Traveling to Cape Town in South Africa has been on my travel list since 2017 mostly because of the pictures I have seen online of the famous Table Mountain. Ever since, I have told myself whenever the opportunity presents itself, I’d definitely jump on it and see the beautiful city myself.
Before now, I was opportune to travel to Pretoria in South Africa in 2016. Sadly, I was unable to explore anywhere in the city because of the circumstances surrounding the trip. Hence, I told myself, I’d definitely be back so I can tick it off my list of countries to visit properly. After all, what is a travel without better opportunity to explore?
The first thing I know about any country that is not visa free is to apply for your visa months before your trip to be on the safe side. My initial travel date was in October, so I applied for my visa immediately I returned from Lusaka in August. I thought in a worst case scenario, the visa would be out in 6 weeks.
Sadly, the xenophobia attacks started and I started getting worried and scared. I couldn’t even tell anyone I was traveling again because they’d definitely discourage me against it. A number of people I knew who applied for a visa around that time got denied and I became open minded about it.
On October 24th, I received an email to come pick my passport. I had mixed feelings and was quite surprise to see my visa was approved. The total cost for the visa was N32,671. And before you apply, you’d need the following:
- International passport (at least 6 months valid)
- Duly filled application form
- 2 photocopies of data pages of international passport.
- Photocopies of previously issues SA visa ( if applicable )
- 2 colored passport(white background)
- Self Introduction Letter
- Photocopy of marriage certificate(if married)
- Letter of sponsorship from sponsor(if sponsored)
- Sponsor/Company’s Bank Statement for the last 6 months( original and photocopy required)
- Personal bank statement for the last 6 months (original and photocopy required )
- Birth certificate of children( if they would be accompanying their parents/guardian )
- Letter of Consent for (a married woman)
- Photocopy of Certificate of in Corporation (self employed).
- Or being sponsored by company
- Letter of invitation from company or host
- Letter of introduction from local company. (stating your designation, how long you have been working there, your character and that you will be going on leave/seminar/meeting and duration of travel).
2. Tickets Advise Before Traveling to Cape Town
For tickets, I’d advise you apply using a dummy ticket or a ticket that is refundable so as to be a ‘shock absorber’ should the visa be rejected. However, if you meet all the requirements, with a good bank statements, and no previously denied visa, you stand a good chance of being granted.
As soon as my visa was confirmed, I had to change my travel date as it was initially planned for early October which costs about N290,000. I knew the rest of the year would be quite occupied, so I decided to choose early January. You know, what a better way to start a new year. Also, because of the unrest in the country, I changed my initial 8-days itinerary which was to be in Cape Town for days and Johannesburg for 3 days to just staying in Cape Town.
I flew with South African Airways and it was a very smooth 6hours trip to Johanesburg and another 2hours to Cape Town. The return trip was the same itinerary as well and I did enjoy the trip and services.
3. Choose Your Hotel
If you’ve being following my travelogue, you’d know most of my trips are always planned by Flyboku
. They have a way of making me customized my travel plans to suit my preferences.
As soon as my visa and ticket was confirmed, I started looking for hotels and fun activities in Cape Town.
Isirat of Flyboku was super patient as I kept going back and forth on my hotel choices. I read and read reviews online, I got tired, lols. So, I began checking pictures of guests that had stayed at the hotel without relying on just hotel pictures. As I needed some place quite aesthetics for content creation and also with a very good customer service.
Eventually, I settled for Dolphin Beach Hotel at Marine Drive, Table View. I settled for this hotel because of the sea view which also oversees the Table Mountain.
4. Plan Your Itinerary
Depending on the number of days you plan to spend while traveling, it’s quite important to plan your itinerary for each day. While I was in Dubai
, I was overwhelmed with too many activities and didn’t have enough time to myself.
Hence, while on this trip, I told myself I must maximize all the days to full satisfaction while having time for myself and also content creation.
After much research before traveling to Cape Town, I settled for the following knowing I’d be spending 5days:
- City Sightseeing Cape Town
- Cape of Good Hope Half Day
- Robben Island & Cape Townships
That way, I have the day of arrival and another day as free days to myself to either shop, create content within the hotel or just rest. Which was exactly all I did.
5. Last Minute Planning Before Traveling to Cape Town
This include cross checking your travel documents
, changing your local currency to the currency of the country you are going, ensure all your travel outfits are in order and complete. You do not want to arrive at your destination only to realize you left your bag of toiletries at home.
Also, remember to double check your departure time, arrival time, pick up arrangements and also your hotel location. It is actually important to familiarize yourself with all these details, that way, if you get questioned at the airport about any of these, you don’t have to start opening any documents to confirm. As this will sell you off as a first time traveler, if you are and allow you be taken for granted.
The official currency in SOuth Africa is ZAR, rand and 1ZAR equals NGN25.0059 while 1ZAR equals $0.069. All through my trip, my XE.Convertor
was open om my browser so I can quickly do a conversion to avoid my Dubai saga from repeating itself
. Where I had to pay N15,000 for just a picture thinking I was paying N1,500.
Communication while traveling to Cape Town, South Africa was quite easy as almost everyone speaks English Language. Even conversing with the locals was in English except you are one of them and understands their language clearly.
It is important to research the weather condition of the country you are traveling to before embarking on any trip. Cape Town is naturally a cold city probably because of the mountains, but while the time I traveled was usually cold in the early mornings and evenings, it’s always very hot & windy in the afternoon. Thank God for sunscreen but truth be told, I got darker.
You can read more on Cape Town weather and the best time to visit here.
9. Moving Around While Traveling to Cape Town
For most of my stay in Cape Town, (a more detail post of my 5 days stay is in the drafts), I was either with a tour guide or using Uber to travel around the city. I used Uber rather than buses because it is more reliable and safer. And the fun part of using Uber is that I can get to have great conversations with the drivers. In addition, I can get them to show me even more beautiful places in town during the ride and also double as my photographer. All the pictures in this post was taking by my Uber driver on day 4 of my trip.
Once, all these is sorted, you are definitely good to go and can now start counting down to your travel dates. To avoid a very lengthy post, I will create another post on the places I visited while in Cape Town as well as tips for a solo traveler.
If you want to see my real time experience while at Cape Town, kindly check out my Instagram profile
and click on ‘Cape Town’ on my highlights.
Kindly leave questions on what you will want me to answer.