Just returned from 3 weeks in SA...any questions?

Jan 14th, 2004, 06:34 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 19
Just returned from 3 weeks in SA...any questions?

I just returned yesterday from 3 weeks in SA.
As I did loads of research on this site I wanted to see if I could in return help others who are planning their trip.
The first week was spent outside of Durban(this stop was to see family for the holidays). I did however go to a small game reserve called Tala for a couple of days.
The second week was spent driving the Garden Route from Port Elizabeth to Hermanus. (Mostly Knynsna and surrounding areas)
The third week was spent in Cape Town in 3 different areas and 3 different accomodations
(Constantia, City Center & Camps Bay).

If anyone has any questions about these areas I would love to share my experiences.

d43 is offline  
Jan 14th, 2004, 06:45 AM
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Hello! I'd love to hear everything about Knysna to Capetown! We'll spend 2 weeks there next month.
Jan 19th, 2004, 10:03 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 2
Hi D43

My wife and I plan to do the Garden Route from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth with a stop in Nysner (sp?) in early April. How long does it and do you have any recommendations on how to maximized the experience?
gjc213 is offline  
Jan 19th, 2004, 11:19 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
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We have just started looking into visiting South Africa this August. ANY info you could give us w/be appreciated. We are looking at about 3 wks. Definitely a safari and ??? Did you book your flight on your own or part of a package? Did you rent a car/jeep and if so was driving pretty easy? We usually like to map out our trip and drive ourselves vs. a tour group. Any info w/be greatly appreciated! THX and aloha, Denise
DBC is offline  
Jan 19th, 2004, 11:46 AM
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Hey D43, glad to hear you had a good trip.

I'd love to hear any thoughts you have on the following:

Accommodations in Cape Town, Knysna and along that route.

Sites that you visited in the same area - what you enjoyed, what you felt you could have happily missed, even costs, if you have those.

Any feedback on car hire issues - any advice about petrol (I heard that one must pay in cash not on credit card)?

Your thoughts on routes through the Garden Route - where else did you stop along the way?

Anything and everything you're willing to share might prove to be very helpful to one or more of us!

Thanks again!
Kavey is offline  
Jan 19th, 2004, 02:33 PM
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DBC (Denise) -

Nowadays, most people book their own air, and many tour operators only do land packages. This is due to the fact that many travellers have freq.flyer miles, can book online, etc.

For airfares, just received air promotions via SAA or Virgin from


select their air department for these fares. SAA flights are out of JFK or ATL, while Virgin fares will go thru London then onto JNB or CPT. Of course, you're traveling all the way from "Aloha-Land" so you have more to consider - like 2-days flying both ways.

You'll find that most poster here travel independently and not with tours, though they have a set itinerary in conjunction with internal flights in SA (if not driving some routes [Garden Route] on their own).

Three weeks gives you plenty of time to discover and enjoy Southern Africa with can include in addition to South Africa - Botswana, Zimbabwe/Zambia and even Namibia.

Check some of the following sites:


there are many more, that a search on your own will bring up. You will get an idea of what is available for only SA or in combination with the other countries. While from appearances the programs listed on these sites seem firm, you can actually mix-'n-match as suits your desire.

And, of course, a good guidebook is essential, to find your interests in any one or all countries. Hope this gets you started.
Jan 23rd, 2004, 09:39 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 5
Hello d43,
I am travelling to SA for the first time this year with my mother (who is 70), for 2 weeks (or a few days over). We want to visit Victoria falls, first or last - doesn't matter, a safari lodge, Cape Town, and highlights of the garden route. As I have only just started reading up about this, I would like some advice of what order to do it in, when to hire a car etc. Thank you!
Claire2004 is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2004, 11:03 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 9
Does anyone know anything regarding:

MALA MALA camp ?
Beau Rivage Hotel and Les Pavillions Hotel in Mauritius ?
The Commodore Hotel in Capetown?

I am brazilian, my wife and I will spend 2 weeks in Capetown, Mauritius and on a safari starting next february 23rd. I am on my last minute arrangements for my honeymoon and have to decide on this hotels and places SOON !!!

I appreciate any advice on that!! Thanks ...Arthur
arthurlaporta is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2004, 12:46 PM
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Claire2004 -

See my comments to d43 above, which will provide a resource for air flights and some websites for itineraries to give you an idea of what can be done.

However, you don't mention from where you are traveling and whether you will be flying into JNB or CPT. Nor do you indicate time of year. Remember, the months between Jun-Aug are winter in the southern hemisphere and CPT can often be rainy, while JNB or safari areas rather chilly (even cold) at night. We travelled in November and found ideal weather everywhere - except that there were a few amazing thunderstorms in the afternoons. Didn't last long and certainly didn't cut back on any of our activities.

My theory about travel, though with few exceptions, is - "save the best for last". So if flying into CPT, you can visit there a few days (4nts), then rent a car and do the drive along the Garden Route.

You will, of course, have to decide where and how far along the Garden Route you wish to travel (Selwyn [one of our regular posters who lives in CPT] can certainly provide info on this), where to stop, etc. A reminder, the driving in SA is on the left.

If you travel as far as Durban you can fly from Durban back to JNB and from there fly to Vic Falls. In the VFA area you'll have to decide whether you want to stay on the Zimbabwe or Zambia side. Of late, many have been staying on the Zambia side.

Personally, I don't think VFA needs more than 2-nts, but others might have their opinions. You might also find more activities of interest on the Zam side, so an extra day may be needed.

Then from VFA, return to JNB for your remaining time on Safari. Since you don't mention your budget, it's difficult to suggest, but on the following site:


you can select the Mpumalanga area (where Kruger is located) and see what camps/lodges fit your budget. At minimum you should spend 3-nts for safari. If you have 4-nts, you can do two different camps/lodges (2-nts each).

Another thing to remember, is that of making flight connections thru JNB. Flights do not leave on the hour to destinatios as VFA or to Kruger, so you may have to spend a night or two in JNB to connect the following morning. For overights in JNB you can stay at the airport hotel. There is an Intercontinental attached to the international terminal, or a Holiday Inn a shuttle bus away, but still on airport grounds. Hope this gets you started.
Feb 15th, 2004, 12:35 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 4
Travelling to SA on the 26th March - Kruger 4 days then fly to Cape town 3rd April then Drive to P Eliz garden Route would love info etc and car hire prices thanks. Alan Hicks PERTH Western Australia
shadow2 is offline  
Feb 28th, 2004, 08:35 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 2
I am an American adult female considering traveling alone to Durban, and then on to Kokstad, for my brother's funeral service. I do not know anyone in South Africa. Please share your thoughts concerning the advisability of this trip.
kikee is offline  

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