Cape town suggestions needed

Feb 12th, 2007, 10:11 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 426
Cape town suggestions needed

We will have seven days in this are over Christmas vacation. We are travelling with 2 children, ages 11 and 7. This precludes us from staying at most of the guest houses, and the table bay hotel. Looked at the Mount nelson, but they are quoating 7,000 per room per night, and would take two rooms. Now considering the Raddision,as we dont want to stay in the middle of the waterfront. I would welcome other suggestions. This is the kids(not ours) first trip to this area. We are thinking 4 or 5 nights in Cape Town, then on to either Spier or Consntinas Uisting(forgive my spelling) for 2 or 3 nights. All thoughts and suggestions would be appreciated.
ellene is offline  
Feb 12th, 2007, 10:45 AM
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Quite honestly if its about the kids then I would suggest that you give the two nights in the winelands a big skip. Ever seen 7 & 11 year olds getting enthused about antique furniture and full bodoed cabernets? I think not. I suggest that you take them off to Grootbos where they will be entertained to kids things & you can slip off for the day to enjoy the winelands.....
mkhonzo is offline  
Feb 13th, 2007, 03:16 AM
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if you would consider going further afield to the Eastern cape as part of your trip, my agent found an offer combining 2 nights at Shamwari game reserve, and 3 free, yes, free nights at the Raddison in CPT. [trip is planned for July 2007, so don't know if the offer is stil lvaild at Christmas, but it's worth a try!]
I think you can asccess it from the Shamwari web-site.

Good luck! Ann
annhig is offline  
Feb 13th, 2007, 04:38 AM
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Spier is a *great* destination for kids. Plenty to do, see, and enjoy for a few days.

Other accommodation searches for the city at (official site)

among others.

choose advanced searches and select child-friendly options and you should do fine. You can book directly online with some of these. Expect to pay a premium, as you're coming during the busiest time of year. Book early!

And Grootbos isn't such a bad idea, either...


kurt_a is offline  
Feb 13th, 2007, 07:47 AM
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Consider staying in Simon's Town, which is just south of Cape Town and check out the Lord Nelson Hotel. Since it will be summer in South Africa, you can go to one of the nearby beaches. There are also penguins in the area. From Simon's Town, you can make day trips to the Cape of Good Hope, to sights in Cape Town, and even farther afield. ZZ
Zambezi is offline  
Feb 13th, 2007, 07:52 AM
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Correction: That's the Lord Nelson Inn. It has a Web site. ZZ
Zambezi is offline  
Feb 13th, 2007, 09:58 AM
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Thanks for the great suggestions. We are heading up to sabi sands after this, so dont want to do another game safari. I think spier may make the most sense, although any feedback on contantina ustig would be helpful. Or on the Radisson. I will look at the lord nelson in simonstown.
ellene is offline  
Feb 13th, 2007, 08:57 PM
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I'm with Mkhonzo on this one when he suggested you steer clear of Constantia Uitsig if you have kids with you. It simply is NOT a good idea because this is not a child friendly hotel. I am not a fan of staying at Spier but in your case with children I would also recommend it highly as Mkhonzo and Kurt have done. Grootbos could be a good idea but it is expensive and a lot depends on what your children enjoy. If you or your children do not enjoy nature and being taught about it then Grootbos is definitely not a good idea.

The Raddison is most definitely not a child friendly hotel and I would be very wary of staying at the venue as your children are going to get bored very quickly other than if you are continuously taking them to outside places of interest. I do appreciate that finding a child friendly venue in Cape Town, especially over the December period, is going to be tricky. With that said I think you are going to have to give up on plush hotel style living and rather stay at places that specialise in self catering, child friendly venues. A good example of this could be Houtkapperspoort in Hout Bay. This is not the plushest of accommodation but it certainly is very comfortable, is well located, is EXTREMELY child friendly and will also allow your children to meet many other children who will be your neighbours. These children would more than likely be local South African kids which once again would probably be good for your children to experience. If a place like Houtkapperspoort does not suit you and you want to stay in luxurious venues you simply will have to realise that finding a place that is going to accommodate childrens needs are going to be very difficult to find.

While in Cape Town let me pass on some other important tips of things that you can do with your children

Do the ascent of Table Mountain.
If you want to you could even do the 2 hour Plattekloof Gorge climb to ascend the mountain whereafter you can descend the mountain by cablecar. Just remember the golden rules of ascending mountain of:

a. No matter what the weather situation always take a warm set of clothing in case it is needed

b. Take a cap.

c: Take lots of water

Visit the penguin colony.

Take a trip to Seal Island by boat from the Hout Bay harbour

Visit the Scratchpatch in Simonstown.

Visit the Cape Town aquarium

Visit the World of Birds in Hout Bay.

Visit the working harbour of Fish Hoek.

Visit and undertake the challenge of finding your way through a real maze of trees in Green Point next to the Putt Putt course.

Go down to the Cape Town Waterfront. This is also a place where your children probably will have much fun.

Visit the local Saturday morning craft market in Hout Bay. This is a fantastic market and seemingly remains a hidden secret to visitors to Cape Town in that only Capetonians frequent this wonderful market.

When in the winelands (Spier or wherever) to accommodate your children may I suggest that you:

Visit the Butterfly Farm in Simondium.

Have fun at the Huguenot chocolate factory in Franschhoek.

Visit and pat the cheetahs at the Cheetah Foundation at Spier

Watch how wine barrels are made in Stellenbosch at Van Ryns Brandy cellars.
(Near to Spier)

Go to Kei Carpets and see how hand made carpets are woven.

Visit the Corkscrew antique shop and view its HUGE hidden secret that everybody misses when visiting Franschhoek.

Hope the above helps to make your families stay in Cape Town and its surrounds a very enjoyable experience.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa

Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Feb 14th, 2007, 09:14 AM
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selwyn - thanks for the spot on info which I'm going to add to my CPT folder.

Talking about table mountain, assuming that the weather in July is clement, how easy is it to walk down into teh Kirstenbosch gardens - I thought we could get teh cable car up, and walk back down ,taking in the gardens on the way.

If we did that, is there transport back from the gardens to the waterfront/ centre of CPT?

Thanks again for the "Schoti" tip - we're booking in there for one night at the end of our trip.


annhig is offline  
Feb 14th, 2007, 11:48 AM
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Firstly the cable car will be closed for maintenance from July 25 - Aug 5 so you will not be able to use the facility over this period that is if this is when you are in Cape Town.

As far as the walk to Kirstenbosch is concerned under normal circumstances I would advocate rather walking up the mountain and taking the cable car down. I use the word normal because right now matters are very abnormal on the Kirstenbosch hikes (Nursery Ravine or Skeleton Gorge) up to Table Mountain in that there have been some very serious muggings and attacks on hikers on these routes. The local media claims there is a gang that is responsible for all these attacks. Whilst it seems as if the incidences are abating I still would not take the risk to do these hikes that is as matters stand at the point in time. I want to stress that this is my own personal opinion and others could feel differently.

There are always lots of taxis at both Kirstenbosch as well as Table Mountain.

Hope this helps.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa

Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Feb 14th, 2007, 12:15 PM
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Chiming in on the walk...
It is a magnificent hike, generally well sign posted. Please do remember though that the weather in the Cape can change rapidly, so you will need to be well equipped for inclement conditions once on the summit.

Also note that the mountain can become shrouded in its table cloth, a thick fog, making getting lost pretty easy. If you attempt the hike across the table top descending at Kirstenbosch, take a guide with you. Not only will the fynbos (heather like vegetation) be explained, but you will certainly minimise your chances of staying a night on the mountain too.
mkhonzo is offline  
Feb 14th, 2007, 02:46 PM
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Selwyn--Thanks for your note that the cable car will be closed. I'm actually going to be in Cape Town during those dates. If I want to ascend Table Mountain, how difficult/long is the hike, and how cold will it be at the top since it's winter? Do I have any other options besides hiking?
Heather_H is offline  
Feb 14th, 2007, 03:48 PM
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Hike to the top can be done via a number of different ravines. The time of the ascent is largely dependant on your level of fitness. I would suggest that you give yourself two hours to get up and an hour to return down, although the descent can sometimes be more challenging on your legs.

Temp wise, I recall it getting down to 7 degrees C. And on some rare occassions it gets to freezing, but that is overnight and during extraordinary strorms.
mkhonzo is offline  
Feb 15th, 2007, 03:22 AM
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With kids you might want to consider an apartment instead, here is a link to the place we stayed at in Dec. It was very comfortable and easy to get to.
I highly recommend this place
shmulb is offline  
Feb 15th, 2007, 03:44 AM
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One of the best things about World Of Birds is being able to go in with the squirrel monkeys and have them climb all over you. We loved them and we didn't have our kids with us!! You will need to check when the monkey house is open to avoid disappointment.
CarrieAnn40 is offline  
Feb 15th, 2007, 07:13 AM
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Squirrel monkeys urinate on their hands and feet to leave a scent behind allowing them to demarcate their territories.....

I don't think I'd want them scrumming around my dial any time soon.
mkhonzo is offline  
Feb 15th, 2007, 07:30 AM
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We stayed (a family of 5, w/ 3 kids aged 17,14 and 12)for 4 nights (1-5 january 2007)at Protea Green Point hotel (maybe the name is Cape Castle), good price (100€ breakfast included), quad rooms (1 queen bed plus a double sofa bed) plus kitchenette and a dining table. Good breakfast and accomodation. Pool, safe garage, but would not walk around at night. Very close to Waterfront. There is another affordable Protea hotel in the Waterfront (Breakwater lodge) that was very good value. Protea website is very good, try also Southern Sun (South african Holiday Inn) and City Lodge chains. All of them are good and affordable
Hiking to the top of the Table mountain is IMO only for the very fit. The sun burns inmediately, and the hiking is very difficult.

nica is offline  
Feb 15th, 2007, 08:01 AM
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"scrumming around my dial" never heard that one, not quite sure I get it, but I like it.
atravelynn is offline  
Feb 15th, 2007, 01:11 PM
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Hi, selwyn - thanks for the reply. Fortunately, we will be arriving in CPT before the cable car shuts - we have 4 nights starting 18th July, before we move on along teh garden route.

FRom what I'm reading, I think we'll stick to the cable car up and down!

THanks to all,

regards, Ann

annhig is offline  
Feb 15th, 2007, 01:14 PM
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Cavorting around my hooter...
mkhonzo is offline  

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