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getting around safely

e.yorks
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getting around safely

As a couple visiting CT in Sept, we are planning to visit al the usual places:- TT Mountain, Botanical Gardens, Boulders beach, Wine region ect. We would like to prehaps hire a vehicle and go off on our own. Considering the crime issues in the area, could anyone give their oppinion on whether this would be a safe option or would it be in our interest to book organised trips. Also is it safe jumping in taxis on the street in Capetown or is it best to book them with your Hotel. Thank you in advance.

Sleaford, United...
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1. Re: getting around safely

certainly book taxis with your hotels / restaurants, its the safest way....also hire a car and make your own way down to Boulders beach etc.....just make sure you are back before it gets too late in the evening....

from cape town there is a tour bus that does a trip round all the tourist bits, you can on and off as much as you like during the day and it costs R100 each

i hope this helps

cape town
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2. Re: getting around safely

Cape Town as a whole does get a bad rap re crime, but keep in mind these figures include all of the western cape not just the city and tourist areas - a bit like saying London has a very high crime rate because of Brixton. Tourism is very important to our country and a lot of resources have gone into keeping our tourists safe - cctv cameras abound etc.

So, think of Cape Town as being in say any large city - be sensible, and you will be safe. It is quite safe to hire a car here and go off and explore our peninsula. In fact you will see a lot more with your own car. We drive onthe same side as the UK, and our roads are excellent and very easy to get around. Don't leave bags in sight when you park your car and in the city at night park in well lit areas - though there are car guards everywhere - tip them a few rand - a little more at night - basically act as you would at home.

I hope this helps to reassue you - happy planning

CTCT

Lunenburg, Canada
Destination Expert
for Saint John, Foz do Iguacu, Iguazu National Park
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3. Re: getting around safely

Hi Blue!

We visited Cape Town in February and liked it so much we're coming back in November. Other writers have offered you safety tips, but I'd like to go much further!

Before we went, we heard all the doleful stories of crime in South Africa. Frankly they, for years, frightened us out of going. Now that we've been there, I can tell you that Cape Town is safe for tourists. Not only that, but unless you go looking for trouble you are quite unlike to become a crime victim in South Africa.

South Africans have read all the crime stories too, and have set up systems for protecting themselves, and visitors like us, from bad guys.

In Cape Town, for instance, to solve the problem of scary people loitering at night along downtown streets frightening away the customers, they developed the Victoria & Albert Waterfront, several blocks of private property, into a huge shopping, restaurant and entertainment complex. Since it's privately owned, the management can put its own security systems in place to exclude vagrants and pests.

We rented a car the whole time in South Africa, including Cape Town. The country is designed for people getting around by car, in ways that Britain and Europe are not. Traffic flows well in Cape Town on a fine network of urban motorways.

A car gives you protection from the sorts of things that happen (world wide) around train stations and bus depots. You won't have to drag your luggage down unfamiliar streets or wait on deserted corners for a taxi. From the safety of your car, you can cruise an area to determine if it's salubrious for walking. We drove Long Street shortly after sundown and, finding very few ordinary people out and about, decided that this would not be a good area for us to walk at night. On the other hand, Sea Point, west of downtown, seemed brisk, so we knew that others found it safe.

We didn't need bus tours or organized trips to keep us out of trouble. Some people join these because they like them, but don't feel you need to out of simple fear. In South Africa you can drive yourself quite easily, and the motorists are courteous and forgiving. Indeed, having driven on six continents, I consider South Africans the most courteous drivers in the world.

Happy travels, and let me know if I can help further!

David

capetien10@gmail.com

e.yorks
4 posts
2 reviews
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4. Re: getting around safely

Thank you for taking the time to aswere. We are so looking forward to our trip, after reading you reply I hope we are giving Cape Town enough time. If not well we'll just have to take a leaf from your book and return sometime in the future.

cape town
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5. Re: getting around safely

David/ Capetien - great posting - thanks for the voice of reason and common sense

Loughborough, UK
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6. Re: getting around safely

Hi,

Just returned from 10 days in CT yesterday.

You'll definitely need a car for Boulders, the Cape etc, we booked through Avis on the internet before we went (cheapest method). This will give you more freedom than a tour and will probably be as cheap.

Driving is fine (day and night) and we had no problems. Just beware of four way stops, the first to arrive has priority. The doors on the car we had automatically locked and if you have to stop at some traffic lights, leave enough space from the car in front so you can drive off where possible in the event of something happening. Though that's me probably being over cautious.

Getting a taxi at night is also fine (and cheap). Best way to get an insight of what Cape Town and South Africa is really like, that's if you can get off the subject of football first. We jumped in taxis on the street if out and about but all hotels and restaurants will book them for you.

If you are staying in Stellenbosch and fancy a tour in the wine region without having to drive, I would reccomend Easy Rider tours, you can book it through the hostel called Stumble Inn in Stellenbosch. I don't have a link but I'm sure an internet search would find one.

Have a great time you lucky people!

Liverpool, United...
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7. Re: getting around safely

We stayed in Cape Town in May for 4 days loved every minute and did not once feel afraid. My husband and I went up Long Street one night got a taxi there from our hotel and visited a few bars and had a meal When we were ready we just hailed a taxi for the return. We will certainly visit again.

e.yorks
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2 reviews
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8. Re: getting around safely

Lcurtis, I have been checking the prices for hire cars, very reasonable, now thinking we should just get a car from the airport from the off that way it is so convenient and we can drop it off on our return trip. Not staying in wine region, as we have booked 5 nights at waterfront hotel, hoping to drive there. Big help, Thanks.

Bingoboots - thats the type of things I long to hear.

Tennessee
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9. Re: getting around safely

Just to echo some of the other comments here, I have been to Cape Town twice, and never had any problems. Walking around at the V&A waterfront, the gardens area and St George mall area, driving all over the peninsula, Boland (wine country) and parts of the Garden Route, and walking on two or three beaches, and visiting several of the usual tourist attractions...no problems encountered, and most people willingly helpful to give directions and information if asked. I did once have a flat in an outlying area, and felt a little uneasy until I finished changing it and drove on, but that would be uncomfortable in most places.

That's not to say that nothing could go wrong. It's always a possibility, so take the usual precautions and be observant, as you would anywhere you are unfamiliar with. Ask locals for advice, such as the personnel at your hotel or guest house.

My biggest problem was that my time spent there was too short! So I am planning to go again soon. I hope you have a great trip.

10. Re: getting around safely

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