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5 week itinerary - ANY IDEAS?

In cooperation with: Cape Town Tourism
Liverpool
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5 week itinerary - ANY IDEAS?

We are heading to Cape Town just before New Year end December and we would love to have some guidance of where to start and finish etc

Also if anyone has any exclusive places that we may miss unless we know about these places in advance

We are on a mid range budget ie 3-4 star and trips not a problem assuming we will be hiring a car most of the time

Is there anywhere we should be stopping for a week or just a few days in each place?

Any ideas and advice appreciated.

Thanks

Bev and Bob Howarth

Belfast
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1. Re: 5 week itinerary - ANY IDEAS?

Five weeks - you lucky devils !!

I would seriously consider a circuit west to east and back covering the Westen Cape as far as say Storms River. First enjoy CT (a week would make a start) then head on to the Winelands (think 4/5 nights - there is a lot more to the Winelands than wine and you could consider nice day trips to places like Tulbagh). Next the inland R62 to perhaps Oudtshoorn - well worth a slow meander over 3 days or so with a couple more nights in Oudtshoorn. A week for the Garden Route and then back to CT along the coastal (sort of) N2.

A couple of other alternatives would be the West Coast north of CT or a safari based in the Eastern Cape around Port Elizabeth.

The time of year you are going is peak season so you may need to book accomodation in advance.

Have a look at www.sa-venues.com or www.theportfoliocollection.com

Newbury, United...
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2. Re: 5 week itinerary - ANY IDEAS?

Another good web site for accommodation in the western cape is www.capestay.co.za.

Liverpool
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3. Re: 5 week itinerary - ANY IDEAS?

Thanks for your advice sounds good and thanks for the website for accommoodation

Now to get planning - think the safari may be added now.

Thanks again

Bev

Leeds, United...
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for Western Cape, Cape Town Central
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4. Re: 5 week itinerary - ANY IDEAS?

Hi Bev - very jealous.

I did 4 weeks last Dec/Jan. I always think people try and cram too much into their SA holidays. I like time to chill and get to know the locals, which you will have chance with in 5 weeks.

My itinary last year fyi info was

Paternoster - West Coast, ah guest house (def recommend). One of my favourite relaxing spots

Kagga Kamma, Cederberg - wouldn't recommend this place, as very overpriced, but Cederberg are wonderful and not as busy in Dec/Jan as other tourist spots.

Wellington - Bovlei Valley Retreat (also recommend - great accommodation on a boutique winery/lavender farm)

Robertson - stayed at Olive Garden Country Lodge (not sure I would stay here again - was expensive for the area). Loved the Breede River wineries though and all free.

Knysna - Augusta Bay. Definitely recommend for its outstanding service

Stellenbosch - Alluvia wine estate. Beautiful setting on a wine estate, but think I would prefer to stay in the town next time.

Cape Town

Stanford, near Hermanus - Blue Gum Country Estate. Would recommend for chilled out stay. Food was excellent.

I have also stayed in Franschoek - but prefer Stellenbosch

Oudtshoorn - great stop over heading to the Garden Route / Eastern Cape

Safari in the Eastern Cape should definitely be on your itinary

My advise would be to do at least 3 nights in most places and 5 in Cape Town and maybe the Garden Route, where there is lots to see

Happy planning - try greenwood guides for accommodation (www.greenwoodguides.co.uk). We pre booked all our accommodation for this time of year. However, the inland accommodation seemed to be less popular

PS. you might have noticed my itinary was very wine orientated!!

lisa

Johannesburg
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5. Re: 5 week itinerary - ANY IDEAS?

Hi Bev and Bob,

Here's my suggestion (at bottom), following on from (and partly repeating!) the excellent suggestions above.

I'm sorry it reads a bit like a brochure, but it's taken from a 'standard' itinerary suggestion I have put together for other peope who have one month. You could use the extra week to just take a bit longer in places you really like because there's a lot of driving involved. But it's actually taking you a bit off-the-beaten-track and away from some of the tourist traps.

If you have specific interests (history, food/wine, landscape, beach etc.) just post on this thread and it can be refined. Just remember this is peak season in SA, so some places (e.g. Cape Town, Garden Route, National Park camps etc.) may be getting booked up soon.

Your in Jealousy, Rob

Day 1: Arrive at Cape Town International Airport. Hire you car and drive through to Camps Bay. Spend morning relaxing on the beach and - in the late afternoon (if the weather is good) take the short cable car ride to the top of Table Mountain. Return to Camps Bay for sundowners and dinner.

Days 2 & 3: Relax in this stunning city taking in the wide variety of activities that Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula has to offer; for example catching a ferry to Robben Island, lunch and people-watching at the Victoria and Albert Waferfront, drive along Chapman's Peak Drive to the Cape Peninsula to see the penguins and whale-watching (September to November), climbings Lions Head, visit District Six, fine dining in Constantia and partying on Long Street.

Day 4: Drive along the N2 through to Strand, then take stunning coastal road - the R44 - past Betty's Bay to the wild beach and a fresh seafood lunch at Hermanus. Take the R44 back to the N2, before coming off onto the R521 at Grabouw to take the spectacular mountain pass through to Franschhoek. Staying at one of the wide selection of boutique hotels or self-catering accommodation, indulge yourself in one of the gastro-capitals of South Africa.

Days 5 & 6: Spend your days relaxing in the beautiful Franschhoek Valley taking in as many of the stunning wine-tasting vineyards as your liver can handle and your nights dinings at some of the best restaurants Africa has to offer.

Day 7: Head a short way north through rolling farmland, spending a night in the undiscovered gem that is Tulbagh, visiting the historic town centre and museums.

Days 8 & 9: Pop across to the West Coast, staying at the quaint seaside village of Paternoster and enjoying fine dining and beach strolls.

Days 10 & 11: Start your long journey along the Garden Route, meandering along the fantastic Route 62 through the dramatic Little Karoo. Relax at a boutique guest-house in a historic farming town like Swellendam or Calitzdorp. If golf is your game, you'll want to base yourself in George, the golfing capital of SA.

Day 12: Drive along Route 62 before taking one of the dramatic mountain passes down to the N2, breaking your journey with a short hike during a stopover at Tsitsikamma National Park or in a quaint beach-side guesthouse at Nature's Valley or Brenton-on-Sea.

Day 13 & 14: Head along the coast beyond East London and head in land to the spectacular micro-climate around Hogsback. Enjoy quaint eating options and wonderful hiking.

Day 15 & 16: Dash back to the coast at Cintsa and enjoy the fabulous wild beach, perhaps interspersed with a horse-ride along the desterted beach. Dine high above the beach dunes in the wonderful location that Michaela's of Cintsa enjoys.

Days 16, 17 & 18: Make the long drive through the former Transkei on the Wild Coast up to the simply stunning mountain scenery of the southern Drakensberg Midlands around Underberg. You'll want a couple of days to do some hiking and explore this historic 'Settler Country'.

Days 19, 20 & 21: Head around Durban, stopping for lunch in the Valley of a Thousand Hills, up to the sub-tropical idyll that is Zinkwazi. Take a break from the white beach and pristine lagoon with a trip into Zululand around Eshowe and pay homage to the shrimp at the Prawn Shack.

Days 21 & 22: Move up the coast to Greater St Lucia Wetland Park for more hard time on the beach amongst unique flora and fauna, including crocodiles and hippos. Consider one of the excellent hiking options.

Days 22 & 23: Make your way through Swaziland, taking in Ezulweni Valley and up towards the spectucular highlands on the west. Stay in a friendly guesthouse in this most varied, friendly and attractive of small countries.

Days 24, 25, 26 & 27: Head through our favourite border crossing in the world between Piggs Peak and Baberton in South Africa and make your way up to your private game reserve on the edge of the Mighty Kruger National Park to get your well-deserved safari fix.

Days 28 & 29: Take one of our favourite drives in the world up the Mpumalanga escarpment stopping at Sabie for some hiking or Dullstroom for fishing, taking in the breath-taking view at God's Window.

Days 30 & 31: Return to cosmopolitan Johannesburg or historic Pretoria for a final blow-out, staying at a boutique hotel in happening Melrose or Rosebank. Visit the Apartheid Museum and the Cradle of Humankind, perhaps taking in a theatre show or sports event, before catching your flight home.

Charlotte, North...
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6. Re: 5 week itinerary - ANY IDEAS?

I highly recommend spending at least one day cage diving with the great white sharks in Gansbaai, aka "Shark Alley." It was the best part of my trip to SA a few years ago and a can't miss for SA. The company that I traveled with will pick you up in Cape Town and drive you back same day if you only want to do a day tour. We saw plenty of great whites up close for the day so don't be worried that you won't see any. The company's website is: http://www.white-shark-diving.com/. Definitely a must do for SA. Have fun; it's a trip of a lifetime :)

7. Re: 5 week itinerary - ANY IDEAS?

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