General information on South Africa:
1- The high season is from December to March.
2- SA is in the southern hemisphere, so summer months are from December to March.
3- Rate of exchange is USD 1.00 is almost 12.00 ZAR (Rand) (was in January 2018.)
4- The exchange rate is nearly the same in every shop and in banks. We recommend going thru a bank and changing a significant amount to avoid fees charges.
5- Gas is approximately 1.3 USD/ a litre.
6- February is the hottest month in Cape Town with an average temperature of 73°F (23°C), and the coldest in June at 55°F (13°C) with the most daily sunshine hours at 11.05 in December. The wettest month is July with an average of 100mm of rain.
7- Rent a car and pick it up from the airport.
8- Exchange some money from the bank's airport upon arrival.
9- Buy your SIM card from the Airport.
10-People have been flocking to South Africa mainly from December to April as it is summer in the Southern hemisphere while cold and miserable in the northern hemisphere.
Cape Town is one of the most picturesque countries we have ever visited.
When staying in the country, you will realize that you are treated as a VISITOR not as TOURIST. Prices of services don’t change because you are a tourist like in most countries. You pay what locals pay excluding some tourist attraction where you pay a little more. Still its never a rip-off.
When hungry and you are on the go, all supermarkets are super clean, full of fresh on site cooked food, a station of fresh coffee, tea, and fresh juices are available for quick pick up. Restaurants are no different they offer delicious yummy food, significant portions and with very reasonable prices.
In every residential area, a complex with strip mall full of busy coffee shops, restaurants, banks services, etc. for your convince. No overpricing and most important is that people are honest. Yes clean and very honest.
Regarding touristic areas as national parks and attractions. They have priced to be affordable for everyone.
Some of them can be pre-booked online for visitors convenience.
A Picture is worth a thousand words:
Where to Go in Cape Town:
While everywhere is beautiful here is what we recommend.
Accommodation: Stay away from the city itself.
Going around: Rent a car if you can it will take you more places to see and enjoy sites off the beaten track.
Money: Always carry small cash around.
Coffee: SA has the best coffee in my opinion.
I) TABLE TOP MOUNTAIN: A must visit. A breath taking experience.
Take the amazing cable car that accommodates 60 people. Sounds interesting right? So stable and enjoyable. The cable driver is also your guide who will give you a summary of what to do once you reach the top of the mountain.
Expect a marvellous view of the ocean, the city, and the mountains once on top. Walk around and take creative pictures or rather listen to the wind as it is talking to the mountain and maybe withering something for you.
If you are active enough and have time, climb this mountain, they say its fabulous. Well not for me I prefer the cable car.
High up in the mountains you will find beautiful restaurants that serve drinks and food. Enjoy a drink or a snack at one of their yummy well-priced restaurants.
Allocate half a day with clear blue skies to visit the “Table Top mountain”. On windy days they close the site. So carefully plan your trips if you are visiting for few days only.
II) CAPE OF GOOD HOPE AND CAPE POINT:
One gate entry for two attraction with one entry. Spectacular views that will surely blow your mind. Plan the day well as there are many sites to visit. You will be given a detailed map of the sites once you book your ticket.
In Cape Point, you can either walk up the hill or take a cable car, which I recommend if it is a hot day.
In Cape of Good Hope, you will be in the most southern west part of Africa and the closest to the South Pole. Sit for few minutes and reflect while listening to the Ocean beat the rocks.
III) CHAPMAN’S PEAK:
We recommend taking this long drive more than once and at different times of the day and definitely during sunset. Take some food and drinks and enjoy a picnic with a view. Any place you choose you will have a magical sunset view guaranteed.
VI) WHALE WATCHING:
The best time for watching the southern right whale in South African waters is from June to November along the Cape south coast. Peak calving season is July and August, but whales can also be seen through September and October.
Flase bay is one of the bays close to Cape Town to enjoy watching whale's migration.
Clifton Bay and Camps bay along with hidden other gems that the local-only go. But be aware that probably you will only enjoy sitting not swimming as the water is FREEZING COLD.
Boulders, huge rocks on the beach and the ocean is the home of the only African penguins. Driving along the twisted road that overlooks the sea gives you a different view on each side. You will enjoy seeing petite in size penguins. Park the car and go for a breathtaking walk.
VII) SIMONS TOWN:
This town is the closest town to the penguin's sanctuary filled with cute little restaurants, coffee shops, and a marina, jam-packed at lunchtime and dinner. Pick and choose any of them and stay for coffee or lunch to enjoy another fantastic view of this harbour with sailing boats resting at the Marina.
This place is the hangout area for both tourists and locals. Entertaining and enjoyable. Day and night. It is mall surrounded by hotels and over 100 different restaurants. Hidden markets filled with artwork of talented artist producing high-quality handmade products all made in South Africa. Little pricey but very high-quality products.
I am not a drinker but was amazed by the wineries. Cape Town is home of great wineries, and they all pride themselves with what they produce and offer. Wine lovers are welcome for wine tasting, and nondrinkers are also welcomed to enjoy the place and eat delicious food. So visiting a winery is a must in my opinion.
X) BO KAAP:
One of the rare neighbourhoods that survived the abolishment. The Mali people, who were brought in as slaves, built this area. They brought the Muslim legion along with them. The streets are full of colourful houses, cable tile walking street, mosques and a museum. A must visit but be on guard with your belongings.
XI) Hout Bay:
The Bay is known for its fresh fish restaurants and beautiful beach. Saturday market is attractive to visit, eat delicious food, buy some local stuff and meet local people.Also home to sealions who plays around and expect visitors to feed them. So much fun.
Hiking 100’s of trails all you need is a right hiking shoe, bottle of water, sunscreen and you are good to go. On our way to Kruger National Park.
On our way to Kruger National Park. Stay tuned for tips on where to go and what to do.