Post # 1
If you’ve been to (or lived in) South Africa, I’d love your advice on places to visit, travel tips, money-saving tips, etc. My husband and I are taking our “last-trip-before-TTC” and going to Cape Town and Johannesburg over Thanksgiving.
Thanks in advance!
Post # 3
@Miss PumpkinPenguin: I traveled through SA last year for about a month. Besides Paris (which is the only place I really feel at home), Cape Town is the only city I could go back to again and again. It’s incredible! There’s so much amazing history, and the food and the people are fabulous! Definitely go to Robben Island, but also wander around the neighborhoods, especially Bo-Kaap (and have Cape Malay food there–the malva pudding is amazing) and District Six.The other thing you shouldn’t miss is a visit to the townships. There are several organizations that do them–just check with your hotel.
The hop-on, hop-off bus is good, but you really only need a one-day pass. The Jewish Museum is also interesting. If you’re there on a Saturday, try to get out to the Neighborgoods Market in Woodstock–awesome biltong! I also recommend a day trip down to the Cape. I went specifically to go cage diving with the great whites, so if you’re into that, you should do that, too. I also visited Parliament, which I thought was very cool but I work in government and policy. 🙂
As far as Joburg, the Aparteid Museum is a can’t miss. Other than that, I don’t have much to say about the city. You could easily skip it as there are so many other great places to see in the country. I had a friend who lives there show me around and I don’t know how safe I would have felt if she wasn’t there (I was in Cape Town by myself for a week prior to that).Melville is another area that was neat.
If you have a chance to get out to the other side of the country, I recommend seeing the Blyde River Canyon area–beautiful. And you really shouldn’t go to SA without doing a safari. We went to Timbavati, which was awesome!
Happy to answer other questions. Not sure if I’m allowed to post it, but if it goes through here’s my travel blog about my trip: http://amybacharach.blogspot.com/
Post # 4
I second everything amyj1276 recommended about CT (as we called it shorthand). The only thing I would add is to go on a wine tour. The tours are a great value, as they include your personal tour guide and Dirty Delete, LOTS of wineries (I think we visited 5-6) and lunch out at one of the great area restaurants. Some of the wineries even have homemade cheese and chocolate to sample too.
As far as Jo’burg, I also second the Apartheid Museum. I liked Jo’burg, despite it’s somewhat bad reputation–I got hooked up with some nice locals though. I would say if you are there overnight, there are local pub crawls offered for tourists, which will include a braii (BBQ) at a local joint and a visit to the shebeen (bar). You’ll meet some really cool people and have a different experience than the average middle-class tourist experience.
Post # 5
If you are thinking about doing a safari when in/near Jo-Burg – we recommend the Vuyani Lodge. We spent part of our honeymoon there, and loved it!
Just wanted to weigh in. We loved South Africa SO MUCH. Didn’t get to make it to Capetown, but we’ll be back.
Post # 6
Just checking in and realizing I never thanked you for the tips above, which was very rude of me (I usually try not to do that)… but I just returned from South Africa and had a FANTASTIC time. I’m totally in love with the country now. Some things you suggested above that I was able to do:
-District Six visit, and visited the museum
-Township tour to Khayelitsha
-Day trip down the Cape
-Hop on/hop off bus
We also went on safari in Kruger. I think the most impactful thing overall, though, was definitely the Khayelitsha visit. Changed me forever.
Thanks again, ladies, for your willingness to help a traveling bee out!
Post # 7
@Miss PumpkinPenguin: hey, I’m assuming the NC or our location stands for North Carolina. My Fiance are looking at Honeymoon options in SA and I am wondering what airline you flew, what class (economy, business, etc) and where your layover was (if any)? right now, the best I option for us looks to be Chicago to Joburg via London on Virgin Atlantic
Post # 8
@mstellah: Yes, I’m in North Carolina.
We flew South African Airways from New York City (JFK) directly to Jo’burg. That flight was 14.5 hours and we were in economy class. However, the flight was not nearly full so we were able to spread out and most of us had at least two seats to ourselves (and some people on the plane had a whole row of four seats to stretch out on).
From there, we flew the same airline from Jo’burg to Cape Town (a much shorter, two-hour flight).
On the way back from Jo’burg to New York City, the flight is longer, right at 16 hours.
On South African Airways, the flight staff was pretty nice, with the exception of one attendant who was rude to my husband. They feed you a lot on the flight, with either a meal or snacks every couple of hours. There were small flat-screens on the back of each seat with movies, TV shows, and music on demand.
Go to South Africa, girl! You won’t regret it! Let me know if you want to see pics and I’ll send you a link to our pics.
Post # 9
@Miss PumpkinPenguin: SO glad you had a great trip! I have such a special place in my heart for SA–it really is one of the most amazing countries I’ve been to.
I was flying from San Francisco and decided to fly Emirates for 3 reasons: 1. it was much cheaper than SA Airways, 2. it flew directly to Cape Town (after a stopover in Dubai) rather than stopping in Joburg (Joburg has a bad, bad problem with luggage broken into by staff, so I wanted to avoid that airport as often as possible), and 3. because of a big push for tourism in Dubai, there’s no extra charge to have a multi-day layover there. So on my way home I spent 3 days there. SFO to Dubai was 15 hours. Spent the night in the in-airport hotel (don’t have to leave the terminal or go through customs). Then the flight from Dubai to Cape Town was 9 hours. Emirates is great (just rated #2 airline in the world).