Guide in Cape Town

During the many years I have spent traveling throughout the world, I have used a number of private guides. None has provided such exquisite service as Francois Viljoen (P.O. Box 6178, Welgemoed, 7538, Cape Town, South Africa; phone/fax 27/21-9136150 or e-mail For three days in October ’03, he was at our complete disposal in Cape Town.

Francois’ background aptly fits him for the role of presenting Cape Town and its environs to visitors to this beautiful city. He’s actually a former South African diplomat, having spent time in South America and Mexico. He speaks Spanish and Portuguese fluently as well as English and Africaans. His knowledge of the city and its history is second to none.

During those three days we covered just about all of the important sites to be seen in Cape Town, including Table Mountain, the Winelands and the marvelous drive to the Cape of Good Hope.

Francois pampered us at every turn and made stops whenever we wanted to take a photo. He even retraced our route for us on a number of occasions so that we could take better photos. His knowledge of the flora and fauna was excellent — he named every tree and flower along the way. Our tour included lunch each day, and his selection of restaurants was fabulous.

He is a very charming man. His sense of humor and South African accent were unbeatable. His anecdotes added to the pleasure of his company. During the time we were with him I experienced walking problems. He went out of his way to make it as comfortable for me as he could.

We were on a prepaid tour, so I don’t know the cost of our three days. His 2003 brochure, however, gives his cost for a full-day tour of Cape Town, Table Mountain and the peninsula as 800 rand (about $115) per person (excluding Table Mountain car and lunch). That is, indeed, most reasonable.

I heartily recommend Francois Viljoen to anyone traveling to the Cape Town area.

Southbury, CT