SA Itinerary--too rushed?

Old May 3rd, 2004, 03:28 PM
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SA Itinerary--too rushed?

We are planning on a trip to South africa for 14 days in July. Our flight arrives into Jo'burg and we plan on taking a flight to Cape Town that morning we arrive....We then plan on renting a car, and explore Capetown and drive along the Garden Route ending in Port Elizabeth. We want to end our trip with a 3-5 day safari in Kruger (we leave out of Jo'Burg). Is this general itinerary going to be too rushed, or is ~10 days in Capetwon and Garden Route + ~4 days Safari OK. Also, can we drive from Capetown to Port Elizabeth and then to Kruger, or is it best to fly from P.E. to Jo'burg and then rent a car to Kruger? Thanks in advance!
jonniew is offline  
Old May 3rd, 2004, 04:01 PM
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Your itinerary is feasible provided you fly from P.E. to Johannesburg or perhaps even from P.E. to Nelspruit. Driving from P.E. to Kruger would make too much of a dent in your precious time.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Old May 3rd, 2004, 04:10 PM
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Unless you are doing a self-drive safari through Kruger NP, it doesn't make sense to drive to Kruger from anywhere. There are direct flights from both Joburg and Cape Town, and I would imagine from Durban and other places, as well.

I do suggest that you allow four nights for your safari in order to have a relaxed and enjoyable time.

10 nights for Cape Town and the Garden Route sounds fine, as long as you are not spending more than four nights in Cape Town.

Lastly, is it possible for you to fly directly into Cape Town. This would save you connection time. If your concern is that you will be flying out of Joburg to go home, I believe that you will not be charged any extra to fly into Cape Town and out of Joburg. It is worth looking into further.

Good luck.
Roccco is offline  
Old May 3rd, 2004, 11:09 PM
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Your itinerary will work but can be improved as far as I am concerned. There is an important variable that comes into play that is dependant on your needs that can change matters and that is "are you intending to see game in the Port Elizabeth region or for that matter what are you intending to do and see in Port Elizabeth?"

I have a feeling that you are intending to see game in the Kruger Park and not the PE area. Furthermore I also have a feeing that the only reason as to why you are suggesting that you travel to PE is to catch a plane to Johannesburg. PE is a bit of a dump and really is not worth the ride in such a short period of travel. Furthermore you can use George airport as a better link in your whole plan as opposed to PE.

I recommend that you do your safari, fly to George, enjoy the Garden Route and then enjoy Cape Town before flying home. I suggest that you travel in this manner as I always suggest that one ends one journey in Cape Town when visiting our great country. Your SA journey will be a crescendo of events where Cape Town or possibly the Kruger Park should be the climax. If you travel making Cape Town your first port of call then the Garden Route falls
slightly flat. I am not being arrogant when I say this and please trust me
on this issue. I know that most tour books will tell you differently but
what these writers write about is what they hear and see all else do. What I
tell you is what I have experienced over and over as a tourguide/operator
in the area.

Thus my suggestion for an itinerary to you would be as follows

Day 1.
Fly into Johannesburg. Overnight at a guesthouse and REST REST REST. You are going to need it after the long flight and it will help you to be fit and ready to enjoy the rest of your journey.
I cannot emphasize the fact that rest is the best investment you can make on this day so as to make your total journey a very succesful one.

Day 2 - Day 6
Travel to Kruger by hired car and enjoy your safari.

Day 7
Travel by car or possibly fly back to Johannesburg and thereafter fly from Johannesburg to George (NOT PE) Take on new car hire in George and book into a guesthouse in Knysna.

Day 8 and 9
Use Knysna as a pivot to explore the South Eastern part of the Garden Route region. (Plettenberg Bay, Stormsriver etc)

Day 10
Travel by car to Cape Town enjoying the Western sector nof the Garden Route along the way. (Wilderness, Mossel Bay etc)

Day 11,12 and 13.
Enjoy Cape Town

Day 14.
Fly back to Johannesburg and then on to your home destination. I am going to assume that you are flying back to the USA (I could be wrong) and if my assumption is correct then try and make your booking for your flight from Cape Town to Atlanta or New York as the cost of the CT - Jhb leg will be built into your SA - USA SAA flight for a virtually free price.

A VERY IMPORTANT factor in the above journey is the fact that your unpack/packup bags days vs total days in SA ratio will be at its lowest percentage meaning that you will be able to enjoy your vacation in the best possible way available to you.

Sorry for overturning what you originally suggested itinerary wise as there is nothing wrong with your original tour plan. I do however believe that the above one, if it is possible to be accomplished in your broad tour plan, is a better one to follow be it from an enjoyment or relaxation point of view.

Hope the above helps.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Old May 4th, 2004, 05:16 AM
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I wold have to completely agree with Selwyn-- who provided an amazing itinerary for you. I am American, married to a So. African(we live in NYC) and last winter we too explored Cape Town, drove along the the Garden Route to Knysna (great town) on to Addo Elephant Park and Pt. Elizabeth (nothing to see there). We then drove back to CT thru the mountains, saw an ostrich farm in Outshoorn (sp?) and to my in-laws in Witsand (nice town but only worth visiting if you actually know someone there--way out of the way). You will enjoy every bit of yoru SA adventure, it is a beautiful country with wonderful people and delicious food. Have a great time!!
SFM is offline  
Old May 4th, 2004, 02:17 PM
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Thanks to everyone for your reply! This is very helpful!
jonniew is offline  
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