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first time visit

In cooperation with: Cape Town Tourism
London
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first time visit

My wife and I are going on a cruise from Madagasgar to Mozambique and then all ports south, ending at Capetown during the first week of January 2006.

We have two days organised trips in and around Capetown but would like to stay on for another week or so. Any suggestions please where we should stay or go to see and perhaps take in a safari for a couple of days. We are both 60ish and fit and not looking for budget accomodation. I also love driving so a hire car would be great if necessary. What wardrobe would be required at this time of year.

Cape Town Central...
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1. Re: first time visit

carlton1,

seeing it's your first visit i suggest you stay at a waterfront hotel in or near cape town. very expensive though.

places worth visiting:

cape town and surrounds, which includes the cape town waterfront; franschoek in the boland with it's wine estates and rich history; hermanus; and much more. in johannesburg, stay near the mandela square sandton.

as far as your wardrobe is concerned: mostly summer weather that time of the year.

royboy

Stavanger, Norway
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2. Re: first time visit

Hi

Cape Town is one of my favourite places in the world and one of the most beautiful cities around. My wife and I have been there three times (my wife is South African) and we have enjoyed each stay. I have posted some information and some pictures in trip reports on my homepage http://gardkarlsen.com. Maybe you can find some useful information there :-)

Regards

Gard

Watford, UK
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367 posts
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3. Re: first time visit

You could take the train from Cape Town Central Station, or drive right the way down the coast to Simons Town and visit the penguin colony at Boulders Beach. The trip takes about an hour and passes some great coastal scenery. In fact, it is one of THE great urban journeys in the world. Simons Town itself is an intriguing little port with plenty going on.

On the way back, you could call in at Observatory which is a delightful and interesting hilltop suburb of the city with lots of characterful shops and cafes. If you are taking the train, try to avoid the rush hour...it can be a bit of a squash if you are standing, and can be like a cattle stampede at Salt River when hoardes of people get off.

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens are an absolute delight, set on the footslopes of the Table Mountain. They cover a mere speck of the earth's surface but contain more species of plants than you could find in Britain. On a summers day (as you will certainly have in January) they are great for a picnic.

A handy address:

Cape Town Tourism (tel 021 426 4260) www.cape-town.org

They are useful for lots of things.

Edinburgh, United...
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4. Re: first time visit

Two days is definitely not enough time to appreciate Cape Town and the Western Cape.

You must 'go up the mountain'; drive to Stellenbosch/Franschoek and have lunch in one of the wine estates. Not sure if anyone has mentioned Hemanus in other posts, but there's a lovely drive passing through Gordon's Bay on a day trip to Hermanus. I would say you definitely would need a car; organised tours are fine, but it's great to be able to stop off whenever you want to.

If you are looking for upmarket accommodation ie guest house etc - then look at Bantry Bay area. www.go2africa.com or www.capestay.co.za.

It's very convenient staying in accommodation at the V & A Waterfront, but it's expensive as another post said.

The City Lodge which is situated at the entrance to the V & A Waterfront is more of a businessman's hotel but plenty of holidaymakers make use of it. Their website is www.citylodge.co.za - the Group has hotels from the Courtyard right down to the budget Road Lodge.

The Group also has an auction site where you can bid for a room at up to 50% less than the normal rate - however, the auction is date specific and dates are only available from about a month before your check-in date and it may be a bit dicey to leave your booking until then as January is peak season.

Safari - I'm not aware of any game reserves in the Cape Town area - only in the Karoo (travelling north) which is about a four/five hour drive. You may want to stay in Cape Town for say four days and then travel along the Garden Route to the Wilderness/Knysna/Plettenberg Bay area. Beautiful scenery all along the route. It's about a five hour drive from Cape Town. The whole area is lovely.

Wardrobe - in January the weather in Cape Town is warm to hot so t-shirts and shorts for during the day and slacks and open neck shirt for evening and for ladies blouse, dress, cotton slacks.

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5. Re: first time visit

Hi there,

we will be in Cape Town from the 28th December-4th Jan we will be staying at Dunkley House, it has really good reviews, take a look at their website. I hope you enjoy your stay.

Dublin
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6. Re: first time visit

Unfortunately, the hotel rates are quite expensive in early January, the high season when the children are on their school holidays. If you really want to treat yourself, you might think about booking one of the rooms overlooking the fountain in the Mount Nelson Hotel. Another option is the Arabella Sheraton hotel (which is nearer the centre of Cape Town but which does not boast the lush sylvan gardens in which the Mount Nelson is situated). But, having stayed in the Arabella Sheraton in early January 2005, I can testify that their high season rates were much more competitive than those obtaining in the Mount Nelson, the Cape Grace and the Table Bay respectively (the top hotels in Cape Town).

Why not type Cape Town hotels into the tripadvisor search engine and make up your own minds as regards which would give you the best detail/most enjoyable package in early January 2006 ?

If you would like a leisurely weekend lunch in the Summer sunshine, think about booking a table at Constantia Uitsig Estate, just twenty-five minutes outside Cape Town. You can dine al fresco with the mountains of Cape Town as your backdrop. The food is exquisite and - washed down with the Utisig Estate wine - life takes on a rose coloured tinge in this place akin to paradise.