Cape Town question

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Apr 15th, 2003, 04:54 AM
  #1
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Cape Town question

I'm new on this web site and I have been really enjoying reading all messages sent back and forth. I have been to southern africa twice before - once last year on my honeymoon (three weeks traveling through okavango, moremi, zimbabwe, chobe, krueger, and cape town...took the blue train even). (also - if MattyA reads this, let me know if you want more honeymoon pointers - we had a blast).

Anyways, on to my question. in some ways I am familiar with cape town - but this summer, early july, i am traveling back with my younger sister. Ladies time in Africa! we will spend three nights at ulusaba in krueger, and then three nights in cape town. anyone with any suggestions of things we might want to do there? i've seen the gardens and table mountain, etc, but i kind of want to do some FUN stuff with my little sister (i'm 30, she's 23). any ideas on some cultural shows, fun bars, etc? any input would be appreciated...thanks so much
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Apr 17th, 2003, 01:30 AM
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Well, a few stops on the wine route can be lots of fun! Otherwise head for Long street after dark. The strip in Camps Bay also has a lovely vibe. Barazza (the bar attached to Blues Restaurant) is a hot spot. The Green Dolphin (at the Waterfront) usually has excellent live jazz music. A previous thread mentioned a tour of District Six which I think would also be great fun.
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Apr 17th, 2003, 06:49 PM
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Bengali,

I'd love some honeymoon pointers. I can't think about anything else except this trip (even though its almost a year away). Everyone has had great advice regarding hotels, game lodges, etc....but, I don't want to forget about the romantic aspect of my trip. I'd love to hear more about your 3 weeks and any recommendations you may have. You can post on here or email me directly at [email protected]. Thanks!!!

Matty A.
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Apr 17th, 2003, 08:39 PM
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Hi Bengali,

I was with a few people & we went to have dinner at the Green Dolphin and listen to the jazz--we could have done without the dinner;the food is not what I would call great but the jazz was ok.
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Apr 18th, 2003, 01:25 PM
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Hi Bengali,

Firstly an important warning. It is NOT summer in Cape Town in July; as a matter of fact expect rain and coldish weather.

OK if you want to have a real swinging time in Cape Town then I would suggest the following:

Do a formal Cape Peninsula Tour a well as a Cape Winelands tour. This will take care of the sightseeing sides of things.

If you want to have a jazzy evening rather go to Manenbergs as opposed to the Green Dolphin. I agree with Patty that the Green Dolphin is not worth it for the food and the muisc is just above average in quality.

For a fun evening don’t miss a night at Mama Africa. Try to go there on a Friday or Saturday night as this is the real heavy party nights. Bear in mind that the African percussion band only starts playing at 22h00. The venue has authentic African cuisine, with live entertainment. You will experience a great African music group with traditional drums and huge wooden xylophones. Fantastic!

Spend a night at the Drum Café. This is an experience you wont forget. http://www.drumcafe.co.za/whatCT.html

Don’t miss having dinner t the Africa Café. http://www.africacafe.co.za/

For a quiet but special night go down to the Basquile Whisky Bar at the Cape Grace Hotel. Have dinner at the "One restaurant" and then have fun in the whiskey bar. Great venue

Another place where it all happens is at La Med in the Glen just off Maidens Cove beach. You can't miss 'sundowners' at La Med. Have a cocktail while watching sunset over Table Bay and hangliders coming down to land on the lawns in front of you. Great fun place. )

If you spend time in Camps Bay then the beachfront area offers 24 hours entertainment whether it be on the beach or simply in the beachfront coffee shops. Amongst others this is where Baraza is that Traci has spoken of.

If you have the time then overnight for one evening at Clara Anna Fontein in their tented camp. This will be a night that you wont forget to easily. If you want more info on this venue you will have to write to me and I will tell you all you need to know as the y do not have a website to help you.

Visit the Mount Nelson Hotel for high tea. What a blast! 14h30 - 17h30

Dont miss a visit to our aquarium - It is world class. If you have a divers certicate you can even dive in the predators tank with the great white sharks. (100% safe)

As far a cultural shows are concernd you will have to be a little bit more specific in your request. Do you want to see local jazz bands, townships choirs, local opera,local theatre or anything else? As you can see the choices are wide in category ad if you specify your interests I will help you further in this regard as Cape Town offers much in this regard.

Well Bengali the above should keep you and your sister on a fun line in my city.

Whoever said Cape Town was boring. )

Hope this all helps and heres hoping that you both have a wonderful time in our great country.

Selwyn Davidowitz
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Apr 18th, 2003, 02:15 PM
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Selwyn,

Do you need reservations at either Mama Africa or the Drum Cafe???

I am looking to spice up my next visit to Cape Town rather than being back in my hotel room by 9PM like last time.

Thanks for the last post...great feedback regarding night life in Cape Town!
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Apr 18th, 2003, 03:55 PM
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Roccco,

One does not need to make reservations at Mama Africa or the Drum Cafe however I would avise that you arrive early at both venues especially the Drum Cafe as they have a certain amount of jemba drums that they hire out to the publice and you would not want to miss hiring one.

At Mama Africa just go with the flow and dont forget to put on your dancing shoes before you leave home. )

Enjoy.

Selwyn Davidowitz
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Apr 18th, 2003, 05:29 PM
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Selwyn,

At the Drum Cafe the patrons get their own drum to drum along??? That sounds like a blast! I don't know why I didn't explore the Cape Town night life last year!

OK...I am going to stick to my diet and drop 15 pounds by Africa and have a blast.
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Apr 18th, 2003, 08:13 PM
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Selwyn,

In regards to the nightlife you mentioned (restaurants, etc.), where are they located relative to some of the nicer hotels (table bay, bay hotel, twelve apostles)? I am curious as to the best method of getting around capetown...whether you can take walks to the nightlife, taxis, or if it is necessary to rent a car for the week?

Also, can you elaborate a little more on the experience at the Clara Anna Fontein lodge? Thanks,

Matty
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Apr 19th, 2003, 03:24 PM
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Matty,

Most of the restaurants that I have mentioned are in the city. This means that they are relatively close to the Waterfront HOWEVER very very far from the 12 Apostles Hotel.

A far as transport to these venues are concerned I would suggest that you use taxis. I say this because of the following reasons:

1. Taxis are efficient and cheap in Cape Town.
2. You wont have to worry about parking
3. You wont have to find your way around town

As far as taxis are concerned if you get on with your first cab driver then take his cell number and keep calling him. You wont believe the service that you will achieve.

The above brings me to another point. When visiting Cape Town, or for that matter South Africa, make sure that you hire a cellphone at the airport. You will find this to be invaluable and DON’T use your home cellphone as the calls are frightfully expensive when you dial from South Africa

As far as Clara Anna Fontein is concerned this is a private game farm 25 km from the city centre. On the farm they have 18 species of animal (lots of different species of antelope and zebra). One can stay over on the farm and the experience of the game drive and traditional dinner is magical. The newest innovation at CAF is the tented village and this is an experience that I cannot describe for you as you simply have to live it in that it is such an exciting event. I recommend a one or two night overnight at most very highly.

The problem about Clara Anna Fontein is that they don’t have a website (They don’t need a website as they are constantly full) They do have an email address which is [email protected]. Their telephone number is +27 21 975 7017 and their fax number is +27 21 975 1533

Matty please understand that it is very hard to describe the CAF experience as it is unique and has to be felt to truly experience what it is all about. Hope that you understand.

Hope this helps.

Selwyn Davidowitz
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Apr 19th, 2003, 09:19 PM
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Hi Selwyn, So glad you agreed with me re the Green Dolphin-now I can really say what I feel--it was "awful"-what a waste of time.
I hear that The Mount Nelson or Nellie as they say is THE hotel in Cape Town??? Unfortunately, I didn't even know about it.
Yes, you must get a cell phone as Selwyn says-absolutely mandatory!
The winelands-magnificent as well as Cape Peninsula.
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Apr 19th, 2003, 10:11 PM
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Can these cell phones be rented at J'burg airport and returned at Capetown airport?
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Apr 19th, 2003, 11:39 PM
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Clematis,

In answer to your question Vodacom Cellucity have just told me per phone that they DO handle hiring at one airport and handing of the phone at all their major airports as well as branches in SA. They do have branches at all major airports.

If you go to http://www.hire4lower.co.za/africa/default.htm all is explained and you can pre-hire your phone via the net using this facility. Cost of hire is all told about $4 per day + call charges of about 30 US cents per minute.

Hope this helps.

Selwyn Davidowitz.
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Apr 19th, 2003, 11:56 PM
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Wow, thank you very much Selwyn! Very helpful!
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Apr 20th, 2003, 08:18 AM
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If you do decide to rent a car while in Cape Town, (my own personal recommendation )cell phone hire is provided free of charge with the car hire. You pay for the calls you make, but not for incoming calls.
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Apr 20th, 2003, 09:04 AM
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Are these cell phones available in Kenya?
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Apr 20th, 2003, 02:28 PM
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Thanks for all the great advice everyone. I really enjoyed hearing about CAF - would it be suitable for all ages? I'm coming to Cape Town with my parents in Januray of next year and we want to make the most of our trip so all the advice is invaluable.
One other question does anyone have any advice about the best way to travel between Cape Town and Jo'burg? I believe there is now a cheap airline operating would anyone have the web address or be able to advise? Thanks so much!
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Apr 20th, 2003, 02:31 PM
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Waverley,

You are correct about cellphone hire coming free with car rental BUT this is a facility that only SOME companies offer and generally these companies are the big expensive ones. Thus dont be fooled as you are paying for the phone anyway. I would rather hire a car from Tempest Car Hire at a great rate and no cellphone with seperate phone hire from a cellphone company. Note that Tempest have branches all over the country where one can drop off or change vehicles etc.

Just me two pence worth...

Selwyn Davidowitz
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Apr 20th, 2003, 06:09 PM
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Mariacallas: I would venture that it would be available--absolutely
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Apr 20th, 2003, 11:06 PM
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Hey Selwyn, thanks for the tip on Tempest Car Hire. I just booked a Toyota Corolla that I need for a week in Jo'burg next month before heading out to the bush. This saved me R 720, (over $ 90) over the best quote I had to date.

Next question: I bought a cheap Nokia GSM cell phone in Europe and bought a prepaid SIM card for each country as I changed countries. I had planned to take the phone to Africa and buy a prepaid SIM card at the Jo'burg airport. In light of some of the other postings, should I just plan on hiring a cell phone at the airport? What are the economies here? I'll need to make several international calls while in SA.

Thanks,
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