South Africa Honeymoon

Apr 15th, 2006, 04:24 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,097

Sorry but this is going to probably throw you into a quandary as I generally agree with Jasher but this time round I dont.

I would rather suggest that you spend the extra night at the Grace and forego a night at LQF for Tsala. My reasoning behind this is as follows:

Firstly to gain the extra night at Tsala is a must do event in my opinion.

With the above said Franschhoek is a little tranquil village that offers wonderful cuisine, touristy shopping, marvellous rest, an opportunity to enjoy the winefarms surrounding the area and not much else. As a matter of fact if you really take a hard look at Franschhoek it is quite a clever commercial venture that is very well marketed to a tourist population. When I take people on tour to the Winelands I can complete a tour of the town in 1-2 hours and thereafter there wont be much to do. On the other hand if I tour people through Cape Town and its surrounds I need a couple of days to complete the function. What I am trying to say is that a journey to Franschhoek is a predominantly rest type stay relative to Cape Town. It is for this reason that I still go to Franschhoek once a year for a 5 day total rest break or even on the odd occasion travel to Franschhoek for dinner such as tonight when I am sleeping over at Plumwood Inn so as to sample the facility and at the same time we are dining at my favourite Franschhoek restaurant viz. Le Bon Vivant. When it comes to your honeymoon it seems to fall into the following itinerary:

Blue Train.....(Overnight)
Cape Town...(3 or 4 days)
Franschhoek..(2 or 3 days)
Tsala..............(2 days)

If I have to subdivide the above into rest and sightseeing days you should land up with something like:

Blue Train.......(Overnight)...Rest
Cape Town.....(3 days).......Sightseeing
Cape Town.....(1 day).........Rest
Franschhoek....(1 day).........Sightseeing
Franschhoek....(1 day).........Rest
Tsala................(1 day).........Sightseeing
Tsala................(1 day).........Rest

In summary you could have:

Cape Town
3 days of sightseeing
1 day of rest

1 day of sightseeing
1 day of rest


Cape Town
3 days of sightseeing

1 day of sightseeing
2 days of rest

If you ask me I would say that the third day at Franschhoek will be a very boring one for you relative to your day in Cape Town. Furthermore if need be you can always expand your options to sightseeing on your rest days however your opportunities to do this will be so much more in Cape Town than Franschhoek.

In terms of culinary opportunities as far as I am concerned the Franschhoek eating experiences are highly overrated in that the town markets itself so well. Please do not misunderstand this statement because the food in Franschhoek is wonderful however you can find the same quality if not better in at least 10 top restaurants in Cape Town too. An example of this is a new restaurant in Cape Town that I am sure many Fodorites have not heard yet called The Showroom (Owned and run by Bruce Robinson who was the head chef of the Cape Grace until two months ago). In my opinion this eating venue leaves anything available in Franschhoek in the dust. All I am trying to say is that if you are going to be spoilt for choice food wise in Franschhoek you will be equally if not more spoilt for choice in Cape Town. Thus cuisine should not the reason to want to extend a stay in Franschhoek over Cape Town.

In summary if you want to split your time between sightseeing and rest then in my opinion the better split would be to take the 4 days in Cape Town, 2 days in Franschhoek and 2 days in Tsala

No matter what decision you take I say again you are in for a great honeymoon.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Apr 16th, 2006, 07:46 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,501

I think that whether a third day in Franschhoek makes sense depends on how much you enjoy wine tasting as well as excellent food.

If you're not that interested in wine tasting, then Selwyn's suggestion makes sense. However, if you are interested in wine tasting, you could easily spend three nights in Franschhoek -- there are so many wineries to visit that you'll be spolit for choice.

jasher is offline  
Apr 16th, 2006, 10:38 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 8
hi i agree with most facts but I would have done the rovosrail train instead what do the rest of you think of rovos? I did it a few years ago and it was excellent. it offers two days instead of 1 for the rates you pay the two night option worked better for me.

ps. congrats with your engagement
northtosouth is offline  
Apr 16th, 2006, 06:58 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 24
Thanks All! This is wonderful advice and great thoughts. My fiance and I are definate wine lovers, and I think we are going to relish a couple of days of rest/wine tasting when we arrive, so I am going to go with the first thought and do 2 nights at Tsala and 3 nights at the Cape Grace.

Final Itinerary:

July 16th - JFK to LHR
July 17th - LHR to JNB
July 18th - JNB to CPT
July 18th - 21st - Le Quartier Francais
July 21st - 23rd - Tsala Treetops
July 23rd - 26th - Cape Grace
July 26th - 27th - Blue Train
July 27th - 28th - JNB (Michaelangelo)
July 28th - Aug 1 - Londolozi Bateleur

Feel free to critique and add any suggestions for dining, sights, etc..
ElliottNYC is offline  
Apr 17th, 2006, 12:02 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,097

I never realised that you were going to be doing your itinerary in the order that you have provided. My suggestion to you would have been to do the Blue Train straight after your arrival in Johannesburg. I say this because the Blue Train would be the ideal way to recharge your batteries and be rid of your lag. With you now spending your first day in SA at Le Quartier I think that this would be good thinking as you should be writing your first day off anyway so as to be resting out completely which will ensure that you enjoy the rest of your journey. Franschhoek certainly provides the ambiance for this type of experience.

Enjoy your stay in our great country.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  

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