Non driver in South Africa :o(

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Jun 18th, 2001, 09:43 PM
  #1
brandi
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Non driver in South Africa :o(

OK! Title says it all...interested in travelling to Africa but I'm a non driver. I'd like Egypt (already booked that cruise, friends in Cairo, etc.), Morrocco (Almost Famous thing) and South Africa.

Those last two might be a bit hard to get around so I'm wondering what to do in C'Town, when to go, how to get to the game parks without a car, etc.

C'Town: any New Year's packages or festivals there?

Hotels in C'Town? Places to avoid? Food to avoid so the Revenge doesn't visit?

Any helpers?

Thank you!
 
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Jun 20th, 2001, 08:23 AM
  #2
Manu
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Hi Brandi

Cape Town is a beautiful city (and perhaps one of the most beautiful in the world) and in spring/autumn it truly shines (less tourists too). If you are serious about 1st world amenities, the outdoors life (beach/mountain/hiking/abseiling/etc) and wine, Cape Town is for you.

Getting around is difficult if you aren't a driver. There are 4 methods of road transport:

1. Hotel "tour" minibuses
2. City buses (doesn't take you everywhere and, but is safe)
3. The local "taxis" (essentially minibuses and the main transport of choice for the local population. However, it is very unsafe before 8 a.m. and after 4:30 p.m..) which will take you to most places. It is unadviceable to travel alone to
4. Trains ... not a good idea.

During the year the best time to go is around the late March to late April time OR the late September to early November. Cape Town is a rainy and windy city and can get quite uncomfortable in the middle of summer (too many tourists and unpredictable weather ... late November to late February). Winter on the other hand is also highly unpleasant (cold and very rainy ... mid May to early September).

The best party time is New Year's eve. Height of summer and the crowds and tourists are on the street. Things can be very expensive (for South Africans at that time).

Cape Town is filled with hotels, "bed & Breakfasts" (people open their houses to visitors, charge a fee and include breakfast in the deal ... ideal for someone on budget); the "Backpackers" lodge ... (they have a site on the internet). A good thing would be to search for deals, etc. on the South African web search engine "http://www.ananzi.co.za".

Food in Cape Town is generally safe. McDonalds, etc.. are available everywhere. Whatever the situation, try avoid travelling ANYWHERE in South Africa after the sun sets. Security is a serious issue and violence against anyone (women especially) is prevalent.

Well good luck and hope you come to our (well my former) mother city.

 
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Jun 20th, 2001, 10:27 PM
  #3
local
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Brandi

Cape Town is thé tourist city of SA with plenty to do! October and February are nice months to visit as there are much less tourists. Dec/Jan are the tourist months with many people and everything more expensive.

There are many tour operators in Cape Town that have one day tours in and around the city. See www.southafrica.net for more info - click to the "cities" page - there are a number of websites for Cape Town. Ask them to send you some info. See www.aatravel.co.za for accommodation.

What to do? How much time do you have as there are lots to see! If time is a problem (and depending on your interests), I would suggest the following:

A trip up Table Mountain with the cable car - also by night - can get there by bus/taxi
A visit to Robben Island - where Nelson Mandela was held in jail (leaves from Waterfront)
A visit to the V&A Waterfront - nice shops and restaurants (get there by bus/taxi)
At least one tour to the wine farms around Stellenbosch/Paarl
A visit to Kirstenbosch botanical garden
A visit to the Castle - the oldest building in SA
There are not any game parks of note in and around Cape Town.

Cape Town is well known for its good restaurants and food and you do not have to go to MacDonalds to get a good meal. (Many restaurants at Waterfront)

The Cape Minstrels (sp?) have a parade in Cape Town on the 2nd of Jan - stunning costumes and local music.

And yes, crime is an issue - especially after dark - so if you are alone, that is a good time to plan the following day's trip.

Enjoy one of the most beautiful cities in the world!!
 
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