Flights worked to schedule and the only negative is that the food served on BA is awful - but not your fault
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Gino was incredibly helpful. Amazing customer service.
Very helpful and service was excellent. Will use DialAFlight in future.
Highly satisfied with our trip and always friendly staff - thank you
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Isaac always look after my bookings with such diligence
Last minute emergency trip required. Called Thursday morning - on a flight to Cape Town 7 hours later. Well done and thank you!
BA needs to pull their socks up! Maybe Virgin next time .
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Pity you can’t reorganise BA!
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Just what, over the years, we have come to expect. Many thanks
Our only frustration was that prices for car hire fluctuated wildly over the time we were finalising our trip. We could not understand why this happened over a few days.
Danny was great and the supporting information was very helpful.
Great service, always got back to me with responses to questions and provided excellent service.
Tristan is a legend. Service was excellent
Harry dealt with my booking in a professional and friendly manner. I highly recommend DialAFlight. This is my second booking with them and I'm very happy the way everything went
Very helpful. Useful updates on travel policies.
Brody provided a great service.
Superb. As usual
Always reliable, excellent, service. I recommend DialAFlight whenever anybody asks about a good travel agent.
First class service and support as always.
Always extremely helpful and efficient. Thanks to Marshall
Well done Connie, as usual first class
Verde Hotel at Cape Town Airport was an excellent choice. Many thanks!
Excellent reliable service - always there for you if you need help and advice. Good prices too. Many thanks for all your help in the past and the future!
We have been customers of Rob for almost 20 years and he has delivered an excellent service, a positive ambassador for DialAFlight.
When the French astronomer Abbe Louis de la Caille made it to the top of Table Mountain in 1750, he observed no fewer than 10,000 stars and was so impressed that he named a whole constellation (Mons Mensae) after this iconic slab of stone.
Today, you're likely to see almost as many tourists coming and going on the cable car or huffing and puffing on foot. But that's no excuse not to join them – because once you get there the crowds become insignificant in such an exhilarating setting.
We had allocated 45 minutes to wander about on the massive plateau, but it soon became almost two hours – and still, like Moses, we were reluctant to come down from the mountain.
There's so much to do up there. You can hike, picnic, study the rock rabbits (hyraxes), admire the spiky plants that thrive with little in the way of soil, practise yoga, grow tipsy on the champagne air and even abseil down it if you dare. And, of course, you can survey the scene from every angle: oceans to the left, oceans to the right, beaches down below, cloudless skies up above, Cape Point somewhere in the distance.
I was last here 21 years ago, a few months before the first democratic elections were held – and the transformation is astonishing.
The waterfront, buzzing with shops and restaurants, is a little too California for me, but it's one of the city's great success stories. By comparison, the town centre is still sleepy during the day and has largely avoided a full chi-chi makeover. When our guide said we were off to the bus terminal not far from the impressive old City Hall building, it was a case of following on trust.
Our reward was an introduction to a chef called David, one of several who run kitchens housed in cramped wooden shacks. Lunch here is ten times cheaper than on the waterfront and, somehow, ten times more atmospheric.
But perhaps our best meal was at trendy Test Kitchen, presided over by Luke Dale-Roberts, probably South Africa's most celebrated chef. We stayed 30 minutes out of town for our first two nights, at Steenberg Farm in Constantia, the oldest vineyard (1682).
The whole place – its lush golf course, excellent bistro (wine tastings aplenty), intimate spa, manor house and colonial-style rooms – exudes charm and calm. Cape Town is a bubble compared with the rest of the country – and locals of every creed and colour seem to know that.
I detected no smugness, no sense of entitlement. Rather, an acute awareness that this is a work in progress. And just as the physical backdrop plays such a huge part here, so too does the political backdrop.
I couldn’t find anyone with a good word to say about President Jacob Zuma. Some think he could be gone within 12 months, despite his term officially having almost four more years to run.
Visiting a country that remains on a political knife-edge is exhilarating – and I was very much struck by how Nelson Mandela still has such a powerful influence; always will. His presence is everywhere: on street names, on billboards and, crucially, within the hearts of all South Africans.
We made the pilgrimage to Robben Island, where he spent 18 of his 27 years in captivity, joining a tour led by a fellow former inmate. It could be so much more interesting than it is, but if you've never done it, you must.
Visiting the penguins at Boulders Beach in Simon's Town is a good idea, too. Then head back to the city via the False Bay villages of Kalk Bay (lunch at Harbour House was sensational and we loved the ramshackle shops), St James and Muizenburg, the latter described as the St Tropez of Cape Town, which may or may not be a compliment.
The swimming is colder on the west side of the Cape, but the views better. We stayed at the fabulous Cape View Clifton, which opened two years ago and has only seven rooms, all facing the ocean, all whites and greys, with soulful art and comforts of every kind.
It's a glorious spot high above the beach, with Camps Bay round the corner. A beach house that feels more like a home than hotel. You help yourself to drinks and jot it down; guests wander about in the kitchen chatting to the cheerful staff; no one wears shoes.
The sunset on our last night was the colour of the rosé swishing about in our huge wine glasses. We drank deeply on both counts, painfully aware that the morning would bring a hangover made worse by the thought of flying home.
First published in the Mail Online - April 2016
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