We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Back from Cape Town

Which Cape Town hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Cumbria, UK
Level Contributor
1,513 posts
132 reviews
Save Topic
Back from Cape Town

We’re back from our 3.5 week honeymoon 2.5 weeks of which was spent in South Africa starting in Cape Town. Wanted to say thanks to the forum for all the help in planning our trip to Cape Town. We absolutely loved Cape Town and have fallen in love with South Africa.

We stayed in the Blackheath Lodge in Sea Point, the location was great, plenty on your doorstep and easy access to the rest of Cape Town. I really liked the V&A waterfront but we’re glad we didn’t stay there as it appeared more expensive than elsewhere in Cape Town. We were in CT for 5 days in total, you could easily spend longer but it was a nice amount of time to see what we considered the main sights. We used the Hop on Hop off bus for the first couple of days until we got our bearings and picked up our hire car.

We love to dine out and what really surprised me about Cape Town and SA in general was the relative inexpensive cost of eating out compared to the UK. £50-£60 easily bought us a 3 course meal with drinks and a bottle of wine (sometimes 2!) in a high end restaurant. The quality was on a par or better with anywhere else we’ve been in the world.

I’m glad we didn’t buy into all the negative opinions about safety in CT and SA and now having been these are surely the opinions of people who have never been! I felt as safe if not safer than I would walking around cities back home and like cities back home there are places you probably shouldn’t stray to. Just use some common sense and you’ll be fine.

We went to Newlands to see a Stormers game which was a highlight for me ;-) The city is really cosmopolitan, and everywhere you go in the city you have the awesome back drop of Table Mountain. I would go out jogging in the morning on various routes and never got tired of the views. We spent an afternoon in Camps Bay which is also set to the back drop of stunning scenery and the short drive on the cost between the two was spectacular. SA is a place of contrasts, I’ve never been anywhere with such wealth on one hand and poverty yet people from all walks of life I found universally friendly and welcoming.

We carried on to the winelands, drove the Garden Route before flying up to Kruger for a safari then on to Mauritius. Next time I’d like to start or end in Cape Town but see the East Coast next time too, and come in the South African Summer or later spring/early autumn so we can also have some chill out time without leaving SA (didn’t really rate Mauritius). The weather in CT was shall we say changeable but we generally had good weather-when we thought about it was the equivalent of being in the northern hemisphere in late November so with that in mind it was great! With it being late Autumn/Winter we found the tourist attractions were really quiet across the country which was a big bonus.

In recent years we really like to spend our holidays exploring on a self drive basis and spent several weeks in the US which was our favourite holiday destination until we visited SA, it’s very easy to get around and within a relatively small area you have such varied scenery-essentially the world in one country I found.

Can’t wait to come back. Will hopefully hang around the forum and if anyone has any questions feel free to ask, what we did was pretty standard of people visiting SA but can recommend hotels etc.

1. Re: Back from Cape Town

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

TripAdvisor staff removed this post because it did not meet TripAdvisor's forum posting guidelines with prohibiting self-promotional advertising or solicitation.

We ask all of our members to keep their forum messages free of self-promoting advertisements or solicitation of any kind - members affiliated with any tourism-related business should not include commercial contact information or URLs in their forum messages.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 18 June 2012, 17:48
Cumbria, UK
Level Contributor
1,513 posts
132 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Back from Cape Town

Thanks Colin,

I thought it was worth mentioning the safety as it came up time and time on the CT forum while we were planning our trip and after we'd booked to come. We didn't get caught up in this but it is unfortuante to think it might put people off visiting or that people may be on edge when they arrive due to all the negativity surrounding safety.

london
Level Contributor
432 posts
28 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Back from Cape Town

Hi Benjii

I glad you had a great time.

I am looking at going in January and thinking about an itinearie in for the cape town area places to stay and visit etc, also what is the cost of living etc is it less expensive than the states.

Your feedback, expirience and suggestions would be welcome

Portland, OR
Level Contributor
13 posts
20 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Back from Cape Town

Thanks for the trip report, glad you had a great time! I'm planning a visit in February that will include CT and the garden route, I'd be interested in hearing more about where (what towns)you stopped along the GR and where you stayed. Thanks!

Fordingbridge...
Level Contributor
2,019 posts
178 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Back from Cape Town

Welcome to the group of people suffering from "Mal d' Afrique". I caught the disease 15 years ago.

October is a fabulous month as it's spring, as is March when it's still summer. Both are fairly quiet being off the rump of the tourist season, particularly these days with the European recession causing a drop in visitors.

Better start planning your next trip.

Cumbria, UK
Level Contributor
1,513 posts
132 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Back from Cape Town

Happy to help with specific questions, PM my inbox if anyone wants more specific answers.

nbhwarrior I found it exceptionally good value for money for dinning/drinking out. We ate at some high end places and you’d really struggle to find anything on the menu for more than 130-150 ZAR for a main course. It is much cheaper than both back home and the states. We went to a private game reserve in Sabi Sands and I expected drinks to be expensive a bottle of Peroni was 180 ZAR so around £1.50 and the local stuff even cheaper. We had a rate of around 13ZAR:£ when we were there which seems the highest it’s been for the last 6 months or so.

I’ve wrote individual reviews of the places we stayed but our Garden Route itinerary briefly comprised of:

4 nts CT

2 Nights Franschhoek

1 Night Gansbaai (Shark cage dive)

2 Nights Oudtshoorn

2 Nights Plettenburg Bay

Then from Port Elizabeth flew north.

3 Nights Hazyview

4 Nights Sabi Sands at Elephant plains.

If I were to do it again I’d knock Gansbaai on the head unless it was prime whale watching season, there really isn‘t much there, Hermanus had much more going on it seemed. Shark cage diving is something I really wanted to do but it meant going out of the way a bit and compromising our stay in the winelands by a night. We specifically chose a company who said they started later in the morning to give us time then changed it to an earlier start the day before which meant getting up at 0430hrs to get ready and on the road. It was the only thing in SA I found over priced for what it was, a few hours out on a boat but about £150 a head then they wanted £25 for a DVD. They obviously charge the going rate/what the market will stand.

Oudtshoorn is a very interesting place and the scenery is very different to the costal regions.

Franschhoek was beautiful, I could easily spend more time there great destination for foodies and those who like their wine.

Drive down to Plett was great there are several choices of places/towns to stay but often for us it was trying to balance driving times etc.

Milwaukee, WI
Level Contributor
113 posts
32 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Back from Cape Town

Benjii - thanks for your post. I'll be in CT in August - can't wait! Any recommendations on restaurants?

Newbury, United...
Level Contributor
250 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Back from Cape Town

Hi Benji, Thank you for your trip report, so pleased you had such a great time. It's an incredible country, so many different things to see and do, and great food and wine.

Since our retirement we have spent a couple of months each year in South Africa during the English winter, we base ourselves in Cape Town but visit other parts of the country, and are planning our 12th trip for next January. It definitely gets under your skin.

Newbury, United...
Level Contributor
250 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: Back from Cape Town

Hi Benji, Thank you for your trip report, so pleased you had such a great time. It's an incredible country, so many different things to see and do, and great food and wine.

Since our retirement we have spent a couple of months each year in South Africa during the English winter, we base ourselves in Cape Town but visit other parts of the country, and are planning our 12th trip for next January. It definitely gets under your skin.

Leigh-on Sea...
Level Contributor
3,527 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Back from Cape Town

nbhwarrior,

I cannot comment on the cost of living compared with USA but I do find SA to be an expensive holiday destination compared with the Far East, Caribbean, Cuba for example.

Activites and eating out are much cheaper than the UK and the food and service if of a much beeter standard in my opinion. Petrol is also cheaper.

What makes it expensive is the air fare and accomodation. We paid £606 for a month air ticket to Vietnam via HOng KOng compared with £864 to London to CT and out of PE with SAA. Although the guesthouses in SA are great we paid between £120-£150 in January , for that sort of money elsewhere you would get pools, tropical gardens, direct acces to the beach, several bars and restaraunts etc. Also public transport is not what we are used to in Europe or geared to the tourist as it is in the Far East, so car rental is recommended to really appreciate SA.

We spent the same amount for a month in Vietnam, and the year before a month in Cambodia and Thailand, as a 2 week stay in SA.

Having said all that, I am already planning a return trip as we had a fabulous time.