For me, trips to South Africa often take 30 hours door to door, but this one was really short – only 16 hours! We (I travelled with my boyfriend) left Stockholm Arlanda at 21h50 on Friday 13th July (yes I know!), arrived in Addis Ababa at 06.30, changed planes for an 08.30 departure from Ethiopia and then arrived in Cape Town at 13.50. The second flight seemed very long because my bum was sore and it was a day flight (much easier if you can sleep through a flight).
We collected our rental car from Budget and then drove into Cape Town. Our hotel was the Radisson Blu Le Vendome in Seapoint. It was not expensive (about €50 per night for both of us, inclusive of breakfast and WiFi) and we had a business class room with balcony as well as a sea AND mountain view.
One of the good things about travelling in South Africa in June/July is that it is low season so prices are low and there are no crowds of visitors everywhere. The midwinter weather in June/July in South Africa is pretty much like a European summer. It can be cold at night but temperatures during the day can be 23 – 31°C.
Due to the water shortage in Cape Town, the bath was turned off and we could not flush the toilet unless we needed to, but you quickly get used to saving water. Or maybe that is because I grew up in a country that has frequent droughts.
After sitting on our balcony for a while we took the free shuttle bus to the V & A Waterfront. The Waterfront tends to be touristy but it is also part of a working industrial harbour so you see fishing boats and ships being repaired in dry dock. You also see icebreakers in harbour before and after trips to the research facilities in Antarctica.
There are also stunning views of Table Mountain as well as Nobel Square, which celebrates South African winners of the Nobel Peace Prize.
We ate a steak dinner in a Waterfront restaurant with a magnificent view of the mountain and the harbour. We could watch the sunset and my partner was very surprised how fast it gets dark in Africa. It is like a blackout blind dropping, not a slow dusk to darkness as in northern Europe.
All the public toilets at the Waterfront had the taps turned off and the water replaced with disinfectant gel. You were also encouraged to not flush the toilet unless you had to.
We got back to the hotel at about 11 and went straight to sleep!