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Turkey or South Africa in mid-late September for a woman in mid-50s?

Turkey or South Africa in mid-late September for a woman in mid-50s?

Old Jun 24, 11, 8:40 am
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Turkey or South Africa in mid-late September for a woman in mid-50s?

I really didn't know where to post this, so I decided to post here.

Background: My mum, in her mid-late 50s, is retired and enjoying life to the fullest. Anyhow, she is part of this globetrotter club for women (of all ages really) called "women on wanderlust" (based in India). Every month they have different itineraries and you can really choose from a myriad of options. Usually you end up travelling with a small group of likeminded people (even more useful as she is getting up there in age).

It just so happened that the 2 places she really wanted to go to are both in September (Turkey - early September, S. Africa - Late September), so she has to choose.

This is the itinerary of either trip. I was wondering if anyone has experienced both places..what would be a better place to visit at this time of the year? The cost/travel time is roughly the same from Delhi/Mumbai.

She asked me for help and not being the most tech savvy, I offered to dig deeper and get opinions from the many knowledgeable minds at flyertalk.

I would appreciate any tips or even re-directions where I might find some advice to this.

South Africa

September 18th – Mumbai - Johannesburg to Livingstone.
Upon arrival in Jo’burg, connect with your flight to Livingstone, Zambia. After arriving at Livingstone Airport, you will be met and transferred to the hotel for check in and relaxation. Here you will enjoy Africa’s greatest natural wonders in true Zambian style at your hotel located right on the edge of the eastern cataract of the Victoria Falls. Later we will enjoy the WOW Welcome dinner. Overnight at the Zambezi Sun Hotel or similar. Meals – Dinner.

September 19th – Victoria Falls
Enjoy a sumptuous buffet breakfast at the hotel, before you depart on your morning Tour of the Falls. Lunch on own and later we will make our way down to the Zambezi River for the awesome Sundowner Cruise. Overnight at the Zambezi Sun Hotel or similar. Meals – Breakfast

September 20th – Livingstone – Cape Town
Spend the morning at leisure and later transfer to airport for your flight to Cape Town. Arrive at Cape Town International Airport and transfer to the famous Victoria & Albert Waterfront for dinner on your own. Later we transfer to the hotel for check in. Overnight at Southern Sun Waterfront. Meals – Breakfast. .

September 21st - Cape Town

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast you will meet with your tour guide.
Depart on a half-day orientation tour of Cape Town. Highlights include:
• Table Mountain (weather permitting).
• A scenic coastal drive through Clifton & Sea Point
• Green Market Square – some time for shopping.
• A scenic city tour passing the Houses of Parliament, City Hall, Castle & Company Gardens
• After the tour you can shop at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront and enjoy dinner on your own. .Meals – Breakfast

September 22nd Cape Town
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel.
• Depart on a full day Cape Peninsula Tour. Highlights include:
• View of Clifton Beach & Camps Bay
• Hout Bay with boat trip to Seal Island (weather permitting)
• Simon's Town
• Penguin colony at Boulder’s Beach
• Cape Point Nature Reserve
• The Cape of Good Hope
• Funicular ride at Cape Point
• Return to your hotel in the late afternoon.
Overnight at Southern Sun Waterfront. Meals – Breakfast. .

September 22nd Cape Town to Cape Wine lands - Hermanus
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel.
• Check out from the hotel and depart on a full day Cape Wine lands tour..
• This is a classic tour through spectacular vineyard covered valleys and along scenic country roads.Visit Nelson’s Creek for a cellar tour, cheese and wine tasting (alternative estate used on Sundays).
Continue to drive past the Groot Drakenstein Prison where Nelson Mandela was released in Feb 1990
Visit the village of Franschhoek where you will see the Huguenot monument.
Enjoy wine tasting in Franschhoek with some free time in the village for lunch on own.
Drive along Helshoogte Mountain Pass to Stellenbosch.
Walk through the historical town of Stellenbosch which has some of the best preserved historical
buildings in South Africa.
Transfer to Hermanus, about 1 ½ hours from Cape Town.
Check into your hotel located in the heart of Hermanus and the balance of the day will be at leisure. Overnight at the Windsor Hotel. Meal - Breakfast.

September 23rd Hermanus
Enjoy leisurely breakfast at your hotel and rest of the day at leisure. Hermanus is a delightful town, here you can sit and watch the waves or stroll through the quaint market areas. There is an optional whale watching cruise costing approximately RS 3500, this can be booked directly from the hotel. Overnight at Windsor Hotel. Meal - Breakfast.

September 24th Hermanus to Jo’burg – Mabula Game Reserve.
• Transfer back to Cape Town Airport to connect with your flight to Johannesburg.
• You will be met by your driver from the game lodge.
• Transfer to the Mabula Private Game Reserve, in time for the evening/night game drive with your ranger. Overnight at Mabula Game Reserve or similar. Meal-Breakfast and dinner.

September 25th Mabula Game Reserve.
Early morning wake up call for your dawn game viewing safari drive.
• After coffee and snacks on the safari patio, your personal ranger escorts you to his four-wheel drive open safari vehicle and heads off into the reserve.
• Return to the lodge and enjoy breakfast.
• Spend the day at leisure.
• Lunch is served at the lodge.
• Afternoon game viewing safari drive that continues into the night.
• Dinner is served at the lodge upon return from the game drive.
Overnight at Mabula Game Reserve or similar. Meal-Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

September 26th Jo’burg to Mumbai
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Johannesburg to connect to final fight home. Meals- Packed breakfast.
porphyra is offline  
Old Jun 24, 11, 8:41 am
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Turkey Itinerary

continuing...

Turkey

Day 01 / 3rd SEP - Istanbul
Arrive Istanbul airport, freshen up and transfer to visit the Spice Bazaar to take in the smells of cinnamon, cloves and thyme rising from every store, the same smells that filled the air some five hundred years ago. After which we embark on a scenic tour of the Bosphorus (in a private boat), the natural waterway that divides Asia from Europe, passing palaces, castles, palatial homes, and the two magnificent suspension bridges. The Bosphorus is the 32 km long strait which joins the Sea of Marmara with the Black Sea in Istanbul. Later we enjoy our first lunch in Turkey and proceed to the hotel for check in & relaxation. We leave the hotel soon thereafter to explore the famous Grand Bazaar of Istanbul and after dinner on own return to the hotel for overnight. Meals – Lunch

Day 02 / 4th SEP - Istanbul
Post breakfast at the hotel we set out for a day of sightseeing! To start with is the visit to St.Sophia Museum, one of the great architectural marvels of the ancient world. We continue on to the Hippodrome, the sportive and political center of the Old City to have a look at the famous Blue Mosque, facing St. Sophia, famous for its blue Iznik tiles and six minarets. Enjoy a quick local lunch on own before visit to Topkapi Palace, seat of the Ottoman Empire for four centuries. Our last stop is Galata Tower. In the evening we will enjoy a local Turkish dinner at the Kervansaray Night Club with show. Overnight at hotel. Meals – Breakfast & Dinner.

Day 03 / 5th SEP - Istanbul /Kayseri/Cappadocia.

After an early breakfast transfer to Istanbul airport to board your flight to Kayseri. Pick up from Kayseri airport in the morning and drive to Cappadocia. We start from Devrent valley that has various types of interesting formations and continue to Pasabag (Monks Valley) that has many fairy chimneys with multiple stems and caps being unique to this area. Avanos is known for the pottery, a craft dating back to the Hittite period. Goreme Open Air Museum is a place where religious education was started. Lunch on own. Later you will get a chance to visit the churches, chapels and monasteries carved into the fairy chimneys from the 10th to the 13th centuries with frescos painted on the walls. Esentepe is where you will see wonderful scenery of region. Uchisar castle is the highest point in the region. The castle and its surroundings used to be the most populated area. Dinner & overnight in Cappadocia. Meals – Breakfast & Dinner.

Day 04 / 6th SEP - Cappadocia

After breakfast visit Kizilcukur valley where you will visit Uzumlu (Grape) church. It is hollowed out like a monastic complex where monks lived. Then we proceed to the village of Cavusin, one of many ancient villages of Cappadocia. Old Cavusin was abandoned several decades ago due to avalanches but still has beautiful fairy chimneys. Lunch on your own. Post lunch you will visit a typical Underground city at Kaymakli. We will also go to Ortahisar which is an old Cappadocian village dominated by a fortress-like rock rising above winding roads. Dinner and overnight at hotel in Cappadocia. Meals – Breakfast & Dinner

Day 05 / 7th SEP - Cappadocia / Konya (220KMS / 05 HRS)
After early breakfast we are on way to Konya and will also stop by at the Seljuk Sultanhani Caravanserai to have a look. Konya was the center of the Selcuk Empire as well as the city of Mevlana and his Whirling Dervishes. After visiting the Mevlana Museum, check-in Konya Hotel. Lunch on your own. After dinner we will enjoy The Whirling Dervish ceremony at the hotel. Meals – Breakfast & Dinner

Day 06 / 8th SEP – Konya / Antalya
After breakfast at the hotel we will drive to Antalya. Here we visit Aspendus, where theater is the best preserved in the ancient world with marvelous acoustics. Lunch on own, followed by hotel check in. Overnight at Antalya. Meals – Breakfast & Dinner

Day 07 / 9th SEP - Antalya
After breakfast at the hotel, we will visit the magnificent archaeological museum at Antalya and follow this up with a walking tour in the Old Town. Post lunch on own, spend the afternoon at leisure exploring the city of Antalya. Overnight at Antalya.
Meals – Breakfast only.

Day 08 / 10th SEP – Antalya / Pammukale

Post breakfast we leave from the hotel to visit Perge, one of the most interesting archeological remains. Even though there is not much left to see on the Acropolis, there are wide spread streets, lined with many fine buildings, market places, a gymnasium and a beautiful Roman bath. We continue on to Pamukkale to visit the Ancient City of Hierapolis where Calcareous hot springs descending over cliffs have created fascinating travertines in the form of white terrace and basins. Lunch on your own. Later there is a possibility to enjoy the sunset amongst its unique formation of petrified calcium cliffs, depending on time. Meals – Breakfast & Dinner

Day 09 / 11th SEP – Pamukkale / Kusadasi (210 KMS / 04 HRS)
After breakfast we drive to Kusadasi and visit the house of Virgin Mary. After that we will visit Sirince. Continue to the Ionian city of Ephesus, the Roman Capital of Asia Minor, where you will view the Seven Churches of Revelation and the Temple of Artemis (One of the Seven Wonders of Antiquity).We will also visit the ancient city covering Bouleterion, Prytaneum, Celcius library, Hadrian’s temple and theater. Overnight in Kusadasi.
Meals – Breakfast & Dinner

Day 10 / 12th SEP - Kusadasi / Izmir / Istanbul
After breakfast we drive to Izmir airport to catch the flight to Istanbul. Arrive in Istanbul in time for the WOW farewell lunch at the restaurant. Transfer to Istanbul airport for flight back to India. Meals – Breakfast & Lunch.



That is it..Any and all comments will be appreciated. I am also doing my own research on various boards. I personally would love either of the two, it's hard to choose. Thus, I imagine the best strategy would be to go for whichever region is best enjoyed at that time of the year.
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Old Jun 24, 11, 4:09 pm
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Having never been to either place myself... I would lean toward S. Africa.

http://www.southafrica.info/travel/advice/climate.htm

The flowers are obviously best in August and September. The best time for game viewing is late spring (September and October). The southern right whales hang around off our coasts from about mid-June to the end of October.
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Old Jun 24, 11, 5:22 pm
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I've been both places. I highly recommend both places. I hope that she has the opportunity to go to whatever place she doesn't choose this year in a following year.

That said, the Turkey itinerary ticks all the boxes for me I love the moonscape of Cappadocia and the flowing chalk pools in Pamukkule. There are the roman ruins in Kusadasi. And Istanbul is an amazing city.

The South Africa tour is certainly good, with its mix of Victoria Falls, the wine route, and the beautiful city of Capetown. But it's light on game parks. For me, the magic of South Africa was going to game parks. While I'd want a tour that offered varied sightseeing, this one appears to only spend a day in a game park. That's not enough in my opinion.

Still, both places are fascinating. If her sole criteria were to flip a coin, she couldn't go wrong with either.
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Old Jun 24, 11, 7:20 pm
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
I've been both places. I highly recommend both places. I hope that she has the opportunity to go to whatever place she doesn't choose this year in a following year.
+1 on that. I have spent many, many happy days in both SA and Turkey; Istanbul and Cape Town are two of my top three cities in the world to spend time in. It is hard to imagine going wrong with either. In addition, September is a good time to visit either place, from a weather and crowds (or lack of them) perspective.
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Old Jun 24, 11, 8:11 pm
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Originally Posted by travelmad478 View Post
Istanbul and Cape Town are two of my top three cities in the world to spend time in.
What's your other top 3 choice?
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Old Jun 25, 11, 4:30 am
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Originally Posted by rofly View Post
What's your other top 3 choice?
New Orleans. If I had an opportunity to move to any one of the three, I'd do it in a heartbeat.
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Old Jun 25, 11, 8:15 am
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
I've been both places. I highly recommend both places. I hope that she has the opportunity to go to whatever place she doesn't choose this year in a following year.

That said, the Turkey itinerary ticks all the boxes for me I love the moonscape of Cappadocia and the flowing chalk pools in Pamukkule. There are the roman ruins in Kusadasi. And Istanbul is an amazing city.

The South Africa tour is certainly good, with its mix of Victoria Falls, the wine route, and the beautiful city of Capetown. But it's light on game parks. For me, the magic of South Africa was going to game parks. While I'd want a tour that offered varied sightseeing, this one appears to only spend a day in a game park. That's not enough in my opinion.

Still, both places are fascinating. If her sole criteria were to flip a coin, she couldn't go wrong with either.
Thank you. I am leaning towards Turkey myself due to the historical perspective as well. SA indeed is a little lighter on the game preserves, but still sounds fascinating.

I know this is really a win-win situation, and perhaps the confusion. Alas, I cannot join her for this trip. Personally I would have gone with Turkey first.
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Old Jun 25, 11, 8:16 am
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Originally Posted by travelmad478 View Post
+1 on that. I have spent many, many happy days in both SA and Turkey; Istanbul and Cape Town are two of my top three cities in the world to spend time in. It is hard to imagine going wrong with either. In addition, September is a good time to visit either place, from a weather and crowds (or lack of them) perspective.
Originally Posted by travelmad478 View Post
New Orleans. If I had an opportunity to move to any one of the three, I'd do it in a heartbeat.
Thanks a lot. And even though I have not visited either your your top 2, I too love New Orleans. Many many fond memories (and some sad ones post-Katrina too).

Cheers.
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Old Aug 15, 11, 6:44 am
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I've not been to Turkey but it is definitely on my list.

Last year my sister-in-law and I went to S Africa for 2 weeks. The first 5 nights we spend at Mabula Game Lodge. The 2nd week we flew to Cape Town & split it between Cape Town and the Winelands.

I agree 1 night at a game lodge on safari is not nearly enough. I absolutely loved S Africa and can't wait to go back again.
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Old Aug 16, 11, 9:33 am
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I'm a little offended that "mid fifties" is considered "getting up there in age." Be that as it may, she wouldn't need an escorted tour to go to Istanbul and Cappodocia. Low or no crime, friendly people, etc. I get the feeling that some Turkish men are looking for a fling with an older woman, but I did a lot of solo hiking, and it was really beautiful, safe, and extremely inexpensive. In my fifties, to be honest, I would be concerned that the other retired women in a group would hold me back, since I'm guessing that some of them will be into their 60s and 70s. In any case, there are old (happy) ghosts in some of the cave ruins, and I don't believe I would have heard their whispers in a crowd.

It's much more important to have an escorted tour in South Africa, where crime, wild animals, and driving on difficult roads is more of an issue.

I guess I'm saying I'd pick the southern Africa tour with the group and go to Turkey another time on my own, if I were your Mom. I hiked in Turkey on my own, for pretty much next to nothing in costs, and I am joining a special tour for South Africa in a few months. Maybe she has chosen by now??? Curious to hear the update.
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