Getting Around Capetown

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Aug 21st, 2004, 01:49 PM
  #1
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Getting Around Capetown

Is it feasible to visit and see Capetown without renting a car? It looks like enough city and Cape local tours are available to be able to easily visit outlying areas. But I wonder if Capetown is enough of a walking city to be able to get a central hotel, walk the city bowl area and V&A waterfront. If renting a car, is parking a problem? Is the city relatively easy to drive? Are the day tours pretty good or would we be missing out not to drive outselves? Would really appreciate some info on this.
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Aug 21st, 2004, 02:14 PM
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Cee J

Cape Town can be visited without renting a car although it would be a lot easier if you did have your own transport.

To accommodate the situation of non car rental you can walk the city bowl and waterfront as long as you stay in central acommodation. Furthermore you should be able to book yourself onto day tours so as to see the outlying areas such as the Winelands and the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. When you need to get around other than the above taxis in Cape Town are efficient safe and relatively cheap.

With all of the above said I still believe that car rental would save you time and will make your journey more adventurous. You will more than likely gain a lot from doing organised the day tours relative to doing them yourself but then on the other hand you will more than likely have more fun doing them yourself.

In the end the decision remains yours to make.

Hope this all helps.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa

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Aug 21st, 2004, 06:52 PM
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I generally prefer not to drive in new cities (especially if the driving is English style!) so I did a couple of day tours-- one a full day down to Cape Point, which included Kirstenbosch and various coastal towns along the way, and one a full-day tour of Wine Country. I thought both were excellent. Guides were fun and the tours both allowed enough flexibility for me. (eg at one stop I wanted to visit Cheetah Outreach instead of doing the wine tasting, and that arranged). I don't think I could have accomplished nearly as much trying to navigate around on my own, and this way I could relax and really enjoy the sights. But of course it is a matter of preference and comfort with foreign driving...Just wanted to assure you that the tours are very good options.
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Aug 21st, 2004, 07:38 PM
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How long will you be there? If only 3 days or so, and you stay in a centrally located hotel or guesthouse, you will be fine. Taxi's aren't terribly expensive and day tours are easy to arrange. If you're going to be there much longer, you may want to rent a car. Driving on the other side of the road (if you've never done it before) is a challenge, so I understand the reluctance of many to drive. There is so much to see in the areas surrounding the city, that having a car is very useful.
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Aug 22nd, 2004, 07:20 AM
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Thanks for excellent info. Other questions--I read somewhere on this link that gas must be paid for in cash rather than credit cards. Is this true in the cape area? Are gas stations relatively plentiful? I think, after reading the advice here we will plan to stay in a central area and then, after seeing how it goes, rent a car for a couple of days or so. We'll probably be in the area 4 or 5 days.
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Aug 22nd, 2004, 03:05 PM
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Cee J

Yes you are correct gas can only be bought for cash and NOT on a credit card in the whole of South Africa. In response to your second question there are lots of service stations wherever you go in Cape Town.

Enjoy our city when you visit us.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
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Aug 23rd, 2004, 08:22 AM
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We didn't rent a car for our 5 days and we were so happy we didn't. Yes, the day tours are excellent. Not only are you not worrying about driving in a new city (and perhaps on a different side of the road) and sight-seeing at the same time, but you also get a day together with a Cape Town local. If you're interested, they will talk about whatever you want. In our case we were interested in learning about their political feelings about their country and ours. You can ask them anything and learn a lot about the country as well as get tips for the days you're on your own. I missed the interaction from the camps and these day trips were the best way to have that. Our TA had arranged the guides and in our case we had private tours. It was like being driven by a good, smart friend who had lived in the city. Very pleasant.
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Sep 9th, 2004, 01:20 PM
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With regard to renting a car, I'm confused about a certain issue. I made my car rental reservations at the same time that I booked my flight with Delta who transferred me over to Avis at the time of booking. I did request an automatic and I was advised that I would have a car similar to a Volkswagen Jetta for a price of $705.70 (US) for the 14 day period that I will be in Capetown (with an additional driver). However, the rental car agent never said anything about the insurance and I have noticed several people talking about taking out additional insurance to reduce the "excess". Could someone please explain this whole thing to me? (It's funny...I work on the fringe of the insurance indistry, but want to make sure that I have exact clarification on how this all works so that I won't have ny surprises once I get there).

Thanks!
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