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Garden route itinerary

Sidcup, United...
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Garden route itinerary

The two of us will be travelling the Garden route next month, after a 2 night stay in Shamwari we will be picking up a car at PE airport & have accomodation booked at the following locations.

Plettenberg Bay 1 night

George 1 night

Hermanus 1 night

Robertson 2 nights

We have never visited SA before and are not sure what places we should be visiting between each location or more importantly what we will have time to do as we do not want to still be on the road at night. Cango caves is one place we have been advised to visit given that the scenery is the big attraction are there any other must see's on the way? We have 5 nights in Cape Town at the end of the trip & were planning to do the winelands then (without the car)

Next question is regarding credit & debit cards, I have been told that it's not possible to pay for petrol using plastic but we are not too happy carrying large amounts of cash about, should we take travel cheques or are these not accepted either.

Any help with the above would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Alan

McGregor, South...
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1. Re: Garden route itinerary

Personally I would cut out George and Hermanus

Rather spend 1/2 nights at Plettenberg Bay and

1/2 nights in Oudtshoorn (where the Cango Caves are).You can then drive along the attractive R62 to Robertson (or Montague is also a good spot) stay 1/2 nights and then drive to Cape Town via Worcester and the N1.

A car is very useful for exploring the winelands.

You will need cash at garages, but remember petrol is cheaper here (R7 a ltr) so depending on the size of car you have R200/R300 will fill it. The car will be delivered with a full tank so you may only be stopping for petrol a couple of times. Garages often have ATM machines.

Belfast
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2. Re: Garden route itinerary

Your trip is very similar to our honeymoon of a few years ago, except in reverse.

Shamwari is great - if you are staying at Long Lee Manor, ask,in advance,if you can have Bethel as your game driver - he was absolutely brilliant, knew all the best places, a great tracker (which is very important)and also had a genuine love and respect for the animals. One early sunny morning, it was just him and I and a hunting pack of lions - a truly awesome experience - Good luck with your safari. If you have never done it before, there can be dull periods,when there doesn't seem to be anything around, but then suddenly ....

The rest of your trip will be very nice, but I would have chosen the inland Route 62 instead of from George to Hermanus direct, and might have chosen Montagu over Robertson. Unfortunately, there will be no whales at this time of year and with the exception of visiting either Hamilton Russell vineyard or the Sandford (?) brewery or just a simple coastal walk, Hermanus has little to offer.

If Cango Caves are a must, I suggest cancelling Hermanus and staying 1 night in Oudtshoorn instead and then doing the Route 62 - the scenery is stunning.

You almost always have to pay cash in petrol stations - don't worry - a bit of common sense, sticking to main roads and not driving/walking in unknown areas at night and you will find the Western Cape as safe as anywhere. Let's face it there are quite a few parts of London, or indeed Belfast, that I wouldn't fancy at all hours.

Bon Voyage

Cape Town
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3. Re: Garden route itinerary

Hello Alan

Agree with the other comments about your route but if it's all booked it's fine and you will really see a lot of beautiful country. Also agree that it would be a good idea to keep the car while in Cape Town and the Winelands. There is really no public transport in Cape Town which is relevent to tourists. You will therefore be dependent on either tour buses which never go where you would choose or taxis. Both would also be much more expensive for two than keeping the hire car. After having your own freedom for a week you will start to know how to sniff out the places you want to go. Lots of good wineries in the Robertson region which are as good as any but the best, and much cheaper than Stellenbosch and Franschoek. Also they don't charge for tasting which quite a few of the more touristy ones do. I can give you lots of visit recommendations if that is your interest.

Concerning cash don't be worried. ATMs are everywhere. If you feel happier get cash from an ATM attached to a Bank rather than the petrol station. Even tiny towns have 2, 3 or more Bank branches. Petrol is actually now down to R5.77. The price is Nationally controlled and changes once per month so as macsym says just a few hundred rand fills your car. Forget about travellers Cheques, no-one uses them here so you would need to go into a bank and queue up to change them rather than a quick trip to the ATM 24/7. Credit Cards are accepted everywhere - except petrol stations.

Sidcup, United...
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4. Re: Garden route itinerary

Thanks everyone for the quick replies and very useful information, the trip is indeed all booked and is part of a fly drive deal so not inclined to change it now. I naively thought the Garden Route would be one road that meandered from PE to Cape Town, luckily we are getting a sat nav with the car.

We do have the car for the whole holiday just don't want to test the SA drink driving laws by over indulging at the wine tastings. We are staying in Camps Bay for 5 nights and would like to visit the Point, penguins etc. is this a fairly easy route to drive?

Thanks all once again for the input

Alan

Belfast
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5. Re: Garden route itinerary

The Cape trip is easily done by car from Camps Bay. I suggest going down the False Bay side via Simonstown (penguins at Boulders Bay)and then back on the Atlantic side,assuming the Chapmans Peak Drive (tollroad) is open.

Driving around the Winelands is just a matter of common sense and there is a lot more to the area than just wine.

Bearing in mind that you have already booked your accommodation, can I suggest the following, but beware this is a full day with a lot of driving. From George go to Oudsthoorn and visit caves, then drive along R62 to Barrydale (lunch stop at Country Pumpkin)and then turn left along Tradouws Pass (very spectacular) rejoing main coastal route near Swellendam and then cut down towards Hermanus (any good road map should make this intelligible).

Melbourne, Australia
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6. Re: Garden route itinerary

Hi there;

See what we got up to when we did something similar in November / December at www.travelpod.com/members/mindabarley

Enjoy what will be a magnificent trip

7. Re: Garden route itinerary

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