Cape Town and Surroundings
A Wine Tasting Holiday in fabulous Cape Town is the place to visit, and having been there a few times I believe the best time is after the “big rush” – from late February to May. Cape Town enjoys a temperate climate with warm and dry conditions from October to April.
WARNING: December is a very busy season as it is the main holiday break for the rest of the country.
In this post I have a few recommendations of my favor places to visit (with photos) which I know will be an amazing experience for anyone visiting the Cape.
Historical Bo Kaap
If you love quirky places then the first place to visit is the “Bo Kaap” (meaning ‘upper‘ Cape Town in Afrikaans). It is such a icon landmark in a small area, with brightly painted homes on the slopes of Signal Hill above Cape Town city centre. It was formed by the Malay (people from Malaysia) and the Cape Malay culture is very vibrant. Every year in the first week after New Year, the ‘Kaapse Klopse‘ celebrate the new year with a big street parade – lots of noise and celebration.
ADVICE: Have a look on Google Maps beforehand so you can get an idea of the streets and layout
The best street are Drop, Wale and Chiappini street as well as Helliger Lane, but it all depends on the owners bright and bold paint preferences. The colors contrasts are striking, making great photos.
Are you adventurous? The next place to visit is Table Mountain, a flat-topped mountain (from the front) forming a prominent landmark overlooking the city and is definitely on your list when visiting Cape Town. And there are different ways to get to the top.
The fast way: Rent a car, drive up to the cable car and jump on (parking is a major problem, think of using a tour bus). The cable car rotates so everyone has a 360 degree view of the city and mountain.
ADVICE: I suggest you buy your ticket before arriving, as you jump the long queue with an estimated waiting time of 5 minutes – see Table Mountain Cableway.
NOTE: Check when the Cableway could be closed for maintenance, so please check before hand!
- V&A Waterfront area has great restaurants and lots of local stores including the Two Oceans Aquarium
The slow way: Many people don’t know they can hike up the mountain which is very popular amongst locals and tourists-in-the-know. There are number of different trails, but remember the vegetation is endangered and protected. The weather can change very suddenly and can become dangerous, so be prepared.
- The view from Table Mountain overlooking Cape Town city centre, with its lively craft markets and World Football Stadium (The tour is an option)
Polsmoor Prison on Robben Island
The infamous island off the coast of Cape Town city center is Robben Island. Robben Island has a long record as part of South Africa’s history, most recent history of the famous ex-prisoner – Nelson Mandela (from 1982 to 1988), whom became South African President from 10 May 1994 to 14 June 1999.
Wine Tasting around the City
South Africa is very famous for their friendly people, changeable weather and don’t forget wonderful wines and food.
It was under the Cloete family ownership that Constantia’s sweet dessert wine made primarily from vine-dried Muscat de Frontignan grapes reached the height of its fame. Napoleon Bonaparte had as much as 1,126 liters (297 gallons) of Constantia wine shipped in wooden casks each year to Longwood House, his home in exile on St Helena from 1815 until his death in 1821. The Count de las Cases reported that, on his deathbed, Napoleon refused everything offered to him but a glass of Constantia wine. Wikipedia
Even Charles Dickens in his last (and unfinished) novel (The Mystery of Edwin Drood) mentions the Constantia wines.
I am looking forward to your comments and will do another post about Cape Town surroundings in the future.