If one night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble, two weeks in Cape Town will make a weary man happier than Leo at this year’s Oscars.
Before the fun starts you need to do some homework and at least plan a few things in advance to make to most out of your two weeks.
- Rent a car. Unless you want to stay only in the city a car is a must and will allow you to be flexible and take some spontaneous decisions along the way. At www.travelstart.co.za you will find rentals at very fair prices. Be sure to book a car with unlimited kilometers, insurance and GPS.
- Book a nice hotel at least for the first 2 nights until you get a sense for the city and its neighbourhoods. If you want to go luxurious you may want to look at the African Pride on 15 and Orange (www.africanpridehotels.com). Besides being a great hotel its location couldn’t be better. It’s exactly between Kloof street and Long street, meaning 2 minutes away from many boutiques, restaurants and nightlife. And with the car it’s about 7 or 8 minutes to table mountain and camps bay. Still not convinced? There is a model agency inside the hotel for god’s sake…Good and cheaper alternatives are also the Hippo Boutique Hotel (www.hippotique.co.za) or if you don’t mind something more noisy but really cool the Long Street Hotel (www.longstreethotel.com). Generally speaking everything in the Gardens area is fine.
- Make reservations for dinner! You wouldn’t believe but some restaurants are booked up to 3 months in advance. You will find some tips later on in my post entries, but unless you want to be eating Doritos from a vending machine you better organize yourself. It would really be a pity to miss out on the fantastic food in South Africa, trust me on this one. And dinner time is 7.30pm to 8pm…If you book too late you may be ending up waiting at the bar for the seated party to finish their dinner and rushing through your own meal.
- Pack some dress shoes and collared shirts. Many places expect a smart casual appearance (emphasis lies on smart not casual) at night; meaning no shorts and flip-flops. Although everything is very laid back and they often decide to turn a blind eye, remember that you are in model town. Nothing wrong with dressing up during your holidays and unless you are Leo don’t expect an angel to fall into the lap of your worn-out, functional, 7/8 length trousers.
- Hit the gym. Because I want to avoid a third reference to Mr Di Caprio (already two is weird and I am seriously doubting my intellectual capabilities to come up with new references) and you know that you are 700 hours of spinning classes away from a beach body, you might as well just label your holiday as a wine tasting and culinary experience trip and leave it at that. Call yourself a bon vivant (which sounds better than gym rat) and leave your gym attire at home. Mine just took up precious space in the suitcase which I could have filled with bottles of wine on the way home instead.