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Ideas please for 16 nights in Western Cape, SA - Feb/ March 2004.

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Dec 17th, 2003, 08:16 AM
  #1
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Ideas please for 16 nights in Western Cape, SA - Feb/ March 2004.

My sister has booked flights to visit South Africa in February/ March 2004. She's going with a friend of hers, neither have been to SA before.

Yes yes yes I'm vaguely envious that she's getting there before me but mostly I'm very excited we can both talk about our trips over the holidays this month!

They are flying out on the 25th February, arriving CT on 26th and leaving CT on the 13th March. That gives them 16 nights to play with.

I've suggested they split their time in CT to spend 2 nights there on arrival and then another 3 there before departure.

Am looking for suggestions to pass on to them regarding possible itineraries for the time in between. I have more time off work over coming weeks than either of them does so I volunteered to get some ideas together and also to pass on all the bookmarks etc that I've amassed during my own planning.

In terms of budget, they are hoping to stick to a reasonably low budget. We're talking low-cost B&Bs and hotels rather than backpackers and they are open to hiring a car for some/ all the trip. But information on bus/ train options would be very welcome too.

They'd love to include some time "on safari" but appreciate completely that game viewing options are not as extensive in the Cape as they are in other regions of Southern Africa.

They are young, active and fun-loving. Both are experienced travellers.

All your suggestions would be very welcome.

Many thanks
Kavey
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Dec 19th, 2003, 11:49 AM
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Topping!

Anyone have any ideas to share?
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Dec 30th, 2003, 10:17 AM
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Oh well!

This is what I suggested to her as a starting point:

NTS
2 Cape Town
3 Stellenbosch
1 Hermanus
1 Swellendam
1 Oudtshoorn
2 Knysna/ Plettenberg Bay
2 Storms River, Tsitsikamma Forest
2 2 stops on way back to CT
2 Cape Town


Any thoughts?
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Dec 31st, 2003, 07:06 AM
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Hi Kavey,

Your suggested itinerary looks good to me. I would suggest making a couple of tweaks to it, though. I recommend:

3 Cape Town (This is instead of your original 2; I think it would help them to get over their jet lag, get oriented, and accomplish more.)

3 Stellenbosch

1 Hermanus

1 Swellendam

1 Oudtshoorn (I recommend they drive from Swellendam to Oudtshoorn via the inland route through Ladismith and Calitzdorp. Then on their subsequent return journey from Storms River they could follow the more coastal route through Mosselbaai, etc. This is to see a greater variety of scenery and avoid retracing the same route.)

2 Knysna/ Plettenberg Bay

2 Storms River, Tsitsikamma Forest

1 stop on way back to CT (One can drive from Storms River to CT in a day. Indeed, people drive from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town in a day, although that admittedly does make for a very long day, and I would not recommend it to your sister. However, one overnight stop en route from Storms River to CT would be more than enough. Therefore I have suggested deducting one of two original "en route" nights and adding it instead to CT at the beginning of the trip.)

2 Cape Town

I'm sorry, I cannot recommend B&B establishments and restaurants. I left South Africa 27 years ago, so my information on those things is not current. However, the towns haven't moved in the intervening years, so I think I'm qualified to give itinerary advice.
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Dec 31st, 2003, 09:03 AM
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Kavey, since I posted my last message, something has been bothering me. I realise that I did not succeed in eliminating a series of one night stays from the itinerary. Of course your sister may have a different travelling style from mine, and she would need to make her own judgements. However, here's another attempted itinerary that has been consolidated into fewer stops:

3 Cape Town (As I said before, I would prefer to spend 3 nights rather than 2 nights upon arrival.)

3 Franschhoek. (I have now suggested substituting Franschhoek for Stellenbosch. Both places are lovely, and one wouldn't go wrong with either, but I agree with another thread in which someone, Selwyn I think, recommended Franschhoek over Stellenbosh. Franschhoek is indeed magical.)

I inland stop (maybe Matjiesfonein?) en route from Franschhoek to Oudtshoorn. (Keep in mind this route would take the travellers through the semi-desert Karoo region. It wouldn't be lions, elephants, giraffes and the average overseas visitor's idea of "Africa." If one is prepared to accept the landscape on its own merits, however, I personally think this is an interesting region.)

2 Oudtshoorn

4 Knysna/ Plettenberg Bay (The travellers could split their time as you originally suggested between 2 nights in Knysna or Plett and 2 nights around Storms River / Tsitsikamma Forest. I think, however, that it would be possible to roam the entire area from a single base. This would be a matter of personal preference, how often the travellers are willing to check in, unpack, pack again, check out.)

1 stop on way back to CT (I suggest taking the coastal route through Cape Agulhas, and overnighting in Hermanus.)

2 Cape Town (One dilemma I always face on my last night of vacation is whether to stay in a utilitarian airport hotel and be conveniently located for my outward bound flight the next day or to stay in a place that is further from the airport but has more charm. If at all possible, I do like to stay in a charming place on the last night. Perhaps there is a member of the forum who can recommend a place that combines charm and convenience.)

Yet another variation of this itinerary would involve adding to the initial stay in Cape Town and making a couple of adjustments elsewhere. This version would look like this:

5 Cape Town

3 Franschhoek (or, if they prefer, Stellenbosch)

1 inland stop (maybe Matjiesfonein?) en route from Franschhoek to Oudtshoorn.

2 Oudtshoorn

3 Knysna / Plett / Storms River

2 Hermanus (Depending on the departure time of their flight, I believe it would be feasible to spend the last night in Hermanus, which certainly would qualify as a charming spot, albeit it wouldn't be as convenient to the airport as an airport hotel.)

Things to think about, anyway.


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Jan 1st, 2004, 11:36 AM
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Wow we're going to the Western Cape in late March earley April - heres our plans.
3nts Cape Town
2nts Franschhoek
2nts Aquilla game reserve
2nts Knysna
1nt Swellendam
And then finishing off back at Cape Town for 4nts.

Hope you have a great trip

jj...
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Jan 3rd, 2004, 06:51 AM
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Thank you all so much - I really appreciate the suggestions and will pass these on to her straight away.

Once she's had a think she may have more questions to come back to you all with and I will either post them for her or encourage her to register here herself.

Thanks again, I really appreciate all the input from all of you!
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