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Our 3 weeks' trip to South Africa

In cooperation with: Cape Town Tourism
Auckland, Auckland...
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Our 3 weeks' trip to South Africa

Hello

After reading the reviews, my husband and I almost finalised our schedule. We have booked 6 nights' accommodation in Cape Town from the end of August. We will have 8 nights before flying to Skukuza from Port Elizabeth on 19 Sept. for the safari. Our plan is:

2 nights in Franschoek or 2 nights in Hermanus while taking a day trip to Franschoek or vice-versa

1 night in Oudtshoorn

We would love to drive the Swartberg Pass and may give a miss to see Cango Cave and Ostrich Farm

3 nights in Kynsna. We would love to do some hiking.

1 night in Storms River

1 night in Port Elizabeth, we will need to take the flight at 10 am.

Does this sound reasonable? Have we missed anything important?

Thank you so much!

Christina and Brian

From New Zealand

1. Re: Our 3 weeks' trip to South Africa

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Leigh-on Sea...
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2. Re: Our 3 weeks' trip to South Africa

a good route, I have done a similar one.

In my opinion, both Franschoek and Hermanus, both deserve 2 nights each at least, the Wine Tram trip is a good day out. For Hermanus, as well as whale watching, there is the penquin colony at Stoney Point and the cute villages of Kleimond and Stanford short drives away. harold Porter botanical gardens are worth a visit but not as good as Kirstenbosch.

Check out the Meerkat Adventure at Oudtshoorn, you are up at dawn and will be back at your guesthouse for breakfast, so could fit it in the Swartberg Pass the rest of the day . As Kynsna is only 1 1/2 hours drive from Oudtshoorn, you could fit in both the Safari Ostrich Farm ( 2 hours) and Cango and still be in Kynsna before dark.

I am not a fan of one night stays so I would do Storms river as a side trip from Knysna ( 1 1/2 hours drive one way stopping at sights on the way e.g. Natures Valley, Big Tree) . Of course that would mean that the journey to PE would be 1 1/2 hours longer.

I have posted 2 trip reports , see atop post named Trip Reports- Post Your Report Here, items 15 and 16 .

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3. Re: Our 3 weeks' trip to South Africa

Thank you very much for your advice. Much appreciated. Is the Swartberg Pass on the way to Oudtshoorn if we drive from Franschoek? We definitely don't want to miss the Swartberg Pass and would consider take R62 through Barrydale and Calitzdrop, suggested by others. Thank you again.

Leigh-on Sea...
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4. Re: Our 3 weeks' trip to South Africa

from either Hermanus or Franschoek to Oudtshoorn is bit of a drive, it took us 5 hours from Franschoek which included s including photo stops, lunch at Montagu and coffeee at Ronnies Sex Shop, so I can't see that you would be able to fit in Swartberg pass.

Looking at Google Maps (below) the Swartberg is not on the way to Oudtshoorn but rather directly North, I think that most people do the trip from Oudtshoorn. I have seen many posts on TA with suggestions on how to best visit it. and take into consideration on what type of car you have and if you are carrying lots of luggage. Take a look at some Youtube videos, the Pass is not for the faint hearted!

there is a post on TA dated 24/9/2009 from someone named 63tttt who asks a similar question to yours regarding the best route to take.

distancesfrom.com/za/…3312968.aspx

www.google.co.uk/maps/search/franschhoek+to+oudtshoorn+via+swartberg+pass/@-33.4935203,22.5004378,9z

Saint Francis Bay...
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5. Re: Our 3 weeks' trip to South Africa

Hi there. I am South African and know that the Garden Route very well. I would recommend 2 nights in Franshoek to explore the amazing area. Perhaps one night in Hermanus and Plettenberg Bay instead of Knysna for 3 nights (both Knysna and Plett are close to Storm's River is definitely worth a stop and a walk to the suspension bridge but nothing to do there at night so would not stay there. I would not recommend sleeping in Port Elizabeth either. It is a nice city if you know where to go. I would recommend staying in St Francis Bay which is just over an hour's drive to the PE airport. My parents own a B & B there. It is a quiet but beautiful spot: http://www.ilollo.co.za (depending on the time of year). This is not a marketing ploy just some advice . Happy to help with anything else! I have also recently heard that you can swim with seals in Plett which is meant to be wonderful! tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g312558-d2…

Edited: 29 July 2014, 23:23
Saint Francis Bay...
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6. Re: Our 3 weeks' trip to South Africa

As you are staying in Cape Town for so long you may want to travel up the west coast. capewestcoastpeninsula.co.za/paternoster/ (145 km)

This is a real seafood experience:

http://www.strandloper.com

Tourist often miss the east coast of the country which is spectacular - so maybe the next time you visit:

http://www.wildcoast.co.za

Auckland, Auckland...
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7. Re: Our 3 weeks' trip to South Africa

Thank you for your kind reply. I will do some research and check the review you recommended may have to re arrange our accommodation booking.

Auckland, Auckland...
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8. Re: Our 3 weeks' trip to South Africa

Hi Pamela

Thank you so much for your information. We appreciate the help from locals. We are actually not keen to stay in Port Elizabeth and drive to the city on a Friday late afternoon. We wouldn't mind staying in St Francis Bay for one night. Your parents' B&B sounds lovely. We would like to do a 4-5 hour hiking in Nature s Valley so booked 3 nights in Kynsna. We considered staying one night in Hermanus but some reviews mentioned that it could be crowded so we might do day trip from Cape Town. If we decide to stay one night in Hermanus for night, would you recommend driving to Franschoek The next day?Thank you again for your kind help!

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9. Re: Our 3 weeks' trip to South Africa

Hi Pamela

Thank you so much for your information. We have planned to drive to the West Coast National Park and see the wild flowers. Would you suggest an over night stay? We can shorten our stay in Cape Town by one night. We wish we could have had a longer time in your beautiful country and visit more places like the East Coast.

Thank you again.

Saint Francis Bay...
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10. Re: Our 3 weeks' trip to South Africa

Yes I think a night up the West Coast would be great. Perhaps on your way out of Cape Town.

On your way up to Langebaan try stopping at Darling:

http://www.darlingtourism.co.za

I am not a huge fan of Langebaan so you do not need to plan to spend much time in the town itself - it has a lovely lagoon.

If you would like to eat at Paternoster try the Noisy Oyster - delicious!

tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g1055305…

On your way to Montagu you could perhaps go through the Riebeek Valley and Riebeek Kasteel

http://www.riebeekvalley.info