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Which town is best as a base, Plettenberg Bay or Knysna?

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Los Angeles
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Which town is best as a base, Plettenberg Bay or Knysna?

I am travelling to the garden route in July and am flying in to George and renting a car. We are a family of 5 and want to go to Oudshoorn, the Tsitsikama Forest and the Elephant Park. Would you recommend Knysna or Plettenberg Bay to stay in? We are staying for 3 nights and fly out of George. I was planning to drive directly from George to Oudshoorn, see the Cango Caves and an Ostrich Farm, and then on to either Knysna or Plettenberg Bay, depending where we decide to stay. Does that sound feasible? We arrive in George at 10am. Thanks for your help.

Cape Town, South...
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1. Re: Which town is best as a base, Plettenberg Bay or Knysna?

You can travel to Oudtshoorn on the day that you arrive. It is about 80km from George via the Outeniqua Pass. You leave the airport and turn left. Follow the road past Fancourt and Blanco up the pASS. Cango is 30 km beyond Oudtshoorn. On your way to the Caves you will pass CANGO WILDLIFE RANCH and CANGO OSTRICH FARM (much further on).

The drive back over the same pass to Knysna should take about two and a half hours. Stay There. Either the Knysna Quays Hotel (on the waterfront) or the Logg Inn up the road. The next day you may travel towards Tsitsikama. Now there is lots to see. En route there is the Elephant Park, Plettenberg Bay (whale watching), Monkeyland (a must see. approx. half hours drive from Plett.),

TSITSIKAMA National Park (walk accross the hanging bridge), The big tree (just past the turn off for Tsitsikama) and the Storms River Bridge beyond that.

Return home via the same route.

Hope that helps

Port Elizabeth
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2. Re: Which town is best as a base, Plettenberg Bay or Knysna?

Knysna is more central, but busy as the main road (N2) goes right through it.

Consider Sedgefield as well. I would recommend Pine Lake Marina, a really nice family resort, where you can get a 6 sleeper for as little as R450 a night and that includes a host of free facilities.

http://www.pinelakemarina.co.za/plm_main.htm

If you like things more upmarket, go for the cabanas that start at R580 a night.

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3. Re: Which town is best as a base, Plettenberg Bay or Knysna?

Hi drobsy, it really depends on who is included in your trip and what you preferences are.

If you are a family and enjoy fairly noisy camp type surrounds, then Pine Lake Marina in Sedgefield is nice, but it is largely centered around water activities and July is quite chilly, so not really a time for water sports. It is a good place to go to with children as there are usually many activities organised for them. It is certainly not luxurious, self-catering and fairly clean and acceptable, but not perhaps what you are used to from LA. We stayed there for a short while and actually transferred out to Baywater village which was a bit less noisy.

Knysna is the most central and is busy, but there are many B&B available and there is a lovely sort of "island" in Knysna called 'Leisure Isle' which is not busy and really beautiful. As far as I know there is no hotel there but there certainly are Bed and Breakfasts, I've seen many advertised when I've been walking there, here is a link to one, but I don't have personal experience of it, I have walked past while on holiday and it looked nice from the outside:

http://www.sa-venues.com/gr/restawhile.htm

It would definitely be easy for you to go to Oudtshoorn for the day and I agree with Capensis that you should also visit Monkeyland on one afternoon, we absolutely loved it.

Port Elizabeth
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4. Re: Which town is best as a base, Plettenberg Bay or Knysna?

Further comment to technobabe.

Baywater village is certainly much nicer than Pine Lake Marina, but I wasn't sure whether non time-sharers can stay there. Can they technobabe?

Pine Lake Marina does get vey busy during school holidays. I have only ever gone there out of school holidays, using my sisters time-share when she cannot use it herself, because they have kids. It is lovely and peaceful at that time. The weeks with the high prices are the school holiday weeks, so they are easy to avoid.

I would still recommend it for families.

This is a personal preference. I hate being stuck in hotels and prefer being in a self -contained cottage that is surrounded by grass and trees.

Other places, I wouild recommend are the rest camps of the National Parks.

Tsitsikamma National Park - both the Natures Valley Camp and the Storms River Camp

Wildernes National Park

Can't get the specific links because their site seems to be down, but the main site is

www.sanparks.org.za

If you are a hotel/motel kind of person, ignore this advice.

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5. Re: Which town is best as a base, Plettenberg Bay or Knysna?

Thank you all for your replies. They are very helpful. It sounds like Knysna is the place to be. We have seen a hotel called the Lake Pleasant which seems good. We will definitely go to Monkeyland then. Thanks a lot.

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6. Re: Which town is best as a base, Plettenberg Bay or Knysna?

Been offline for a while. Just a quick response to Lamlee....I'm actually not sure about Baywater and whether you can book there without timeshare. We've been trying to sell our points for ages, so I reckon if anyone wanted to hire a place, somone would be able to let their points out or something.

Sorry I'm not being particularly articulate, I hope you know what I mean.

To drobsy, I've heard of that hotel, but not been in it. enjoy your holiday and do give Tsitsikama a look in as well, really splendid scenery.