Cape Town Overview
Location! Location! Location! Considered to be one of South Africa’s most beautiful cities, Cape Town stands at the tip of the continent, surrounded by some of the country’s most spectacular scenery. Backdrop mountains slope to some of Africa’s most romantic beaches, both on the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean.
Modern, Big City pleasures blend with those of the Great Outdoors to provide even more romance. A stunning countryside full of rolling hills and vineyards begins just outside of town. You can have a sunny, picnic lunch in a flowering meadow, then dine at a sophisticated gourmet restaurant all in the same day. Everything but everything seems to be at your fingertips and everything is certainly beautiful to behold.
The very best of Africa is on display in the Continent’s “Mother City.” You’ll revel in its sybaritic pleasures and love its chic, easy going lifestyle. This is one of the world’s most wonderful honeymoon havens!
- CAPE POINT AND THE CAPE OF GOOD HOPE. Make a day of it and visit the very tip of the African continent. Views of the bay and the mountain are astonishing. You might spot a whale or see a shipwreck. The history is rich and there’s even a more beautiful view around every corner. Take a tour, a walk or a drive but don’t forget your camera! To avoid crowds, go to this area as early in the day as possible.
- TABLE TOP MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK. Take a cable car to the top to have sweeping views en route. Few places in the world have such rich bio diversity within their metropolitan boundaries! The 85 sq. miles are laced with scenic hiking trails, beautiful beaches and lovely forests. Stop for a picnic at the top and capture the beautiful views. Take a sweater as sudden cloud covers and weather changes can be dramatic.
- HIGH TEA AT MT. NELSON HOTEL. Gear down and enjoy this late afternoon tradition. Settle into a comfortable arm chair under an ornate chandelier and enjoy the surroundings of the charming old building. Or, opt for a small table for two in the shade of the sprawling verdant garden. Tea, small sandwiches and sweets are served from 2:30-5:30. You’ll feel like you’re on the set of a romantic movie! Reservations are advised. Tel: 021 483 1850.
- ENJOY A GLASS OF WINE. South African wines are becoming more popular by the day. You can visit a vineyard like Constantia, Stellenbosch, or Paarl. There are several within an easy drive from the city. Chenin Blanc is a local favorite.
- TWO OCEANS AQUARIUM. Marine life from the cold waters of the Atlantic and the warm waters of the Indian Ocean is dramatically displayed in one of the world’s most famous aquariums. Certified divers can get a closer look by swimming into the 5 story kelp forest or a real thrill by going into the predator tank!
- KIRSTENBOSCH BOTANICAL GARDENS. These world famous gardens are a beautiful and idyllic place to cool off on a hot day. You can stroll along a path at your own pace or take a golf cart to see botanical species. Take a picnic and listen to a concert on summer Sundays or enjoy a light breakfast or lunch at the tiny Tea House near Gate 2. Bring your camera and steal a kiss in this beautiful setting!
- CHURCH STREET ARCADE. This pedestrian mall in the center of town is lined with art galleries, antique shops and small cafes. You might find some take home treasures in the daily flea market. Church Street between Burg and Long Streets.
Tips and Advice
- LANGUAGE: There are 11 official languages. English and Afrikaans are widely spoken. Road signs are usually in one of the two.
- CURRENCY: The Rand. Do not change money at your hotel. Rates are better at the bank or at ATMs.
- AREA CODE: 27
- ELECTRICITY: 220 volts.
- DRIVING: Drive on the left. You can’t pay for gas (petrol) with a credit card so carry some cash when you’re on the road. Roads are generally good but it is better to drive during the day. Also, watch for strolling animals and be careful at the traffic lights. Some are on the far side of the intersection which means that if you pull up you will be blocking it.
- DOCUMENTATION: Check your passport before leaving home. It must be valid for at least 6 months after your return date and it must have two blank facing pages.
HELPFUL HONEYMOON HINTS
- CUSTOMS: Take time to greet everyone before you start to discuss business or pleasure.
- SAFETY: Take precautions that you would take in any large city. Don’t have valuables in view and watch for signs indicating unsafe areas.
- BE CAREFUL OF THE STRONG SUN: Bring plenty of sun screen. Cover yourself and wear a broad brimmed hat and sun glasses. Try to stay out of the water between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
- ELECTRONICS: Do not put cameras and computers in your checked luggage and keep an eye on them at all times.
- CREDIT CARDS: Visa is the most widely accepted credit card.
- DRESS IN LAYERS: Temperatures can vary widely throughout the day. Be sure to take a sweater or jacket when you go to the top of Table Top Mountain or do other outdoor activities.
- WATCH FOR ANIMALS: Baboons, ostrich, antelope (bontebok) and others roam free. Baboons can be a menace. They can steal food and get rambunctious.
- TIPPING: Small tips are expected, even at the gas station. 10% is a general rule for restaurants, guides and taxis.
- TAXIS: Calling a taxi ahead of time is better than trying to flag one down in the street.
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