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Proposed itinerary for Cape Town and the garden route

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New Delhi, India
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Proposed itinerary for Cape Town and the garden route

My wife and I will be heading to Cape Town for our 10th wedding anniversary end of January 2011. We've never been to South Africa and as much as we would like to spend 3 weeks and explore it properly, thats just not an option. Ideally, I would like the trip to be 6 nights long but I am able to push it to 7-8 nights if it is felt that we may miss out on the experience. Having done safaris in East Africa and other places (I'm sure SA is different, but we've decided to skip the safaris this time around so that we have something to look forward to on our next trip).

Keeping the above in mind, we propose the following itinerary in and around Cape Town and would like suggestions from locals/regular visitors as we are flexible and havent made any bookings yet but plan to close out the reservations by Monday-Tuesday.

Day1 - fly into George via Joburg and drive to Knsyna. Overnight at Knsyna.

Day2 - relax at Knsyna, lagoon cruise, etc. Overnight at Knsyna

Day3 - drive to Oudtshoorn. Visit either (or both?) the caves or the wildlife ranch on the way. Overnight at Oudtshoorn

Day4 - drive to the winelands (Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschhoek) and do some wine tours. Overnight in the winelands. (we love our wine) Q: Where should we stay here?

Day5 - after a leisurely lunch, drive to cape town. relax the rest of the day. Overnight in CT

Day6 - Cap Peninsula tour. Overnight in CT

Day7 - City Tour, V&A waterfront, Camps bay Overnight in CT

Day8 - depart CT at 5:45am to catch connecting flight from Joburg.

Questions:

1) Is the itinerary too hectic

2) Do we require another day in CT

3) Are the places we've selected along the garden route amongst the most scenic/enjoyable

4) Any suggestions/thoughts welcome

Thanks in advance!

Tempe, Arizona
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1. Re: Proposed itinerary for Cape Town and the garden route

It's a neat itinerary - the only thing I could see is that you won't have time for wine except the afternoon (and maybe a little the next morning) when you drive from Oudtshoorn to the Winelands. And where to spend that night? Your budget would play a role in that.

Cape Town
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2. Re: Proposed itinerary for Cape Town and the garden route

This itinerary is possible, but it is also quite hectic. Lots of checking in/out and driving!

Some ideas for making it more manageable

1) Fly straight to Cape Town from Joburg. Spend 4 nights in Cape Town then drive along the N2 to Swellendam area, then up to Montagu. Spend 2 nights there and then drive to Stellenbosh area, spend 2 nights there and drive straight to the airport from Stellenbosh area.

2) Skip Oudtshoorn and the R62 route. Just drive straight from Knysna along the N2 highway (which is part of the Garden route) to the winelands. Thats 2 nights Knysna, 2 nights winelands, 4 nights Cape Town.

McGregor, South...
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3. Re: Proposed itinerary for Cape Town and the garden route

With only 7 nights I would skip 'the Garden route' entirely. Concentrate on Cape Town and The Winelands. Fly to CPT from JNB , stay for 4/5 nights and then stay in the Winelands for 2/3 nights.

cape town
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4. Re: Proposed itinerary for Cape Town and the garden route

Agree with macsym - too little time to do so much and the checking into and out of hotels is time consuming . Unless you have a min of 10-12 days just do Cape town and maybe winelands, if u want a diff feel. Alternaiively u can do day outings to Stell and Franschoek whilst in C T. Only 60 min away by car.

Cape Town
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5. Re: Proposed itinerary for Cape Town and the garden route

Hi vbh

I agree with Dave and disagree with Diva, macsym and hatter. Sure it’s a touring holiday but what’s wrong with that? Millions of people do touring holidays, including hundreds of thousands who have great touring holidays every year in South Africa. The total distance and daily driving is very relaxed :

Day 1 - George to Knysna 62km About 45 mins

Day 2 - Relax

Day 3 - Knysna to Oudtshoorn 123km About one and a half hours. Lots of time for sightseeing.

Day 4 - Oudtshoorn to Franschhoek 379 km. A very relaxed drive on the very quiet R62/R60. Excellent open road with very little traffic (much better than the N2 IMO). About 4 hours actual driving. Plenty of excellent wine estates along the way for stops.

Day 5 - Franschhoek to Cape Town via Stellenbosch including wine estate diversions (95km) 90 mins on the road.

Day 6 - Cape Town Peninsula tour 150km – All day tour.

Day 7 – Relax around cape Town

Day 8 – Fly home

Total driving distance is about 810 km or an average of around 115km per day. Definitely not too much! Plenty of time to see more or less all that you’ve listed.

Flying into George is good. Saves driving two ways on the N2. A big main road full of trucks and fast traffic – like driving Mumbai to Pune! The R62 is a much more relaxed, quieter and more scenic route.

The whole trip includes the green coast of the Garden Route, the Outeniqua Mountains, the semi desert lovely Little Karoo, the beautiful mountains of the Winelands (“The World’s Most Beautiful Wine Country”!) ending in spectacular Cape Town. Lovely contrasts and a great week’s introduction to the Western Cape. Prepares you for your next (longer) visit!

Cape Town
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6. Re: Proposed itinerary for Cape Town and the garden route

PS If you can add one more day in Cape Town it would be a well worthwhile bonus! Still lots to do and see here!

One other tip. Keep your hire car airport (George) to airport (Cape Town). You really need a car around Cape Town. Very little traffic and easy to drive compared to Mumbai or Pune. Better to have flexibility for the Peninsula tour and much cheaper than a bus tour!

Edited: 08 January 2011, 11:47
New Delhi, India
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7. Re: Proposed itinerary for Cape Town and the garden route

Thank you all for the insightful response. We've decided to go ahead with the proposed itinerary and I'm trying to see if we can add another day in CT to simply rekax and do nothing at Camps Bay and Bantry Bay. I've taken note of numerous check-in/check-out's and driving involved but that somehow excites us as all our past vaccations (except the one in East Africa) have involved indepth discoveries of cities/regions/places in a relaxed manner spread over 4-7 days each.

One quick question - I will be Joburg for work over 2-3 days and the wife wants to visit Kruger over that duration. Is 2-3 days ok for Kruger or should she settle for Pilanesberg? In Kruger, she has identified the Imbali Safari Lodge & Kapama River Lodge bbased on information over the net and also availability. If Kruger is suggested, how would the above properties fare?

Any advice on cab companies to hire cars from in George? I'm looking to shave a few $$$ off the regular Avis, Hertz, Eurocar rates.

Thanks again

Cape Town
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8. Re: Proposed itinerary for Cape Town and the garden route

I am sure you will have a great trip.

To Kruger/Pilansberg how does your wife intend to travel? If she only has 2-3 days (1 or 2 nights?) she really should fly to Kruger. Imbali Lodge is inside KNP as a private concession near to Skukuza Camp. It will take well over five hours driving in each direction. More time driving than game viewing! Even if she flies, by the time she gets to the airport in Joburg, checks in, one hour flight collects baggage and then a lodge pick-up and transfer it will take 4-5 hours in each direction. My suggestion would be Pilansberg. Less than a two hours drive. One or two nights in one of the lodges. I'm not a Pilansberg expert as I have only stayed at the Kwa Maritane Lodge. This is good but others will have more knowledge.

Then the car hire question. It will always be cheaper to rent the car through an Internet Based Car Hire Broker. These are huge companies - often based in the UK and have contracts to rent millions of cars a year with the big multinationals. In South Africa the car will usually come from Hertz, Europcar, Budget or Avis. Exactly the same service and support, contract terms and pick-up - just around 40-50 percent cheaper! Remember you will also probably have to pay a one-way drop-off fee picking up in George and dropping at Cape Town.

Try : www.carhire4less.co.uk or www.carhire3000.com or a good comparison site for a range of companies is : www.travelsupermarket.com/c/cheap-car-hire/

Edited: 09 January 2011, 13:50
Washington DC...
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9. Re: Proposed itinerary for Cape Town and the garden route

First, you will love your SA visit. It is really a beautiful country with so many things to do. It is also huge and it takes time to get from point a to b. Consider flying into Cptn directly. If you are really into cities then stay for 3 days. The wine region is superb. Take time to visit several of the wineries (no need to pre plan which ones really). Many of them offer meals and they are always fantastic. We stayed at Clouds just outside of Stellenbosch. Many places to visit in the area and easy to get around. Since time is limited, I would try to go to Hermanus for a couple of days. Great restaurants, beautiful beaches (Grotto and Volklip) and the cliff walk should not be missed. On your way you can enjoy the wine region of Constantia.

Have a great trip.

10. Re: Proposed itinerary for Cape Town and the garden route

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