A Travel and vacations forum. TravelBanter

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Go Back   Home » TravelBanter forum » Travel Regions » Africa
Site Map Home Authors List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Web Partners

Tips About Living in Cape Town



 
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old September 29th, 2006, 07:15 AM posted to rec.travel.africa,soc.culture.south-africa
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 4
Default Tips About Living in Cape Town

Hi all,

I am from just outside of Toronto, Canada and was just hired by the
Canadian goverment to work for a small organization in Cape Town. It's
pretty much volunteer work, with travel and living expenses funded by
the Canadian goverment. I'll be living there for 5 months starting at
the beginning of November and I can't wait.

The organization that I will be working for is located in Observatory.
Can anyone give me general information on this area? I'm interested
in:

a) how safe the Observatory and City Bowl are?

b) how expensive it is to rent in that area (or are there other areas
that are safer or better priced that are still within close distance,
since I won't have a car)?

c) how is the public transportation (price and safety)?

I have LOTS of other questions (ex. how is the nighlife in that area,
what are other hot spots in Cape Town, which are the best beaches, how
expensive is it to travel to other parts of SA and what is the best way
to do that - plane, train, bus, etc.), but these are the questions that
I'm most interested in right now.

Any and all comments are appreciated. Thanks in advance!
Anthony

  #2  
Old September 29th, 2006, 07:39 AM posted to rec.travel.africa,soc.culture.south-africa,za.local.cape-town
Peter H.M.Brooks
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 4
Default Tips About Living in Cape Town

wrote:
Hi all,

I am from just outside of Toronto, Canada and was just hired by the
Canadian goverment to work for a small organization in Cape Town. It's
pretty much volunteer work, with travel and living expenses funded by
the Canadian goverment. I'll be living there for 5 months starting at
the beginning of November and I can't wait.

The organization that I will be working for is located in Observatory.
Can anyone give me general information on this area? I'm interested
in:

a) how safe the Observatory and City Bowl are?

b) how expensive it is to rent in that area (or are there other areas
that are safer or better priced that are still within close distance,
since I won't have a car)?

c) how is the public transportation (price and safety)?

I have LOTS of other questions (ex. how is the nighlife in that area,
what are other hot spots in Cape Town, which are the best beaches, how
expensive is it to travel to other parts of SA and what is the best way
to do that - plane, train, bus, etc.), but these are the questions that
I'm most interested in right now.

I think that I can help a bit. I have been living in Observatory for
nearly six years now!

'How safe' is a rather open question. If you behave sensibly and take
reasonable precautions both are pretty safe - over the past six months,
I've had an umbrella stolen from my garden, I've had my car window
broken in the street a couple of times and my wife had somebody try to
steal her bag (he failed, she screamed the street down and fought him
off, he was chased by a bystander and arrested by eight policemen who
happened to be at the top of the road). During those six years, there
have been two fatal shootings in the area - the stats make it look a lot
worse because Groote Schuur, the hospital on the hill above us, is where
people who've been shot are shipped from the Cape Flats to be patched up.

If you make a habit of going to nightclubs, getting wasted and then
walking around the streets in the early hours of the morning, then, no,
I don't think you'll find the city bowl at all safe. You will mostly be
OK in Observatory in future because a very expensive CCTV system is
being installed (the huge towers are already in, the cameras on their
way) that will monitor all vehicles (and people in the railway station)
that come in or out of the suburb.

Observatory has been a preferred place for students and university staff
to live over the years. It has been getting more expensive, quite a bit
more expensive, over the past few years as it has moved up-market. For
example, there used to be a student house behind us, but it is now owned
by an elderly but rich couple that completely ripped out the interior
and rebuilt it with little expense spared. You'd probably find it
cheaper in Mowbray, Rosebank or Rhondebosch, but they're less fun and
probably a bit less safe. Avoid Newlands or Claremont at the moment
because the levels of crime there are the highest in any of the posher
suburbs (Woodstock too would be cheaper, going the other way, but it is
also less safe and the wind is really bad there).

Public transport is excellent from here. There's a regular, and cheap,
train service into town and out to Simon's Town. I used it twice this
week, once to go to lunch at the Brass Bell in Kalk Bay (a very pleasant
experience every time!) and the other just to go to Claremont to pick up
my car after a service. There are plenty of security people on the
trains and they've been working hard to reduce the level of graffiti on
trains and in the stations - their success varies.

The minibus taxis are even cheaper and everybody uses them - every now
and again there is something ugly that happens on one, but, considering
the millions of journeys that go on, they are pretty safe. I've always
found people on them very friendly, chatty and helpful.

Observatory is one of the most central places to live in Cape Town
(that's why I'm there!). If you stay in Belleville it is much, much
cheaper, but generally rather tacky, if you stay out in Constantia then
you'll have long horrible commutes into town. From Obs you can get into
town in ten minutes, out to Belleville in twenty (by car, give it an
hour by train) or to Simon's Town in under an hour. There are plenty of
pubs, restaurants, nightclubs and useful shops in Observatory - as well
as the Observatory which is open to the public the first Saturday of
each month. There's an open air swimming pool the other side of the
railway line, next to Hartleyvale stadium. There's an active community
centre with adult education courses in things like painting, pottery and
so forth. There's the little library (though you'll probably be better
served by the Rhondebosch library which is about three times the size)
and a first rate second hand bookshop (one of the best in Cape Town -
owned and run by my neighbour).

We're pretty happy here and quite likely to be here for another five
years or longer.
  #3  
Old September 29th, 2006, 09:36 AM posted to rec.travel.africa,soc.culture.south-africa,za.local.cape-town
Moira de Swardt
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2
Default Tips About Living in Cape Town


"Peter H.M.Brooks" wrote in message


If you make a habit of going to nightclubs, getting wasted and

then
walking around the streets in the early hours of the morning,

then, no,
I don't think you'll find the city bowl at all safe. You will

mostly be
OK in Observatory in future because a very expensive CCTV system

is
being installed (the huge towers are already in, the cameras on

their
way) that will monitor all vehicles (and people in the railway

station)
that come in or out of the suburb.


These cameras have been a big help in reducing crime in the inner
city of Johannesburg.

Observatory has been a preferred place for students and university

staff
to live over the years. It has been getting more expensive, quite

a bit
more expensive, over the past few years as it has moved up-market.

For
example, there used to be a student house behind us, but it is now

owned
by an elderly but rich couple that completely ripped out the

interior
and rebuilt it with little expense spared. You'd probably find it
cheaper in Mowbray, Rosebank or Rhondebosch, but they're less fun

and
probably a bit less safe. Avoid Newlands or Claremont at the

moment
because the levels of crime there are the highest in any of the

posher
suburbs (Woodstock too would be cheaper, going the other way, but

it is
also less safe and the wind is really bad there).


When I lived in Rosebank in the late seventies, it was more
expensive than Observatory. How times change!

Nice commentary, Peter. Useful, too, I should imagine.


--
Moira de Swardt posting from Johannesburg, South Africa
Remove the dot in my address to find me at home.


  #4  
Old September 29th, 2006, 11:09 AM posted to rec.travel.africa,soc.culture.south-africa,za.local.cape-town
Peter H.M.Brooks
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 4
Default Tips About Living in Cape Town

Moira de Swardt wrote:
"Peter H.M.Brooks" wrote in message


When I lived in Rosebank in the late seventies, it was more
expensive than Observatory. How times change!

They do change, so I could be out of date - and I've mainly noticed sale
prices, rather than rental prices. My niece wanted to rent in Obs, but
found it too expensive and ended up in Claremont. She hasn't liked it
there much and has now moved out to a place near Long Beach.

I think that, if I was young and single, I might consider moving to Kalk
bay, it is quite a bit cheaper there (though you'd have to factor in the
train commute) and you'd then have both Obs and Kalk bay as places to
enjoy in the evening (and it isn't too much hassle to spend the evening
in the City).

Nice commentary, Peter. Useful, too, I should imagine.

Thank you!
  #5  
Old September 29th, 2006, 05:32 PM posted to rec.travel.africa,soc.culture.south-africa,za.local.cape-town
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 4
Default Tips About Living in Cape Town

Thanks so much for your quick posting Peter... it was extremely
helpful, as it's always great to hear first hand information from
someone who lives in the area.

Although I will soon be able to put all of these suburbs and areas into
perspective once I move there, do you know of any good online maps that
I would be able to look at to put these places in perspective? The map
that I've found to be the most useful so far (although it is quite
basic) is found at http://www.aboutcapetown.com/maps.htm.

In relation to the places found in the link about, where abouts is Kalk
Bay? Also, by public transportation, how long would the commute be
from Kalk Bay to Observatory?

From what I've read, I've gotten the sense that the City Bowl is the

main downtown core of Cape Town, meaning that it contains most of the
tall and important buildings for business, government, has the most
bars, etc. Is this the case?

Last question - the link above lists a number of places that are close
to the City Bowl (and thus also close to Observatory). They are
Vredehoek, Oranjezicht, Gardens, Tamboerskloof, Green Point, etc. What
would the distance from these places be to Observatory and how nice are
these areas to live? When I was asking earlier about "how safe"
Observatory was, I mostly meant in relation to the other suburbs of
Cape Town (not in comparison to other majort cities in the world, as I
think cultural and city differences make this a difficult comparison).

Thanks again Peter!
Anthony

 




Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cape Town City Guide willie Europe 4 December 28th, 2005 07:32 AM
Cape Town City Guide willie Backpacking and Budget travel 0 December 27th, 2005 05:01 PM
New Cape Town city guide website willie Africa 0 December 27th, 2005 04:42 PM
New cape town city guide! willie Cruises 0 December 27th, 2005 04:40 PM
WINDWARD BUS & COACH CHARTER / SELF DRIVE / ACCOMMODATION - CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA [email protected] Africa 0 February 18th, 2004 10:14 AM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 01:56 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004-2018 TravelBanter.
The comments are property of their posters.