Cities to See

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Apr 8th, 2004, 10:14 AM
  #1
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Cities to See

Now that I have planned my vacation for this year...I am in need of planning another one!!!

I have to be planning a vacation in order to feel like I am living!!! Can't wait to research the next place and finally get there! I work to vacation!

I think (assuming US Airways doesn't crash and burn along with my FF miles) the Star Alliance and Lufthansa can get me to South Africa in 2005/2006. Probably have to fly into JHB.

Which months are best for moderate weather and avoid tons of rain/drought/flooding conditions???

I would love to see some sort of Wildlife/Safari type area but also want to experience the cities!

Which cities are better than others in terms of safety? Unique architecture or natural landscapes??

I would probably have 2 weeks. We are not ones to hang out and sip coffee for several hours in a cafe a la Paris style. We prefer to be on the go go go! I don't vacation to relax. I love taking photos, watching animals (that I can do for hours), beautiful natural scenery... Not into hanging out on the beach...I can do that in St Simon's while visiting my parents for FREE.

I have read the Lonely Planet online guides.

Also...what is there of interest in Durban or Sandton (Hilton points ...free lodging) and has anyone used RCI locations near any wildlife "parks"?? I only need a nice, hot, clean shower and comfortable bed to sleep in. Nothing fancy required.
alise is offline  
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Apr 8th, 2004, 10:15 AM
  #2
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darnit should have been more specific in my title.....UGH Picked SA from the drop down list and didn't think to add it to the title.

forgive me!

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Apr 8th, 2004, 11:26 AM
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Hello Alise,

I answered a question about timing in this discussion thread:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34485747

As for the larger cities, my favourite South African city is Cape Town, and my second favourite is Durban. Traci, who is a Durbanite and a Fodorite, would argue that Durban is Number One. The fact is that both Cape Town and Durban are situated in pleasing locations.

Cape Town, with its mediterranean climate, is best visited in the southern hemisphere autumn or summer. Durban, with its subtropical climate, is best visited in the autumn, winter or spring (IMO).

Aside from its physical beauty (juxtaposition of mountains and ocean) , Cape Town's history has resulted in an interesting mix of Black African, Malay, Afrikaans (derived from Dutch), and British influences.

Durban also has an interesting mix of cultures. There the dominant influences are Black African, British and East Indian.

If you have only two weeks in South Africa, I recommend that you spend zero time in Johannesburg (other than whatever time is necessary for landing and transferring to another flight or renting a car). In the past I have answered questions when people have said something like, "I have two days to spend in Johannesburg. How can I pass the time?" In cases such as those, I've responded that they can visit Gold Reef City, go on a tour of Soweto township, and so on. However, I've only said that because their two day stay in Johannesburg already seems to have been written in stone.

Johannesburg does not have a beachfront or riverfront area. It is where it is only because it grew out of a gold mining camp that happened to be in that spot by an accident of fate. Cape Town and Durban are much more fortunately situated, IMO.

Your best bet, IMO, is April, with some time spent viewing wildlife in the Kruger National Park or one of the nearby private game reserves in the province of Mpumalanga, followed by some time in Cape Town and its wine producing hinterland. You may even be able to squeeze in a drive along the beautiful Garden Route (the coast between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth).

In the thread to which I provided a link, I explained in some detail the pros and cons of each season in each region of South Africa.

Hope this helps.
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Apr 12th, 2004, 05:34 AM
  #4
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Judy,

Thank you sooo much! Your information was quite helpful!

It sounds like Spring/Fall would be the best times to avoid extremes--and of course being married to the very AVID college football fan (season tix) SPRING would be the best time to go!

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