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Cape Town/ Wineland Tour

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We (me, husband, 2 daughters)are traveling to Cape Town in Mid July. We would like to do at least a 1 day wine tour...Ernie Els, Muratie and one other...Is there a wine Estate for David Frost (husband is a keen golfer)?

Is it possible to do a biking tour through the Winelands? If so, any suggestions on a company?

Any other 1 day bike tour recommendations for outside of Cape Town?

Has anyone done a Township/Cultural Tour with Nthuseng Tours?

Robyn

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    I've worked with Nthuseng and taken her tours. Excellent choice. Former school teacher and principal turned community tourism advocate and guide. Quite a woman!


    Suggestions for cycling tours:

    Adventure Without Limits (AWOL) - not as 'adrenaline' as the name suggests. Works with the Bicycling Empowerment Network (BEN) which does great community development work. Their "Winelands Meander" is at http://www.withoutlimits.co.za/content.asp?Section=168

    Another option is Day Trippers (www.daytrippers.co.za) although they don't list a combination of winelands and cycling, they do both separately and I'm sure can help, and will give you a competitive sense of pricing.

    Enjoy your visit to the Cape!

    HTH

    Kurt

    --
    afrikatourism.blogspot.com

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    Thank you Kurt...Interesting how answers inevitably lead to more questions!!

    Adventures Without Limits offers a Township cultural tour...I suspect it's quite different from Nthuseng Tours and I wonder which might be the better way to go. We are 4 old farts (50's) and 4 young adults. By the by, I love the concept of BEN...what a great sustainable community project with impact. Makes me wonder about packing a bike along as my 2nd piece of luggage to donate.

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    Hi Robyn

    The AWOL tour is through Masiphumelele, which is a relatively recent township established on the Atlantic side of the Peninsula to house primarily migrants from the Eastern Cape who were illegally occupying wetlands in a part of the town of Noordhoek. It has a friendly small town feel and is quite different from the older, established townships on the Cape Flats like Langa, Gugulethu and Khayelitsha that you'll see with Nthuseng.

    I think you'd find it most interesting to contrast the two and would encourage you to do both. However, the difference between the two will be a broader perspective of "townships" in general from Nthuseng versus an intensive, local perspective of one neighbourhood with AWOL. I have to confess that "Masi" has an appeal that I prefer. You should consider spending a night in Zukie's B&B there -- she's another amazing woman, whose middle name is Kindness (seriously!). (see http://www.capeinfo.com/Directory/Search/dispBusiness.asp?BusID=983)
    Don't worry about her two bedrooms, I'm sure she can organise to accommodate all of you!)

    Regarding donations of bicycles, I think that's a great idea! But rather than pack one and bring it, you could purchase used bicycles here once you arrived and donate them. There are many bicycle shops in the city, and I'm sure BEN will advise you on which ones they like to work with.

    Let me know what you decide, and please post a trip report once you're back from your travels!

    Kurt

    --
    afrikatourism.blogspot.com


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    keen2travel,

    I have not travelled with Nthuseng but I have met and been in contact with her and I would recommend her services very strongly as someone to take you around the townships. She is a highly educated lady with a wonderful personality. She is also a qualified tourguide and I believe a wonderful businesswoman. One point to mention is that Nthuseng, if busy, could call in an employee to do her tours. This should not present a problem to you but if you decide to travel with her company try securing her personal services. The only reason why I say this is because she is such a dynamic person in her own right.

    Now to contrast this all I have the same feelings as Kurt in that Masimupumalele (which means "we have hope" in Xhosa) is a much smaller and homely township to visit. You will meet some wonderful people in this township. Overall I would recommend this over the Gugs or Langa type township visits available to you. I have to however agree fully with Kurt's suggestion of "try and do both" as your perspective that you will gain from the two expereinces combined will give you a great idea as to what is happening in townships in South Africa today. Moreso both experiences will touch you personally, of this I can assure you ESPECIALLY if you do these visits with the right parties such as Nthuseng and I imagine BEN (just by my looking at BENS ceredentials)

    I am so pleased that Kurt recommended the BEN project to you as I did not know about it. What a great idea. I think travelling through a township per bike could be a fantastic way to do things. Not only will you cause wonderful, friendly uproar you will also gain so many good friends. Furthermore there is only one way to describe your idea of wanting to buy second hand bikes and leave them behind in the township and that is AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME. :) In this regard I strongly suggest that you take guidelnes from a group like BEN because the problem is not who you are leaving the bikes to, it is more a case of whom you are not leaving bikes to. Thus my suggestion would be to let BEN take care of this subdivision.

    Enjoy your stay in Cape Town when you visit us.


    Kurt,

    Please do me a favour and send me your email and telephone numbers to my address at sd@ILoveCapeTown.com. I have been trying to make contact with you but your contact details remain rather elusive on the net. I will be going down the Garden Route for 8 days tomorrow so I will only respond to your mail thereafter. In the meantime to you and all other South Africans on this forum enjoy and value your freedom today on Human Rights day.

    Very proudly part of the wonderful ((R))nation of South Africa


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    Thank you Kurt and Selwyn! Already I can see our time in Cape Town and environs is going to be too short to do everything!!!

    If either of you could answer two questions for me, it would really help with developing the itinerary:

    1. If we were to plan a multi day trip out of Capetown (thinking 1 or 2 nights) would you recommend doing that in the Winelands or the Garden Route? We are an active family and enjoy hiking, walking, biking,scenery etc. Just so you know we will be in Capetown arriving july 16(8am) and departing july 22(6am). I'm tempted to try and plan the excursion for july 20 & 21 returning to Cape Town later on the 21st to a hotel convenient to the airport for our early departure to Nairobi on the 22nd.

    2. We arrive at 8am july 16th after traveling from Canada via London..What would be a good outing for that day? I was thinking something like footsteps to freedom tour or similar orientation walking tour, lunch or a high tea, Kirstenbosch Gardens etc.

    Broadstroke itinerary looks something like:

    2 days Wineland or Garden Route

    1 day Cape Peninsula Tour

    1 day Table Top/Robben Island

    1 day Community/Cultural tour (maybe by bike?) which I understand is best done later in the day if possible, so would preceed that with with a visit to the Cultural History Museum or maybe try to visit Robben island in the morning? (This will depend on what I am able to arrange for guding.)

    Other interest to try and fit in:
    Baboon Matters
    Shark Cage Dive (only part of the group is interested)
    Bo-Kaap
    Kyaking

    Thank you for your thoughts and advice to date...I am really getting excited.

    Robyn



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    Robyn,

    Firstly let me mention that you should always think about different options on different days when it comes to travelling in July in Cape Town due to the weather, so do not cast anything in stone. Have a potential plan to travel but be flexible in your manner of handling this.

    Secondly if you are flying directly from Canada to London to Cape Town without much stopover time in London you are going to be totally knocked out with jet lag and tiredness so if you ask me I would rather invest your time in rest on this day. Also bear in mind that wherever you are staying might not allow you to book in immediately as most check in times are at 14h00. If you are staying at a friendly guesthouse and they were not booked the night before they will more than likely allow you to check in early. Hotels might not be that friendly however with that said in July they should not be that busy and the above might well not even happen. What is a definite in this regard is that all places of stay will keep your luggage in safe hold if they cannot provide you with a room immediately thus allowing you to travel around till your room does become available.

    If you are definitely intent on doing something on the morning that you arrive in Cape Town then in terms of sightseeing my suggestion is that you go on the topless bus. This is a wonderful way to orientate you with our city. http://www.hyltonross.co.za/topless-tour-cape-town.html

    In terms of planning forget about trying to do the Garden Route in 2 days. The heart of the Garden Route is in the Knysna region and with this being 500Km away from Cape Town this in its own will virtually take a day to drive and if you intend moving on to your next destination (Nairobi)via Cape Town then it will take another day to drive back. Thus 2 days to do the Garden Route is a waste of time. On the other hand 2 days in the winelands would be a great idea and I would recommend this highly. My suggestion would be that you try and stay on a winefarm and use this as a hub and spoke mechanism to travel in the region taking in Franschhoek, Paarl and Stellenbosch. Go take a look at http://www.benchmarktours.co.za/ in this regard as they offer a very interseting walking tour product.

    In terms of your planning I would suggest that if the weather is right and Table Mountain is open then drop all plans for the day and go to the mountain. If you don’t adopt this attitude you probably wont get to the top of the mountain. Make this a priority.

    I think your going to the Cultural History Museum is a good idea but if I were you I would rather look at visiting the District 6 museum on the day you go to Robben Island. Talking about Robben Island please bear in mind that you have to book in advance realizing that the weather could also play a role in whether the RI ferry runs or not. Thus I would leave this booking for as late as possible when you can pick up a 5 day weather forecast and book according to what you find in the forecast.

    Doing the Peninsula tour is not weather dependant other than for morning mist that tends to become a visibility problem in July, so once again choose your day on the day depending on the weather.

    You probably wont be weather dependant for your cultural tour however if you are going to do the journey on bicycle then weather will be a point to take into account.

    Your time in Cape Town is too short in my opinion to incorporate kayaking or shark cage diving but then this depends on what your family is interested in and I could be wrong in making this statement. The same can be said for doing the baboon matters journey. Bo-Kaap is certainly worth a visit if you have the time to do so but in my opinion you should not put this experience ahead of Table Mountain, The Peninsula ride, your cultural tour, Robben Island , the cultural history museum or for that matter the District 6 museum.

    I appreciate that I have not given you a definitive answer but in July the name of the game is flexibility when it comes to travelling in Cape Town.

    Hope this helps.

    Enjoy Cape Town to the full when you visit us.

    Very proudly part of the wonderful ((R))nation of South Africa

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    Selwyn's answer is spot on. I would only add a possible day trip up the West Coast as one of your options. It's a wonderful and under-explored region, and a good one for winter given that the rainfall decreases by 3x just 150km north of Cape Town.

    Consider !Khwa ttu San Culture and Education Centre, West Coast Fossil Park, and West Coast National Park, all of which are also great educational experiences (regardless of one's age!). There are walking trails through the WC National Park, with bird hides (it's a RAMSAR-protected site critical for migratory waterfowl).

    Cape Columbine Reserve is also lovely, with tidal pools filled with sea anenomes and urchins, an old lighthouse, and gorgeous rugged coastline views. You can do it in a day, but an overnight in Paternoster (or, frankly, in the newly refurbished chalets in the WC National Park) would be lovely.

    You might also combine your wineland outing with this region and choose an estate in the Swartland region, with the towns of Riebeek-West or Darling good possibilities for the hub from which to 'spoke'. Selwyn may be able to recommend specific accommodations in B&Bs or at estates -- I usually visit them just for the wines :-)

    Depending on the timing of the annual rains, you might start to see some of the wildflowers in this region. Usually they begin later, but it varies from year to year.

    Oh, and a big endorsement on Baboon Matters!

    HTH

    Kurt

    --
    afrikatourism.blogspot.com

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    hi, keen2travel,

    thanks for carrying on with your researches - Selwyn & Kurt are as ever coming up with some great ideas, which I'm following up too. both "benchmark" and Hyltonross are new to me and I've been having a look at the Benchmark web-site if only to see where they think is good.

    We're planning just to do a day trip to the Winelands from CPT but we might go back again on our way to Grootbos if we think we haven't seen enough.

    regards, ann

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