My trip to South Africa/Cape Town

Apr 9th, 2007, 08:34 AM
  #1  
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My trip to South Africa/Cape Town

just got back from a visit with my girlfriend, 12-year old daughter and her friend.

Here are some tips from my visit. I lived there for about four years and this is my first visit back since 1997.

1. Don't even bother with Johannesburg. We stayed with friends in Pretoria and drove to the Apartheid Museum south of downtown Joburg near Gold Reef City. It was a great museum but that's about it for Joburg. The downtown area is a disaster except for the New Market section on Bree street where there is another museum, a theatre and a restaurant serving South African cuisine.

2. Apartment rental in Cape Town. We rented a spectacular apartment (Apt. Claude) from www.inthecity.co.za. On the 19th floor of the Cartwright Center, it had breathtaking views of Table Mountain, Signal Hill and areas to the west.

Sean and Kobie, the apt. managers, are the best!

The apartment was within a block's walk from the Company's Gardens, 15 minutes from the Mount Nelson Hotel (you must have afternoon tea there), and a block from Green Market Square, where handicrafts vendors gather every day until about 5 p.m.

3. Drive yourself around. We hired a car from Budget which turned about to be a blessing when we got to CPT. The lines were out the door for Hertz.

In our own car - driving like maniacs on the left - we went to Muizenberg (great beach, fantastic boerwors rolls at the stand), Boulders beach (hang out with penguins), Cape of Good Hope (chased down a baboon who reached into the car and stole a backpack), Camps Bay (another great beach), Llandudno beach (just before you get to Hout Bay) where a fashion shoot and a wedding were in progress.

3. Tour the townships. We booked with Nthuseng Tours http://www.nthusengtours.co.za/ after reading recommendations on this board. Anda was a wonderful guide and took us into Gugulethu, Khayalitsha and other townships. It's worth going to see life for the majority of South Africans.

4. Great restaurants. You must have tea at the Mount Nelson (tiny sandwiches, gorgeous desserts) overlooking the gardens. the Black Marlin, south of Simons Town, is terrific with excellent service, wonderful menu and good prices; Rosmead (on Adderly next to our apartment building) is a nice spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It's very casual and the food is excellent. The Bowl, upstairs at hotel near our apartment, is also lovely and a nice spot for sundowners on the balcony overlooking Adderly street.

5. Crime is a huge problem. Nothing has changed in that regard since my last trip. the police are still mostly incompetent and you're on your own. My friend was 'helped' at an ATM and had her account raided for several hundred dollars. Don't even bother trying to complain to the South african bank. It's aggravating and leads nowhere.

that said, i left my very expensive camera at the Robbens Island office after booking a ticket. Two and a half hours later, when I realized my camera was missing, we went back and the camera was there.

that's it for now. have a great time!
Maggy
Washington D.C.
magster518 is offline  
Apr 9th, 2007, 09:26 AM
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Thanks for the account and the uplifting camera tale at Robben Island,
atravelynn is offline  
Apr 9th, 2007, 02:28 PM
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hi, maggy,

thanks for the report.

I'll be copying for our trip to CPT and Garden route in July.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Apr 11th, 2007, 01:36 PM
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hi, again, maggie,

I wonder if you can give me an idea of how much to budget per day in CPT? - I am going in July with DH plus 2 "kids" aged 19 & 16, so we really count as 4 adults.

It's food and petrol costs that I'm mostly interested in.

THanks so much,

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Jun 4th, 2007, 09:48 AM
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Hi Ann --

Gosh, food is really inexpensive. petrol i'm not sure. i never really filled the car up in a week. the most expensive meal we had was for four of us, a bottle of wine and other drinks, and it was about $100. this was at the black marlin, south of simons town.

magster518 is offline  
Jun 5th, 2007, 12:45 PM
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hi, magster -

thanks for the feed-back. It's getting quite close to our trip now - finally beginning to feel real, if you know what I mean.

the cost for food ties in with what I'd worked out, but nice to have it confirmed.

isn't the internet wonderful - thanks to a link of fodors here, i think, - I've even managed to discover where there's and ATM at the waterfront, so I've stopped worrying about taking enough cash!

thanks again,

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
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