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South Africa- 23 days- What not to miss?

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East South Africa- 23 days- What not to miss?

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1. Posted by marion2002 (Budding Member, 8 posts) 14 Mar '08 02:00

marion2002 has indicated that this thread is about South Africa

Hey,

We're planning a trip to SA this august/september. We want to go around by "baz bus" and decided to start in Cape town and head up the coast to Johannesburg- I'm really excited about it! ;-)

Now I just wanted to know, if you have any recommendations what absolutely not to miss on our trip?!

Thank you for your help!!
Marion

2. Posted by tway (Travel Guru, 7274 posts) 14 Mar '08 05:58

Hi Marion!

I'm thinking of a similar trip for October. We're looking into Gap Adventures right now. Everything looks so fantastic! Take a look at their site even if it's just to get ideas of what to see. I'm going to subscribe to this thread, too, so's not to miss anything!

Tway.

3. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator, 5540 posts) 14 Mar '08 06:34

Actually, South Africa is the perfect place to travel by yourself renting a car.
Most times, you don't even need a 4wd and a 2wd can be rented for low prices when renting it for about 3 weeks or so. It's just a safe country apart from Jo'burg and Cape Town parts and no need to do something organised here I guess. Really, more free time for yourself is much more enjoyable in a country like this.

With about 3 weeks, I certainly wouldn't miss (although somehow overtouristy) Kruger.
sanparks.com enables you to book some accom in this park to ensure you have a place to stay over there. Other parks are bookable as well, but during off season you might find a place in or just outside the parks as well. Kruger is better to stay in the park.
Pilanes in the north should be fine as well, and Hluhluwe park in the southeast as well.
Swaziland is nice as a side trip, as is Lesotho.

I guess with 3 weeks it is possible to see some parts of the west, like Cape Town and surroudings as well, but around one month would be better to visit bot east and west.
The east is number one though in my opinion.

Cheers!

4. Posted by AfriFriend (Budding Member, 15 posts) 14 Mar '08 07:43

Hello Marion

Wow, where do i begin, there are so many wonderful things to see, do experience in South Africa, even after 30 odd years i have still not to enjoy and experience everything. You going to have to do lots of research to narrow down the field, but definate to do on the list are:

Cape Town - Boulders Beach - visit the Jackass Penguins http://www.aboutcapetown.com/penguins.htm - check out this link for lots more to see and do in and around Cape Town.

Hermanus - Whale Tours - http://www.hermanus.co.za/

Spier Wine Esate - not only do they serve great wine, but you able to play and have your photo's taken with a cheetah http://www.spier.co.za/spier.htm

Outenique Chootjoe Train Knysna to George http://www.onlinesources.co.za/chootjoe/

The Garden Route has so much to offer from Brenton Butterfly Tour, cannopy tours (swinging from ropes up in the tree tops of tsitsikamma forrest), monkey land or enjoy a race on the back of an ostrich in Outschoorn, explore Cango Caves or do a boat ride out to Knsyna Heads, enjoy some fresh water oysters too!
http://www.tsitsikamma.info/
http://www.tsitsikammacanopytour.co.za/
http://www.gardenroute.org/tsitsi/index.htm

(easily spend a month here and still not get to do everything)

Then onto Durban, home of wonderful beaches, good game parks for great safaris, great reefs to snorkel, or hike the majestic drakensberg mountains
http://www.kzn.org.za/kzn/

Lion & Rhino Tour - Johannesburg - Normally a day tour, see Rhino, White Lions, Wild Dog, Buffalo and get to play with small cubs either tiger or lion or cheetah depending what they have on the day. Best to book through a tour operator.

Dont forget to visit the Origins centre at Wits University in Johannesburg, its the history of south africa, told through the eyes of the khoi san (bushmen) very colourful, visual display. Then onto the Apartheid Museum (another visual museum showing the segregation of black and white people in the years gone by).

For the latest partying, don't miss Mellville, great vibe, best place to stay in Johannesburg!!

For good rates on all your tours, book when you get to your backpackers lodge as they will know the best rates/operators to use.

Alternativly for a good cost effective overland tour which gives you a great overview of south africa, have a look at Drifters - http://www.drifters.co.za/

www.alternativeRoute.net has wide variety of Backpackers lodges, safaris, shuttle services,

If you need to search anything in South Africa, then use the SA search engine www.ananzi.co.za you will get lots of local info, better than Google.

Well, i hope this wets your appetite. Happy researching!

Regards
André

5. Posted by Brerrabbit (Budding Member, 15 posts) 17 Mar '08 04:14

Hi there

Its flower season towards the end of August in Cape Town and a visit to the West Coast and further north to Nieuwoudtville is a must.

-snip-
GTF

[ Edit: sorry, no promos in the forum please. ]

6. Posted by TnT (Budding Member, 5 posts) 24 Mar '08 11:50

Hi Marion,

For starting, 23 days is very short for such a beautiful country.
But my first time in SA was 21 days, so you are still better off. Making this trip unforgettable won't be a problem, whatever choice u make ...

A little advice. A decent visit to the mothertown Cape Town will easily consume 3 to 7 days. What to do ? RobbenIsland, Tablemountain, The V&A waterfont, The Gardens, winetasting, Cape Point, The Castle.

Keeping your Cape Town visit a few days shorter en spending these days along the West Coast will be a superb experience, because the flowerseason is amazing here.

From there out u can easily turn the Franschhoek way and that is the perfect start to enjoy the beginning of the Garden Route, which will lead u all the way to Port Elizabeth. From there on u can tackle the Wild Coast and Transkaai, passing beautiful places as Port St-Johns, Coffee Bay, Whole-in-the-wall, and many other.

U can then hit straight to Jo'burg, passing the Drakensberg or if time allows, keep following the coastline and turn off by Krüger to Jo'burg. For Krüger National Park I would advise at least 3 days. It's to big for less.

Any way, enjoy SA full and do not hesitate to contact us. We are 200 km north of Cape Town on the West Coast. Perfect for the flowers !

Always welcome for a coffee !!

Grtz TnT

http://www.route-tnt.be

7. Posted by yolandac8 (Respected Member, 159 posts) 1 Apr '08 04:19

I am planing my trip for late June, early July, and all your advices sound really great. Thanks a lot!!!!!!

8. Posted by Eefs (Budding Member, 77 posts) 2 Apr '08 15:11

Just back from JBay and Cintsa - awesome spots. Go to buccaneers in Cintsa for chilled out atmosphere but loads of organised activities like vollyball, table tennis, surfing etc. HIGHLY reommend caling cinsa horses http://www.cintsahorses.co.za/ We went a week ago and the ladies are awesome! APparently hogsback is wicked too. Wich I was back there!!

9. Posted by marion2002 (Budding Member, 8 posts) 6 Apr '08 08:47

Hey you all!!

Thank you so much for all your advices!!!!! It helps me a lot planning the perfect trip!!! THANK YOU!!!

Marion:)

10. Posted by basnong (First Time Poster, 1 posts) 10 Apr '08 14:14

HI

A must see is Nature's Valley just past Plettenberg Bay. Turn off at the Craggs and go through the pass. You get a great view of the lagoon from the top where you can pull up. But before make sure you go for a swim in the Indian Ocean waves.

Theres also a great Italian restaurant in Kurboomstrand where you can sit outside and watch dolphins playing in the surf and the sun setting! Spectacular!