SA-JET From South Africa, joined May 2000, 297 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 3162 times:
April is a good time to travel. The worst of the hot summer weather is over. Mild days and cool evenings, although do pack something for the odd day when it still gets hot.
Start of in Cape Town. If you can budget for it; 4 or 5 star hotels to consider: The Table Bay Hotel (5 star, leading hotels of the world member). It's in the Waterfront, so very central. Good hotel. Otherwise, The Commodore Hotel, also now 5 star, although in my opinion it should not have been up-graded from its original 4 star classification. Also the new Arabella Sheraton in downtown cape town. Very nice. Otherwise, try the Waterfront Holiday Inn, or the Cullinan Southern Sun. I would stay in Cape Town for 3 days. Then drive to Hermanus (90 minute drive from cape town), spend 2 days there. It's a great coastal town. Then, drive from Hermanus along the Southern Cape to George, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. Maybe even up to Port Elizabeth. From Port Elizabeth, drop the car at the airport and fly to Joburg for your return flight. You can also fly to Joburg from George. South Africa is big, don't under-estimate distance between places. If going to the Southern Cape, think about maybe driving slightly inland as well. From George, over the Outeniqua mountains into the hinterland; to places like Uniondale. The Western Cape (the province that Cape Town is in) is not known for its game viewing. However, there are some up-market private game lodges like Bushman's Kloof; investigate that one as well. Cape Town to George is 6 hours in the car without stopping. In summary, investigate Cape Town and the Southern Cape as possible options.
Roads are good, driving is on the left. Accommodation is going to cost you. Restaurants though are reasonalbe, and the food is good.
Andz From South Africa, joined Feb 2004, 8580 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 3145 times:
Quoting SA-JET (Reply 1): If you can budget for it; 4 or 5 star hotels to consider: The Table Bay Hotel (5 star, leading hotels of the world member). It's in the Waterfront, so very central. Good hotel. Otherwise, The Commodore Hotel, also now 5 star, although in my opinion it should not have been up-graded from its original 4 star classification. Also the new Arabella Sheraton in downtown cape town. Very nice. Otherwise, try the Waterfront Holiday Inn, or the Cullinan Southern Sun.
Do this if you want to stay in a hotel like every other hotel in the world. Traffic in the city is a bitch, Capetonians can't drive. Hotels in Cape Town are also grossly overpriced. My favourite is the Blue Peter Hotel in Bloubergstrand, http://www.bluepeter.co.za it is not expensive, location is great, nice place for sundowners!
The problem with the schedule proposed by my countryman is too much driving and no animals! I would agree with starting in Cape Town, the winelands and the mountains are fabulous. Kruger or Pilanesberg would be good for some game viewing, you can fly to either from Johannesburg.
Check these sites for getting around, if you book your internal flights with your international legs it may be a lot cheaper.
Andz From South Africa, joined Feb 2004, 8580 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3131 times:
Johannesburg was the centre of the gold rush in this country, the city itself is no great shakes, I have lived in the vicinity for 31 years and can't really think of any "do not miss" attractions. If you are interested in how gold is mined there is an old mine at Gold Reef City south of Johannesburg where you can go down and tour the tunnels with a guide, then see them pour a gold bar. I've done that a few times with foreign visitors and it can be fun. Gold Reef City is a reconstruction of Johannesburg in the 1900s and can be a nice day out.
Other parts of the country have historical interest too, Kimberley for the diamond digs, KwaZulu Natal midlands and Mpumalanga for the Anglo-Boer war, but obviously with such a short time you have to prioritise.
I have no experience of the Blue Train but by all accounts it is something to see. http://www.bluetrain.co.za/. It is an overnight ride from Cape Town to Pretoria (or vice-versa) but it is expensive compared to flying. There is a short stop in Kimberley. If you have the means then sure, do it. There is a less expensive option called Premiere Classe http://www.premierclasse.co.za/.
Rovos Rail is another train trip that is popular with tourists. http://www.rovos.co.za/ They claim it is the most luxurious train in the world.
After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
SW733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6506 posts, RR: 8
Reply 5, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3106 times:
Two places: Cape Town and Kruger National Park, as mentioned earlier. Those two places are absolutely fantastic. I also love the Indian Ocean coast, around Durban for instance, but I would only go there if you have time on top of C.T. and Kruger.
Canuckpaxguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3055 times:
South Africa is AWESOME! I'm envious that you are going.
I spent just over 2 weeks in SA last year and I loved every second.
I saw Jo'burg, Nelspruit, Kruger, Durban, Kwazulu-Natal, Cape Town, Hermanus and even went through Swaziland. LOVED IT ALL!
I will happily send you photos and give you some advice via email. I don't have enough time to type out all the great things to see and do here on a.net.
Gavin, the son of Wendy and Tony is an official guide and does game park safari's and fishing tours on the indian ocean!
you can go fishing on the sea with Gavin and prepare a sushi out of it for dinner, at least I did! And a plane ride is possible too there! http://www.zululand-adventures.com/
this is me on the picture at the tip of the boat!
South Africa is a great place. I can recommend the Cullinan in Cape Town too. Stayed there twice. Also Bloubergstrand is very nice to stay at if you want more of a holiday resort. There are plenty of bed and breakfast places there too.
Cxsjr From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3019 times:
I've just last week returned from a 10 day trip to SA myself. WOW, what a fabulous time we had.
Mentioned here is the Holiday Inn Waterfront in Cape Town - we stayed here and it's an OK hotel but the rooms are a little dated and the only thing included in the room rate is the room; parking, internet, local 'free' calls etc etc etc are all charged extra (internet = $5 for 15 minutes!).
A trip to the Cape of Good Hope is worthwhile ....
If (sorry WHEN) you go up Table Mountain, you should go early morning as it's much quieter and the morning mists can make for some stunning views ....
I am a bit of a wine buff and so wouldn't have missed out on my two nights in Franshoek, a 'boutique' town with many fine restaurants serving equally fine wines and wonderful food at very reasonable prices. Take lunch at Essence and an evening meal at Rubens (be sure to book) and you won't regret it!
Along the route is Swellendam, worthwhile for a one night stop ....
If you do the drive to Port Elizabeth as suggested above, I can recommend two nights at http://www.tarn.co.za which is where we stayed. We were only scheduled for one night but extended to two nights as the location was simply stunning. Easily accessible from here is Storms River ....
I could rant and rave for ever more; it's a beautiful country and, as long as you exercise the usual caution in areas (which will be obvious), you should have a safe and trouble free trip. Feel free to message me if you want any further advice.