Looking for SA itinerary advice

Old Jun 20th, 2024, 09:35 AM
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Looking for SA itinerary advice

Hi. If anyone wants to weigh in on our rough itinerary, I’d appreciate any feedback.

We are 3 Canadian couples in our 60’s for reference.


Plan so far is

Fly into Cape Town and spend a day or two to relieve jet lag. (There are 6 of us)
Fly to Kruger area for our 3 nights already booked at a lodge in Sabi Sands—-we decided to do this rather than fly into JoBerg and drive from there.
After 3 days of safaris, fly back to Cape Town; 4 nights there; will explore the city and the Cape Peninsula
We’ve rented a vehicle big enough for the 6 of us.
Day trip up the West Coast Biodiversity Corridor as far as Paternoster then back down and ending in Franschhoek for 3 nights.
5 nights along the Garden Route (Franschhoek to Port Elizabeth)—still working on details but most of these nights will likely be a home base in Knysna
3 nights at a lodge near Addo Elephant Park—game drives not included with this lodge so interested in advice on booking our game drives
Back to Port Elizabeth where the other 4 will likely fly home from

Two of us intend to continue on up the Wild Coast—-interested in your thoughts on our safety with just the 2 of us driving now.
1st stop is a 5 day/4 night organized hike in the Chintsa area where we have a guide and they organize our transfers etc.
Then the plan is to drive independently from there to a lodge in the Drakensberg. This is a long drive so thought we should split it up with a 1 night stop in perhaps Kokstad, not as a destination but simply as an overnight so we’re not driving too long. Is this place advisable?
2 or 3 nights in Drakensberg lodge with guided day hikes.
Drive from there to St. Lucia for 2 or 3 nights to see the wetlands area there and perhaps the Hluhluwe iMfololzi Park.
Drive to Durban to drop car and fly home from there spending no time in Durban.

Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated.

Abbyo is offline  
Old Jun 26th, 2024, 11:09 AM
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Our one and only trip (so far ) to South Africa was pre pandemic. We spend a couple of months on a road trip starting in Durban and ending in Cape Town. We visited many of the places you have in mind. Our rough itinerary wasurban
St Lucia
Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park
Umhlanga
Underberg - Sani Pass - Lesotho
Drakensberg - Champagne Valley
Drakensberg - Thendele
Drakensberg - Golden Gate
Maloti Drakensberg Route - Smithfield
Somerset East
Addo NP - SanParks Nyathi Rest Camp
Garden Route - Plettenberrg Bay
Oudtshoorn
Groenfontein Valley - Route 62
Montagu
Stellenbosch
Seaforth
Cape Town

There is little I would change from that itinerary as we enjoyed it all. Having done a few guided safaris in Tanzania and Kenya, we decided against the same in SA and chose instead to self drive the whole route and stay in SanParks for our safari fixes. Whilst the camps may lack the comfort and sophistication of the private camps , we thoroughly enjoyed that type of safari and would definitely choose it again if we returns. Nothing beats driving yourself in these parks and the thrill of finding the game yourself. I would highly recommend Nyathi Rest Camp , a sort of camp within a camp in Addo, a comfortable lodge and incredible game viewing.

a link to my trip report Durban to Cape Town Road Trip
and to our blog which sadly I never got around to posting about all locations but there re quite a few photos.

The driving was really easy (apart from lots of potholes!) . We found it very safe, despite lots of warnings online and experience no problems. We made a point of not driving at night and had only limited driving in the big cities.

Other thoughts:

Wasn’t so impressed with the Garden Route as we thought we would be and much preferred the inland Route 62. The exception being Plettenberg Bay which we loved. There is a fantastic hike over the headland there which is well worth the effort.
Not usually a beach fan but the beaches in SA are amongst the best in the world - check out Cape Vidal from St Lucia and that Plett Bay hike.
If we went again, rather than staying in Cape Town proper, I think we would instead stay in one of teh beach suburbs like Camps Bay. Easy and cheap to get an Uber in when needed.
We were originally going to stay in Franschhoek but weren’t keen on the vibe when we got there so had lunch and moved on to Stellenboch which we did like.


Hope this helps a little. I envy you! We loved our time in South Africa and hope that the recent election results don’t lead to any instability. So far , it all looks ok.
crellston is offline  
Old Jun 26th, 2024, 07:25 PM
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Abbyo,
When in 'Frawnsh-hook', maybe consider the Breede River and Hex valleys as possible daytrips. Really beautiful. Bain's Kloof as well.
The Fairview/Goatshed restaurant would give you all a pleasant 2-fer: great lunch spot plus choice to buy VG cheeses as well.

As for Sabi Sands, you'll be close to a trio of good viewpoints. One is on the H3 just SW of Afsaal, another on H5 just NE of same plus a final one on H10 just east of Khulu.
Understand, we have not been there in a million years, but my trip notes and maps refer to those 3 beauty spots.
All 3 couples could consider a splurge 'couples massage' at 'Klein Genot' in Frawnsh-hook, if they are still in business.
Suggested listening: the only CD by the late Shiyani Ngobo

I am done. The end, eh?
*we're Torontonians your age
zebec is offline  
Old Jul 3rd, 2024, 03:12 AM
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Hi there! Have you ever been to SA before? I can give you some tips for Cape Town if you want.

Alex
Alexinwndrlnd is offline  
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