We were going to Cape Town this August, mainly to do cage-diving. After looking through websites of tour operators and exchanging some e-mails we had chosen the firm Unreal Dive http://www.unrealdive.com/. We had fixed exact date (20.08) and paid money in advance. After arriving to Cape Town we contacted Mr Paul Hanekom to arrange details. The day before cage diving he sent us sms that due to bad weather we couldn’t do cage diving. It was surprising, the weather forecast for the 20 th of August was good, we tried to communicate with Mr Paul Hanekom but he didn’t pick up the phone. The next day (20th August) we came to Simons Town anyway, the weather was beautiful and we saw boats of all operators were going for cage diving. Of course, all of them were fully booked. The weather for next 2 days was very bad, so we couldn’t cage dive and because we had a schedule we had to leave Cape Town. We were so angry, furious and disappointed, because we lost the opportunity to participate in cage diving. The conclusion is: Mr Paul Hanekom and his firm Unrealdive are absolutely not reliable and one must avoid it. He cheated us, probably somebody paid him more to take him. Then it lasted more than a month to force him pay back our money. I just want to warn everybody: they cheat and lie.
Unique Suggestions: Chose other tour operator! www.sharkadventures.co.za looks reliable!Related to:
- Adventure Travel
- Diving and Snorkeling
porters at airport
If you pre-arrange your transfer before you come and you do not see the person at the airport; do not ask the porters to help you contact them. They will call the company and tell you that they got voicemail then when you say that you will use another shuttle service they will say they will take you to one but in fact they will not. They will take you to a taxi driver who they get a kickback from. Once you get inside that meter will race up real quick to a very high amount. If you do not see the person who is supposed to pick you up and having problems phoning them. Go back to baggage claim and have the people at the shuttle desk near by give you a ride.
Manhattan Penthouse - Cockroaches & More
My partner and I stayed at the Manhattan Penthouse Apartment in Cape Town, 130 Brie Street, in January 2007 for two weeks.
The gentleman, who took our booking was Mr. Bobby Fischer.
We were certainly very disappointed.
Fully equipped kitchen did not have a dishwasher.
ADSL Internet line did not exist as promised on their website. I had to spend 2 working days coping with the issue in order to be able to continue working.
Despite advertising, Manhattan Apartments are not serviced apartments. The cleaners appeared, opening the doors with their keys, without knocking or ringing the door bell only to leave without any comment.
The place has no laundry facilities.
Manhattan Penthouse is in need of very serious maintenance & general overhaul.
Potted palm trees in the dining area and in the lounge are homes to some of the largest cockroaches in the southern hemisphere.
Jacuzzi did not work and was not repaired during 14 days of our stay.
Someone has recently broken into the apartment. Both the door and the lock were seriously damaged. No action has been taken to repair the damage.
Many blinds have been torn apart or broken and were in state of complete disrepair. Some were completely missing, too making parts of the penthouse useless during the hot African summer.
Electric switches throughout the Penthouse have been partially broken. They pose serious hazard to the tenants and their guests.
Parts of the flooring are going apart and no action has been taken.
Some of the walls need a coat of fresh paint.
One of the windows was broken and the glass pane was replaced only after a week and after several phone calls.
Manhattan Penthouse is seriously overpriced.
Our airport transfers upon arrival and departure were supposedly included with the rent. No one has ever shown up to bring us to the Cape Town Airport on our departure, despite express promise by Mr. Fisher.
Mr. Fisher refunded us with one night of stay at his very rundown, cockroach infested place.
Unique Suggestions: A great alternative would have been Platinum Places in Cape Town.
Fun Alternatives: Platinum Places, Cape Town, South Africa.Related to:
- Gay and Lesbian
- Luxury Travel
- Work Abroad
Saturday MArket in Green POint offers too many nice things for the tourists. All I can say is thet sellers will give you a very high initial price. So bargin to the end. They want to sell - you want to buy. Be careful.
Unique Suggestions: Just be patient.Related to:
- Budget Travel
Grand West Casino
This is absolutely a question of preferance. So if you like casino's and gambling you might find this amazing.
We spent an hour there and was bored. We don't really gamble and the gambling area made me feel claustephobic. The magic company with the games is dark and again I had a claustephobic feeling. The only area that was Ok is the rides in the magic castle but that is only if you have little ones. Not for adults or over 12's.
It's nothing like Montecasino in Johannesburg. I adore Montecasino. If you spend time in Johannesburg and Cape town rather visit Montecasino and give Grand west a miss.
http://www.suninternational.com/resorts/grandwest/ if you want to have a look. It might appeal to some.
Unique Suggestions: If you have small children they will enjoy the magic castle. If you are a serious gambler there is a big gambling area. We were there on a public holiday and it was relatively quiet in the gambling area.
Fun Alternatives: Take a walk on the beach, do a scenic drive , visit Kalk Bay or Hout Bay. Cape town is too stunning to spend your time in a casino. The V&A is very commersialised and expensive but has a much better atmosphere and a lot to do and see.Related to:
- Casino and Gambling
Green Market square
It's maybe not a complete tourist trap. To me it use to be this fascinating place with all kinds of stuff you didn't see anywhere else. There is nothing that feels this is typical Cape town. The merchandise is excactly the same as Bruma fleamarket in JHB, everywhere next to the roads and at the sights in Mpumalanga. I was dissapointed but if you desperately need some African masks, drums or the typical giraffe this is the place to get it.
Unique Suggestions: If have been to Bruma or anywhere in Mpumalanga rather spend your time on a scenic drive or go to Kalk Bay for shops with total different stuff. I found the Kalk Bay shops fascinating. Not everything is South African but a lot of nice goodies.
Fun Alternatives: Try the shops on the main coastal road in Kalk Bay.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
genUwine curios ... roooight!
the greenmarket square in CT is a bit of a fluff ... in fact, buying curios in SA has become a bit ridiculous: i have seen 'african bead necklaces' from durban beachfront to karama in dubai ... same story with the greenpoint arts and crafts market: there will be real stuff dotted in amongst the mass-produced, but rather buy yourself something you like ... and not because it was carved by some street kids blind uncle's three-armed father who lives in a cave in swaziland ... yeah :)
Unique Suggestions: 1: bargain
2: get something you really really like ... not just something-you-think-looks-african-and-so-you-should-take-it-just-to-show-the-people-back-home-and-it-doesn't-really-matter-where-it-comes-from ... you'll appreciate it more in the long run
3: check out some o the shops along long street: there are loadsa really cool one-offs being made by south africans of every colour and creed ... and thankfully you'll find more than wooden carvings here: there might be salad bowls made out of beads and handbags made out of bottle tops ... deffo more pricey but more 21st century south african ...Related to:
- Family Travel
Tygerberg Zoo is approx 30km outside of Cape Town on some farmland. It is the worst zoo I have ever had the misfortune of visiting. although the physical condition of the animals seem fine, their living conditions are horrendouz! The fees which are R26 per child and R46 per adult is a total ripoff and they are advertising animals which I am still searching for.
Unique Suggestions: If you feel you must go, remember that there are very few trees for shade, so remember the sunblock and sunhat as well as a bottle of water.
Fun Alternatives: If you must see animals, rather go to a game reserve or for birds, visit the world of birds in Houtbay.Related to:
Well I guess just like any city all that I can say is don`t flash cash and expensive Jewelery and don`t walk alone in place that does`nt look to safe and don`t also walk around late at night in a area`s that you not to familiar with.
People Approaching you
not sure what exactly they wanted cos we didnt let them get that far! but they have a clipboard and approach tourists, we saw some people putting their hands in their pockets and handing over money, also if you go into the centre of Cape Town people will try toget you to buy things (dodgy gold chains wrapped in tissue etc!) this area is a bit unsafe, and is a ghost town after 5.30 so they advise you not to walk around at all!
Unique Suggestions: Dont walk around after 5.30, get taxis if you have to go out
Fun Alternatives: V & A Waterfront is perfectly safe 24 hours a day we were told!
Actually, it might be kinda fun...
We saw this place on a walk along the ocean front on Sunday morning. Maybe it's really busy IN season...
Unique Suggestions: You know, the closer I look, the more charmed I am! Well, since we couldn't drive all the way around Cape Point (it was fogged in) we DO have to return. And when we do, we'll have to check out the World's Third Largest Maze, too.Related to:
- Theme Park Trips
What you see on the picture is not Cape Town bus terminal, but the parking lot of Cape Point. The area around the lighthouse is incredibly noisy and touristy.
Unique Suggestions: There are many walking trails to much nicer places and view points in the area, and it seems like bus package tourists don't have enough time to take a look around elsewhere, so just take a walk away from the lighthouse and you'll find solitude and beauty.
Minibus taxis are the main transport for people to get to/from the townships, and they are busy but very cheap. They stop and drop off throughout the city. However, if you decide to inadvertantly commandeer one for yourself alone as we did, you'll pay through the nose for it. Much more fun, and more interesting to tell your friends, is sitting on someone's lap in a jam packed minibus and paying a tenth of the price for your journey!
Get ready for a rough ride too....
Unique Suggestions: If you want the taxi to yourself then with the exchange as it is at the moment, it won't break the bank. However, you might want to decide on a price with your driver first.... they'll know you're a tourist!!!
This not a trap but a SAD sight
A few miles away, as we drive to Beautiful Cape town, there is a big Shanty town. Thousands and thousands of slums for the poor living in very low human condition. They were forced to establish themselves there, I suppose, so that they wouldn't be seen around Cape town for the internalional dignitaries or important visitors.
Capetown is a Tourist trap...
Capetown is a Tourist trap ,just shop around a little . The Curio places are expensive , you can always find somthing cheaper someplace else.
Look around , wine is cheap in Capetown as well...
Most of Capetown is centered around tourism , so be prepared to pay tourist prices , but this is still VERY cheap.(With the South African Rand been at 1 Us Dollar getting you 12 South African Rands)
(photo taken of Half Moon Bay at the Century City shopping center)
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