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Update on trip planning + Qs on Garden Route & KZN Itinerary


Dec 2nd, 2003, 06:39 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,182
Update on trip planning + Qs on Garden Route & KZN Itinerary

I have just this morning made a confirmed reservation for my accommodation in Cape Town.

I wrote to my top five list telling them a little about myself and Pete and about our trip and also our tight budget. I did make it clear that we were splashing out in Botswana and Namibia - I didn't want to obtain a low rate under false pretences of absolute poverty - but said how we are on a very low budget for the SA addition. I asked if they could offer any discounts for our 6 night stay in May 2004.

All 5 wrote back, some with better offers than others, but all with kindness, patience and a welcoming message.

Taking into account amenities, location, room size and price, we settled on Jambo Guest House which offered a very, very generous discount and which seems to match our requirements perfectly.

I've also confirmed the booking at Addo, staying 2 nights in an ensuite, SC rondavel.

First itinerary advice request:

I have 9 nights following the 6 in Cape Town and prior to the 2 in Addo, to play with.

Initial plans were as follows:

2 nts Western Winelands (probably Stellenbosch, possibly Franschoek)
1 nt Hermanus
1 nt Swellendam
1 nt Oudtshoorn
1 nt "Hell"
3 nts Knysna/ Plett Bay

I'm now thinking (given time of year and lack of whales) that I will omit an overnight in Hermanus but visit the coast/ town during a day drive from Western Winelands. I could then expand that stay to 3 nights.

Because I'd like to drive down to Oudtshoorn via the Cango Caves and the beautiful mountain pass that I think Selwyn or someone else recommended, I'm thinking that a route via Swellendam doesn't make much sense.

Would it be better to take the high road from Stellenbosch, stopping one night en route? Then take a night in "Hell", if we don't decide to omit it because of the hair raising drive over the mountains and down into the valley, where it's situated. (The extra night could be spent in Oudsthoorn or George). Then continue towards our 3 nights in Knysna/ Plett Bay?

That would look like this:

3 nts Western Winelands (probably Stellenbosch, possibly Franschoek)
1 nt in a town on high road
1 nt Hell
1 nt Oudtshoorn (2 if no stop in Hell or insert 1 nt in George)
3 nts Knysna/ Plett Bay

First itinerary advice request:

I am also progressing really well with the KZN/ Kruger part of my itinerary. I've booked 2 nights at Mpila in Umfolozi.

After that I have 2 nights which I'd like to spend in Hluhluwe. I have prices for a Hilltop Self Catering Ensuite Chalet (which is a lot more than I'd hoped) or the option of staying at Ubizane, next door, where I can either opt for bed and breakfast for less than SC in Hilltop or SC for less again. I've had both good and bad feedback on Ubizane, but, I believe problems are likely to have been resolved since Three Cities have taken over it and had time to improve management issues. I'm tempted by the big price differential.

I then have 3 free nights which I'm thinking of splitting between St Lucia and Ndumo.

The end of the SA trip is going to be 3 nights in Ithala, one night in Hazyview or area to break up a drive that's simply too long for one day, then 3 nights at Olifants. Then an overnighter in Jo'burg before flight to Maun and onto the luxury bit of the trip.

I'm seriously considering reducing my 2 nights near Durban (actually to be spent in Ballito so we can visit a fellow Fodorite) to just 1 night so I can increase the St Lucia/ Ndumo slot to 4 nights, 2 each in 2 places.

1 nt Durban
2 nts Umfolozi
2 nts Hluhluwe
2 nt St Lucia wetlands (don't know where to choose)
2 nts Ndumo? (am looking at splashing out on lodge if I can)
3 nts Ithala
1 nt Hazyview area
3 nts Kruger
1 nt Jo?burg

I'd be grateful for any comments.

Kavey is offline  
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Dec 2nd, 2003, 09:30 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 149
Kavey!! I have a new idea of a place near Phinda that I discovered at the Getaway Travel Show in Durban that I have had had email contact with. It looks great. It is called Zuka. It was started by the same family as the Phinda people and is right next door at a very reasonable price. They said that the fences between their place and Phinda would probably be coming down in March, and if not we can pay a bit extra and go into Phinda anyway to see their predator population! The price was under 1000/night. Their web is Zuka.co.za. They are near enough Hluhluwe that they can also drive there.
I went to Ubazane when it was under three cities. Yuk!!

My house is actually rising from the ground, ever so slowly. Luckily if not finished, my rental is also 4 bedrooms but not as cool but a 2 minute walk to Thompson's Bay Beach.

I just heard that Treatment Action Campaign was nominated for the Nobel Prize. They have gotten the government of South Africa to give free ARVs to the poor. I am proud to be the KZN doc that is working with them to help start treatment of HIV children. Go Zakie!!

kimwhits is offline  
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Dec 5th, 2003, 04:22 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 31
I agree with you to forget Hermanus and extend your stay in Stellenbosch - look at Blaauklippen Lodge. Plett is very much "just another seaside town".

If you're staying in Umfolosi I wouldn't trouble about Hluhluwe as well. You might think of 3 nights in Umfolosi then on to Ndumu via St Lucia. It's quite a drive but Ndumu has always beeen the gem in the crown of reserves in KZN for me. If you have 8 nights I'd go 3 in Umfolosi, 2 in St Lucia and 3 in Ndumu. That wil give you enough contrast to stave off boredom!
Ryetee is offline  
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Dec 17th, 2003, 02:35 AM
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Topping for further input, thanks for the ideas/ feedback so far.
Kavey is offline  
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Dec 17th, 2003, 02:38 AM
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Ryetee would you happen to know if there's a website for Blaauwklippen Lodge?
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