I'm going to South Africa!

PhoenicophoriumMarch 20, 2004

I am going there this summer. My family has property in Jeffrey's Bay, right by the beach. How is it there? I don't know what to expect I have no idea how it looks, I haven't been there ever, and the last tim it was seen was at least 20 years ago.

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frankstives

I went there last October, mainly in Cape area ,West as far as Nysna and then up the West Coast to Springbok
We went Flydrive, good roads with virtually no cars navigation no problem
Safety again no problem, we did however avoid parts of Capetown late at night, everyone was very friendly
We visited Kirsenbosch, Stellenbosch, Harold Porter and Little Karoo BG. also Karas Farm and The Hester Malin Garden in The Geogap Nature Reserve all worth a visit
Lots of other small Botanic places to numerous to mention
Hope this helps
Frank

    Bookmark   March 21, 2004 at 5:31AM
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maddy_RSA(SAfrica)

You mean, nobody has seen the property in 20 years?!
Are you sure it is still there??
;-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Jeffrey's Bay

    Bookmark   March 21, 2004 at 8:45AM
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Phoenicophorium

Nobody I that I know of. We bought it and then moved to the United States. Don't know whats become of it. WHat types of weeds are from that area?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2004 at 3:15PM
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cjhin(Gauteng ZA)

Hi

I am sure you are going to love it. I live in Johannesburg but I have been to "J-Bay" as it is known. Frank is right. It is fairly safe but you must not make yourself a target. No matter where you are in cities or in rural areas, always be aware of what's going on around you. Crime is everywhere. If you are just careful as you would be in any major city, you should not have a problem. Do not stop your car in deserted areas. Try not looking like tourists, ie with cameras, etc. Do not openly display expensive items like cell phones, rings, etc. I hope I haven't scared you but do not fall into the trap of thinking you are out in the country, away from big cities so you can relax completely.

While you are in that area visit Mountain Zebra National Park and Addo Elephant National Park. Both are beautiful. Visit www.parks-sa.co.za for more info.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2004 at 1:48AM
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Phoenicophorium

Thank you that will be useful!

Coincidently, oday at school, someone brought a gun and ran around with it poitning it at people. (newport Highschool) It was a very dramatic day today, but everything turned out alright, no one was hurt, except for the kid, who is now arrested. Yesterday many people were making fun of him, and he is very individual.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2004 at 7:07PM
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maddy_RSA(SAfrica)

What types of weeds are from that area?
None! The weeds all come mostly from the Americas, but also Europe or Australia! ;-)

But seriously, now. If you are interested in succulent plants, the Eastern Cape is a paradise! Many wonderful wild areas around Port Elisabeth to explore. Even a Nature Reserve in the middle of Town where you can see Haworthia cymbiformis growing in big chunks on the cliffs. Go east to Grahamstown and Alicedale (where, incidentally, is also the Shamwari Game Reserve). Or west to Uniondale and Willowmore. Or north to Graaf-Reinet which is very well worth a visit, too.
If you feel adventorous, drive the 100 km long Baviaanskloof, but you need a high clearance vehicle for this. Make enquiries locally beforehand about this, I think you need a permit to go there.

Enjoy your holiday and have a lot of fun!
I love the Eastern Cape, just don't get to go there often enough.
Maddy

    Bookmark   March 24, 2004 at 2:47AM
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flora(USDA z7)

We just got back from 2 months in the Western Cape, mainly the Knysna -Plettenberg area, but also saw most of the Cape, including parts of the Little Karoo, and went as far east as Jeffrey's Bay. That part of the Eastern Cape is very windy and kind of barren, but succulent plants do well there, especially aloes. The weeds really are from other continents, and you don't find them all over the place or smothering gardens the way you do in North America. Try to get to the Western Cape for the fynbos, seeing proteas in flower, and sugarbirds on them, is a great experience; the botanical gardens mentioned are a must, and Harold Porter, near Betty's Bay is fabulous (while in that area, you should also see the penguins) and as special in its way as Kirstenbosch in Cape Town. Ttsitstikamma National Park (not too far from Jeffrey's) is exquisite, and shouldn't be missed.
South Africans really are very friendly; we met with no crime, and didn't have to take any more precautions than at home - just use common sense. We visited townships and informal settlements, and while the poverty is very sad, we found people friendly. By the way, the only places we've ever been mugged and pickpocketed were in Europe!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2004 at 9:05AM
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stevejohn

My wife and I spent the first two weeks of Feb. in South Africa, mostly the Western Cape, but also east somewhat on the garden route. Other than a few aggressive child panhandlers, we found Capetown very safe, although we did not go out at night. We took the local minitaxis and buses and had no problems. Everyone was very friendly. I hear Jo'berg can be problematic, tho. Like others on this board, I would recommend you keep your wits about you at all times. In Capetown, tho, I saw tourists digging in their wallets and flashing cameras all the time in public. If you get a chance, Kirstenbosch is fantastic, and the Little Karoo and Stellenbosch University gardens also are wonderful. We drove quite a bit and once I got used to driving on the left side and to South Africans' driving habits (very fast), it actually was fun. The roads are in better shape than here in the U.S.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2004 at 11:32AM
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RobertEire(9)

Be aware that the area you are going to is a summer rainfall region, and you are heading there in their winter, so it will be mostly dry. Also be aware that they are in the midst of a drought that shows no signs of letting up, so aside from the Knysna and Tsitsikamma forests things are likely to look a bit barren.

If you find yourself in Cape Town for any length of time, there is a municipal nature reserve in Durbanville (just before the racecourse) that is well worth a visit. It is a small but very rich collection of native fynbos and renosterbos.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2004 at 4:04AM
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sowthefrikan(z7b/NE TXexas)

National Geographic is featuring SA in it's new issue, specifically South Africa. The journalist sounds like a bit of a woosie, he was gaaing aan about it being his most dangerous assignment ever and needing a bodyguard. Shame hey.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2004 at 12:48PM
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RobertEire(9)

SowthEfrikan, there is a documentary soon on BBC from another bitter Englishman doing his best to down South Africa. You know what they say - never let the truth get in the way of a good story...

    Bookmark   April 2, 2004 at 10:05AM
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