Cape Town Travel Q&A

Why Visit Cape Town, South Africa

Travel blogger Ben Reed knows South Africa well; he’s written about his many trips to Cape Town on AdventuresWithBen and is already planning his next flight.

In the podcast below, Ben tells FareCompare Editor Anne McDermott why Cape Town is special; he also reveals some of his favorite hotels, restaurants and attractions, and offers tips on finding deals.

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More Cape Town Travel Tips from Ben Reed:

Q. Why should I go to Cape Town?

A. You can’t miss beautiful Table Mountain from just about anywhere in Cape Town, but don’t forget to plan a drive along the coast for more incredible scenery. And be sure to make time for Boulders Beach to see the penguins.

Read the FareCompare Cape Town Travel Guide

Q. Is Cape Town an expensive city?

A. I think Cape Town can be a good city for the budget-conscious; for example, there is quite a range of prices when it comes to hotels, including several reasonably-priced chains. I’ve always had good luck with Protea and City Lodge hotels. Generally, I’ve spent $125 a night for a very nice room in a great location, but you can spend more or less.

Q. Anything special I should pack before a flight to South Africa?

A. Not really; if you forget something, there’s no problem finding it in Cape Town. The only thing I’ll mention is you might need a sweater if you travel during South Africa’s winter (which is summertime in the U.S. and Europe); the average high temperatures during May through September are usually in the 60’s but it can get cold at night.

Q. Do I need a special visa for South Africa or is a passport enough?

A. No, just a passport. [Editor’s note: the U.S. State Department has more information on specific entry/exit requirements for South Africa, including the need for two blank visa pages in your passport].

Q. Do they speak English in Cape Town?

A. They sure do. Although there are 11 official languages in the country, English is spoken everywhere. No matter where I roamed in South Africa, I never met anyone who didn’t speak English.

Q. What kind of money do they use in South Africa, and how should I get it?

A. The currency is the South African Rand, and there are ATM’s everywhere, just like at home.

Find out the Top 5 Cape Town Attractions for the First Time Visitor

Q. Are the people friendly in Cape Town?

A. Absolutely! And in my experience, they love Americans (they are very familiar with our pop culture).

Q. When I go to the beach, do I have to worry about sharks?

A. I have to admit it: I’ve never gone swimming in the ocean off South Africa. I guess I’ve always been too busy gawking at all the gorgeous scenery. But I’m told shark sightings are not unknown, so I would just follow common sense precautions like never swimming alone, not swimming in isolated areas, and following local regulations. [Editor’s note: The city-funded “Shark Spotter Programme” erects signs on beaches featuring useful tips and precautions, plus authorities sound warnings when activity is seen near beach areas.]

About the Author

Ben Reed is an Orlando-based Travel Blogger that will try (almost) anything once. His travel blog, AdventuresWithBen, encourages readers to do the same as they learn how to plan, explore and enjoy some of the world?s top destinations. Ben also hosts a weekly podcast about Florida Travel & Tourism called Florida Travel Cocktail ? available for download on iTunes and floridatravelcocktail.com. You can also follow AdventuresWithBen on Facebook and Twitter.

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Published: August 24, 2011