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Itinerary: South Africa in January -- Comments please!

Itinerary: South Africa in January -- Comments please!

Old Aug 7th, 2007, 06:25 AM
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Itinerary: South Africa in January -- Comments please!

I've been spending a little time on this board recently and have noticed there are some well-traveled folks out there! I thought I'd ask for thoughts/comments on our upcoming trip to South Africa. We've never been before... I've been quoted prices within $200 from Go2Africa and Rhino Africa (the latter I haven't seen any reviews on, but have been very helpful and responsive so far, and are the less expensive).

Travel is in mid-January. Arriving from the US.
5 nights Cape Town, The Metropole Hotel.
2 nights Franchhoek valley, Klein Genot.
(Seriously considering renting a car [upgraded to a nicer one from the standard Toyota] for our whole time in Cape Town & winelands, but have read varying reviews on whehter a car is safe/necessary, epsecially while in CPT.)
Fly to KMIA.
3 nights Arathusa Safari Lodge.

Do you have thoughts on the travel agents, properties recommended, or time spent at each location? How about needing a car?

Thanks in advance.
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Old Aug 8th, 2007, 10:02 AM
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I can help you with the Cape Town bit - I live here. You need to hire a car to see CT properly - we drive on the left like the UK. Make sure you get a car with air con. Youcan then keep the car tfor the Franschoek part of your trip and drop it off at the airport

Cape Town is very easy to get around - just keep an eye on where you are in relation to the huge mountain in the middle of the city!

What are your concerns about hiring a car here - it is very safe - the taxis are a bit mad (african mini bus not private ones) but if you drive nicely you will be just fine

happy planning
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Old Aug 8th, 2007, 01:35 PM
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Hi, Capetownfolk -

thank you so much - we had a great time due not a little to you and other very helpful fodorites.

617 - you can safely follow the advice from capetownfolk cos the was very helpful to me when i was planning our recent trip. Having a car in CPT wil give the flexibility to get the best out of your time there. as well as exploring the town centre, there is table mountain [very accessible in your own car], kirstenbosch gardens, the cape, constansia, for all of which a car will be much better than hiring a car or using a tour company. if you want to get more details, then you might like to click on my name and have a look at my as yet incomplete trip report.

driving is really easy and the level of traffic is very light compared to the UK. for CPT, we used the insight fleximap and it was brilliant.

good luck and have a great time

regards, ann

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Old Aug 11th, 2007, 07:28 AM
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You really DO need a car in CT - you should take the wonderful trip down to the Cape of Good Hope via Chapman's Peak Drive and come back to CT via Boulders Beach to see the penguins. Personally I would take one night off CT and add it to the Winelands. We stay in Francshoek - the area is so beautiful and restaurants are superb
We are also using RhinoAfrica this year - very helpful.This is our third year in a row in S Africa - never once felt unsafe -
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Old Aug 14th, 2007, 08:05 AM
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Hello abk,

I'm glad to see that you're using Rhino Africa. They've been very helpful but I havent been able to find other people on this board who have used them before. I think we will be renting a car, based on this and other forums. It'll be good to have even if we use it for just a few of the days in CT.
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Old Aug 15th, 2007, 03:57 PM
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I too am using Rhino Africa. They planned my whole 3 week trip to South Africa for the end of September. I am keeping my fingers crossed that everything is okay becuase no where out there was a review on them. But I couldn't pass up their prices and their recommendations. When I get back I will let everyone know my thoughts.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2007, 09:24 PM
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Hello Ann
You are very kind - I am glad you had a good trip. I think I saw you stayed at the Radisson - good choice - one of my favourite hotels - we go there for drinks sometimes and I love their Sunday lunch buffet
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Old Aug 23rd, 2007, 11:32 PM
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This is a very re assuring thread especially after reading this one

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...p;tid=35041578

I am also in a quandry whether to self drive in CT or use a private guide. maybe I will do a combination.
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Old Aug 24th, 2007, 05:12 AM
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hi, capetownfolk.

we just loved cape town. thanks for all your help and encouragement.

the radisson was great - we left on the sunday morning so missed the sunday lunch buffet, but if the breakfasts were anything to go by, it would have been wonderful.

we also really liked having early evening cocktails on the terrace, before heading out for dinner. By UK standards they were cheap, but not, i suppose, by SA ones.

thanks again,

regards, ann
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Old Aug 27th, 2007, 09:31 PM
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Hi Mohammed

You will be fine to drive in Cape Town.
I would booka private chauffeur to pick me up at the airport - there are many but we use Carter One - this way you know you are met personally, greeted by name and driven to your hotel in a Mercedes as opposed to standing in line and getting ina taxi that hopefully is road worthy (joking, they're not that bad!)

I would then spend the day exploring the area around the hotel, maybe getting a taxi somewhere local. Only the next day would I hire a car to explore the Peninsula. Driving is quite fine - just behave as you would in any large city, lock your doors, keep valuables in the boot (trunk) and don't pick up strangers

if you like here are the details of Carter One
www.carterone.co.za

good luck - have a great holiday
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Old Aug 28th, 2007, 04:50 AM
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hi, again, mohammed,

as usual, CTF is quite right. do get a pre-booked limo from the airport - the day or night you arrive on a new continent is no time to be getting to grips with driving on the wrong side of the road.

we had our car delivered the morning we arrived, which enabled us to use it to head straight up Table mountain, to take advantage of the good weather that morning. CPT is very easy to navigate with good roads and signs.

you should have no problems driving yourselves, but if you don't fancy it, there are loads of taxis just waiting to take you where you want to go, for very reasonable rates.

have a great time,

regards, ann

PS click on my name to see the first part of my trip -report - it covers our time in CPT and the winelands.
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