We are finding that people are changing the way they travel during this pandemic. Rather than hop around from one place to another, travellers are choosing longer stays in one place. Whereas a visitor would previously have booked four or five days in the Cape, now they are booking a couple of weeks. And while it is fab to get a private driver / guide for a few of these days, and we can book some wonderful guides for you, it’s a good idea to hire a car and take your time exploring, wandering, eating and drinking like a local.
Coffee at Arthur’s Mini Super in Seapoint
Start your day with coffee and a croissant at this cute little bakery / deli. Choose a table outdoors and watch the locals with their perfectly groomed and well behaved dogs. The coffee is great and we highly recommend the pastries, toast, avo and sandwiches. The vintage clothing store next door, called Waiting for George, is my favourite of stores, a real find and a good place to buy a second hand frock or two.
Ice-cream on the Promenade
Seapoint’s promenade is beautiful and a daily walk from the heart of Seapoint to the Lighthouse, or in the other direction to Camp Bay, is a must. It's ocean and mountain views all the way. You can pick up ice-cream just outside The Pavilion swimming pool and we recommend vanilla soft serve with a chocolate flake. Do a few lengths at the Pavilion at the same time, it’s a Cape Town institution and a wonderful thing to do on a hot summer’s day.
Take a drive up Signal Hill
I’ve been going to Cape Town for forty years and did this for the first time recently. I have no idea why I’ve never done it before. Drive up Signal Hill to the point where the paragliders take off, watching them leap off the edge. The views are insane. You might want to book a paragliding excursion with Parapax while you’re at it; a beautiful and exciting way to see the city. 082 881 4724.
Walk up Lion’s Head
This walk is fantastic and don’t worry if you are not super fit, you can do the first twenty minutes, then decide if you want to keep going. The beginning is not difficult and there are benches strategically placed along the way. Wow, the ocean, the flowers, the sunset and if you are lucky, the full moon rising, are all magnificent. It’s the perfect hike for nature lovers and photographers and there are tons of walkers early morning and late afternoon.
Zeitz Mocaa, Museum of Contemporary Art
This building is unbelievable. It’s part of the Silo Hotel at the Waterfront, extraordinary architecture, even just from the outside. The museum is filled with contemporary African art and there are always specialist exhibitions. The restaurant / bar at the top (views, again, my gosh) is a must. The museum is only open Thursday to Sunday but the shop is always open and is the perfect place to buy magnificent gifts.
Victoria and Alfred Waterfront
You know I used to think this was so touristy and overrated but IT IS NOT! The Waterfront has developed so beautifully, the shops are fab, the ships are fab, cross over the bridge to see the Clock Tower, walk around the yacht club, eat a lot of food, and if you want a great view of the city and mountain, do a half hour boat cruise. You might see a whale and you will definitely see seals. Plus, it's a great photographic point for Table Mountain.
There are loads of beautiful wine estates, a separate blog in itself, but I do want to point out Cavelli Estate which has the most magnificent entrance ever. Drive slowly and soak in the exquisitely manicured fynbos gardens. They have superb wine, do tastings outdoors with cheese and figs and grapes and strawberries and more cheese; also there’s a downstairs art gallery which is a gorgeous space. I recommend the Chenin Filly and suggest you take a case home with you. I did.
Go for lunch or dinner but note you do need to book. It’s in the GreenPoint area and is just so slick and perfectly Italian but in South Africa. Great service, white tablecloths, sophisticated but casual, a good wine list, the best mussels and calamari, local and a gem. 021 - 421 0071.
Walk around Observatory
You might want to do this with a guide but the streets of Observatory are quirky and lovely. There are wonderful shops, ceramics, coffee, chocolate, ice-cream and art. From Obs you can walk into Salt River and on to Woodstock, all arty and vibey areas and ja, it is easier to do this with a guide and I have one for you so call me! Great graffiti.
Pick artichokes at Ayama
The drive is about 40 minutes from Cape Town, through the countryside and the vineyards, a really pretty drive. When you arrive it’s a short tractor ride to the artichoke fields where you have a quick demonstration before being handed a knife so you can cut your own. Have your artichokes weighed, enjoy a glass of wine and light snack, go home (you need a self catering place for this) and cook up a storm!
Saunders’ Rocks Beach
This gorgeous little beach is between SeaPoint and Bantry Bay and is the most idyllic place to take a dip, lie on a boulder with all the young, beautiful, tanned people, look for shells or watch the sun go down. Take two deck chairs and a bottle of wine, and if you’ve got kids, take a bucket and spade. Beautifully sheltered from the wind.
Swim at the CampsBay tidal pool
Cold water swimming has become a thing in Cape Town, with locals swimming early in the mornings, staying in a minimum of twenty minutes to burn their fat! Yes, really. But they also do it because it’s amazing and fun and the water is ice-cold and calm and the views are incredible and this is a good thing to do. Take something warm to wear afterwards and enjoy a hot chocolate at Fire Fly across the road.
In addition to all the above you’re likely to go up Table Mountain, visit the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, browse the antique shops in Kalk Bay, marvel at the meeting point of the two oceans, waddle with the Boulder penguins, explore Franschoek and Stellenbosch, hang out at the Norval foundation, enjoy a Negroni at the Twelve Apostles, walk the Newlands Forest, shop at Montebello, suntan at Clifton, see the sun rise at Llandudno, and did we say you need a couple of weeks in Cape Town?
You may need more.
Contact me Sandi, at Thandeka Africa, for all your travel bookings.
firstname.lastname@example.org / 079 192 4557