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Looks like it is going to happen! Lisa's itinerary for (private)group SA trip. Recommendations and suggestions appreciated.

Looks like it is going to happen! Lisa's itinerary for (private)group SA trip. Recommendations and suggestions appreciated.

Jan 16th, 2002, 04:47 PM
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Looks like it is going to happen! Lisa's itinerary for (private)group SA trip. Recommendations and suggestions appreciated.

Well, I thought I would start my own thread instead of taking over Michelle's one. Local, any suggestions from you or anybody else would be appreciated. I was going to e-mail you but then I thought that this way I could get other suggestions too.

We are ex-South Africans taking a group of American friends to South Africa for 2 weeeks in August. We have traveled there frequently but are always open to recommendations. It is a mix of adults, teenage boys and a couple of 10 year old girls. This will be a once in a lifetime trip for our friends so we want to make it special but still keep expenses low as as they are on a budget. Want moderately upscale but not overboard.

Our possible itinerary is as follows. I will get there a few days earlier to spend time with my relatives.

The rest will follow and we will spend 1 night in Jhb (possibly at the Airport Caesars.) Local, we would definitely like to try Carnivore restaurant. I think it looks quite unique and a lot of fun. Maybe you will join us too?

Fly to Sabi Sabi for 4 nights. Then 1 night in Blyde River Canyon area. Suggestions for a nice hotel that won't break the budget?

Then 2 nights to Vic Falls. We stayed at the Vic Falls Hotel last time and are considering it again but also considering the Safari Lodge. Anyone with any experience there?

Possibly 1 night in Knysna after visiting Kango caves and an ostrich farm. Hotels there?

Local, loved your reviews on CT and Vic Falls and suggestions are all noted.
Then the remainder in Cape Town. We have a reasonalby priced condo hotel that we like staying at so I think we are set for accommodation there. Local where did you stay on your trip?

Thanks for your recommendations and suggestions.
Jan 17th, 2002, 05:40 AM
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Hi Lisa

Although it sounds very exiting, the mere organising behind something like this for a private person must keep you out of mischief.....

There is unfortunately not much that I can add that has not been said before, but:

Yes, my wife and I would like to join you at the Carnivore, thank you. We can make further arrangements "off air".

The only hotels that I have stayed in in the Blyde River area were the Royal Hotel in Pilgrim's Rest (do you know it?) and the Protea Hotel in Hazyview. Both were many moons ago so I cannot vouch for them now. I know that the Royal Hotel is still very popular. I would guess both are at 3 star grading.

I have only been once to Knysna where we slept over but that was more than many moons ago and it was not in an hotel. Maybe somebody else can help.

Family of mine stays in Cape Town so we just pack down on them. I have only once slept in an hotel there for business but would not recommend it.

Unfortunately, I have to put up a small red light as well. There are elections in March in Zimbabwe and everybody are holding their breaths as to what will happen before and after that. I would recommend that you keep an eye on the news for more information. Local news websites that carry news about Zimbabwe are www.iol.co.za and www.news24.co.za.

Enjoy your planning!!
Jan 22nd, 2002, 12:15 PM
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Hi Local,
Thanks for your reply and advice. Our computer was down for a few days (I felt like my oxyger supply had been cut off) and then we were away on a ski trip, so sorry I did not get back to you sooner.

Glad you will join us at your recommendation for "Carnivore". Will give you details closer to the time.

I'll look into your recommendations for Mmpamulanga area (still find it hard not to call it the Eastern Transvaal.

I appreciate your warning about Vic Falls. Will definitely have to have a Plan B as an option to fall back on.
Feb 11th, 2002, 05:11 AM
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I'm also looking for suggestions for hotels near Blyde River Canyon. Anyone else know of hotels there.If you find any, Lisa, let me know.
Feb 11th, 2002, 08:50 AM
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Lisa, can you tell us the name of your condo hotel in Cape Town? We are thinking of an autumn (northern hemisphere autumn) trip to SA, and are always interested in new and good places to stay.

Your trip sounds so great!


Feb 11th, 2002, 10:21 AM
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I stayed at the Royal Hotel in Pilgrim's Rest in May 2001. Very quaint, very cute. In good shape, but tries to stay reasonably close to authentic as far as the period it represents (late 1800's I think). Our room had two twin beds, an indoor toilet (I understand that just 10 years ago this was not the case), and a claw foot bath tub. A curtain separates the sleeping area from the bathtub area. A radiator is in the room that you control for heat. No TV, no hairdryer, not a whole lot of light. No restaurant, but a very good rustic buffet restaurant next door, and some cute gift shops across the street. I thought it was a perfectly good place to stay for one night, although I have not stayed anywhere else in the area with which to compare it.
Feb 12th, 2002, 06:06 AM
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Celia, the hotel we stayed at few times and will stay at again is the Sir Francis on High Level road in 3 Anchor Bay. It is a block of flats converted to a hotel so the rooms are one bedroom suites with a combined living room (with sofa bed) and dining room, bathroom and full kitchen. There is daily maid service and the staff and front desk are very accommodating. They will also do preliminary grocery shopping. It has on site parking, a tiny swimming pool and a restaurant for breakfast (extra cost). It is a very convenient, safe location (as long as you have a car) and has a great view (make sure you get a front facing room. Nice decor and extra little touches.

It is very reasonably priced especially as compared to prices on the Waterfront. The website is www.sirfrancis.co.za

Cindy, thanks for the advice on the accommodation. I will look into it. I think it may be too basic for us but it sounds interesting.

Karen, I will let you know when we do find something in Blyde River or vicinity.
Feb 12th, 2002, 07:07 AM
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Thank you, Lisa. The Sir Francis sounds like someplace we would like.

Feb 12th, 2002, 12:30 PM
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By the way if you are looking for somewhere special to stay in Blyde Canyon area at incrediblely low prices i would highly recommend Blue Cottages - they have 4 or so rondeval cottages on a large farm, all artistically decorated with African art. There is a pool, fun restaurant with some of the best food around. They also own one of the best craft galleries we have seen in Southern Africa. If you want to see our in depth review and pics have a look on www.i-escape.com It would be ideal for a group of friends. Another fun place for families is Otter's Den which is on a private island in the middle of the Blyde River - also reasonably cheap.
Feb 14th, 2002, 11:15 AM
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Thanks for the referral for the Blue cottages. It looks like something we may be interested in.
I also received a package from the SA tourism board today with a set of brochures and a booklet of acommodation. If anyone is interested the website is www.southafrica.net

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