Request for info and guidance on Cape Town

Feb 10th, 2007, 11:00 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,034
Request for info and guidance on Cape Town

Hello all,

I am usually on the Europe or US Boards, but this board seems to be friendly and filled with many knowledgeable people as well! So, I am hoping for a little guidance and the answers to a few very amateurish questions.

I have a friend/client who just booked flights in and out of CPT for March 29-April 5. Her daughter just left to spend a semester studying at the University of Cape Town.

1.)The online maps I have found have been a little limited and I don't have a more detailed one yet - I don't have a good feel as to where the University is relative to other areas. Any recommendations on where to stay where she can be conveniently located to the University while still be in a nice area with restaurants and such? She is looking to spend moderately - maybe in the $100-150 range per night? How far is the university from the "central" tourist/downtown areas?

2.) I know I should know this, but what side of the road do people drive on? And, if they are planning to mostly stay around Cape Town, but perhaps take a couple of days outside of the city, do you recommend a car rental?

3.) She specifically mentioned that she was interested in the Garden Route - how long should one really allow for as a minimum amt of time?

Many thanks for helping to jump start this trip - she was widowed literally less than 2 weeks ago and wants to go down to be with her daughter - so, I'd really like to help her a bit extra.

Also, as South Africa/Botswana is my dream trip (number 1 on my wish list), maybe I can begin to educate myself for a future trip.

Many thanks for any assistance or information you can provide.

fun4all4 is offline  
Feb 10th, 2007, 12:32 PM
Join Date: May 2005
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contact selwyn at

he lives there and is a wealth of knowledge, and loves to help people with any questions. he also does tours which all who have traveled with him have nothing but good to say about him. i'm sure he can help with all your questions for your friend and perhaps arrange a tour for her and her daughter.
matnikstym is offline  
Feb 10th, 2007, 02:07 PM
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fun4all4 is offline  
Feb 10th, 2007, 02:42 PM
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Welcome to this board Fun4all4! Botswana is a good destination for you.

Question #2) Left
atravelynn is offline  
Feb 11th, 2007, 12:48 PM
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Hi Lynn,

I do think Botswana is a good destination for us .... But, what makes you think so?

How do I begin to narrow down which areas for South Africa/Botswana?

And, Back to my original question:

Where can I recommend to my friend/client to stay near the University which seems to be in the Southern Suburbs?

Thanks again!
fun4all4 is offline  
Feb 11th, 2007, 01:21 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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With regard to accommodation close to UCT please go look at the following guesthouses:

Banksia Boutique
Really good guesthouse that is well run by locals who truly care for their visitors. Wonderful building.

Medindi Manor

The above are two guesthouses that are relatively close to UCT. Their websites tell you all. Please note that having a car will be imperative for this part of your journey.

Hope this helps.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa

Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Feb 11th, 2007, 01:26 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
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UCT is on the mountainside above Newlands, Rondebosch, Mowbray & Observatory.

Staying in any of those suburbs would put her within fifteen - thirty minutes drive of the university.

All of the mentioned suburbs have great restaurants and pubs, which are supported by locals, so costs tend to be lower than the waterfront areas.

South Africans drive on the other side of the road with the steering wheel being on the other side of the car too. Right hand drive,. Yes to renting a car/.

Garden route can be driven over 48 hours, however to appreciate its beauty, she should try and spend a week between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.
mkhonzo is offline  
Feb 11th, 2007, 04:38 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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"Why is Botswana good?" It has outstanding game viewing in secluded, remote, wild locations. There is a huge diversity of habitat and species. You'll have great guiding and the accommodations are absolutely lovely. You can do a mobile safari that is extremely comfortable to reduce costs.

"Narrow areas for Botswana or South Africa?"
Budget is a big one. Botswana is an expensive destination, although the mobiles can reduce costs.

If you would like a balanced vacation of safari, city, vineyards, whale/shark viewing, history, scenery, penguins, then you may want to do South Africa. The South African parks are not in the midst of endless wilderness like Botswana and have more people in them, though many of the private reserves do an excellent job of limiting vehicles at a sighting.

Kruger allows for budget options and even self drives. The Sabi Sands, which are the private concessions next to Kruger, have some of the highest concentrations of wildlife anywhere. They offer the best chances of seeing the Big 5 in the least amount of time. The level of accommodations run the gamut there.

There are other areas besides Kruger & Sabi Sands in South Africa. Madikwe is malaria free, for example. Then, on the East coast is Phinda that has 7 habitats in one park, which serves as a cheetah sanctuary. You can do 7 different activities in a week at Phinda from village visits to rhino tracking on foot to plane safaris to watch for sea creatures, etc.

To find what country and activities are best for you, why don't you start a new thread that pertains to you. You can indicate what you hope to experience on your trip to Africa, how long you'd like to go, approximate budget if you know it, and when you would like to travel. The suggestions will start to pour in.
atravelynn is offline  
Feb 11th, 2007, 04:58 PM
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You all are the greatest! Many thanks for your great suggestions and direction. I am sure she will have a great trip - I may be back later in the week if she has any follow-up questions.

Lynn, as for me, South Africa/Botswana is still a dream trip and does not seem like it will be reality for at least a few more years. When the time comes, I will definitely be back to this board for planning! My husband and I travel with our teen boys - to do Africa the way I really want means waiting a bit. I love traveling and have a long and wonderful list of places yet to explore.

Again, many thanks for your friendly and helpful replies. Happy travels!
fun4all4 is offline  

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