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Family trip to South Africa

South Florida
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Family trip to South Africa

We are a family of four (two teens) planning a trip for next June for two weeks and need help. I have gotten a couple of prices from professional planners and when looking at the hotels, excursions they were setting up for us it seemed really expensive, like close to $20,000 without international air. I don't want to do something un safe or stupid, but it seems like I can take advantage of great winter rates in June and plan the trip myself for about $6-8,000 less. Of course, they had us using private drivers etc, but I found specials on even nicer hotels and thought we can rent a car for a lot less. Please help with advice. I don't know how the roads are and am planning to drive the scenic route on the garden route. Here's our itinerary. Fly into Cape Town (4 nights), drive the garden route and stay in Knysna (3 nights), drive to Port Elizabeth and drop off car, take private transfers to one of the safari lodges in that area, i.e. Amakhala, Kariega, Pumba (3 nights) transfer back to Port Elizabeth and fly to Victoria Falls (3 nights). Return flights back from VFA to Miami. Thank you so much for your advice and recommendations.

Cape Town, South...
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1. Re: Family trip to South Africa

Brilliant planning already from your side, looks good. So far your itinerary makes sense and you have allowed for more than enough time for sightseeing in the places where you will be staying. Our roads in South Africa is brilliant and that will be the least of your problems. I would suggest that you get somebody local to advise you with all the needed info about places to stay and also use Tripadvisor for those interesting reviews. Also of where to go and how to get there and which places of interest to visit when you will be in the Towns. All the best and you have more than enough time to plan your trip to our beautiful country.

Hank - Owner - Ulungele Tours

South Florida
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2. Re: Family trip to South Africa

Thanks Hank. TA has already been a wonderful help! Any recommended activities or hotels for a family with a 15 & 16 yo are appreciated. Was able to use BA miles for the flights which is why I have planned so early. We are thinking Shark diving, Table Mountain in CPT, Congo Caves on the way to Knysna, bungee jumping for the kids township tour and lagoon boat trip in Knsyna and maybe Chobe for a day trip from Victoria Falls. I could never have done this without Trip Advisor! Thanks everyone for your help!

Frankfurt, Germany
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3. Re: Family trip to South Africa

Your route is well planned. Why don't you keep your rental car until you return to PE for your flight? Driving to the lodges is no problem as the roads are in good condition.

You are right you can get much better prices if you book out of season and a number of lodges offer free nights, etc. You definitely get better value for money - especially as you are a whole family.

Regards

Michelle - Owner - Cape Town Guide

Cape Town, South...
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4. Re: Family trip to South Africa

Activities in Cape Town: Great white shark cage diving, Cape Point Drive, Wine Lands, Paragliding from Lions Head or Signal Hill, Waterfront boat rides, helicopter trip around the Peninsula, Cheetah Outreach Project close to Somerset West, Aquarium at the Waterfront, Hop on Hop off bus, www.citysightseeing.co.za where you can also do a township tour, Table Mountain, Robbin Island and good restaurants.

Oudtshoorn: for activities in Oudtshoorn i would recommend to take 1night away from Knysna and overnight here. Then you are not in such a rush to get to end of your trip and to get to Knysna in the 1day drive that you have. With that said, then you can get in Cango Caves, maybe the meerkat adventure experience in the early morning hours and also the Cango Wildlife Range. With Knysna there is loads of things to see and do as well and with the 2days that will basicly cover it.

Hank - Owner - Ulungele Tours

South Florida
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5. Re: Family trip to South Africa

After looking at your recommendations, I think we need a night at Oudtshoorn. We just hate going from hotel to hotel with luggage and all and I feel bad taking a night away from Knysna. Should I take a night away from Cape town instead? This would give us 3 nights CPT, 1 night Oudtshoorn and 3 nights Knysna. Any recommendations on places to stay for our family of four (two teens) are appreciated. We like nice, comfy places. Thanks again.

Berkhamsted, United...
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6. Re: Family trip to South Africa

We've been on the Garden Route for the last week though our kids ( at 10 and 8) are younger than yours. We enjoyed visiting Cango Caves, Cango Wildlife Ranch and an ostrich farm in Oudtshoorn. We stayed in a 2-bedroomed cottage at Gum Tree Lodge B&B.

A very different place to spend a night near Knysna is the Knyna Elephant Park although a bit noisy! We then rented a private house in The Crags area of Plettenberg Bay where we visited Monkeyland, Birds of Eden and had a great lunch at the Bramon Wine Estate, as well as spending time in both Knysna and Plett.

As we drove back from Plett to Walker Bay yesterday, we specifically commented on how good the road quality is - much better than the pot-holed roads in the UK - and really quite empty at this time of year!

Cape Town, South...
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7. Re: Family trip to South Africa

3nights in Cape Town should be sufficient and then add the one to Oudtshoorn. A place i can recommend to stay over in Oudtshoorn is De Opstal, www.deopstal.co.za and are on route to the Cango Caves.

Hank - Owner - Ulungele Tours

South Florida
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8. Re: Family trip to South Africa

If we are staying one night in Oudtshoorn, what is the most convenient to do on the way from Capetown, Congo Caves, Merkeet Farm or Ostrich Farm? We can save the others for the next day before leaving for Knysna. I have also read its about 4 hours from Capetown to Oudtshoorn and another 1 1/2 to Knysna. Is this right? One more question when driving from Cape town are we on the inside or cliff side of the mountain road? Thanks so much.

Cape Town, South...
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9. Re: Family trip to South Africa

Driving from Cape Town you will be on the inside and not on the cliff side. There will be a few occasions that you will have the cliff side, but not too worry, you will be ok. When arriving in Oudtshoorn i would suggest to do the Ostrich Farm first and then for the following day do the rest. The time for the drive from Cape Town Oudtshoorn is not nearly 4hrs. I have done the road many times and would say it will take about 5-6hrs. From Oudtshoorn to Knysna will also be about 2hrs.

Hank - Owner - Ulungele Tours

10. Re: Family trip to South Africa

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