Visiting Cape Town

Africa is more than just wildlife

The main attraction of southern Africa is its wildlife. Most of our guests come to the continent to experience the Big 5: the lion, leopard, black rhino, African bush elephant, and the African buffalo and to experience the African bush. It is just great to be in eye-to-eye contact with one of these creatures in an open gamedrive vehicle or on foot in Africa. No doubt about it. Not to say that there is no wildlife to be found in the Cape Town area, the most impressive nature reserves however are elsewhere. The area surrounding Cape Town has its own attractions worth visiting it or even worth spending a holiday just there.

View from the top of Table Mountain

What makes Cape Town so special?

Cape Town and its surroundings feels a lot like the Côte d’Azur in the south of France. Its vegetation and climate is much alike with beautiful beaches, vineyards, flowers in summer time, nice places to drink coffee, small towns, boutique shops and great world class restaurants. It feels also quite relaxed in this part of Africa. There are fenced off houses like in the Johannesburg area but it is all way more open. You can stroll along the boulevard in the evening. Cars are parked there on the streets in Cape Town instead of behind fenced off properties.

The Cape Winelands

Just east of Cape Town, lying in the shadow of a continuous belt of mountains, lies a series of valleys known as the Cape Winelands – a collection of historic towns, little hamlets and Cape Dutch farmsteads that provide South African wines to the world. The Cape Winelands district is a landlocked area in-between the West Coast and the Overberg coasts, including Drakenstein, Somerset West, Stellenbosch, Breede River Valley, and the Langeberg winelands. Collectively they are known as the ‘pearls’ of South Africa’s towns.

Sunset over the winelands near Stellenbosch.

There are over 200 wine estates and producers in this area ranging from famous historic estates to contemporary wineries. Some of them make classic “Bordeaux Style” blends, while others are making high quality wines in a more modern clean style. They would not use oak barrels but stainless steel instead, for example. Or they would utilize wild or natural fermentation as process instead of inoculating commercial yeasts.

Fine dining and food/wine pairing

Peter Tempelhoff’s FYN restaurant in the center of Cape Town has placed 92nd in 2021 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 50-100 list, just three years after opening.There are quite a few great places to eat, some of them in town while others offer this stunning view over the vineyards while you enjoy your lunch or dinner.

Other things to do

There are lots of things to do in the area besides visiting vineyards, wineries, tasting wine or pairing good food to the wine. Here are some of the options you have:

  • You can climb Table Mountain, which can be accessed by foot or cable car.
  • You can go on a sunny day (which is most of the time there) to one of the Clifton and Camps Bay beaches.
  • You can go shopping at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront as well which is right at the harbor and close to the center of Cape Town.
  • Chapman’s Peak Drive is one of the most stunning drives along the coastline in the world. Cut into the sheer face of Chapman’s Peak, which plunges to the sea, this spectacular road snakes its way between Noordhoek and Hout Bay along the coast.
  • Robben Island in Table Bay, was a brutal prison where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years in a tiny cell during the apartheid era. Today, the island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-see attraction for anyone interested in South African history.
  • Visit the Penguins at Boulders Bay