Important General information

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Weather:

As the Western Cape is 35’ degrees south of the equator the weather can be unpredictable, but it is largely regarded as a Mediterranean type climate. Other than June-August when it can be cold and rainy, the rest of the year it is, mostly pleasant warm. However the South Easterly winds can be quite ferocious. Seafarers didn’t call this area ‘The Cape of storms’ for nothing 🙂

What to wear:

As described above, the weather in Cape Town can change. It’s not uncommon to hear people talking of carrying layers of clothes as a result! The following are always useful

  1. Comfortable walking shoes.
  2. A light backpack.
  3. Light/and or heavy jacket if going on the mountain.
  4. A hat for the sun
  5. Sunscreen (especially for those coming from cooler climates)

Extras:

Binoculars and cameras are recommended.

General:

The tap water in and around Cape Town is perfectly safe to drink but bottled water is available at many outlets. It is very important to keep yourself hydrated.

If cash required it would be best to draw that before setting out, but most retailers do receive debit and credit card transactions. There are Bureau de change scattered around Cape Town and ATMs at many locations.

The drivers for your tour options have been specially trained and your safety on the road and during the tour will be our priority.

Your tour will have the services of a qualified tour guide at all times, who is there to make your tour informative, enjoyable, safe and to run on time for the benefit of all visitors. If at any point you have any queries or concerns, do not hesitate to talk to your tour guide. It is in your interests to always stay close to the tour group and to observe the meeting and departure times given to you by the tour guide to ensure the tour runs as smoothly as it should for everyone’s benefit.

The service staff you will come across in restaurants, bars and coffee shops will be grateful for tips if you think they have given good service. Around 10% is the usual amount of gratuity.

The Cape area is renowned for its cuisine and the wines, seafood and quality meats and fresh fruit and vegetables will be a delight. The places you will be dining at on this tour are certain to provide you with a unique experience and great value for money. If eating sea-food please do try to choose fish from sustainable stocks as we are experiencing a lack of certain varieties on our shores. Dress for all meals will be casual.

Safety and Security

South Africa is known to have a high incidence of crime. If visitors adhere to certain rules that are the same as for any big city in the world, they will be safe.

Here are some travel tips for a safe South Africa:

ATM’s

  • Take someone with you when you want to draw money from an ATM.
  • Withdraw money inside a bank if possible.
  • Do not draw large sums of money from and ATM.
  • Rather use a credit card.
  • NEVER ACCEPT HELP FROM STRANGERS, not even if the person looks like a security guard. Phone the number on the ATM and send your companion to get help.

In the car

  • Plan your route in advance.
  • Keep your doors locked and windows closed.
  • Lock valuable items in the boot
  • At night, park in well-lit areas.
  • Never pick up hitchhikers
  • If in any doubt about the safety of an area, phone the police for advice. Police: 10111

At the hotel.

  • Never leave your luggage unattended, unless it is locked safely in your room.
  • Store and valuables in the room safe or deposit box.
  • If someone knocks always check who it is before opening the door.
  • Hand in your keys at reception whenever you leave the hotel.

In the street.

  • Avoid displaying expensive jewelry, cameras and other valuables when walking in the street.
  • Don’t carry large sums of money around.
  • At night avoid isolated areas.
  • It is better to explore in groups, in well-lit, busy streets.
  • A policeman or traffic officer is always happy to help if you get lost.
  • If you need a taxi, head to your nearest hotel or tourist information office and they will recommend a reliable service.
  • If approached and asked for cash, it is advisable not give anything but to politely refuse and avoid engaging with them, however deserving the person may look. Far better to give to reputable charity.
  • Bags and cameras are much better carried with a long strap, which should be worn around the neck and over the shoulder, rather than just on one shoulder. Backpacks also should be worn with the straps on both shoulders
  • Wallets and phones should be kept in closed bags and never in a back pocket or where they can be easily snatched.

Despite all these precautions, please remember that South Africa has a well-deserved reputation for being a friendly and polite country! Don’t be afraid to be friendly too – it will make your stay all the more enjoyable.
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