I'll hopefully keep this up to date as we go. For my benefit to remember what we've done and where we've gone and hopefully some small help to anyone reading this who is coming to South Africa....
First - big thanks to all contributers to this forum, especially DE's... your advice has been a great help.
Background - me (41) and the better half, D (37) from Manchester, UK. Two weeks in South Africa - Cape Town (5 nights), Port Elizabeth (1 night), Shamwari Game Reserve - Long Lee Manor (2 nights), Plettenberg Bay (2 nights), Hermanus (2 nights), Paarl (2 nights).
Arrived in Cape Town after a decent flight from London.... departed on time, arrive 30 mins early, BA were good (this time!)....
Picked up hire car... long queue at Europcar (and all the other car rental places)... staff nice and friendly though... got a brand spanking new Mercedes C180 auto... nice.
Drive into Cape Town was very easy. Some mad driving going on (not me!)... reminded me of Italy. Not a problem though... certainly helps that the sensible people of South Africa drive on the CORRECT side of the road ;)
Easily found the Madela Rhodes Place hotel. Checked in to huge 2 bedroom suite over looking the pool. Modern and new, but very nice and comfortable.
Drove to the V&A waterfront, stumbled into the Cape Grace car park. Nice man told us that we could park there if we "helped him out"... very convenient and 20 rand later it was all OK (now realise that we've being very generous with our car parking tips!).
V&A is huge... lots to see. Very pleasant to just wander around.
Back to the hotel and an hour by the pool as the sun went down.
I'd booked Fork for our evening meal - close to our hotel and thougt it was best to book for Saturday night. Restaurant was quiet when we go there, but was pretty fully by the time we left. Food was very nice and service excellent.
Up early the next day. Breakfast was good (outside by the pool). Weather was good, so over to the cable way and up to Table mountain. Views are stunning. I don't have the words to describe how beautiful it was, but it's a must for any trip to Cape Town (wind/weather permitting of course).
Drove along the coast back to the V&A Waterfront. More wandering around there before lunch at Belthazar. Very nice. Amazing wine list. Calamri and Escargot to start. Snails were as good (probably nicer) than anything we've had in France. Chicken kebab and bably kingklip form mains. Both good.
Back to the hotel for an hour or two by the pool. Couple of beers.
Snooze and showered and ready for something to eat. Nothing planned, but had spotted Haiku across the road from the hotel - "Asian Tapas"! - very very nice. 'Tapas' (like Fork the night before) is great, gives you the taste of lots of different dishes. Beef fillet cubes, scallopes, 'angry' duck and sizzling Ostrich were particularly good.
Worth mentioning at this point that the waiters at all restaurants have been very good, particuarly with their wine knowlege/recommendations.
Back to the hotel to another bottle of S.blanc (from WineSense - wine shop/restaurant at the hotel). Very nice.
Moving to the Pennisula tomorrow for our last 2 nights in Cape Town.
Cape Town is ridiculously stunning. Whilst being aware of the security/safety issues we haven't felt concerned about safety at any point. Everyone, without fail, has been incredibly friendly and genuine.
Apologies for any spelling/grammar mistakes (I'm 2 bottles worse for wear!).