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Help in planning 12 days itinerary

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Mar 19th, 2016, 06:09 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Dec 2012
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Help in planning 12 days itinerary

Hi there,

Need help of all you lovely people in finalising my itinerary for South Africa (22nd April to 3rd May)

The tentative itinerary is as follows:

Day 1-2: Jo'burg
Day 3-5 - Sun city
Day 6-8 - Kynsna
Day 9-11 - Cape Town
Day 12 - Return

In the alternative:

Day 1-2: Jo'burg
Day 3-5 - Sun city
Day 6-7 - Amakhala Game Reserve
Day 8 - Kynsna
Day 9-11 - Cape Town
Day 12 - Return

Have following doubts:

1. In option 1 we are planning to do day safari in Pilanesberg as a day tour from Sun City

2. Which of the 2 options is better? In terms of cost the option with Amakhala is costing us ZAR 7000 extra. Is it worth? I mean is the experience of staying inside the reserve worth that much because safari we can do in option 1 as well as a day tour.

3. What all we can do in Jo'burg since we will have 2 full days?

4. Things to do in Suncity

5. What are the attractions which we can visit:
a. Enroute Port Elizabeth to Knysna - Option 2
b. Enroute George to Knsysna - Option 1
c. Enroute Knysna to Cape Town

6. Things to do in Knysna

As far as bookings are concerned though I have done all hotel bookings as per option 1 but most of them are cancellable besides Sun City. Keeping that in mind if there are any other options that are better than the above 2 they are more than welcome.

Sorry for sounding so naive on the itinerary. But this is something that the travel agent had suggested. This is why seeking help from all you experts.

Thanks in advance

Shveta
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Mar 19th, 2016, 05:25 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,285
Sun City is like a cheap Las Vegas. I'm not sure what the attraction is.

Most of us just travel through Joberg - what do you plan there?

Why Knysha? Will you have a car? Without a car it's difficult to see anything but the little town.

Only 2 nights in Cape Town is not enough to see much.

If you don't visit Amakhala, you don't have any safari. Pilanesberg is just a day trip - wildlife is most active early and late in the day so you miss the best part.

With twelve days, I would have planned a very different trip with more time in Cape Town, a 3-4 night visit to Kruger - the premier safari destination, and possibly a few nights seeing more of the Garden route (including Knysha).

Without knowing your interests it's hard to give recommendations.
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Mar 19th, 2016, 11:57 PM
  #3
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Thanks Christabir for your reply.

The initial plan in suncity was to spend one day exploring the place including the water park and the next day we planned to do safari in the Pilanesberg National Park as a day trip. But somebody suggested that if we are going to South Africa we should not miss staying in the game reserve. This is why the whole change is being thought of.

Yes we will have a car to reach Knysna from George / Amakhala and onwards. In Cape Town we have 3 nights.

In my itinerary only suncity is non refundable else everything can be reworked.

So please suggest the alternate itinerary given that we arrive in Jo'berg and leave from Cape Town.

If going to Sun City is totally a waste I will rethink cancelling it too.

My prime interest is to see the best of South Africa including a safari.

Thanks in advance
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Mar 20th, 2016, 12:06 AM
  #4
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To add we are not too much into animals so 2 days for a safari are a maximum for us.
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Mar 20th, 2016, 03:32 PM
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You could do Cape Town for 5 nights and then enjoy the Garden Route for a week, including a few nights in Addo Elephant Park. Since wildlife isn't a priority, don't spend a lot of money - stay in Addo in the surprisingly nice accommodations there and do game drives and lots of other activities on your own. See www.SanParks.org for info on Addo. It's a nice park.

If you can't cancel the Sun City part, go when you land at JNB and then head down to Cape Town. There's lots to do in CT and don't miss the Cape of Good Hope and the penguins at Boulder Beach. If you might enjoy the winelands, add a night or two doing that. Just know the country is very proud of their wines and offer nice options everywhere. It's not necessary to visit the winelands to enjoy great wine if you're not into that.

Or to save travel time, you could fly from JNB to Port Elizabeth and enjoy the Garden Route, Addo and the coast and end in Cape Town. That would be the best option, I think.

If you want beach time, the area near Durban has great beaches and it's much warmer than Cape Town. You can fly there from JNB and have some beach time, then to PE..... It depends on what you prefer.

S Africa is beautiful. Lots to do, things for everyone to enjoy. No matter what you choose, you'll love it. I think you might like the safari part more than you think you will.
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Mar 26th, 2016, 12:24 AM
  #6
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"Or to save travel time, you could fly from JNB to Port Elizabeth and enjoy the Garden Route, Addo and the coast and end in Cape Town. That would be the best option, I think. "

Even I think this is the best option.

Can you suggest what all can we see when we head on the Garden Route from PE besides Addo?

How is Amakhala Game Reserve?

Thanks again
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Mar 26th, 2016, 12:28 PM
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That is an excellent option. We did it in reverse order in 2012, after having a more extensive safari in Zimbabwe. We drove from Cape Town to Wilderness (a lovely town/area on the Garden Route), visited Knsyna (it is a lovely town) and drove on to Addo where we spent 2 nights in a "permanent tent." We originally planned to cook for ourselves, but found the restaurant on site was quite good enough. It was enjoyable self-driving around the park. If this is going to be your only "safari" experience, I would suggest signing up for at least one game drive with the rangers.

Obviously you will be coming in the reverse direction Do a search here for Garden Route, and I am sure you will find many trip reports. When we went back to Cape Town from Addo, we took an inland route and made our way to Prince Albert, drove through Meiringsport You can drive through the Swartberge Pass to Oudtshoorn if you are feeling brave.and enjoyed staying there for 2 nights. You can drive through the Swartberge Pass to and or from Oudtshoorn if you are feeling brave. You would probably prefer taking the coastal route (vs try it inland which we did) and head up to Prince Albert from George if you wanted to. There is a lot to see on the coast. The scenery is absolutely extraordinary. Mountains, coastal towns, flowering trees...what's not to like? We didn't have the best weather on our trip, but still there was a lot to enjoy. I have 2 trip reports from the same trip, but the one that covers Addo and Prince Albert is titled "Long awaited Return to Southern Africa!" If you click on my name, you will see my profile, just scroll down to the Trip Reports and you can find it.
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Mar 28th, 2016, 11:35 PM
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This is just personal opinion, but I would prefer the inland route suggested above. Much of the Garden Route is on a highway (N2). Knysna is very nice, but be prepared for slo-o-o-w traffic, overcrowded restaurants, no parking space. The inland route is stunning: from George to Oudtshoorn (a lovely and easy-to-drive mountain pass), then Du Rust (buy ginger beer at the first shop on the right called 'Die groen wakis'; keep it to drink at the waterfall in Meiringspoort), on to Prince Albert (many excellent places where you can spend a night), and on and on to Montague (also a nice option to spend a night), then down to Cape Town ... . Smaller roads, fewer tourists. It depends on what you prefer. Along the coast you find forests, streams, beautiful beaches (Wilderness is my favourite). If you turn inland you find the Karoo with rugged mountains, amazing scenery, smaller towns. Whatever you choose will be a good choice. I agree that, with so much to experience, Johannesburg can safely be skipped. If you have already booked and payed for Sun City (Sin City for the locals), do go and enjoy the natural beauty in the surroundings. The place itself is just a casino with trimmings, but I still love that area of South Africa - so totally different from the rest of it. You can safely spend a week in Cape Town and not waste a single day. Even if you are not much into wines, do go on a day trip to Stellenbosch and visit a few farms on the wine route - it is truely beautiful.

Happy planning!
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Apr 7th, 2016, 08:16 AM
  #9
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Thanks uhoh_busted and Kovsie for the wonderful insight ... I guess I would go with the Inland route ... a slight correction, we would be moving to Cape Town from Port Elizabeth ... does that change the scenario anyhow?

Also, Kovsie when you say. "enjoy the natural beauty in the surroundings", can you suggest a few places?

I was thinking of utilising my days reserved for sun city in visiting the panorama route upto the canyon and come back to Joburg to catch our flight to Port Elizabeth. Is this a feasible option in 1-2 days? If yes, I was thinking of spending one day in Sun City and then the balance 2 days on panorama route. In that case would we need to come back to Joburg to go on the panorama route or is there a way to do it directly from Sun City.

uhoh_busted, would certainly go through your trip report and come back with more queries.

Thanks once again!
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Apr 8th, 2016, 07:52 AM
  #10
 
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Just next to Sun City is the Pilansberg Nature Reserve. Lovely!
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Apr 12th, 2016, 11:19 AM
  #11
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Thanks again!
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