Sightseeing tips for South Africa in February
  • It is so cold in London, I can feel icicles forming on the inside of my lungs - is that a good thing? With this in mind we are going to have a ten-day break in South Africa at the end of feb. We were thinking a few days in the winelands and a few days somewhere around the cape or on the eastern cape ....

    Do you have any solid-gold recommendations; we already heard that there was some big bike race to avoid in early march? any help appreciated.
  • If you would like a winelands holiday, suggest you stay in Franschhoek- the beautiful food capital of South Africa. It’s about 90 mins from Cape Town, and 40 mins from Stellenbosch. Superb restaurants, and plenty of places to stay. http://www.franschhoek.org.za/

    For a real treat, try La Petite Ferme for their lovely guest suites, alternatively, go there for lunch. http://www.lapetiteferme.co.za/ or Haute Cabriere or La Quartier Francais – The Tasting Room. Salmon Bar also excellent.

    If you decide to go the Eastern Cape as you mentioned, suggest you fly there, unless you want to enjoy the scenic 1300km drive. Original Xhosa homelands – stunning, quiet beaches all along the coast. Just search under Wild Coast to find out more.

    Two accommodation recommendations are Bucaneers http://www.cintsa.com/ or Umngazi River Lodge. http://www.umngazi.co.za/ Umngazi rates include 3 meals a day. You’d have to fly to East London and hire a car from there.

    Cedarberg - www.bushmanskloof.co.za is a great place to stay. About 3hrs from CPT – maybe a little more.

    Kalk Bay – good for eating and wandering, but not sure how many accommodation options there are. Might be better to stay in Simon’s Town, a 10 minute (safe and scenic – on the sea!) train ride away. Well-known for penguins!

    Eating in Cape Town – Myoga or Ginja are AMAZING – but you’ll have to book well in advance. Food-style most likely to be on the internet.

    Another trip you might like to try, is going up the West Coast for a couple of days – about a 90 min drive from Cape Town. Oyster Catcher Lodge is meant to be lovely http://www.oystercatcherlodge.co.za/accommodation.html Otherwise, anywhere in the beautiful fishing village of Paternoster would be good.

    The Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour - 8 March 2009. This is the big cycle race you mentioned. It’s a one-day race, taking place on a Sunday I think. Accommodation- and restaurant-wise, things will be a bit hectic the 2 days before and after in Cape Town and immediate surrounds only, while the rest of the country won’t be affected at all.

    For good off-the-beaten-track, self catering options try: http://www.budget-getaways.com/

    For info, our domestic airlines are Mango, Kulula and 1Time. All sound a bit dubious, I know (!) – but they’re fine – we’ve flown them all. Mango is run by SAA, Kulula by BA and 1Time is its own company.

    Have a great trip!
  • The bike race you are referring to is the Cape Argus, biggest timed bike race in the world. It is a fun event and rather than try to avoid it you should definitely check it out. Watch from the side of the road in Kalk Bay or Simonstown or head over to the finish in Sea Point/ Green Point.
  • We've just returned from 3 months in Southern Africa. Check out DeHoop Nature Reserve - it's stunning! Bone white sand dunes, unique fynbos plant life, zebras, bontebok and eland everywhere, and white Cape Dutch cottages for accomodation. Wow.

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