I'm going to Zimbabwe & South Africa

Apr 10th, 1997, 11:40 AM
Ivo Geerinckx
Posts: n/a
I'm going to Zimbabwe & South Africa

I'll be visiting Zimbabwe and South Africa in July-
August.Our trip starts in Jo'burg. From there we'll
make our way to Cape Town. Then we'll take
the train to Bulawayo. All useful information ,
suggestions are more than welcome: where should
we definitely go? What should we avoid? Easiest
ways to travel? Please let me know.
Ivo Geerinckx
[email protected]

Apr 10th, 1997, 05:28 PM
Posts: n/a
I will be anxious to read any replies. We are going
to South Africa in July/August '97 as well. Going from JoBurg to Capetown--Phinda--Kruger--back to
JoBurg for a couple of days--Victoria Falls--Chobe--Ker & Downey. Have scads in information. Hope you get some good ideas. I will
be reading!
Apr 11th, 1997, 08:51 AM
Posts: n/a
You both sound as if you have mapped out excellent trips. Although I was born and raised in Johannesburg, it is not an ideal tourist destination. If you are going to stay there for a couple of days, try to arrange a trip down a gold mine through the Chamber of Mines. Also, consider a tour of Soweto (Jimmy's Face to Face Tours does a good job). From Jo'burg to Cape Town, you have a few options. You can fly (the trip is about 2 hours), take the train (I think the Blue Train is overpriced for what you get), or drive. If you drive, you get to see what South Africa's vast hinterland looks like, including the Karoo Desert. This drive is well worthwhile, but don't race through. Budget about three days to make the 1000-mile journey. Be sure to visit Kimberley, where you can see the huge diamond hole and visit interesting mining museums. Also worthwhile is a night at Karoo National Park, with very pleasant accommodations at the foot of a mountain escarpment. Here you'll see springbok, a variety of other antelope, and possibly rhino. Interesting towns along the way include Beaufort West, a typical Karoo town with some appealing architecture. Another great stopover (even for a night) is Matjiesfontein, about two-three hours outside Cape Town. It was set up as a resort for TB patients, but is now a delightful Victorian village, with a quirky old hotel and bar. For a dramatic entry to Cape Town and the Winelands, get off the N1 and take the pass leading down into the Franschhoek Valley--spectacular. The Winelands are so beautiful that you must spend some time touring, even if you don't like wine. Other must-sees in Cape Town are Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch Botanic Gardens, Cape Point, and the Chapman's Peak Drive. One of you is headed to Phinda, which is a superb lodge in a truly beautiful part of the country. Victoria Falls, too, is spectacular. A highlight of a visit here, besides the Falls, is white-water rafting on the Zambezi. You need no experience, and it's a thrilling ride. The Ker & Downey camps in Botswana's Okavango are wonderful. Be sure that you get a mix of "wet" and "dry" camps to get the full effect of the annual flooding. Both trips sound wonderful, and I envy you. I'm sure you will have a wonderful time.
Apr 11th, 1997, 10:54 AM
Ivo Geerinckx
Posts: n/a
Hi Andrew,

Thanks for your reply. What I forgot to mention
in my original message is that we'll be travelling
from Jo'burg to Cape Town 'the long way': via
Kruger, Swaziland, St Lucia area, Durban,
[maybe north to Lesotho], East London and the
Apr 15th, 1997, 01:46 PM
Posts: n/a
My gosh I envy. I LOVED South Africa!!! A stunningly beautiful country. I would recommend that you fly into Cape Town instead of Jo'brg. The intinerary you sketched out has you backtracking some. While in Cape Town, I stayed at the Victoria & Alfred Hotel by the harbor. An excellent hotel. I would echo the statement that the drive to the point is breathtakingly beautiful. I would also recommend a hike around the top of Table Mountain. I spent about a day wandering around the top. The vistas are not to be believed. Sir Francis Drake was correct - the fairest cape in the circumference of the world. One trip I might recommend is a side trip to Cape Agulhas. A wonderfuly remote place and the real most southern poin in Africa. Most people believe its the Point south of CT. A drive over to Mossel Bay and through Robinson Pass and Meeringsport are memorable for the Alpine vistas they reveal. Meeringspoort in particular is beautiful. It is a gap through the mountains that follows a river bed. The layers of rocks and colors reminded me of some of the little gorges found in the sides of the Grand Canyon. The drive across the Karoo is worth the time. I will echo the assessment that the Karoo National Park is a good place to stop. When you get to Jo'brg, don't stop go on to Pretoria. Jo'brg had nothing I found particularly appealing. It is a big city and not worth the problems you might encounter. I know two people who were robbed while In town. I guess it comes to to a cost/gain judgement. I found Jo'brg, vibrant as it was, had nothing of AFRICA in it beyond superficial decorations. You can go to any large city anywhere and get variations of what you'll find there. In Pretoria I stayed in a Holiday Inn that was pleasant enough. Pretoria was much more appealing to me. It and Bloemfontein struck me as the most Afrikaner of cities. I even got to play in a rugby game down there. People were pleasant and I enjoyed the ambiance of the city. Anyway, from Pretoria you ight want to consider swinging west to Gaborone, Botswana. It is about a 4 to 5 hour drive. I stayed in the Gaborone Sun. I never did go as far as Victoria Falls (not enough time). But eh drive up to Francistown was very pleasant.
Prior to your trip take the tiem to learn a few polite phrases in Ndebele, Sotho, Tswana, and Zulu. You will not believe the response. As soon as any African heard me even try saying soemthing like Good Morning ("Dumela" in Tswana) they fell over themselves in friendliness. I had several say that is because they do not expect white people to try to learn their languages. Let me relate a little anecdote. In Durban (a beutiful beach resort although not particularly "African" in feeling) I met an Afrikaner couple who invited me to join them for dinner once they learned I was a rugby player. Over a very plesant meal we had a delightful time. During the meal a waitor refilled my wine glass and I said "Ngiyabongo" Zule for "thank you." Do you know the Afrikaner couple didn;t know what I had said. They said, and I'll put this in quotes because it amazed me "Why should we learn the black's languages, the business of the country is conducted in Afrikans and English." I never met any white peole, aside from two farmers, that had any knowledge of even the most basic courtesies, hello, good bye, thank you. Without fail, every black person I met was unbelievably friendly once I said hello or thank you in an African language. The point here is that the time it takes to learn these few phrases payoff in friendliness that is wonderful to experience.
I would also recommend that you listen to soem of the music. I would recommend Johnny Clegg, Dollar Brand, and Ladysmith. The Soweto sound, with any number of performers, is wonderful dancing music.
I'll close now. Enjoy and savor your experience. I would go back in a heartbeat. A 19th century European said "Who tastes the waters of Africa spends his life there, or spends it wishing to return." I know what he meant. So will you.

Hamba Kahle (Zulu - Go you well)
Apr 15th, 1997, 01:54 PM
Posts: n/a
I forgot to merntion. Swaziland is a stunning little country. Do not fail to drive the Pigg Peaks region. I stayed in the Ezulwini Sun. I had a beutiful of the mountains from out my window. Also I was treated to a wonderful soccer match that took place on pitch adjacent to the hotel. That was luck. The person I spoke with was a goalkeeper for the Swazi team back in the 1980s and early 90s. Anyway, the drive east of Mbabane and north through Piggs Peak are worth the time. Kruger - anything I can say would be trite. I stayed in Skakuza. The wildlife is incredible. Bring TONS of film. You'll be taking a picture every 30 seconds.

Hamba Kahle,
Apr 18th, 1997, 12:35 PM
chuck etheridge
Posts: n/a
Just some basics: make sure that, before you go, you get some mefloquine, which is the anit-malarial that is effective for the strains that are over there now; chloroquine is no longer effective and some doctors are still prescribing it. If you don't do anything else in your life, see the Victoria Falls; it's the one visual image that will recur to you forever; there are different views both from Zambia and Zimbabwe; you can see more from the Zimbabwe side, but it's worth a zip over into Zambia if you want to arrange all of the visas, etc (it's not hard; basically it's a way for them to charge a fee, $10.00 US the last time I went, although if you do it in town rather than at the border the fee is less. Crafts are less expensive in Zambia than in Zimbabwe if you decide to go over, and there's a Sobek office in Livingstone that can take you on the
whitewater ride of your life (check and see if it's running; they have to wait until the Zambezi recedes some from the spring rains before they start). It's considered the best whitewater trip in the world, but you have to be in fairly decent shape because you have to descend into the canyon and climb back out on foot (there is a trail). If you do this, ask for Alec Banda (if you ever have seen the show "Pole to Pole, he's the guide the crew had when they whitewater raft the Zambezi). He's also the guide I had, and he's much more skilled and experienced than some of the others. In Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, within walking distance of the Falls, is the best pizza joint this side of heaven. If you get that far, you can actually walk across the railroad bridge into Zambia, get crafts, etc, see the Zam side of the falls, and come back. You can also drive into Zimbabwe National Park in your own (or rent car); it's fun but you can actually have a close encounter with an elephan (which sounds fun and adventurous, but be careful---they're faster over an eight of a mile than what you are driving; use common sense and you'll be fine and will have fun).

It's a wonderful place to go, really much more so than anyplace in the States, as long as you take the proper medical precautions before you go.
Apr 21st, 1997, 06:14 AM
Sylvia Scharrighuisen
Posts: n/a
Hi there!

Yes I am also a born South African. I live in Cape Town region - the best place in South Africa and as far as I'm concerned also the saffest especially for a tourist.

Here's a usefull address if you're interisted.
Apr 23rd, 1997, 06:36 AM
Posts: n/a

I found your discussion very interesting, especially since I live in Pretoria (Suot Africa), and is planning a trip to Zimbabwe (and possibly west all the way to Botswana and Namibia) for a few weeks in June/July.

Without repeating any of the above suggestions, I can say that I must agree with everything said about South Africa.

Regarding my travel-plans, can I ask if any of you have found a nice web-site with information on the specified destinations. I've come across some (wildnetafrica.co.za and others found using Yahoo search), but none with sufficient information. What I mean by this, is that we are a group of students who plan to do this trip by car, and are not interested in any of the exclusive and expensive travel safari's, offered by most travel companies on the web. We are looking for some info on game parks and other places where we could get decent accomodation, or a camp-site (with some facilities), and see the world ourselves.

I can recommend something that might be used as an intro for potential travellers to these coutries ... visit www.ananzi.co.za - it is a local (for me that is ;-) search engine which has quite a lot of info and links to websites covering this part of the world...

Good luck, and hope to see you 'en route'..

Apr 26th, 1997, 01:24 AM
Ivo Geerinckx
Posts: n/a
Thanks to all the people who reacted to my request
for information. If anyone tried to e-mail me and didn't
get a reply, here's the reason: I was off the net for a
while. I'm back on now but I have a new address:
[email protected]
Apr 26th, 1997, 08:17 AM
Andrew Forrest
Posts: n/a
Greetings from Lesotho,
Hopefully you will be visiting Lesotho
It is a very wonderful country
Altidues averages 2000m above sea level
Please feel free to E MAil any questions you have on Lesotho.
Cheers for now
Apr 28th, 1997, 02:21 PM
Julia Masterson
Posts: n/a
I was in Zimbabwe over Thanksgiving for work and pleasure. By all means go on safari. We stayed at a place called Kiplings
in Kariba that was first class, number 1. Also, no trip to Zimbabwe would be complete without a stay at Victoria Falls. If you like rafting, the Zambezi
is the place to be. We also went to the eastern mountain region outside of Mutare. Very cool, mountain climate. Beautiful scenery,
but not what you might typically think of as Africa. One regret: not going to ??city to see the great Zimbabwe ruins. They sound incredible
and well worth the trip. We drove part of the time and flew the rest. It was a very memorable time. Have fun
Apr 28th, 1997, 07:37 PM
Hernán Moya
Posts: n/a
Hi, I`m a chilean who traveled to South Africa and Zimbabwe last February. I really enjoyed the trip, highlights in it were Capetown and the Winelands, Victoria Falls and Kruger Park. I used intensive and successfully the Fodor`s South Africa Guide. In Johannesburg I ate in "Paros Taverna", an excellent greek-cypriot restaurant in Rosebank, good service and moderates prices. I ate too in "O Fado", a portuguese restaurant, the food is o.k. but the service is really very slow, prices are high. In Durban I went to "Ulundi", the indian restaurant of the Royal Hotel, the food is good but too spiced for my taste. In Victoria Falls I stayed at the Victoria Falls Hotel, an edwardian style hotel, cozy but the service was always slow.
May 13th, 1997, 12:59 AM
Posts: n/a
I live in Cape Town and enthusiastically agree with the views and opinions expressed by others. Table Mountain is my favourite place in the whole world. Bear in mind, though, that the cable car is presently being upgraded and therefore out of commission unti October. This will enable you to try out some of the spectacular walks and climbs (of varying degrees of difficulty) to the top.

Zimbabwe: Vic Falls are great, but do not miss Lake Kariba. We stayed on Spurwing Island and saw more game (and birds) than in Hwange or Vic Falls NP.

May 27th, 1997, 10:32 PM
Posts: n/a
It's been over six years since I've been there, but the best trip of my lifetime was to Zimbabwe for three weeks. We camped most of the way, with an occasional stopover in a hotel to remember what a mattress felt like. We began our tour in Bulawayo via train, as well. It is a good place to set out from, rent a car, replenish supplies, etc. Some good restaurants, though they may no longer be there. I remember The Gondola -- not far from the Sun hotel -- really nice steak dinner. Motopos National Park in Masvingo is a really nice destination, and not very far from Bulawayo (2 1/2 hrs? by car). We were able to get a kbange (cabin) (you might need to forgive the spelling -- it's been a while), and thoroughly enjoyed our stay. Rhodes grave is there with a spectacular view of the countyside. We went on a horseback tour of the game park -- the only time we saw rhinos. Not the best horses I've ridden, but a unique experience. Hwange was our next stop, which you've heard a fair amount about already. Early morning game drives seemed to be the best for wildlife viewing. We actually ran across a pack of wild dogs one a.m. -- supposedly rather rare. We didn't make it to the Robbins Camp location of Hwange (car rental companies tell you not to attempt the trek unless you have a 4-wheel drive -- we had to sign a statement promising we wouldn't). But I have friends who went later (without 4-wheel) and said it was wonderful. Very remote. This was the only place they saw cats during their two year stay in the country. There is another lodge atop a ridgeline on the other side of the park from the main lodge (the names escapes me) which was very nice. Great views of the wildlife clearing below. Then we went on to Vic Falls. Very touristed, but lots to do. Wish we'd taken the flight over the falls, but decided we were too broke at the end of the trip to do it. Rafting on the Zambezi was hair-raising for me -- a novice rafter -- but lot's of folks really love it. I was there the first week in Jan., and I recall that the water was very high. A girl broke her leg on the trip and several people decided to bail at the half way point. The falls themselved were spectacular. If you can time your trip so that you'll be there during a full moon, the park is open and you'll have a fabulous look at the falls in the misted, silver darkness. Be sure to take something protective for your camera when you view the falls. The mist is pretty thick and you should prevent your camera's exposure to the extra moisture. We enjoyed the outdoor bar and restaurant at the Victoria Falls hotel. Thanks for bringing back some great memories. Have a wonderful trip!
Jun 12th, 1997, 09:54 AM
mary ellen jones
Posts: n/a

how has lesotho changed since 1992? i was at
mafeteng as a peace corps volunter 91-92and plan on
returning nov this year for about 10 days . is
there anything i need to know. most info states that
you can get a visa at the border . is this so?any
relevant info will be greatly appricated thanks

Jul 18th, 1997, 02:25 PM
Posts: n/a
I was very impressed by your message. Your advise to learn a few words of the language is wonderful. I just goes to show that we're not all "ungly americans" when we travel. I too am trveling to Zimbabwe and SA. As an African -American, I am thrilled about my opportunity to travel to Africa. I will heed your advise about the language and abotu the itenerary.
Aug 10th, 1997, 05:23 AM
Posts: n/a
I am heading to Krueger, Swaziland and Lesotho the 20th of Aug and info. would be greatly appreciated

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:41 PM.