9 highlights you won’t want to miss when staying in Cape Town

Cape Town sets the pace of an upbeat city where the Rainbow Nation fuses urban and outdoor into a melting pot. Discover the hidden gems of this city as you get to explore the city and its surrounds.

1. Cape of Good Hope

Take the coastal road along the Atlantic Ocean and head towards the fishing village Hout Bay. Along the way enjoy the magnificent white sandy beaches of Clifton; Camps Bay and Llandudno. Stop off in Hout Bay and head out towards Seal Island home to the Cape fur seal and sea birds. If lucky you may even get to see an attack by great white sharks on the Cape Fur Seal and observe the social interaction of these creatures

En route stop at the local farm stall and grab a cup of coffee and pastry before heading towards the Cape of Good Hope via Chapman’s Peak rated as one of the most spectacular marine drives in the world. Breath taking scenic spots along the road that lead to the Cape Point wildlife reserve with the highest sea cliffs and home to indigenous plants (fynbos) and small mammals allow for the best photography. Choose a ride on the funicular or take a hike to view the most south westerly tip of Africa.

2. Boulders Beach penguin colony

Take a slow drive along False Bay visiting before heading to the Penguin Colony Boulder’s Beach which is situated close to Simon’s Town. Take a walk between the granite boulders along the sheltered beach and view the Afircan Penguin in its natural habitat.

3. Muizenberg Beach

Before heading to Kalk Bay to enjoy fresh fish and chips stroll around the quaint shops in Simon’s Town. Finally, take that last picture of the famous brightly coloured bathing boxes in Muizenburg with the surfers catching the last wave of the day before heading back to Cape Town.

4. Robben Island

The first ferry departs for Robben Island from the Nelson Mandel Gateway at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. After almost 3 hours at sea you are met by a former political prisoner on arrival. The guided tour includes the island’s 500 year history;a visit to the graveyard; limestone quarry etc. and maximum security prison where many South African freedom fighters were imprisoned.  The tour ends with a viewing of Nelson Mandela’s cell.

5. Bo-Kaap Malay Quarter

Before starting on the next leg of the journey in the former Malay Quarter of Bo-Kaap try grab a roti, which is a flat bread, filled with curried chicken or vegetables flavoured with various types of chilli, black pepper, cloves and other strong herbs and spices. Take the time to explore the steep and narrow streets of this electrifying township situated on the slopes of Signal Hill above the city centre. The Bo-Kaap museum showcases Malay culture and heritage and worth a visit.

6. Table Mountain

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit one of the  Seven Wonders of the World, Table Mountain. Flanked on either side of the mountain are Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head. The views are spectacular and breath taking. After ascending the mountain via the cable car take an easy hike on the plateau to appreciate the rich plant biodiversity stopping at various viewpoints along the way.

The Cape Winelands are not only surrounded by breath taking scenery but are steeped in history.  The winelands spread mainly across Constantia; Robertson; Paarl; Stellenbosch and Franschoek (French Corner) regions each having something unique to offer. Whether a wine connoisseur or a novice there is something for everyone. Each estate has their own wine tastings where they introduce you to their local wines.

7. Paarl

When visiting the Paarl Cape winelands head to the traditional estate that produces its own  cheese & wine. Pair up your wine with a biltong or a homemade cheese platter as you  unlock the flavours on your palate.

Or simply join in the handcrafted chocolate tastings,  join a boutique beer production tour followed by a tasting or mesmerise yourself by watching a glass blower, the choices are endless.

8. Franschoek

Next head towards Klapmuts to visit one of the oldest Cape Dutch Farms known for its magnificent gardens with trees of both botanical and historical significance. Grab a lunch at the restaurant where all the ingredients used are freshly picked each day from the garden washed down with one of the finest wines.

Take a drive toward to the small town of Franschoek (French Corner) formed in 1688 by 176 French Huguenot refugees. Pop into the local museum which delves into the history of the French settlers and their farms passing by the French Huguenot Monument at the end of the town. This valley is known for producing outstanding Méthode Cap Classiques (MCC) where you can follow the MCC route valley.

9. Stellenbosch

Stellenbosch on the other hand boasts endless choices of the finest estates often referred to as the centre of wine estates. Situated in a valley and surrounded by mountains the climate is ideal for producing the world class wines.

Experience wines produced in the first French oak barrels; family-friendly farms; South Africa’s flagship Pinotage wine estate to a 300 year old working estate and more.

Michael Primmer is a Co-owner and Director of Cape of Good Hope Tours.

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