It has been awhile since I have been back from South Africa. It’s taken me ages to start writing posts about my experience there. Since it’s a long weekend, I thought this is the best time to look through those thousands of photos and finally share with you guys how my trip went.
I and the husband were primarily staying in Johannesburg for our two-week trip. In between, we had one weekend, where we could manage a Friday to Sunday off. So the first place on our radar was Cape Town. I have heard, seen so many good things, beautiful locations on youtube about Cape Town, I was stoked about visiting this place.
It was pretty much a last minute idea. So we booked our tickets like two days before flying out. Luckily, the prices are not all that high and we could manage to buy to and fro tickets within 20k.
Now, came the part of planning the trip. I should tell you this upfront, if you are planning on visiting Cape Town, you need a good 4-5 days to really immerse yourself into the goodness of the city. It’s one of the best places we have visited.
Tickets & Stay:
Travelling to South Africa is expensive. Tickets can cost you a cool 40k a person if not booked well in advance. We were staying in our friends vacation home, so we saved up a lot there. But a good fancy hotel can cost you somewhere around INR 5000-6000 a night.
How to Plan Sightseeing in Cape Town:
City Sightseeing Hop-In Hop Off buses are the best way to see the city in minimum time. It’s easy on the pocket and helps you stay on track with your itinerary as well. We spent close to INR 900 per person for a single day. We had 3 days with us, and all the three days, we took the Ho-Ho buses.
There are also combo offers which are much better deals. I don’t remember the exact prices, but I think it was approx INR 1450 per person for 2 days of Ho-Ho tour.
Day 1 – Mini Peninsula Tour + Boo Kaap
The Peninsula route is the best part about Cape Town. The open air double decker takes you through magical coast line of Cape Town. It’s one breathtaking location after another. If you don’t have more than a day, then this is the route you must cover.
If you have a time crunch, rather than spending a lot of time by getting down at each stop, take another bus route and complete the Wine Tour and the Downtown Tour. You can probably do only one more tour along with Peninsula Tour.
For Indians, I feel Downtown Tour is something that will remind you of the less developed areas in your own city. So while it is important to visit this place to know the history and the hardships that South African locals went through. You may not really want to get down and spend much time here.
Boo Kaap is one place you must take the walking tour. It will take you close to an hour and a half to complete the tour, but it’s one of the most colourful happy looking places in Cape Town. Perfect for clicking photos and posing, this area has a lot of history that makes it even more beautiful.
Food on Day 1: Mariner’s Wharf
Something that you should not miss. One of the most mouth watering sea food in a fine dine restaurant overlooking the harbour all around. It’s a magical place. Food surprisingly is cheaper than what you get in India. We ordered fish, chicken and shrimps..top notch quality and paid like 1500 or so for it. I wanted to almost spit at Indian restaurants for charging us a bomb+ taxes for crap food.
Day 2 – Cape Point Explorer + Boulders Beach
This was an expensive tour. It cost us INR 2700 approx per person. But it was every bit worth it.
Cape Point Explorer basically takes you to the south western most point of Africa. Not only that, you also get to stop over at Boulders Beach, and enjoy the first half of your morning with African penguins. Yes, they do exist, and they are the most adorable living creatures ever. They are quite used to humans all around them, so you might find one or two ready to pose for your cameras.
This is a one full day tour. You cannot plan and combine any other destinations with it. But you should keep it that way. It’s every bit worth it.
Food on Day 2: Cape of Good Hope
Beware, the food is not so delicious, and the birds have their eyes set on your food. They are not scared and will snatch it right off your hands. I did not have the best time here, but there is a fine dining restaurant as well. May be you should check that one out.
Day 3 – City Tour to Table Mountain
If you are in Cape Town, there is just no missing the table mountain. One of the newest 7 wonders of the world, the drive to table mountain is spectacular. You can see the entire view of the city from the top, and it’s fascinating how within a few minutes, one can be so far away from the city, and yet be right at the heart of the city.
If you have absolutely no time, just get into any city tour bus and just immerse yourself in the city beauty all around you. The ho-Ho buses have continuous audio playing on giving you an idea about the places and the history of the city. You won’t feel as though you’re missing out on anything. It’s the best way to get a feel of the city.
Food on Day 3: V&A Waterfront
It’s the starting place for Cape Town sightseeing. There are a number of restaurants and fast food chains in the mall nearby. You should just grab a quick bite and be off to your next destination.