After 30 trips to the Beloved Country, I’ve got you covered. Read all the articles under Travel and you’ll feel very confident about planning a fantastic trip to South Africa.
- The best weather is October through May.
- Including jetlag recovery time, planning a two to three week trip makes for a great vacation from the USA.
- For our most recent trips to game camps, we used a small travel company (Corporate Incentives) based in Pretoria, RSA and owned by Cecielia Grant. She did a great job for us. Naturally, she has been to all the camps she recommends and stays close to where the best value/price deals are in any given season. We also recommend Denise Best, Sharpsberg GA (thebesttours.net), a South African national.
- Best airfares: While you can do all the arrangements yourself via email and fax, an RSA experienced travel agent can be a great help. I book all my African flights through New Act Travel (Avril Bransky). Avril and her colleagues are RSA-nationals and are up on everything.
- Harkening back to 1994, my first trip was arranged completely by an agent: it included a guide meeting our plane, doing all the driving, carrying a cell phone, booking the restaurants, and dropping us off at the hotel/B&B at night. I highly recommend this approach if you are spending only 2-4 days in the Cape; it really makes the touring easy.
- If you spend 10-14 days in the Cape, using a guide for 2-4 days is more than adequate. After that period, you may wish to rent a car and cell phone, and explore on your own. *TIP: While the roads are very good, driving on the left side, navigating by map, and shifting with your left hand can be too much. I always rent a car with automatic transmission to reduce the confusion, especially when receiving a cell phone call.
- Hiring a Guide. It would be impossible to have a better tour guide in the Western Cape, but especially in the Greater Stellenbosch area, than Pietman Retief. Pietman has done it all and yet still has the enthusiasm for introducing people to his country and the South African wine industry. Highly recommend him.
- For those with more ambitious travel plans in Africa, another well established guided tour service is Bushtracks Expeditions. Dave and Carolyn Tett organize and conduct customized tours throughout Southern Africa and elsewhere in the world.
* Additional information about how to contact the above resources.
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