I realize that I haven't really detailed much on what our plans are for our trip. So here goes.
Depart Seattle - Atlanta - Johannesburg - Capetown
We are leaving on an overnight to Atlanta with a 4 hour layover before catching the flight to South Africa. From there we transfer to Capetown.
We arrive in the afternoon. We will either take a taxi or a shuttle to our hotel, Metropole Hotel. I found it listed in the Time Out guide book for Cape Town and it looked great. I booked three nights and they have taken one night as deposit. Very responsive.
We will probably arrive there after dark. We will relax a bit and eat dinner in the hotel. I don't know if we will be able to go out for a walk or not. We will spend the weekend in Cape Town. We won't have a car so we will are planning on taking an the 'topless' tour which an on-and-off tour bus. This will allow us to see some of the major sites within the bowl area such as Victoria and Albert Waterfront, Camps Bay and Table Mountain. We may also take a taxi one day out to Kirstenbosch garden for a day.
We will pick up a car from Avis on Monday. We rented through AutoEurope and got a good deal. We will drive to Clanwilliams and on to Bushmans Kloof resort. This is the splurge for the vacation. We will be there on our 30th anniversary. We choose this location because it does have several options for flora tours in addition to wildlife and Sans native rock art. We will spend two nights. The service has been ourstanding. We filled out a form detailing our interests and preferences down to what type of pillow we preferred. I totally expect to be pampered.
We will travel on to Namaqualand or Namkawaland for the spring wildflower bloom. Wildflower blooms in the desert are always chancy. So much is dependent upon weather. I found a site that is reporting the wildflower blooms - Die Honnehok Chalets. Earlier in July, it looked like it might be a spectacular bloom. But fickle Mother Nature has changed her mind and there may be little in bloom for us.
We are staying at Mountain View Guest House in Springbok for four days. The owner has been great to work with. Originally there was no room available for the last day we wanted to day. I went ahead and made reservations elsewhere. But they had a cancellation and contacted us to see if we would like to book the additional day that we originally wanted. Of course, it was yes.
We will first check to find out where the flowers are blooming if at all. We will do some drives to see the flowers. Two places on our list are Goegap and Skilpad Nature reserves. We also have booked a full day tour of the Richtersveld National Park with Virosatours. This is to see succulents and the remote desert corner of South Africa. The trip will take a full day leaving at 7am and getting back around 9pm or later. The trip will be via 4x4.
From Namaqualand we will travel back south to the border of the Karoo to Nieuwoudtville. This area is known for its outstanding bulbs. We are staying at Papkuilsfontein for three nigths. We have arranged a tour with Neil MacGregor at Glenlyon Farms. Here is a bit about the area. The owner has been outstanding to work with. She has giving us very detailed information about the area, what to see and helped us to arrange our tour.
After our tours of the flower lands, we will return to Cape Town for six nights. We are staying at Clarkia Guest Cottage in Newlands. Arranging this rental has been rather informal. It does look like it will be very convenient for accessing the highways and a good location. The owners are near-by which is also a plus.
Then it is off for Namibia for eight days.