Help with booking trip!


Feb 22nd, 2006, 12:03 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 123
Help with booking trip!


Myself, my husband and my parents (late twenties and mid-fifties) are hoping to visit South Africa for two weeks next February.

We would like to go to Cape Town and spend 10-11 days there, exploring the area and also relaxing on a beach. In addition, we would like to spend 2-3 nights on safari.

My questions are:

I didn't fancy having to get a flight to Kruger, so can anyone recommend a closer safari, I have looked at Shamwari Game Reserve and Im presuming that the East Cape is close to Cape Town - is this correct?

Which would be the best area to book a hotel in Cape Town given that we would like to spend a bit of time sunbathing on the beach? In the evening, we like going for meals and then being able to have a walk (promenade of some kind?) and then having a quiet drink somewhere.

We would also like to hire a car for the time we are in Cape Town - can you recommend any good local companies?

Would you suggest we did the safari first or at the end of our trip?

Finally, do you think spending all our days in Cape Town is the best idea or would you break this down by 6 days staying centrally in Cape Town and then a further 5 days on a beach somewhere further along the coast and then 3 days at a Safari?

Many thanks for your help, it is much appreciated.

SallyKate is offline  
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Feb 22nd, 2006, 02:15 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 123
I have done a bit more research and Im now thinking:

27 Jan - Flight to Cape Town to arrive following day

28 Jan - 3 Feb - Cape Town (need hotel recommendation as above still)

4 Feb - drive to Knysna (is this on the garden route??)

5 Feb - spend day in Knysna

6 Feb - Leave Knysna for Schotia / Port Elizabeth

If I want to do a 2 night safari, should I stay at Schotia itself or at a hotel in Port Elizabeth and get a package, or perhaps Addo? Suggestions would be gratefully recieved!

6 Feb - 8 Feb Safari

8 Feb - start making way back to Cape town - where should I stop on the way back??

9 Feb - Day spent at ???

10 Feb - Drive from ??? to Capetown to catch flight home

Can anyone give me feedback on the above and help fill in the blanks?

SallyKate is offline  
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Feb 22nd, 2006, 02:53 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,501
Hello SallyKate,

Nice to know that some people can travel with their parents without committing patricide and/or matricide!

You have a couple of choices in Cape Town. If you plan to spend most of your time on the beach, a place in one of the oceanfront suburbs like Camps Bay or Bantry Bay might suit you best. However, if you stay in one of these areas you almost certainly want to rent a car, as doing anything other than going to the beach (dining, sightseeing, etc) will involve a drive into the city centre.

If, on the other hand, you only plan to visit the beach occasionally, you may be happier with a place in the CIty Bowl. A place in Green Point/De Waterkant or Tamboerskloof would be well-situated for seeing most of the sights, and would enable you to walk to local restaurants.

If you enjoy wine and food, you'll probably want to spend some time (3-4 days) in the Cape Winelands as well as in Cape Town itself. You can then move from the Winelands to the Garden Route. Knysna is a very pretty little town which makes a good base for exploring the Garden Route.

I would recommend doing at least three days on safari, probably towards the end of your trip. Two days isn't enough to experience the bush.

I wouldn't recommend Shamwari as a location for your safari -- it's not very good value for money for a group your size, and the experience is very tame. Addo has lots of elephants, but not much in the way of other animals.

I'd recommend taking a look at Kwandwe Game Reserve, which would offer a much better safari experience. Kwandwe is about 1 hour and 45 minutes from Port Elizabeth.

Is there a particular reason you planned to drive back to Cape Town, rather than flying out of PE?

Feel free to drop me an email if you have any other questions.

jasher is offline  
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Feb 25th, 2006, 11:58 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 83
WE were in SA first time in Sept/Oct 2005. We had 4 days at CT then had the hire car delivered and drove through winelands and Little Karoo - stopping on route for a couple of nights at some great B&Bs. Drove onto Knysna for 2 nights and from there to Shamwari - we had a fantastic time at Shamwari - the whole experience was outstanding. Set off back for quite a long drive along the Garden Route to Mossell Bay for 2 nights, followed by last 2 nights at Bettys Bay (very quiet place though) then lovely scenic drive to airport where we dropped the car for flight home. The only thing we done wrong was to not make it 3 wqeeks instead of just over 2. The distances are huge and don't underestimate this. SA is a feast for the eyes I envy you - we plan to go back during the World Cup! Enjoy every minute and if you go to Shamwari as them about the pensioner who sang "show me the way to Armarillo" (tipsy on a night drive). Not me, my mother-in-law!
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