Visit to South Africa

Fiona Betteridge on 21 September 2010

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I was bowled over by Cape Town and surrounding areas. Fantasic beaches, hotels and restaurants.

We flew into Cape town with South African airways and went straight to Hermanus for the whale watching. Hermanus is famous for being inhabited by Southern Right Whales every year between June and December. This friendly and quaint town is situated about 120km (one and a half hour drive) from Cape Town. I have to say we where not disappointed, and after a very early start to catch the sunrise we saw lots of whales, and what beautiful creatures they are.

Cape town is a lovely, clean, safe and very cosmopolitan. The Victory water front has shops, markets and restaurants with plenty to see and do. We stayed at the Radisson Blu, which is a lovely hotel.

Table top mountain is a must and the views from the top are amazing. The day I visited was a bank holiday and my tip is to avoid those days if you can as the queues can be quite long to buy your ticket. The cable car ride to the top of the mountain spins round slowly to allow 360 degree view. It can be quite cool at the top so don;t forget to take a jacket.

Nearby beaches at Camps bay are very nice with plenty of trendy shops, bar and restaurants.

If you are looking for a perfect day trip from Cape Town then Boulders Beach is just down the road from Simons Town on the False Bay coast, so not only is the water a little warmer and the scenery stunning, it's also a penguin haven! They are so funny waddling about and you can go down to the beach and swim with them. We had lunch in the harbour in Simons Town and had the BEST seafood I have ever had in a long time.

We then moved on to the magnificent Franschhoek Wine Valley in the Cape Winelands. Nestled against majestic mountains, Franschhoek is home to award-winning wine estates and restaurants, boutique hotels, luxury guest houses and wonderful retail shops. We stayed at Mont Rochelle, which is both a hotel and a vineyard - luxury accommodation at its best. In the rooms you will find a perfect blend of style and comfort and wake up to breathtaking views from every angle. You can go wine tasting in the grounds and I can assure yuo the wines are superb,

Reasons to Visit Cape Town and the Western Cape:

1. Sheer Natural Beauty 2. Great Weather - warm languid summers and mild, moist winters - conditions that perfectly sum up the mediterranean climate of Cape Town and the Western Cape. 3. So Affordable - recognised as one of the most affordable destinations in the world. 4. Cultural Melting Pot - Cape Town and the Western Cape is a cosmopolitan destination 5. First Class Wining and Dining - the destination, with its many restaurants serving traditional or contemporary Cape and international cuisine, is also one of the wine capitals of the world. 6. Diverse Experiences - experience Cape Town and the Western Cape and discover the ultimate combo of nature, wildlife, culture, adventure, heritage. 7. Easy Access - Cape Town International Airport is served by 20 international airlines on a weekly basis, linking the destination to every major global hub. 8. Sunny Blue Flag Beaches - home to 13 internationally recognised Blue Flag beaches. 9. Excellent Infrastructure - whether you're wanting luxury or authentic Africa experiences there are easy roads to get out and about on and endless great places to stay and eat. 10. No Jet Lag - 1 hours time difference BST

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