The Four Seasons. The long summer is October to March with a Mediterranean-like climate of little rain, 11-12 hours of sunshine a day, an escape from the Northern hemisphere's cold winter. Certain beaches provide wind shelter including Boulders, St James, Saunders' Rocks, and Clifton. See flowers April through September, whale watching in False Bay and St James from June through November and vineyards are seen at their best between seasons. The winter is mild and a good time for hiking.
South African roads are highly efficient, driving is on the left as in the UK. The general speed limit is 120 kph (75mph) on freeways and elsewhere 100 kph, (62 mph). In residential areas, 60 kph (37 mph), unless signed differently. Wearing a seatbelt is always recommended and is required by South African law. VAT at 14% is charged on most purchases and may be reclaimed over 250 rand at the airport. Banks are open from 9 am to 3.30 pm and Saturdays till noon. ATM’s 24/7. Most shops operate between 8.30 am to 5 pm. In major shopping centers, many stores remain open till 10pm.
It is recommended that you pay attention to the road signs and familiarise yourself with the traffic rules before and during driving, which is available at the local traffic department. Villa St James and its affiliates are not responsible in any manner for your travel in South Africa. The above paragraph serves as a guide only.
Cape Peninsula is the magnificent mountain chain that stretches from Signal Hill in the north to Cape Point in the south, a distance of 60 kilometers. This narrow piece of land with many valleys, bays and beaches is bound by the icy cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean in the west and the warm waters of the Indian Ocean known as False Bay in the east. Driving around the peninsula’s coastline is a must. Stops may include Kalk Bay, Simonstown, Boulders Beach and Penguin Colony, Cape Point, Kommetjie, Noordhoek, Chapman’s Peak Drive, Hout Bay with its Cape Seal colony, Llandudno, Camp’s Bay, Clifton, Cape Town Center, Table Mountain and Signal Hill, the Waterfront and Harbor, on to Kirstenbosch, Constantia’s Wine lands, Tokai Forest, to Muizenberg and back to St. James.
Many exciting activities are available utilizing the abundant sunshine, including skydiving, abseiling, gliding, climbing, mountain biking; water sports including cruises, scuba diving, shark diving, fishing, surfing, kayaking, sand boarding, golfing, swimming, bowling, horse racing; sporting events including soccer, rugby, car and go cart racing, tennis, cycling, motocross, bungee jumping, whale watching, bird watching, game-drives, flower appreciation and the incredible blend and convergence of global cultures and religions all culminating in an unforgettable experience.
Beautifully situated on the eastern slopes of
Table Mountain, these world-renowned gardens are dedicated to the preservation of the indigenous plants of South Africa. Some 6,000 different species are grown here, including ancient Cycads and many species of Protea, Erica, Pelargonium and Ferns. www.kirstenbosch.co.za
Clifton and Camps Bay is situated just behind Table Mountain. Nestled beneath Lions Head and the majestic Twelve Apostles, its long white beach is dotted with swaying palm trees.
The cosmopolitan beachfront is vibrant throughout the year. There are so many café’s and restaurants with tables spilling onto the street that it is impossible not be tempted to stop for lunch, a sundowner cocktail or a gourmet evening meal. All the attractions of Cape Town are close at hand.
Hout Bay lies picturesque in a wind-protected bay, surrounded to the west by the Karbonkel Mountains and the famous Mount Sentinel as the outpost in the sea, and in the east by the Constantia Mountains and Chapman’s Peak.
It is a sociable village with a variety of the usual amenities plus pubs and an excellent craft market on the green every Sunday. The busy harbour is the center of the crayfish and snoek fishing industry with fish and chip restaurants a stone’s throw from the water’s edge.
Blasted into the rock of Chapman’s Peak, Chapman’s Peak Drive is one of the most scenic marine cliff drives in the world. Winding up steeply from Hout Bay to Chapman’s Point it provides breathtaking views of the blue waters below before returning to sea level at Noordhoek.
There are plenty of viewpoints for photos or a picnic, with spectacular scenery north to Hout Bay and south to Noordhoek and Kommetjie