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Around Town: Commuting To And In Cape Town

Posted on November 5, 2009 | Fascinating CitiesNo Comment

Getting to Cape Town

Air Route

Approximately, flight to Cape Town from London takes 11 hours 20 minutes; from New York it’s 17 hours; Los Angeles is 25 hours; Toronto is 19 hours and that from Sydney it takes 16 hours.

Cape Town International Airport is located 22km (15.5 miles) east of Cape Town’s city centre.

From the Cairo international airport, there are shuttle buses to take you to the city. There are many services for the convenience of tourists, and information desks as well. Posh hotels can arrange a taxi for you, if asked for the same in advance.  There are metered taxis as well.

flights to cape town

On water

The Cape Town Harbour has always been a strategic place of commuting and a major trading place as well. This was the place the western countries had to cross to get to Pacific Ocean. The harbor serves the purpose of a working place while Victoria & Alfred Basin is a known tourist place with the famous Two Oceans Aquarium. The ferry from Nelson Mandela gateway here takes you to Robben Island, a prison island also known for its scenic beauty. It makes for a 3 and a half hour trip.

There are cruises to St Helena and Ascension Island. Twice annually, it takes you to Tenerife and the United Kingdom.

cape town harbour

Getting There By Rail

There are railways to suburban areas, with Cape Metro Rail operating here. Trains also operate for other cities like Johannesburg, Durban to name a few. From Johannesburg, it takes more than a day to reach here by rail. The Blue train, a deluxe train makes a comfortable journey between Cape Town and Pretoria.

Getting There By Road

The road to Cape Town is a good drive, though with heckles drivers, the accident rates are high here. There are also incidences of carjacking. You could contact The Automobile Association of South Africa if you are planning to do a road trip here.

By road, it takes about 17 hours from Johannesburg, to get to Cape Town. There are comfortable coaches for major South African destinations and also few international ones like Zimbabwe, Mozambique etc. All buses depart from the Cape Town station at the Adderley Street.

cape town bus

Getting Around Cape Town

Public buses and Trains

An efficient public transport is a far cry in Cape Town, yet there are few buses and trains to help you tour the city. The Cape Metro Rail operates the trains for suburban areas. Particularly enchanting is the Cape Town –Simon Town route that runs along the coastline, just a few meters away from the Ocean. There are four routes- for the city destinations, the northern regions known for vineyards, for the central area and for the South such as Cape Flats, Simon Town.

Most of the services are only for weekdays. You could also hop in on one of the public buses, though preferably not for the outskirts.

Passes too are available for both the bus and train services.

Taxis : Metered Taxis and Minibus Taxis

You could also hire metered taxis or book one for an entire day. You could also try out the rickshaw type taxis, meant mainly for tourists. If you are up for sharing your taxi, which is also easy on your pocket, you could try minibus taxis that can take in a maximum of 12 people. They can be hailed on the road and are a cheap, though not a very smooth ride.

While the roads in and around Cape Town are tempting for those who love driving, traffic and rash driving will manage to keep you away from it. There are plenty of safe parking areas, especially around shopping malls.

For a trip to at periphery of Cape Town, hiring a car, preferably through the hotel you are staying in, would be a good option.

Tours in the city

Being a popular tourist destination, various tours are organized here. Navigating the city and covering the landmark sights around would take close to 3 hours and offered by many touring groups here.

There are tourist buses as well, with guides, covering major city destinations. It takes about 2 hours for tourist bus to cover the city.

Banking on the tourists are the whales watching tours from January to November, which take approximately 4 hours. For sporty kinds, there are motorboat trips to Clifton beach and sailing across Table Bay. To check out the Seals in Hout Bay, you could chose to cruise there, which takes a little more than half an hour.

Bicycling of course is a cheap way to explore the city and areas outlining it. Cape Town has plenty of bicycling options for tourists like the wine land and mountain biking tours, which also include lunch with an entrance fee.

For those who want to view the city from up above in the air, there are helicopter tours as well, that takes a maximum of an hour.

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