Cape Town on the Western Cape of South Africa is a densely populated cosmopolitan thriving city. Founded on the trade routes of the Dutch this city has a strong sense of maritime history with Table Bay Harbour still very much in use today. Surrounded by staggering views Cape Town has a wildness and a beauty all of its own.
Whether you visit to see the sights, watch the cricket or simply to experience this vibrant African country, Cape Town will win your heart. Sunshine, sea, amazing wildlife and a sense of adventure make this one destination never to be forgotten.
Where to Stay
Cape Town has many hotels ranging from historical luxury to modern convenience, most are of a good standard but there are several that stand out amongst stiff competition.
The Derwent House Boutique Hotel is intimate with only 10 rooms and 1 apartment but is beautifully appointed. Located just off one of the trendiest roads in the city it has a young vibrant and exciting feel. The room décor combines traditional African with the most modern of twists to create a thing of beauty and taste. The hotel staff are there to pander to your every whim giving you a stay of exceptional quality. Early booking is recommended as the small size and high quality means that the demand is high.
If your stay is all about location then be sure to book the Queen Victoria Hotel. Just 5 minutes to the Victoria and Albert waterfront this hotel is situated in a quiet secluded street with amazing Atlantic views. The close proximity to all the great shopping and sightseeing districts combined with the serene location gives this hotel the edge over much of it’s competition.
Where to Eat
With its diverse cultural mix Cape Town has a wide range of cuisines. Local dishes include the use of Crayfish, Springbok and Ostrich with accompaniments such as Injem flat breads) and Morag (an African spinach). Almost any cuisine is available but trying the local food is highly recommended if only for the ambience and the cultural experience.
Try Marco’s African Place in the Bo-Kaay district for a truly authentic meal. Serving all the local meats such as Springbok, ostrich and Kudu (antelope) the live local bands just add to the ambience. Serving a wide range of local and Dutch beers this venue is party central and dining often goes on late into the night.
Marco is rightfully proud of his place in Cape Town history as the first black restaurateur and he is equally proud of his restaurant.Surrounded by harbours and the Atlantic ocean no visit to Cape Town would be complete without trying the local fish. Local line caught fish is widely available in a variety of seafood restaurants, for a truly special experience try freshly caught barely seared tuna, giant prawns or fresh lobster. Head down to the harbour to the clusters of great seafood restaurants such as Panama Jacks for the freshest taste of the sea in great surroundings.
What to Do
No visit to Cape Town is complete without a trip to the iconic Table Mountain. The cable car will take you all the way to the top but there is a far more interesting way to get back – Abseil! Not for the faint hearted but the most exhilarating experience. The view from Table Mountain over the city bowl is breathtaking and the amazement of standing above the clouds really will stay with you forever. Organised treks to the summit of Table Mountain are also an amazing way to spend some time in the great outdoors, but are only for the fittest of travellers.
Visit the amusing penguins of Boulder Beach. These little chaps will make you feel good inside with their antics. Waddling around on the beach the Jackass penguins display surprising grace once in the water. Watch the colony frolic around and listen as they sing to each other in the terrible tones that earned them the Jackass name.
Travel out of the city to the gorgeous vineyards. An hours drive out of the city will take you to one of many wine estates, passing through beautiful countryside on the way. Don’t just travel for the scenery though, many of the vineyards offer tasting sessions and are generous with their samples. Highly recommended is the Fairview estate with it’s unexplained herd of goats playing up for the cameras at any opportunity.
When to Visit
Cape Town has hot summers and mild but wet winters. During the winter months (June-August) cold winds can blow in from the Atlantic so although the temperatures often hover at around 64F the temperature can feel much colder.
The city is a year round destination but travellers should be aware that the high temperatures during the hot summer months can be relentless, making sightseeing during the warmest hours difficult at times. Travel during March and April is generally pleasant with cooler temperatures and low amounts of rainfall.