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Addo Elephant Park and Garden Route from Port Elizabeth

Sao Paulo, SP
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Addo Elephant Park and Garden Route from Port Elizabeth

Hello! This is the itinerary I've planning to do at the end of november for 7 nights:

a) I'll arrive in Port Elizabeth at 9:30 am in the morning by plane. At the airport, I'll take my rented car and should leave at 10:30 straight to Addo Elephant Park (how long do you think it's enough to see the park?). I should arrive at the park at noon;

b) I'll come back to Port Elizabeth and overnight there, staying in Humewood neighborhood and maybe have some time to see the harbour at night;

c) On the next morning, I intend to have breakfast close to Kings Beach in PE and leave early straight to Tsitsikamma National Park and see the Storm's River and the Bloukrans Bridge. What is a must see or do in the park? How long should my visit take?

d) Later, I intend to head to Knysna trying to see the Knysna Heads or the lagoon at sunset (where can I buy the ticket for the steamer, Lyn?) and overnight in Knysna (night 2), enjoying the evening to visit some shops. What else should I do in Knysna?

e) On the next day, I intend to see something else in Knysna and head to Wilderness,making 3 or 4 quick stops along the route for photos and enjoying the oportunity to see Wilderness Park. How long probably will I take in the park? What is a must see there and along the road? I will overnight in Wilderness (night 3).

f) On day 4, I intend to go to Oudtshoorn (I guess 1 h. drive), see the Cango Caves and the ostrich farm (how long should I spend in each place?). Is there time to see anything else? Then I'll head to Mossel Bay (1:30 drive) and overnight there (night 4). The idea of overnight there is because I want to reach Cape Agulhas Park in time the next day;

g) On day 5, I need to wake up really early to be able to drive all the 280 km until Cape Agulhas National Park, stopping along the route for pictures (is the road to Agulhas from Mossel bay spectacular or not) and reaching the park in time (it seems that the gates close at 7 pm), at least until 3 pm to see some of it.Do you think it's possible to enjoy the park for 3 or 4 hours only? Then I intend to overnight in Cape Agulhas, because I think I'll be pretty tired (night 5);

h) On day 6, I intend to go straight to Gaans Bay already for shark cage diving. Does anyone know a good and cheap tour agency where I can book the tour in advance (only the tour,since I'll have my own transportation)? Normally how long does the shark cage diving take? Do they have departures in the afternoon or only in the morning? Then I'll head to Hermanus, spend some timethere at night and sleep there (night 7);

i) On the next day, I'll go to the place where it's possible to watch whales (how can I go to this place and where is it?), see a bit of Hermanus and head to Cape Point to check it out.Where should I overnight on this night? I thought to sleep in Simon's Town (night 7). On the next day (day 8), I'll visit the Boulders beach and make my way back to Cape Town, where I'll return the car and stay 4 nights.

j) In one of the days, while in Cape Town, I intend to do the winelands tour, see the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, the Table Mountain and sunset at Lion's Head, Clifton and Camp's beaches, Robben's Island and the V&A Waterfront.

Do you think that the itinerary above is possible to be accomplished? Any suggestions are welcome. If anybody wants to join me in this journey, send me a message. I'll do it from 20 to 27/nov. On this way,we can share petrol costs ans stories!

Other iportant questions:

1-) I read that the gates of all the parks I'll visit are open from 7 am to 7pm. Is it correct?

2-) Does anybody about where do I find toll fees information? Are there many tolls along this route?

3-) Does anybody know the average price of petrol per liter in the area?

4-) Along the route, are there safe stations to stop in case I have any problems?

5-) Is it safe to drive at night along this route? I'm trying to avoid this, but at least in 2 occasions, I'll have to drive around 100 km during the night .

6-) In the end of november, normally, at what time the sun sets down?

Thank you for all the tips that you might give me.

Kent
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1. Re: Addo Elephant Park and Garden Route from Port Elizabeth

It all looks very good except day 4, rather get closer to Agulhas than stay in Mossel Bay, you could go inland to Barrydale on the R62, next day take the Tradou Pass & join the N2 to Swellendam then the R319 to Agulhas. Or you could overnight at Witsand, small fishing village with a bay full of whales, or De Hoop NR, then take the pont at Malgas & head to Agulhas. At Hermanus you will see whales from the cliff top. When leaving Hermanus to Cape Town take the R44 coastal road, stunning views, Betty's Bay penguin colony & at Somerset West there is the cheetah outreach. From here you join the N2 then take the R310 towards Muizenberg but I don't recommend driving this road in the dark. I don't think you have enough time to get from Hermanus to the Cape in one day so would suggest stay overnight in Kalk Bay or Fish Hoek.

Port Elizabeth
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2. Re: Addo Elephant Park and Garden Route from Port Elizabeth

Bit of a rush for Addo, but do-able.

Sao Paulo, SP
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3. Re: Addo Elephant Park and Garden Route from Port Elizabeth

Thank you. Actually I intend to overnight in Hermanus, go to Cape Point and overnight in a city close to Cape Point, maybe Fish Hoek, like you suggested.

I won't overnight in mossel bay then, but I think the options that you suggested are too much for Wilderness - Cango Caves - Cango Ostrich Farm - Witsand or Barrysdale. What about if I stay in Heidelville. I saw that there's a place called LemonTree Cottage there. Do you know this hotel?

Thank you again,

Vanessa.

Kent
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4. Re: Addo Elephant Park and Garden Route from Port Elizabeth

I do not know about Heidelberg. From Wilderness you would come to Cango WR first, then Cango Caves, perhaps overnight in Oudtshoorn & next day the very early morning Meerkat adventure, then drive to your next destination? Otherwise what time do you think you will leave this area ? I do not advise driving in the dark.

The same question for Hermanus what time will you leave, what do you intend on visiting/stopping at on route & what time do you think you will arrive at Muizenberg ? The reason I ask is this really is best as a full day trip, start from Muizenberg through small towns each have something to offer, there are plenty of viewing spots to look for whales, after Boulders there is no towns, you get to Cape Point then afterwards you continue round to Noordhoek, then Champmans Peak Drive, catch the sunset & hit Camps Bay for drinks. If you stay overnight in Fish Hoek after a visit to the cape you will miss out on portions of the peninsular, no point in back-tracking.

Weybridge
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5. Re: Addo Elephant Park and Garden Route from Port Elizabeth

Hi there,

My concern is Hermanus and the whale watching - the peak whale watching season is September-October, and by the end of November, there is a pretty hefty chance that the majority of the Southern Right whales will have left to migrate back 'home' again to the Antarctic.

However, don't despair, as Plettenberg Bay along the Garden Route offers all year round sightings of their resident Bryde’s whales. The Southern Right whales are in the bay from between June and early November, and then when they leave, migratory humpback whales arrive with their calves early November and stay until the end of February. So you do stand a pretty good chance of seeing whales here!

Given this, I would suggest rejigging things slightly, and include a night in Plettenberg Bay before you stay in Knysna, and take out the night in Hermanus and after your shark cage dive, go straight to Cape Town.

Tracey, Owner/Director, Travel Butlers

Sao Paulo, SP
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6. Re: Addo Elephant Park and Garden Route from Port Elizabeth

What I'm thinking to do on day 4, after your suggestions, is to leave Wilderness early (at 8 am), head to Oudtshoorn to visit the Cango Caves, Wild Ranch and ostrich farm, then leave at around 7 pm (I guess in summer, at this time, the sun is starting to set or am I wrong?) via inland road to Barrydale (after a better research, I understood better your first suggestion to sleep in Barrydale).

Do you know a good inn or backpackers hostel there? Im my researchs, I came across Sandy's place ( http://www.sandysplace.co.za/ ) and Barrydale Backpackers Dung Beetle hostel (they don't have an own webpage, just a profile on facebook), but if anybody has any other good suggestions for a reasonable price, I'll also consider the options.

On the next day, I'll drive from Barrydale, passing by Tradouws Pass like you suggested, to Agulhas National Park and from there to Gansbaai. To drive from Oudtshoorn to Agulhas National Park and still see the park on the same day, it's too much, that's why your idea is really great, thank you! But I'm still worried that driving from Wilderness to Oudtshoorn, visiting Cango Caves, WR and ostrich farm and still driving to Barrydale is also a lot, but do-able. What do you think? How long shall I take to visit all the 3 attractions in Oudtshoorn (I'll skip the meerkat adventure)?

Thank you again!

Sao Paulo, SP
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7. Re: Addo Elephant Park and Garden Route from Port Elizabeth

Tracey, thank you for your suggestion!

I want to see a bit of the city of Hermanus (I heard it's a nice city) and still visit Cape Point and Boulders beach after it (and overnight there), so that's why I can't stay 1 night else in Plettenberg Bay (not possible to fit in the schedule).

Is it not possible to stop in Plettenberg Bay for a while (let's say 1 hour) on my way to Knysna, after Tsitsikamma Park or do you think it's a lot? If possible, to where should I go to watch the whales there? This "point" from where I can watch them is close to the highway to Knysna?

Sao Paulo, SP
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8. Re: Addo Elephant Park and Garden Route from Port Elizabeth

Braaiseason, I wrote you a reply with more questions above, but forgot to answer to you your other question about Hermanus - Meizenberg - Boulders Beach route.

I'm thinking to see a bit more of Hermanus in the morning of 26th of november, leave there at noon, arrive in Meizenberg at 14:00 and drive from there until Boulders Beach and see the beach, if I have time, on the same day (26th of november) or, if I don't have time, see it on the next day. From 26th to 27th, I'm considering to overnight in Simon's Town then, because it's close to Boulders Beach. What do you think? Or do you think half day of the 25th (after the shark cage diving it's enough to see Hermanus and, on this way, I can leave Hermanus on 26th early in the morning).

For what you wrote, I understood that the small towns with things to offer are the ones on the way from Muizenberg to Boulders Beach (only 19 km drive) or these small towns are on the way from Hermanus to Muizenberg? Anyway, it still look that Simon's Town is the best option to overnight from 26th to 27th of november, right?

Where are exactly the other view spots to look for whales? Do you think by this time of the year, like Tracey warned me, I will still be able to see them from these other spots?

One last question: how long do you think I'll take to visit Boulders Beach and Cape Point?

Thank you! You're all really helping me to have a better idea of the best overnight stops and things to do. I thought I will have enough time to see all, but it seems that it takes at least 15 days to really enjoy the Garden Route.

Kent
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9. Re: Addo Elephant Park and Garden Route from Port Elizabeth

By 7pm it will be dark. Oudtshoorn to Barrydale, google says 2hrs 15 mins via the R62, I can't say how accurate that is but as a guide you should really leave by 4pm. Best to do the Caves first, tours leave on the hour, every hour from 9am, if you can do this, visit an ostrich farm & have lunch before Cango WR then you will do well. There are 2 tours at the caves, 60 mins & 90 mins, ostrich farm we spent a good hour, WR up to 2 hours ? I can't help you with places to stay.

I think you will probably have enough time to visit Plett prior to Knysna, they are not that far ½ hr apart.

From Hermanus if you take the coastal road R44 you should stop at Betty's Bay for penguins, less touristy & more of them, I hear. There is also Harold Porter botanical gardens, I see Kirstenbosch is your list so this may interest as well. All along this route you should watch out for whales, if they have left Hermanus you may see them whilst driving along. Taking all this into account if you plan to visit the cheetah's at Somerset West I can't see you arriving at Muizenberg at 2 pm. I suggest you stop overnight at Kalk Bay, best fish in the whole of CT & the pub next door the Brass Bell, sit out the back & watch for whales they make lots of noise at night. If you can catch the high tide on the 27th approx 10 am you may see whales from Kalk Bay to Glencairn, at the Clovelly end of Fish Hoek's great beach. Clovelly & Glencairn you get very close to the whales whilst still on land. I don't know what the numbers are going to be, I heard they arrived late this year ? perhaps they will leave later ? If you manage to do all this & above in the previous day then head straight to Boulders/Seaforth, just outside of Simon's Town, you could spend ages here, there so cute & amusing, I can't say but when leaving make sure none are under your car :0) Cape Point a couple of hours or more, then a good 1-2 hours drive to the city, it takes that long as there are so many places to stop & soak up fantastic views, beaches, and the sunset.

Check to see if Kirstenbosch have a concert on the Sunday as you may want to visit then, if they do.

Weybridge
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10. Re: Addo Elephant Park and Garden Route from Port Elizabeth

Hi,

As braaiseason said (love the name, btw!!), you will be able to stop on the way to Knysna as they are so close - from the N2 into Plett is not far, probably about a 15 minute drive I would say? There are several good spots to watch the whales from the clifftops, but I wouldn't be confident to give you directlion to the BEST places, so hopefully a Plett Expert can jump in here and advise. However, to fit this in AND do Tsitsikamma 'justice' is a bit of an ask, and you may find that you feel a bit rushed - but yes, it is do-able.

Boulders Beach - you can easily spend an hour here. Cape Point - you will probably want to stop and photograph Cape of Good Hope, and then a 5 minute drive further on from this car park you get to the main car park and the Visitor Centre. A short walk or funicular railway from here takes you to Cape Point itself. Timewise, from entering the Nature Reserve - give yourself a good couple of hours?

Tracey - Owner/Director, Travel Butlers

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