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South Africa(!)

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  • #783569 Reply
    CopaCopa
    Participant

    I’m heading to South Africa in February for a wedding. I’ll be traveling from the Midwest to Cape Town, and from Cape Town to Stellenbosch. Anyone have any suggestions regarding:
    – Traveling alone! I have several friends going to the wedding, but all traveling from different cities around the world. I haven’t booked my flights or made lodging reservations yet, but it’s possible I’ll have a couple solo days out there. Anyone know what it’s like for a lone female tourist? I have also read mixed things online about the safety of things like public transit (e.g., some say it’s fine to take a train from CT to Stellenbosch, others say nope, no way — hire a private car).
    – Things to do, see, and place to eat! Hoping my friends and I can turn this wedding into a fun, once-in-a-lifetime trip for us. Super interested in some kind of safari excursion.

    #789168 Reply
    avatarMissD
    Participant

    My mom was in Johannesburg during the 90s. Definitely not safe to visit alone at that time (she was there during apartheid). She was staying with a rich family that went everywhere with a guard dog.

    I had a friend who went to Uni in Johannesburg. He said it was pretty rough in many parts as well. I think it’s the kind of place where you don’t take any cab/taxi unless it’s one ordered for you by the hotel.

    But I’m not sure what Cape Town is like. I’m pretty jealous that you’re visiting South Africa! I’ve always wanted to go. South Africa is BEAUTIFUL! At least… it looks that way from all the pics my mom took.

    #789202 Reply
    avatarquark
    Guest

    Hey – I was just in both Joburg and Capetowm earlier this year. Unlike Joburg, I didn’t feel unsafe in Capetown. You can always do uber, it is pretty affordable down there and is well run.
    Things to do: V&A Waterfront, Robben Island*, MOCAA museum, Boulders Beach* (penguin colony), Cape Point*, Cape of Good Hope, Muizenberg Beach, Table Mountain* (take a cable car up or hike).
    Places to eat: Marco’s African place for local cuisine and live music, , Mama Africa
    * are a must-sees

    #789203 Reply
    avatarktfran
    Participant

    Oh my gosh, fun Copa!!!! I have no suggestions. A coworker was in Capetown earlier this year to do the vineyards thing. I’ll see what he was to say. I know Kruger is the big, popular game reserve in S. Africa.

    The husband and I are going to East Africa (think Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia maybe Zanzibar, etc.) for my 40th in Jan 2020!

    So, since we live in the same city and the husband has been researching flight options from here, I’ll get back to you. I can’t remember what he has said, but I do know there are two options that are best/preferred. He’s a really, really good flight researcher. And this was when we thought we’d be flying into/out of your two preferred cities.

    #789204 Reply
    avatarkeyblade
    Member

    I know someone who went to South Africa, but I don’t know how relevant it is because it was over a decade ago.

    From that experience I would highly recommend the view from Table Mountain. Also go on a tour of Robbins Island. It isn’t just the quarry where political prisoners were forced to work. They sent people with Leprosy out there; the island has served multiple purposes over it’s history. The tours offer employment to people that were once imprisoned there. Penguin Island is interesting but smelly. The waterfront has a ton of places to eat. There were tons of seals around there. They also have very good wine tours near Capetown. The ecological gardens were stunning and one had beautiful wild birds (game hen) Johannesburg was rough but some of the hotels are truly spectacular.

    South Africa is the great white capital in the world, and if you are so inclined, shark cage diving is amazing, but the ocean is cold and the boat can be rocky depending on the weather.

    If you want to do a private safari at Kruger’s national park, consider staying at a place like Londolozi which is known to employ the Zulu people and is very respectful towards the animals.

    They hired private drivers and didn’t regret it. As with travel anywhere, keep your cash on you or locked up.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by avatarkeyblade.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by avatarkeyblade.
    #789208 Reply
    avatarktfran
    Participant

    Copa, so, from where we live, really good flight options are:

    Ethiopian Air direct from here to Ethiopia then a domestic flight from Ethiopia to Johanessburg (or Nairobi for our trip) not sure what Cape Town would be.

    Other good options are a stop in either London or Germany then your starting city in Africa.

    #789326 Reply
    CopaCopa
    Participant

    Thanks @ktfran. What sites does your husband use to research airfare? I have no clue how to tell what’s a good deal since it’s all quite pricey. (Though I’m reassured the SA Rand is very weak right now and everything will be inexpensive once I physically arrive.) Since I know I’ll have a layover, I’m thinking about doing a day or two solo somewhere like Amsterdam or London.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by CopaCopa.
    #789328 Reply
    avatarK
    Guest

    I have never been there, but I remember taking a wines course in college and thinking the South African wine country looked like the most beautiful of them all. So I’d definitely hit up the wine regions!

    #789329 Reply
    CopaCopa
    Participant

    @K The wedding is in wine country! I’m going to ride the wine train! Apparently there’s also a gin route.

    #789330 Reply
    avatarktfran
    Participant

    Hi, Copa – I’ll ask. I’m not sure, but I think it’s a combination of travel sites to get intel + airfare sites. I’ll get back to you.

    #789360 Reply
    avatarK
    Guest

    @Copa that’s awesome!!!

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