Tstsikamma, Garden Route & Tour operators

Old Sep 29th, 2007, 05:41 PM
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Tstsikamma, Garden Route & Tour operators

We're two 65 Y.O.s (in pretty good shape) planning to go to SA next year. Is the cable journey under the canopy at Tstsikamma Park something that seniors generally enjoy?
Also, We're not sure how comfortable we feel about self driving the Garden Route (in September). Any advice will be appreciated.
Lastly, we've contacted Africa Adventure Co. to arrange the trip but would like to have an alternate to consider. Recommendations welcome but has anyone had experience with Cedarberg Travel? One of their standard offerings is just what we want.
Thanks, Steve
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Old Sep 30th, 2007, 06:41 AM
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I have heard of Cedarburg. Cannot recall any reports of those who went with them.

I have used Africa Adventure several times with outstanding results, especially when problems arose. These were things such as cancelled domestic flights in Africa or last minute security problems that were not within their control, but they were Johnny-on-the-spot in fixing them so all went well for me. I have a trip lined up with them again.

Others to consider are Eyes on Africa in Chicago. I used them on the last trip and they were great to work with everything was excellent. One of the owners of Eyes on Africa is from South Africa.

Also getting good remarks is Fish Eagle Safaris in Houston. I've talked with the owner Bert, who is South African, and appreciated the extensive literature he sent me. I will consider him for future trips.

For Cape Town in July 2008, I am using Take 2 Tours, for several day trips. They are a South Africa company recommended by the great white shark viewing company I will be using in Simonstown.

I cannot answer anything about the cable journey. In your shoes and in my shoes I do not want to drive the garden route alone. Of course, I've never done it.

When you have more specifics, please post.
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Old Sep 30th, 2007, 06:44 AM
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You may have seen this comprehensive report. They did a self drive. Had a flat tire too.

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Old Sep 30th, 2007, 06:16 PM
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Thanks atravelynn. I had read parts of Ann's report as it got posted. They seemed to encounter little difficulty along the Garden Route; and, the Africa Adventure representative has advised that we shouldn't worry. But, we've still read about others how had serious problems in the area. Did Africa Adventure Co. offer you any advice??
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Old Oct 1st, 2007, 09:00 AM
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My husband and I most recently drove the Garden Route in 2006, and have driven it once or twice in previous years. There's no reason to be concerned. If you belong to AAA in the US, your membership is valid in the South African AA, so you don't need to worry about car trouble.

We loved Tsitsikamma Park, but didn't do the cable thing. Walking to the place where you get the boat for the river trip was plenty strenuous enough for us.

Have a wonderful time!

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Old Oct 1st, 2007, 10:37 AM
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Not sure why you would experience a problem, the roads along the Garden Route are excellent, I would allow 4 or 5 days and you will be fine.

The tree top canopy tour is good for all ages, it starts close to the ground and uses the slope of the forest to whiz you through the trees.

Why not use an operator in South Africa rather than an agent in the U.S. they will be on hand should a problem arise.
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Old Oct 1st, 2007, 11:30 AM
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Hello Steve,

I have just recently returned from a solo trip to South Africa. I booked the Garden Route portion of my trip with Hylton Ross in Cape Town prior to my arrival and all was confirmed about 3 weeks in advance of my departure from the US.arrival. It was ' an escorted tour - a group tour' which departs on Tuesdays. On the tour, we had an EXCELLENT driver/guide by the name Francois, a intelligent, amusing and knowledgable man who gave us a lot of background information on the history of South Africa. The tour lasted 4 nights/3 days, and went from Cape Town to Knysna and back. A wonderful experience with beautiful memories and no worries about driving. If you need any other information, please feel free to write back. You can always request Francois from Hylton Ross, which is a well established South African tour company.

The Bushperson
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Old Oct 1st, 2007, 04:59 PM
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Since I am not doing Cape Town with AAC, I did not receive any advice from them. I believe their advice encouraging you to do a self drive is reliable because

a) they do not want a problem with a client and will advise against anything dangerous. I requested an activity with them that they would not book for safety reasons. I ended up foregoing that activity.

b) they’d make more money by booking you a driver and car than just a car.

Here are some threads on self-drives in SA, all supportive of it.




I won’t self-drive because
a) I am going alone and am a terrible navigator.
b) I am concerned about driving on the side of the road that I am unaccustomed to.
c) I want to see more and if you are driving and paying attention to the road like you are supposed to do, you miss stuff.
d) I don’t even like to drive and usually ride my bike, walk, or take the bus.
e) I enjoy the expertise and companionship of a local guide.

Here is a link to Selwyn who posts here and has been used by many Fodorites. Everyone raves about him and he is in the running for an international excellence in guiding title as I write. You might contact him instead of driving.


Good luck!

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Old Oct 1st, 2007, 07:43 PM
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atravelynn-Thanks again for your reply. Your perspective on the security/safety issue is probably accurate. Crime is our major concern. The Africa Adventure rep advised that we'd be OK as long as we were on the road in the daytime and took care not to get lost.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2007, 02:03 PM
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hi, steve,

just to re-enforce what other fodorites have said, and what I said in my trip report, I can't see any reason to worry unduly about self-driving the garden route.

as ever, travelynn makes some good points and in the end the decision is yours. whatever you decide, do go - the area is stunning and very varied. and please try to include Cape town in your trip. we had a truly great time there.

regards, ann
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