Thursday, July 30, 2009

Table Mountain – finalist in the New 7 Wonders of Nature contest

The top 28 wonders of Nature from around the world have been announced by the New7Wonders Foundation in Zurich, Switzerland. The finalists include renowned sites such as the Great Barrier Reef, the Grand Canyon and the Amazon rain forests and Galapagos Islands in Ecuador. Only one other African site – Tanzania's Mount Kilimanjaro – made finals, which include some of the world's most beautiful attractions. Not surprisingly for we who live and love the mother City, Table Mountain has made it through to become one of 28 finalists in the New 7 Wonders of Nature competition, in which the world's top natural sites will be narrowed down to a final 7 in an exercise in global outreach which is expected to be supported by hundreds of millions of voters. In 2007, the New7Wonders Foundation, a Zurich-based non-profit organisation, announced the New 7 Man-made Wonders of the World after more than 100-million votes were cast via the internet in "the first-ever worldwide election". Now its follow-up campaign, to choose the "Big Seven" of the natural world, has entered its final stage, after a panel of experts led by former Unesco director-general Federico Mayor announced the 28 finalists in Zurich, Switzerland on 21 July. The panel made its selection from a list of 77 nominees that were chosen, from a list of 261 national and cross-national representative sites, by people around the world in internet voting. The final, two-year round of voting to choose the New 7 Wonders of Nature, running through 2010 and into 2011, is now open. Table Mountain will compete for a final place among the top 7 wonders to be announced in 2011. To cast your vote visit South Africans can also cast their votes at Some reasons to vote for Table Mountain 1. Table Mountain is simply stunningly beautiful. Just take a look at the 20 000-plus photos on Flickr: Table Mountain. 2. Table Mountain forms part of Table Mountain National Park, one of few conservation areas in the world that is entirely surrounded by a city, and offers hundreds of recreation opportunities for residents and visitors alike. 3. Table Mountain forms part of the Cape Floral Region, a Unesco World Heritage Site that is one of the richest areas for plants in the world. Table Mountain National Park has more plant species within its 25 000 hectares than the whole British Isles or New Zealand. 4. The trip up the Table Mountain Cableway to the plateau one kilometre above Cape Town is not to be missed; enjoy breath taking views of the City, Table Bay and Robben Island. 5. It is an ever-present part of the lives of all of us who live in Cape Town Acknowledgments to Do remember that if you are looking for affordable self catering Cape Town accommodation it is just a click away.

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Guide to World Cup 2010 Accommodation in Cape Town

With the World Cup just less than a year away, we note many Internet visits to our affordable self catering accommodation from both local and overseas visitors for accommodation, but it is obvious that people are shopping around to see what is available. It has been said that there will be a shortage of accommodation, but we think that it will depend to a large extent on what the tourists are looking for. Cape town offers a large selection of guest houses, bed and breakfast establishments and self catering holiday accommodation that far exceeds the number of hotel beds available. We think that there will be plenty of choice but, in order to get what you want, it is a good idea to book early.
In order to help you choose where to stay and where to find the type of accommodation that will best suit your needs, we thought to give you a brief guide to greater Cape Town and what it offers.
Undoubtedly, if you want to be close to the World Cup stadium and all of the exciting night life of Cape Town and the nearby waterfront, you should choose accommodation in the nearby suburbs of Green Point or Sea Point and the Cape Town city bowl. Expect however to pay higher prices than in the outlying suburbs.
City Bowl : Generally the upmarket city bowl suburbs of Tamboerskloof, Higgovale, De Waterkant, Oranjezicht and Vredehoek will offer luxury but very expensive accommodation. In the city itself however you will find backpackers lodges and other inexpensive accommodation. Green Point and Sea Point are near to the both the stadium and the famous Waterfront, and all the night life action.
Atlantic seaboard : on what is known as the Atlantic seaboard you will find the exclusive residential suburbs of Clifton, Camps Bay, Bakoven, Bantry Bay all of which are fairly close to the Stadium. The Atlantic seaboard comprises some of the most expensive and exclusive properties in Cape Town as they generally have spectacular views across the ocean and are close to the most popular beaches. If you are looking for accommodation in the top end of the market then this is where you should find it. This is also the area where the beautiful people hang out, and you will find plenty of nightlife and a wide choice of restaurants and bars.
Hout Bay : Quite a lot further out is the fishing village of Hout bay, where you will find a mixture of very expensive and more affordable accommodation and there is a lot to choose from. If you are looking for a quiet spot to relax between the matches this could be a good choice, although you should not expect to enjoy any nightlife.
Noordhoek/Kommetjie : at the southern end of the peninsula but some 30 minutes drive from the centre of Cape Town are the villages of Noordhoek and Kommetjie which are a great choice if you want to have a quiet relaxing time and also enjoy some of the most breathtaking coastal scenery to be found anywhere. Noordhoek has a wide choice of accommodation from luxury to budget and you will generally find large 1 acre properties which offer just one or two cottages, making it very “un-crowded” .It is the last bit of countryside remaining in the greater Cape Town area and easily accessible to Cape Town by road; mostly freeway. Kommetjie – a surfer’s paradise- is a little further out where one is likely to find very affordable accommodation.
Southern suburbs : There are a large number of suburbs which stretch toward the False Bay coast from the city and these include older mainly Victorian suburbs including Mowbray, Rosebank, Wynberg, and Claremont. Here you can expect to find reasonably affordable guesthouse accommodation, and if you are not planning to drive, it will be easy to get to the city using the metro rail system, and public transport from the city will be plentiful.
Further out are the beautiful valley suburbs of Constantia and Tokai. Constantia is home to the mink and manure set, and generally comprises exclusive homes on large properties. Expect to pay a higher than average price to stay here and to have to rely upon hiring a car to get around.
South Peninsula : On the coast of beautiful False Bay you will find the interesting older suburbs of Muizenberg, St James, Kalk bay, Fish Hoek and Simonstown. Muizenberg is still battling to shake off its run down reputation, although it does have a great beach. St James is known as “millionaire’s mile” and has been a choice holiday destination for the wealthy since the early days. There is not much accommodation available here nor in the more bohemian Kalk Bay nearby, and prices will be expensive. Downside - in winter when the World Cup will be on, expect to lose the sun behind the mountain in the early afternoon, and to have to go to bed early. Fish Hoek, a little further of the line has plenty of affordable choice, but has often been described as “God’s waiting room” or the destination of choice for the “newly wed and the nearly dead”.
Much more popular is the historic Naval Town of Simonstown. Although also a quiet town, the major attraction is a mile of historic buildings and the African penguins to be found on Boulders and Seaforth beaches.
Northern suburbs: There is bound to be plenty of affordable accommodation in the northern suburbs of Cape Town which include Durbanville; Bellville and Kraaifontein. Unfortunately you are bound to have to deal with heavy traffic in and out of the city and these are not only a long way from where the action is, but there is no nightlife or any other form of diversion. Accommodation is bound to be cheap, but this fringe of our city is dead.
Cape Town offers a great diversity to suit every need, so you should find what suits you. Expect a friendly welcome and some wonderful sunny days interspersed with the rainy ones. If you are looking for value for money please do try us at