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Cape Town's official boundaries stretch from Table Mountain to Table Bay, two of South Africa's signature landmarks. However, car hire in Cape Town is useful for venturing around Cape Town's larger metropolitan area, which extends as far south as Cape Point, as far east as Durbanville, and as far north as Atlantis. Motorists driving private vehicles have many advantages in South Africa's southernmost city.
Many visitors go online and compare car hire deals in Cape Town International Airport as there is no public transportation between Cape Town and its airport other than taxis and private hotel shuttles. The N2 motorway journey between Cape Town and its airport lasts about half an hour, and is easy to navigate by car.
Car rental in Cape Town and the rest of South Africa is usually cheaper than in Europe. Fuel costs more than in the United States but less than in Europe. Drivers needing automatic transmissions should make this request in advance as most Cape Town rentals have manual transmissions. Driving on the left is another additional challenge for many motorists.
Cape Town claims to boast South Africa's slowest and most polite drivers, although many outside the city would beg to differ. Although driving in Cape Town is safer for tourists than the city's spotty public transportation network, motorists should nonetheless be extra cautious at traffic lights and while driving at night, when hijackers are most likely to strike.
No Cape Town visit would be complete without an excursion to the renowned Franschhoek and Stellenbosch Cape Winelands vineyards. However, the Garden Route from Mossel Bay to the Addo Elephant and Tsitsikamma national parks also ranks among the world's most breathtaking road journeys. The drive along Chapmans Peak Drive to Hout Bay may be lesser known but is no less spectacular.
Cape Town's climate will feel very familiar to visitors from southern Europe and California with similar mild winters and hot summers with an average daytime temperature of 23°C. The only major differences are the Southern Hemisphere's reverse seasons and the springtime Cape Doctor' winds that sweep out Cape Town's pollution in October and November. Temperatures may cool slightly during the autumn months between March and May, but the cooler weather is also accompanied by huge discounts on hotel rooms and food.