Cape Town, South Africa


Pic: Visited Cape Town thanks to a Turkish Airlines Business Class Error Fare
Back in June 2013, Turkish Airlines (TK) published a oneway business class error fare from South Africa (CPT, JNB) to Switzerland (GVA, ZRH). It was their second (known) business class error fare of the year. I had already booked a business class roundtrip error fare (€638) between Warsaw and Kuala Lumpur back in February 2013 which I flew and reviewed in Nov 2013. As I had no vacation days left for 2013, I booked my Cape Town – Geneva flight for January 2014 and paid just €339.

Pic: My favorite Business Class seat (4E) on the TurkishAirlines A330-300 (Jan 2014)
Turkish Airlines TK41 from Cape Town to Istanbul via Johannesburg.

Pic: The excellent Turkish Airlines Business Class DO&CO inflight catering (Jan 2014)

Pic: Very spacious Intra-Europe Turkish Airlines Business Class on B737-900ER
Turkish Airlines flight TK1917 from Istanbul to Geneva was operated by a brand new Boeing Next Generation 737-900ER.

Pic: Turkish Airlines DO&CO Intra-Europe Business Class Breakfast (Jan 2014)

Pic: Flatbed Business Class seats on South African Airways A340-600 (Jan 2014)
For my positioning flight from Brussels to Cape Town, I used 52,500 Avianca Taca LifeMiles to book Brussels to Frankfurt in Lufthansa Business Class and Frankfurt to Cape Town (via Johannesburg) in South African Airways Business Class.  I had bought the required miles (€611) during a 100% bonus LifeMiles promotion.  With the taxes & fees (€79) included, I paid a total of €690 for my BRU-CPT Business Class flights.

Pic: Sunroof Terrace at Park Inn by Radisson Cape Town Foreshore (Jan 2014)
For my first two nights in Cape Town, I booked the Park Inn by Radisson Cape Town Foreshore using the Club Carlson Family and Friends promo. This rate is intended for travelers who have a friend or family member working at the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. Don’t we all have extensive networks of friends via Facebook, LinkedIn, etc…these days? No worries, most hotels don’t ask questions. 😉 Check this Flyertalk thread for individual hotel’s ‘behavior’. To use the rate, go to ClubCarlson.com and enter ‘CARLSONF’ in the ‘Promotional Code’ field. It will lower most Park Inn rates to the equivalent of €70 and Radisson (Blu) rates to €80 or $80. The rate has same day 6pm cancellation flexibility and includes breakfast + 25% discount on F&B. Note: The Carlson F&F rate is capacity controlled and thus not always available. Make sure to double check the cancellation conditions and other rate features at the time of booking.

Pic: Sunset at Kloof Neck in Cape Town, South Africa (Jan 2014)

Pic: Presidential Loft Suite at DoubleTree By Hilton Cape Town Upper Eastside
After my Park Inn stay, I moved to the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cape Town – Upper Eastside where I had booked 3 nights using the Hilton Any Weekend Anywhere sale. Via this promo I managed to book the 122 sq.m. Contemporary New York Style Presidential Loft Suite at ZAR1336 (€89) for my first night, and a Queen Guest room at ZAR934 (€62) for the second and third night. As a Hilton HHonors Gold member (obtained via credit card link), I was upgraded to a Deluxe room on my second and third night and could enjoy complimentary breakfast and internet access.

Pic: The City Sightseeing Red Bus is a great way to see Cape Town (Jan 2014)
The first two days of my trip, I didn’t have a rental car. I found the City Sightseeing Cape Town Red Bus an excellent way to discover the city and it’s beautiful surroundings. I managed to complete both the Cape Town Red City Tour (Red Line) and Cape Town Blue Mini Peninsula Tour (Blue Line) in one day, including the cable ride to the top of Table Mountain!

Pic: Cable Car to Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa (Jan 2014)

Pic: Abseiling from Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa (Jan 2014)

Pic: My Uber private driver in Cape Town, South Africa (Jan 2014)
On my second day in Cape Town, I used my favorite private driver app Uber to drop me at the start of the Lions Head trail. (try Uber yourself, €20 free credits via my referral link)

Pic: The money shot at the Lion’s Head summit in Cape Town, South Africa (Jan 2014)

Pic: The amazing Camps Bay in Cape Town, South Africa (Jan 2014)

Pic: Culinary lunch at Waterkloof Wines, Somerset West, Cape Town (Jan 2014)
South Africa is famous for it’s wines, so we had try some in style. Waterkloof Wines proved to be an excellent venue for both wining and dining… and what an amazing estate! Thanks to the weak ZAR, the 6 course degustation menu including wine pairing was less than €50!

Pic: Porcini Custard – Rocket Pesto, Crispy Quail Egg – Waterkloof Wines Restaurant

Pic: Dessert by Chef Gregory Czarnecki at Waterkloof Wines Restaurant (Jan 2014)

Pic: Coffee with a view to finish my amazing lunch at Waterkloof Wines (Jan 2014)

Pic: Monkey Valley Beach Nature Resort at Noordhoek Beach, Cape Town (Jan 2014)
Another absolute must-do is Chapman’s Peak Drive, one of the world’s most stunning coastal roads! You’ll discover the incredible Noordhoek Beach on your way to Cape Point.

Pic: Bart at Noordhoek beach near Cape Town, South Africa (Jan 2014)

Pic: African Penguins at Boulders Beach near Simon’s Town (Jan 2014)

Pic: Bart Lapers at V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa (Jan 2014)
Conclusion: If Cape Town isn’t on your todo list yet, you should add it today. It’s insanely beautiful, friendly and affordable!

9 Comments on “Cape Town, South Africa

  1. Glad you liked CPT! As you say, it is insanely beautifull and from a culinary point of view the best wine and dine region in the world!!!

  2. Really enjoyed reading your trip report. Especially since I just got back from CPT myself. Well, I was there three weeks ago – but just got back home. I also stayed at the Park-Inn hotel (CC Gold member) and used 15K point/night and eStandby upgrade – which cleared – into a suite for about 27$/night more. Awesome value, and a very decent hotel all-around I think. The free car service is superb.

    Absolutely loved this city and can’t wait to come back for a second visit.

  3. I’m about to leave the Cape after three months! And not looking forward to my TK journey having just read myriad criticism on Skytrax. Your review of TK biz was glowing. I have flown 4 times TK econ and had 2 failed connections. A very inconsistent airline. But, hey! I’ll just remember the sunny days in the Cape, the great wines and good food, and dream of walking on Noordhoek beach again – that great beach in your photo. Mexico awaits!

  4. What a fantastic post and you really got some excellent deals. I flew with Turkish Airlines on my way to India and they were pretty good even though it was only economy but at the excellent “error” price, that sure was a bargain LOL!

    Wow! Those hotels are brilliant. I went to Cape Town about 8 years ago I think and I stayed with a girlfriend who had a house on the cliff. She used to spend 6 months in Cape Town and 6 months in Berlin where I live: a happy lifestyle I’d say!

    Your post really brought back memories of the beach and the mountains. I didn’t really like South Africa as I found it to be too modern but I really appreciated the landscape, ethnic variety, and food of Cape Town.

  5. So is registering to the Turkish Airlines miles program to be preferred over aegean?

    • Hi Koenraad, I would switch to TK Miles & Smiles after you have achieved Star Alliance Gold with Aegean. (Turkish will match your Aegean *A Gold status) That said, TK just announced they will ‘revamp’ their M&S program, so we’ll have to wait and see what the details look like.

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