How about this SA itinerary? :)

Dec 20th, 2003, 12:14 AM
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How about this SA itinerary? :)

We're going for either the last 2 weeks of Feb or the 1st 2 weeks of March. Here's what I'm considering:

2 nights Stellenbosch
3 nights Knysna
2 nights Mossel Bay - maybe 1 at Botlierskop and a day to see sharks
5 nights Capetown

That leaves 2 nights that we could spend somewhere in between. Any recommendations? I was thinking Swellendam, Hermanus or ?? We love the ocean, beautiful scenery, wild animals, hiking and interesting little towns. I'd also appreciate recommendations for accommodations that are under 1000 rand per night for a double.

I'd appreciate your opinions and advice! I've been trying to plan a trip to SA for a few years and now it's finally coming together! woo hooooo!!
Dec 20th, 2003, 01:10 AM
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Update! I'm pretty sure it will be Feb 14 - 29. I've just booked the Avanti Guesthouse in Capetown for the last 5 nights. Now for the other 9 nights...
Dec 21st, 2003, 12:39 AM
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Selwyn or anyone else? Any thoughts? Thanks!
Dec 21st, 2003, 11:40 AM
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Any recommendations for B&B's or guest houses in Stellenbosch, Hermanus and Swellendam (aside from the few that are heavily recommended on fodors) for under 1000R per night for a double?
Dec 21st, 2003, 02:00 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,097

Your present itinerary reads:

2 nights Stellenbosch

3 nights Knysna

2 nights Mossel Bay - maybe 1 at Botlierskop and a day to see sharks

5 nights Capetown

As far as the 2 nights in Stellenbosch are concerned I would opt to rather stay in the Franschhoek region at Cathbert Country House. Cathbert is a marvellous venue and as far as I am concerned it was the find of 2001 for me (yup thats how long I have been frequenting the venue) It is so peaceful and tranquil as the venue is set high up in the Franschhoek mountains. You wont hear a car. All you hear is nature around you and the scenery is to die for. The rooms are well appointed and spacious. The food is fantastic too. The location is absolutely first class in terms of wanting to explore the Winelands. Your hosts will be Robert and Ann Morley and they are marvellous people. In my opinion, as a tourism professional, I think it represents an absolute delight to want to stay at.

Please go to where you will see more of the venue. I have also taken some pics at the guesthouse and I set up a special separate website for you to use so as to help you in seeing what a gem Cathbert truly is. Go to to see the site that I set up.

Cathbert should also fall into your price bracket that you have requested.

If you dont want to stay at Cathbert an still want to opt for a Stellenbosch stay then I would recommend The Avenues a a place to stay.

3 Nights Knysna
Look no further than staying at Overmeer Guesthouse. You simply cannot do better.

2 nights Mossel Bay - maybe 1 at Botlierskop and a day to see sharks

What sharks? I dont think you will find shark cage diving in Mossel Bay!

Overnighting for a night in the tented village at Botlierskop is a great idea.

Last week I found a wonderful guesthouse in Mossel Bay by name of The Bay Lodge This guesthouse is slap bang on the sea and the hosts are fantastic people. I recommend this guesthouse highly.

In your free days I would stay over in Swellendam and I would recommend Braeside Lodge as a place to stay. Good location in Swellendam, good guesthouse, great host and one of the best breakfasts in the Cape

I would opt to travel Route 62 on your way down to Knysna and stop in at Oudtshoorn. In Oudtshoorn I would recommend that you stay at Rooderandt guesthouse and also make a point of having dinner at the guesthouse with the owners Pieter and Malett Fourie. This is a night you wont forget too easily.

If you travel to Knysna on the R62 then you should return to Cape Town via the N2. When doing this I would stay at Bay View and Botlierskop Bay on this part of your journey as well as Hermanus before returning to Cape Town.

You might want to opt for 2 nights at Bay View and simply visit Botlierskop (20 minutes away) on a day drive as this will be a cheaper option and it will also mean less packing up every day to move on to your next venue)

If you stay at Botlierskop I would NOT stay in Mossel Bay for 2 nights. The town simply does not call for a 2 night stay. All in all your stay at Botlierskop and Mossel Bay or only Mossel Bay should be a total of 2 nights. By doing this you will save a day and can allocate yourself a day of stay in Hermanus. In Hermanus I would opt to stay at the Auberge Burgundy.

So with that all said my suggestion to you itinerary wise would be:

Cathbert Country House - 2 nights

Oudtshoorn - Rooderandt - 1 night

Knysna - Overmeer - 3 nights

Mossel Bay - Bay View - 1 night
Mossel Bay - Botlierskop - 1 night
Mossel Bay - Bay View - 2 nights

Hermanus - Auberge Burgundy - 1 night

OK Peep I hope this helps you in your planning.

Selwyn Davidowitz
Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa

Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2003, 04:30 AM
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Thanks! Thanks! Thanks! Nuttin like first hand recommendations from a travel pro!

I've already booked Overmeer for 3 nights. And Avanti. Auberge Burgundy is full though. I agree about skipping the 2nd day in Mossel Bay. My guidebooks mentioned shark cage diving there as well as in Gansbaai, so we'll look into that for our time in Hermanus. Speaking of Hermanus, while we're there, is it worthy to drive down to the southern most point? How about Arniston?

Stellenbosch vs Franschoek has me a bit confused. I searched fodors and most recommended staying in Stellenbosch. Can you add anything to what's already been said about them?
Dec 22nd, 2003, 05:25 AM
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Overmeer wants a 50% non-refundable deposit. Is that standard? It seems a bit harsh to me. Not planning to cancel, of course, but if we had to, it doesn't sound like they'd be very understanding!
Dec 22nd, 2003, 11:18 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 251

That 50% deposit for two months hence does seem a bit steep, I'd think that 25% would be more acceptable. It's not like they will have any problems in selling the room if you should cancel.
re Arniston: I spent a few days there in October and found it charming. It's not as "touristy" as Hermanus.
traci_local_in_sa is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2003, 03:27 AM
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Can anyone please advise where we might want a/c during the 2nd half of Feb?
Dec 23rd, 2003, 07:53 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,097

Firstly with regard to the Overmeer deposit I have just spoken to Ludwig (Owner) at Overmeer and he assures me that the policy of Overmeer is to NOT deduct any deposits from any visitor's credit card other than 30 days before the guests arrival date. This means that there will be a 50% deposit that is non refundable deducted 30 days in advance of your arrival and in my opinion this is not an unfair practice as far as the guesthouse is concerned. May I suggest that if you feel unhappy about this or if you dont have it in writing that you contact Overmeer and they will verify the above for you as this is their official policy. I also know that you will definitely find that the owners of Overmeer are very reasonable folk not only with regard to deposits but also with regard to all else.


I am going to take the liberty of publishing your email to me that I received today. I much prefer to answer the type of questions that you have asked me in a public forum as I believe that all should gain from the advice that I pass on as opposed to you only if I respond to you in a private manner. Hope that you dont mind but that is the manner that I prefer to do things.


Hi Selwyn!

Considering you're the only person answering my posts, I figured it would be easier just to e-mail you. I hope you don't mind! I've been trying to plan this trip for a few years and it's finally working out! Yay!

Anyway... I have a tentative reservation at Overmeer but I'm a bit concerned
about the requirement for a 50% non-refundable deposit. I don't intend to cancel or change accommodations, but it is a few months away and who knows
what could happen. Is that sort of deposit normal? We travel a LOT and
never before have I paid a 50% deposit 2 months ahead that was completely

What is it about The Avenues that gets your recommendation? Have you heard
of Bonne Esperance? The Cathbert looks very nice, but we'd prefer to stay
in town. We'll go there directly from the airport after a flight from
Europe, so I imagine we'll want to park the car and just wander around the
first day.

One more question: what is the difference between queen, double and twin beds? I'm thinking that a queen is a slightly bigger mattress than a
double, and twins are 2 separate small beds. Is that right? I've seen
pictures of 2 twins pushed together; is that still a twin?

Thanks so much for your help and all the useful information you've posted on



I have already answered the deposit part of your question.

The Avenues gets my vote because of its location. It is relatively central yet quiet. The rooms are very nicely appointed and the management friendly. Parking is also no problem at The Avenues. I have had also ha the experience of having a couple stay at the Avenues in the past and they were very happy at the venue. Bonne Esperance is a magnificent building. It is very well located and parking also is not a problem. The rooms are well appointed. The only problem that I would have with the guesthouse is that it is located next to a busy road and car noise could be problematic. With that said I would however still recommend the venue.

As far as bed sizes are concerned you are close to correct in your assumptions. Queen AS WELL AS king size mattresses are generally referred to as double however I think you will have to go a long way to find guesthouses with king size mattresses as most use queen size. With that said I must comment that many hotels use king size mattresses.

Two single beds pushed together generally are still referred to as twin beds. Bear in mind that these beds could be pushed together and covered with a single sheet cover making it a double however I would check with each individual venue whether they have this facility as all handle this function differently.

In terms of your last mail asking about accommodations in the various towns I have already answered your queries in a previous Fodors mail and can make no more or better suggestions than what I have already done.

Hope this helps.

Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  

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