Indulge in afternoon tea at the Mount Nelson Hotel. Sandwiches, endless cups of tea, fabulous cakes (as much as you can eat). Served in a lovely lounge or on the shady terrace. Tea is served every afternoon. It is useful to book.
Mount Nelson Hotel, 76 Orange St.
Tel: 23 1000.
Cape Town is cosmpolitan and sophisticated, however the drive from the airport will remind you that there is another very different side to the city. Township tours give you a glimpse of the townships which is both humbling and inspiring, a world away from the smart tourism of central Cape Town, but the everyday experience of millions of black South Africans. The tours provide a historic background, and opportunities to see and support community projects.
There are several companies that will take groups on township tours, as it is not advisable to visit them without a guide. The Tourist Information Office in town has information on most of them.
A delightful seafood braai (BBQ) on the beach. A crayfish for everyone, and delightful fresh fish, mussels and home-baked bread. It's a bit of a drive up the west coast, but you could stop along the way at the small fishing villages like Ysterfontein, or visit Africa's only nuclear power plant at Koeberg.
An organised drive through the vineyards and estates of Paarl and Stellenbosch. You get to taste wines at the estates, and can buy wine directly from them. A great way to see these delightful towns, the mountains and vineyards, and get some advice on SA wines. A picnic at Boschendal is highly recommended, but there are many other places to eat.
Drive yourself, or go on an organised tour. The local tourist board will have details
Not only is this a gorgeous place to stay it's also reasonably priced. Its owners, James and Brooke, were brilliant and helped make our stay in Cape Town. I can’t recommend this place highly enough.
18 Cheviot Place, Green Point, 8005;
tel: (0)21 439 3741;
It's the next mountain along the peninsula from Table Mountain - ignore the tourist trail and head up there for a more spectacular view. You get to look at Table Mountain and its famous tablecloth cloud rather than climbing it!
An amazing burger bar where the meals are huge and absolutely delicious. There are loads of burgers to choose from and it has a great 50s diner feel. You will not go away hungry.
273 Long Street;
tel: 21 422 4536;
One of the best museums in Cape Town. Relatively intimate, it recreates cobblestone ghettos, exhibits photographs from the time and presents narratives from survivors. It is a moving testament to the Holocaust and explicitly links the bigotry prevalent in Nazi Germany that made such an atrocity possible, to that in South Africa itself.
Just west of the National Gallery and Jewish Museum in Hatfield Street close to the Botanical Gardens
This is a much more relaxed climb than Table Mountain and is almost as beautiful. It cradles Cape Town's East side and offers striking views of Cape Town, the Twelve Apostles, as well as Table mountain. It is a spiralling walk to the summit; the final stage is steep but worth the climb.
Head North from Kloof Nek for about 500m along Signal Hill Road where you will find a car park. There is a jeep track which becomes a path leading West up to the head
The Evening Cultural Experience at Imizamo Yethu Township is a rare opportunity to see the real South Africa; a unique opportunity to eat real South African food and dance with local people in a township shabeen where togetherness is what it is all about. It's an experience that I will never forget. My children ran off and played and exchanged addresses with township kids who took them into their homes made of corregated iron or in some cases cardboard. This is the real thing, a rare insight into the reality of South African people and their everyday lives, well away from the classic tourist hotspots.
Imizamo Yethu Township (Mandela Park) is situated near Hout Bay. Pick up point outside 259 Long Street Café;
tel: 021 790 5817;
Mondays and Thursdays 7-10pm
Eat under the stars, in a treehouse or lounge around on the huge outdoor sofas and enjoy tribal dancing and other performances. Under 12s can join in a drumming workshop (parents allowed too!) or take an ecology tour around the grounds - there's a cheetah centre on the estate too. Almost forgot, Spier Estate also has a great deli; buy food and wine for lunch and picnic at the lakeside.
Slightly old-fashioned, possibly colonial style, hotel, which offers a touch of class at a price the non-business traveller, with or without his family, can afford.
Relaxing garden, outdoor pool - the very opposite of the modern American style hotel.
A winery in the Stellenbosch area. Slightly off the beaten track, in fact virtually at the top of a mountain. Wines, especially the sauvignon blanc are fantastic but pale in comparison with the views from up there.
It is signposted on the Stellenbosch wine tourist trail
Stay in nearby Hout Bay or Constantia for cheaper accommodation. Visit the marina and take a boat trip to the seal colony. Travel to Hermanus and in season, there are whale-watching boat trips and scuba diving as well as a reasonable drive to the southernmost tip of Africa - Cape Aghulas.
Try Grootbos nature reserve at www.grootbos.com
Good food, great company and a colourful atmosphere - and it's perfectly safe. Lunch at Lelapa in Langa, it will be the best meal of your trip. Plus chef Monica will make you feel right at home. And, no, all you squeamish eaters: this is not the Fear Factor.
Cuban restaurant by the sea. It's beautifully decorated with hand-painted chairs and tables, lots of candles and gorgeous deep colours everywhere. The staff are amazingly well informed on the food and give customer service good enough to put our restaurants to shame. They also have a very wide selection of Cuban cigars, and if you sit on the enclosed balcony section, you can watch the sea by night under fairy lights. Magical.
Main Road in Kaulk Bay (Main Road; tel. 021/788-1566), about 1/2 hr from Cape Town, near Fish Hoek
Fish restaurant with informal, friendly vibe. Choose you fish(es) and the cooking method and sit back with a chilled sauvignon blanc and wait. The calamari are apparently from Patagonia and are the best I have ever tasted.
A short trip from the centre of town is Cape Point - where two oceans (the Atlantic and the Indian) meet. Amazing views over some of the roughest and most feared seas in the world. Plus, at some times of year, whales can be seen.
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