11th May, 2017
After spending four unforgettable days in Cape Town we headed to Knysna, but before that we would like to share a few recommendations, reviews and suggestions to make your CAPE TOWN trip memorable as well !
Here are a few suggestions by MIRINDA to make your Cape Town experience totally WORTH IT!
HOTELS & ACCOMMODATION
After a lot of research on where to stay, we came up with this list. Hope this helps!
- Romantic Holiday – If you are planning for a romantic (honeymoony!) kind of a holiday, we would strongly suggest staying at the Gardens area. Gardens, primarily being a residential area, you will not find many tourists here. It is super quiet and super safe with a lot of Luxury Boutique Hotels and guest houses.
- Holiday with Friends (get the party mode on!) – This being more of a fun kind of holiday, we suggest you stay close to all the actions. Camps bay and Sea Point are the perfect options for a nice chilled holiday with friends as all the pubs and restaurants are very close by (you will find apartments to rent as well)
- Holiday with Family (more of a luxurious one) – We suggest V&A Waterfront for a family/ luxurious stay in Cape Town. V&A is considered to be the most luxurious place in Cape Town with all the big hotels being a part of it, also the mall, lots of restaurants, pubs and local handicraft shops along with their Two Oceans Aquarium is a part of V&A Waterfront. If you are ready to spend some extra money in Cape Town, this is the place to be.
General Points before booking the Guest House / Hotel:
- Being a tourist we will not suggest staying in any other place apart from the three mentioned above as there are a lot of tourist safety issues in South Africa and we are sure you would not want to take that risk
- One thing we noticed here is that most of the guest houses here have a facility of only B&B. Thus we suggest you stay at a place where there are some nice restaurants close by as walking at night in South Africa is not recommended.
- Please check the credibility of the hotel on Trip advisor / Lonely planet before booking it.
- We would recommend staying in Guest Houses rather than hotels in Cape town as you would get a much personalized touch to your stay.
FOOD & DRINKS
Food & Drinks is the most important element of your trip. Our recommendations for some mouth-watering food along with amazing drinks are as follows!
- Gardens, Kloof Street
- Café Paradiso – Italian food (with overall ambience)
- Black Sheep – Steaks and cocktails
- Camps bay
- Café Caprice – Cocktails & Burgers (the most buzzing place on Camps Bay
- The Raj – Indian food
- Cal’cacchio – Pizzas & beer
- Paranga – Japanese food, Sea food
- Signal Hill
- The Roundhouse – Pizzas & Mojito, Sangria pitcher (Must visit during sunset)
- Sea Point
- La Mouette Restaurant – French Cuisine
- Mykonos Taverna – Mezzes
- V&A Waterfront
- Harbour House – Sea food (considered to be the best sea food place in Cape Town)
- Café Grande – Beers, Cocktails & finger foods (best view in Cape Town)
General Points and suggestions (Food & Drinks):
- We strongly recommend against drinking and driving. Instead opt for Uber or any other taxi service which offers extremely safe and cheap rides, cash payment options and advantages such as no hassle of finding parking spots.
- Do not miss the Passion fruit cocktail and grilled chicken burger at Café Caprice.
- We were pleasantly surprised at the cost of meals throughout our trips. A full lunch/dinner with a few drinks and dessert would cost somewhere around 300-500 ZAR per couple (even at the best of restaurants) – and that is quite cheap if you compare it to any decent lunch outing in Mumbai. Especially the alcoholic drinks throughout the trip – we found them to be very cheap (a pint of beer would be somewhere 20-40 ZAR) and at some places they were even cheaper than a bottle of water.
- Café Grande has a wide spread cocktail menu but try the local Savanna Dry beer with some lemon alongside some garlic aioli French fries. It’s a perfect combo!
- Throughout South Africa, when we ordered meat, we had to specifically instruct the restaurants to cook through the meat – as it is a general norm in South Africa to cook the meat medium rare.
- Most of the restaurants here have vegetarian options, so food in particular wont be a big problem here.
- PLEASE TRY ALL THE LOCAL BEERS OF SOUTH AFRICA (my personal favourite was the Peroni & Hansa)
- Throughout South Africa, when we ordered meat, we had to specifically instruct the restaurants to cook through the meat – as it is a general norm in South Africa to cook the meat medium rare. So please do specify the type cook you prefer to your meat.
- We would highly recommend self-driving around Cape Town. Firstly, the sophisticated infrastructure and the well-obeyed traffic rules ensure a seamless experience (right hand drive with strict adherence to speed limits, parking spots and signal stops). Secondly, it gives you a perfect mix of driving through picturesque mountains, beautiful oceans and the gorgeous landscapes. Lastly, we strongly believe that the entire self-driving experience (pin pointing the GPS, asking strangers for directions, making random pit stops, constantly keeping an eye out for cameras and speed limits, and also getting lost at times) gave us a feel of that extra ‘localness’ which might not have been possible otherwise.
- Please bring along one of the signature wines from Delaire Graff. We bought one of their signature wines “The Delaire Graff White Reserve”. A must buy if you visit Delaire Graff. It’s the perfect Zesty citrus, lime and almond with layers of pineapple, passionfruit and gooseberries. A crisp, spicy taste adds to a long and lingering finish.
- If visiting TOKARA restaurant, Stellenbosch, please pre-book the table on the elevated deck outside. The view is just surreal.
- We strongly recommend pre-booking the Table Mountain aerial cable way tickets online. It has huge advantages such as:1. There are 2 queues up at the entrance- one for the people without tickets and one for the people with pre-booked online tickets and if one hasn’t got the pre-booked tickets, he/she has to first stand in the queue for tickets and then in another queue for going up on the cableway. 2. The tickets are valid for a week which gives ample room for any changes in schedule. 3. One can book for either the morning / the evening slot / even both which gives enough flexibility.
- We recommend doing the Southern Peninsula in the morning as it being a completely outdoor event, the strong heat in late afternoon can play spoilsport. Also, starting early helps in reaching back to Cape Town before sunset thereby avoiding the risk of driving at night on the highway.
- If you are interested in buying local souvenirs, we suggest you consider the street vendors who offer the same products as the airport souvenir shops but at a far cheaper price.
- We strongly recommend visiting Boulders Bay in the morning and making it to Two Oceans restaurant, Cape Point around lunch time. The view is to die for!! Order a nice chilled beer with some specials and get lost in the view!!
- A lot of people do hiking up to the Cape Point and down to The Cape of good hope… We strongly suggest you carry an SLR Camera as you would not want to leave any moments uncaptured..
OUR CAPE TOWN ITINERARY
For all you friends out there, if you want to experience the best of Cape Town in four nights, please go through our itinerary – We assure you will not regret it!
February 20th, 2017 Departure from Mumbai (9:00 p.m. Emirates Flight)
February 21st, 2017
11:05 a.m. Arrival at Cape Town (We strongly suggest this flight as you get to spend the entire day in Cape Town after a tiring flight journey)
12:00 p.m. Meet and greet with the &Beyond travel guide (He handed us all booking lists, their locations with attached map directions, emergency contact details, etc. SUPER USEFUL!)
12:30 p.m. Picked up our pre-booked rented car from Bidvest and headed to our hotel, Welgelegen Guest House at Gardens area. (We highly recommend this area for couples who want some quite, romantic surroundings)
2:00 p.m. Reached Welgelegen Guest House (we were welcomed with some Champagne, local wines and fruits…. Bliss!)
2:30 p.m. Lunch at Café Paradiso, Kloof street (the most amazing view of The Table Mountain)
5:00 p.m. Took an Uber to Café Grande, Waterfront area (Must visit for the view and cocktails)
9:00 p.m. Dinner at Black Sheep, Kloof Street (Please try their Steaks.. they are to die for!)
February 22nd, 2017
7:30 a.m. Breakfast at our hotel (Freshly baked croissants were a melt in the mouth)
9:00 a.m. Started our day trip to Stellenbosch (around 50 kms from our hotel)
10:30 a.m. Reached Delaire Graff Wine Estate (The Wine lounge is the perfect place for some wine and cheese tasting)
1:00 p.m. Tokara Wine Estate for lunch (Please pre-book a table on the elevated upper deck for some surreal vineyard views)
3:00 p.m. Thelema Wine Estate (The best wine estate in Stellenbosch)
4:30 p.m. Back to our hotel
6:00 p.m. Sunset at Camps bay (Must visit Café Caprice– it’s the most buzzing place on Camps bay- extremely famous amongst locals)
9:00 p.m. Dinner at Cal’cachhio (Try the Peroni beer there – a local favourite)
February 23rd, 2017
7:30 a.m. Breakfast at our hotel (wide spread of different cheeses was so addictive!)
8:00 a.m. Started our day trip to The Table Mountain
8:30 a.m. Reached the Aerial cableway base (There was a queue of almost 2 hours!)
10:30 a.m. Reached up at The Table Mountain (walked and saw the nature reserve for almost 3 hours. The views from every angle is different and totally worth it)
3:00 p.m. Back to our hotel and rested the afternoon after walking in the scorching heat !
7:00 p.m. Drinks and dinner at Ferryman’s Pub, V&A Waterfront
February 24th 2017
7:30 a.m. After a quick breakfast left for our day trip of the Southern Cape Peninsula
9:00 a.m. Boulders beach, date with African Penguins (chilled here with the penguins, did kayaking and some shopping on the way out)
12:00 p.m. From Boulders beach to the Cape Point (a must visit place in South Africa)
1:00 p.m. Lunch at The Two Oceans restaurant, Cape Point (You can’t miss this place both for the view and the food)
3:00 p.m. Drove to the Cape of Good Hope (you can see clear blue waters here, no other Ocean there has this colour of water)
5:00 p.m. Got back to our Hotel and rested for a bit
6:00 p.m. The Roundhouse, Signal Hill (Please go here for the sunset – You can see the table mountain on one end and the sun setting on the Atlantic Ocean on the other)
9:00 p.m. Got back to our hotel and started packing for our next stop Knysna!
Coming up next…. our GARDEN ROUTE journey to KNYSNA….
Keep following www.mirindatravels.com to know all about it !!