Quickest route from Capetown to Addo

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Sep 16th, 2005, 08:53 PM
  #1
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Quickest route from Capetown to Addo

Selwyn advised me a while ago to travel directly to Port Elizabeth on arrival at Capetown and do my proposed itinerary in reverse. I'm just trying to finalise my plans and probably intend to drive rather than fly to Port Elizabeth so that we can experience as much of the country as possible. We intend then to have two nights at Addo before returning via the Garden Route. What would be the most sensible, and quickest route to take to get to Addo ? Our flight arrives from UK into Capetown at 10.20am so we should have time to travel a fair distance on that first day - where would it be best to stay overnight ?

Thanks,

Gaynor
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Sep 16th, 2005, 11:51 PM
  #2
 
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It seems a shame to arrive in the country and the drive like mad.

We organize Garden Route tours and find people prefer to start in Cape Town and Finish in the Eastern Cape as they find seeing the big five to be the highlight of the trip.

It is a long drive from Cape Town through spectacular countryside so it is best taken slowly, I would drive one way either along the NI and through Prince Albert and the Swartberg Pass and spend a day in Oudtshoorn, or Route 62 the R62 which is slower but takes in Robertson, Montagu, and Caltizdorp which are all great places to visit.

Then from Oudtshoorn along the Langkloof which is where Cape Apples are grown and is a great drive.

The return journey take the coastal road visiting the Tsitsikamma National Park, Plettenberg Bay and Knysna on the way back.

I am sure Selwyn will have told you not to touch Port Elizabeth which is a shame it has 20% of the countries blue flag beaches, a pleasant beach front, some wonderful cliff top walks and Sardinia Bay which is one of the finest beaches there is.

For Addo accommodation Darlington Lake Lodge to the North of the Reserve is inexpensive and great, 15 elephants have just been translocated from Kruger and juvenile buffalo have been moved there as they were proving to tasty for the lions which were introduced into Addo 2 years ago.

If you really must rush back and forth the Coast Road is the quickest and Knysna would be your best overnight stay. It is about 4 hours from Cape Town and 3 hours from P.E.
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Sep 17th, 2005, 01:51 AM
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If you want to do the itinerary in reverse I'd suggest taking an internal flight from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth, renting a car there and going directly to Addo and then making your way back to CT at your leisure.

No need out there first as car hire and petrol costs will probably not be that much less than flights, if you look for good deals.
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Sep 17th, 2005, 08:37 AM
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We certainly don't want to spend our entire trip driving like mad! Our intention had been:
Arrive CPT 10.20am on Sunday
3 nights Capetown
N2 to Knysna 2 nights
Tsitskamma (2 nights at Storms River)
Addo 2 nights
Leave via R329 to Oudtshoorn 2 nights
Leave via Swartberg pass to N1 and Franschhoek 1 night
Fly out from Capetown 17.30 Saturday.

The advice was to drive or fly (preferably) to Port Elizabeth and put the Capetown nights at the end of the trip rather than the start, hence my original question on this thread. I am anxious to make the most of this trip, but it is difficult to know from the map how long it is going to take between stops. We can't change our flights and don't want to wait around at the airport for an extra internal flight (husband loves driving!!)so should we stick to the original plan - is it workable ?

I will certainly look at Darlington Lake Lodge, though we were thinking of 2 nights at Scotia. We haven't booked any accommodation yet but want to do that very soon. Colind, you mention the Lankloof - which road is that? It isn't marked on my map.

Kavey, I was sorry to here about your father on a different thread. We spent 4 weeks in Kenya and Tanzania last summer and began to wonder why we need to bother with antimalarials, so thanks for bringing the seriousness of it to our attention (I know we won't need them for this trip but we are thinking of going to Botswana and maybe Namibia next summer).
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Sep 17th, 2005, 12:57 PM
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I recall remonstrating with my dad when we both went to Kenya in April 2004 - as it was just a short trip he didn't take any but I chose to do so...

Even then, to be honest, I didn't realise quite how serious malaria can be, at it's worst.

I'm glad to know that my message might help others reconsider their thoughts of skipping medication.
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Sep 17th, 2005, 02:25 PM
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Gaynor,

As per your original question if you are going to travel to PE via car from Cape Town then the quickest route would be to go via the N2 to Swellendam and then on to Knysna. I would overnight in Knysna and then travel the last 3 hours to PE the next day. That definitely is the quickest route.

I want to clarify something relative to what I advised you and that is that I would ONLY suggest starting in PE if you fly into PE. I say this because I believe the ride back to Cape Town is a wonderful one but not one that gives you one experience after the other such as your days in Cape Town will do. When you arrive in Cape Town experiences will happen every 10 minutes while driving around the city while they will only happen once every half hour while driving from PE to Cape Town. This has absolutely nothing to do with whether the big 5 comes first or last in your itinerary as Colin has said, as a matter of fact there absolutely no rule as to what is better viz seeing animals or the cities first. Make no error the experiences in both cases are wonderful but what I have found is that if one gets used to the fast pace of expereinces in Cape Town then the Garden Route falls somewhat flat because of the different style of experiences happening as well as the speed of these occurances taking place. With that said if you are going to travel down the Garden Route by car to PE you will not attain the above so you might as well take your time travelling down the Garden Route from Cape Town while making your way to Addo. To do this I would suggest that take about 4 days to travel to Addo travelling down the N2 via Swellendam and Knysna as I have already suggested. The one difference relative to my above suggestion would be that I would spend 2-3 nights in Knysna using the town as a central base or pivot to travel out in different directions on a daily basis so as to explore the Garden Route. I would then move on to PE and enjoy the game viewing in the area such as at Addo. With that said I would not spend two nights at Schotia as the expereince really is a one night affair. I also would not spend the extra night at Darlington Lake in that you can complete your Addo expereince in a morning and then as opposed to spending more time in the area I would rather make my way back to Oudtshoorn and spend more time on the R62 as I believe it is a much better experience. Thus after one night at Schotia I would travel back via the Langkloof to Oudtshoorn where I would overnight for one night before travelling back to Cape Town via the very scenic R62 which you could very comfortably do in 1 day however if you have the time saved by not going to Darlington Lake I would then suggest 2 days which would be wonderful.

I want to stress that making the effort of starting in PE is totally defeated if you are going to do the CT to PE journey by car; the way to gain a great experience from travelling in this manner is to make PE your very first stop by arriving in the city by air.

Hope this makes sense and that you have a wonderful stay in the Western and Eastern Cape.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
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Sep 17th, 2005, 07:12 PM
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Your route looks fine it is a great drive from Cape Town to PE.

Every time we suggest some one to Darlington I get the same comment we should have stopped longer.

I think how much time you spend in the area depends on how much you like the animals, it is one of the main reasons my friends visit.

It is worth considering blowing your and staying one night at Shamwari rather than Schotia it has been voted the world’s best safari for the past five years and Africa’s leading safari. I always think it is too expensive but keep being told you get the most animals per rand.

Storms River and the Tsitsikamma are wonderful the tree top canopy tour is great and the National Park is stunning, but you could take a night out, it is only 1 ¼ hours from Knysna and 1 ½ hours from P.E.

P.E. is worth at least one night suggest you look at www.fifthave.web.za for great hospitality and location 2 minutes walk from Hobie Beach.
The Langkloof the R62 (Route 62) runs parallel to the coast road.

Don't worry about trying to see everything in one trip, you will be back.
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Sep 17th, 2005, 09:50 PM
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Gaynor,

Making the assumption that you are not going to take the fly to PE option and are going to drive the route that you have proposed in your mail then I have to comment on part of your route when you talk of "leave Oudtshoorn via Swartberg pass to N1 and Franschhoek 1 night".

This is NOT do-able. For you to leave Oudtshoorn, travel over the Swartberg Pass to Prince Albert and then to return via a return journey back over the pass once again or via Meiringspoort, Oudthsorn and then to make your way to the N1 via the R62 to eventually arrive in Franschhoek, just does not leave you enough hours in the day to complete the journey. Let me also say that it definitely does not give you enough hours to do the journey qualitatively, after all one of the big factors of this ride is the unbelievable scenery and with that said I really feel that you will miss out badly from this point of view.

To accommodate this I would suggest that you either spend an extra night in Oudtshoorn and do the Swartberg ride as a seperate event or otherwise to do the Swartberg ride and then travel on the R62 up to about Barrydale or Montagu, where you should sleep over for the night. On the following day you could travel to Franschhoek.

Overall my feeling still remains that if possible the pound seat route would be for you to fly into PE from your overseas start of journey and then to make you way to Cape Town via the PE, Knysna, Oudtshoorn, R62, Franscchhoek, Cape Town route whereby you spend your last as opposed to your first days in Cape Town.

Hope all of this helps for you to enjoy your stay in this wonderful part of the world so much better.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa




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Sep 18th, 2005, 02:08 AM
  #9
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Thank you all for taking the time to advise me. It has been a great help and I think I've now got a good, workable itinerary and am ready to book accommodation. If I don't get to do all I want to this trip, I'll be back as Colind suggests !

Thanks again,
Gaynor
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