We have a trip to Robben Island and Table Mtn planned, but would like suggestions for highlights and transportation options for the other half days. Thanks~
Whilst you are visiting robben island definitely leave a little time to wander the beautiful V&A Waterfront. However for a half day I would suggest hiring a rental and taking a drive to Cape Pointop off at Simon's Town along the way and visit wild penguins on the beach - you can literally walk right amongst them - then carry on to the national park which is a stunning drive and you will see lots of cheeky baboons plus antelope and zebra and maybe even whales and dolphins if you are lucky! Not to mention getting the iconic photograph at the most southwesterly part of Africa :)
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I would take a tour of the Cape of Good Hope. But go early and you will see more animals. It was so pretty. Also take a bus tour of the city.
So first thing first here is a little tip for Table Mountain. The natural environment around the mountain range makes weather very upredictable and, when the winds are strong or when the 'table cloth' cloud is thick, Table Mountain closes. This happens more often than you think and, either way, you don't want to pay to go up to the top when the cloud is fluttering and you can't see the view due to a white misty coverage. So make your plans flexible: Table Mountain is best early in the morning or just before sunset, don't commit until a few hours before when you can be sure of the ever-changing weather.
As for transport, Cape Town has a few reliable and safe buses that mostly serve the waterfront from the V&A to Seapoint and then to the beaches of Clifton and Camps Bay. However, if you aren't planning on driving, you should def always have a few reliable and SAFE taxi company numbers on you -- it is imperative to be safe in any city of South Africa, don't just flag a ride from the street.
Okay, so now the options for day or half-day trips:
1. The Central Business District or CBD and its museums is definitely worth a 2-3 hour walk. It is best done on a weekday when offices and business are open.
2. On weekends, try a stroll along Woodstock and the Buiscuit Mill for a lively artsy scene plus a stunning street food market.
3. If you are a nature lover, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens are a beautiful place to visit, as is the dawn hike to the top of Lion's Head(my favourite of the Table Mountain national park). For a more pristine nature, you can't go wrong with Newlands Forrest.
4. Naturally, if the weather is warm enough, a beach morning or afternoon is definitely a must. Clifton is my personal favourite because of its secluded and protective bay coves. However Camps Bay offers a much more lively athmosphere, with great restaurants along the beachfront and the most spectacular view of the 12 Apostles background.
5. The winelands may sound like they are located quite far away but in truth they can be reached in 20-60mins by taxi. The closest and best half day option has to be Constancia, a traditional and friendly town known equally for its excellent wineries and gourmet food. Stellenbosch and Franschoek are also good options.
6. A half day tour of the Western Cape is highly recommended. Not only to reach Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope but also to make a quick seafood lunch stop in one of the coastal fishing towns such as Hout Bay and Kalk Bay. As mentioned above, a visit to Boulders Beach in the Indian Ocean will allow you to get up close and personal with cape penguins.
I did a post on CPT based on my last trip to the city in January, it basically lays out a two day itinerary: http://www.aforkinlondon.com/post/77381454938/cape-town My blog also has posts on the Western Cape and the Winelands, if you are looking for more details.
Hope this helps! Have a great trip!
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Hi Kath. I'm a travel agent and I LOVE Cape Town. A couple of other things to consider would be Table Mountain Aerial Cableway as long as you're okay with heights. There's also the Cape Winelands. Just something you don't want to miss. If you're up for a bit of a drive, Gansbaaiis considered the white shark capital of the world! If you're interested in South Africa's apartheid history, you'll get some idea of what transpired at Robben Island. A nice thing to mix with that is the District Six Museum. For shopping, one of my favorite spots in Greenmarket Square. You'll find lots of cool and interesting trinkets to bring home.
Hope that helps in deciding what to do on your extra days.
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Take a trip to the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens. This world class garden is on the slopes of Table Mountain.
I highly recommend an inspirational half day tour with Uthando South Africa www.uthandosa.org. They take you to uplighting community projects in Khayelitsha. I've been on tour with them twice as there are so many projects. They are a fair trade certied company & each tour offers a chance to give back to the communities as a portion of the tour fee directly benefits the projects.