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route capetown,winelands,garden route finnishing cape town

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leicester
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route capetown,winelands,garden route finnishing cape town

I would llike to visit cape town, winelands and the garden route in november2010 for approx 14 nights.Spending maybe 3 nights in cape town on arrival and then hiring a car.Can any one suggest the best route to take for the best scenary and sights and stopovers finnishing back in cape town for my flight home, I am not interested in visiting a game reserve. Also is it easy to drive the route because my husband is worrid about getting lost and struggling to find each hotel on route.

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1. Re: route capetown,winelands,garden route finnishing cape town

Before we get down to looking at routes a few general points :

1. Hire your car for the whole period Airport to Airport. Wherever you stay in Cape Town having a car is much more flexible and convenient. The attractuions of the city and surroundings are spread over a big area, Public transport is not geared at all to tourists and you will spend much more on airport transfers, tours and taxis than the cost of hiring the car. If you book a two week rate it may cost you virtually nothing extra!

Driving anywhere in Cape Town and the surrounding region is so much easier than around big cities in the UK. Obviously we drive on the left, roads are good, signs are about the same as UK and in English, traffic is so much lighter than London or other cities (even Leicester!) and once you get away from tthe city it is like driving in quiet areas of Scotland or the west of Ireland. Parking around Cape Town is easy and either free or very cheap - a parking problem in Cape Town is if it takes more than a minute to find a space or you have to walk more than 50 meteres to where you are going!

2. In 14 nights I would definitely spend more than 3 in Cape Town. If you have a car (see 1) then in addition to the main city sights you should take a couple of day trips. One south around the peninsula and another north up the West Coast and back inland. So say 5-6 nights. Then, as you suggest a few nights in the winelands followed by 6 nights out and back in the Western Cape.

3. To solve all the issues "about getting lost and struggling to find each hotel on route" you definitely should hire a SatNav with your car. Or if you already have a portable TomTom or Garmin unit, just buy and Download the South African maps and bring it with you.

It just makes driving and your holiday that much easier. I am just comparing what I would and could do here in SA before I had a TomTom SatNav, and after. Driving around the city in the dark trying to peer at every street sign to get to a place I have never been to before, compared to putting in the address and being guided turn-by-turn to within 5 metres of my destination is no contest. Coming to a traffic jam or major roadworks on a cross coutry trip and just being able to take the first turning, having the SatNav recompute the best route onwards within 5 seconds (and knowing how long it will take!) - no contest. Having the SatNav compute not just distance to my destination but continuously estimate the time of my arrival - no contest. Allowing my passenger to keep their eyes on the fantastic scenery of South Africa, or even go to sleep if they want, rather than having their eyes glued to a map to ensure that we don't miss that vital turning coming up in three kilometres, or is it really two - Definitely no contest - and you both will still be speakinbg to each other at the end of your wonderful holiday. I could go on.

Sure this is just my opinion but in the 18 months since I had a SatNav my travel experience has significantly improved. We now head off to places we would have hesitated to go before - "it just looks too complicated on the map".

Edited: 23 February 2010, 14:15
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Fordingbridge...
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2. Re: route capetown,winelands,garden route finnishing cape town

Definitely agree that you need extra time in CT. Satnavs are a matter of personal preference: we've been using a SA road map for years & have driven all over the country without problem.

Our preferred route for the Garden Route is CT, Stellenbosch, Franschoek, Villiersdorp, Worcester, Robertson then a slight deviation through the Robertson wine route to Bonnievale. There are many places along here to taste some excellent wines & for lunch.

Carry on to Ashton & pick up Route 62 for Montagu which makes for a good night stop. This makes for a leisurely day's drive.

Next day continue along R62, stopping at Ronnie's sex shop then Calitzdorp, Oudtshoorn & then drop down to pick up the N2 at George for Knysna. We always base ourselves in Knysna & take day trips from here. This is a very easy 4-5 hour drive depending on coffee, lunch etc.

On your return, if in a hurry then by all means stick to the N2, but watch out for speed traps. Personally I prefer to retrace my steps for a much prettier drive & no traffic.

Edited: 23 February 2010, 15:38
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3. Re: route capetown,winelands,garden route finnishing cape town

Hi Nick

Of course you can drive around SA without a SatNav "without a problem". Millions did so before they were invented. But then they also travelled the country in oxcarts "without a problem" before cars were invented!

I was a bit sceptical about SatNav enthusiasts before I bought one. I bought a Tom Tom on a visit to London about two years ago. Was driving round London (a city I know extremely well) for a day or two and started to warm to it - even on routes I knew well. I then flew to Pisa for a holiday driving around Tuscany in a hire car. Within hours I was a total convert. Found hidden country farmstay places without a single hesitation. Stuck in Sienna in a totally gridlocked rush hour - headed down a side street, kept going following the SatNav instructions, until suddenly I was in the country with all the traffic behind me! This was the first holiday when the two of us never had a single argument about genetically not being able to read maps, or not following the "totally clear" instructions being given!

Back home in Cape Town when we head to a new restaurant or a place we've never been before, just tap in the address and find it every time day or night. Going to a new wine esate of the 500 or so within two hours of where we live? Well the new Platter Guides have the SatNav coordinates of virtually every estate - tap this in and takes you to within 5 metres of the front door!

Lots of people who don't have SatNavs say you don't need one. Very few who do, say the same!

Just one final point. You say "watch out for speed traps". If you download the up-to-date camera data base, you are given an audible warning a few hundred metres before each camera, with a big visual display of the distance to the camera, the current speed limit and your speed. I have definitely saved the cost of the SatNav in tickets!

Otherwise completely agree with your route suggestions!

Edited: 23 February 2010, 16:06
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Arundel, United...
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4. Re: route capetown,winelands,garden route finnishing cape town

We did this trip in Nov '09. See my trip report, Trip Report: 2+ weeks in Western Cape, posted on 2/12/09. May give you some ideas.

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Fordingbridge...
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5. Re: route capetown,winelands,garden route finnishing cape town

VdC,

I should admit to a bias. I love maps, mainly because I served as a Navigator for nearly 30 wonderful years in the RAF. I therefore have a great resentment to being replaced by a black box, particularly when it nags me & tells me where to go!!!

Belfast
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6. Re: route capetown,winelands,garden route finnishing cape town

Nic - I have to agree with you twice here

firstly your route is my route - absolutely spot on the same

secondly I prefer a good old route map for navigation (but then as wifey does all the driving, I have to look as though I am doing something important !!)

As for the speed camera's - well either wifey has slowed down a bit (don't think so) or there are less of them - on our previous trip she clocked up four fines but on our last trip none

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7. Re: route capetown,winelands,garden route finnishing cape town

I certainly agree with the advice about hiring a car for your whole holiday. The roads outside of Cape Town are very quiet and having been lost a few years ago trying to find our office in Leicester I would agree that it is far easier driving around Cape Town!

As to how long to spend in Cape Town what do you want from your holiday?

We spent 5 nights (out of 18) in Cape Town and had a great time. Its history does though, in my opinion, give it quite a European feel and I felt the landscapes and scenery in the Western Cape offered a very different experience and a few months on I have much stronger memories of these places than Cape Town.

You mention that you do not want to visit a game reserve. What about whale watching as you will be going at the right time of year. The following would give you a good variety of landscapes and experiences although the actual number of nights will of course depend on your priorities:

4 nights Cape Town - city break

2 nights Stellenbosch/Franschoek - wine tasting

3 nights Outshoorn - drier and more mountainous. Ostriches

3 nights Plettennburg/Knysna - beach and forest

2 nights Hermanus/De Kelders - whale watching

At the end of the day whatever you decide you will have a fantastic holiday.

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8. Re: route capetown,winelands,garden route finnishing cape town

Can I ask about taxi service in and around Cape Town during the World Cup? As I had referenced in another post, We'll be staying in Camps Bay for 8 days and attending 3 games at Green Point. Besides a shark diving excursion (car service from company), and hiring a car for the Winelands, we'll be staying and enjoying my favorite city of Cape Town -- eating at Opal Lounge, Carne, Headquarters (pre-night game), attending FanZones?, etc.. So most of our activities will be back and forth between downtown and Camps Bay -- imbibing some of RSA's finest brews and ciders.

What are your thoughts about NOT renting a car? Mostly walking in and around town and taxi-ing back and forth between Camps Bay and Cape Town downtown. Do you think this will be a problem? Do you think the taxis will raise rates around this time? Approximately what cost are we looking at between Camps Bay and Downtown?

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9. Re: route capetown,winelands,garden route finnishing cape town

Official taxis all post their rates on the taxi - often as part of a very expensive paint job. Metered rates are between R8 and R12 per km. Look at excite taxis who are R9/km Camps Bay to the City is about 8-12km. (R72-R108) http://www.excitetaxis.co.za/

Alternatively Rikkis Taxis have zonal pricing. City (anywhere) to Camps Bay (anywhere) is R75 http://www.rikkis.co.za/

However I think by far the biggest problem with taxis during the WC will be avialability not pricing. Mostly only tourists travel by cab in Cape Town - you can't hail a cab in the street you need to book by phone. During the WC therefore demand will hugely increase and there won't be any more taxis - except ilegal, uninsured ones! You may have to wait a long time after you phone! Also remember this is the middle of winter. As soon as it starts to pour down taxis will be twice as difficult to get!

I would definitely hire a a car the whole period you are here. In addition to cost and convenience it means that you can be so much more flexible with fitting your trips and days out with the weather. Also my experience, having been to two games at the Stadium already, is that coming from the Camps Bay direction to the Stadium (as I do from home) parking and getting away will be no problem. If it's raining after a game getting a taxi will be a total nightmare!

Edited: 24 February 2010, 16:20
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10. Re: route capetown,winelands,garden route finnishing cape town

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