poor thing got to be as big as he is unless he only was fed by hand or his mother. Did you get a story as to why he had no trunk? Accident of birth or just accident?
Nice photos, but that one was very curious and sad. Thanks. Liz
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Mar 9th, 2005, 04:36 PM
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Sorry I'm just now getting back to answering the question about the master's program. It's because I had a 10-page paper - on Botswana's economy - due today! I'm finished - YAY!
The program is at the National Defense University (National War College) and my degree will be in National Security Strategy. It's a broad program - kind of a political science type thing - but there's an opportunity to focus on a particular region. We have a class on that area and then get to take our trip! Pretty cool. So... if that helps, would be interested in any other thoughts. We want to be exposed to various aspects of the culture. I've never been to Africa before and am SOOO excited. As it gets closer, I'll have more questions, I'm sure.
Karen
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Mar 11th, 2005, 01:18 AM
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Hi Karen

Given your field of interest I say go to Durban, and not just because I'm a Durban girl. This area has much more in terms of military history, last outpost of the British empire, the Zulu empire, the anglo boer war etc, etc.

It is NOT a "nasty highrise tourist trap" as Richard put it. Durban is rich in diverse cultural heritage, mixing Zulu, British and Indian with a vast range of points of interest - and you won't run into other tourists day in and day out. (And having just returned from 4 days in Cape Town I'm sad to say that it's turning into a tourist trap!)

In terms of weather, May will most definitely be better in Durban than in Cape Town.

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Mar 11th, 2005, 02:06 AM
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Hear hear Traci! My earlier "advice" was following the standard game park/wineries line. But that's not the be all and end all.

And if you have ANY inclination to swim in the ocean, then there's no contest! MUCH warmer water on the KwaZulu-Natal coast, no matter what side of the Cape Peninsula you compare.

April/May IMHO are the best months weather-wise in the region. Milder than the heat and humidity of February but still "tropical", and without the winds of Spring.
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Mar 11th, 2005, 11:48 AM
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It looks we have good news - we got a lower airfare than anticipated so it looks like we'll get to keep BOTH Durban and Capetown (as well as Johannesburg, Gabarone, and Chobe)! Thanks for your responses - I'd have been terribly disappointed to have had to cut either place. So... my NEXT questions will be must-sees in each - especially Durban. If anyone has suggestions, please let me know. The embassy in SA will be helping us plan specifics, but would love to hear your ideas on things they might not come up with!
Thanks,
Karen
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