Just back from Cape Town and the Garden Route!

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Mar 2nd, 2004, 02:17 AM
  #1
Peep
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Just back from Cape Town and the Garden Route!

Loved it!! We spent 2 weeks driving around and had a great time! I was quite concerned about crime and our safety but we never felt threatened in the least and really, it's not much different from traveling around the US. It's such a beautiful country! To make a broad generalization, South Africans are very friendly and laid back. I'm so glad we finally went!!

Here are some thoughts on where we stayed.

Stellenbosch
The Avenues Guesthouse
http://www.theavenues.co.za/ recommended by Selwyn. Wonderful wonderful super friendly hosts and very comfy, cozy rooms. If we ever go back, we'd stay there again, no question.

Swellendam
Aan de Oever Guesthouse
http://www.aandeoever.com/
Very nice rooms, beautiful garden, nice hosts, all around nice place to stay.

Botlierskop Private Game Reserve
http://www.botlierskop.co.za/
If you're just traveling around the garden route, this is a great place to see critters up close and personal. The buffet food was so-so, but the tents are soooo cooool!!! They're along a small river and are very comfy, but still tents on stilts.

Knysna
Overmeer Guesthouse
http://www.knysna.co.za/overmeer/
A bit more impersonal than the other places we stayed (we never met the owners, just the very friendly young people working there) but we had a very nice, large room with a view of the Knysna lagoon. It's a bit out from the center of town but if you have a car, it doesn't matter at all.

Hermanus
House on Westcliff
Cozy, comfy rooms across the street from the cliffs. A bit far from the center of town but there was easy parking in town so it didn't matter.

Cape Town
Avanti Guest House
http://www.avanti.co.za/
I wanna go back!!! The rooms are so comfy, big and nice. Ahhh... But best of all are the owners, Johan and Mari. What cool people they are! By the time we left they were like old friends to us. Thanks Selwyn for the recommendation!

Any questions, ask away!

 
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Mar 2nd, 2004, 02:35 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Welcome home!
Ar ar!
Kavey is offline  
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Mar 3rd, 2004, 04:13 AM
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Peep
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We did have a brush with crime that I'll mention in hopes that others might avoid the same fate. Nothing happened to us, but while we were in Cape Town, a fellow American at our guesthouse did something really stupid and paid for it. He went to a bar, met a gal, followed her to another bar, then brought her back to our guesthouse late at night. First off, if you want to do stuff like that, stay in a hotel, not a guesthouse. She drugged him, stole his passport, airline tickets, all of his money, took everything in his safe and even the rings off his fingers. And she took the keys to the guesthouse, putting us, the other guests and owners at risk. They changed the locks the next day but it made everyone a bit nervous. He was so messed up, it's possible he suffered brain damage from the drugs and he's really lucky he wasn't killed.

So, be careful about picking up men/women at bars! You never know who you're dealing with!
 
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Mar 3rd, 2004, 08:54 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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Peep,

Are you talking about an incident that happened in Las Vegas, London, Sydney or Cape Town?? It happens everywhere so I want to change your excellent warning to not be a South African travel warning but simply a travel warning.

Cape Town still remains one of the safest places to travel around.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa

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Mar 3rd, 2004, 12:39 PM
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sandi
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Selwyn is so right. An incident like this can happen anywhere and often does.

Stupid people do stupid things regardless where they are!
 
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Mar 3rd, 2004, 06:33 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
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Hi Peep
I am glad you enjoyed your trip, come back again soon!
Peter
FunkyMunky is offline  
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Mar 4th, 2004, 01:13 AM
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Peep
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Of course that could happen in any big city. Just thought I'd share it so maybe someone would think before doing the same thing.

 
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Mar 6th, 2004, 03:26 PM
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I am considering taking the Green Turtle Tour Township Walking Tour. Does anyone know if this is a reliable tour?

I really want the chance to see some non-tourist spots while I'm in the Cape Town area. Any other suggestions for accomplishing this?
razzle is offline  
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Mar 9th, 2004, 06:33 AM
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Re: Selwyn Davidovitz - My husband and I had the good fortune to travel w/him in November when we were in Cape Town. Selwyn is the BEST!! He knows where to go, what to do, when to do things - AND he knows SA wines and loves sharing his knowledge. I heartily recommend his services to anyone going to Cape Town and environs. We'll certainly hire him again when we return.
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Mar 10th, 2004, 02:26 AM
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Before anyone goes to South Africa I would throughly advise them to get hold of the Portfolio accommodation guide books. I think there's about 4 different books from luxurious hotels to Bed & breakfast places.They're free & you can have them sent to you by a request on their web site. I've been to South Africa twice & will be going back again next year.
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Mar 10th, 2004, 04:03 AM
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Portfolio certainly provide a great list of properties - which can be viewed in detail on their website too - the books contain no extra info that I could see.

You will also find that many of these properties do have their own official websites from which you can contact them directly.
Kavey is offline  
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Mar 11th, 2004, 11:26 PM
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Great tip to all Clark55. Portfolio is fantastic. For the benefit of Fodorites their website is:

http://www.portfoliocollection.co.za/

Other great SA accommodation and restaurant websites:

Greenwood Guides
http://www.greenwoodguides.com/sa.asp

Good Cooks and Country Houses.
http://www.goodcooks.co.za

Relais Chateau Hotels
http://www.relaishotels.com/

AA Travel Guides
http://www.aatravel.co.za/

Sleeping Out
http://www.sleeping-out.co.za/

Village and Life
http://www.villageandlife.com/

Showcooks - Route 62
http://www.showcook.co.za/new_horizons.htm

Yup there are lots of wonderful places to stay and eat all over South Africa.

Come visit us soon.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
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Mar 12th, 2004, 05:58 AM
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Peep,
Did you use a tour operator or plan the details on your own? Was this your first trip to Africa? If not, what did you think of Botlierskop for game viewing versus other places? Was 2 weeks just about right to see what you wanted to see, or could you have done it in less time?
Thanks!
- Heather
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Mar 12th, 2004, 06:56 AM
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Peep
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Hi Heather! I planned it on my own with help from fodors posters. We've also been to Namibia and the Seychelles. The game viewing at Botlierskop paled in comparison to Etosha in Namibia, but it was still fun. We could have spent months in SA! We absolutely loved it.
 
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