Port Elizabeth to Cape Town

Sep 16th, 2002, 06:14 PM
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Port Elizabeth to Cape Town

I'm wondering if anyone has travelled from Port Elizabeth to Capetown via bus (tourist or otherwise)? I will be travelling to Capetown from Port Elizabeth alone with my son (age 18) next week and it was suggested to me by my husband's company travel agent in Johannesburg that bus travel was not safe. She suggested that we fly to Capetown instead. Any advice?
We are booked into the Cullinan Hotel in Capetown. Has anyone stayed there and is it a good location. Any suggested itineries around the area. Once again, I am concerned about the safety issue. I would love to do some hiking around the area and hopefully have a chance to view the penguins. Any suggestions for tours to the winelands from the Cape. We have three days in the Cape before we fly out to catch up with my husband in Joburg. Thanks in advance.
Sep 16th, 2002, 08:38 PM
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Annie Pesda, there are many spectacular places to visit in cape town. Although it has been years since my last visit, it feels though just yesterday I felt the warm breez from the Atlantic dance across my face as I gazed out into the endless saphire sea. The beaches are remarkable, miles of pristine powder white sand. The air is filled with roaring echos of the crashing waves.
Sep 17th, 2002, 12:07 AM
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Annie, I suggest you consider renting a car. You will get to see a lot more and can stop wherever you wish; if you son can't drive due to age restrictions he can navigate. Driving on the left is really not difficult. You can hop down to Boulders beach to see penguins, toodle off to the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and the Groot Constantia wine estate without waiting for a tour, even go to the Stellenbosch/Franshoek area for the day and walk the wine trail.
If there is not much you want to see between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town, or if you don't have much time, then fly - don't take the bus. Or, if you are concerned about bus safety (and I would be a little concerned for theft but not physical harm) but want to take the bus, how about the Baz bus (full of mostly younger tourists; might be fun for son!)?
Sep 17th, 2002, 02:19 AM
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The scenery between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town is truly spectacular - this is the famed Garden Route. I can appreciate how you may be concerned about safety - we do not have the best road safety record. But as with most things the large, reputable groups keep their vehicles in good repair and drivers well trained. It really depends on what your interests are and if you have the time available to spend on a bus trip. The PE/CTN flight is only 1 hour, but the bus will take up a full day. Also it is not a "tour" and so unlikely to stop for sightseeing. If you are into hiking then make sure to include climbing Table Mountain in your plans. Just please listen to the advice given as the weather can change very quickly on the mountain. I believe it is not a difficult climb/hike and just about any reasonably fit person can do it. The Cullinan is good and really conveniently located but I would not recommend that you walk in the streets around the hotel at night. Rather hop on one of the many frequent busses (the hotel probably has a dedicated transfer) to the V&A Waterfront which is very safe. If you are at all adventurous your son may enjoy a stroll down Long Street one night - this is where all the clubs are and there are some sights to behold! From the Waterfront make sure that you catch the ferry out to Robben Island. There used to be a boat tour to Penguin Island - I am sure that your hotel will have the details of the operator if this is still running. If memory serves it departs from Hout Bay - which is just charming. I tend to agree that hiring a car and doing your own thing around the winelands is a better bet. The various routes and estates are well signposted. Get a general map of the region for reference and you should be fine. Regarding your security concerns - use your common sense, Cape Town is a big city with its share of problems as any other. If you do hire a car, lock the doors and keep the windows rolled up. It's all in the attitude: your biggest concern should be pickpockets so take precautions to secure your valuables and you will be fine.
Sep 17th, 2002, 07:35 AM
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Even though the scenery on the Garden Route is really wonderful, with only three days, I would fly. Cape Town will charm you and you won't want to leave. You can then do the Garden Route on your next trip.
Sep 18th, 2002, 05:31 AM
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My husband and I just returned last week from there. The Garden Route is very worthwhile seeing (Port Eliz. to Capetown). We spent the nights in Oudtshoorn and near Knysna, two nice places along the way (the former was a little off the N2, but had the Cango Caves and ostrich farms that we enjoyed seeing). We had a private guide, but I believe you could drive it. No safety problems in that area, or in the wharf area of Capetown. It's absolutely beautiful there, and we hated to leave. There's lots of security around there, but I don't know where your hotel is located. I wouldn't suggest doing anything in Johannesburg without someone being with you. We stayed in Sandton, just outside Jo'burg, for one night--that's a good area. If I can be of further help, please contact me. We loved every minute of our trip and would love to go back. In Capetown, our guide took us to the penquin beach and also to the vineyards, as well as the Cape of Good Hope and a tour of both Atlantic and Indian Ocean sides of the city. People there are very nice and willing to help you.

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