Botswana/Zambia/Capetown

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May 17th, 2003, 06:12 AM
  #1
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Botswana/Zambia/Capetown

My family and I will be going to South Africa mid-June. We'll be staying at
Eagle Island Camp, Savute Elephant Camp, Khwai River Camp and then heading to Zambia and Victoria Falls. We will be finishing up in Cape Town at the Table Bay Hotel. Has anyone stayed at these places? Any suggestions? Any ideas about safety in Cape Town. We're very excited about going as we will be meeting our older daughter who has been in Gabon for a year. We hope for a successful trip. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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May 17th, 2003, 03:14 PM
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sandi
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SuzanneB - Capetown is as safe as any other big city, and it's not a big city but probably the most beautiful city. To me it is a "keeper". I just can't stand all the media hoopla about crime, which is probably no more than anyplace else.

The Table Bay is at the V&A Waterfront with malls and restaurants and loads of people. Other major hotels are located here including the Cape Grace, the V&A and the Commodore a block away. You'll be perfectly safe if you use common-sence caution as you would anywhere. We had no trouble/fear walking around at night.

As for sights, we arranged for a private car/driver for trip to the Winelands and City Tour, another day down to Cape Point and Kirstenbosch Gardens and Table Mountain and the Malay District.

One day we went out to Hermanus to go diving with the Great White Sharks and we were picked-up at hotel and brought back after an absolutely amazing day.

Unfortunately, we had a trip planned for this year to include a few days in Botswana Okavango (had previously been to Chobe area) and then onto Namibia, but had to cancel as some family situation popped-up, so can't comment on the Camps you list, but from what I read, they all get rave reviews and the Delta is a very interesting environment.

You'll have a wonderful time and I'm sure it'll be great seeing your daughter after this long time. Have fun and travel safe.
 
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May 19th, 2003, 01:20 PM
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SuzaanB,

I second everything that Sandi has told you, as a matter of fact Sandi sounds as if she is a true friend of South Africa and it is always great to hear comments from people like her who have travelled to my city.

My only comment that I want to add is that even though the Table Bay is a good venue to stay at if you have not made definite arrangements as yet do look into the possibility of staying at a local guesthouse by going to the following website http://www.portfoliocollection.co.za
so as to see what is available in Cape Town.

Generally speaking guesthouse are much more "friendly" than the big hotels such as the Table Bay and that is why I recommend them to visitors to my city. If you want to know which of the guesthouses in Portfolio I suggest then please write to me on my below address and I will gladly help and advise you further as best I can.

Another point to remember is that in the month of June it is generally cold and wet in Cape Town especially towards the latter part of the month. With that said please come well prepared warm clothes wise.

I think it is wonderful that you are meeting your daughter who has been in Gabon for a year. What baffles me is why you are meeting in Cape Town and not Gabon or is it that your daughter is now resident in my fair city?

Hope that you have a wonderful trip through South Africa and especially in Cape Town.

Selwyn Davidowitz
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May 20th, 2003, 07:42 AM
  #4
itleyen
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You will love your time in Botswana, as you will in SA. The V&A Waterfront in CT is perfectly safe. You're advised to steer clear of townships, unless with a reliable guide. Be sure to see the Cape peninsula, if you have a day to drive - spectacular. And of course go up Table Mountain, best visited on a clear day. Have a good time in SA and Botswana - I predict you'll go again and again.
 
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May 20th, 2003, 12:07 PM
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sandi
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Re Table Mountain - you can only go on a clear day when the usual "tablecloth" of clouds aren't hanging over the mountain. The cable car does not operate when it's cloudy. So when you look out your hotel window and see the mountain clear - just get going real quick. It's lovely up top.
 
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May 20th, 2003, 01:20 PM
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If you want to go up Table Mountain the way to go is to dial 42400157. This is the Table Mountain helpline. On this answering service you will find out Table Mountain operational times, weather conditions and what the visibility factor is.

Also bear in mind that if you are coming to Cape Town between the period June 2 - June 22 that the cableway is closed for annual maintenance thus meaning that the only way to ascend the mountain would be to do the Plattekloof Gorge 2-3 hour upward hike and the 1-2 hour downward hike. If you do this hike please remember to take a cap, water, lots of sunscreen and an anorak type jacket with you. Whatever you do dont do the hike on your own and it would be handy to have a cellphone with you too.

Selwyn Davidowitz
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May 20th, 2003, 01:40 PM
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itleyen
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Selwyn, my sister-in-law is going to CT next August with a small group of educators, on a contract with the local governent. Our Ohio teachers assn. is the sponsor. The material that you and Sandi post is special, and I've had everyone in her family start accessing this cite and reading. My husband's brother is doing the planning, and I think you've cut his job in half!!! Keep up the good work, you add value to the site.
 
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May 20th, 2003, 10:34 PM
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Good advice (as always) from Selwyn, but isn't there one digit too many in that telephone number ...?
The typo gremlin strikes again!

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May 21st, 2003, 12:32 AM
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Itelyen,

Thanks for the nice comments. Much appreciated. At the ened of the day if I can make it easier for others to ensure that they enjoy Cape Town to the hilt then I will be a happy man. Btw in return for my writings on the page please give Pinotage wines another go. I saw that you are not a Pinotage fan in your writings on the African travel list thread presently running on this page. Please bear in mind that Pinotage is NOT a quaffing wine; it is a wine to enjoy with a meal. You wont believe the difference in simply tasting the wine as opposed to enjoying it with food. Also recognise that it is a cultivar where the taste grows on you the more you drink it so buy a couple of bottles at a time. Try Beyerskloof, Middelvlei or Uiterwyk as I feel they are amongst the better estates for this cultivar that as you know is unique to our territory.

Traci,

Well spotted about the number however it still would get you through as what is wrong in the number is that the last digit (7) should not appear. It is fortuitous that you picked this up because this morning when phoning Table Mountain I found out that since a couple of days ago they now have 4240015 as their office number and the answering machine service line is 4248181. It would be better to contact the answering machine line even though the office line would be able to help out too.

Two other handy telephone numbers for visitors to Cape Town to have is the weather line which is 0822311640 and the "Emergency tourism division" which is 4215115. This last telephone number gives you an instant police/paramedic type response ONLY if you are a visitor to our city. It is staffed by specialists in tourism problems. Please note this is ONLY for emergencies and you will receive horrible flack on the phone if you use the number for any other purposes. It is an excellent service and shows our commitment to helping those who visit us in case they need emergency help.

Hope the above is useful to those of you travelling to Cape Town.

Selwyn Davidowitz
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May 21st, 2003, 12:44 AM
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Itleyen,

Oops! I see that your writings about Pinotage are in the South Africa - Food and drink thread.

Selwyn Davidowitz
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May 21st, 2003, 05:37 AM
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itleyen
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Yes, I do not mean to rap Pinotage, and it is for food, as you say. And famous in SA. But we think SA is doing much better wines, and if you look at what Wine Spectator reports, there is some pressure for SA to focus more on cabs and less on P. But I must tell you we like Pinotage, and I still have two large format bottles from our time there in 2001. Unfortunately I am having a problem finding many SA wines in the Columbus area, and in the western Ohio suburbs where we spend our weekends. SA does produce some very fine wines. You are to be congratulated. Have a good day.
 
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May 21st, 2003, 01:10 PM
  #12
 
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For Itleyen-are you the same one who also posts re montreal?
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