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Critique my 6 day Capetown Itinerary

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Critique my 6 day Capetown Itinerary

Hi, Id love to get any and all suggestions about our itinerary. We'll be in Cape Town for 6 days at the end of April and we'll be flying in and out of the Cape Town airport.

3 Days in Cape Town

1- Robben island (1/2 day)

2- Hop on hop off bus in Cape town ( 1 day)

-Table mountain

-Penguins at Boulders Beach

-Cape Point/Cape of Good Hope

3-Shark Diving in False Bay (I heard for this time of the year this is where I could get the best viewing)- 1 day?

Garden Route Knysna & Plettenberg Bay - 3 days

I dont know how long it will actually take to get in Knysna, but would anyone suggest b/c of our limited time to go straight there and not stop anywhere else in the Garden Route except Plettenberg Bay?

Lastly, Ive been reading that the most central location in town is the waterfront area is this correct and should we NOT rent a car while were in Cape Town but rent one to go to Knysna &

Plettenberg Bay ?

Thank you in advance for your help,

johanna

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1. Re: Critique my 6 day Capetown Itinerary

Hi , My must do's for CT would be in order - Table Mountain , round trip of Peninsula to Cape Point (which would include the pengiuns at boulders), CT open top bus tour , Winelands. Personally I found the shark diving to be a big let down. It is best to rent a car in CT and then drive to Knysna (about 6 hours). The R62 route is slightly longer but much more scenic. You can stay in either Knysna or Plettenberg Bay as they are about 30 mins apart and do all the local attractions from 1 base

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2. Re: Critique my 6 day Capetown Itinerary

I agree with RobC. One day could be used for Robben Island and perhaps some shopping. A full day is needed for the tour of the Peninsula (going in a clockwise manner), which includes the penguins and Cape Point. Another day could be Table Mountain plus then using the HOHO bus to explore the Cape Town Area. The wine country is certainly beautiful. Regarding the Garden Route, staying in Knysna and using it as your base makes sense to me.

I'd go ahead and rent a car at the CT airport and keep it for the duration. You'd be paying for a transfer from the airport into town anyway and the car is needed for the Peninsula trip and wine country if you decide to do a day trip there. Just do a bit of checking around to get a decent rental price. Sites such as autoeurope.com, www.holidayautos.co.uk or www.carhire3000.com are good places to look.

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3. Re: Critique my 6 day Capetown Itinerary

I just want to confirm something. Are you spending three nights in Knysna/Plett? If so then this is JUST enough time but if you are thinking of spending 2 nights there, i would reconsider. it is just not enough time.

Mark September

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4. Re: Critique my 6 day Capetown Itinerary

Hi Johanna

If you only have six days, I would very seriously suggest that you give the "Garden Route" trip to Knysna and Plett a miss and base yourself in or around Cape Town for the whole six days. There is so much to see here and three days is just not enough. The Garden Route is a bit of a misnomer as there are no Gardens. It is forest and mountain scenery of which there is also plenty close to Cape Town. You then have to drive one day in each direction to get there. So only one day there and , as Mark points out, that is not enough. I see you havn't mentioned the Winelands which is only an hour or so out from Cape Town. Even if you don't drink wine, this is one of the loveliest areas of South Africa with mountains and fertile valleys as well as very historic towns such as Stellenbosch which date back to the late 1600s. Apart from the convenience - for a first visit I would reccommednd spending a day or two here in preference to the "Garden Route". You can do this either by staying in the area (Stellenbosch or Franschhoek) or visiting on day drives from a Cape Town base.

IMO six days is just about right for a first trip to Cape Town. I would mix that 3 days in and around the city and three days driving out in different directions. I very strongly agree with Steve's suggestion, rent your car for the whole time, airport to airport. The places you want to go to are very spread out and Cape Town has virtually no public transport relevant to tourists. This is not only cheaper but gives you much more flexibility. The end of April is into autumn and the weather can be a bit unpredicatable. Hopefully some sunny days but a chance also of a bit colder and rain. As I say this is totally unpredictable and can be very localised. So you need to be able to make your decisions where to go on a day to day (even hour to hour) basis. Doing lots of fixed booking in advance is not a good idea. For example if Table Mountain is clear - go up - no mater hat else you had planned. That might be your only opportunity!

Looking at your suggestions one more thing. The HOHO bus only goes in two loops around the main city areas. It doesn't go to Boulders Beach or Cape Point which is around 40 miles away. You need to do this as a separate drive. Depending on the timing of your Shark Cage dive (which would leave from Simon's Town) you could fit this in one the same day. But remember the Shark Diving, as well as Table Mountain and Robben Island, are weather dependent - so again you should plan to be flexible.

To be central for the whole range of things that you want to do - city things plus trips out around the peninsula, the Winelands and False Bay. I would not stay at the Waterfront. This is anyway possibly a bit too touristy. I would look at areas in the City Bowl such as Tamboerskloof or Oranjezicht - excellent neighbourhoods with good restaurants and very good luxurious guesthoses and small hotels. You may also also want to look at an appartment or cottage in the "trendy" area of De waterkant. Often good to have your own space for 5 or 6 days.

Alternatively with a car you could stay out of the city centre, either along the Atlantic Seaboard down to Camps Bay or Hout Bay (10-20 mins drive) or in quieter suburbs such as Constantia - 15 mins out of the city and already in amongst the vineyards.

So a few more ideas. Post back again and hopefully you can firm things up. The good news is that the end of April is already low season in most places. Apart from lower prices it means that most places will be available on pretty short notice so you still have time.

Edited: 24 March 2010, 09:06
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5. Re: Critique my 6 day Capetown Itinerary

I agree with VDEC in everything that he has said EXCEPT I personally would stay in the centre of Cape Town such as either the Waterfront, or Sea Point or Camps Bay, or de Waterkant. I wouldnt stay in Constantia which again is more like 25min away. VdeC havnt you noticed lately that the traffic AND the drivers are horrendous. Its taking forever to get wherever you want to go because of all the roadworks. But definitely NO gardenroute this time. Time is too short.

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6. Re: Critique my 6 day Capetown Itinerary

Agree with above but please also note the Hop on Hop off bus doesn't stop at Cape Point or Boulder's. Garden ROute is doable but rushed. Agree to better enjoy the Cape more. Do the often marketed "Big 6": Robben Island (book beforehand) + V&A Waterfront, Kirstenbosch (all on hop on bus route) and winelands, Cape Point and Table Mountain (other route of hop on than Kirstenbosch). Drive a bit along the West Coast, take a photo of Table Mountain from Blouberg/Melkbosstrand and on another day go to Betty's Bay (with a bigger and lesser known penguin colony + great botanuical garden). Areas in town you can look for are: Gardens, Tamboerskloof, Green & Sea Point (Atlantic Seaboard) and of course the more general description "City Bowl".... Loooots of accommodation here from hotels to self-catering, so it's definitely false most acco is in the Waterfront! Hope that helps.

Cheers,

Ronald

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7. Re: Critique my 6 day Capetown Itinerary

Hi WFB

Just really want to agree with all the other posters re just staying in Cape Town. You will easily fill your time there. The Garden Route is spectacular, but a very long drive to get there and back. I also agree with Diva, you look pretty young from your photo, so I would definitely stay in the City Centre. This means you can walk to the Waterfront, city centre tourist spots, short taxi ride to some excellent restaurant. I have just booked a self catering town house in de Waterkant for Novemebr. Stayed in this area acouple of years ago and loved the "village" feel. Have a look at www.capetownvillas.co.uk, they have apartments all over the city. I have just got a low season price for November, so negotiations are definitely doable.

I would consider a couple of nights in the winelands - you are then close to some excellent restaurants. As VDC has said, even if you are not that into wine, the scenery is stunning and would give you a contrast between the coast and mountains.

Hope this helps

Lisa

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8. Re: Critique my 6 day Capetown Itinerary

Thank you to all you generous people who have weighed in with your suggestions. First of all I thought I only had 6 days but I actually have 7 days.

Im in such conundrum, because NY is such a long way from South Africa, Im quite sure itll be quite awhile before my next trip back. So although

I dont want to feel like Im running around I do feel compelled to see the most I can.

Does an extra day change anyones opinion about doing the Garden Route, thus I would spend 4 days in C.T and 3 days on the Garden Route.

IIve heard so much about the Garden Route but would it be worth it? We would solely go to Knysna + Plet. My aversion to the winelands is I dont drink

anymore so I would only see the winelands from afar is it worth it if Im not entering any of the facilities?

Also to Van_de_Caab's suggestion, of looking the City Bowl such as Tamboerskloof or Oranjezicht Ive some really nice, yet reasonable guesthouses, is this area considered close to the city center?

Thank You,

Johanna

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9. Re: Critique my 6 day Capetown Itinerary

Hi Johanna,

Oranjezicht en TBK are good choices: walking distance from town (although could be hilly on way back but meter taxis are affordable). Both areas are safe, quiet and close to city and restaurants.

Cheers

Ronald

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10. Re: Critique my 6 day Capetown Itinerary

Johanna - its still too long to do the garden route. It takes you between 5-6 hours just to get there and 5-6 hours to get back. That's 2 days out of your 3 days so to schlepp all that way for 1 day - definitely leave it out. You dont have to do the "winelands" as such. You can visit Stellenbosch (the town) and Franschoek - the town which is beautiful and walk around and have lunch and do some sight seeing. You can do both on one day if you leave early and you dont need to taste any wine.