City Sightseeing on a Tourist Bus

Things to think About before Buying the “hop-on hop-off “bus ticket to do your City Sightseeing.

Many major cities offer a hop-on hop-off buses for sightseeing with several different routes however these buses are often hugely popular and there may be a long line at some of the more popular tour stops.   This is particularly true if the bus services a Cruise ship terminal or major tourist hub in a city.

If your group is small enough instead of waiting in the long line for the “hop-on hop-off “our tip is to take a Taxi or Uber to the next stop on the route and inevitably the line will be considerably shorter. Usually the stops between sites is relatively close, traffic is not an issue and there are no surcharges for “jumping the line”.

Buying a ticket online will usually also save you money and time.   The “hop-on hop-off “bus is usually less popular in the afternoons but this naturally leaves less time for stops.  It remains one of the best ways to see most of the sites in the city quickly and affordably within a day.

A great one for South Africa is City Sightseeing offering various routes daily with a main departure point being The Waterfront in Cape Town as well as Gold Reef City in Johannesburg.

Le Bastille Day

Le Bastille Day

There is never shortage of fun things to do in Cape Town, whether it’s Summer or Winter. And this weekend is no exception. Experience a little bit of France on July 15-16th at the annual Bastille Day Festival held in Franschoek.

An extravaganza of food and wine the place to be is the Food and Wine Marquee held in the beautiful grounds of the Huguenot Monument. A R280 ticket will buy you a complimentary tasting glass and booklet of 5 tasting coupons to be used on the day. A quick word of advice-the tickets sell out fast and no tickets will be sold on the day once the marquee is full. To avoid disappointment book early.

If you are not a fan of wine or simply want to give it a skip there is Franschoeks’s main road bustling with various eateries and curio shops for you to explore. This year the Porcupine Ridge Barrel-Rolling competition is back as well as the dedicated children’s corner and the Farmer’s Market is sure to be extra vibey with a host of musicians and carnival artistes ready to entertain.

So, dust off your berets and experience one of Cape Town’s hallmark festivals. For more information including accommodation, wineries and activities click here

Kite Surfing in Cape Town

Kite Surfing in Cape Town

Cape Town offers the traveling kite surfers everything that they could want for in a destination, and is one of the world’s best locations for kite surfing. It is also the home of the prestigious Red Bull “King of the Air” competition that attracts the world’s best kite boarders to these shores.

Strong prevailing South Easterly winds in summer with good size waves for wave-riding and flat-water areas to practice tricks and turns, are all close to the city.

The Kite surfing season in Cape Town starts as early as September and continues through to April with the peak months being November, December, January and February. During this peak period you are almost guaranteed to get good southeasterly winds at least 3-4 times a week. The swell size in summer is smaller than the winter season, where swells of 6m and larger can be recorded when the winter storms hit.

In summer the swell size averages around 2.5 m and can be a lot of fun on a twin tip or directional board.

Table Bay, with Table Mountain overlooking it, is the prime location and it stretches all the way from Milnerton Beach, through Sunset Beach, Dolphin Beach, Kite Beach, Tableview, Big Bay, Derdesteen, Haakgat, Melkbos and up to Yserfontein Beach.

Sunset Beach, Tableview and Blouberg suburbs are the hub of Kite surfing in Cape Town with great side shore southeasterly winds reaching speeds of up to 40 knots. Affordable accommodation in these areas is readily available and can be accessed on the internet via Airbnb etc.

In the coastal town of Langebaan, which is approximately an hour’s drive up the West Coast, the massive lagoon and main beach are the ideal spots to learn to kite board, or to practice flat-water turns and tricks.

Langebaan is situated in the heart of the West Coast National Park, a reserve area for fauna and flora and it is not uncommon to see an ostrich or a wild antelope on the road trip.

There are many kite boarding schools in the Sunset Beach / Tableview area and they cater for novice beginners right through to advanced riders. In most cases the lesson includes the rental of the necessary equipment.

The area also has many Kite surfing / Windsurfing stores that carry the latest equipment and they are always good for information regarding local knowledge of tides, beaches, safety and repair of your damaged equipment.

Cape Town is truly a kite surfers paradise and on the “off days” there is so much to see and do, there is nothing like kiting in great surf and wind conditions, with Table Mountain as your back drop.

You will not regret booking your trip to Cape Town today. See you soon !

Surfing South Africa

If you are planning a surf trip to South Africa you are in for a treat.  For beginners of all ages there are the very popular surf schools at Muizenberg in False bay, the water is warm and you are guaranteed to have loads of fun, bring some friends.

www.surfemporium.co.za and www.garysurf.com

For the experienced surfer Cape Town offers some classic beach breaks and being located on a peninsula you can be pretty sure it is off shore somewhere everyday. Be warned the water can get very cold on the Atlantic even in summer but the reward is clean, powerful, hollow and white sand beach breaks like Noordhoek, Llandundo, Glen Beach and all the way down to Cape Point.

I highly recommend a surf Safari from Cape Town through the Garden Route stopping at all the classic right hand point breaks of Still Bay, Vic Bay, Seal Point and J- Bay. If you get lucky may even catch the legendary secret spot of Bruce’s at St Francis.  The east coast  of South Africa are mostly right hand point breaks.

If you are based in Cape Town and the swell picks up to around 6ft, head 150km up the west coast to Elands Bay, one of the finest left hand point breaks in the world and one of our best kept secrets, guaranteed to be uncrowded. (Not for long :)) If you have some time check out the ancient Bushman rock paintings in the caves on the point.

Use the Magic seaweed and Windguru web sites on your phone (download the apps) to see wind ,swell and tides.

If you are heading up north to KZN and Durban you can be guaranteed to enjoy warm water and you can even lose that wetsuit in summer and most of winter.  There are several excellent beach breaks in the city including Cave Rock and a little further north at Ballito. The best time to surf in Durban is early morning before the daily onshore comes up, by 8.30am its over. Most of the beaches are protected by shark nets.

While there is excellent waves from East London up through the Transkei on the East coast the majority of shark attacks have been on this section of the wild coast so give it a miss if you clever.

South Africa is blessed with an abundance of great surf spots which are for the most part uncrowded and the surfers are not aggressive so respect the locals and wait your turn.

You will find mobile phone reception at most of the beaches.

Helicopter Flip Over the Mother City

Buckle up for a next-level sightseeing tour of the Mother City’s breathtaking Atlantic coast

They say that first impressions are everything, and beyond a doubt, the best way to get acquainted with the Mother City is to meet her via helicopter. In South Africa, chopper flights are reportedly the cheapest in the world, and more importantly, a heli-flip is really the only way to truly appreciate Cape Town’s magnificent beauty.

Sure, there’s plenty of opportunity to take in bits and pieces of her exquisite scenery with ground touring. But much in the same way that looking at individual pixels to get an idea of a grand image is rather unsatisfying, conquering the Mother City on land just doesn’t compare to drinking in the whole of her brilliance from the heavens above.

And while there are a handful of operators that take passengers up, up and away, we recommend booking with long-time locally reputed company NAC.

The established operator is backed by South Africa’s first commercial aviation company and boasts a 100% accident- and incident-free record. More importantly though, it offers two entry level flights that treat riders to spectacular views of glorious Cape Town, including vistas that feature Table Mountain, the V&A Waterfront, Lion’s Head and so much more.

Read the full article here

Free and Cheap Things to do With Kids in Cape Town

15 Fun family-friendly activities for mahala or less than R50

Raising children can be expensive. There are nappies, teeny garments, sticky sweets, mini furniture, toys and school fees to think about, so when it comes to entertaining them, most moms and pops likely want to keep costs as low as possible. Of course, this doesn’t mean simply sitting at home – no one wants little tykes climbing up curtains or hanging from lampshades – but rather finding fun family-friendly activities that don’t burn a hole in the pocket.

And fortunately, such things do actually exist in Cape Town. From gratis options like storytelling sessions at bookshops to very affordable to-dos like crocodile viewing, rose picking and grape juice tasting at wine farms, there are plenty ways to keep tiny tots busy while pinching the pennies. If you’re wondering where to find such alternatives, simply take a look below – we’ve carefully compiled an overview of things to do with kids for free or for less than R50 to help you get through the child-rearing phase with your bank balance still more or less intact.

Read the full article here