Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Africa & the Middle East
Reload this Page >

Cape Town, Garden Route >> Port Elizabeth itinerary sense check

Cape Town, Garden Route >> Port Elizabeth itinerary sense check

Old Jan 7th, 2018, 10:01 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Cape Town, Garden Route >> Port Elizabeth itinerary sense check

Hi you lovely people

Heading to South Africa 11/12 days in March (if only there was more time!!), flying into Cape Town and departing from Port Elizabeth. We've sketched a couple of possible itineraries but wanted to get a sense of whether either works.
We love great scenery, the coast, and animals (oh and wine!) so it's a tough compromising process. I think the biggest concern is moving around too much but at the same time we want to see as much as is reasonably possible!

So any general comments on feasibility, or anything else we should consider would be greatly appreciated.

And one final question. Is a car needed when in Cape Town or shall we just hire when we depart Cape Town?

Thank you. Greg
***
(A)
Day 1 > Day 4 - Cape Town
Day 4 - Drive to Stellenbosch (overnight there)
Day 5 - Drive to Hermanus (overnight there)
Day 6 - Drive to Oudtshoorn (overnight there)
Day 7 - Drive to Wilderness (stay 2 nights)
Day 9 - Drive to Knysna (overnight there)
Day 10 - Drive to Addo (stay 2 nights)
Day 12 - Fly out from PE

(B)
Day 1 > Day 4 - Cape Town
Day 4 - Drive to Stellenbosch/Franschoek (2 nights there)
Day 6 - Drive to Hermanus (overnight there)
Day 7 - Drive to Oudtshoorn (overnight there)
Day 8 - Drive to Wilderness (stay 1 night)
Day 9 - Drive to Knysna (2 night)
Day 11 - Drive to Addo (overnight)
Day 12 - Fly out from PE
***
gregwoolley2387 is offline  
Old Jan 7th, 2018, 11:31 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 56,114
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
First of all, welcome to Fodors. I hope that you'll enjoy being here and will find some of what we say helpful.

Although it was about 10 years ago, your itinerary is not dissimilar to the one we did and enjoyed very much. however we tried hard not to have "one night stands" whenever they can be avoided and if you can, I would advise you do the same.

firstly I would suggest stretching your time in CT to 4 nights. That would enable you to do Stellenbosch as a day trip, which whilst perhaps not ideal means that your time in CT will be more flexible. That is desirable because you want to be able to pick a clear day for going up Table Mountain, and the more days you have to pick from the better.

Seocondly I can't see the point of staying at both Oudtshoorn and Wilderness as they are only an hour apart - choose one or the other. This would free up another night for Knysna, though you might also consider nearby Plettenberg where we stayed in one of the nicest hotels we've found anywhere:

http://www.hog-hollow.com

Bringing this all together could give you this:

Day 1 > Day 5 - Cape Town
Day 5 - Drive to Hermanus [2 hours] (overnight there)
Day 6 - Drive to Oudtshoorn [4 hours] [stay 2 nights]
Day 8 - Drive to Plettenberg [2 hours] [stay 2 nights]
Day 10 - Drive to Addo [3 hours] (stay 2 nights)
Day 12 - Fly out from PE


that gives you only one long drive day - Hermanus to Oudtshoorn, and then it's only 4 hours, and only one "one night stand".

Your 4 nights in CT give you 3 days - enough time to see Table Mountain and Kirstenbosch Gardens, the Cape via Simonsbay on another day, and Stellenbosch or Cape Town itself on the third.

hope that helps!

have a wonderful trip.
annhig is offline  
Old Jan 7th, 2018, 11:44 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,286
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Agree with annhig - too many 1 nights. But I’d just do 1 night in Oudtshoorn (or as a day trip) and skip Hermanus unless there’s something there you can’t miss. Wilderness or Storms River are much more interesting, in my view, than Plett. The water view accommodations in Storms River Mouth or here http://www.theoceanview.co.za. The Fernery is an interesting option too. Hog Hollow is a good choice for many.

Since it’s your only wildlife reserve, 3 nights minimum in Addo.

See www.sanparks.org for accommodations in Storms River and Addo.

Don’t miss the penguins at Boulders Beach on the day you do the Cape of Good Hope, hopefully you’ll see ostriches that day too. Robben Island was excellent but it’s weather dependent so do it early in you visit as soon as you can. Table Mountain is fun, also weather dependent.
christabir is offline  
Old Jan 7th, 2018, 12:34 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 56,114
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
thanks for chiming in, christabir, your experience is much wider and more up to date than mine. We loved Plett but then we didn't stop at Storm's Rover or Wilderness which now I see was probably a mistake. Never mind - you can't do it all.

We did see the penguins - smelly but a lot of fun.

We had a day trip to Addo [which we didn't enjoy that much] but we loved the night we spent here:

https://www.schotiasafaris.co.za

You spend the night in huts in the bush with water but no electricity, and they serve dinner and breakfast in a huge lapa. We saw loads of animals and did a nocturnal safari as well as an early morning one. In a way it was better than Shamwari and a lot cheaper.
annhig is offline  
Old Jan 7th, 2018, 02:30 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you very much christabir and annhig, thats really kind.

Completely agree about the too many one night stands, and Storms River is definitely on our list to see! And some really useful suggestions about day tripping to winelands, seeing Boulders Beach and Addo accommodation.

I think we'll do a little more reading on Hermanus, perhaps we could drop it based on it be off season for whale watching. Although sounds a lovely place too...

Would you recommend just picking up a car when we leave Cape Town?
gregwoolley2387 is offline  
Old Jan 7th, 2018, 04:02 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,286
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
That’s why there’s so many places to go - something for everyone! No two people are going to enjoy all of the same stuff and places. Storms River is just a very special place. (My nephew was just in Plett and loved it so take my advice with a big grain of salt!). No matter which towns you choose, there’s plenty to enjoy in each, depending on your interests.

Day trips in any game reserve or park are tough - daytime is when wildlife generally is less active and just a day is not enough for the whole experience. I try to get people to stay at least 2 nights, 3 nights is better (I do at least 10 on every trip - and just 10 was on a 10 night trip! It’s why I go, with a few other fun places scattered through). There’s a very small rustic camp in Amakhala called Quatermains. Just 3 tents so very intimate, just 6 people max per game vehicle and if you stay multiple nights they do game drives in Amakhala and Shamwari. If one can’t afford the private concession lodges in Addo or doesn’t want to do a self drive in Addo, I’d actually do a safari in KwaZulu Natal or Kruger. The private game reserves are all very small on the Garden Route so lots of human “management”. There are direct flights to all three Kruger airports and Durban from CPT and direct flights from PLZ to Durban. There are private reserve lodges in all price ranges in both areas, KZN has lower prices generally. But I’m a bit of a purist - most reserves on the Garden Route are fine.

http://www.quatermainscamp.co.za

Car rental - since you’re driving after your stay in Cape Town, I’d get the car at the airport upon arrival unless you can find an unlimited km option renting near your hotel. Cars are inexpensive so it wouldn’t bother me much to have a car sitting in the lot I wasn’t using. And you might use it for dinner or something. You’ll need a car if you don’t take a private tour to do the Cape of Good Hope (with the smelly, loud, gorgeous, fun penguins), it’s a fun drive. We also did Seal Island in False Bay that one long day. Anyway, I’d rent the car upon arrival unless you land after dark.

You have a good plan outlined, just tweak it as you feel fit. It’ll be great!
christabir is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2018, 06:01 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 56,114
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
just to add to the car info, we arrived at night and didn't fancy picking up a car then, so we had it delivered to our hotel in the morning. We used it for getting round CT - going to Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch, the Cape, Franschoek and Hermanus, though I have to say that I really can't remember how we crammed that lot into 3 days as well as a day touring the city. I think that we may have seen Franschoek and Hermanus on the way to Grootenbosch, but it's too long ago now for me to be sure.
annhig is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
mnoman
Africa & the Middle East
33
Jan 1st, 2016 08:19 AM
annhig
Africa & the Middle East
11
Jan 17th, 2007 04:03 AM
laura_ash
Africa & the Middle East
4
Oct 7th, 2005 03:11 PM
victoria_sw3
Africa & the Middle East
12
Sep 13th, 2005 11:15 PM
Kavey
Africa & the Middle East
6
Jan 3rd, 2004 06:51 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information