Suggestions for Cape Town and the Western Cape

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Sep 26th, 2005, 09:06 AM
  #1
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Suggestions for Cape Town and the Western Cape

We have the opportunity to go to South Africa for 11 days this November. We are thinking of spending 3 days in Cape Town and the rest exploring the Western Cape by car. I am initially fishing for any suggestions for accommodation (all prices) and places we should see. How far could we explore with the time we have? Thanks for any feedback in advance.
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Sep 26th, 2005, 09:52 AM
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As far as a place to stay is concered, we stayed at the Portswood Hotel right by the Victoria and Alfred waterfront and loved it. The staff was wonderful - very accommodating and friendly. The room was quite nice - nothing super fancy, but clean and very comfortable. I think the price is pretty reasonable. We booked everything as a package through a travel agent, so I don't know what any of the individual things cost. The only thing I would do differently as far as Cape Town is concerned is to spend an extra day. We only had two days and it was not enough. We did a full day tour of the Cape Peninsula one day and went diving with great white sharks on the other day. That took care of all of our time so we never got up Table Mountain (of course it was cloud covered the whole time we were there). I also would have liked to get out into one of the township areas and visited Robbin Island, but we just ran out of time to do everything. Guess we'll just have to go back !
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Sep 26th, 2005, 11:36 AM
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November is a good time of year to visit Cape Town because you'll avoid the summer rush.

3 days is minimal if you want to experience Cape Town. For good local beaches try Clifton or Camps Bay - or Blouberg for warmer seas. Good options are Table Mountain, the Waterfront, Robben Island, the Winelands, Simonstown - Cape Point. All types of accommodation available, depends on where you want to be. I recommend guest houses or self catering.

If you've no time to get out to the Winelands, there is Groot Constantia wine farm about 15km from the city and Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
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Sep 26th, 2005, 11:53 AM
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Kensington Place Hotel - you can see photos on Eyesonafrica.net

Wine country is great

Also the Langebaan lagoon and the lovely fishing village of Paternoster.
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Sep 26th, 2005, 02:20 PM
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The penguin colony in Simons Town is a lot of fun and certainly worth a detour. I stayed at the Boulders Beach Inn in Simons Town (adjacent to the penguin area), but unfortunately I cannot really recommend the accommodations. (It was easily the least welcoming place I stopped in 10 days in S. Africa.)

If you're looking for a good place to splurge, I found the 12 Apostles to be a terrific place to stay. The staff were uniformly helpful and gracious, and the service and food at the restaurants were superb. There are surely other places to stay if you're on a budget, but the Apostles ranks with some of the better hotels you'll find.
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Sep 26th, 2005, 02:34 PM
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Hello,

If you prefer smaller boutique hotels and guesthouses to larger hotels (or need to save a little money) take a look at www.portfoliocollection.com -- there are a huge number of choices for Cape Town, in all price ranges. You'll be surprised how much you can get for your money.

Will you have a car in Cape Town? If so, you can stay pretty much anywhere. If you won't have a car, you probably don't want to stay on the coast or in the southern suburbs (Constantia, etc) as you can't really get to/from the city centre without a car -- centrally located areas like Gardens, Tamboerskloof, and Oranjezicht would be a better option.

Cheers,
Julian
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Sep 27th, 2005, 04:08 AM
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Wow, not many tourists to SA have the pleasure of 8 nights to free wheel around the Cape.

Should I be in your position I would take the car and do a circuit that travels up the west coast through the cederburg mountains across the karoo and back to Cape town via the garden route.

The key areas that i'd explore are as follows:
West Coast. Langebaan, travel around to the west side of the lagoon for a day, pass through churchhaven, picnic at preekstool, walk the rocks at kreefde baai.
Return passing through the west coast national park.
Head up to Paternoster and Saldahna, have lunch at paternoster hotel, best priced lobster anywhere.

Then go north, stop in piketberg. head up through the mountain passes into ceres, possibly up to clan william. Some choices here. I would suggest continue over the pakhuis pass ending up at Bushmans Kloof. $$$ a.k.a wallet buster, spend a night or two with them, check out the bushman art.

Continue through heading east to the karoo, beaufort west and on to Knysna via the outeniqua pass. en route spend some time looking at the culture and geography of oudtshoorn.

Drive knysna to natures valley, turn around and head back to Cape Town via wilderness, mossel baai and hermanus, take the coastal roads where possible.

That all said, you will need to decide where to stop and how much time to spend in each area. I will be happy to work through this with you. Also many of the B&B's on this route are inexpensive, run by locals who by their nature are generous and hospitable.

Hope that helps
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Sep 27th, 2005, 04:11 AM
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Thanks some good starting points for my research. We won’t have a car in Cape Town. We like small guest houses and the like so some good suggestions. Undecided whether to just stick to the coast or travel in land or both! I have been told that the hill country is excellent. We are also interested in exploring the wine country, so as lot to work out. I suppose the best thing to do is to get a map and start plotting where we can get in a day.
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