A Car in Cape Town?

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Nov 17th, 2003, 07:24 AM
  #1
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A Car in Cape Town?

Hi Folks

We're going to be in South Africa Town for 5 weeks in May and June 2004 and I'm still looking into car hire for the trip.

We?ll be starting in Cape Town for 6 nights, then spending one and a half weeks meandering along the Garden Route before handing in the first car at Port Elizabeth and flying to Durban. From Durban we?ll rent another car for 2 and a half weeks, which we?ll spend in KZN and Kruger, and return that in Jo?burg on June 8th.

Car hire is proving to be more expensive than I?d hoped and I?m looking to make any savings that I possibly can.

I know that our resident expert, Selwyn, feels that this is not a good idea but I?m interested in finding out what other Cape Town residents/ visitors think of itbr />
Can we (reasonably easily) go without car hire in Cape Town for the first 3 nights of our (6 night) stay (and, during those days, concentrate on sights closer to the centre/ accessible by cheap public transport)?

We?d then start our car hire three days in to our stay and explore areas that are further out? That would save us three days of car hire/ insurance etc.

In order to assess whether this is worthwhile/ feasible I need your input on costs of a one-way transfer from the airport into CT (is there a regular bus or train rather than private taxi?) and an idea of how easy and cheap it will be to spend those first three days using public transport only?

If we do this, are there areas of CT which are more suited to public transport ? we can book a B&B/ hotel wherever works best.

Thanks for your input.
Kavey
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Nov 18th, 2003, 06:01 AM
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Kavey, I love CT and know that you will too BUT it has one major negative and that is the public transport situation. If you were going in summer I'd say you could stay in Mouille Point, Sea Point, Camps Bay or Simonstown and happily spend 3 days without a car walking to the stunning beaches etc but, as you are going in winter (well, as winter as it gets in South Africa!) you'll be wanting to drive around more or at least to get to places which are only accesible by car. This shouldn't be a problem if you are prepared to go on day or half day tours. There are many tour operators who will pick you up from hotels in Sea Point or the Waterfront and take you to Table Mountain, the Winelands, the townships etc If you can afford it, a hotel at the Waterfront would be best if you are car-less as you'll be able to walk to lots of restaurants, shops etc in the evenings. So the upshot is - while being without a car is not ideal you can go without it - just don't make the mistake of thinking you can get by on public transport! Let me know if you need any more info,
Lisa
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Nov 18th, 2003, 10:07 AM
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Thanks Lisa
I did look into staying on the waterfront - but it is quite expensive and would only be feasible (on our budget) if we were doing without the car.
Looks like I'll have to give in and rent the car for the entire trip and save budget elsewhere.
Speaking of Waterfront do you happen to know anything about Breakwater Lodge? It's the only mid-range priced hotel I can find on the waterfront and although photos on website look OK I'd be interested to know if anyone's actually seen any of them?
THANKS
Kavey
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Nov 18th, 2003, 01:51 PM
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Kavey,

The Breakwater Lodge used to be the Old Jail in Cape Town. It has now been coverted into being a hotel. The rooms are virtually the same size as the original cells. Some rooms even have shared bathrooms. The price you pay is exactly what you attain value wise and that is upscale backpacker acommodation. The location is excellent however you still will not beat your transport problem because as I have told you already public transport is not the way to go.

If your budget is tight I would say yes but if I had a choice I would say no to this accommodation.

Selwyn Davidowitz
Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa

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Nov 19th, 2003, 01:05 AM
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Thanks Selwyn
I will most likely book with one of the two/ three B&Bs we discussed previously by email. Just wanted to get an idea of that waterfront option, and you've helped me greatly there.
Thanks again,
Kavey
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Nov 19th, 2003, 02:25 AM
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Kavey, I second Selwyn on the Breakwater Lodge. The location is excellent and the accomodation is basic and clean - certainly not spacious. I think it all boils down to whether you see your accomodation as just a conveniently located bed to put your head down on at the end of the day or whether you'd prefer your hotel/BandB to actually be part of the experience. There are many wonderful B and B's in the Cape offering sumptious breakfasts, beautiful rooms etc - It sounds like you already know of a few, but if you need any more names let me know.
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Nov 19th, 2003, 04:56 AM
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Thanks Lisa, I appreciate it.
I have had some great advice from Selwyn and I think I've narrowed the choice down to 3 B&Bs.
Alternatives to those are either Breakwater Lodge (for proximity of restaurants etc for evening) and Best Western Suites (purely for cost reasons, a small SC suite for 2 is 450 Rand a night).
I have a reservation at the Best Western, which is really just as a back up, since I can cancel without charge up to 24 hours before scheduled arrival.
Would you be willing to drop me an email so I could ask your opinion on the choices and issues?
Thanks again (to both of you) for the ongoing help.
Kavey
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Nov 19th, 2003, 11:15 AM
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Kavey,
The Best Western is not as well located as the Breakwater Lodge. It is in a part of the city which is not within easy walking distance of any tourist highlights / shops / restaurants. It will be fine if you have a car, but the Breakwater Lodge is far better located. Again, if you have a car it does not matter - it is quick and easy to drive anywhere. I'll drop you an email now.
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Nov 20th, 2003, 03:17 AM
  #9
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Lisa the Best Western is definitely only in the running IF we have a car for the entire stay in CT and if we can't get a good deal at one of the B&Bs.

I doubt we'll actually use the reservation but I thought it wise to make it while prices were good and then cancel later.

Am hectic at work today and away for a long weekend so will be looking into this trip again next week.
Thanks again
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