5 Days in South Africa (Cape Town)

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Hi all!

I’m planning a ~5-day trip to Cape Town in early February. I entered the process with a lot of hope: Vic Falls, CT, and Garden Route. Sadly after some reading and searching, my hopes have been quelled and I’ve resigned my aspirations to a more narrowly-focused CT trip. (Still super exciting, though, right?!)

My question to everyone: does anyone have a good 5-day itinerary for the area? I’m thinking a few days in CT and the surrounding area (i.e., the Winelands). I am all about hiking the Table Mountains one day. Do we really need a guide? I need at least one beach day. How “cold” is the ocean – is it even swimmable? I’d like to do some adventurey things. I’d be up for day trips from CT, if there is anything a day away that is fun. I’m open to suggestions from people with experience.

Any thoughts?

Thanks so much guys! :D

Nate Micon 20/12/13    General travel chatSouth Africa Link Report

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In and around Cape Town I always suggest seeing all or some of the following:

(1) Table Mountain. You can walk up (allow at least 3 hours for this and make sure you know the route) and take the cable-car down. If you don’t have time or aren’t fit enough, take the cable-car up and down.

(2) Robben Island.

(3) Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.

(4) The train trip from Cape Town to Simon’s Town. The section from Muizenberg to Simon’s Town is right next to the sea and very scenic. From July to November there is a very good chance you’ll spot whales in False Bay. You can get a “hop on hop off” tourist ticket that allows you to get on and off the train as many times as you like after 09h30. I suggest getting off at Claremont (if you like shopping ; Cavendish Square is 5 minutes walk from the station), Muizenberg (a great beach for swimming or surfing), Kalk Bay (lots of restaurants and eclectic shops), Fish Hoek (a very safe beach for children) or Glencairn (another beach, with a great tidal pool for toddlers). From Simon’s Town station it is a 10-15 minute walk to the village where there are shops, restaurants and a mini waterfront. From there it is about 3 kilometres to Boulders Beach – an easy walk if you’re up to it ; there are shared taxis that regularly ply the route from the station to Simon’s Town to Boulders. There is a also nice beach at Simon’s Town station.

(5) Boulders Beach (part of Table Mountain National Park). There is a resident colony of African penguins there – you will be able to see them from a distance of a couple of metres. See (4) above.

(6) Cape Point (part of Table Mountain National Park).

(7) The District 6 Museum.

(8) The scenic drive down the west coast of the peninsula, via Clifton, Camps Bay, Llandudno, Hout Bay, over Chapman’s Peak drive to Noordhoek, Kommetjie, Misty Cliffs, Scarborough, Cape Point and Simon’s Town. Hout Bay to Noordhoek is only viable if Chapman’s Peak drive is open – it is currently open but sometimes it is closed due to rockfalls (mostly during heavy rain, July-August).

(9) The winelands around Stellenbosch are worth a day trip. You can get to Stellenbosch by train easily but for the wine farms you’ll need a car.

In terms of swimming, the water on the western side of the peninsula (eg. Camps Bay, Clifton) is icy, ICY cold all year round. On the eastern side (False Bay) it is much warmer and pleasant to swim in, particularly in February which is the best time of year weather-wise. There are great swimming beaches at Muizenberg, St James, Fish Hoek, Glencairn and Simon’s Town, all of which are easily accessible by train from the city centre – the train line runs right next to the sea (see point (4)).

Enjoy.

TravelBandit 03/01/14    Link Report

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