ATTENTION HIKERS!

In the Cape Peninsula, we are truly spoilt for choice when it comes to hiking. Some locals spend their entire lives exploring these mountains and never see it all. Some hikes take you to a waterfall, grotto, yellowwood grove, shipwreck or spectacular viewpoint. The routes range from challenging climbs to the top of Table Mountain to leisurely strolls among the fynbos or along city beaches, and will appeal to hikers of all levels of experience – whether aspiring ramblers or diehard adventurers. For visitors, these hikes are the most easily accessible.

Lions Head
This short hike (about an hour up in general), gives a fantastic panoramic view of the city and beaches. Just a five-minute drive from the city’s centre, Lions Head is perfect for a sunrise or sunset hike. The full moon hikes are exceptionally popular too.
Cost: Free
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Table Mountain
If you want to skip the cable car there are a range of different routes you can take to get up top on the flat top. The most direct route is up Platteklip Gorge, which is also arguably the most challenging one. India Venster has great views of the city all the way up and then there are alternative routes up from Camps Bay and Kirstenbosch too. Just remember, what goes up must come down. Find out more here and read a full description of Cape Town’s best hikes here.
Cost: Free
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Silvermine
A 20-minute drive from the city centre, Silvermine Nature Reserve is a popular spot for walking and hiking, as well as bird-watching, picnicking, and mountain biking. There are several short, easy-to-manage hiking trails that offer beautiful views of the landscape from False Bay to Cape Point. One such trail is the hike to Elephant’s Eye, a large cave so-named because the mountain looks like the shape of an elephant’s head and the cave the eye.
Cost: R50 for adults, R15 for children (age 1 to 11)
Operating hours: 07h00 – 19h00
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BEACHES IN CAPE TOWN

Cape Town has two glittering coastlines with a beach to suit every mood and moment. Whether you’re after beachside bars, secluded coves, big waves, safe swimming beaches, or a romantic spot for a sunset picnic, there’s something here for you.

Related imageClifton
Clifton has four beaches (Clifton 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th) with each one home to its own set of typical visitors. The beauty of Clifton is not just the bathers (but yes, the eye candy is something to behold) but its positioning. Clifton hardly receives any wind and provides a sheltered bay for the yachts and small boats. A great place to see and be seen.


Image result for camps bay beach sunsetCamps Bay
Camps Bay is near Clifton but much bigger and more of a family beach. To the right lies Glen Beach, which has the best surf in the area, and behind Camps Bay beach is a Miami-like strip of bars and restaurants ensuring that a cold drink or hot meal is never too far away.

AMAZING RIGHT?

Image result for muizenberg beachMuizenberg
Muizenberg is well-known for its multi-coloured beach huts and is located in the scenic False Bay, on the opposite side of the Cape Peninsula to the above-mentioned beaches. It is a recognised Blue Flag beach and a favourite spot for families and aspiring surfers.

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Llandudno
Llandudno has it all, a beach big enough to play sports on, great waves for surfers and even a nudist beach, Sandy Bay, within walking distance. This is a bit further from town than Camps Bay and Clifton but is a popular beach with locals.

A CAPE TOWN GUIDE IN YOUR POCKET

9BA7D992-D0C3-41AA-8F26-3A916467D1E9Everything you need to know about Cape Town, downloadable for free from the App stores for IOS and Android devices.

Official Guide to Cape Town.

iOS download link
Android download link

app

Targeted predominantly at first time visitors to Cape Town, the app is like a “local in your pocket” with an insider guide sharing hints and tips from locals alongside a carefully arranged and easy-to-use list of practical tools.

Featuring hundreds of Cape Town sightseeing landmarks, practical visitor information and user-friendly maps – the new Official Guide to Cape Town will also allow you to create and store an itinerary as you go, or simply suggest some themed itineraries for you.

FOR THE ADRENALIN JUNKY

If you’re coming to Cape Town and you’d like to know how you can keep busy, here are some suggestions. :)

Helicopter ride over Cape Town.
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Cape Town is a beautiful place to explore, but to do it from the air can be sensational. The easiest way to do this is to go to the V&A Waterfront where the steel birds take off daily. There is a range of different routes you can choose from, such as the Atlantico, Two Oceans, Robben Island and Full Peninsula. As there are different operators to choose from and we will gladly make a reservation with our favourite one!
Cost: R1,050 per person – R4,000 per person
Operating hours:  08h00 – 17h30 -7 days a week

Ziplining.
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Cape Town Ziplines is close to the CBD and easily reached on the Hop-on Hop-off City Sightseeing Bus. This is one of Africa’s longest and highest Zipline tours. The zipline is approximately 2.3km in total length, with single cables that stretch up to 500m and that soar 155m above the ground at their highest point. Ask us to book this exciting experience for you.
Cost: The two-hour tour costs R480 per person
Operating hours: Monday – Sunday: 09h00 (first tour departs) – 16h00 (last tour departs).
Tandem Paragliding.
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Tandem paragliding flights are mostly done from Signal Hill but they also occasionally take off from Lions Head inside the beautiful Table Mountain National Park. The paragliders either land in Camps Bay or Green Point after the thrilling ride down from the mountain. Just beware, it’s over much faster than you might imagine (7-20 minutes), and you’re definitely going to want to do it again. We will happily book a flight for you!
Cost: R1150 per person per flight
Operating Hours: 07h00 – 19h00, weather permitting.

Surfing.
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Muizenberg is considered South Africa’s ‘best learn-to-surf beach’ due to its gentle and consistent breaks. Voted by National Geographic as ‘One of the World’s Best Surf Towns’, Muizenberg offers a great introduction to the wonderful thrill of surfing.
Cost: Gary’s Surf School charges R380 for one person for a two-hour lesson. The Surf Emporium charges R330 for one person for a one and a half hour lesson. For both, the price drops for larger groups.
Operating hours: Times change according to the tides. Contact the surf schools to arrange a time before you go.

Kayaking in Three Anchor Bay.
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Kaskazi Kayaks launches its tours from a small beach in Three Anchor Bay and embarks on a 3 – 5 km journey either towards Granger Bay or Clifton Beach. A range of seabirds can be seen on the trips but it is the penguins, seals, dolphins and whales that cause the most excitement. Trips are approximately two hours long. If you have previous paddling experience they can arrange half day kayak trips too.
Cost: R350 per person
Operating hours: The first tour departs at 07h30, next one at 10h00.

Seal snorkelling in Hout Bay.
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Animal Ocean has marine guides who are dedicated to getting you in the water with the playful Cape fur seals. Cape Fur seals occur naturally on islands around the southern African coast and are found nowhere else in the world. Duiker Island in Hout Bay is home to 10 000 seals, which, as they say, ‘brings you mask-to-whisker with playful and inquisitive wild animals in their natural habitat.’
Cost: R650 per person
Operating hours: Typically leaves in the morning and takes 3 hours.

Sound exciting? Stay tuned, more to come. :)

SAFETY IN OUR CITY

South African Travel Safety Tips

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Safety has become an important issue throughout the world. The Tourism Safety Task Group of South Africa has compiled the following tips for tourists and migrants who come to the country:

In the street:
Avoid ostentatious displays of cameras and expensive jewellery, especially valuables such as necklaces that is easy to snatch.
It is definitely not advisable to carry large sums of money around (rather, we recommend using URCard, a safe, convenient prepaid debit card designed specifically for travellers)

  • At night, steer clear of walking in dark, isolated areas, use taxis instead
  • It’s better to explore in groups and to stick to well-lit, busy streets
  • Plan your route beforehand
  • A policeman or traffic officer will be glad to direct you if you get lost
  • If you want to call a taxi, your hotel or the nearest tourism information office can recommend a reliable service

In a car:

  • Leave nothing visible in a parked car – NOTHING, not even an empty carrier bag
  • Do not pick up strangers when driving.
  • Keep windows up at traffic lights.

Keep cash and documents (as flight tickets. passport etc) in your hotel’s safety deposit box.
Leave your valuables at home, your luggage may be opened and your valuables missing from your bags when you collect your luggage from the check out area.

  • Do not wear expensive jewellery.
  • Do not allow yourself to be separated from your hand luggage.
  • Laptops, camera’s, mobile phones and handbags are targeted items.
  • Do not allow yourself to be distracted by one person while another person runs off with your possessions.

If you are hiring a car and intend driving from the airport be sure you know the exact route you should take so that you need not stop to ask for directions making yourself vulnerable and an easy hijack target.

Avoid walking in deserted areas on your own during the day and particularly at night.

South Africa is not the only country where the above list applies, it applies to many destinations and innocent tourists are caught up in unpleasant situations because they are not vigilant and do not apply wisdom because they are “on holiday” and in a carefree mood.

Please also avoid giving money to beggars; you are more likely to lose your whole wallet in this type of situation. Poverty breeds crime!

 

 

CAPE TOWN’S DIRE DROUGHT

damsYou may know that our region of the country is experiencing extreme drought conditions.

We are told that by March 2018 we will likely run out of water altogether! A VERY SCARY THOUGHT.

The city fathers are looking into desalination and  underground water sourcing are being explored to help avoid a complete disaster.

You will find at all responsible hotels that you will be asked to participate in our water saving measures. Taking a bath is  no longer permitted by the regulations and we must be a lot more careful of water wastage when taking a shower.

  • Close the tap whilst brushing your teeth.
  • Toilet Flushing – if it is YELLOW, let it MELLOW, if it is BROWN, flush it DOWN.


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THE MIGHTY 2 MINUTE POWER SHOWER

1 – Tap On and rinse.

2 – Tap Off.

3 – Lather (with tap off).

4 – Tap On to rinse off .

 

 

 

WATER SAVING TIPS

How do we save water?
In your en suite bathroom at the Villa you will find a small container in which to collect the cold water which would normally be wasted before the warm water arrives. This is used to top up our swimming pool.
Bucket

TRAVEL PLANNING HELP

19D5BB63-6E7F-457A-B8F7-C306B3606DDFTRAVEL PLANNING
Did you know that we offer a travel planning service for the whole of South Africa? If you’re travelling elsewhere in the country, run your itinerary or wish list by us.  Not only can we recommend excellent and unusual places to stay but we nearly always get better rates than you would going direct. Put us to the test!

 

 

TRAVEL IN THE CAPE TOWN

  • GETTING TO THE VILLA FROM THE AIRPORT

We can arrange a bespoke transfer for you from the airport. Ask us about our safe and efficient pickup service. We would need your flight number. Just in case there is a last minute change to your itinerary (a change of flight for example) it would be your responsibility to let the pickup company know the new number by email or SMS – we will give you the mobile number of the relevant company. (If the driver ends up waiting for you at the airport and you have not notified him you will be responsible for paying for the transfer as contracted.

Other Options

  1. You could also take a taxi (this will be  little cheaper but you take the chance that the driver cannot find the Villa).
  2. An Uber is the cheaper. They pickup on the ground floor of the free pickup parking to the right of the airport entrance.
  3. There are Airport Shuttles which fill up with passengers for various hotels (it can be a long ride – Google: citishuttles.)
  4. The Municipal Myciti  Bus  service is good, but you need to buy a bus card for each passenger at their kiosk and load it with sufficient funds to travel to the city terminus. You then heed to take a cab (there is a taxi rank across the road to the right of the terminus exit) – we do need t recommend this at night.
  • GETTING AROUND TOWN

Uber App

TAXI OR UBER? Taxis are generally less efficient than the Uber service which is quick, cheap and reliable. We recommend that you download the UberApp onto your Smartphone. It will make your life much easier in Cape Town.

CAR RENTAL? You can walk most places from the Villa so we don’t suggest you hire a car for your full stay. You need a car to drive to the Cape Point Reserve and penguins etc and also to The Wineland region, both very well worth a visit. We recommend that you hire a car for the last two days of your trip. Take  look at our Rates page for the CAR RENTAL icon.

Parking SignPARKING is free in the street outside the Villa. A guard patrols the street but there is no guarantee your car will not be pilfered IF YOU LEAVE ANYTHING VISIBLE INSIDE.

 

PRE-BOOKINGS

45C1E4DD-D9CB-4865-94A2-485BCA244799It makes sense to book for the following activities in advance during the high season. For Robben Island try to reserve a ferry seat a day or two before your departure date in case bad weather causes changes in departure arrangements.

  • ROBBEN ISLAND BOOKINGS
  • TABLE MOUNTAIN BOOKINGS
  • KIRSTENBOSCH BOTANICAL GARDENS CONCERT BOOKINGS

These can all be reserved on  the following website:  http://www.webtickets.co.za/

When asked for a telephone number in case of cancellations or updates, give th guesthouse mobile number: 082 579 3987.

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PASSPORT CONTROL

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  • VERY IMPORTANT IF TRAVELLING WITH UNDERAGE CHILDREN: please read very carefully the following website http://www.dha.gov.za/files/Brochures/Immigrationleaflet.pdf

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As things stand, parents travelling with children under the age of 18 years must produce an original, unabridged birth certificate and if adopted, an adoption certificate. If travelling without the other parent, concent in the form an affidavit from the other parent to travel to South Africa. Please familiarise yourself with these regulations as we have had clients turned away at passport control on attempting to enter the country.

  • To enter South Africa, a passport valid for at least 30 days after the intended date of departure is required by all nationals referred to in the chart above.
  • Requirements for entering South Africa
    You will need the following if you wish to visit South Africa:

    • A valid and acceptable passport or travel document for your intended stay
    • At least two blank page in your passport for endorsements
    • A valid visa, if required
    • Sufficient funds to pay for your day-to-day expenses during your stay
    • A return or onward ticket
    • Yellow fever certificates if your journey starts or entails passing through the yellow fever belt of Africa or South America.