Just back from SA

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Jul 17th, 2005, 07:55 PM
  #1
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Just back from SA

Had a great time with my daughter. Didnt want to leave and am giving serious consideration to leaving California and paying cash and living in Cape Town.

Spent 4 nights in Cape Town at the Arabella Sheraton. Great hotel with terrific service. Weather in the 70s each day-which is very lucky for Cape Town in the winter. Went to the usual tourist places-Camps Bay, Clifton, Boulders, Table Mountain, Spier, Cape Point etc. Hadn't been in Cape Town in a few years and I felt that it had really improved in terms of safety and overall attractiveness. Had some good meals at Oceans Blue in Camps Bay.
Then we were off to Gomo Gomo Game Lodge in the Eastern Transvaal via a nonstop flight from Cape Town to Nelspruit. I have been to more luxurious camps in Zambia (Chiawa, Puku Ridge) and this place was by far the nicest and offered the best game. In case anyone else is looking for a child-friendly lodge this is highly recommended. They went out of their way to make my 5 year old daughter have the time of her life! We saw everything except Rhino (including 6 leopard sightings in three days). Guide was superb.
We then transferred to Tshukudu. I would not recommend this at all unless you are travelling with kids. Its kind of like Disneyland in Africa. They have tame animals, and claim that you can also get a "wild Africa' experience, but that consisted of them using radar to track the "wild" animals. The guide was so incompetent that it took him about an hour to find the "tame elephant" dispite the radar equipment. Oh well, my daughter enjoyed being able to touch the animals. But I wouldnt go back
We then flew from Hoedspruit to JNB and had one night in the Pretoria Sheraton. Only R585 for a night and included an upgrade to a suite due to my Starwood status. Nice views of the Union Buildings and driving distance to the Menlyn Park Mall which has some decent restaurants. We also had time to go the Lion Park in Krugersdorp which is a good way to pass a few hours as well as the African Craft Market in Rosebank.
Overall a great trip. SAA were superb and it really sucked arriving back in boring America.
laguna92688 is offline  
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Jul 17th, 2005, 09:50 PM
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Join Date: May 2005
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Wow, a Californian ready to give that up for Cape Town! At the risk of talking my book I'd say there is an 'aliveness' in South Africa that is not easily found in other parts of the (western developed) world. Sell your house, pack your bags, and welcome to South Africa!
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Jul 18th, 2005, 07:25 AM
  #3
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Thanks. The "aliveness" is definitely something that attracts me to South Africa as is the people.
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Jul 18th, 2005, 08:24 AM
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Thanks for letting us know about Gomo Gomo. We're looking at it for our trip in Feb 2006. Your leopard sightings make it really appealing. Also thanks for the info on the Pretoria Sheraton. Maybe we can find as good a deal at a Sheraton in Jo'burg.

Yesterday Tears of the Sun was on TV, so I watched it again (good movie, even if it is a shoot-em-up) and then saw a documentary on hippo life in the Luangwa river, so I'm in pretty desperate need of an Africa fix! We too have several times toyed with the idea of selling up and moving to SA, so I know what you're feeling!
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Jul 18th, 2005, 12:50 PM
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Celia-
Gomo is highly recommended. The guides are really good and get you very close.
I don't believe there is a Sheraton in Jo'burg. I was considering staying at a place in Sandton but the deal in Pretoria was so good. The Pretoria Sheraton is not really in a great location but its only about a 30 minute drive to Sandton.
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Jul 19th, 2005, 05:37 AM
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Thanks!
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Jul 20th, 2005, 07:47 AM
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Thanks for the feedback, good to know! Sounds like a great trip overall.
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