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Author: barbbmahan

Joined: 3/11/2010
Posts: 1
GCT Trips Taken: 1
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Traveler Since: 2010

March 10, 2010

We have gotten our shots, picked up our malaria pills taken the typhoid capsules and now we want to know if there are any hints you can give us if you have traveled there with Grand Circle in the last few years. What to pack what not to pack, how much bug spray you used, did you get sick? what foods to avoid, where to be sure to go, etc. I need good ideas! Thanks!

Author: sandys

Joined: 3/8/2010
Posts: 23
GCT Trips Taken: 4
OAT Trips Taken: 7
Countries Visited:

Most countries in Western Europe - Many countries in Eastern Europe. New Zealand, Australia, Cook Islands, Easter Island. Chile, Peru, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Belize, Honduras, Mexico (including Copper Canyon), South Africa. Almost all states in the USA, including Hawaii and Alaska. Canada, Bahamas, Many of the Caribbean Islands. China, Thailand.

Traveler Since: 2005

March 11, 2010

Hi Barb.

We went on the OAT tour to South Africa in December.  I can give you two suggestions for CapeTown that we did on our own. 

We made reservations ahead at a restaurant that was highly recommended on TripAdvisor:

Opal Lounge - 30 Kloof Street in Gardens, Cape Town.  Reserve with   Website:

The food, decor, and service were all fantastic.  The meal for the two of us cost a little over $100US.  I believe that your hotel is also in Bantry Bay, so you would also need to take a taxi to the restaurant

It was the most fantastic dining experience that we have ever had.  We went early - 7pm - and we had the restaurant to ourselves for quite awhile, before all the South Africans arrived.

We also took a full-day wine tasting tour, instead of doing the optionals on our tour.  I'm not sure if we're allowed to put the name of the private tour guide we used on this forum, so If you would like the name of the gal who took us around, just email me at:


Author: travelfan

Joined: 3/15/2010
Posts: 1
GCT Trips Taken: 3
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2008

March 26, 2010

I took the trip in Sept/Oct '08.  Best trip I ever took.  Packed bug spray but only used it at the Addo Elephant Park.   Pack something warm for early morning safaris, also for Table Mountain and the trip to the Cape. You might want to include a bathing suit.  Some of the hotels had great pools.

I found binoculars and a flashlight good things to have along.  Hotel laundries were terrific and meant that I didn't have to do any hand washing.  Everything came back pressed and folded and nothing was lost.

No problems with the food.  Try ostrich and warthog. Both are terrific. When my friends told me about warthog I was apprehensive but they were right. It was great.

Have a wonderful trip.


Author: topdoggerel

Joined: 3/28/2010
Posts: 5
GCT Trips Taken: 13
OAT Trips Taken: 5
Traveler Since: 2009

March 28, 2010

Travel in South Africa is so easy and so rewarding.  We've only traveled there independently, staying 7 weeks the first time and 6 weeks last year.  You can drink the water everywhere, the roads are better than those in the northern half of the US, everyone is friendly and helpful.

If you like wines, they are excellent and incredibly cheap.  Many are VERY close to Capetown and most have a museum, a cheetah sanctuary, a restaurant, etc.  We brought back boxed wines because they are more resilient than bottles for shipping.

The only warning we'd give is that Capetown is located where two oceans meet and the weather can change rapidly.  If you see sun, go out and enjoy because it could be cloudy the next day.

Eat EVERYTHING.  Despite their heritage of British and Dutch foods (neither too interesting to me), the South Africans have put together the best foods ever.  Bobotie, Koeksisters, lamb 100 ways, and game meats.  Their avocados don't turn brown in the air, they grow their own small sweet pineapples.  The list could go on for pages.

The animals in the parks, especially Kruger, make SA the best place we have ever visited.



Author: betsyfabe

Joined: 4/27/2010
Posts: 1
GCT Trips Taken: 5
OAT Trips Taken: 12
Traveler Since: 2005

April 26, 2010

We went on Oat trip Ultimate Africa in Sept--early Oct.. The weather weather was cool in the mornings and at night so take some warm things but warmed up to quite warm in the noon-afternoon timespan. Take a big hat or two with a cord under your chin. Take sunglasses with a chain around your neck or a spare pair (woman lost a pair and was miserable after that). We took 100% deet from camping store in 1 or 2 oz bottle and one buzz off shirt (long sleve) and one more long sleve shirt. Then we sprayed one more set of clothes with some premethin spray we bought at Dicks. This was probably overkill as we never saw a bug!. We took a light gortex jacket but not rain pants. I have my exact packing list if you want to email me directly I will discuss it more. The laundry (big items) can be done at each camp but you have to wash your unders/socks yourself. There islimited supply of soap/shampoo at each camp but of lower quality. plan your clothes in colors to match dirt especially your socks. They will never be white again. I took black/grey/tan aathletic socks and a couple pair hiking socks.I took onw pair low hiking shoes and a pair hiker type sandals. any questions/

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