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Please Help with Wine and Garden Route

In cooperation with: Cape Town Tourism
Cheshire
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Please Help with Wine and Garden Route

We arrive in Cape Town on 7/01/09 staying for 3 nights at the Westin.

We then hope to do the Garden Route as follows,staying 1 night at

Stellenbosh, Oudtshoorn, Knysna, Plettenburgh, Tsitsikamma, Port Elizabeth then 2night safari before flying back to Cape Town ready for our flight back on20/01/09.

Any advice would be very much appreciated as we are very much novices.

Is this the correct way, how much driving between one place and the next.

My husband does not want to spend his holiday behind the wheel.

Kind Regards

Cape Town, South...
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1. Re: Please Help with Wine and Garden Route

The long distances are:

Stell. - Oudtshoorn.......4hrs

Oudsthoorn to Knysna.....1hr.45min

Tsitsikama to P.E........2.5hrs

Your timing is reasonable. This is about the pace that tour groups in coaches would do.

Frankfurt, Germany
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2. Re: Please Help with Wine and Garden Route

Hi Carol,

your planing is reasonable, but I would have some minor changing suggestions

3 nights @CT is good, maybe 4 might be better.

Stay 2 nights in the Winelands to appriciate it. I have stayed in Stellenbosch and liked it very much, even though Franschhoek seems to be this forum's favorite (can't tell, haven't been there).

1 night Oudthoorn seems reasonable, note that it is a long drive from the Wineland to Oudtshoorn.

Plett/Knysna are close to each other and it doesn't make sense to split between the two, stay in one town for 2 nights! I personally would probably choose Knysna because it has more charm, whereas Plett has the better beach - up to you.

Tsitsikamma (Storms River Mouth) is a must, even though I heard that the suspension bridge has burned down. The rest camp is probably book out by now, I have been to Tsitsikamma Lodge and liked it a lot, actually in retrospective, I liked it even more than in my review.

Skip Port Elizabeth, or at least the overnight stay there. It's an okay city, but the major attrations can be seen in half - one day tour, no need to linger around too long.

2 - 3 nights safari is about right.

Driving-wise your itinerary is sound, except for the one drive from the Wineland to Oudtshooorn, which is a long one.

Melbourne, Australia
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3. Re: Please Help with Wine and Garden Route

I've just returned from a phenomenal 2 week trip We did something very similar to what you are planning. This is what we did:

Flew into Cape Town on SAA (overnight flight) and landed about 8 or 9am. Stayed in Cape Town 2 nights to get the city vibe in the Hotel Grand Daddy formerly the Metropole www.metropole.co.za and did the central Cape Town sights.

Then for a bit of R&R we moved to Colona Castle www.colonacastle.co.za so we're closer for Boulders Bay, Cape Point and coastal drives. We wanted to split our Cape Town time as we weren't sure where to pick - somewhere quiet and beautiful or bang in the centre to get the feel of the place so opted for both.

We then drove to Stellenbosch for 2 nights and stayed at Wedgeview Country Lodge and Spa www.wedgeview.co.za Beautiful scenery and views there. Had a private wine guide do a days tour with us and the next night we went to Le Quartier Francais for one of our evening meals though and sorted a car transfer there and back. We figured that whilst in the area it would be rude to bypass one of the World's top 50 restaurants!

One night stop at Swellendam at Rothman Manor www.rothmanmanor.co.za for the start of the Garden Route. Not much there but didn't want to do much driving and the hotel is lovely. Zebra in the garden and great jacuzzi. Next stop is Victoria Bay at The Waves www.portfoliocollection.com/go/TheWaves/ for another night.

Next was stay at Plettenberg Bay at Emily Moon www.emilymoon.co.za for two nights and a night at Tsitsikamma Lodge www.tsitsikammalodge.com

Then we went to Eagles Crag at Shamwari. We were only there for 2 nights and I'd have liked one more. Our final night was a spa day at Woodall Country House in Addo. It was about 27 degrees when we left South Africa and we landed at Heathrown and it was -3! Back to reality with an icy bump!

The driving wasn't a problem - none of the journeys took too long. In hindsight, we'd have loved to include Oudtshorn but didn't have enough time so if you can spare the time definitely do it.

Cardiff, United...
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4. Re: Please Help with Wine and Garden Route

What did you think of Emily Moon and Woodall? We are going to SA for 2 weeks in February/March, staying 5 nights in Cape Town (African Villa) then a night in Montagu, 2 nights in Wilderness and 2 nights at Emily Moon, finishing with 3 nights at Woodall.

Did you do a game drive whilst at Woodall and if so which one would you recommend?

Any tips would be much appreciated.

Thanks

Helen

Cheshire
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5. Re: Please Help with Wine and Garden Route

Thank you very much for taking the time and effort to reply.

Very good advice, to which we very much appreciate.

Regards

Cheshire
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6. Re: Please Help with Wine and Garden Route

Thank you very much.

Your help and advice is very much appreciated.

Your itinary sounds just what we are looking for.

You have certainly pointed us in the correct direction to which we are very gratefull.

Kind Regards

Carol

Cheshire
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7. Re: Please Help with Wine and Garden Route

Thank you very much for replying.

The driving times will be a great help.

Regards

Hamburg
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8. Re: Please Help with Wine and Garden Route

We have been to Emily Moon mid November.

Very nice lodge even with a small pool(you get somehow the feeling to be in a game logde) abt. 3 kms out of Plettenberg Bay overlooking the Bitou River and it's wetlands.

Nice views and a lot of birds around. We found it unique. It's definitely 4-5 stars.

The restaurant, very popular with the locals is very cosy at night and offers a very good cuisine at very moderate prices.

We can highly recommend it and would always come back. I guess there must also be TA reviews.

cape town
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9. Re: Please Help with Wine and Garden Route

Being a Capetonian and taking trips to Plettenberg Bay very often i feel you are stopping in two many places.

Stay an extra night or 2 in Cape Town and do Stellenbosch and Franschoek in one day - its certainly doable and then come back to Cape Town.

Then start on your way to Plettenberg Bay.

Oudtshoorn is very interesting so perhaps go there first and spend a night or two then go to either Knysna or Plettenberg Bay. I prefer Plett (short for Plettenberg Bay). Knysna is only a half an hours drive from Plet so whether you stay in Knysna or Plett theyre easily accessible. By the time you check in and out of the hotels you waste a day each time. So choose one place and do day excursions from there. The other way your husband will be spending his time checking into and out of hotels. There is NOTHING to see in Port Elizabeth - so certainly would not stay there at all. I assume that the 2 day safari will include accommodation,

Port Elizabeth
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10. Re: Please Help with Wine and Garden Route

There isnt that much to do in Port Elizabeth. (Everone is nasty about my home town - sob, sob), BUT it is a very good idea to stay there a night before your safari. There are currently roadworks around the Tsitsikamma area and there were also roadworks between Jeffereys Bay and Port Elizabeth (but these might be finished, anyone know?). By staying in Port Elizabeth, you can ensure that you arrive at your chosen game reserve on time. It is the most expensive part of your trip, so you dont want to waste any of it.

It depends on which game reserve you are going to, but the check in time for some of them is 12 o'clock. The very latest you want to check in to those who transport you from reception to your lodge is 2 o'clock. A lot of game reserves with early check times, will give you lunch. Kwandwe, Lalibela, Gorah, Kariega and Shamwari are some of the ones that do.

If you check much later than the check in time, there is little time for your orientation and to see your room and to grab warm clothing for the evening drive and freshen up and relax a bit, before you meet up for afternoon tea and your first game drive.

Check In times as far as I know

Kwandwe, Lalibela, Gorah, Sibuya - 12 midday

Kariega - 12.30pm

Shamwari, Kwantu - 1pm

Pumba - 1.30pm

Amakhala, Bukela, Kichaka - 2pm