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Drive from Little KAROO to OVERBERG, or stop in Wilderness, SA?

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Apr 29th, 2013, 03:02 PM
  #1
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Drive from Little KAROO to OVERBERG, or stop in Wilderness, SA?

I'd love to have the advice of experienced fodorites to finish booking our first trip to the Western Cape of South Africa! We will be in the Western Cape in spring (September/ October.)

We have our flights booked and some of the accommodations. We aren't doing any safaris. We are seeing Cape Town, Cape Winelands, Cape Peninsula, west coast, Cederberg, Little Karoo...

And that leaves 3 nights at end of trip! How should we get from the Little Karoo back to Cape Town region? Which route is safe & scenic?

Considering driving from Little Karoo down to Wilderness, 1 night in Wilderness, then driving to the Overberg, and 2 nights in the Overberg. If we stay in the Overberg, our accommodation shouldn't be further than 2 hours from the Cape Town airport. OR DOES SOMEBODY HAVE A BETTER SUGGESTION?

Anybody have a favorite spot in the Overberg to recommend that's beautiful in late September/ early October which I think is early spring in the Overberg?

Then our flight home leaves out of the Cape Town International airport.

Thanks! My husband is a biologist who is passionate about exploring native flora and fauna. He doesn't want to do a safari on this trip. The larger mammals are NOT his favorite interest. I'm a dreamy poet who likes short, easy walks, inspiring scenery, wonderful, fresh food & good wine, meeting friendly folks, culture and music.
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Apr 30th, 2013, 07:04 AM
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Where in the Little Karoo would you be prior to your drive to the coast? It's quite a big area. Given your husband's interests, you might have a look at driving over Prince Alfred's Pass between Uniondale and Plettenberg Bay. We haven't done it, but am told it's a stunning drive (about an hour, but on a good gravel road.) That way you'd get to Plett, a lovely spot, and one that you might consider in lieu of Wilderness.

But before that, how long will you be spending on the west coast? Early September on the west coast - Paternoster, St. Helena Bay, West Coast National Park - is (IMO) about as beautiful as SA gets, and man, is that saying a lot. Wildflowers, birds... your husband (and you) will be in heaven. I'd really spend enough time out there to see it in depth, even if it meant cutting my time in other areas.
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Apr 30th, 2013, 08:05 AM
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We loved Wilderness. You may have the same problem we did last year, however, is that weather can be uncooperative. I would suggest staying 2 nights in Wilderness, however, and possibly your last night closer to CPT -- maybe Hermanus, vs. Overberg. The main road #2, is great, but driving on lesser roads can take much longer than you anticipate. Too bad you won't have time to go inland and over the mountain passes to Prince Albert and the Karoo. Something to save for your next trip!
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Apr 30th, 2013, 08:28 AM
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Certainly be wary of minor roads - we went into Hermanus a few months ago by the road south from Caledon, which we don't normally take. A 22 km detour that took most of an hour, and whne we got back onto the 'main' road it was under construction for lots more kilometers. Our guests were thrilled to see wilder scenery than around the Cape, but it took a lot longer than planned.

I have to say I agree about the west coast in September. We usually go to the Cape in November/December, when the weather in the Northern Hemisphere is bad, but would love to see the spring wildflowers.
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Apr 30th, 2013, 10:00 AM
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I have to say I agree about the west coast in September. We usually go to the Cape in November/December, when the weather in the Northern Hemisphere is bad, but would love to see the spring wildflowers.

A couple of samples (actually taken before the peak, in late August) from West Coast NP -

http://gardyloo.us/aug24b%20044s.JPG
http://gardyloo.us/aug24b%20066s.JPG

Paternoster

http://gardyloo.us/aug24b%20016s.JPG
http://gardyloo.us/aug24b%20026s.JPG
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Apr 30th, 2013, 08:37 PM
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Gardyloo: Here is our itinerary for our spring trip (September/October):

Fly into Cape Town
2 nights: Cape Winelands area
3 nights: Paternoster (with day-trip to West Coast Nat'l Park)
3 nights: Cederberg area
7 nights: Cape Town (with day-trips to Cape Peninsula)
6 nights: Little Karoo & maybe part of Garden route or Overberg?
Fly home from Cape Town

Gardyloo, you asked where we'll be staying in the Little karoo. I had a spot picked out but haven't received any confirmation of a reservation in over 4 days so I think I'd better pick a new place since we don't have a reservation. Not sure where to stay in Little Karoo, but we'd love to do the Swartberg Pass and see Prince Albert. THANKS FOR THE GORGEOUS PHOTOS!

Thanks for EVERYONE'S advice! Hoping to get this all worked out soon.
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May 6th, 2013, 06:02 AM
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Nice photos of Paternoster - looks familiar
http://cettesemaineacarlux.blogspot....llage-but.html

We went to Cederberg in January one year - not a good idea. The weather was in the 40's, and although we enjoyed seeing the cave art, which was what we went for, we couldn't take the heat, and fled home to the coast. More sensible to go in the spring.
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