Just returned from a two week trip to South Africa. The first week was all business and took me from Johannesburg to Durban and then to Cape Town. The second week was all holiday in Cape Town, and I couldn't be happier! If you have never visited South Africa, you must plan a trip to the Cape.
Hotel: I stayed at the City Lodge Cape Town which was conveniently located about a 10 minute walk from the main part of the V & A Waterfront. The rooms were comfortable and well kept, the breakfast was very good and had a great selection. My only complaint would be that the supposed pool was nothing more than a large jacuzzi. Overall, I would stay here again for the price it was very nice, and the staff was very friendly.
The Sights: As a first time visitor to South Africa, I did most of the tourist things. I travelled to Cape Point for a day and was not disappointed. The scenery in and of itself was worth the trip, a look to the right and you could watch the waves of the ocean crashing over beautiful rock formations and against the coast. A look to the left and I was amazed at the mountains and scenic views. Upon reaching the Cape Point Nature Park one sees wild baboons, ostriches, and gazelle type animals right along the road. The views from the point light house are fantastic and the weather was perfect.
I spent another day on Table Mountain, which forms the backdrop of the city. Again, the views from the top are well worth the cost of the cable car ride. After leaving table mountain we travelled to Stellenbosch and the wine region. Make this a day and hire a driver to take you so that you don't have to worry about driving. I would recommend Simonsig Vineyards, and La Motte Winery as excellent choices.
Another day was spent at the botanical gardens, and while it was mid summer and most of the plants were not in bloom, the beauty of the area and the scenic views are very nice. I would love to see this in the spring when the thousands of plants and flowers are in bloom. Followed this up with a walk through the Company Gardens and Greenmarket square in Downtown Cape Town.
I did spent a day going to a game preserve about two hours from Cape Town. For $200 I expected a better event. The reserve was called Faire Glenn and while they advertise that they have over 20,000 hectacres only 1000 are actually part of the preserve at this time. There are a limited number of animals and much of our time felt like I was at a Disney animal ride complete with corny jokes. I would not do this again and would rather spent the extra time and money to go to Kruger or another actual game reserve where the experience is much more real.
I ran out of time and did not make it to Robben Island but will do this upon my return to Cape Town.
Dining: Hard to go wrong when you are in Cape Town. For the less adventuresome there are dozens of restaurants in the Waterfront are. We chose Belthazar Steakhouse and would recommend it to anyone. Not only was the food excellent but they serve over 200 wines by the glass. Also, if you are looking for a great place to spend the evening take a taxi to Camp's Bay and walk along the beach, climb around the rocks and then stoll up seaside blvd. and find a place to sit outside and eat and share a bottle of wine while watching the sun set over the ocean. It doesn't get better than this. Quay Four is a nice spot on the Waterfront for lunch while watching the harbor in action.
Overall Impressions: I am already planning my next trip to Cape Town and would tell everyone to experience the beauty of the land, the friendliness of the people, and excellent dining and entertainment options.