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Cape Town Travel Cards
14 May 2014
 
     

Your Guide to Travel, Transport and Cash Cards in Cape Town

By Cape Town Tourism

It’s the number one tip we’ve all heard when travelling: don’t carry all your cash on you, use traveller’s cheques or get a card.

In gorgeous Cape Town, the same advice holds true for our visitors from around the world and this is why we went in search of all of the travel, transport and cash cards you’ll need to enjoy your next visit to our sunny, fun-loving shores:

Unique Rand (UR Card)

To paraphrase Cuba Gooding Jr in Jerry Maguire: “Don’t show me the money, baby!”

With the uber slick Unique Rand(UR) Card, a pre-paid debit card supported by MasterCard and ideal tool for visitors who do not have a South African bank account; paying for exciting sightseeing tours, delicious meals and keepsakes is so easy and completely safe.

Best of all, you can apply for it online before your trip and it can be mailed to you for your convenience.

Pin protected, the UR Card allows for free swiping at any establishment that MasterCard is accepted so go ahead, shop until you drop in #lovecapetown!

Cost: R199 (purchase price), R25.00 (activation fee) - R29.00 (monthly charge) www.urcard.co.za

My CiTi

Get your sightseeing adventure started from the minute you land in Cape Town by purchasing a My CiTi connect bus card at the Cape Town International Airport and hop on-board for a ride to the City Centre.

With this nifty card and the daily bus schedule at hand, you can travel cheaply around the Mother City, from Hout Bay to Blaauwberg and Camps Bay.

Cost: R 25.00 (myconnect card) fares vary www.myciti.org.za

SANParks Wild Card and My Activity Permit

“In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight…”

So, maybe you won’t see a lion in one of the Fairest Cape’s beautiful South African National Parks but you could see the cute-as-pie African Penguins at Boulders Beach, admire the impressive baboons from afar at Cape Point or go mountain-biking along our wonder of nature, Table Mountain for less with the thrilling Wild Card and the My Activity Permit.

Cost: from R 1 670.00 www.sanparks.org

10 Brilliant Bird-watching Spots in Cape Town
7 May 2014
 
     

10 Brilliant Bird-watching Spots in Cape Town

Leani Jansen van Vuuren for Cape Town Tourism

Birding is just for grey-haired Ornithologists studying migrating patterns of some peculiar species, right? Wrong!

Whether you are looking at ticking off some seriously rare birds from your life list, or just want to enjoy a casual outing spotting some beautiful feathered creatures - Cape Town is an amazing destination to do just that.

Did you know that the Cape Sugarbird, yes that bird that locals casually spot whilst rambling through the fynbos, is actually a very sought-after species that is endemic only to this area?

With more than 610 bird species recorded in Cape Town, and 60 of Southern Africa’s 86 endemic birds found in the Western Cape, it is well worth grabbing your bird-book and binoculars and go on a mission around the Mother City in search of some significant sights.

Start making your wish list now, pack a picnic basket and head off to one these fabulous birding areas in and around the Mother City:

1. Table Mountain National Park

Spot these three: Cape Sugarbird, Southern Double-collared Sunbird, Protea Seedeater.

2. Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens

Spot these three: Orange-breasted Sunbird, Cape Bulbul, Forest Canary.

3. West Coast National Park and the Langebaan Lagoon

Spot these three: Greater and Lesser flamingo, African Black Oystercatcher, Black Harrier.

4. Simon’s Town and Boulders Beach

Spot these three: African Penguin, Crowned Cormorants & White-backed Mousebird.

5. Intaka Island, Century City

Spot these three: Malachite Kingfisher, Karoo Robin, Yellow-billed Egret.

6. Strandfontein Sewage Works

3 Birds to spot: Hartlaub’s Gull, Great White Pelican, African Marsh Harrier.

7. Cape Pelagics Birding Cruises

Spot these three: Arctic Terns, Shy Albatross, Sub-Antarctic Skua.

8. Rondevlei Nature Reserve & Cape Flats-wetland

Spot these three: African Spoonbill, White Stork, European Shoveller.

9. Suburban gardens and parks

Spot these three: Cape Siskin, Greater Striped Swallow, Cape Sparrow.

10. World of Birds, Hout Bay

Spot these three: Saddle-billed Stork, Ground Hornbill, Verreaux Eagle Owl.

For more information on birding routes, endemic species and to book tours or birding courses, visit www.westerncapebirding.co.za.

Photo: Leani Jansen van Vuuren

Best Places to Watch Soccer
30 Apr 2014
 
     

The Best Places to Watch the Soccer In Cape Town

Alessandro Candotti for Cape Town Tourism

Where's the best place to be so astounded by the magic of Messi as the sauce is still dribbling down your chin? Where the excitement is palpable and the appreciation for the game runs deep? Here are our top places in the Mother City that roar with every goal. 

TOMMY'S SPORTS BAR

179 Loop Street, Cape Town 

If you were to design a bar with a projector and 11 big-screen televisions, creating the capacity to simultaneously display 4 different games (2 with sound) at a single time, you’d probably consider yourself something of a sports crazed madman. That’s precisely the mentality of Tommy’s Sports Bar on Loops Street, run by Dutchman (and Ajax Amsterdam fanatic) Tommy Hoogeboom.

With sumptuous couches, high stools, tables, and lots of standing room, you can love the game from every corner of Tommy’s, which is always festive (thanks in no small part to the cheap beer!)

O’DRISCOLL’S

38 Hout St, Cape Town

An old-school-is-cool Irish Pub in the CBD, O’Driscoll’s has the traditional thick oak bar tops, stools, Guinness draught and hearty, welcoming atmosphere. A textbook place to get cosy with a whiskey and watch the Premiership, the warm hospitality is complimented by a solid pub menu and well-priced drinks. If you’re a feisty fan in the true Irish spirit, you can try out the ‘Irish Car Bomb’ shooter, sure get you raring to go before and after kick-off.

PERSEVERANCE TAVERN

83 Buitenkant St, Cape Town

People have been drinking at Perseverance Tavern – or ‘Percy’s’ – since 1808. They’ve got to be doing something right! The oldest pub in South Africa is today a sports mecca, beaming with LCD screens, worn wooden finishes and enthusiastic crowds. Its charm comes from being old fashioned and somewhat grizzled, but it’s also very friendly with a choice of 11 draughts at the bar.

Photo: Anne Frohlich

One Ingredient
23 Apr 2014
 
     

My One ingredient Foodie Experience in Cape Town

Carla Gontier for Cape Town Tourism

Matt Manning’s One Ingredient is a unique and surprising experience hosted in the heart of trendy Woodstock. Walking into the quaint Eleven Kitchen recently, we were greeted by a friendly Matt, and Shaun, the lovely representative from Damn Fine Wines, who offered us some delicious wine. 

The concept behind One Ingredient is simple, but brilliant. A four-course dinner paired with a variety of wines, with each course based on the theme ingredient (in our case, cauliflower). The (added) twist? You cook two of the dishes yourself under Matt's guidance.

At this point many of you are probably turning your noses, believing cauliflower to be the limp, watery, soft vegetable that you avoided in your childhood. This poor vegetable has the reputation of the smelly boy in primary school that nobody wanted to play with, who was picked last for any games. But Matt Manning has taken this once-undesirable vegetable and given it new life. Roasted, steamed, grilled, sautéed, pureed, sliced, chopped and blended. You name it, Matt does it.

Matt was inspired to start One Ingredient because he wanted to do something unique and fresh, and show people what he had to offer other than the same-old. Matt trained under various chefs in the classic French-Style, including at Gordon Ramsey’s Petrus under Chef Patron Marcus Wareing and Head chef Alyn Williams for two years, and describes his style as classic French with a modern twist.

The dinner began with an amuse bouche of Cauliflower and parmesan veloute, which was genuinely like having angels walk across my tongue, delicately traipsing nectar from the gods in their wake. The starter was a cauliflower assiette, which consisted of a selection of different cauliflower (yes, there is more than one type – can you handle!) cooked in a variety of ways – pickled, grilled, pureed and raw. 

For the main course, we were shown how to prepare slow cooked Lamb rump, braised cauliflower pearl barley, cauliflower, caper and raisin piccalilli, with Lamb jus. The Lamb and barley risotto was paired with a delicious Conviction Cabernet Sauvignon.

The evening was topped off nicely by a performance by Fiona Hare, who serenaded us with tunes of our choice, as we enjoyed our dessert; a scrumptious chocolate fudge, coconut foam and cauliflower streusel. Yet another hit. 

One Ingredient was not only a gastronomical delight, it was also a great interactive experience with a charming and talented young chef, Matt Manning. If you are looking for something fresh to do in this beautiful city, this should definitely be on your list. 

Matt hosts the One Ingredient nights twice a month, and you can book your place by visiting www.facebook.com/OneIngredientPage.

Photo: Francois Pistorius

Spot the Shipwreck!
16 Apr 2014
 
     

Spot the shipwreck!  Explore beaches on horseback with Sleepy Hollow Riding School

Carla Gontier for Cape Town Tourism

Sleepy Hollow Riding School is nestled in the heart of Noordhoek, close to the sprawling beach and right next to the wetlands – right near the majestic Chapman’s Peak. It was established in 1975 as a riding school, and is the oldest riding school in the Noordhoek valley.

Sleepy Hollow is a horse riding school, but offers Bush Trails and Beach rides on Noordhoek’s  8km beach, where you can take a gentle walk or trot along the beach (home of The Kakapo shipwreck!) on one of Sleepy’s 17 horses.

Upon arrival at Sleepy Hollow, you will receive riding shoes and a horse is allocated to you. The rides are perfect for riders of all levels, and even if you have never ridden a horse before (like me) you will still feel right at home on one of these gentle creatures.

The walk takes you through the front of the school and along the quaint roads of Noordhoek, before you enter the beginning of the dunes to Noordhoek beach. Once on the beach, the horses ride along the water’s edge, allowing the rider to take in the beauty of the ocean, sand and gorgeous backdrop of Chapman’s peak and the mountains. The ride takes you all the way to the edge of the beach, where you are just able to spot the shipwreck, before turning back and heading through the wetlands, riding through the bulrushes.

In addition to providing riding lessons and beach rides for the public, Sleepy Hollow also offer Hippotherapy -  the use of a horse to achieve a variety of therapeutic goals. The benefits of therapeutic horse riding are as numerous as the types of disabilities and conditions served.

A ride along Noordhoek beach is one of Noordhoek’s best kept secrets – and definitely a must-do for any visitors to the area, especially if you love horses!

For more information, visit http://sleepyhollowhorseriding.co.za

Photo: Aslam Levy

City Sightseeing at Sunset
9 Apr 2014
 
     

City Sightseeing at Sunset in Cape Town

Fazielah Williams for Cape Town Tourism

Cape Town, our gorgeous Mother City is amazing to explore during the day but have you ever seen how spectacular it is from aboard the City Sightseeing Bus at dusk? Now, with their amazing Night Tour, you can!

Running until May 5, 2014, this magical experience gives you the wonderful opportunity to take a leisurely drive along the Atlantic Seaboard, before stopping off for a picnic of your own making and an unparalleled view of the Capetonian sunset from the top of Signal Hill.

The only one of its kind in the world, the Night Tour is great for spending quality time with the family or for a romantic evening with your beloved.

BEFORE YOU HOP ON, HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

• It’s a priceless view but a totally affordable experience: Book your Night Tour tickets online and only pay R90 instead of R100.

• Don’t miss the bus: The bus departs from and ends at the Two Oceans Aquarium at the V&A Waterfront, leaving at 17h30 daily until May 5, 2014.

• It’s a whirlwind tour: The total length of time of the entire tour is approximately two to three hours but please note, it is not a hop-on, hop-off tour.

• Come hungry and pack a picnic with all your favourite food and drinks. 

DID YOU KNOW?

City Sightseeing, the first carbon neutral bus company in South Africa, has been hailed as a global leader in sightseeing and, in addition to the Night Tour, runs two exciting routes, the Red City Tour and the Blue Mini Peninsula Tour - which includes a free Wine Tour bus to Constantia Valley.  Also on offer is the City Sightseeing Canal Cruise which offers the chance to experience the V & A Waterfront from a completely different angle whilst enjoying this nautical adventure for only R30. www.citysightseeing.co.za.

SANParks Smitswinkel Bay Tented Camp
26 Mar 2014
 
     

SANParks Smitswinkel Bay Tented Camp

Natalie Roos for Cape Town Tourism

A few weekends ago, a couple of friends and I set off to spend the night at the SANParks tented camp at Smitswinkel, just a short walk and a relatively easy amble down the mountain from Cape Point.

The SANParks tented camp at Smitswinkel is luxury camping at its absolute finest. Each fixed tented unit comes equipped with two single beds with comfortable mattresses, electricity, reading lights and an en suite bathroom with a hot shower. The units also have a small kitchenette area outside with a table and chairs, small fridge, microwave and two-hob gas stove top.

The communal area has a large and fully equipped kitchen, with a dining area that could comfortably accommodate twelve. Outside is a beautiful fire pit, sheltered from the wind by a stunning wall built from rocks sourced from a local quarry. The whole structure is built from trees felled in the effort to remove alien vegetation and blends beautifully with the natural surroundings. In all directions, natural fynbos provides the backdrop to a haven of relaxation.

We spent Saturday evening braaiing fish and talking late into the night as nature engulfed us in her calming presence. All around us the fynbos and mist created the perfect out-of-the-city-atmosphere. The wind howled that night as we crept into our sleeping bags, pulling at the tent and rattling the zippers. It truly did make us feel like we were on a camping adventure, all from the comfort of our luxurious tented structure. On Sunday morning, after breakfast, we slipped into our swimwear and ambled down the windy footpath to the Smitswinkel beach. 

One night out in Smitswinkel was not nearly enough. I could have spent at least a week there. The camp is actually one of six tented camps along the 5-day Hoerikwaggo trail, which makes its way from Cape Point to Table Mountain. The Smitswinkel Camp is the first camp on the trail, one day’s walk from Cape Point and another day to the next checkpoint. The Hoerikwaggo website has details on the various hikes and stops along the trail. I plan on doing the 5 day hike in the near future. www.sanparks.org

Photo: Michael Clarke Stuff

Surviving cape Town Weather
19 Mar 2014
 
     

Your Ultimate Guide to Surviving the Weather in Cape Town

Alessandro Candotti for Cape Town Tourism

Cape Town has notoriously capricious weather so we’ve compiled your ultimate guide to surviving the weather:

Summer: 

Cape Town’s mecca season, summer is exquisitely hot and dry, with sparkling conditions starting in November and lasting until February.  Alongside the gorgeous African sun a blustery wind from the South-East, the famous 'Cape Doctor', is also a frequent visitor. 

Cape Town glistens for 11 hours of sunshine in low humidity during the days, so you’ll just need lotion for your sun-kissed skin and Cape Town’s casual coolness for cocktails in Camp’s Bay! After sundown the temperatures will seldom creep below 14 degrees, so the most you’ll need is a light jersey in the moonlight. Don’t worry about rain, the average rainfall is a mere 14-24mm – it’s the time of beach swag and skirts!

Autumn: 

The scarlet, brown, orange, gold, and pale yellow pallets of the wine farms have enchanted many a traveller during Cape Town’s autumns, a time of temperate heat and mellow weather. 

March is perfect for hiking whilst April is dedicated to Cape Town’s famous café culture. Ensure your smart casual gear is up to scratch for evening wear and keep your light jerseys and windbreakers handy.

Winter: 

The cold front from the Atlantic heralds the arrival of the green season, as Capetonians burrow into their homes like furry forest creatures for the winter. Nasty North-West winds gleefully pick up the rain, which sweeps sideways through the city. But don’t rely on it.

In fact don’t rely on anything.

The sun will wink knowingly for a few hours until it drops fat drizzle on your head, only to bath your face in gold so you take off your jacket, allowing the wind to drag it down the street for the few seconds it takes to be instantly overcast again. You won’t find Cape Town any greener, though, as forests gratefully absorb the rain and blossom all the way down the mountainside.

Spring: 

The ‘Cape of Storms’ moniker comes from August, when lashing rain and wind on broody waves can give way to crisp sunny days, with still bright skies and bursting blooms of flowers, most famously on the West Coast.

Pack your rain coats and wet weather woollies, but bear in mind the weather can be temperamental – changing depending on what side of the mountain you’re on! In October, you can expect between 12 and 13 and a half hours of daylight, making sun-downers a staple diet.

Photo courtesy raramuridesign

Top 3 Places to Watch the Rugby in Cape Town
12 Mar 2014
 
     

Top 3 Places to Watch the Rugby in Cape Town

Alessandro Candotti for Cape Town Tourism

Watching the rugby with a passion bordering on religious fervour (the ref naturally being Satan-spawn should he call against your team) is a beloved ritual for many a Capetonian. Many a visitor has reached the shores of Cape Town to be told they haven’t experienced South African culture until they’ve watched a game. Here are the best pubs to go to:    

FORESTERS ARMS

Boasting Guinness World Record for the most beer sold in the Southern Hemisphere, Foresters Arms is probably helped by the fact that people have been slugging back a cold one for over 162 years. Known affectionately as ‘Forries’, Foresters Arms is on the doorstep of Newlands cricket and rugby stadium - you can practically feel the energy of the crowds nearby. The smoky history in the wood fires and festive atmosphere makes you feel included in the passionate mayhem that is game day in Cape Town.

Recent redesigns to the beer garden have improved seating for rugby zealots, with large screen TVs prominently located throughout the building. Wood-fired pizza and pub chow combine with good vibes and serious gees when the Boks are playing. You can hear the national anthem from the parking lot. 021 689 5949

OBLIVION

This European-style wine bar with leather couches and a fabulous roof-top deck is always buzzing during the rugby, attracting a crowd of over 23s for a slightly classier and more expensive experience. They offer a number of rugby-centric specials (think breakfast and beer!) with two large screens downstairs and two flat screens on the deck. The crowd is energetic and the wine flows abundantly although don’t expect it to get too raucous. 021 671 8522

MITCHELL’S SCOTTISH ALE HOUSE

Mitchell’s Scottish Ale House at the V&A Waterfront provides a lively atmosphere with three ales on tap, a stout and a lager brewed by the local establishment. You can form your own conclusions about the place based on the brew names, which include Old Wobbly, Forester Draught, Bosun’s Bitter, Mitchell’s 90 Shilling, Raven Stout and Milk & Honey. Milk and honey! I reckon there’s a certain veneration going on there. Definitely a great spot to soak up the gees. 021 419 5074

Photo: mikkel

Cool Jobs In Cape Town
5 Mar 2014
 
     

Some of the coolest jobs to have in Cape Town

Leilah van der Schyff for Cape Town Tourism

If you could choose any job in the world, what would you choose? I’d choose to be a surfing instructor in Cape Town. Every single day would consist of paddling out to the deep blue, watching the sun rise across the horizon and waiting patiently to catch the perfect wave. There’d always be sand between my toes and my hair would be sun streaked, naturally. Of course I’d have to know how to surf first in order to bag this job. But one can dream.

Here are some other cool jobs in Cape Town:

Robben Island’s Keeper

One of the coolest jobs in Cape Town has got to be the caretaker of Robben Island. It’s been years since the first recorded landing on Robben Island when a group of sailors took refuge in a cave. Today, the island is well-known as a World Heritage Site and is home to an abundance of birdlife, marine and wildlife. The caretaker is the custodian of the island and ensures that it is conserved both naturally and culturally. Spending everyday on an island with the breath-taking view of Cape Town in the distance? Yes please!

Penguin Rescuer

Cape Town’s rough shores are prone to a number of oil spills and for this reason it is critical to have a marine bird rescue team in the city. Penguins are the species that are (arguably) the most affected by an oil spill. Having a job at The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) means you get to rescue these cute tuxedo-wearing marine birds and help rehabilitate them which includes feeding, bathing and helping them get back on their feet. 

Surfing Instructor

Cape Town has some serious surfing locations with epic swells (brah!). And being a surfing instructor at Llandudno, Long Beach or Muizenberg beach comes with all the perks – it is one job that is probably exactly the way it is depicted in the movies. Waking up in the dark to beat the crowds, waxing surfboards on the shore, and getting out in the ocean every single day – it’s a painfully glorious job. And the look on the faces of eager wannabe surfers when they catch their first wave is nothing short of priceless. Can you tell this one is my favourite?

Snorkeling with Cape Fur Seals
26 Feb 2014
 
     

Snorkeling with Cape Fur Seals in #lovecapetown

Natalie Roos for Cape Town Tourism

Think “adventure in Cape Town” and your first thoughts will probably be along the lines of shark cage diving, hiking up Table Mountain and kite surfing in Blouberg. Now, along with a helicopter flip around the Atlantic, there’s a new activity to add to your adventure bucket list.

Just 20 minutes out of the Cape Town city bowl, in the quaint harbour town of Hout Bay, you’ll find Animal Ocean’s boat, ready and waiting to take you just offshore to Seal Island (or Duiker Island), home to a colony of close to 7000 Cape Fur Seals.

Arriving at 12pm, I kitted up in my head-to-toe wetsuits to keep out the icy water before a quick safety briefing from Steve. Then it was onto the boat for a fun 5 minute ride out to the island. Thousands of Cape Fur Seals frolic in the waves around the island, safe in the knowledge that great whites stay away from the icy shallows.

I took along our GoPro Hero3+ and got some footage of my adventure with Steve and the Animal Ocean crew. If you’re looking to experience an ocean adventure while in Cape Town, I can highly recommend seal snorkeling with Animal Ocean.

For more information on the seal island snorkeling adventure, including pricing and booking information, visit www.sealsnorkeling.com. Also visit Animal Ocean's website www.animalocean.co.za to find out about their other ocean adventures like the once in lifetime diving trip out to the annual sardine run and diving with sevengill sharks.

My Top Creative Spots in Cape Town
19 Feb 2014
 
     

My top creative spots in Cape Town

Fazielah Williams for Cape Town Tourism

Being a writer in the creative Mother City, I’m constantly hunting for places, attractions and events that inspire me and this February, Cape Town will be abuzz with artistic energy, thanks to Design Indaba and our designation as World Design Capital.

When I’ve seen all I can see at these artistic events, I head out to these inspirational spots:

Café Mozart

A stone’s throw away from the much loved antique market of Church Street, Café Mozart lets the whimsical writer daydream while enjoying leisurely meals at outdoor tables and lets the earnest designer meet in private with important clients in the upper floor’s stylishly decorated dining room.

Let your imagination run free at this delightful restaurant, housed in a historical building. Open six days a week, Café Mozart caters to your every need with mouth-watering meals, readily available WiFi and a quirky atmosphere. +27 (0)21 424 3774

Montebello Design Centre

Still struggling to recognise a Picasso from a Van Gogh, but wanting to explore your love of art anyway?

Discard your artistic training wheels at the Montebello Design Centre in Newlands, home to a selection of studios, a greenhouse, a nursery and an organic farmstore, jewellery, paintings and more, which can be enjoyed at this historical site. +27 (0) 21 685 6445

Bay Harbour Market

With over a hundred stalls at this weekend seaside market in Hout Bay, you can let your imagination run free and pick up a variety of great items for yourself and your home.

With excellent live entertainment, gourmet food and delicious drinks, you’ll be thoroughly inspired! +27 (0)82 570 5997

Valentine’s Day Events 2014
12 Feb 2014
 
     

Valentine’s Day 2014 Events in Cape Town: What’s On

Fazielah Williams for Cape Town Tourism

With just days to go before Cupid’s special day on February 14, 2014, romantic events are popping up all around #lovecapetown.

Whether you are serenading your beloved with a musical and dinner in Sea Point, romancing them on top of a wonder of nature or treating them to a luxurious treatment at one of the city’s award-winning spas, there is plenty to do in the Mother City to show the love of your life how much they mean to you:

VALENTINE’S DAY LUNCH AND DINNER AT RICHARD’S SUPPER STAGE & BISTRO

Add a touch of fun and romance to your lip-smacking buffet dinner with a special edition of the beloved musical Kaapse Stories at this entertaining eatery in Sea Point. Your passionate package includes a four-course dinner, the show, a glass of bubbly and a rose for your special someone.

Too hungry for love and gourmet delights to wait until dinner time? Then pop by Richard’s Bistro downstairs at lunch time for a Cape breyani or something equally delicious. +27 (0)21 434 4497

VALENTINES SPA PACKAGE FOR TWO AT THE MOUNT NELSON

Get caught up in the moment of adoration with your beloved at the prestigious Mount Nelson Hotel 's coveted Librisa Spa. Their love-filled package includes a full body scrub, a 40 minute Librisa Spa Signature massage and a relaxing scalp massage. +27(0)21 483 1000

TABLE MOUNTAIN AERIAL CABLEWAY SUNSET SPECIAL

Strapped for cash but still want to make this Valentine’s one to remember? Then pack a picnic, grab your sweetie and head up our wonder of Nature, Table Mountain for spectacular sunset views with their amazing special. +27(0)21 424 8181

Cape Town – A Joburger’s Experience
5 Feb 2014
 
     

With love from Cape Town – A Joburger’s experience

Colin Ford for Cape Town Tourism

Joburger Colin Ford, a regular visitor to the Mother City, spent some time reflecting on his top experiences this time round...

Camps Bay sunsets

I love sitting and watching the sun set from Camps Bay. Having spent a lot of my childhood in Durban, it’s something of a novelty watching the sun going down over the sea. Especially since it sets so late. But apart from that, it’s really pretty, especially when there’s a bit of weather moving in. The combination of the clouds, the sea and the sun make for some dramatic evening skies.

Heart 104.9 FM

Now this is a radio station you want to listen to. The presenters chat to listeners like they’re old friends – which they often are – and the music is right up my street: a bit of R&B mixed in with some disco and classics from the late 80s and early 90s. There were many times this weekend when I said “Ah, remember this song?” and found myself taking a little trip down memory lane.

Harbour House

Ok, so the wasabi was a bit old and the waitress got our order wrong, but sitting on the edge of the ocean eating sushi with a glass of Brampton sauvignon blanc made up for all the shortcomings. Harbour House is always worth a visit. I particularly enjoy watching the seals lolling about waiting for scraps from the fishermen in Kalk Bay harbour. The closest I get to this in Joburg is watching my Labrador scratching his back on the lawn.

Another perfect day

After a bit of a dodgy start, it looks like we’re in for another glorious day in the Mother City today. Three more days of this and I’ll be ready for whatever Gauteng has to throw at me. Bring it on, I say!

Photo: Matthew Stark

Movies Beneath the Stars
22 Jan 2014
 
     

Movies beneath the stars with V&A Waterfront’s Open Air Cinema

Fazielah Williams for Cape Town Tourism

I’m a movie buff with a passion for Cape Town and the outdoors like no other… so when I  recently received an invitation to the launch of the V&A Waterfront’s new Galileo Open Air Cinema, there was no way I was going to turn it down.

In typical V&A Waterfront fashion, nothing they do is ever expected and so the Mother City’s premier shopping destination has converted its Croquet Lawn, above the new Springbok Museum into its unique film venue.

A throwback to the 1950s and 1960s era when drive-in cinemas were the norm, the Galileo experience gives you the magical opportunity to watch your favourite Hollywood classics including the likes of Pretty Woman, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, American Beauty and more beneath the starlight.

On our media night, we were treated to a screening of the cult musical Mamma Mia. Being able to sing along to one of my favourite movies, with the sea gulls flying overhead and the stars shining down on me, on the lawn of a bustling attraction has to be one of the most unique activities I’ve ever experienced in #lovecapetown …

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

- Reel time info is available online at www.thegalileo.co.za/waterfront so get all of the important details about which movies are on the playbill here. Tickets are R95 for the movie, chairs and blankets. Movie tickets only are R 80.

- Movies and snacks go together like star-crossed silver screen lovers so either bring along your own tasty picnic basket, stop for a meal at one of the V&A Waterfront’s 80 fabulous eateries or purchase your butter salted popcorn and warm drinks at the Galileo’s onsite refreshment station.

- Immerse yourself in the total outdoor cinema experience by pre-booking your chairs (R 18 with the Comfy Ticket or R 20 on the night) and blankets (R 10). Don’t forget to pack in a warm jacket or bring your own blankets along for those breezy nights.

- Patrons of all sizes and capabilities are welcome so bring along your little ones and enjoy the wheelchair friendly facilities at the Croquet Lawn. Please be aware that most of the movies are geared toward an adult audience.

Visit www.waterfront.co.za or www.thegalileo.co.za.  

See you at the movies!

From Chobe to Haute Cabrière
15 Jan 2014
 
     

From the Chobe River to Franschhoek’s Haute Cabrière

Kate Turkington for Cape Town Tourism

I first met Hildegard von Arnim from the legendary vineyard of Haute Cabrière in Franschhoek, on a houseboat in the middle of the Chobe River between Namibia and Botswana. “You must come and visit us one day,” she said, as we watched elephants bathing and playing.

Now, on a blustery but sunny day, I’m sitting with Hildegard and two friends, sipping Pierre Jourdan bubbly on the Haute Cabrière terrace as purple mountains dissolve in mist on the horizon and a party of German tourists finish a wine-tasting tour in the deep cool cellars.

Most visitors who come to Cape Town want to go on a tour of the Cape Winelands. But where to go? Which one to choose, when there are so many?

I’ve spat and sipped my way round many wine estates in my day, but I must say, it’s very hard to find a more beautiful place than the Franschhoek Valley, and there’s no doubt that Hildegard and her legendary husband, winemaker and larger-than-life character Achim, have chosen Franschhoek’s prime spot for their cellars.

Once a disused quarry, now the spacious stone cellars hold barrels full of the vineyard’s signature Pierre Jourdan bubbly, and also the blend that is now one of South Africa’s favourite white wines, called simply Haute Cabrière. The 11am Saturday wine-tasting tours, usually led by Achim himself, or son Takuan, are famous.

After a great lunch at the cellars, heads pleasantly buzzing, my friend Coral and I take a turn round the village of Franschhoek.

It’s full of famous restaurants (priced accordingly) and hosts all sorts of festivals throughout the year, ranging from a literary one to a cheese-and-wine one, and then the place pumps.

Keen to discover more about the Franschhoek Valley? Jump on the Franschhoek Wine Tram and experience a different perspective. www.franschhoek.org.za

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