Itinerary Review for South Africa and Cape Town By Kris E

OVERALL RATING: 5/5 • REVIEWED: 23rd November 2013

Rovos Rail was definitely the highlight of our South Africa Holiday

This is an independent review by Kris From Switzerland who traveled to South Africa and Cape Town in November 2013.
was Kris's consultant

Hi Ian, First we had a fantastic time - all your arrangements worked out - many thanks for all your efforts. First flight from JNB to Nelspruit worked fine. We had to wait some four hours but found a comfortable restaurant - pleasantly surprised at how cheap it was (e.g. a beer was half what I pay in Switzerland!) The transfer from/to Hoedspruit was good (same bumpy road) check at Hoedspruit was easy - they checked our luggage through to Port Elizabeth which was great. Flight to JNB was packed but on time. Found the same restaurant in terminal B and then flew on to PE again flight packed and on time. Avis took ages to do the car booking - luckily we were first in and very long queue developed behind us. I think you and I both thought a SatNav was included - apparently not - but they supplied one for 80 ZAR a day. They had a problem with the pick up in Cape Town firstly the time they had at 16:30 I asked them to move it to 18:00 then they discovered the pick up day was a Sunday their local office was not open. Some more interrogation at the computer and then all was well and we got the car. Whilst on the subject of Avis on the pick-up day I waited at 18:00 but no one from Avis appeared. I called Avis and explained the problem and the Avis agent said to leave the keys with the hotel. I confirmed that the hire period had expired they agreed. So they have my credit card I hope the charges are correct in the end. When we left on Monday the car was still there… The drive to St Francis was OK - a bit of a baptism of fire driving through PE strange roads - cars passing left and right (passing on the left not allowed in UK and Europe) - but we got to St Fancis OK. We enjoyed the restaurants on Thesen Island and wandering around.We drove around Knysna the Eden Walk was good. The whale watching boat trip should come with a health warning though. The sea running 2.5 meter waves and we crashing through it very quickly so it was like getting you backside kicked every couple of minutes and most of the people were sick (we weren’t) but we saw whales, saw and smelt the seals and got a penguin also. Long drive then to Franschhoek - the pass was just reopened so we enjoyed the dramatic approach. Franschhoek is a lovely town and we had a great time there. The restaurant booking in the Tasting Room worked - we had a great meal there - but it got difficult to remember the final course after all the wine etc. We had a good dinner at the Dutch East Restaurant on the main street. Interesting to note that Franschhoek bustles and there are eateries everywhere at lunchtime but in the evening there are not so many options. All in all Franschhoek was very enjoyable. Easy drive to Cape Town - had to get used to traffic again - but with SatNav we got there. Cape Town was fun the Waterfront was great although the restaurants were expensive and not value for money (so we used the V&A instead). We did Table Mountain (long queues but well…) did penguins in Boulder Bay - tried to do Chapmans Peak (but it was closed for maintenance) - good time though. The transfer from Rovos Rail in Pretoria worked very well Some overall remarks about South Africa: o The infrastructure is very good. The roads were better than expected, clearly marked and signposted, driving was no problem. o The people were friendly and helpful o Security was good - we did take a wrong turn through a township near Knysna (well SatNav did) and realised not to do this again - it was without mishap - only one beggar on Long Street but he was not a problem - so all in all very positive o Food was from good to excellent (the poorest was a Portugese restaurant in the Waterfront) and we really enjoyed. All those wonderful cooked breakfasts - oh well some kilos to lose now How would I rate the different locations? 1. First the Rovos Experience 2. A very close second Simbambili and Grootbos 3. Third Franschoek and St Francis 4. Knysna So Ian again many thanks we had a great time. I hope the above in useful. I would be very happy to recommend Safari365 to your clients and my friends. Sorry we did not get the chance to meet but perhaps next time. Best Regards, Kris

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