Cape Town – ‘Tavern of the Seas’

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Cape Town – ‘Tavern of the Seas’

Cape Town is a place of consummate beauty with a wonderful cosmopolitan and eclectic flavour. It’s a melting pot of cultures making up an extraordinary tapestry of people and traditions.

Cape Town’s secret attraction to international visitors lies in its people, warm, inviting and always willing to share their culture, cuisine and country with visitors. It’s a celebrated city, with wonderful places and great lifestyle which make good enough reason for it being fondly dubbed the ‘tavern of the seas’.

The city of Cape Town is a lifestyle destination, where fashionable people from all over the world take pleasure in its spectacular scenery, sumptuous cuisine and savour the best that life has to offer. The city has a reputation of being a ‘pink city’, and offers a warm welcome to the gay and lesbian communities.

December is the city’s busiest month of the year as the schools close for their long summer holidays. One can expect a fast paced, action packed month as the whole city vibrates with energy and a sense of excitement that is almost tangible.

The weather in December is usually hot and sunny. Days are long with sunrise at around 05h00 and sunset 20h00 with the evening twilight lasting until well after 21h00. Anyone for sundowners on the beach!

Cape Town has a wide range of accommodation on offer from five-star luxury hotels, to guest houses, B&B’s, backpackers lodges as well as self-catering. Accommodation on the Atlantic Seaboard side is generally more expensive than on the False Bay coastline. Prices vary considerably depending on location and season.

There is plenty to see and do while in Cape Town and one of the many, is a visit to the V&A Waterfront. It is a large complex in the old docks offering an incredible variety of restaurants, cinemas, an Imax theatre, bars and over 240 shops, with craft markets, curio stores and up-market boutiques.

It has the largest aquarium in the country, with 300 marine species including sharks, seals and penguins. You can also arrange scenic boat trips around the harbour and along the coastline. Definitely a fun place for the whole family!

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There’s a beach to suit every mood in Cape Town. Head for Clifton if you want glitz and glamour; with Sandy Bay being a must for the nudists. Go to Muizenberg for its colourful bathing boxes and warm waters. Kommektjie boasts its water sports; and Fishhoek is popular for its quaint seaside atmosphere.

There’s Houtbay with its busy fishing harbour; and Kalk Bay for antique hunters. Boulder’s Beach at Simon’s Town is home to a colony of African Penguins formerly known as Jackass penguins.

There are township tours where guides take visitors to meet the locals, see community projects, have a drink in a ‘shebeen’ (township pub) and shop for local crafts. Locals are hospitable and delighted to receive visitors. These townships were once no-go areas, but today are becoming a popular tourist experience.

The suburb of Bo-Kaap, with its steep cobbled streets and brightly coloured homes is a multicultural treasure set below the slopes of Signal Hill. This is the traditional residential area of Cape Town’s Muslim Community who, are known for their traditional Cape Malay cuisine. 

If you are looking for an adrenaline rush, why not try shark cage diving, a helicopter flip around the peninsula or a flight in an original world war fighter jet. Alternatively, try paragliding from Lions Head for a bird’s eye view of Clifton and Camp’s Bay.

For wine lovers a visit to the Cape Wine lands is an absolute must as the region is one of breathtaking vistas and majestic mountain backdrops while being steeped in rich culture and history. Rolling vineyards with quaint Cape Dutch homes await you, as well as award-wining wine farms offering some of the country’s best wines.

A cableway trip up Table Mountain provides panoramic views across the ocean, along the shore and across the city. Operating daily through out the year, weather permitting, the new cable way rivals the best in the world and will get you to the top in minutes as you enjoy spectacular views from the rotating car.

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Walking trails across the mountain top lead you through the misty wisps of the ‘table cloth’ and the peaceful ambiance high above the city. Weather changes rapidly on the mountain and can be very different to that in the city below. No matter how settled the weather appears to be, never venture onto the mountain without the right gear as it is very easy to lose your way and become disorientated in mist.

Thanks to the influence of different cultures from around the world, Cape Town offers five-star international cuisines teamed with traditional local cuisine and a rich variety of sea food which will satisfy the needs of the most discerning traveller from overseas. These dishes are of course complemented by some of the world’s finest wines from our own country and set in the most stunning settings, from beach picnics to fine dining under the stars.

A visit to the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens which is a ‘living’ display featuring 4700 of the estimated 20 000 species of indigenous South African flora. Kirstenbosch can be visited in spring and summer when the gardens are ablaze with Namaqualand daisies and other annuals, but winter is the best time to see proteas and ericas.

From the time of the first recorded discovery of the Cape of Good Hope, seafarers looked forward to the sight of Table Mountain from as far away as 200 km and still today it’s one of the world’s most famous landmarks.

The Mother City is considered to be one of the top ten destinations in the world, offering visitors a true mix of culture, customs, architecture, lifestyle, mountains, beaches, seas, rivers, a wonderful climate. Whatever luxury your heart desires, you can be sure you will find it in Cape Town!

Denny McQueen

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