What to do and how long to do it in Cape Town


Aug 22nd, 2010, 06:26 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
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What to do and how long to do it in Cape Town

We have pretty much decided we are going to Cape Town around the first third of the month in November (still trying to determine which agonizingly long flights to pick although we are leaning toward DEN-ATL-JNB, spending the night in JNB then on to CPT the next morning. Hotel recommendations near airport at JNB from your personal experience would be welcome). We have selected a hotel in CPT in the Sea Point area but haven’t decided how long to book for. We hope to do all of the standard first time tourist things, would also like to include whale watching if whales are still available to watch then. There is a hotel called Misty Waves at Hermanus that sounds appealing. Anybody have personal experience here or other recommendations in the area?

My question is how long a period of time is reasonable for the following and what is the likelihood of whales still hanging around for us to see this late in the year? Also, have I missed something that we really MUST do? We’re probably interested in a photo safari if that sort of thing is offered in the CPT area but have no desire whatsoever to go camping out or spending more than one day on it.

Table Mountain
Robben Island
Kirstenbosch Gardens
Two Oceans Aquarium
South African Museum
Cape Point
Maybe or maybe not the winelands
Hal8999 is offline  
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Aug 26th, 2010, 02:30 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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When we visited it was Nov and instead of whale watching went shark cage diving (rather he went into the water, I took photos)... that was a full day up at Gansbaai (sp).

Next day to the Winelands which was wonderful.

Third day we planned entire day at Cape Point (do watch for the baboons and do not feed them) and Kirstenbach on return, but that morning looked out the window and joila... Table Mountain wasn't covered in clouds... which is often. Changed our plans somewhat and headed right over and left to Cape Point later. Why you can't plan a particular day for the mountain.

Robben Island - has to be prebooked, which we didn't but there was space. However, the waters were so rough... no way I was going out there (I'm not really a water person).

Can't comment on the aqaurium or museum, but gather half-day at each is fine.

If visiting CPT only, you can stretch this out to a week as there is lots else to see/visit, even a Garden Route drive up the coast. Otherwise, most visitors give themselves 3-4/full days.

For safari, I'd just fly from CPT thru JNB to Kruger, whether doing safari in the park proper or on the private reserves where there's a wide choice of accommodations at all budgets... allow at minimum 3/nts, but 4-5 is better.
sandi is offline  
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Aug 26th, 2010, 05:16 PM
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We did all on your list plus a day in the winelands in four days. Even if wine is not your thing, it's surprisingly beautiful. Go to Table Mt the first instant that it is clear. I always suggest to go to Robben Island timed so you come back at sunset. Cape Town is beautiful with the sunset and the lights coming on. Others say to go in the morning so you don't miss out if the weather changes. It's a beautiful city.

I would do a safari somewhere that luxury is as important as the wildlife in your situation. Since it's not your main reason to go, I'd go at the beginning of your trip. Fly to a lodge in Sabi Sands or Timbavati (it's NOT camping), stay for three days (it can be a life-changing experience, in a good way) and then spend the rest of your time in Cape Town.
christabir is offline  
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Sep 8th, 2010, 05:01 AM
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I'd second the winelands, if only for the scenery.

It's been some time since I went to the aquarium, but it was excellent, and I believe it has been enlarged since I last went.

Table Mountain - if energetic, you can get a cable car up, and walk down (90minutes to 2.5 hours depending on fitness) Wear decent footwear.

I always find one of my highlights to be the drive out from Seapoint, via Camps Bay, Hout Bay, Chapmans peak then on to Simon's Town and back up through Fishoek, Kalk Bay etc.
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