The Victoria and Albert...
The Victoria and Albert waterfront is a great place to eat, drink and shop. Everything from handicrafts to very expensive shops. Excellent Forester's draft at the Brewery Pub! Great views of table mountain and the 'tablecloth'.
Cape Town is the home of the Mountain Club of South Africa.
It advises on climbs in the area.
The club offers mountaineering, climbing and hiking oppotunities and is involved in mountain search and rescue as well.
The Mountain Club of South Africa was established in 1891. Climbing gear.
There can be no more famous beach in Africa than Clifton. It’s synonymous with petite bikinis, lithe lifesavers and an ethos of fashionable hedonism. Justin Fox grabbed beach bats, a Frisbee and suntan cream … and spent half a morning looking for parking.
Rio’s Copa Cabana, LA’s Malibu, Sydney’s Bondi, Miami’s South Beach … Cape Town’s Clifton. These are the world’s legendary patches of sand. Protected from the Mother City’s howling southeaster, Clifton spends the summer months crammed with local beach lovers and tourists from across the globe. It actually comprises five beaches separated by granite boulders. All have squeaky-white sands and pale, icy waters.
Moses is the northernmost and disappears in the winter months when the westerlies scour the sand. This cove is very secluded and often features the odd nude sunbather behind the rocks.
First Beach is surrounded by tall apartment blocks and the wave action here is stronger. As a consequence it tends to be frequented by surfers, their supine molls and groups of locals playing vigorous ball games.
Surrounded by million-dollar bungalows, Second and Third beaches are for the young, beautiful and trendy. Work on your tan before setting foot here. It’s all about seeing and being seen. Skimpy bikinis, oiled muscles and lots of … um, energy.
Fourth is the biggest, has easy access, more parking and has become the family beach. It’s also the most sheltered from the westerly swell, so it’s here that yachts and motorboats spend the day at anchor. Fourth is the closest you’ll get locally to the Cote d’ Azure.
So much for Clifton on a sizzling summer day. If you want to discover its essence, however, visit it on a crisp winter evening when it’s deserted. (Ironically the water is also much warmer in winter.) The sun’s last rays turn the granite red, water fizzes across the beach and tendrils of fog snake between the boulders. It’s then that you’ll understand what makes this stretch of sand so special.
Prudent transport tips
If you're a visitor without a car, getting around Cape Town can be a trifle problematic. There is public transport, to be sure, but buses and commuter trains, depending on the route you are traveling on, have been targets of pickpockets and muggers. We were constantly cautioned against using them especially if you look like a tourist and don't appear to know what you're doing.
On the advice of many, we opted to play it safe and used taxis instead of risking the cheaper options. The only trouble was that this got expensive. Most taxis charge between 6 and 8 rands per kilometer. From our first hotel in Milnerton -- the Formula 1 mentioned in the hotel tips -- we were paying R120 one way to get to the V & A Waterfront. Round-trip, that was more than our hotel room!
Cutting to the chase: 1) find a hotel/B&B close to the center. 2) use a telephone taxi service; 3) consider using a Rikkie, which is a cheaper version of a taxi that is a bit like a Thai "samlor" -- you're riding in the back of a sort of small pick-up; 4) rent a car and drive yourself.
As for a reliable cab driver to call when you're in Cape Town, use Floyd. (See accompanying pic.) We used him numerous times and he always came to pick us up whatever the time. Expect to pay about 7 rand per kilometer, though.
Wild Game Galore
An inconspicuous restaurant in a strip mall type area. The food and wine were fantastic and the owner Kevin Moss was extremely kind. Three Musketeers - which is grilled impala, zebra, and ostrich done in different sauces. It was very good and unique to say the least.