Capetown, winelands and Victoria falls

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Oct 18th, 2002, 05:55 AM
  #1
Deb
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Capetown, winelands and Victoria falls

Everyone here seems to love Cape town but I am on a limited time frame for my trip so I need to decide on what are the top places to go in addition to my safari time. Can you tell me why you enjoyed capetown so much-food, sights, atmosphere etc? Also is the wine area similiar to Napa? Should I bypass that for other more unique to Africa areas?

Finally if you had to decide between Capetown and Vic Falls, which would be your choice? Thanks!
 
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Oct 18th, 2002, 08:03 AM
  #2
evelyntrav
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I had the same decision as you when I planned my trip.

About the winelands: I did not go to the winelands in SA as I have visited many other wine areas of the world (France, Napa, Italy, Spain, Connecticut, LI,...) Although each is unique, they are similar enough that I opted not to visit them in SA.

And Cape Town: Indeed, it is a beautiul and interesting city. I especially liked the township tour as it was unlike anything I had seen before in my travels. I did not think the food was so terrific other than trying some game and the waterfront area is like other gentrified city waterfronts with shopping areas. The peninsula was wonderful, but not all that unusual.

Victoria Falls was awesome. Double rainbows, huge falls. It only takes a day to see the falls and at least 3 days in CT, if time is a consideration. If you want to go rafting or do an elephant-back safari, you could extend your time at the falls. We were there for two nights and one day and it was enough.

So between the three choices, I would choose 1)The Falls, 2) CT, 3)Winelands. My trip was focused on wildlife and really my main reason or going to Southern Africa. What else is included in you plans? If you want to see my trip report, let me know.
 
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Oct 18th, 2002, 09:40 AM
  #3
Deb
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I would love to see your trip report. I had pretty much decided on doing two camps in Botswana and one in South Africa but now I am starting to debate about doing all south africa but going to different camps there. I am not sure about the 25# weight limit in Botswana and if that is too restrictive when it is cold there. Djuma sounds nice and I would love to do one of the luxury ones but I think the cost is too high so I am reading about others that will give me something different than Djuma. You can e-mail me at [email protected]
 
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Oct 18th, 2002, 02:41 PM
  #4
angela
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It's hard to know what's best but here are some ideas;
1)Wine country South African Style
Living in the Bay Area, having visited winegrowing regions in Italy, France and Australia we loved visiting the winelands outside Capetown. I can see your reservations if you have already seen Napa...the landscape is certainly similar. But it depends how keen you are on wine. We were fascinated to view the interesting Durch colonial and Hugenot architecture which is very particular to South Africa. There are several interesting restored house Museums in Stellenbosch. Also for us, visiting vineyards was a fascinating opportunity to speak to people outside of the traditional tourist circuit. Finally we loved the wine area because the wine was SO...SO...cheap and so wonderful. We sent two cases back through the mail!
2) Vic Falls appears initially to be one stop shopping...but again depends on what you enjoy. The white water rafting below the falls is incredible. It was thrilling, exciting and terrifying. A flight above the Falls is beautiful...also the areas has some wonderful hotels. During our honeymoon we stayed at Tongabezi on the Zambian side...it was fantastic. Our room opened onto the Zambezi...no doors or walls to protect us when the hippos can up to graze on the lawn, 25 feet from the bed, at 3 am! They served us dinner on a wooden platform floating on the Zambezi with the waiter coming out in a canoe to serve our champagne! And on and on...
3) Capetown...I've always liked Capetown, nice restaurants etc...but frankly it has always seemed like a better place to live than to visit...but then I can't understand what all our visitors love about San Francisco which I also think is more interesting to live in than to visit.
Hope that helps
 
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Oct 21st, 2002, 08:14 AM
  #5
rnr
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In CT, you must stay near the V&A waterfront. Cape Grace Hotel is nice, but there are less expensive places. And yes, in Botswana, Mombo is you are willing to go up some in price. You will not be disappointed. Enjoy your trip.
 
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Oct 22nd, 2002, 05:17 AM
  #6
Mary
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Can't speak for Vic Falls - I always assume it is like Niagra - Once you see it your done! However, not having been there I can't give you an accurate view - I am sure it is beautiful.

Capetown was great, I enjoyed a city tour, riding a cable car to table mountain and having fantastic views and loved the tour of the cape penninsula.

Within 45 minutes of Cape Town you are in the wine country. I enjoyed it. Different culture, great wine, inexpensive prices! So I think with Cape Town you get actually 3 different areas to look at - Cape Town, Wine Country, and the Cape of Good Hope. Enjoy!
 
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Oct 22nd, 2002, 07:30 PM
  #7
Neil
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Ok look, if you are on limited time / budget, SKIP CAPE TOWN. Yes Cape Town is beautiful and fun, but it's eerily identical to San Francisco. The town is similar and even the excusions are similar.

Victoria Falls is spectacular. Make sure you see the Falls from ALL side. Definitely make sure you see it from the Zambian side and the Zimbabwean side.

On the Zimbabwean side, make sure you have tea at the Victoria Falls Hotel. It's an incredible view. Also make sure you have dinner at the Safari Lodge. You eat on a blacony overlooking a watering hole in the bush... as you graze over your meal different animals approach the watering hole. You eat dinner with the animals!

If you have time jump over to Zambia and see the small town of Livingstone.
 
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Oct 30th, 2002, 01:35 PM
  #8
Emily
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If you are limited on time and have already or will have the chance some time to visit another wine area, then enjoy Cape Town for it's history and nature!
I would suggest going to Table Mountain (hike up if you have time or take the gondola). Go to Kirstenbosch, their beautiful gardens!! Simply amazing. Travel to Cape of Good Hope...what a feeling you have standing on what feels like the edge of the earth! Take a tour through a township and taste their beer as they tell your their story. Definitely go to the District Six museum, which tells the true history of Aparthied. And if you have time and money go to Robben Island. I would recommend staying away from the Waterfront b/c it is set up like a Mall for tourists and white locals for shopping....you can see that almost anywhere in the US. I could go off on recommendations. If you aren interested please feel free to email me. I also went through a lot of the local cities, all the way up along the coast to Durban, then back down through the mainland. And I went on a Safari starting in Victoria falls through Botswana. Glad to chat if you need help.
 
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Oct 31st, 2002, 02:18 PM
  #9
Selwyn Davidowitz
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Hi Deb,

I disagree with Neil. I have toured Vic Falls on numerous occasions and am a tour professional in Cape Town these days. There is no doubt in my mind that Vic Falls is an amazing and spectacular place to visit but it does NOT match Cape Town in one VERY IMPORTANT aspect and that is how much one can do in the area. Vic Falls is Vic falls and thats it. One day will suffice. In Cape Town you need 4 days minimum to see the city well. That in its own should tell you the difference between the two places.

You seem to have an interest in wine and if that is the case then Cape Town has to be where you should go as Vic Falls has nothing to offer in this area of enjoyment. There is a huge difference in the scenery of the Napa Valley as well as the wines that you will find relative to the Cape Winelands. as far as the wines are concerned I would argue that the biggest difference is that Napa Valley winemakers tend to use more “wood” than the Cape winemakers. There is another huge difference between the 2 regions and that is the price of the wines. Finally come take a look at the mountains and scenery surrounding the Cape Winelands and you wont want to visit Napa again. (-

If you want more advice as to what to see and do in Cape Town please feel free to write to me and I will give you many tips that you will not find in travel books etc that will make your stay in Cape Town even more enjoyable.

Now its up to you to make the decision as to whether you are going to visit us in the Mother City or not. ) )

Enjoy South Africa

Selwyn Davidowitz
 
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Oct 31st, 2002, 05:51 PM
  #10
Rocco
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What a shame it would be to go all the way to Zimbabwe, even from South Africa, for only a single day!
There is plenty to do outside of Victoria Falls. I spent three nights at the Matetsi Private Game Reserve and while there I had the opportunity to go on many game drives, canoe on the Zambezi River, enjoy a couple sundowner cruises and the highlight was probably dinner in the bush, not far away from Victoria Falls thundering in the background. It was a surreal experience, as our ranger told us nothing and completely surprised us as he pulled into the area that they had setup with torches surrounding the area they had set up. We enjoyed Filet Mignon, barbecue chicken, corn on the cob, baked potatoes, plenty of wine, fresh rolls and many other goodies and all in the middle of the bush surrounded by armed guards with Victoria Falls thundering not far away.
We concluded the trip with a single night at the Victoria Falls Hotel, a beautiful historical hotel with magnificent grounds.
 
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