What more can we ask?

Overall In spite of mixed feelings related to crime, Cape Town is still one of our favorite cities in Africa. The landscapes are striking and varied; the people are sophisticated and friendly at the same time; and the city is modern yet still small enough to explore easily. Wedged between the ocean and mountains, it has a distinctive skyline of natural beauty.

By the locals’ own accounts, the Cape Town area has significant crime problems and poverty. It is not safe to walk around many areas of the city or beaches, especially at night. We understand criminals may not be targeting tourists exclusively, but tourists are often the victims of robbery and even violent crimes. Home break-ins are common, and the better hotels in the city staff guards to protect their property and guests. Although area residents take this in stride, reading reports about assaults in the news during a visit is disconcerting.

Table Mountain makes the cityscape one of the most recognizable and striking in the world. At the same time, the wine growing regions provide a wonderful contrast to urban areas. Cape Town’s ocean and beach views, beautiful setting and many attractive features make it a favorite for travelers from all over the world. Strong currencies like the euro, pound, and even the dollar provide good buying power for travelers while local products and services are a terrific value. The city offers kind weather, clean streets, and a healthy and tourist friendly environment. What more can we ask?

Cost Of Visiting Reasonable to expensive

Currency South African rand

Location The southwestern tip of South Africa

Transportation Rental car, taxis and private tours

Shopping We have found the best shopping opportunities in South Africa are for locally produced products including art, branded clothing and t-shirts, crafts, jewelry, gem stones, souvenirs, leather goods and fine wines. High end ostrich leather wallets, handbags and other exotic leathers were widely available. Carved wood products, either from South Africa or other African countries, were also available.

Local beer and wines are terrific and have historically been excellent value for money. Lately, we have found ever increasing fine wines – with fine prices to match them. Food in general, especially seafood, has been good although we battle to find world class gourmet restaurants. South African sparkling wine is a pleasant alternative to champagne and a fraction of the price.

Tourism Highlights The heart of the city’s tourism is at the V&A Waterfront shopping area. We like the secure and diverse shopping and dining options available there. For the more adventurous, there are additional possibilities worth exploring.

One of these is the famous Table Mountain National Park which can be reached on a clean and pretty 65-seat cable car with a 360-degree panoramic view. The Table Mountain Cableway has been in operation since 1929. Although at times it’s overcrowded, especially in the cable car arrivals and departures areas, on a clear day the view at the top is worth the hassle. At times, it’s so windy they close the mountain. We found it useful to check if the mountain is open before making plans.

Wine is among South Africa’s most noble export products. One of the salient characteristics of the South African wine is its consistent high quality. For foodies and wine lovers, the wine area near Cape Town is worth the short drive. Charming restaurants and wineries, historic towns and beautiful scenery are the rewards.

Following are some fun spots.

Date Of Latest Visit November 2009