We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Stellenbosch wedding, end of March

In cooperation with: Cape Town Tourism
Ireland
Level Contributor
81 posts
2 reviews
Save Topic
Stellenbosch wedding, end of March

Hi all

I am looking at attending a wedding in South Africa on the 13th of April, with my wife and 8 year old. We live in Ireland, so it would be a long way to go without making a decent holiday out of it at the same time. Was thinking something around the 23rd March to the 15th April. What would you recommend we must see and do on our trip, and what would you think a trip such as that would cost (outside of flights).

Sorry for the vague questions, but know very little about South Africa and Cape Town.

Many thanks in advance.

Kevin

Kelowna, BC
Level Contributor
197 posts
182 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Stellenbosch wedding, end of March

My husband and I spent the month of November in Cape Town and we loved it. This is one of the most wonderful destinations for a holiday in the world. Look through this forum for ideas on what to do there. There's sooooo much, it's amazing. Going up Table Mountain, maybe Robben Island where Nelson Mandela and many other political prisoners were held, the Hop On Hop Off bus, and for your little guy, the Two Oceans Aquarium, a Township tour. The possibilities are almost endless. You'll love it.

Cape Town Central...
Level Contributor
12 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Stellenbosch wedding, end of March

Hi, so glad that you are thinking of visiting our beautiful country!

March/April is a lovely time of year, just past the peak of summer so it's not too hot. There are lots of things to do in Cape Town and surrounds. Stellenbosch is the heart of the winelands. There are lots of places to go wine tasting and picnicing. Spier has a cheetah and raptor sanctuary as well as craft markets, restaurants etc - if you get a chance to do dinner at Moyo I would highly recommend it! Franschoek is also beautiful and quaint. Just so that you know, the winelands are an hour or two outside of Cape Town City.

Cape Town itself also has lots to do (as mentioned in the post above). We have beautiful beaches (Clifton, Camps Bay etc) - although pretty old if you want to swim! If you want to do wildlife safari's there are a few in the Cape Town area, but the best (Kruger for example) are near Johannesburg.

The cost of living in South Africa is not too high - especially if you are converting from pounds or dollars. A beer can cost between R12 - R25, which is under a pound to just over a pound. A litre of petrol will cost you less than a pound.

Hope that helps!

Germany
Level Contributor
39 posts
63 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Stellenbosch wedding, end of March

We've just got back from our latest trip to SA and we paid between 60 and 100 Euros per night bed and breakfast, depending on quality and area (Cape Town is, obviously, at the top end of the price range). This was per room, not per person, not sure what your eight year old would cost.

Stellenbosch is lovely as a base in the winelands, do you know where the wedding is? Cape Town is also worth a few nights, if you want some beach then there are plenty of them nearby, as well as Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch Gardens, Cape Point. If you're looking for a safari, then think about getting an internal flight to Port Elizabeth and going to Addo, it is wonderful and well worth a couple of nights stay.

There is so much to see that you'll wish you could stay longer.

Have fun.

Rachel

Cape Town Central...
Level Contributor
3,067 posts
78 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Stellenbosch wedding, end of March

Hi there

I would suggest for your stay in Cape Town that you might consider a self catering apartment. Have a look at these websites for more info and prices: www.africaneliteproperties.co.za , www.villageandlife.com and also www.safarinow.com . Options for areas to stay in would be Mouille Point, Sea Point, Green Point, Waterfront, De Waterkant, Camps bay and even Bantry Bay.

For things to do in the City of Cape Town, Robbin Island, Table Mountain, Two Oceans Aquarium, Hop On Hop Off bus around the City, Cape Point with Cape of Good Hope, The Penguins, Wine Lands of course including the wedding, Shark Cage Diving, The Beach at Camps Bay, Surfing Lessons at Muizenberg and so much more.

Regards

Hank - Owner - Ulungele Tours

Ireland
Level Contributor
81 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Stellenbosch wedding, end of March

Thank you all so very much for your help and advice. You've given me the push I needed, and I've just booked the flights ;) !!

Have also booked Bonne Esperance Guest House in Stellenbosch for the wedding part of the trip.

Now to book the rest, going from the 25th March to the 17th, Happy Days !!

Really looking forward to the trip.

I'm sure I'll have more questions to follow ;)

Ireland
Level Contributor
81 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Stellenbosch wedding, end of March

Ok, we have booked to be in Stellenbosch from the 10th to the 15th for the wedding and a bit of touring. Seeing as we land in Cape town late on the 25th March, how long do you think we should stay in Cape Town ? In order to see the sights, and where would you go, in the time between Cape town and Stellenbouch ? We have pushed the time line in SA out to make the most of the long/expensive flight, but would like to keep costs realistic and not 5 star prices !

So, about 2 weeks from landing in Cape Town, to when we must be in Stellenbosch. What would you recommend to make the most of the time we have ? I have done a lot of reading, but have a bit of information overload at the mo ;)

MANY thanks in advance.

Cape Town Central...
Level Contributor
12 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Stellenbosch wedding, end of March

So glad that you took the 'plunge' and bought tickets!

As for your time in Cape Town, I guess it depends on what you enjoy doing.

I've lived in Cape Town for my whole life and I still haven't visited everywhere in the city! Maybe decide on a few key things that you would like to do and plan around those?

Are you happy to hire a car and drive around? I would recommend doing that rather than using public transport.

If you want to do the safari thing but don't want to travel much further north than Cape Town, you can go to Aquila Private game reserve. I have never been there and don't know what the prices are like, but I do know that they have the Big 5. It's about a 2 hour drive outside of Cape Town.

You can also fly to Johannesburg or Durban (2-3 hour flight, the prices of the flights will vary quite a bit, depending on where you are flying to and what dates you are flying. Weekends tend to be more expensive to fly to Joberg - as many people commute from Cape Town for work during the week. www.travelstart.co.za is a nice flight search engine to use). I have been to Kruger and to Hluhluwe/Mfolozi and had fantastic experiences at both of those game farms. If you are going to a game farm I suggest setting aside a few days in order to have a better experience. You won't see the big 5 in just one day (at the big game reserves) - I still haven't seen a lion!

If you don't want to travel much, then there is still plenty to do in Cape Town. If you are interested in History there is Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned), the District 6 museum (focussed on the forced removals in Cape Town - South African History), the Holocaust Museum. Have a look at http://www.iziko.org.za/ for other museums/galleries in the area.

If you are interested in nature you can go up Table Mountain, visit Silvermine for a walk, visit Kirstenbosch gardens, the beach(s), helicopter rides etc.

Shopping at the V and A Waterfront is good fun - there's a really nice atmosphere and lots to do there, including: the Scratch Patch (where you can see and buy gemstones), the Aquarium, various cruises around the harbour, the Red Shed (local craftsmen). Have a look at www.waterfront.co.za for lots more info on the things available.

Hope that helps!

Ireland
Level Contributor
81 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Stellenbosch wedding, end of March

Thank you all for your input, advice and time !

So this is the plan at the moment :

-Landing in Cape Town late on the 25th March and staying in the Cape Heritage Hotel (great rate) leaving on the 31st. Thats 5 days in Cape Town, too much ?

-Landing in Port Elizabeth on the 31st and going to Schotia Safaris, leaving the morning of Tuesday the 3rd. Pick up a Hire car, and have 7 days on the road before arriving in Stellenbosch on the 10th.

-In Stellenbosch and surrounding area for the wedding, for 5 days, staying with Bonne Esperance Guest Lodge.

-Leave on Monday the 16th with one day to spare before our flight home on the 17th. Not sure what we will do here, but Im sure we will see something that we missed that we would like to hit before we leave.

So a few questions

- Is 5 days in Cape town too much ? I think not but my wife is not so sure ;)

- Any Idea of somewhere really nice and special to stay on the last night, allowing for the fact that we must drive to the airport the next day, for a lunchtime flight.

-What sort of road trip would YOU do, if you had 7 days to get to Stellenbosch from Port Elizabeth ? I know its not that far, but I've seen plenty of posts saying not to rush it.

-Any advice of really nice spots to stay along the way to Stellenbosch ?

Once again, thank you all for taking the time to advise and post !!!

Kevin

Fordingbridge...
Level Contributor
2,038 posts
177 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Stellenbosch wedding, end of March

5 days in Cape Town is perfect, you certainly won't be bored. May I also suggest that as well as using TA you buy a copy of the Rough Guide to SA. It will give you a lot of background that isn't readily available on here.

For your drive to Stellenbosch there's a lot to see on the Garden Route. Knysna is beautiful & just before you arrive you can visit Tsitsikamma National Park & Storm's River Mouth. Lots of good day trips from Knysna.

After Knysna then Oudsthoorn is well worth it for the caves & some lovely drives through the mountains. From there take R62 to Montagu. Beautiful scenery & no traffic. If you're in Montagu on either a Wednesday or Saturday you can spend a fun morning or afternoon on a tractor ride to the top of the Langeberg mountains. Don't laugh, you & your 8 year old will love it.

After Montagu you can drive to Stellenbosch via Robertson, Villiersdorp & Franschoek. The approach over the mountains into Franschoek is breathtaking, have your cameras ready.

Finally I have to warn you that you will rapidly fall in love with this fantastic country & it's amazingly friendly people. As for Stellenbosch it's our favourite town in the whole wide world. You will return home with a very serious disease for which there is no known cure..............."Mal d'Afrique".

Ireland
Level Contributor
81 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Stellenbosch wedding, end of March

Thank you all again for the help and guidance, most heart warming !

So the final bit to sort is the 7/8 days from the 2nd April to the 10th (8 nights)

Again the trip is from Port Elizabeth to Stellenbosch.

So this is what I was thinking

- 2 nights in Plettenberg

-2 nights in Knysna

-2 nights in Oudtshoorn

-2 nights in Swellendam

Is that too much moving around in a fairly small geographic area ?

Just seems a shame to sit tight in one place for too long, when we will have a hire car with us anyway.

Would it be advisable to book accommodation in advance during these dates (ie any school holidays in SA?) ?. I prefer in general to keep thinks open/flexible a bit, but not at the risk of being over charged on the door step or missing the chance of staying somewhere really nice (booked out).

Any recommendations for places to stay in the above ?

Starting to get very excited now ;)

Thanks once again

Edited: 28 February 2012, 16:00