I can’t seem to take Cape Town out of my mind. If you haven’t been before to Cape Town, then you are reading the right post!! I’m sharing my short experience in Cape Town, and my tips.
Cape Town has a huge number of accommodation options, from super fancy to rustic backpacker type places, so you are likely to find exactly what you need. For younger people, the city centre as well as surroundings including; Camps Bay, Bantry Bay, De Waterkant, Gardens, Tamboerskloof, Clifton, Sea Point, Mouille Point, Higgovale and Orangezicht. These are either located near nightlife or the sea. Alternatively you could stay in the university area of Newlands, which is a quick drive into the centre. For those looking for something a little different or for a bit of surfing, the smaller coastal towns of Kalk Bay, Fish Hoek, Hout Bay and Llundadno might be appealing but please note these are a little more out of the way.
For a relatively comprehensive listing of Cape Town self-catering, b&bs and hotels, go to www.capestay.co.za and refer to tripadvisor for reviews.
During my visit, I stayed in a boutique hotel called: Cascades on the Promenade (you can find it on booking.com). A wonderful boutique hotel, friendly staff and great breakfast. The owner was around, he welcomed us and showed us everything in the hotel. The hotel is 10 mins drive to the waterfront. Good for either a family or a group of friends.
Otherwise, if you’re looking to stay in a villa, this could help: http://www.capevillas.com/New_Hotlists/Camps_Bay_Villas.shtml
If you’re comfortable driving on the same side of the road as in England, then I highly advise you to rent a car. A convertible car. Beautiful beautiful scenery going from one place to another.
3. Touristy stuff.
– Go up Table Mountain (either hike or use the cable car). If you’re an athlete, hike for sure!! It’s not an easy hike though, it’s kinda steep. Otherwise, cable car is your friend.
– See the penguins at Boulders Beach (warm water, rock formations and cute penguins)
– Chapmans Peak Drive (one of the most scenic drives in the world)
– V&A Waterfront (beautiful indoor/outdoor mall – great shopping and eating – located by the sea with opportunity to go on boat trips around the coast)
– Kirstenbosch Gardens (amazing botanical gardens at the foot of a mountain, they have great sunset concerts on Sunday evenings)
– Camps Bay/Clifton (prime beach real estate, such a wonderful setting to spend the day in the sun with the mountains behind you – parking is a nightmare in summer, be warned!)
– Robben Island (more history focused than anything, this is a small island off the coast where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for a long time), we took a boat to the island, and did the tour – worth visiting if you like history!
– Hermanus (coastal town, perfect for whale watching)
– Drive in your convertible to Cape of Good Hope. Drive by the sea.
4. I did it, you can do it.
A) SHARK CAGE DIVING.
We rented a private driver-guide for sharkcage diving. We did it with Shark Cage Diving Gansbaai (http://www.sharkcagediving.co.za). They arrange for your pick-up and your drop-off from and back to the hotel.
Guys, you DO NOT swim with the sharks deep in the water in this one. You dive in a cage and you’re very close to the surface. You dive with great white sharks so they’re very dangerous and this tour/dive is mainly for people with no diving licenses.
B) Helicopter Ride.
This ride was absolutely fantastic. I booked The CapeTown Scenic Flight with these guys: http://www.helicopterscapetown.co.za
5. Eating out.
Haiku restaurant is a fun place to eat out, they do Asian fusion and are famous for Asian tapas. Rick’s Cafe in the city centre is a wonderful place to go and have snacks as it has a large roof terrace with a view of the mountains – all kinds of interesting cigars are also sold there for cigar lovers. The Bombay Bicycle Club is a funky place to eat delicious grills and African food, its also in a very convenient central location. Royale Eatery on Long street is a yummy trendy hamburger place, on the top is a trendy bar/club called the Waiting Room – definitely worth checking out. Cape 2 Cuba in Kalk Bay is a bit away from the centre (on the other side of the mountain) but has delicious food and is a very interesting spot.
To find a specific restaurant or read about more dining in Cape Town, you should go to www.eatout.co.za.
On a Sunday afternoon, starting at 5 or 6 pm (more or less), go to Caprice Bar, which is a beach front bar in Camps Bay, very cool vibe, very good crowd, DJ playing soft house music and everyone chilling there while watching the sunset.
6. Final words.
Be safe!! South Africa is a wonderful place to visit; however, this paradise isn’t perfect – crime and car accidents are both a serious concern. When driving at night be extra vigilant as many other drivers do drink and drive. Avoid driving long distances after dark when possible. Always lock your car when driving and ensure valuables are not visible when stopping at traffic lights. Ensure whatever accommodation you choose has adequate security measures in place (secure parking, a safe, an alarm or physical security etc) Don’t walk around with a fancy laptop/camera etc when this isn’t necessary, the more concealed the better. As in most countries, there are good and bad areas (unless on a guided tour avoid shanty towns and poorer areas).
Salud, and enjoy Paradise! Toomzie
1. Lizard Island (Australia)
2. The Reverie Saigon (Vietnam)
3. Park Hyatt Zanzibar (Tanzania)
4. SLS Park Avenue (New York)
5. Patina, Capitol Singapore
6. Anantara Tangalle (Sri Lanka)
7. Alila Seminyak (Indonesia)
8. Lofoten Opera Hotel (Norway)
9. Four Seasons Hotel Seoul
10. Ritz-Carlton, Langkawi (Malaysia)
“Travel far enough, you meet yourself”
We’ve been asked some questions regarding things to do in Cuba. Here is what we learned from our friends:
CUBA – A literal sense of “A blast from the past”
- Traveling to Cuba:
Virgin Atlantic: Flight leaves from Dubai, with a stop in London then a direct flight to Cuba.
KLM: Flight leaves from Kuwait to Amsterdam, then a direct flight to CubaHavana.
Traveling from USA: As there are sanctions between US and Cuba, you should make travel plans from Canada or Mexico instead.
– Hotel Saratoga Cuba: The best hotel in Cuba, located in Old Town, all the shops and historic areas are walking distance away. Very busy neighborhood in the day and night as well. Nice rooms, nice staff, good internet!
– Hotel Nacionale : A very decent hotel, away from the downtown area, overlooks the beach, however there is no beach for swimming. The Kuwaiti Embassy is located in the Hotel in case anything is needed. The rooms are decent, neighborhood is quieter and there are some shops around the hotel.
-Room Rental: There are many rooms at local’s houses that are up for rent, whether you are alone or with a group of friends. Locals are very friendly and many of the rental homes are very good, and hosts are very sweet and welcoming.
-There are many options to eat from in Cuba, however most of the food will be tasteless and very blah, highly recommended to take Tabasco, or any other condiment of your choice.
– The best restaurants are all located in an area of town called Miramar, here you will find a little upper scale places, better than the ones found in Havana Town.
-Old Town: There are many restaurants in Old Town Havana, however most of them are tourist traps so be careful, make sure you check out the seating and the menu.
- What to do:
-Old Town Havana: walk around enjoy the history, try to arrange for a tour around the town on your first days so you are able to go back to the places you liked most.
– In the middle of Town you will find a big area where everyone is selling historical items in mint condition for very cheap, best place for souvenirs.
-Visit “El Floridita” – A place cherished by locals where Ernest Hemingway used to order their famous Daquiri.
-Arrange for a trip to visit cigar factories and farms, as well as a visit to see the old caves.
-Go to the show at the Copacabana in Havana, a famous dancing show.
-Visit the Revolution Museum, and any historic museum of your liking.
-Arrange to go see Ernst Hemingway’s house that was preserved in its original condition and is now a museum for everyone to see.
-Try arranging day trips with excursion companies to see other areas outside Havana (Caves, cigar plantation, rum factory…..)
Also, there are many districts around Havana that are also nice for beach areas, our friends have visited Varadero, a very nice area by the beach to swim and chill, but there wasn’t much to do besides stay at hotel and see the town there.
There are also other areas that are awaiting exploration by any tourist.
- Tips & Info
Currency: There are 2 currencies used in Cuba, one for locals and one for tourists. Know the difference.
Phone: Another important thing is that there are no phones in hotel rooms nor will your Kuwaiti phones will work, either get a contact number from airport, or go to the lobby and ask for the phone booths to make your calls, or you can keep it simple with emails at the internet café’s or business centers at hotels.
Visa: Kuwaitis, Get your visas from here: Cuba Embassy in Kuwait – details: Tel :22549361 (Rawda, Block 3, St. Shahab Ahmad Al Bahar, House 74) – Visa process takes 1 to 3 days.
Transportation: Take normal taxis, or use classic cars for taxis, sometimes more expensive. You can also rent a car or arrange for a driver to be available with you at all times.
Hope this helps!!
I’ve always known Ladurée for only its Macaroons. This time, Ladurée definitely made a different impression. Not only their Macaroons are good, There’s many many more!
Ladurée invited Hello965 to try out their different desserts and tea selection on the menu.
My friends and I were supposed to go to The Breakfast Club last week but it didn’t happen. Fortunately, we made it this weekend!!
The place is small and cosy, the location is nice and we reached easily without getting lost. (Mainly because its close to a friend’s house :p) – The owners are two Kuwaiti guys and they themselves were the waiters (very friendly, good job guys!)
We were 8, all of us are first timers there so we decided to order for all and share the yumminess.
The menu had International, Italian, Continental, Lebanese, and Kuwaiti dishes.
The breakfast club is located in Fintas infront of Safir, behind Crumbs.
On another note, outfit of the day is below! 😉
(25/12/2014) Update: The opening hours are from 5:00 AM till 2:30 PM