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Self drive holidays in Cape Town and the surrounding areas

Cape Town is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city with dramatic mountains as a backdrop, and expansive oceans stretching as far as the eye can see. This world-renowned holiday destination is consistently, rated the best South African tourist city and each year there are even more visitors arriving on its shores. What is truly unique about Cape Town is that you can journey from wine farms to shopping centres to Table Mountain, in a scenic 30-90 minute drive.

Top Cape Town Destinations

Wildlife enthusiasts will love the Cape Point Nature Reserve situated a scenic 25-minutes south of the Cape Town CBD, in the 22 100 hectare, Table Mountain National Park. The ocean at the nature reserve is crystal clear; this is where the warm Mozambique current of the Indian Ocean and the cold Bengula current of the Atlantic Ocean meet. There are hundreds of species of flora and fauna to observe whilst driving through the reserve there are also spectacular snorkelling spots, barbeque spots and the acclaimed Two Oceans Restaurant which offers world class cuisine and spectacular vistas over False Bay.

When we think of Cape Town, we often think of world famous Table Mountain. At a height of 1,073 metres, it is the single most prominent feature of the Cape Town region and one of the cities greatest tourist attractions. Whether you chose to travel up via the cable car or hike up one of the many paths once you reach the top you will be overwhelmed by some of the most gorgeous vistas imaginable.

The Cape Town beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world. Most are in close proximity to vibrant restaurants and bustling shopping centres. Spending lazy summer days on the beach are a favourite pass time amongst visitors to the Western Cape and once you’ve had your fill of the sun what could be better than sipping cocktails at one of the beachfront cafes over looking the exquisite African sun setting over the clear ocean water.

The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, a popular hotspot among locals and international visitors, is a must visit on your self drive holiday in Cape Town. Live entertainment takes place in the amphitheatre and you can browse and buy anything from couture to curio at the craft markets and the wide variety of stores located within the V&A. Marine lovers should not miss a visit to the Two Oceans Aquarium. One of the greatest highlights at the aquarium is the predator tank, which is home to several Ragged Tooth Sharks.

A short boat ride from the V&A Waterfront lies Robben Island; former home to Nelson Mandela while he was imprisoned under the apartheid regime – a South African national monument not to be missed by visitors to the Cape.

Drive up the West Coast

Approximately an hour from Cape Town lies the West Coast – a region of sheer beauty, which stretches 400km across the coast and consists of several small towns and villages, each with its own particular ambiance. The best time to visit is spring when the wild flowers are blooming and form a carpet on the ground from coast to mountain. The West Coast wildflowers are world renowned, and people come here each year, to view this spectacular sight. There are 38 towns along the West Coast and a self drive holiday up the coast stopping in at as many of them as possible will be highly rewarding. Each town has its own unique attractions and apart from the magnificent wild flowers the entire coast offers excellent opportunities for water sports and extreme adventures.

The Winelands

South Africa has earned international acclaim as one of the world’s best wine producing nations. The Western Cape is home to South Africa’s premier wine industry and the Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschhoek, and Constantia wine routes are all within 45-minutes drive from the heart of Cape Town. These wine routes consist of a number of wine estates, where you can sample award-winning wines, take in some of the most spectacular scenery and have lunch in an acclaimed restaurant. The wine estates are set in impressive expanses of vineyards; with Cape Dutch style farmhouses, and incredible landscapes. The best way to see these estates is to drive the wine route at your own pace, stopping at locations along the way that tickle your fancy. No holiday to South Africa is complete without a day on one of the Western Cape’s gorgeous wine routes and don’t forget to buy some wine while you’re at it – you’ll appreciate it when you get back home.

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Car Hire Cape Town

Why Car Hire Is Better Than Public Transport, Taxis Or A Coach Tour

When on holiday at a particular resort we will always want to take that trip out to see a famous landmark or tourist attraction. The question is whether to hire a car, take a coach tour, or avail of public transport (if there is any!) that will whisk us away to see those in demand tourist sights.

Without a doubt availing of a hired car is the very best option. Read on and we will tell you why…

Firstly, car hire allows you to be flexible and independent in your travel. You can go wherever you wish, and at a time that suits you! And what’s more, if you come across a beautiful spot that you can take a great video clip or photo of, you can stop off without a care in the world, enjoy the attraction, take your time there, and get make the most of that photo session!Hiring a car is a one off payment, and you know the exact price before you head off on your vacation. You factor that into your holiday budget and away you go. Nowadays there are so many rental companies out there offering cheap car hire so you have plenty of choice in availing of a quality car rental deal!If you have children then you will know that travelling during a holiday can sometimes be stressful and unsettling for the little ones. Car hire solves all this. You can stop and start whenever you want, and with the presence of child restraints and booster seats you will have total peace of mind that travelling with kids in a hired car is completely safe. You can provide entertainment on board in the form of DVD players, music or making up your own games between yourselves!

To this end, choose your own musical soundtrack by CD or using your plugged in mp3/ipod player for your very own road trip. And you can select a DVD for the DVD player to keep the kids entertained in the back seats!

Entering into a car hire agreement for your holiday is so much better and straightforward. And better for your wallet! In these days of recession, people are looking for a better deal all the time, and car hire often works out cheaper than public transport, especially when you are travelling from attraction to attraction or resort to resort at your own pace, and as well the cost of the car is shared. You can book in advance and make the most of any special car rental offers that come on board.

You are not stuck to rigid public transport timetables, and by hiring a car you will not be hanging around at a bus or train station waiting for a connection.

Taxis and independent coach hire companies can be very expensive, and would love nothing more than to fleece the innocent and attraction-seeking tourist!

Hiring a car can help you get to more attractions in less time, if you take the easiest and quickest route. With a bit of forward planning, the use of GPS and a good roadmap, you will come across the very best attractions near your holiday destination!

Even if you are not planning on doing too much driving around throughout your holiday, hiring a car at your arrival airport can offer you so many benefits. Not only will you avoid having to pay an outrageous taxi fare for your arrival and return journey to your holiday resort, it is very convenient if you have an early morning return flight and you have plenty of baggage to get to the terminal!

So the travel advice we recommend to you is  – shop around and get the very best car rental deal that offers you exactly what you want.

Have you hired a car or taken public transport and other modes of transport during your holidays? What do you recommend?

A Bloemfontein Car Rentals & Travel Information

It’s often assumed that Bloemfontein does not have much to offer in terms of holiday activities and scenery.  Contrary to popular belief, Bloemfontein’s landscapes are intriguing and there are a host of sporting activities to partake in. Not to mention the ravishing roses which line the inner city.

As Bloemfontein which is also referred to as ‘The City of Roses’ or Bloemies, is the judicial capital of South Africa, one would assume that the city does not have much to offer.  The city is situated on the N1 between Johannesburg and Cape Town and is often the go-between or stop off city for most tourists or travellers en route to Johannesburg or Cape Town. Consider contacting a Bloemfontein car rental to ensure you’re able to travel around with ease.

Bloemfontein is located on an area of dry land yet you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the beautiful sight of thousands of rose bushes which line the city.  In fact, expect to see more than 4000 variations of rose trees planted in the gardens in Kings Park.  Many homes in Bloemfontein have picturesque gardens which are strewn with plants and trees. This makes for a delightful city to discover.

In comparison to other major cities, Bloemfontein has a laid-back city where most of the residents do not live up to a rush-rush mentality.

Bloemfontein Attractions

Bloemfontein’s vast fields and lavish landscapes lend itself to edgy sporting activities.  An array of sporting as well as leisurely activities is available.  Kings Park hosts the popular Art in the Park a very popular event amongst local residents’ takes place on the first Saturday of every month.  If you’re in need of window shopping and a bite at restaurant, make use of your Bloemfontein car rental and venture  into the Loch Logan Waterfront where you’ll find various shops, pubs and entertainment facilities.  If you’re an art enthusiasts, the Oliewenhuis Art Gallery will whet your appetite. The gallery is a Cape Dutch house beneath sprawling lawns and huge trees and frequently hosts exhibitions. A quant tea garden is situated at the gallery.  Of course the annual rose festival is an event worth attending.

Bloemfontein Golf Course

Golf fanatics will enjoy the Bloemfontein Gold Club which is located approximately 6 kilometres and in close proximity to Maselspoort Road also referred to as the airport road.  The holes in the club consist of water holes and are amongst the toughest in South Africa.

Bloemfontein Zoo

The Bloemfontein Zoo is home to the Big Five and various other animals such as various antelope species, panthers, hippos and tiger.

Caledon Nature Reserve

The Caledon Nature Reserves is approximately 120 kilometres south east of Bloemfontein and 15 kilometres south of Wepener on Route 701. The Caledon River flows through the Reserve and is also home to the Welbedacht Dam which is situated in the south of the reserve.

Bloemfontein Historical Monuments

Bloemfontein has an array of historical buildings particularly the city centre which is lined with interesting architecture.  Amongst the various sights, you’ll find President Brand Street which is a national monument. The street showcases a number of museums and is lined with majestic trees.

The Naval Hill is an averaged sized nature reserve which has at least 192 hectors and is situated in the city centre. It is advised to use your Bloemfontein car rental to explore the vicinity as venturing by foot might be a hassle as the stretch is long.  The Orchard house is another fascinating building to visit as it showcases the world’s largest collection of orchids. A fragrance garden for the blind is located close to the Orchid house.

A Sunday morning service can be attended at the Anglican Cathedral where Major Henry Warden laid the foundation of the building in 1850.  Other historical buildings include the city hall which was designed by Sir Gordon Leith, the first Raadsaal which is a standard building which has dung doors and a thatched roof also erected by Major Warden in 1849 who did not have the luxury of using the services of a Bloemfontein car rentals at the time for easy access to various parts of the city.  The Government Building is a perfect example of Cape Dutch architecture and a charming fountain in the city features a mosaic of the city’s emblem.

Car Hire South Africa-Around About Cars

Compare Car Rental Companies

Many individuals and families plan their business trips or vacations intricately so as to make every moment of the tour enjoyable. These tours are planned well in advance in order to avoid any last minute hitches. Information related to their travel, hotel accommodation, local sightseeing and local conveyance are gathered from the Internet or from travel agents. Of the many arrangements to be made for a trip, whether business or leisure, securing a car rental is an important consideration.

Upon reaching their destination, travelers are advised to search information related to the various car rental companies in the city. Local newspapers and telephone directories are good sources of information for this purpose. After assimilating a list of various car rental companies, they should compare the services and prices being offered before taking a decision. In the United States, there are many popular car rental companies, some of them offering their services, nationwide. Alamo is one such company, which offers cabs on weekly rental basis in the price range of $189 to $249 depending on the type of car being rented.

With some car rental companies, customers can pre-pay and save 15% on weekday and weekend rentals. Most car rental companies provide a wide variety of services including flexible fuel and coverage options and 24-hour emergency roadside assistance. There are special rates for companies planning conferences, conventions and those requiring 11 or more cars at a time. Rental cars are also available for American citizens planning trips abroad.

Thrifty Car Rent is a car rental company that provides rental cars in both airport and local car rental markets. Through corporately owned and franchised shops, the company manages car rental services in more than 1,100 locations in 64 regions.

Customers with a valid driver license and a credit card in their name will find it easier to rent a car. The age requirement for a person to rent a car from these companies is typically 25 years. Younger customers can also rent cars but might be required to pay extra charges or have someone co-sign for the car, as well.

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50 PERCENT INCREASE IN BIKE TEST BOOKINGS

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Quality Car Hire in Cape Town and South Africa from AroundAbout Cars

August 18, 2008
By Maureen Marud

If there is a seemingly endless wait for an appointment at the local driving licence test centre, use another one, advises Vernon Little, assistant chief of Cape Town Traffic Services.

Little said: “You can go anywhere in South Africa to do a driving licence test if you have a valid learner’s licence. No centre may turn you away because you do not live in the area.”

And here are the numbers you’ll
need to dial in Cape Town.
 

Little recently unveiled plans to cut waiting times from the current six-months average to three months for a driving licence test, and two months for a learner’s test

‘Test stations were inundated early in 2008 by a last-minute rush’

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Booking backlogs were caused by various factors, he said, one of them going back five years.

Test stations were inundated early in 2008 by a last-minute rush of drivers trying to meet the five-year deadline for renewing licences they took out in 2003 when the deadline for changing to card licences created a “deluge” of applicants, many of whom were tested at an emergency station in the Athlone stadium.

He added that backlogs had been aggravated by higher fuel prices as more road users turned to motorcycles to save on fuel bills.

“Cape Town’s traffic departments have been inundated with a 50 percent increase in bookings for motorcycle learner and driving tests in the past year,” he said

‘Licence applicants are coming to the centres ill-prepared for their tests’

But only four of the city’s 16 testing stations are equipped to test for motorcycle licences – and at Gallows Hill in Green point licence tests for motorcycles and heavy motor vehicles are done in the same area but can’t be done at the same time because of space restrictions.

Another problem, he said, was that licence applicants were coming to the centres ill-prepared for their tests. For instance, a cracked windscreen or an expired licence disc meant the examiner could not conduct the test in that vehicle.

“We can’t take the vehicle out on the road, so that person fails automatically.”

The relatively low pass rate of 35 – 40 percent at all the city’s stations was partly the fault of driving schools, some of which used unregistered instructors.

“Province has identified the need for all driving schools to be accredited,” Little said.

Plans to cut the backlogs included opening new test centres and employing more cashiers, clerks and testing officers.

Little said three new centres opened in 2007 – in Khayelitsha, Joe Gqabi and Ottery – and one in Mitchells Plain was expected to open by November 2008.

A new centre in Fish Hoek, to serve the southern peninsula, would open within the next 24 months.

Other plans included a revamp of the Milnerton and Brackenfell centres, a new test track at Kuils River, an upgraded test track at Bellville and a new centre in Somerset West after the old one was closed. – The Argus

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