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July Family Trip - Weather? Garden Route? Self Drive?

In cooperation with: Cape Town Tourism
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July Family Trip - Weather? Garden Route? Self Drive?

After a visit to Jo'burg/Vic Falls and Sabi Sands at the beginning of this trip, my family of 4 (mom/dad/13/10) have a chance to spend 9 nights / 10 days in Cape Town / Port Elizabeth and environs.

1) I'm worried about weather (trip date is 29/6/05 - 8/7/05).

Should I be?

2) Thinking about hiring a car in Port Elizabeth, and doing the Garden Route. Can I do this in 5 nights and be happy?

3) Thinkiing about three or four nights in Cape Town. The posts about the Karibou Guest Lodge make it sound perfect for a family. Alternative is to stay in a posh hotel on the waterfront.

4) Would do day trips from Cape Town lodgings - wine country, Table Mountain, whatever ...

5) I'm a photographer, so that figures into all of this, somehow.

6) Budget, while important, is secondary to maximizing enjoyment, education, and memories.

7) Somebody suggested hiring guide and car for Cape Town portion of trip?. Make any sense?

Comments, suggestions, and foolish assumption piercing all welcome.

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1. Re: July Family Trip - Weather? Garden Route? Self Drive?

I'm not sure about the weather during July; we were there the last of January, February and the first of March.

We rented a car through National Car Rental in Cape Town(via the internet) and drove to Port Elizabeth, the garden route and the little karoo. If 5 days are all you have than you should figure out how to do it and be happy with what you do. But it would be hard. We especially liked Knysna and The heads. There really isn't anything special about Port Elizabeth. Just another big city. Jeffrey's Baii area is probably as far northeast that you need to go if it's the surf season. The swartberg pass and Oudtshoorn are very unique and therefore well worth the side trip. I even got to ride an ostrich!

If cost is not a factor, hiring a driver is very beneficial duing your stay in Cape Town. We utilized the services of David, the chauffeur David, The Chauffeurfor D.P.Wolfaardt CC (CK 99/53370/23)/a "The Chauffeur", and "Earth Ventures"

+27 21 558-6817 ... land line

+27(0)82-378-5072 ... mobile

P O Box 60600, Tableview 7439 (RSA)

www.wedrive.co.za

david@wedrive.co.za

This gave my husband an opportunity to take in the magnificent views. It saved a lot of time as well because David knew his way around and wanted to make sure we saw all the highlights. Be sure to take in all the stops along the way to Cape Point making frequent stops at the small towns and markets along the way; Simon's Town, Kalk Bay, etc.

You are really in for a treat! Be sure to take the kids to at least one of the township tours. We went on a 1/2 day tour of Joburg and Soweto. That is an eye opener! You come away really appreciating your life! If you want any additional, specific info just let me know. I have names and email addresses of wonderful travel agents.

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2. Re: July Family Trip - Weather? Garden Route? Self Drive?

1. Expect wet weather for most of the trip along the Garden Route. It's name stems from the fact that it is a lush green area with high rainfall ESPECIALLY THAT TIME OF THE YEAR. Very beautiful area. You must visit Tsitsikama nature reserve along the way.

When you reach George, go accross the mountain pass to Oudtshoorn, the Ostrich capital of the world. Beware of taking a hired car accross the Swartberg Pass as your car insurance may not cover travelling on dirt road, in the case of an accident. The roads are very narrow and in most places there is not enough space for two cars to pass one another. But having said that, i have driven a 22 seater coach and trailer accross that pass many a time. Nowadays it is not allowed. However, this pass is a must-do.

5 Nights is enough on the Garden Route. Travel to Cape Town via route 62. Allow 7hrs for safe travel.

2.The V&A Hotel on the Waterfront is excellent

3.For day trips in Cape Town check out www.hyltonross.com for the best priced day tours and the CitySightseeing open top bus

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3. Re: July Family Trip - Weather? Garden Route? Self Drive?

The weather is stunning in Port Elizabeth at the moment. we have had nearly 2 weeks of 20+ (mostly 25) during the day. Nights get cold though. I can't imagine the good weather is going to last much longer theough, although you never know.

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4. Re: July Family Trip - Weather? Garden Route? Self Drive?

Hi there, I see from your original post that you will have 9 days after being to the other destinations of your choice.

My suggestion is to visit some spots on the Garden Route, hire a car in Port Elizabeth, then drive straight to the scenic areas along the N2, visiting Tsitsikama, perhaps overnight there it is beautiful and actually would afford you some truly excellent photo opportunities, then drive (still along the N2) past Plettenberg Bay to Knysna. I would recommend you stop here for perhaps two nights and trip out to see places such as Wilderness, and victoria bay. there are really lovely photo opportunities all along here. then you have the choice of continuing along the N2 which is an easy 5 - 7 hour (depending how often you stop) or going over the mountain to Oudtshoorn along the N12. You could stop in Oudtshoorn and see the touristy things like the Cango Caves and the Ostrich farms, I must say these are not my favourite, I'm so claustrophobic that caves aren't high on my list, but they are beautiful.

I would definitely be sure to give myself a minimum of 5 days in Cape Town and I would suggest staying at the Waterfront and perhaps overnighting in the winelands one night.

Enjoy and ask any more questions, would love to help.

Oh by the way, the weather on Garden route is likely to be wet, but CT is variable, we have just had a week of glorious weather, supposed to be mid-winter and I've not even needed to wear a cardigan, but we have a cold-front looming.

One more thing, bring a small torch to CT we are having many power cut problems and being in a large supermarket when the lights go out is a bit scary so it's nice to have a little flashlight in the handbag.

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5. Re: July Family Trip - Weather? Garden Route? Self Drive?

Hi rgrossha,

1) Weather nobody can predict and do anything about

2)Car Hire: Yes.

The garden route: Spend a day or two in Knysna. For a photographer, it is a must see. There are two rocky outcrops guarding the salt-water lagoon.

If the weather is good go to the beach at Buffelsbaai. On the other side of Knysna, there are castles on the beach.

Knysna has a daily steam train going to George.

George: See the Outeniqua Pass -- Nice views. There is also a road (dirt) in the valley that looks up at the pass.

Oudtshoorn: see an ostrich farm. See the Cango caves, take some pictures there.

3) Cape Town. For a chain of hotels, try www.citylodge.co.za or try www.wheretostay.co.za for other accomodation. both websites give approximate pricing.

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6. Re: July Family Trip - Weather? Garden Route? Self Drive?

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