Need Help Planning Cape Town Itinerary - 3 1/2 Days

Jul 12th, 2011, 08:39 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 4
Need Help Planning Cape Town Itinerary - 3 1/2 Days

Hello! My boyfriend and I (mid-20s) are spending 3 1/2 days and 4 nights in Cape Town at the beginning of August. This is our third stop on a two week trip that includes 2 nights at Victoria Falls, 3 nights in Cape Town Winelands, and a 3 night Safari in Kruger.

There is so much to see and do that we are a bit overwhelmed trying to plan our trip details as this is our first time to South Africa. Currently our itinerary goes as follows but any advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Arrival Day (getting in around 11 from Winelands) - Head to V&A Waterfront for lunch and walk around, then take the cable car to the top of table mountain for sunset

Day 1 - Hire a private tour guide to cover all the Cape Town highlights. Does anyone have any guide recommendations our tour operator suggestions? Would it be possible to cover all the highlights and do Robben Island in one day?

Day 2 - Either another private tour or scheduled group tour of the Cape Peninsula - Camps Bay, Chapman’s Peak, Noordhoek, Cape Point, Simons Town, Boulder Beach Penguin Colony, etc.

Day 3 - If it's possible to cover everything in Cape Town in 2 1/2 days, then we are considering going Shark Diving on our final day in Cape Town. However, we are visiting to see the sights of Cape Town and will get plenty of adventure on the safari and at Victorial Falls, so we may want this day to do the Botanical Gardens or go back to any sights we passed by on Day 1, or just do some walking around and shopping in Cape Town. Any advice?

As far as restaurants go, we are planning to have dinner at Aubergine, The Test Kitchen, and Bombay Brasserie (we are staying at the Taj). We are leaving one night open for a more casual local meal hoping to hear of a great restaurant to try once in Cape Town or if any one has any ideas please share!

Lunch will probaby be already picked for us or included with the tours we are considering doing, but if anyone has any recommendations for where to dine on our first day down at V&A Waterfront, please send them my way!

Any suggestions or planning tips would be very much appreciated!

Thank you!
AtlantaTravelGirl04 is offline  
Jul 12th, 2011, 02:30 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Day 1 I enjoyed Wayne of Take2Tours very much as a private guide. He helped out a lot in the planning stages too.

The morning ferry for Robben Island is a 9:00 am departure and it returns about 12:30 pm back at the Waterfront dock. That gives you an idea of the time.

Day 2 If the private guide works out, do it, rather than a group trip. You can be much more flexible. I loved the day at Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve with Wayne. You probably can't do all those things you have listed in one day.

Day 3 Do the Shark trip! You might want to spend one night in Simons Town where the shark trips that take you to False Bay to see the breaching sharks depart from early in the morning. Aug is a great time for the sharks. I used African Shark Eco Charters. A super operation.

Simons Town is also where the penguins are. They are within walking distance from most places you would stay or you can stay right at Boulders Bay where the penguins are.

Wayne of Take2Tours can help you plan what to do and how best to do it. He was great!

Have a great trip!
atravelynn is offline  
Jul 12th, 2011, 03:39 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 418
Check out the Hop ON Hop Off bus as well.
sallysaab is offline  
Jul 12th, 2011, 07:28 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,525
I work for an international airline and I would highly recommend using Tim from Friends of Dorothy for your tours of
Cape Town,the Cape of Good Hope and the wine areas. Our airline used to have layovers in Cape Town and it was a race to get Time and Friends of Dorothy to pick us up for the tours.Tim is from the UK, a former lawyer and TV man and is probably the best you could use for the Cape Town area. He is very personable,knows so much history and culture that you will feel as though he is a long last friend.He was picked as a major guide for the new Atlantis hotel and is considered a premier guide down there.(If you go on the website you may think that it is a "gay" only tour company but that is not true and you will be very happy with touring with him!)
I would highly recommend the on/off tour of Cape Town and an eveing at V and A waterfront for dinner and shopping;moring at Green Market for great trinkets;a day at the Cape and possibly a day in Hermanus for a whale watch and beachcombing. I would also recommend a fabulous lunch at le Petit Ferme restaurant in Franschoek;going to Kanonkop and Nederberg wineries and also go to the Drakensberg Lion Reserve.
You will love the Cape Town area-truly a fabulous city and surrounging area!

dutyfree is offline  
Jul 13th, 2011, 04:04 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 174
I will have to say "ditto" to everything atravelynn said above. We also use Wayne Milne of Take2Tours and loved him. At first I was afraid he was going to be too soft spoken but he was the most knowledgable, organized and helpful guide we have ever used. AND he uses a microphone while in the vehicle. And he is just so likeable and easy going.
I definitely recommend a private tour over a group tour. It means so much for YOU to decide where YOU want to go and how long YOU want to stay at each place. To me there's nothing more frustruating than having to wait for that one last inconsiderate person to get back in the van or bus.
The Cape of Good Hope tour and hike from the Cape to the Point are not to be missed.
My family LOVED the shark trip to False Bay. I opted out last time but I will definitely go next time.
agswimmer is offline  
Jul 14th, 2011, 06:10 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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The microphone is a new additon. But maybe with just the 2 of us, it wasn't needed.

At the risk of turning this into a Wayne promotional site, let me add an excerpt from my report that emphasizes agswimmer's comment on the hike at the Point. Wayne dropped me off and picked me up at the key points for an optimal hike. In fact, I said forget some of the sightseeing, I want to do the hike again! With a private guide you can do that. Here's the excerpt:

Take2 Tours
Though I knew nothing about the company, I stuck with this recommendation by African Shark Eco-Charters. And I am glad I did! From my first email correspondence, which soon escalated into an assault from me on Take2’s inbox, I was impressed. In 18 months of contact, I made many tweaks, date changes, and alterations to my plans. All were accommodated graciously by owner, Wayne, with guidance and redirection bestowed when needed.

I ended up having Wayne book the hotels I chose (from choices recommended by African Shark Eco-Charters and Take 2) and get my Robben Island tickets. He made sure I had all the confirmation numbers, and provided copies on my arrival. He was especially helpful with Robben Island where there was a slight problem with the booking office and he alerted me to bring the credit card used to reserve the ticket.

Wayne was great in every respect and contributed in a huge way to my enjoyment of the Cape Town environs. His general knowledge of the area was immense and he knew the tricks and short cuts for what I wanted to do, such as hiking certain trails in the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve and dropping me off and picking me up in the best spots.

He made the time-saving and money-saving suggestion of having me do Robben Island on my own, my first morning in Cape Town, after checking out of the Waterfront Hotel and storing my bags at reception. Then he picked me up at the ferry dock, we retrieved the bags, had lunch, and began our Cape Town sight seeing that ended in Simons Town.

He had some good back up plans when last minute changes were needed. The cable car was not running on Table Mountain so instead we headed up Signal Mountain for nice views. The noontime canon blast on Signal Mountain represents the longest running daily cannon firing tradition in the world. Chapman’s Peak road was closed, so we went as far as we could and then headed to scenic Hout Bay.

Though I did not do a township tour, I ran into a family at the baboon walk who was raving about their recent township visit. They mentioned their guide named Wayne. When I inquired further, we discovered it was our very own Wayne of Take2 Tours!

Even with all he did for me, I believe I did not even really tap into Wayne’s forte. He could recommend what to order at various restaurants in and around Cape Town, from entrees to dessert. (I did follow some of this menu advice with great success.) He knew the wines and wineries, where to get the best croissants, what art galleries to go, which gift shops had the most unique book selections, the charms of each bay around Cape Town. For anyone with epicurean interests beyond, say, munching a sandwich and Ranch Doritos on the shark boat in the stench of Seal Island, Wayne would be a most valuable resource.

Wayne’s helpfulness and dedication can be seen in this example. On the day we went to Kirstenbosch Gardens, I came right off the shark boat to meet him at the dock. He arranged for me to change clothes in the restroom of a nearby restaurant, so I could remove some long underwear and other layers that I needed on the boat. We piled my extra clothes, including my waterproof socks and balaclava, in the back seat and we were off. After a lovely day at the gardens, Wayne drove back to Sea Spray. He gathered up the huge pile of clothing, which represented about four extra layers for top and bottom, with his one arm—my waterproof socks and balaclava dangling. He was on his cell phone with his other hand to Rikki Taxi or somebody on my behalf, as he schlepped my wardrobe down the steps to the entrance of Sea Spray. He truly had his hands full with helping to make every part of my Cape Town trip enjoyable.
atravelynn is offline  
Jul 14th, 2011, 10:48 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,056
You might contact Selwyn Davidowitz at I Love Cape Town -

Long time Fodorite and a real mensch.
Gardyloo is online now  
Jul 14th, 2011, 05:23 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 4
Wow! Sounds like I need to contact Wayne and set up some time with him as our guide! Could you provide me with his contact information?

Tim - we are planning to leave lunch one day at Le Petite Ferm when in Le Franschhoek so I'm glad you mentioned it as now I know it was a good choice!

Thank you all for the help. This has been great!

AtlantaTravelGirl04 is offline  
Jul 14th, 2011, 06:03 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Email: [email protected]
atravelynn is offline  
Jul 18th, 2011, 12:41 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2
I recommend going shark cage diving but there are so many things to do that it's definitely understandable if you don't have time for it. Here are a list of shark cage diving operators:
HS1234 is offline  

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