Capetown itinerary suggestions

Sep 2nd, 2006, 01:45 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 59
Capetown itinerary suggestions

Hi - our family (2 adults, 2 boys 15 and 13)trip is getting closer. We are arriving in Capetown on the 26th of December and staying 5 nights at the President Hotel. We leave for Londolozi Pioneer Camp on the 31st for 4 nights.

I am looking for suggestions for the Capetown portion of our trip. I have read many of the reviews on this forum and they have been very helpful. I have a couple of specific questions though.

1. Is it better for us to rent a car while in Capetown - either for the entire time or a couple of days.

2. Is it better to do a 'package' tour of some of the sites (Cape of Good Hope) and Table Mountain or do on our own. We are a pretty adventurous and independent family.

3. Is it possible to do one of the wine tours in one day, and if so, which one would you recommend.

4. Do you recommend booking tours/sightseeing through the internet, or through our travel agent.

5. While on the safari, will there be an opportunity to visit a local village, and if so, is it ok to bring candy etc. for the kids there?

I am certain I will have many more questions coming up, so thank you in advance.
kirby is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2006, 02:18 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,501
Hello,

In answer to your questions:

1. I'd highly recommend hiring a car - it will really expand your options in Cape Town. It will also be very hot at that time of year so you might not want to do as much walking as you might otherwise do.

2. I'd recommend doing this on your own -- it will enable you to decide how long you want to stay, what day you want to go, etc.

3. You can certainly visit the winelands in a day, though personally I think it's nice to stay overnight -- that way you can enjoy your wine and food without a long drive back to your hotel.

4. I'd recommend contacting Selwyn Davidowitz, who posts here -- he is a guide in Cape Town and has introduced many Fodorites to hs wonderful city. This is his website:

http://www.ilovecapetown.com/

5. Personally, I'd strongly advise against giving candy out to children anywhere -- poor dental care is a huge problem in many developing countries and sweets gvien out by well-meaning tourists make it worse.

You'll be able to visit the staff village if you'd like to, but this isn't the same thing as visiting a local community as everyone living in the village is employed (and well paid) by Londoz. If you want to visit the staff village, it's best to ask Londoz whether there is a need for anything in particular though in general staff villages at lodges are very well-supplied.

If you'd like to visit one of the townships in Cape Town, Selwyn can take you to a local community where he has longstanding relationships. This is one place where it might be useful to bring school supplies or other goods -- ask Selwyn for details.

Enjoy your trip!

Cheers,
Julian
jasher is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2006, 09:56 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 97
the best and most cost effective way of getting around the city of cape town is to use the CitySightseeing open top bus for the purpose of orientation. Then use the discount vouchers from the ticket to book your day tours.
FOR THE TOWNSHIP SECTION THEY ARE EXCELLENT. A percentage of your tour fee goes to a trust fund. Part of the community support programme is that they only use guides from previously disadvantaged communities.you may also do a walking township tour on the "blue route" CitySightseeing bus.
africanj is offline  
Sep 4th, 2006, 11:48 AM
  #4  
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Join Date: Jan 2004
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I sent Selwyn an email, but unfortunately he is booked until the end of January 2007.

We are strongly considering just renting a car and doing the touring ourselves. How long of a drive is it to the wineries and Cape of Good Hope. I am assuming that this would be two separate outings?

I am also wondering on the local crafts/flea market. I remember reading somewhere, maybe here, about an amazing local market in Capetown that happens once a week?

Thanks,

Lori
kirby is offline  
Sep 4th, 2006, 12:18 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,501
Hello,

Sorry to hear that Selwyn is booked -- he's very good. You could certainly do the tours yourself -- it's about 45 minutes to an hour to the Winelands and a bit longer to Cape Point, depending on traffic, whether you stop along the way to visit the penguins at Boulders Beach, etc. These would definitely be two separate outings if you want to have time to enjoy both of them.

There are a number of local markets in Cape Town -- it sounds like you may be thinking of the Green Point market which takes place on Sunday from about 830-6pm (you should check the times as they vary a bit depending on the time of year and I haven't been to Cape Town in December). The number is +27 083 321 2072.

The Red Shed Craft Workshop at the V&A waterfront also has a lot of nice crafts done by local people -- the Christmas ornaments at Tin Town are a particular favourite of mine.

The Pan African Market is in a lovely old wooden building just off Greenmarket Square, with plenty of modern and traditional crafts. Personally I prefer the Red Shed as this one seems to have more tourist stuff, but if you are in the area you might want to have a look around.

I'd avoid the Greenmarket Square Market -- lots of tourist tat and high-pressure sales tactics.

Cheers,
Julian
jasher is offline  

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