in September we will travel a bit in South Africa, with our family of 5. (girls are 15,11,8)
As we live in Australia, close to the coast in Victoria, and almost in the yarra valley- we have plenty of wine region and rough coast fix.
(as recent immigrants we even enjoy them)
Now- in our ten days travelling we start in Cape town (2/3 days) and will end in Johannesburg. We can take a internal flight, or drop the rental car off in Johannesburg.
We will end our holiday with a week safari on horseback in a no elephant/no lion park. (really looking forward to this bit.)
Now- everyone instantly starts talking about the garden route. Add in a little wine region- flight from port elizabeth to J'burg- done.
But- seeing as we have seen plenty of great beaches, and loads of wineries at home- is that really what we should do? Are the beaches and the wines soooo much better/different? (they might well be)
Or- is there more interesting stuff ro see- as (ex-) duchies, we are very interested in history for example. We have a 4wd booked, and tents.
open to any suggestions, keeping the time frame in mind....
First of all: you can also PM me in Dutch if you'd like
I've been to South Africa twice and visited both the Garden Route and the Wine Region. They are nice, but certainly nothing very special to be honest. Been to Victoria as well, and the coastal routes there are nicer and quieter.
If you like culture, you might visit a few nice towns with Cape Dutch architecture and history, like Stellenbosch or further afield: Graaf Reinet, my favorite! The Karoo location (Karoo is semi desert) is really great and there's nice nature and parks nearby as well.
There are a few other options which you could check. First the area around the Drakensberg mountains and maybe venture into Lesotho? The scenery is fantastic and Lesotho, although totally surrouned by South Africa, feels much different.
Another option is travelling through the Northern Cape, a vast (semi)desert region and check out the Augrabies Falls NP, Upington (even some wine along the Orange River!), maybe visit the mine pit in Kimberley, that sort of stuff. Or if you could spare at least 4 days, go to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, by far my most favorite area of South Africa. The landscapes and wildlife are stunning and you really feel away from it all! It's about 2 hours north of Upington, but once in the park, take your time as the going is slow (but roads are relatively well maintained, you don't even need a 4wd).
There are some photos of my first trip to South Africa (2009) in my gallery, the last trip (2011) not yet).
I'm with Michael, Cape Town is a great city, and if you wanted to do a little, tiny bit of the garden route, you could always do a little whale watching in Hermanus or head to Agulhus to see the Southern most tip of Africa, but really, I'd head out and spend a night in the winelands then drive across the karoo, up to Graaf Reinet, making a side trip up to Niew Bethesda to see the Helen Martens Owl House...and the cutest little art town ever! Then you could head over towards Lesotho and the Drakensburg for some hiking in the mountains. OR head up to Augrabies Falls and hit the Kgalagadi. Either way, you will win : )