Need Your Help w/ South Africa...

Reply

Jul 5th, 2002, 02:28 PM
  #1
Maria
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Need Your Help w/ South Africa...

Hello!

My husband and I are in the midst of trying to put together an itinerary for South Africa. We want to go in June 2003.

We have just over 2 weeks, and have pretty much decided that we are spending 5 nights on safari at Chitwa Game Lodge (we do not want to pay the $$$ at Singita or Royal Malewane, even though I would LOVE to stay there).

We think that we will head to Zambia next to see Victoria Falls, staying at Tongabezi Lodge for 3 nights.

For the next week, we would like to split our time between Cape Town and the Winelands (staying at Ellerman House for 4 nights and Lanzerac Manor for 3 nights).

Here is my question: I have read so many great things about the Garden Route area, and was considering taking a couple of days off of Cape Town to spend in Knysna instead.

If I do this, am I trying to do too much in two weeks? But if it I do not, am I going to be missing out on a lot in the Garden Route area?

Your help and input is greatly appreciated!!

We are coming from New York by the way.

Thanks so much!! Maria
 
Reply With Quote
Jul 6th, 2002, 08:44 AM
  #2
lb
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I am going to sound like a tout for this company but honestly I am a real--nontravel agent-person with no relationship to them. Look at MTBEDS.co.za for their Specials--only problem is that June 2003 is far away and they may not have listings for that time slot yet.
We just returned from 3 nights in Vic Falls and 8 nights Capetown and Garden Route/Little Karoo. In Vic Falls, we stayed at the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge--great and MTBEDS got us a very large discount. As of now Vic Falls seemed very safe and very empty. Also I suggest that you put it at end of trip because Zimbabwe has best prices for gifts. You could plan on a few extra days and go to Chobe, which I think is about 100 km and has herds of elephant that time of year.

We stayed 3 nights in Cape Town (Mt. Nelson, another MTBEDS discount) and drove the Garden Route for 5 nights--not enough time. On the drive we did NOT make any reservations and had absolutely no trouble finding lovely B&Bs, all with private bathrooms, for $25-45 per night--just stop at the local tourist offices and there is a large choice. Warning--the restaurants and the wine along the route are so good and so cheap that you should make sure your clothes are loose fitting when you start
We ended with 2 nights at Selati Lodge, Sabi Sabi, another great discount form MTBEDS (could not have afforded it otherwise). Incredible--expecially the last day in which I was about 8 feet from a leopard (no idea why they ignore the open jeeps, although the large car that approached about 50 feet away caused the animal to run off.)
Cape Town is rainy in June but the weather in Kruger was excellent. It sometimes rained (although not for long) while we were on the Garden Route and Little Karoo.
 
Reply With Quote
Jul 6th, 2002, 08:49 AM
  #3
Karen
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Q. If I do this, am I trying to do too much in two weeks?
A. YES
Q. But if it I do not, am I going to be missing out on a lot in the Garden Route area?
A. YES

It's a bit of a bind here. If You are coming from JFK you are looking at 13 or more hours flying (depending on whether it is direct or not)and 6 or more hours time difference which you will need a day at least to acclimatize your body to. If you are driving, it's a long haul from the Falls to Cape Town and there are things you will want to stop for on the way. Unless you have a will of iron, some things will be hard to just drive away from. Myself I would rather see a little and see it well than a lot badly - that I won't remember because I raced thru it. If you don't see it all this time, you will have a revisit to plan and look forward to. What ever you decide, enjoy your trip. This is a marvelous country,
Karen
 
Reply With Quote
Jul 7th, 2002, 06:48 AM
  #4
jay
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
lb
I tried to look at MTBEDS website and it appears to be an exam/student site!!!!
 
Reply With Quote
Jul 7th, 2002, 07:11 AM
  #5
jay
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
ok I tried it again and typed the site in myself instead of copying from lb's post and got the correct site. Bit weird!
 
Reply With Quote
Jul 10th, 2002, 07:36 PM
  #6
Taylor
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Maria - my husband and I were in SA for our honeymoon June 4-18 this year. WE LOVED SA and our trip was perfect. We started in Cape Town and spent 2 nts at the V&A Hotel. I agonized bet it and Cape Grace and am so glad we saved the $ by being at the V7A - they were super super great and the room was very nice. We took at private tour of Cape Peninsula and had lunch at COnstantia Utsig wine estate one day with guide Rob Davidowitz. He was a great choice - very fun and knowledgeable. Then we boarded the Blue Train for an over night to Pretoria. WOW WOW - what luxury and service - worth the price. Then spent 2 nts at the Westcliff in Jo'burg - ok, very pretty but poor maid service and snotty staff, and freezing cold marble baths.
Then off to Tanda Tual (our favorite)- it is a camp of 6 luxury tents in the Timbavati reserve. Our beautiful tent which was actual on a platform under a thatched roof came complete with "out of Africa" furnishings, embroidered bed linens; deck; flush toilet, lights, robes, liquer, private outdoor shower, victorian bath tub. The common area was beautiful too and had 2 fireplaces, a swimming pool, bar etc... Meals were wonderful, trackers and rangers EXCELLENT, unfenced camp where animals can roam freely. Very romantic. Highly recommend it and REASONABLE not pricey like Singita or Ngala.
Then on to Harry's Camp at Mala Mala. We enjoyed it because they delivered on animal sightings. Although we saw lots of animals at Tanda Tula (including leopards as partof 3 of the Big 5) we saw vastly more animals at Mala with repeated sighting of all Big 5 and many other beautiful animals. The food service and accommodations were nice..fine but not WOW after our other experiences. We finshed up at the Palace of the Lost City in Sun City - a fantastic spot to crash by the pool for 1-2 days.
We got great rates on all our lodging - we booked thru African Travel Gateway and interacted thru e-mail with Annalee. She was so responsive and they offered the best prices I found...and I shopped around. Have fun planning and it you want more info or specific answers to questions e-maile me.
 
Reply With Quote
Jul 15th, 2002, 07:15 PM
  #7
evelyntrav
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
About Cape Town... we spent four days in Cape Town this past June and have a few suggestions. We found the small group half-day tour to the Cape Town townships to be enlightening and a extraordinary experience. Only about 10% of the visitors do this tour and in my opinion it is a "must." Like Taylor, we also did the full-day peninsula tour with Rob Davidowitz, but because I wasn't feeling great we opted for a small local fish restaurant rather than the formal lunch at the winery which turned out to be just grand. Our most interesting meal was at Mama Africa in the city where we had ostrich, rattlesnake, springbok and kudu. The rest of the time was uneventful, we wandered around some of the shops (they were all the same to us) and went to the movies. I think 2-3 days in CT is enough, especially in June when the weather is uncertain. For example, we never saw the top of Table Mountain.

We stayed at the Victoria and Albert Hotel and after just visiting the Grace Hotel, we were very pleased with our choice as we preferred the small historic setting rather than the elegance and hugeness of the Grace.

Having been to many wine areas in the world, we chose not to go to the Winelands. I wonder how the weather is in this area and on the Garden Route in June since it is so close to CT. I think it would be prudent to check it out very carefully.

Did you read the other posts concerning Vic Falls? You really only need one day to see the falls, however, if you are interested in the other activities in the area that would be another story.
 
Reply With Quote
Jul 15th, 2002, 07:18 PM
  #8
evelyntrav
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
We flew from Newark to Cape Town, a 14 hr non-stop flight. From CT to Newark was 16 hrs as we needed a refueling stop in Cape Verde. Very long flights.....

The previous post is from me, too. If you would like a copy of my trip report you can email me directly.
 
Reply With Quote
Jul 16th, 2002, 05:23 AM
  #9
Lisa
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Evely, don't you mean JFK rather than Newark?
 
Reply With Quote
Jul 16th, 2002, 07:20 AM
  #10
evelyntrav
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Lisa: We flew from Newark to Cape Town on a direct flight from the US. Actually, now that I think about it we had to fly Delta from Newark to Atlanta and then the next leg was the 14 hr flight from Atlanta to CT. I'm pretty sure the direct flight from JFK goes to J'burg rather than CT, but these things do change. SAA canceled many flights because of low tourism.
 
Reply With Quote
Jul 16th, 2002, 02:20 PM
  #11
Lisa
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Thanks Evelyn. I know, it is a lot harder to work your way there. Newark would be so much more convenient for us than JFK but oh well. It is is better than it used to be during the period of sanctions when we had to fly via Europe so I am not complaining.
 
Reply With Quote
Jul 17th, 2002, 01:59 PM
  #12
Maria
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Hi everyone!

I just wanted to give a big thank you to everyone that has helped me!

I am going to take Vic Falls out of the itin., and give ourselves time to enjoy the Garden Route, even though I don't know how great the weather may be in June. I really want to do some hiking in Tsitsikama Forest.

Thanks a million!
 
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:34 PM.