Where to Stay - South Africa

Cape Town Itinerary, Western Cape

Just a few ideas for your trip to Cape Town - hope you can manage to fit them all in

Cape Town Accommodation

Cape Town in South Africa must be on so many peoples bucket list and with all the publicity that the country received after hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2010 it has probably been added to many more. Cape Town is a vibrant city which has changed much in the last 25 years and particularly in the last few years with a lot of money injected into certain areas to regenerate them. My advice to visitors to Cape Town is to try and do as much research as possible before you arrive.

There are a number of attractions in the area and fitting them all in to what is probably a few days requires some planning.  Some of the key attractions in Cape Town include the V&A Waterfront, Robben Island, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Table Mountain, Cape Point, Camps Bay and Clifton Area, Cape Quarter, Chapmanís Peak Drive and only 1 hour drive away the Cape Winelands. Some of the things to bear in mind with these attractions are the distance to travel, the weather and pre-booking tickets. For instance, if you are aiming to visit Robben Island then you will need to pre-book your tickets which you can do quite easily online. Tickets for the trips to Robben Island get booked up in advance and if you leave it till you arrive in Cape Town you could well be disappointed. Also you really need to leave a half day in your itinerary for the trip to Robben Island.

Table Mountain is another attraction that needs to be thought about. The weather in Cape Town can be unpredictable and Table Mountain can frequently be shrouded in cloud - known locally as the Tablecloth. My advice here is to head for the Cable Car as soon as you seen decent weather in Cape Town. Tickets for Table Mountain can be bought at the bottom of the Cable Car and if you are lucky you may not even have to queue. It is possible to purchase combination tickets for Table Mountain, Robben Island and the Aquarium which do work out to be quite a bit cheaper. 
Many of you will want to visit Cape Point Ė itís a bit like visiting Cornwall in England and not going to Lands End! From Cape Town you can take two routes to Cape Point Ė one is via Muizenberg and Simonís Town and the other is via the trendy  Camps Bay and Hout Bay and the infamous Chapmanís Peak Drive. Of course what we all tend to do is take the circular route so that we get to see both sides of the Cape Peninsula. This is certainly what I would recommend but be aware that you are probably saying goodbye to most of one day as you will inevitably want to stop somewhere and have a drink or a bite to eat. The journey out to Cape Point is certainly a spectacular one with magnificent coastal views and bays to explore. Once at Cape Point it is well worth the walk up to the top but just watch out when you get to the top as the wind can be quite severe so hold on to your hats and sunglasses but the views on a clear day will be worth it.

A walk around Cape Townís V&A Waterfront should be on everyoneís itinerary. On a sunny day the area is a hive of activity with people eating out at one of the many different restaurants dotted around the harbour. There are a number of shops to peruse around as well as some very amusing street entertainers. From the harbour you can take a boat trip out to sea or just sit and relax and spot some of the many seals that frequent the waters here. The V&A Waterfront is also the point from where the boats leave for Robben Island.

In terms of other places to eat around Cape Town we recommend you check out the Cape Quarter area which is in Green Point suburb of Cape Town. Cape Quarter has a wonderful selection of boutique style shops and a good selection of restaurants many of which you can sit outside at. Cape Quarter is a great place to spend a few hours perusing around and enjoying a nice meal.  Other spots for a daytime meal are around the Greenmarket Square area which is also home to a busy market selling an abundance of local arts and crafts.

Itís also worth taking a taxi or using your hire car in the evening to drive out to Camps Bay where you will find a huge selection of very good restaurants positioned on overlooking the sea and a perfect spot to watch the evening sunset. Itís worth making a reservation though as these restaurants do get quite booked up.

In terms of where to stay in Cape Town this very much depends upon whether you want to be in the heart of the city or prefer to be slightly away from the hustle and bustle. Within Cape Town areas such as De Waterkant and Green Point are good spots to find Guest Houses, B&Bís or Self Catering houses and apartments.  In the past few years a number of smart new apartment blocks have gone up offering great Cape Town accommodation for couples and families. If you have a hire car it is worth ensuring when you book that your accommodation has secure off road parking. Slightly further out areas such as Camps Bay and Clifton have some wonderful Guest Houses and Hotels many of which have quite spectacular views and a number have their own pools. Camps Bay and Clifton accommodation is generally more expensive though due to the popularity of the lovely sandy beaches here and the backdrop of the famous Twelve Apostles Mountains