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Mercury

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    South Africa

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  1. Hi Julie, no I haven't tried the Tuk Tuk drivers. Only the tram and once we hired a mini bus with driver for the day as we had a group of 9. Franschoek is a lovely town to wander in. Be sure to visit the Hugenot Chocolate Shop - whenever I'm in the town it is my first stop!
  2. Oh dear, so sad to hear that. I know Margot Janse has been involved with charity work for her SA charity (involving chefs from other countries). Perhaps she is focusing on this...
  3. For anyone who is self driving the wine routes, it is important that you are aware that you can be arrested if you are over the blood alcohol limit. Here is a useful link: https://www.saps.gov.za/alert/zero_tolerance_agains_drinking_driving.php
  4. Julie, I would recommend the Franschoek tram - such a nice way to see the wine farms. It's very easy to forget how much you are drinking when you go from wine farm to wine farm so the Franschoek tram is a great idea if you don't have a personal driver. I love the wine farms on the Green line. www.winetram.co.za As for restaurants, the cuisine in this area is top notch. My personal favourites are The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Francais and Reubens.
  5. Happy planning! So many wonderful places to see - you are spoilt for choice!
  6. My favourite wine farm from the Elgin area is Oak Valley but there are many others to try: https://winesofelgin.co.za https://oakvalley.co.za The wine farms in the Elgin area are cool climate wines as are those in the Hemel en Aarde valley. You are right, the restaurants and the spectacular scenery are an added bonus to the wine farms! As a matter of interest, there are also wine farms in the Garden Route, most notably in Plett but also in the Klein Karoo. Favourites are Bramon, Jakkalsvlei and Karusa.
  7. I love it too! Although my favourite wines are from the Elgin and Constantia areas.
  8. Agree, but the poster, Tring, said in her prior post that they are not really interested in doing the wine route as they have done this in France.
  9. There isn't dedicated driver accommodation at hotels in South Africa, but you could book the driver his/her own room if you prefer the driver being available as and when you need them. I think it would be better to plan your own route and make use of a shuttle service (as mentioned above) for longer transfers. For shorter distances, you could try Taxify who are apparently now operating in the Garden Route.
  10. As you are planning to come in Summer, I would suggest an area like the Pilansberg for a safari as it is not as hot as Sabie/Kruger and also not a malaria area. You can contact the Game Lodges there and see whether they can arrange a transfer for you before you book with them. Try Ivory Tree Game Lodge or Shepherd's Tree. Another favourite non malaria area is the Waterberg. You could try Hanglip Mountain Lodge or Widside Camp. After a safari, I would suggest flying to George airport (in the Garden Route). The Garden Route is so named because it is regarded as the Eden of South Africa. It has rolling mountain ranges, forests and valleys and a beautiful coastline. Lots of lovely towns to visit on the route including Plett, Knysna, Sedgefield, Wilderness, George (more of a city centre), Glentana, Mossel Bay (also a bigger town centre) and on to Cape Town. You could easily spend a week along this route. It may be a good option for you to look into your accommodation needs on a website like www.portfoliocollection.com or www.travelground.com You could then plan your own movements and make use of a company that offers a transfer service. Try: https://www.shuttletravelandevents.co.za
  11. I would not suggest train travel in South Africa unless you want to use one of the luxury companies: www.bluetrain.co.za www.rovos.com Are you interested in doing a safari? Would suggest African Sky Safaris and Tours if you don't want to drive yourself. They are well reviewed on Trip Advisor. I can make further suggestions based on your interests. For example, if you enjoy hiking, a trip to the Drakensberg should not be missed. There are fantastic golf courses and golf holidays in South Africa if you enjoy that. The Garden route is an excellent suggestion if you enjoy spectacular coastal scenery, lovely markets, excellent food and a more quiet, relaxing holiday. Which month are you planning to cruise?
  12. Does anyone know whether feather bedding and pillows come standard in Haven cabins? My DH and DS are asthmatic and are allergic to feathers so I do not want to have them in my suite. I am hoping that feathers are NOT standard. Also, is there an option for memory foam pillows in the Haven?
  13. We just upgraded to the Haven on our Baltic cruise. Was cheaper than bidding. Thank-you to those who made the suggestion to keep monitoring the prices.
  14. Here is a thread with more info on this topic:
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