3 Days in Cape Town – Trip Planning

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3 Days in Cape Town – Trip Planning

Whether it’s the mind blowing scene of sea of fog spiraling over the Table Mountain’s. Or may be the picturesque sapphire blue Table Bay inspired you to visit Cape Town. You definitely made a right choice to visit this city. You could easily spend a week in this beautiful city and still not be able to experience it all. You will be absolutely impressed with what Cape Town has to offer. And yes, at the end of the trip you will be able to justify why Cape Town is well known as Mother of All Cities or in short Mother City. 

3 Days in Cape Town – Top Things To Do

Day 1: Tuesday October 10, 2017

Our flight arrives Cape Town International Airport (CPT) at 12:15 PM. Pickup rental car from Budget at the airport. First thing need to do is buy a SIM card so that my cell phone’s GPS works. Then head to Icon Luxury Apartments in Cape Town city center and check in. Quickly get ready and out. Got plenty of time to do few of the activities mentioned below and still able to soak up in Signal Hill and enjoy the sunset as on Oct. 10th. sunset is at 6:55 PM 

1st Stop – Bo-Kaap

Before heading to Signal Hill my plan is to visit The Bo-Kaap area formerly known as the Malay Quarter. This is situated on the slopes of Signal Hill above the city centre. It’s only a mile from our hotel so it’s easily do able.

2nd Stop – Camps Bay Beach

On our way to Signal Hill will stop by the Camps Bay beach which is about 4 miles from Bo-Kaap. It is set against the impressive backdrop of the twelve Apostles mountain range and the white sandy beach is definitely one of Capes Town’s largest and most beautiful beaches. 

Camps Bay is a wealthiest suburbs, well known for its luxury apartments, celebrity lifestyle, trendy restaurants, cafes and bars along the beach. 

3rd Stop – Signal Hill for Sunset at 6:55 pm (oct 10, 2017)

It is convenient to drive all the way to the top of Signal Hill following Signal Hill Rd. There are many lookouts on the way up, so consider pulling over for photo ops. It is a perfect sunset drive and nothing can beat watching the breathtaking view of the Sun goes down over Cape Town. Also it’s a truly magnificent spot to sit quietly at the altitude of 985 ft (300 m) and enjoy the city skyline after sunset.

It important to know that Signal Hill is not consider to be a safe place to be at late night so recommendation is to make your way back down after sunset. 

4th. Stop – V&A (Victoria and Alfred) Waterfront 

Situated between Robben Island and Table Mountain in the heart of Cape Town’s working harbour, the V&A Waterfront has become South Africa’s most visited destination. Can’t wait to see the iconic Victorian Gothic-style Clock Tower in old Cape Town harbour. 

V&A waterfront are is one of Cape Town’s biggest tourist attractions plenty of pubs, bars, restaurants, speciality shops, theaters and movies to explore from.

5th. Stop – GOLD Restaurant

Next stop at GOLD Restaurant will enjoy the unique African food in the heart of Cape Town. They have delicious Cape Malay and African menu. Along with the great culinary experience will also enjoy the traditional African entertainment. 

Day 2: Wednesday October 11, 2017

Hotel Icon Luxury Apartments – Sunrise in Lion’s Head – Early morning Table Mountains – Afternoon to Robben Island. 

1st Stop – Climb Lion’s Head for Sunrise at 6:09 (Oct 11, 2017)

From the Hotel to Lion’s Head parking is about 15 minutes drive (4 miles) and then another 45+ minutes hike up to Lion’s Head peak. So we need to leave our hotel by 4:30 AM (need to carry a flash light and water) to be able to enjoy the 6:09 am sunrise from an altitude of 2,195 ft (669 m).

It’s approximately 1.5 hours round trip, 2.1 miles going up and back down. It is located between Table Mountain and Signal Hill and the view from the top is spectacular. A must see place in Cape Town for the panoramic views.

2nd Stop – Visit Table Mountain’s by Aerial Cableway

After Lion’s Head Sunrise trip we expected to arrive at Table Mountain’s by 9:00 am latest. This is a prominent landmark and a great place to sit and soak up the dominating 360-degree views of Cape Town, Table Bay, the nearby peaks like Lion’s Head and Signal Hill. The iconic flat-topped Table Mountain is one of the main attraction of Cape Town to locals and visitors alike.

Table Mountain National Park stretches from north of Cape Town to all the way down to the Cape Peninsula the Cape of Good Hope southwestern extreme part of Africa.

The easiest way to get there is by Aerial Cableway. cost is R290 return and R150 one way ( US$ 1 = R13.02) between morning pick hours (8:00 am – 1:00 pm) and R275 return and R150 one way between afternoon pick hours (1:00 pm onward). You can buy ticket online. Between September – October 2017 first car up is at 8:00, the last care up at 6:00 pm and the last care down is at 7:00 pm. Your can buy ticket online or this link also has the updated first-up and last-down timetable as well as current rate. 

3rd Stop – Explore Robben Island from Nelson Mandela Gateway by Ferry

After getting down from Table Mountains, spend some time exploring at V&A Waterfront, have quick lunch and get on to the 1:00 pm ferry from The Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island an UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

It should be a quick 30 minutes ride in a spacious double decker boat to the island that is about 5.5 miles (9 km) off the coast of Cape Town. Ferries run at 9:00, 11:00 1:00 and 3:00 on daily basis, tickets are R250 for adults and R120 for children under 18. 

Once on the island, visitors are directed to a coach for a guided bus tour then 2nd part of the tour is a walking tour (all of these are inclusive of the original ticket price). Visitors will have an opportunity to see where most of Mandela’s 27-year prison sentence was served, a place of isolation for nearly 300 years, housing many political prisoners and serving as both a lunatic asylum and leper colony. The total tour takes 3.5 hours including the ferry trip to and from the Island. 

4th Stop – Evening is Free for Any Unscheduled Activities

Last return boat of the day from Robben Island is at 4:00 pm so we will be back in town by 4:30 pm and have the entire evening free for us. 

Day 3: Thursday October 12, 2017

Scenic Cape Peninsula Drive. This will take a day to cover the drive around the peninsula. The following is a circular route about 87 miles ( 140 km) in total and we will be driving clockwise scenic drive around the peninsula exploring the below attractions on the way. Note – The trip could be done in reverse order as well.

From Cape Town Icon Luxury Apartments –> Muizenberg Beach –> Kalk Bay –> Simons Town –> Boulders Beach –> Cape Point –> Slangkop Lighthouse –> Scarborough –>Noordhoek –> Chapmans Peak Drive –> Hout Bay –> Llandudno –> Back To Hotel.

The Cape Peninsula is a generally rocky peninsula that sticking out into the Atlantic Ocean at the south-western extremity of the African continent. At the southern end of the peninsula are Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope. On the northern end is Table Mountain, overlooking Cape Town. The peninsula is 52 km long from Mouille point in the north to Cape Point in the south.

Muizenberg Beach

From Cape Town need to drive down the picturesque M3 and then M4 passing Constantia and Tokai the wine-producing suburb of Cape Town to nicest Muizenberg beach. The beach is full of brightly coloured beach cabins lined up along the beach. 

Kalk Bay

Our next stop is the charming fishing village of Kalk Bay which is one of the last surviving functioning ports in South Africa. This place is known for its stunning views, nat

Distance from Cape Town to Kalk Bay is 20 miles (31 km) about 35 minutes drive. Kalk Bay is known for its natural beauty, interesting shops and huge selection of restaurants.

Simon’s Town

Simon’s Town home of South Africa’s naval base. The charming little coastal town is beautifully decorated with Victorian style houses. Driving though the seaside village and plan to make short stop before heading to Boulder Beach. This town is home to a large colony of the endangered African Penguin. 

Boulders Beach (for penguin walk)

Boulders Beach is a sheltered beach made up of inlets between granite boulders, from which the name originated. It is on the way from Simon’s Town towards Cape Point. Visiting the African Penguin colony at Boulder’s Beach is one of the popular attractions. You can even swim with the penguins at close by Foxy Beach.

Cape of Good Hope (Cape Point)

The Cape of Good Hope is a rocky headland on the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula. The Cape of Good Hope is a rocky headland on the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula. 

Cape Point is still part of the Cape of Good Hope and offers the same scenic magnificence that one would experience at the Table Mountain National Park. There are attractions like angling and diving sites, tidal pools, shop, restaurant, Flying Dutchman Funicular and two lighthouses.

Entrance fee to Cape of Good Hope is R85 (Adult), R30 (Child), and Flying Dutchman Funicular ticket is R65 return (Adult) and R25 return (child). 

Slangkop Lighthouse

Slangkop Point lighthouse near Kommetjie in Cape Town is the tallest cast-iron lighthouse along South African shores. it is approx. 30km south of Cape Town on the Chapman’s Peak road past Hout Bay.

Scarborough

Scarborough is a town situated on the Cape Peninsula to the South of Cape Town. The sights and scenery surrounding Scarborough beach are something to be admired. The mountains stand tall around you and the vast endless ocean lying before you make this beautiful and serene beach to relax at. 

A stroll along this secluded and long white sandy beach is very pleasant. It is advisable to be cautious while swimming due to the occasional rip current just off the beach.

Noordhoek Beach

Noordhoek beach with its white sands and surrounding wetlands is an absolute beauty. It is situated a quiet and peaceful location. This beach is over 5 miles (8 km) long, and is the most unspoiled and best protected. Horse riding in Noordhoek is a must-do among may tourists. 

Chapmans Peak Drive

The nine kilometre jaunt meanders through various twists and turns that each open up on some of the most awe-inspiring panoramas of soaring mountains and towering cliffs that plummet deep into the sapphire blue ocean.

There are a number of lookout points where one could pause to just absorb the splendour or take photographs.

The Chapman’s Peak Drive is also one of the foremost sites from where the Southern Right Whales can be seen in the months from July to November.

Hout Bay

Hout Bay is a town near Cape Town, South Africa situated in a valley on the Atlantic seaboard of the Cape Peninsula, twenty kilometres south of the Central Business District of Cape Town. seaside fishing village of Hout Bay

Llandudno Beach

Llandudno Beach is one of those beautiful beaches that seem to have it all. Parking is limited near the beach, so plan accordingly. The white crescent shaped beach lies at the base of the steep slopes of the Twelve Apostles and is flanked by massive granite boulders.

It is one of the most popular chilling and romantic sundown picnic spots in Cape Town, Llandudno Beach is also the haunt of photographers, surfers, surf skiers and an active lifesaving crowd.

Day 4: Friday October 13, 2017

Check-out from Icon Luxury Apartment very early in the morning, Return the rental car to Budget at Cape Town Airport (CPT). Flysafair flight FA100 departs at 5:45 am. 

How To Get Around

Transport in Cape Town for Tourists

In Capetown we planned to use the hop-on hop-off bus for a day or two as it is one of the cheapest way to move around from place to place in the city. Also renting a car from the airport to cover the scenic peninsula drive and a trip to the wine area. There are other continent way to get around the city like:

Uber

Probably Uber is one of the most safe and easiest ways to get around in Cape Town. No need to pay cash as the ride is shared to your credit card and most of all fares are affordable.

Rikkis Taxis

Sharing your trip with another person heading in the same direction is another cost effective way of getting around in the city. Rikkis Taxi is ideal when you are traveling in a group. 

Minibus taxi

Minibus taxis is available on the dedicated routes and it’s another inexpensive way of moving around the city. Ideal for locals but find it difficult for travelers visiting the city for the first time. Also you need to deal with cash with the driver and the fare is based on the distance travelled. 

While on the street you simply flag down a minibus taxi and when you need to get off just tell the driver to stop. 

On foot

Whether you have a rental car in Cape Town or getting around in a taxi or by Uber it is absolutely fun to walk around the city specially in the city center and around the riverfront. There are also free walking tours available which will cover many landmarks of Cape Town. The Historic Tour, The Bo-Kaap and District Six Tour are definitely easily walkable.

By bicycle

There are places where you can rent reliable bikes and it’s also one of the easy way to move around in the City. Bike tour led by experienced local guides is safer than going solo and these guided tours are one of the popular event in Cape Town.

Meter taxi

There are reputed taxi companies in Cape Town like UnicabExcite, Cabco etc., these companies use the taxi-meter, and fares are displayed. Taxis service should be pre-arranged or they could be found in designated taxi stands. Actually they are not suppose to stop for customers on the streets. 

MyCiTi bus

MyCiTi bus is Cape Town’s public transportation system. It is safer and cheaper way to get around the city. You need to have my connect card to travel because MyCiTi does not accept cash on the buses. You can buy the card from MyCiTi stations or from selected retailers and top up when necessary. 

City Sightseeing double decker bus

Hop-On Hop-Off bus is a great way to explore Cape Town at your own pace. Ticket available for 24 or 48 hours and during the service hours you could get off any designated stops and explore the surrounding areas once done get on to the next available bus. It’s a safe and affordable option for tourist with limited travel window. 

Rental Car

Renting a car from the airport is the easiest way to drive around Cape Town as long as you have a working GPS and comfortable driving on the left side of the road. By renting a car you can ensure that you get to see all of the major attractions at your leisure. It also means that you can afford to be more relaxed about your holiday planning.

Best Time to Visit Cape Town

Summer – December to February

The weather is worm but not overwhelming, with daytime average temperature ranging from mid to high 70s. During summer months City beaches gets crowded and hotel rates increase hard to find bargains.

Autumn – March to May

Autumn in Cape Town is perfect time for wine lovers. Many of the wineries offers interesting activities. Daytime temperature remains in cooler side between high 60s to mid 70s. As a result hotels begins to offer discounts to attract tourists. 

Winter – June to August

Cape Town is relatively quiet and experience less tourists in winter. You can save big on accommodation as long as the cold wind does not bother you much. Daytime winter temperature is usually in the low 60s.  

Spring – September to November

Spring is the best time to visit Cape Town when the city and surrounding mountains becomes colorful. Expect a little rise in hotel rates but they still remains reasonably low. Daytime temperatures remains comfortable between the mid 60s to mid 70s.   

Where to stay in Cape Town

Icon Luxury Apartments, Corner Hans Strijdom and Lower Long Street, Cape Town City Center

Harbour Bridge Luxury Apartments, Anchorway, Roggebaai Canal Cape Town

Favorite Local Restaurants and Food

Cape Town is well known for it’s vibrant culinary scene. Whether you spice up your chicken thighs in a South Africa curry or sitting in a sushi joint or feel like a tapas bar, the choices are endless. Cape Town being in a crossroads of cultures for centuries, as a result you will find many local receipies reflects global influence.  

The Test Kitchen, Cape Town

Luke Dale-Roberts’ The Test Kitchen, which opened in November 2010, has the celebrated chef cooking at his most creative in a distinctive contemporary space.

Since coming to Cape Town in 2006, Luke has consistently proven his world-class standing with a string of awards and accolades. You definitely need to make a reservation few weeks ahead.

Gold Restaurant, Cape Town

Gold is a unique African restaurant in the heart of Cape Town. Famous for it’s Cape Malay and African dishes. GOLD Restaurant offers 3 unique performances during the dinner.

My Opinion and Tips

Local Airlines:

FlySafair

Mango Airlines  

Buying SIM Card

It is simple to buy one at the airport there are a couple of phone shops there, you only need to show your passport but you could buy one cheaper at a supermarket or other retail shop elsewhere.

The equivalent of 10 pounds sterling for 100 minutes and 250 mb data. Had to show passport and address where we were staying, but not proof. Used most of the data as I was using Google maps for navigation.

Have you been to Cape Town? Any additional tips to share?

Please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you to improve my knowledge. 

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Have you been to Cape Town, here are few pictures that will tell the story of Dizzy Traveler and see if you want to now.

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