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Garden Route, South Africa: Most inspiring spot for YOU??

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Sep 15th, 2012, 03:12 PM
  #1
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Garden Route, South Africa: Most inspiring spot for YOU??

Which spot along the Garden Route in South Africa inspires you the most in spring (September)?

I'm working on our itinerary for our first trip to incredible South Arica for spring 2013 (September). Since we are spending time in Cape Town/Cape Peninsula, and on the west coast, we only have time to spend 3 or 4 nights in 1 "base" on the Garden Route. We will have a rental car.

I'm curious...which spot inspires you the most along the Garden Route in spring?

I'm a dreamy poet who loves great food and my husband is a biologist. We are both looking for inspiration, great scenery, tasty food and romance in South Africa. And did I forget to mention natural stands of wildflowers and sunny weather?

Sorry previously posted this question on the wrong forum.
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Sep 15th, 2012, 04:04 PM
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Hello again Melissa5,

The 360 degree view of the stunning coastline and Indian Ocean from the top of Featherbed Nature Reserve - just ouside of Knysna. You ca only raach it by ferry. Impossibly beautiful and impressive.
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Sep 16th, 2012, 02:37 PM
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baraca: That sounds awesome! Thanks for sharing your favorite inspiring spot on the garden route.
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Sep 16th, 2012, 11:14 PM
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My favorite is Tsistikamma NP. Although it is quite a busy place but I like it. Different place and different culture for me.
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Sep 19th, 2012, 10:16 AM
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Africauntamed: tsitsikamma NP sounds beautiful. thanks for sharing your favorite place on the garden route.
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Sep 20th, 2012, 06:08 AM
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Have you considered a stay at Grootbos?
http://www.grootbos.com/en/home/

Hog Hollow is my personal favorite, but it seems like Grootbos would suit your style more.
http://www.hog-hollow.com/
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Sep 20th, 2012, 08:42 AM
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I liked the area around Knysna. The views of the ocean were fabulous, and even tho the little town is somewhat touristy - I liked it. Small, walkable, and picturesque.
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Sep 21st, 2012, 08:42 AM
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Hi Melissa5

Split it up into 2 hotels along the Garden Route. That way you will be able to see much more as your travel time will be reduced.

Yours on Safari
Mark
Taga Safaris Africa
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Sep 22nd, 2012, 01:04 PM
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Femi: Thanks. Now I'm curious and I will compare Grootbos and Hog Hollow. I'm still open to many places on the Garden Route, and we like to have some moderate choices as well as some splurge choices on our trip.
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Sep 22nd, 2012, 02:19 PM
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Grcxx3: Knysna area sounds nice. Also, the area around Knysna, Wilderness, and Mossel Bay isn't too far to drive from Cape Town. I am thinking that a few nights in that area would be good. But We don't like to move our "bases" too often so I gotta choose our "bases" carefully.

Taga_Safaris: Thanks for the suggestion to choose 2 hotels along the Garden route. That's what I want to do. The only trouble is that if we stay in Cape Town, and also on the west coast, and also along the Garden Route...we may not have enough time to do justice to all of those wonderful places. I thought it might help me decide to hear about everyone else's favorites. Sometimes something just "rings a bell" when other people share.
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Sep 22nd, 2012, 02:40 PM
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I too liked Tsitsikamma NP. Nice place to hike and how often to you get to walk this type of bridge were a river meets an ocean:

http://globitude.com/picture/5779/fullsize
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Sep 23rd, 2012, 08:34 AM
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Melissa5

Whew, the West Coast as well. Personally I think you are pushing it, in fact I know you are. I have seen it many times with guests who try to squeeze in as many destinations as they can thinking it will be their only trip to Africa. Don't do it, as Africa has a way of hooking you and you will be back. I have a guest who has just booked his 23rd Safari with me.
Rather decide on one area and focus on it and enjoy it for what it is. You certainly don't want your African Experience to be one of consistent driving and transfers.

Yours on Safari
Mark
Taga Safaris Africa
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Sep 23rd, 2012, 11:34 AM
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Mark, I am so with you there. There is something 'magnetic' about Africa - everyone who visits once, wants to visit again. Melissa5, I am sure you will be back - allow enough time to enjoy what you decide to do.

As for favourite spots along the Garden Route - I love Vic Bay (Victoria Bay) - it is situated between George and Wilderness and is the most amazing little spot but, don't expect to find fancy accommodation or restaurants there however, George is just a couple of minutes away and there are plenty of places to eat there.
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Sep 23rd, 2012, 03:54 PM
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Taga_Safaris & Kaapie: I sure appreciate hearing your viewpoints. I definitely want to avoid a trip that feels like an "African blur". We want to slow down and really enjoy and appreciate a few special areas. It's very tough to know which places will be best in the spring, for a first visit, and that will please both the poet in me and the biologist in my husband!

Cape Town area makes a wonderful base as there is tons to interest both of us in the area.

It gets a lot tougher when I try to choose between the west coast and the Garden Route! The west coast is calling to the biologist in my husband. However the Garden Route calls me more than the West Coast.

Taga_safaris: South Africa is my husband's choice, and he is hoping I will get hooked on Africa and want to return and explore more places! So my job is to book a trip that will please both of us.

There is plenty of info on the Garden Route, but not so much info on the west coast & Cederberg area.
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Sep 24th, 2012, 09:23 AM
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Melissa5

Isn't marriage just pure bliss? You guys are going to have to compromise.

As a poet I think in fact I know the West Coat will Blow your Mind Away. Go their and chill out and write the best poetry you have ever done in your life. Forget the Garden Route on this trip. Go with your husbands instincts. You will Love it.

In Africa we have a saying and that is "Hurry up and Wait".
So if you want to write poetry focus on one thing at a time.

Yours on Safari
Mark
Taga Safaris Africa
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Sep 24th, 2012, 04:08 PM
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Mark: I love your advice! Sometimes it's refreshing to hear somebody commit wholeheartedly to their answer. Sometimes guidebooks can be unhelpful, as they tend to say everywhere is lovely. That doesn't help me decide. I even think it's delightful when 2 people try to convince me of opposite viewpoints. It really helps! I have a quote in a booklet I bought from an artist/writer in Ireland who stays on deserted islands with another artist to get some work done. He said that he needed to slow down so that he could get more work done. Most people would say the opposite, that they need to speed up so they can get more work done!

Taga_Safaris: Mark, since you have been following this discussion I"d be curious to see what you would recommend... Today I had a new idea. What if we just saw the Cape Town area (including peninsula, Cape area parks, etc.) and then the west coast with Cederberg...and instead of the garden route, flew to a non-malaria camp? HOWEVER the trouble is, neither of us is interested in photographing a lion with his kill, nor are we attached to checking the Big 5 off our list. I think we are both more interested in "absorbing" the natural environment, each in our own way, in a scenic and accessible natural environment. My husband, being a biologist, will notice right away if we try to stay in a camp or do a safari which is more like a contrived zoo. He likes native flora & fauna in it an environment which is relatively undisturbed, yet still accessible for us. (Yes I know that's sort of a contradiction! )

Trouble is, if I tried to add a fly-in experience to a camp...would have no idea which one to pick which would be malaria-free and still satisfy both of us...the biologist and the poet.

My measure of a good trip is how much poetry and creative writing I come home with! Honestly it's true. Husband might be most excited if he spotted a rare tortoise or a cool rare plant growing in a natural stand of plants. We are also happiest when we realize we are BOTH happy.

EVERYBODY: Anyone, please feel free to add your tips and opinions! I find it most helpful when people give me advice that is as subjective as possible. Sometimes objectivity is annoyingly fake.

I think I'm the type of person who would rather hear a lion roar in the distance, and enjoy great natural scenery and be comfortable. I don't think I'd be happy stuck in a jeep tour with a bunch of avid photographers clicking away. Doesn't seem too peaceful. Also my biologist husband would want to get out of the jeep and wander away into the brush. I know I know, not allowed. He doesn't usually hike where there are predators!
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Sep 26th, 2012, 07:55 AM
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Melissa5

I agree sticking with Cape Town and the West Coast and Cederberg and if a so called Big 5 Safari is NOT on your wishlist then look towards Namibia. It seems to me that Namibia will also blow both of you away and fulfill both of your desires. Namibia is a very different country and similar to the West Coast in some respects. Look at places like Sossusvlei, Damaraland, Kunene and the Skeleton Coast. Leave out Etosha as that is not what you are after.
Hope I helped

Yours on Safari
Mark
Taga Safaris Africa
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Oct 22nd, 2012, 04:01 PM
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Thanks Taga_Safaris.
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