Cape Town Journals

At The Foot of Table Mountain

A November 2004 trip to Cape Town by Orl

Quote: Cape Town is probably the least African city in South Africa, but it's still worth visiting. It's beautiful and cosmopolitan, and there is more than enough to keep you occupied for at least 1 week.

At The Foot of Table Mountain

Overview

Quote:
Breakfast outside at Arnold's cafe, Kloof Street with a view of Table Mountain Quick Tips: - Book at least a day ahead for the ferry to Robben Island. - I was disappointed with the Canal Walk shopping centre. On the plus side, it is only a 10-minute drive outside Cape Town, has over 400 shops, and is open until 9pm most nights. However, I found the quality of goods inferior and a poor value for the money. I preferred Camps Bay to the beaches at Clifton. Camps Bay has a grass verge so you can avoid alot of the sand. We had been warned that the water would be too cold to swim in but that was not our experience. In fact it was exhilerating to dip into the cold seawater after th...Read More

Mount Nelson

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
The Mount Nelson hotel is over 100 years old, and it retains its old- world colonial atmosphere. It does not take much imagination to let your mind drift back a century and imagine the ex-pats sipping gin and tonics to distract themselves from the Anglo-Boer war. Anyway, we went for afternoon tea mainly because Michael Winner, the Sunday Times columnist, regards it as the best in the world. I don’t do afternoon tea that often, so I am not really qualified to disagree, but I can say I really enjoyed the experience. We sat out in the verandah overlooking the lush gardens and were offered a menu of teas. Then we went up to serve ourselves from the sumptuous buffet. There were quiches, savoury pies...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 4, 2005

Mount Nelson
76 Orange St.
Cape Town, South Africa
021 483 1000

Emily's Bistro

Restaurant | "Emilys "

Quote:
Situated at the top of the clock tower on the V&A waterfront, it is regarded as being among South Africa’s top-10 restaurants. I loved the warm and spacious dining room, though the paintings are not what I would have chosen. Our waiter was Prince, and he was friendly and efficient.

To start, we had the gratinated mussels, chilled tomato soup, and smoked chicken salad. We all chose sirloin steak as the main course. The steak was slightly tough, but in general, we enjoyed the experience. It cost us about 200ZAR, including a bottle of wine per person, which is a good value by Irish standards.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 4, 2005

Emily's Bistro
77 Roodebloem Road
Cape Town, South Africa 7925
+27 21 448 2366

Arnold's Cafe

Restaurant

Quote:
A free bottle of wine with our meal attracted us to it, but we went back for the warm welcome and the wide-ranging menu. The menu is quite eclectic – I had crocodile ribs to start. I would suggest to even unadventurous eaters to try it. The ribs are more like cartilage than bones, and the meat is like a slightly greasy chicken. The sauce the meat was dipped in was delicious, as was the gooseberry relish accompanying the ribs. I had prawns as a main course, and the others had a gi-normous salad and steak, respectively. We all really enjoyed our meal. Be warned: The portions are big here. Come hungry. I can’t remember the exact cost, but we all felt it passed the value-for-money test. We went back...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 10, 2005

Arnold's Cafe
60 Kloof St. Gardens
Cape Town, South Africa
27 21 4244344

Baia

Restaurant

Quote:
I would really recommend Baia, on the waterfront, for a memorable meal. The beautiful harbour views, wonderful service, and first-class food all contribute to create a wonderful atmosphere. Our meal there was one to make you think that God is in his heaven and all is right with the world. We had cocktails as aperitifs, and I had the rocket, pear, and gorgonzola salad as a starter, which was light and delicious. As a main course, I had a seafood casserole, which was too big for even my substantial appetite. We were also given a free bottle of wine, which, of course, increased our feel-good quotient significantly. It is definitely the kind of place to linger over a bottle of wine and admire the view. If...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 12, 2005

Baia
Shop 6262, V&A Waterfront
Cape Town, South Africa
27 21 421-0935

Robben Island/Robben Island Museum

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Robben Island"

Quote:
A visit to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated, is definitely worthwhile. We had to book a day in advance. The 40-minute boat journey is pleasant--plenty of photos opps of Table Mountain. Although it was difficult to hear the recorded commentary on the boat, the one thing I gleaned from it is that Bartholomew Diaz and his crew thought the island was safer than the mainland, as there were fewer cannibals there! We were bussed around the island to see the main sights, like Robert Sobukwe’s little house, the leper colony, and the lime quarry. This is where most of the apartheid prisoners spent their days. Many of them were doctors and lawyers and therefore unused to manual labour. ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 11, 2005

Robben Island/Robben Island Museum
Table Bay
Cape Town, South Africa 8002
+27 (0)21 409 5100

Mama Afrika

Attraction | "Mama Africa's"

Quote:
Mama Africa’s is a bar/restaurant which, as you may guess from its name, has an African theme. Tourists are definitely its target market, which might put some people off. However, the music is wonderful--tribal drumming, hip-hop, even a bit of opera. I am still listening to the CD I bought there. Our best nights out in South Africa were in Mama Africa's. I heard the food was good here also, although you will have to put up with gyrating bodies around you.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 10, 2005

Mama Afrika
178 Long St
Cape Town, South Africa 8001
+27 21 424 8634

Table Mountain

Attraction | "Climb Table Mountain, Get the Cable Car Down"

Quote:
We decided to burn off some of the rich South African food by climbing Table Mountain. We decided to take the Platelip Gorge route. It is very poorly signposted – I wonder if this is deliberate so people use the overpriced cable car (ZAR 570). The start of this hike is off the Talfelberg Road, about 1km past the lower cable-car station. The Lonely Planet guide said that you have to be reasonably fit – I would argue that you have to be very fit. My sister is a triathlete, and she found it tough. All the usual advice applies – bring enough water, sunscreen, and a jacket. The view from the top is worth it. It’s great to feel you climbed to the top of one of Africa’s best-known landmarks. We walked ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 5, 2005

Table Mountain
Cape Town 7848
Cape Town, Western Cape 7848
00 27 21 7156136

Quote:
The drive along the False Bay coast (M4) to Simons Town is very scenic. A navy base is here, as it is safer for anchorage than Table Bay. The penguin colony at Simon’s Town is very touristy. We barely managed to get a parking space. However, it’s worth a pit stop, as it is well laid-out and the information panels are informative. The penguins look quite lethargic on land, but can reach speeds of 24mph in the water. Like myself, they are fond of their anchovies. Because they bray like donkeys, they are sometimes called jackass penguins. We continued on along the excellent South African roads to the Cape of Good Hope. We were taught in school that it (Cape Point) was the most southerly point in Af...Read More

A Township Tour

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

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I had mixed feelings about doing a township tour, as I didn’t want residents to think that we were gawping zoo-like at their lives. On the other hand, we wanted to share some of the tourism dollars with people other than those owned the fancy shops along the waterfront. An escorted tour seemed the easiest and safest way. After a bit of research, we took the Cape Capers township experience (http://www.tourcapers.co.za/). The tour cost ZAR270 for the afternoon. We were lucky enough to get Faisal Gangat, the owner of the company and winner of Cape tourism tour guide of the year 2003/2004, as our guide. Faisal previously worked in marketing, but sold his Merc in 2002 and bought a minibus to set hims...Read More