Planning a Dec/Jan trip to South Africa

Sep 2nd, 2003, 02:01 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 19
Planning a Dec/Jan trip to South Africa

Not sure if my posting before had a good title.
"Planning a Trip...Suggestions" so hopefully this will be better.
I am planning my first trip to South Africa and really only have a rough idea of when I am going and a general route. After that I am very open to all suggestions.

Planning on leaving NYC Dec.22 and going to Durban (via JBG) for about 10 days ( I will have a place to stay here). Then from Durban to Port Elisabeth where I will hire a car and drive the Garden Route for about 4/5 days toward Cape Town and the wine country. Then I plan on spending about 4/5 days in/around CT until my return back home on Jan. 12.

Are these plans realistic...
Are there places that are a must see...
Good hotels/restaurants along the Garden Route/CT/wine country...
Recommended wild life parks or safari drives....

Any and all suggestions are welcome.

Thank you,
d43 is offline  
Sep 4th, 2003, 12:14 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 13
Hi Nicole,

Didn't want your post to be ignored! (Frustrating, isn't it?)

We are going to SA in October (Cape Town, Winelands, Garden Route and a couple of game reserves near Port Elizabeth). As I haven't actually been yet, I can't really recommend, other than to tell you our plans. As you are picking up a car in PE you could visit Addo Elephant Park (which I hear great things about) and perhaps a couple of game reserves like Shamwari and Kwande (very pricey and nothing like Kruger, I think, but possibly worth it for a 'taster' of a safari).

4/5 days on the garden route is fine. You could probably stay somewhere relatively central like Knysna for a few days and visit most places from there (into the mountain through passes to Outsdoorn, Tsitsikamma, Swellendam, coastal areas etc.)

You can easily take day trips to the winelands from Cape Town as it's only probably an hour away at most. From Cape Town you should also visit the Cape of Good Hope and go to Simonstown and Boulders Beach (with the penguins).

Talking about it makes me all excited again! I have booked a few hotels along the way and have done lots of research into accommodation, so let me know if you want any info or weblinks for those.

Hope that helps!
larissa is offline  
Sep 4th, 2003, 12:40 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I've seen Kwande in TV documentaries, and whilst it's hard to tell, since one doesn't know how many days of filming it took to find that volume of game, but it looks great!
Kavey is offline  
Sep 4th, 2003, 04:42 AM
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Posts: 19
Thank you for the reply...
I will look into all the places you suggested. The tips on the day trips while doing the garden route sound great. Looks like we have a similar itinerary.
Hope your trip is wonderful.....

d43 is offline  
Sep 4th, 2003, 06:02 AM
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In the Durban area, if you have a car, why not see the St. Lucia beach section one day. And heading south to CT, Hermanus to see the whales might offer an interesting day. In CT, you may want to do a RT to the Peninsula.
Sep 4th, 2003, 06:45 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 132
We are leaving in 12 days for our 3 week trip (Mala Mala, Rovos train from Pretoria to Cape Town, Hermanus, the Garden Route, the Winelands and then Cape Town). I will post a trip report when we get back and let you know about the places we stayed, things we did, etc. I've been planning this trip since January, with a lot of help from this board, and can't believe it's almost time to leave!
KT_Tomlinson is offline  
Sep 4th, 2003, 07:03 AM
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Where are you staying in MalaMala (do you consult their website on animal sightings). If you see Mark and Elvis at KK, give a "hi."

Where in Hermanus? Try the Seafood Restaurant in the hotel by the ocean - great food.
Sep 4th, 2003, 07:07 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 13
Dec/Jan is not the right time to see the whales in Hermanus, unfortunately. They won't be there!

KT - I will look forward to seeing your trip report - hopefully you will get back just in time for my last minute planning!
larissa is offline  
Sep 8th, 2003, 11:16 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 132
We are staying at Harry's Camp in Mala Mala. We tried to book Kirkman's, but it was already booked up in January when I started planning this trip and we thought that Harry's would be fine, as the most important thing for us on safari is seeing the animals and we will have our "total luxury experience" with Rovos Rail on the trip to Cape Town.
We are staying at Auberge Burgundy in Hermanus and can't wait to see the whales. Thanks for the tip on the Seafood Restaurant.
Larissa, I will try to post right away when we get back and hopefully the trip report can help with your planning!
KT_Tomlinson is offline  
Sep 10th, 2003, 03:00 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 5
Nicole, South Africa is a great palce with tons of things to see. While in Durban make sure you go to Hmshlanga Rocks and take a day to drive up to St. Lucia natural reserve. A great place to see hippos and crocs and to experience the beauty of untouched beaches. The Garden route is awesome. Definitely take the time to go whale watching in Plattemberg bay and Hermanus. Make sure you book accomodation in advance as Dec. and Jan are very busy months. Have fun!
Petulia is offline  
Oct 20th, 2003, 12:24 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1
Hi Nicole, I am a Tour Guide (2 to 7 persons only). I can give you some good advice.(Free!!!) Please e-mail me at [email protected]
Peet Adendorff
amakombi is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2003, 06:14 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 19
Thank you for all of the wonderful responses. I have booked all lodging / tickets at this point and promise to write a posting upon my return in January.
d43 is offline  
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