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joining the dots - CT/R62/Drakensberg/Safari

London, United...
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joining the dots - CT/R62/Drakensberg/Safari

Firstly, a big thank you for everyone who has contributed to this forum. It has been a huge help.

I would be very grateful if anyone can help me with joining up the different potential trips that we have planned.

We are arriving in Cape Town on the 24rd April and will be staying in SA for 18 days (final day is the departure from J'Bourg in the evening 11th May 2011).

We wish to spilt our time potentially between -

1. Cape Town

2. R62 Route

3. Drakensburg Mountains

4. Safari.

Itinerary:

1. We would like to spend 5-6 days (with day trips to Cape Point/Stellenbosch).

2. Travel to Franschoek, Villiersdorp, Roberston, then through to Montagu, Calizdorp,Outshoorn down to Roberston and onto Kynsa.

Should we break the journey and stay overnight at Montagu (therefore a 2 day trip)?

How many days should we allocate to visit Kynsa, Storms River, Plett bay, Robberg nature reserve, and hike in the Tsikamma forest? Some people have suggested basing ourselves in Wilderness. Any thoughts?

The next bit is where I am particularly struggling. We most likely will have 6-7 days left and would like to fit in a 2 day safari and also visit the Drakensberg Mountains. Is there any negatives about visiting the Mountains in May? Am I right in thinking that the best thing to do would be to fly from PE to Durban and then drive?

With regards Safari, I am inclined to visit Pumba Water Lodge or Amakhala depending on availability. The other option would be a game reserve around Durban. I think pushing for Kruger would be to much unless we change plans and drop something. I suspect that accommodation at Kruger would be very difficult to find now, otherwise, if we drop Drakensberg then we could do safari in Kruger and visit Blyde River Canon.

How feasible is the above in our time scale? Are we missing something that we should really do or priorities? My wife and I (ages 26/31) are keen to explore the landscapes of SA and have a great time and have lots of fond memories.

Once again, many thanks for any advice.

Ayaz

Edited: 06 April 2011, 14:19
Pretoria, South...
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1. Re: joining the dots - CT/R62/Drakensberg/Safari

Hi there,

I'm prejudiced in favour of the Drakensberg, (in fact I'm spending a few days there myself next month) so read this response in that light.

No negatives that I can think of about visiting in May. After that rainy summer we are still having, things should still be quite green; I'm expecting the weather still to be quite warm (although being the mountains anything could happen) and it should be dry. Chances of snow that early are minimal to non-existent. If you do decide to go, I agree you should fly PE-Durban. An adventurous alternative would be to drive through the interior of the Eastern Cape to Kokstad and from there to Underberg; but that particular drive I've never done myself (it's sort of on my bucket list), and road and other conditions may make it untenable.

I do have two accommodation recommendations for you, at opposite ends of the Berg: www.lakenaverone.co.za outside Underberg, and www.cavern.co.za in the Northern Berg.

It may well be more practical to skip the Berg given your time constraints but I have to say I hope you won't. Beautiful landscapes are guaranteed, and hopefully fond memories too!

durban
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2. Re: joining the dots - CT/R62/Drakensberg/Safari

May is going in to Autumn and you can experience some freezing days and nights, although typically for the berg the weather generally warms up in the day and can get very hot.

The berg is beautiful at any time of the year, but it is at its most beautiful in summer when it is a lush green. May the tandra will start to turn and the leaves on the trees will start to fall, but still a lovely time to visit.

If you want to combine a trip to a big 5 reserve I will be staying at Esiweni this month in Dundee area (very close to the berg) so I will report on my experience there.

It will be easiest to fly to Dbn from Pe or George and then drive to Dbn, alternatively if you drive then you will veer off at Kokstad and drive to Swartberg and on to Underberg area of the berg.

www.kimssouthafrica.blogspot.com

Edited: 07 April 2011, 07:20
Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: joining the dots - CT/R62/Drakensberg/Safari

I can comment in relation to the R62 segment. We left Cape Town about 10am and drove through and stayed overnight at Oudtshoorn. That was plenty of driving in one day. The route is an easy drive, but for the driver it can be quite wearing. Of the places along the route, Montagu and Oudtshoorn seemed the nicest areas to stay overnight. Tip - for "coffee breaks" - the Country Pumpkin which is in Barrydale. We stopped a town or two before that, and wasn't much around. There was another nice one before we got to Oudtstoorn - Zamani - they had a garden area out the back, and we had the best hot chocolate and scones. The service and ambience was truly welcomed at this stage. (Just can't remember the town maybe Ladismith or Calzidorf). In Oudtstoorn we stayed at a TA recommended Guest House, which was , Hlangana Lodge. We also had dinner at a TA recommendation, Jemimas - again - recommendation was spot on - excellent service and food.

The next day we drove on stopping briefly in Knysna, Plettenberg Bay and thought we would stay a night at Storms River Mouth Sanpark, and decided where to spend time at on the way back. When we got to SRM, it was so beautiful, we decided to stay 2 nights (and were lucky as we hadn't pre booked anything, and had a Forest Cabin - which is quite close to the water). We did a kayak/kloofing tour which was great - we had intentions of doing other things, but ended up mainly relaxing, and doing a couple of walks. On our return trip - we decided to skip Knysna and PB, and drove to Swellendam just to have a stop over point. Again we chose a TA recommendation which was excellent Braeside Guesthouse. The next morning we headed to Franschoek and had one night stay there. All this ended up suiting us fine - another day in Frans. if you are a wine cons.

Table View, South...
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4. Re: joining the dots - CT/R62/Drakensberg/Safari

Suggest you make your last day in Cape Town one of the days driving out to Stellenbosch and Franschoek and then look to spend the night in Franshoek. Will save you some driving time the next day.

Driving from Franshoek to Oudshoorn in 1 day is very do-able however if you plan on making many stops then staying over at the Montague hot springs is a good idea.

I am assuming you meant to drive from Oudshoorn via George to Knysna. I would not base myself at Wilderness but rather in Knysna as it is more central to the Garden Route. Alternatively do a night in Wilderness, 2 nights in Knysna and 2 nights at Stormsriver.

Edited: 08 April 2011, 19:19
5. Re: joining the dots - CT/R62/Drakensberg/Safari

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