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FriscoHeavy
Topic Author
Posts: 1791
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 4:31 pm

Your Thoughts on Vacationing in Cape Town, SA

Thu Mar 30, 2017 2:12 pm

Hello,

My wife and I are possibly interested in vacationing in Cape Town in the first half of 2018. Just wanted to get your thoughts on Cape Town and whether you recommend going there for vacation.

We'd probably spend somewhere between 7-10 days there with the following breakdown (roughly):

-2 to 3 Days in Cape Town itself
-2 to 3 Days of Winery Tours within an hour or so of Cape Town (would lodge in Cape Town and just make day trips).
-2 Days or so of Lodging at a Safari (I've seen 2 or 3 that look nice about 4-5 hours outside Cape Town).

Some General Questions:

1. Do you believe it's safe to Travel to Cape Town and to these locations outside the city?
2. Do you think there is enough to see and do in Cape Town itself to last 2-3 days?
3. What month would you recommend? We are thinking early May at this point.
4. If you've been, is it a place you would recommend going?

Your overall thoughts and anything else you can offer on Cape Town/South Africa are appreciated.


Thank you,
Whatever
 
masgniw
Posts: 559
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2015 6:14 pm

Re: Your Thoughts on Vacationing in Cape Town, SA

Thu Mar 30, 2017 5:58 pm

I spent a few months in and around Cape Town in 2009. Things certainly haven't stayed the same since, but here are my general thoughts.

1 - Yes. Cape Town has a rough reputation but is generally very safe. The only special thing I did was avoid public transit; I received many recommendations to avoid it. Typical street smarts will serve you well. I never once felt in danger no matter what time of day or night, whether alone or with others.
2 - Yes, plenty. There's amazing history (like Robben Island), natural beauty (like Table Mountain & Cape of Good Hope), and food & drink worth exploring.
3 - The weather in April was excellent. Early May should still be very comfortable too.
4 - Driving up the Garden Route was stunning. There are excellent wineries to the NE of Cape Town -- Stellenbosch is a good "gateway" from which to start. Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens are great. Try to see a cricket or rugby game, if you can -- we don't get exposure to much of it in the US.
 
TonyBurr
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Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2001 1:00 pm

Re: Your Thoughts on Vacationing in Cape Town, SA

Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:10 pm

I have been there several times and love it. There is a lot to see/do. A lot of South Africa is not really safe, you have to use your head. I agree to never use public transportation. As for a safari, the big places are in Kruger above Jo'burg. I would never turn down a trip to Cape Town.
 
Bostrom
Posts: 1027
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:11 pm

Re: Your Thoughts on Vacationing in Cape Town, SA

Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:33 pm

1. South Africa in general is not a safe place, but if you are aware of that you should probably be fine.

2. Without a doubt yes, you could easily spend a week or two there.

3. I would consider going a bit earlier in the year, even if autumn is a lovely season, Cape Town looks better in the summer.

4. Yes! "The Mother City" is one of the most beautiful cities in the world in my opinion. Robben Island and Table Mountain are the most obvious places to see, but there is more. Take a trip south along the coast and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Go whale watching in Hermanus (depending on the season) or visit the V&A Waterfront, and especially the Two oceans aquarium. And don't forget to try the food, South African cuisine is great. I also agree about Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden and cricket as well. And of course the wine districts (for two or three days of wine tours I would consider staying in Stellenbosch to cut down on travel time).
 
BuildingMyBento
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:18 am

Re: Your Thoughts on Vacationing in Cape Town, SA

Fri Mar 31, 2017 3:28 pm

Visiting Cape Town for the surrounding areas (Cape of Good Hope/Stellenbosch/Table Mountain/et al) makes it worth the trip.

The city itself was underwhelming to me, and walking down Long St. (one of downtown's main thoroughfares) never felt terribly safe. I actually had a more enjoyable time in downtown Johannesburg than Cape Town.
 
FriscoHeavy
Topic Author
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Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 4:31 pm

Re: Your Thoughts on Vacationing in Cape Town, SA

Fri Mar 31, 2017 3:48 pm

I appreciate the feedback everyone. It seems like the Cape Town area is a very scenic place to visit. I'm a little concerned about safety though based on your replies. We don't typically use public transport (usually use taxis), but we do like to just walk and wonder around the main parts of a city that are worth seeing, enjoy dining, etc. I'm a little nervous about being able to do that in/around CPT.

How safe is it going out to the wineries and out to the safaris, which can be anywhere from an hour to a 5 hour drive outside the city?

Thank you,
Whatever
 
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PITingres
Posts: 1318
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2007 1:59 am

Re: Your Thoughts on Vacationing in Cape Town, SA

Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:25 pm

I spent a week in Cape Town a couple months ago (work) and got around on foot most of the time. I felt entirely safe, even walking at night. This was mostly in the Green Point / Waterfront area. In the city center you need to be careful late at night but that's true here at home as well. I think I'd agree that the city center area isn't all that interesting. You just need to know which areas to avoid, and be aware of where you are. The unsafe areas are seriously unsafe, and it skews the statistics.

Definitely hike up Table Mountain, or take the cable car if you're not that much into walking. As far as I know it's no problem at all getting outside the city; just stick to the main roads and don't try to short-cut through one of the townships in the flats. Stay out of the Cape Flats and you avoid the great majority of the problem areas.

I definitely recommend visiting, and I wish I had had more free time there.
Fly, you fools! Fly!
 
Bostrom
Posts: 1027
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:11 pm

Re: Your Thoughts on Vacationing in Cape Town, SA

Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:27 pm

FriscoHeavy wrote:
I appreciate the feedback everyone. It seems like the Cape Town area is a very scenic place to visit. I'm a little concerned about safety though based on your replies. We don't typically use public transport (usually use taxis), but we do like to just walk and wonder around the main parts of a city that are worth seeing, enjoy dining, etc. I'm a little nervous about being able to do that in/around CPT.


Ask at the hotel/guest house or where you are staying, they can probably tell you which areas are safe and which areas are to be avoided.

FriscoHeavy wrote:
How safe is it going out to the wineries and out to the safaris, which can be anywhere from an hour to a 5 hour drive outside the city?


Probably very safe. As long as you keep a safe distance to the wild animals.
 
FriscoHeavy
Topic Author
Posts: 1791
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 4:31 pm

Re: Your Thoughts on Vacationing in Cape Town, SA

Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:00 pm

We'd probably stay (while in Cape Town) at a place such as the Westin. Would that be a nice and safe area to walk around?

As far as being out late, we early birds. After walking all day, you're lucky if we are up past 10:00 pm :)
Whatever

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