Al Arabi Travel Agency

ArabiGuides: Cape Town

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Getting to/around Cape Town

Access to Cape Town is simple. Emirates flies direct from Dubai to Cape Town twice a day, every day.  Other airlines do the route as well but they might not be any cheaper – for this route, it’s usually best to grab the direct Emirates flight (EK772/EK770 outbound, EK773/771 inbound).

Cape Town International Airport is located about 20km east of the city centre. Car hire is available in the airport.

There’s several ways to get around Cape Town. Walking can be problematic as signage away from shopping precincts can be a little bit hit and miss. Metered taxis are governed by the city and are extremely safe and reliable. Car rental is a widely used option for trips to Cape Town – just remember to drive on the left!

When should I go?

Cape Town, of course, is deep in the Southern Hemisphere so seasons are the opposite of how they are in Dubai. Summer runs from December to February – Cape Town can get hot but it’s rarely humid so summer is a beautiful time to visit. Winter from June-August can be very cold and very wet.

In terms of value, March – May can be a fantastic time to visit. The weather is cooling off and, as it’s not peak season, you can find some fantastic deals on accommodation.

What should I do?

Cape Town has a fantastic range of activities. Here’s a few select things to do:

  • Robben Island. The location used during apartheid days to hold political prisoners, this is where Nelson Mandela was held. The tours take 3 and a half hours including the ferry ride and costs, currently, R230 (91dhs)
  • Boulders Beach. A sheltered beach made up of inlets separated between granite boulders, Boulders Beach is home to a large colony of African Penguins.
  • Victoria & Albert Waterfront. This is a massive shopping and entertainment area near to the harbour. Extremely popular with tourists and this is where the tours to Robben Island begin.

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  • Two Oceans Aquarium. Also at the V&A waterfront, this fantastic aquarium is home to brilliant exhibitions and a huge range of wildlife. Adult tickets are about R105 (42dhs) with discounts for children.
  • Table Mountain – The backdrop to the city, Table Mountain is a glorious flat-topped mountain that offers fantastic viewing opportunities of Cape Town and the surrounding area. A return ticket on the cable car currently costs R195. You can also climb Table Mountain but its advisable to be in decent physical condition.

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  • Water sports – Cape Town is renowned for its swimming, surfing, canoeing and diving. For the adventurous, the city is one of the world’s finest places to see the Great White Shark via shark cage diving.

Outside of Cape Town

The surrounding area is full of places to explore. The Cape of Good Hope, Hout Bay, the Garden Route and world-class national parks are all within driving distance. Cape Town is a fantastic place to visit but make sure to get outside the city to see plenty of beautiful things.

Visiting townships can also be a fantastic way to learn a little bit more about the South African apartheid era. It’s easy to organise a township tour and its advisable to do a tour rather than visiting the townships alone.

Safety in Cape Town

Cape Town is reasonably safe. Apply common sense as you would in any major city and you shouldn’t have any real issue. Taking a taxi in the evenings is well advised and you should be careful regarding pickpockets.

I’d like to learn a new skill on holiday!

How about sailing? Courses are internationally recognised, well prices and there’s good sailing weather all year round.

Cape Town is also home to, for longer term plans, some world class universities. It’s also where the first heart transplant was performed (at Groote Schuur hospital)

In summary, Cape Town is one of those cities where there’s, quite simply, something for everyone. We’d advise that you be very careful when you go especially if you don’t like wind and rain – winter can be pretty cold.

Give us a call on 04 343 3929 and one of our skilled consultants can help you plan a dream holiday to one of South Africa’s most treasured areas.

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