I'm traveling to Cape Town in November, and dedicated advance planner that I am, I've assembled a general itinerary based on what I've read in a variety of guidebooks and here on Tripadvisor. I'd like to ask for any feedback on its practicability or if you think I might want to consider modifying it here or there, based on some of my travel likes/dislikes which I'll mention before I get into the itinerary.
I'll be traveling solo, and I'll be flying from Los Angeles (via London). I'm going to spend a day or two in London at either end of the Cape Town visit, as I can't/won't sleep on planes (the "won't" was recently solidified after a friend experienced deep vein thrombosis on a trip home from India). I'm looking forward to reacquainting myself with the British Museum and the National Gallery. Those institutions will make up for having to deal with LHR (my least-favorite international airport). I enjoy walking tours, guided minivan tours, and good food & wine (but not too upscale; I'm a jeans and t-shirt -- or collared shirt -- kind of guy). Car hire is out -- I dislike driving at home as it is. I am confident that driving a car in a foreign country *and* driving on the left would do me in. I'm a photo enthusiast, with an interest in architecture, floral photography, and informal portraits. I plan to leave my nice camera in the hotel safe when not on an organized minivan tour. (Basically, I'm approaching the safety issue as I did when visiting Rio de Janeiro a few years ago. I had a fantastic, crime-free visit.)
Day 1/Fri: Arrive Cape Town late morning. Pre-booked airport transfer to hotel. I'm looking at hotels (or even apartments) at or very near the Waterfront in order to minimize dependence on taxis and to allow me to walk safely (or relatively safely) between my lodging and cafes/restaurants. It'll be a splurge, obviously, but I'm willing to spend the extra money there than on taxis.
Day 2/Sat: City Sightseeing Red City Tour. I want to take advantage of the 2-day pass and catch the Blue City Tour on Sunday (see below). Since the City Bowl is pretty deserted on weekends, perhaps I ought to move my city tours to two weekdays?
Day 3/Sun: City Sightseeing Blue City Tour. I'm *really* looking forward to visiting Groot and Beau Constantia and Eagles' Nest.
Day 4/Mon: Based on so many enthusiastic reviews of Cape Convoy, I thought I'd take a full day Cape Point tour with them. I'm most looking forward to the scenery and the African penguins at Boulders on this one.
Day 5/Tue: Daytrippers Winelands Tour #2. (This is the one that includes bicycling between wineries -- I took my first bicycle tours while in Paris last year, and I l-o-v-e-d seeing the city on two wheels.)
Day 6/Wed: A day to relax or take another company's tour to the Winelands. The Daytrippers tour hits Augusta, Mont Rochelle, and Spier wineries -- is there another company that takes visitors to other wineries?
Day 7/Thu: Wanderlust's "Cape Town on Foot Walking Tour." This will get me into the City Bowl to get a look at some historic architecture in a small group rather than solo.
Day 8/Fri: Depart on evening flight to London. I'm thinking about perhaps arranging a VERY late check-out from the hotel so I can rest up before the long flight.
Originally, I'd budgeted time for Robben Island, but I'm torn on that now. I've read very good arguments here, pro and con, and I have to admit, I'm leaning con. It reads like the tour is rather rushed, and not nearly as fulfilling an experience as it could/should be.
Thank you in advance for any advice you care to offer!