What to see and do in South Africa


Jul 19th, 1999, 11:55 AM
Erich Pokorny
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What to see and do in South Africa

I will be visiting South Africa for the first time in early-2000. I would like to spend at least 2-3 days in Cape Town and then head toward the wine growing region and spend a few days there as well. I'm quite sure there are smaller towns that would also be nice to visit. Can someone also recommend other places to see within the country? I will be doing a lot of reading on South Africa before I leave, of course, but would greatly appreciate any inputs on what to do and what to see there for a first-time visitor. Thank you in advance for your assistance. Erich
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Jul 20th, 1999, 11:30 AM
Roger Vineall
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It's rather difficult to answer general questions like this - a lot depends on what your interests are, how long you're planning to stay in the country and how much travelling around you're prepared to do.

Starting in Cape Town is a good bet. A lot of the wine-growing regions are within an easy day trip of Cape Town (some less than an hour's drive), but there are others further afield (Robertson, Montagu for instance). Cape Town has many other attractions - Table Mountain, Cape Point and plenty of others that any decent guidebook should cover. The Garden Route is about 300 miles from Cape Town - just over 4 hours to drive there, though the town of Geroge is serviced by an airport. I'm going to list some towns - I think you should investigate further to see if they'll interest you. Knysna, Port Elizabeth, East London, Graaff-Reinet, Cradock. Moving to the east coast there's the city of Durban which is a major tourist attraction, though it can be quite humid from January through March. The Drakensberg mountains inland are also worth a visit. There are game parks in Northern Natal (Hluhluwe and Umfolosi) or your could head to the famous Kruger Park in the province of Mpumalanga. The cities of Johanessburg and Pretoria are probably of more historical interest, though catering for a cosmopolitan population they do have plenty of entertainment attractions, and I'm sure the local tourist offices would fill in the gaps I've left. Happy planning.
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Jul 21st, 1999, 11:50 AM
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I'll give you a few of my favorite small towns in the wine growing regions. I have indicated my travel times without stops. Tulbagh is a quaint small town with interesting architecture, arts/crafts, cuisine (go to Paddagang restaurant)and wine estates (2 hours from Cape Town). One of them is Twee Jongerhezellin (spelling very questionable) which gives an interesting cellar tour of their champaign making process. Franschoek is a must (1 hour from Cape Town)! Drive up the pass and get a fantastic view of the entire valley. The scenic drive out to Hermanus is breathtaking (2 hours from Cape Town). Stop off in Betty's Bay and take a stroll through the Harold Porter nature reserve and a freshen up with a swim. Once in Hermanus take a coastal walk along the cliffs over the see, visit Hamilton Russel wine farm. Hermanus has a great market on the weekends and a golf course as well if that's your cup of tea. I also recommend a taste of the West Coast by visiting Langebaan (1 hour). Visit Pearly's on the beach. It is casual (no shoes required) but the seafood is a fresh as it gets. All for now. Cheers, hope you have a great time
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Oct 18th, 2003, 01:10 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
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We just recently returned and maybe our trip report can help you out. It is under "Return from SA". We did visit Capetown and drove from there to the wine regions, Hermanus, and Knysna, along with visitng 3 game parks...all worth visiting. Have a good trip and let us know if you have any specific questions.
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