Cape Town Itinerary Advice
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Apr 21, 2013 1:33 PM Last Post By: SojournerVeritas
Jan 25, 2013 10:12 PM
Cape Town Itinerary AdviceHello,
We have 3 days in Cape Town in mid-April, and are thinking of doing the following:
Day 0: arrive 9 PM to airport CPT
Day 1: Table Mountain and either Robben Island or Lions Head (or both?)
Day 2: Cape Tour (Cape Point, Boulders, etc)
Day 3: Shark Cage Diving in Gansbaai
Day 4: depart 10 AM from airport CPT
Thinking of doing evenings at V&A after returning from these excursions. Are there things to do there to go there separately during the day? Any other things we should not miss? We are not interested in the winelands.
Any thoughts on feasibility of this itinerary? Would it be doable with bus/taxis/tours or would it be easier to rent a car if it would end up costing about the same?
Also, I've read that we have to be flexible with weather, as apparently all these activities are affected/closed by poor weather, such as high winds making the Cape tour uncomfortable and no sharks, or tablecloth covering Table Mountain. What are the chances of these things happening in mid-April?
Thanks in advance for any information!
Jan 26, 2013 1:53 AM
1Cape Point is best to do with a car. Drive south along the east coast and back north along the west coast--time it so that you go through the Chapman's Peak Drive around sunset. Before heading down Cape Point, go up to Lions Head early for sunrise view.
You certainly can do Table Mountain and Robben Island (best book ticket in adance) + V&A (just a shopping mall by the waterfront) in a day. Parking isn't easy in the city so go by taxi, bus, or walk.
Cape Town to Gansbaai is about 3-4 hours drive, so you either have to get up very early or get there the night before. My understanding is that, unless you're very unlucky, you usually should be able to see at least one shark. But given the time constraint though, I'd consider using 3rd day to do something closer to the city---like visiting the wine land or just spend more time exploring the city.
Jan 27, 2013 9:40 AM
2I'd hire a car - not too expensive and you'll get more out of the 3 days.
1) Book Robben Island a long time in advance if possible - it fills up quickly. Prioritise Table Mountain over Lions Head - late afternoon and sunset is good. queues can be long for cable car.
2) The "Cape Tour" - generally a ring from Cape Town, along the coast below the 12 apostles, Llandudno, Hout Bay (Seal Tours), Chapmans Peak, Noordhoek, Kommetjie, Cape Point (there's more to do than just the point), Boulders (penguins - go to the beach not only viewing platforms), Simons Town, Kalk Bay (cheap eats in the harbour at Kalkies), Muizenberg, Kirstenbosch (the botanical gardens are well worth a visit) - which is a long loop, can do in either direction but will take you all day and start early. Unlikely you can do it all so choose carefully in advance.
3) When going around to Gansbaai I'd advise sticking to the Caostal road through Rooi-Els and Betty's Bay to Hermanus (R44) rather than going over Sir Lowry's Pass on the N2 - it's a bit longer but it's a awesome road around False Bay and although April's a little early you may get lucky and spot a whale or two.
Jan 30, 2013 3:09 AM
I would definitely recommend hiring a car.
Re: Day 1. It's all wind dependent. I would recommend hiking Lions Head first thing in the morning. Then book your Robben Island Tour for 11am (ish), which will have you back in CT for around 2pm, and then head up on the cable car for sundowners on Table Mountain.
Re: Day 2. Start early! It's a great loop from Simonstown, round Cape Point, via Chapmans Peak to Camps Bay, but it does help to take it slowly and not rush.
Re: Day 3, you could perhaps add a later afternoon picnic to kirstenbosch after shark diving time permitting?
Hope you have a great holiday!
Jan 30, 2013 6:26 PM
Jan 30, 2013 6:33 PM
5I almost forgot. Check the swell forecast for the day of your Robben Island tour. We had 10 - 14 feet waves the day I went and they were passing out lots of barf bags on the boat. It was a good tour, just take your motion sickness medicine if you get sea sick.
Jan 31, 2013 7:48 PM
6Thank you for the input. Are there many days when Table Mountain is completely covered? Would it be too risky to buy tickets in advance for Table Mountain/Robben Island/Shark Cage Diving? I'm wondering if the weather is so variable, will buying tickets in advance just lock us into a plan that may not work?
For instance, on the Day 1 itinerary, if there is a tablecloth in the morning, should we stay in town and wait for it to lift, or should we just go drive the cape instead? If for some reason we are unable to go to Table Mountain the first 2 days, should we just stay in Cape Town for the third day and cancel shark diving?
Feb 1, 2013 5:02 PM
7Gansbaai is probably a 2 hour journey from Cape Town, pick up is very early in the morning 6am ? You might want to factor this in your plans. You can shark dive from Simon's Town which is about 1 hour from CT.
Feb 6, 2013 8:39 AM
Feb 8, 2013 3:11 PM
9My suggestion: DEFINITELY go shark cage diving if you even have the inkling of wanting to go, which it seems like you do. It was one of the highlights of our (husband and I, mid-twenties) three-week trip through South Africa and Swaziland. Mere words do not describe the feeling of donning a wet suit, booties and hood to only slightly temper the icy Atlantic waters, dropping into a cage with steel bars and a thin railing for which to grip, and dipping under the water at the captain’s command of “Shark! Down!” to see one of the world’s most feared predators swim just feet away. Add to that watching the animals tear through chum in seconds and have one of the behemoths ram the cage, and it’s up there with thrilling experiences. That was our experience and I've heard only great things from others about their own shark cage diving experiences. We went with Brian McFarlane (http://www.sharkcagediving.net/) and couldn't have been happier w/ Brian (the captain), the company and our experience.
Feb 13, 2013 5:11 PM
Apr 21, 2013 1:30 PM
11Thanks again everyone for the advice.
Our final itinerary:
Day 1: Kirstenbosch, Table Mountain, Signal Hill (for sunset), The Test Kitchen, V&A
Day 2: Cape Point drive, V&A
Day 3: we decided we needed a relaxing day around town: Castle of Good Hope, District 6 museum, Greenmarket Square, Africa Cafe
Stayed at the Westin and had a great view of Table Mountain and V&A from the hotel! Weather was beautiful for Day 1 and 2. Day 3 was a little overcast, and Day 4 before we left was overcast.
Cape TownBook now
(0 star Hotel)
From US$13.95 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$114.36 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$182.81 per night