The city of Cape Town, watched over by the unique and majestic Table Mountain is South Africa’s oldest town and one of South Africa’s jewels. With its melting pot of cultures, rich historical and cultural heritage and the pristine white beaches that sweep along its coastline, the Western Cape Province has much to offer any visiting tourist … MORE \ Discover Western Cape \ or to find the perfect place to stay visit Western Cape Accommodation, Cape Town Accommodation or Cape Town Hotels on SA-Venues.com. (Popular searches include Camps Bay, Constantia, Hermanus and Franschhoek).
At the far northern extension of the Cape Fold Mountains is a mountain range known as the Cederberg. It is a vast array of weathered sandstone mountains and long, arid valleys that combine into a 830 square kilometre hinterland offering rock formations, remote hiking opportunities, camping, rock climbing and some breathtaking scenery.
Bounded by the towns Clanwilliam, Citrusdal and Wupperthal the Cederberg functions as a weekend bolthole for Capetonians, and a hiking mecca for those after wilderness adventures. And all of this a mere three hours’ drive from Cape Town.
Spelled interchangeably Cedarberg, or Cederberg, (depending on whom you ask) the mountains are named after the Clanwilliam cedar (Widdringtonia cedarbergensis) now regarded as a ‘relic species’ from a time when the area had a colder climate… Continued
It’s intriguing – the history of the Cape’s first wine. Both van Riebeeck and van der Stel played pivotal roles. One was a fine wine maker; the other was not.
But even more fascinating is the fact that Constantia wines were the toast of Europe three centuries ago.
We might be winning gold medals by the dozen internationally (in 2015 South Africa achieved a 50% increase in gold medals at the International Wine & Spirit Competition), but back in the late 18th century, Jane Austen and Charles Dickens were mentioning Constantia wines in their books, and lord this and earl that were ordering them by the ship load… Continued
For those of you who lived through television of the ’80s, the Swartland meant only one thing: The home of Bokomo Weet-Bix, the heart of the wheat industry (that Weet-Bix was a top selling breakfast in 1988 is no surprise). Today, the Swartland is fashionable inland farming country that is still regarded as the ‘granary of South Africa’.
It is home to sheep, cattle and vine farming, with a huge sweep of dry-land vineyards just outside Malmesbury. But it also boasts a myriad Cape-Dutch and Victorian buildings, trendy ‘country’ towns, protea and tobacco production, and cheese, olive and citrus cultivation. Continued
I do a day of the Cape Camino and go on a pilgrimage for part of the route. On the way I celebrate peace, love and humanity and discover the joy of wandering along the byways of my own city, free of all responsibilities for a few hours …
I stumble across the Cape Camino in my trawlings of the Internet and manage to bag myself a day on the route, in the company of the founder, Gabrielle Andrew… Continued
Is there such a thing as typical Capetonian?
As much as the rest of the country loves to generalise about those who live in the Mother City as tardy, with a propensity to wait until the last minute before committing to an event, and obsessed with their mountain, actually they’re about as diverse as people of any city can be.
And every little enclave and seaside village has a life of its own. Cape Town, surrounded by sea and mountain, nonetheless has a distinctive quality. And there are certain general things locals tend to do.
Here are 15 things only a Capetonian would do… Continued
Comparatively #Cape Town is understandably not as popular as somewhere like #London (53 434 729 photos), or #NewYork (32 937 931 photos)but it easily beats hashtags like #Perth (2 800 824), and #Auckland (1 155 287), and even comes in ahead of #Iceland (2 320 325),and just behind trendy cities like #Copenhagen (3 227 166) and #Buenos Aires (3 134 220).
But how do the Mother City’s major tourist attractions fare on Instagram? Which attraction hashtags are used the most? We set out to uncover the top 15 most instagrammed attractions in Cape Town … Continued
It’s also where sea, mountains and fynbos meet. The garden, which rests on the slope of the mountains within the Kogelberg Biosphere reserve, overlooks the ocean from almost every vantage point, and the gardens are awash with fynbos, irises, daisies and orchids, including the famous red disa.
There is nothing more magical than the Cape in autumn.
The permanent ambient light means that everything is more striking. You don’t need sunglasses, for a start, the constant heat haze of summer gives way to a delicate blue sky, and vivid vistas, and you no longer gasp for shade but are grateful for the gentle presence of the sun. Continued
Kramats are not mosques. They’re burial places, or shrines, of the saints or holy men of Islam. They’re also open to anyone who wishes to visit them.
In Cape Town, the city with the largest Muslim community in South Africa, there are 30 or so kramats that form part of the city’s landscape.
Kramats (mazars in Arabic) look like miniature mosques. Most of them are humble white buildings crested with domes (some of them fairly ornate), scented with incense, resting quietly on hillsides. There is even one on Lion’s Head (although my research turned up very little information about it). Continued
You don’t have to drive far to visit some of the oldest wine estates in the country when in Cape Town. The Constantia Valley lies in the midst of the southern suburbs, 20 minutes’ drive from Cape Town’s City Bowl. And it holds everything you’ve come to expect from a wine route – Cape Fold Mountains, vineyards, oak-lined avenues, Cape Dutch manors, excellent food and superior wines.
One of the oldest suburbs of the city, Constantia may be small by comparison with Franschhoek and Stellenbosch, but it supports 11 estates, all of whom produce superlative wines. Any visit to Cape Town is incomplete without a drive through the valley and at least a couple of stops to taste wine. You can also take the Purple Wine Tour on the hop-on-hop-off bus(it stops at three wine estates).
We share 8 of Cape Town’s city wine estates with you… Continued
Autumn, and early winter, in Cape Town is the city’s secret season. It’s the time of year the city is at its best – the sun just warm enough to seek out a patch of sun in which to bask, yet a mackintosh is a pre-requisite to surviving the day (brollies, if you’re interested, are a waste of time given the winds that can accompany any rain in Cape Town).
Most of all it’s the time of year when leaving the house requires a major incentive. We’ve lined up a series of motivators to help get your nose out of a book, your butt off the couch and your body out of doors.
Here are the best events in Cape Town and the surrounds this autumn and winter…
The traditional Cape Winelands – Franschhoek, Stellenbosch, Paarl, Somerset West – are within a stone’s throw of Cape Town. These earliest colonial settlements each come with their own wine route, making it easy to travel from one farm to the next sampling wines.
Cape Dutch architecture (do you know the difference between a Holbol gable and a Neoclassical gable) dominates the landscape, whilst the beauty of the countryside is inspiring (all those mountains!), and the cuisine of this core of the wine-producing areas is difficult to beat (award-winning chefs and restaurants).
And that’s before you’ve sampled the wine from over 400 wine estates.
There is another side to the Winelands that has nothing to do with wine and everything to do with exploring the area’s beauty and history. Here are a few alternatives to wine tasting to take you off the tourist track… Continued
The Winner of this Weekend Getaway to the Franschhoek Boutique Hotel is Karyn Clainos. We hope you enjoy your stay!
WIN a 2-night stay at the Franschhoek Boutique Hotel nestled in the Food and wine capital of South Africa. The Franschhoek Boutique Hotel which can be found at the base of the Franschhoek mountains, is an eclectic mix of old world sophistication and contemporary design. The hotel offers high end hotel styled service with the comfort of country living… Continued
The picture-perfect mountaintop perches 2 000 feet (670 metres doesn’t sound nearly as dramatic) above the city’s coastline, offering both a relatively easy (if steep) ascent and jaw dropping views – plenty of nerve-jangling Instagram shots of people posed centimetres from the edge or leaping across boulders on the summit.
Lions Head mountain stands between Table Mountain and Signal Hill, forming part of the city bowl’s dramatic skyline. These mountains are three of a peninsula mountain chain that straddles the cape over which the city sprawls. Continued
Travel has become a photographic frenzy, if Instagram is anything to go by. #traveladdict #wanderlust #traveltheworld – it’s all about sharing those photo opportunities, whilst we’re still there.
People everywhere want authentic experiences. Instagram, in particular (but Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest in hot pursuit) makes everyone a ‘travel expert’ as people tap into the power of visual appeal to post their photos for the world to see.
And so travel has become about the beautiful places, spaces and extraordinary spots as we all promote the places we’re visiting, to the rest of the world, with only a few hashtags between us and the moment.