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I hate questions like this, but is it safe to drive in Cape Town?

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Aug 3rd, 2007, 06:57 AM
  #21
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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My friend & I stayed in Greenpoint in March/April. We liked it - there are shops and restaurants nearby, but I agree - it is still a good 20-30 minute walk to the center of the city and waterfront areas. We drove most of the time. We drove through Camps Bay and I would probably like to stay there next time.

BTW - We drove (two small girls) without a cell phone and without a problem. I think you absolutely need a car to enjoy the areas outside capetown, but take the same precautions as in any city.
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Aug 3rd, 2007, 01:00 PM
  #22
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Okay, one more shot at this. I appreciate Ann's recommendation of the Radisson, but it seems to be twice as much as the Fulham Lodge. After we leave Cape Town we're doing safaris in Kruger and Botswana, and then the gorillas in Rwanda, and I'm trying not to totally bankrupt us on this trip! If I want to spend let's say around $150 US per night in Cape Town, it seems my choice boils down to Fulham Lodge in Camps Bay, with gorgeous view but less city atmosphere, or somewhere like the Holiday Inn/Southern Sun, which is also around $150 and more centrally located with more places to walk to. Seems like a tradeoff husband and I will have to make, but thought I'd give it one more go for any opinions here. And thank you all so much for your help!
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Aug 3rd, 2007, 01:42 PM
  #23
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I really encourage you to look into www.welgelegen.co.za. We stayed there four three nights last December, paid $125.00 per night and they upgraded our room at no extra cost. The managers were uniformly warm, helpful, and fun. The room was terrific, the breakfast great. It's in the Gardens, very close to many restaurants and easy to get about Cape Town. At the beginning of our trip, before leavingon safari, we stayed at the Camps Bay Retreat,www.campsbayretreat.com, a completely lovely boutique hotel in the hills above Camps Bay. The accomodations were lovely, the grounds
beautiful, the staff excellent--it was more expensive--$270.00 per night including breakfast, but much cheaper and so much more special than the Radisson--but I just reread that your husband wants to be able to walk around and that you want to stay to about $150.00 per night.

Once again, I recommend that you look into Welgelegen House--it was extraordinary value.

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Aug 3rd, 2007, 02:35 PM
  #24
 
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I wish to recommend either Rose Lodge in the Bo-Kaap (owned by an American gentleman) or 9 Flowers Guest House. These are the closest B&B's to the City centre.
BOTH THESE ARE SUITABLY LOCATED ACCORDING TO YOUR HUSBANDS NEEDS.
I regularly visit guesthouses and i know these places
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Aug 6th, 2007, 12:44 PM
  #25
 
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Have you considered self catering apartmets which you can readily rent by the day [as opposed to having to stay a whole week] in Cape Town? We rented a really fantastic apartment in camps bay overlooking both ocean and the apostle mountain range for a fraction of what it would cost us in UK/Europe. We enjoyed to freedom of self catering and found it easy to walk to the many restuarants along the Camps bay sea front whenever we wished, day and night, or we were also able to get provisions for a meal on our balcony at the excellent pick'n'pay supermarket also right on the seafront. this gave us so much flexibility after a hard day sightseeing and I simply cannot recommend this option highly enough. We had an amazing time here.
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Aug 22nd, 2007, 02:12 AM
  #26
 
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Selwyn will no doubt disagree but I would say you have to very careful. No doubt it is safer driving there than here in johannesburg, but caution is still required. Do not drive on the N2 at night. If you break down you will probably die as the N2 borders the townships. The N1 is okay but then again a 12 year old boy was shot and killed in broad daylight at the Engen garage/gas station there a few weeks ago.
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Aug 22nd, 2007, 02:19 PM
  #27
 
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Bobbieharv

Last week Sunday night I had a puncture on the N2 just outside the township of Khayalitsha at about 21h15. I had three visitors with me when this happened. We had all the tools needed to swop the flat tyre and did so in about twenty minutes. We are all still around to tell the tale. With that event told you have the choice of taking the advice already passed on in this thread of not driving on the N2 at night or you can listen to the voices of the drivers, who probably at a guess number 1000 cars an hour, that travel on the N2 every day at all hours. My personal advice to you as a Capetonian who drives the N2 at least twice a week at night would be that you should drive on this road or anywhere else in Cape Town whenever you want to. With that said I always recommend that no matter where you drive, walk or travel you should always watch your back. In this regard I advise this to you when you visit Cape Town or San Francisco (see Diamantina's mail in this thread) or for that matter anywhere else in the world.

In terms of your staying in Camps Bay or Green Point I want to mention something that has not come up in this thread. I have found that the majority of travellers visiting my city all seek the great sea views etc at their places of stay however when it comes to their actually being in Cape Town they generally never use these facilities due to the fact that there is too much else to do in and around the city. This results in the fact that they are never at their place of stay for anything else other than for sleeping and breakfast. Thus I believe that your priorities should be location, cleanliness, safety, comfortability and thereafter facilities such as sea views etc. With location being so high on my list I would suggest that Green Point will be a much better bet than Camps Bay when staying in Cape Town and to top this your costs will also be lower in the Green Point area.

Hope this helps you in making your stay in Cape Town a special one.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa



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Aug 24th, 2007, 01:45 AM
  #28
 
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Selwyn,
Glad you survived but lets be realistic here. There is absolutely no comparison in terms of crime between San Francisco and Cape Town. There is also no comparison in terms of beauty-Cape Town wins hands down!
It is appalling advice to give to someone that doesn't live here to "drive on any road whenever you want to." So would that include driving through Langa at 3 in the morning? You already have tourists from places like the states that are completely ignorant and naive. You mean to tell me that those sort of people should just rent a car and drive into the townships?!
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Aug 24th, 2007, 03:17 AM
  #29
 
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Selwyn,
With respect, for a number of reasons you should not have attracted attention to yourself by changing a wheel in that area and especially not with visitors in the vehicle.
You should be carrying the tel. emergency number of the police who are dedicated to patrol that road.
I do waliking tours in the townships. I also visit there a lot. Crime does not happen there because the people are black. It's one of the consequences of poverty etc.
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Aug 24th, 2007, 05:06 AM
  #30
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Thank you everyone, especially Selwyn. I've actually decided to take your advice on another thread and stay at the de Waterkant cottages. I've pored over all the descriptions and I think my favorite is 23 Loader, with the hot tub on the roof terrace and a great view of the city and mountain. It seems like a neat area, and will satisfy both my husband's need for the city experience and my need for an expansive view. I haven't made the booking yet (our trip is not until Sept 08), so any opinions on this decision would be welcome!
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Aug 24th, 2007, 06:33 AM
  #31
 
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hi, bobbie,

if you are travelling on 8th sept, I'd be booking now. why wait if you've found the one you want?

it sounds like a very nice place, ideal for you AND your DH. shame to lose it!

have a great trip,

regards, ann

ps - I've now finished the CPT bit of my trip report of you want to click on my name and read it.
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Aug 24th, 2007, 07:39 AM
  #32
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Thanks Ann. It's a year from September, not this September that we're going!!! (I'm such an advance planner that I can't imagine leaving something like that till the last minute!)
I very much enjoyed your detailed (and well-written) trip report!
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Aug 24th, 2007, 08:02 AM
  #33
 
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Well if you are not visiting Cape Town for a year, the current safety situtation is not very relevant.
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Aug 24th, 2007, 01:52 PM
  #34
 
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hi, bobbie,

well, that's a relief - I was getting a bit concerned on your behalf.

still perhaps yo could negotiate a discount by booking so far ahead, if this is the accommodation you really want.

thanks for teh kind remarks about teh trip report - i appear to have a bit of a block with it at the moment, but even I should have it finished in time for your visit.

happy planning,

regards, ann
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Aug 24th, 2007, 05:26 PM
  #35
 
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laguna92688,

The only reason as to why I brought up the CT to SF comparison was because Diamantina brought it up in an earlier post in this thread. Furthermore you might think my advice is appalling and in this regard you are entitled to your opinion; I however disagree with you and I am entitled to my opinion similarly. Of course the big difference between yourself and myself is that I stay in Cape Town permanently. Enough said!

I would also like to add that the statement you make of "You already have tourists from places like the states that are completely ignorant and naive" is in my opinion very insulting to these travellers. What gives you the right to even make this type of statement let alone qualify it? Dont even expect an answer from me becasue when I hear these type of statements I simply refuse to respond to such crass generalizations.

Africaj as I understand it you are trying to tell me that after having a blowout what I should have done at 21h15 on the N2 on a Sunday night was to pull over to the side of the road, call the emergency police and sit in my car till they arrived. (or should I say prayed till they arrived) For all I know they could have taken 3 hours to arrive. As opposed to this I did had all that I needed to change my tyre and it just so happened that I did this in close to 20 minutes. I also must add that I did not "survive" as Laguna92688 put it because to me this was a normal event that could happen to all at any time and as is in the normal course of events it became a case of simply changing the tyre. Thus in my opinion taking your advice would have been an irresponsible action. Overall I beg to differ with your assessment of the situation and as I see it this becomes a case of you have your opinion which you feel is correct and I have mine which I feel is correct. This equals a dead end street debate and with that said I feel it is not worth pursuing this issue further.

BobbieHarv, 23 Loader is a great apartment. It is centrally located, secure and exceptionally well furnished. I would recommend this place of stay highly BUT BUT I would book it right now and not pay the deposit immediately. The reason why I say this is because in the last two weeks there has been a massive development function that started taking place in De Waterkant region with a huge under parking garage being built and a large shopping mall will eventually be built on top of this basement parking. I believe you should give this construction about 4 months so as to see what transpires in the area as it could become even better to live in or else become horrifically commercial. Thus my opinion is be patient and I will keep you informed as to what happens however maintain your options by having a booking to cover you no matter what.

Hope this helps

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa

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Aug 24th, 2007, 05:48 PM
  #36
 
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Selwyn,

Laguna92688 never said that all tourists from the states are ignorant and naive. What they said was that you are giving advice to all kinds of people when you post here and that some are ignorant and naive. Are you saying that no one who reads your words here fits that description? If you are, then you are the one making the generalization and it is one that I doubt is correct. I notice that you didn't answer the question: " It is appalling advice to give to someone that doesn't live here to "drive on any road whenever you want to." So would that include driving through Langa at 3 in the morning?"

Tuckeg
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Aug 24th, 2007, 08:16 PM
  #37
 
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Not about driving, but about safety in Cape Town:

http://allafrica.com/stories/200708240798.html
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Aug 25th, 2007, 04:08 AM
  #38
 
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Tuckeg,

Firstly let me comment on your link that you referred all to about Table Mountain. If you are trying to warn people not to hike up the mountain in the next couple of weeks I would agree with you completely as there most certainly is a problem with muggings on the mountainside that have taken place this past week in particular. From my perspective this is a very strong local warning that is going out and I support it totally as I have spoken to one of the locals who was caught up in one of these muggings and the story was not pretty at all. What I find amazing about this whole issue is that even though there are many people who hike Table Mountain (of whom I must tell you by far the most of these folk are locals) what is not specified in the warnings is that it is 100% safe to ascend the mountain by cablecar and that the option to go to the top of Table Mountain is most certainly not out of the question in that there still is a perfect way to do so. No matter what until the new security measures are put into place I would NOT recommend a hike up Table Mountain or for that matter Lions Head.

In terms of answering Laguna92688 I most certainly did when I answered "I however disagree with you and I am entitled to my opinion similarly. Of course the big difference between yourself and myself is that I stay in Cape Town permanently. -: Enough said!

There is no rule on Fodors that says that I have to say anymore than I disagree.

In terms of driving or for that matter walking through townships at 3h00 let me mention 2 points.

1. Why would I even want to suggest to anyone that they should drive through Langa at night other than if they had a specific reason to do so. With that said if their reason to want to do so was important they would not be the sort of people who need advice as to what to do as they will know whether they should or should not do so in that they will be on the ground and knowledgeable about what is happening around them. If someone asked me whether they should travel through a township or stay on a national road to reach a a destination I would answer them that whether the drive was through a township or any neighborhood I would always recommend the national road as the first option firstly because they have less chance of getting lost and secondly because it would always be a quicker ride. If of course they had reason to be in the township at 03h00 (such as they were staying in the township) of course I would tell them to travel in the area however nobody would be foolish enough to want to even ask the question of me if they were staying in the area. If they asked me whether they should stay in a township my answer would be a 100% yes if the felt they wanted to go through the experience. My answer would be based on the fact that so many foreign people have stayed in townships over the past years and I dont recall of any serious incidents taking place with regard to these forms of accommodation.

2. There are more than 60 B& B's in townships all around Cape Town. In the season most of them are doing thriving trade and you will find, I think, about a 70% full rate during the high season. The people staying in township B&B's range from backpack to upmarket tourists. At the same time there are many volunteers from all over the world staying in what is known as "sleepovers" and other places of stay in the various townships surrounding Cape Town. Right now there are to my knowledge 35 of these volunteers ranging in ages from 18-28 staying in sleepovers in Kayamandi, near to Stellenbosch. Most of these volunteers are American females. If you travel on the streets of the township in the early hours (as I most certainly have done on many an occasion) the people who are most predominantly on the streets are believe it or not these volunteers who are generally having the party of their lives. Should I tell them to stop walking around at night in townships because there lives are in danger because some foreigner who claims to know better purely because of reading news reports told me that I should tell them it is unsafe?

With regard to the Laguna92688 statement of "You already have tourists from places like the states that are completely ignorant and naive" anybody who labels a grouping of people as naive and ignorant and worst of all links them to any country is being insulting and downright rude to the extent that he/she is not worth giving an ear to.

Just my twopence worth.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa





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Aug 25th, 2007, 08:04 PM
  #39
 
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Selwyn,

First, I did not suggest that people not hike Table Mountain, that is up to the individual. I posted the article so people would be aware of the situtation and also of the actions being taken to fix the problem.

As I've posted previously in a response to you, my friend, an American female building a Habitat for Humanity house in one of the townships and her fellow workers were robbed at knifepoint when they walked less than 50 meters from the house to a store. I guess that doesn't meet your definition of a serious incident. Perhaps if she had resisted and been stabbed that would meet your criteria.

Tuckeg
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Aug 25th, 2007, 10:48 PM
  #40
 
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Tuckeg,

I hear what you say with regard to the HfH lady who was held up at knifepoint and in response I most certainly would regard the incident as serious BUT would I have it deter me from suggesting that someone else should then stay in a township? The answer is blatantly "no". After all if that were the case then if I suggested to everyone that they should never stay in a city where there is or was a knife holdup we all would not be travelling all. The crazy thing about Cape Town (and in my opinion all over the world) is that more crime of a serious nature takes place OUTSIDE of the impoverished areas. My feeling as to why this happns is that crime is not worth it in an impoverished area. With that said I suppose the next suggestion I will be hearing is that one should then not visit Cape Town or any major cities of the world which would be utter bunkum.

Newspaper reports are good and well. What one takes out of them is another issue and any student who has studied Stats 1 at college (university) will know that one takes these single incidental reports with a pinch of salt.
I dont have any problems if one publishes these articles so as to simply tell people to watch their backs when they travel but I do take issue when these reports are published in a manner where the intention is to say "Dont do the experience at all." Thats how one very unfairly destroys the magic of wanderlust which is not what I believe this travel forum is all about; if anything it is here to serve the exact opposite function.

My twopence worth.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa

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