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Seriously forward planning...:)

Cambridge, United...
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Seriously forward planning...:)

This is mostly "hypothetical" at the moment, as my financial situation probably doesn't allow me to be booking any holidays right this minute. But I was in SA (Cape Town - Winelands - Garden Route - Addo) in January and *already* can't wait to go back.

Mainly I want to head "inland" a bit this time. Last time we 'accidentally' (really, don't ask, painfully bad bit of map reading!) drove on untarred roads between Laingsburg and Calitzdorp on the way from Stellenbosch to George - certainly the scenic route but oh dear ;). Because we were actually on our way somewhere and had to be there by a certain time, we couldn't stop and investigate Oudtshoorn, but it looks fascinating and I would really really like to go back and see it properly, and visit the Cango Caves. I quite fancy the idea of heading to Prince Albert and maybe over to Graaff-Reinet as well.

But... I do also want to go back to the winelands. I fell completely in love with Stellenbosch when I was there but only had a day there really. I also wouldn't be averse to another day or two in Cape Town! I suppose ideally I'd fly to Cape Town, spend a day or two there and then a day or two in the Winelands, and then head to Oudtshoorn etc. I wouldn't mind having a day (or two) somewhere on the coast somewhere in that plan - not sure where yet, but ideally somewhere quietish rather than a big resort like Plett. Then I had a vague idea (financially dubious) of spending a couple of days at possibly Kruger (flying there obviously), but I reckon I've only got roughly a fortnight in total...

So the question is, how many days is feasible to see Oudtshoorn (inc. caves) and other places of interest in the Karoo "properly" (as in, to get a bit of a feel for them, not just tick off "things to see"). What are the driving times like between, say, Oudtshoorn and Graaff-Reinet? I know the roads to Prince Albert are largely (?entirely?) untarred - how are the rest of them? 4 x 4 required? And what time of year is best? It's going to be HOT inland in Dec / Jan isn't it? I'm not too good with serious heat, but at the same don't want the weather to be actually unpleasant - I know it can be quite unpleasantly windy on the coast at certain times of year...

I know the plan might be a bit much for 14 days - very much at the 'initial planning' stages. Thanks in advance for any advice...!

Cape Town
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11. Re: Seriously forward planning...:)

Recognize the picture well!

Belfast
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12. Re: Seriously forward planning...:)

And talking of pictures VdC.. I really like the Hout Bay panorama taken from the Chapmans peak Drive.

And talking of shopping, wifey is defintely capable of spending half a day shopping without actually buying anything.

And more seriously, Vicki, if you were thinking of heading onto Kruger then I think it would be sensible to drive to Graaf-Reinet and stay thereabouts for the night before travelling down to Port Elizabeth for onward flight

Cambridge, United...
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13. Re: Seriously forward planning...:)

I'm still annoyed that Chapman's Peak Drive wasn't open when we were there! We had no idea that it was closed (we didn't do an enormous amount of pre-planning, it must be said) and we'd intended to do a little tour of the peninsula "the long way round" from Cape Town to Simon's Town (where we were staying the night). We got to Hout Bay and saw the signs saying it was shut. No driving to Noordhoek then! Back to Constantia and then across the... Silvermine (?) nature reserve. Nice drive but not what we'd intended! We stopped for lunch in Hout Bay but didn't really explore as the shutting of Chapman's Peak Drive had added some driving time on to the day's plan... Question: Hout as in 'hoot' or rhyming with 'out'?? I'm not sure we heard anyone say it!

This isn't really anything to do with Oudtshoorn any more, but oh well... as well as Graaff-Reinet, I wondered about carrying on to Cradock, or at least to the Mountain Zebra National Park. Didn't see any zebra at Addo and for some reason I have it in my head that I'd really like to (yes, I know, just stripey horses, right? ;)). Worth doing, do you know? Maybe I should repost this on another forum...

Cape Town
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14. Re: Seriously forward planning...:)

Hi Viki

I don't know whether you saw my post a couple of days ago on the on-going Chapmans Peak Drive thread?

The drive definitely should now reopen again in August 2009 :

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g312659-i9466-k249…

And Afrikaans correct pronunciation is "Hoot-Bye". Accepted English, "Howt Bay". No mixtures!

15. Re: Seriously forward planning...:)

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