LOOK­ING ON THE BRIGHT SIDE

Sunday Herald Sun - Escape - - ASK THE TOUR GUIDE - CELESTE MITCHELL

Pic­ture a city sur­rounded by white, sandy beaches, with a 1000m-high moun­tain as its back­drop,” says Hotspot­s2C tour com­pany owner and Cape Town lo­cal Jo­han du Toit. “The peo­ple are friendly and the city pulses with a vibe cre­ated by a very cool mix of African and Euro­pean cul­tures.

“It’s a city you can ex­plore time and time again and you’ll al­ways ex­pe­ri­ence some­thing dif­fer­ent.”

Yes, Cape Town is suf­fer­ing a wa­ter short­age, “but this should def­i­nitely not de­ter trav­ellers from vis­it­ing us,” Jo­han says.

While some news re­ports have been dire, “Day Zero” – the day taps are pre­dicted to run dry due to the cur­rent drought – is no longer an­tic­i­pated to hap­pen in 2018.

“We need trav­ellers to con­tinue to visit us as tourism is in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant to our econ­omy,” Jo­han says.

So don’t can­cel your South Africa plans, take heed of this tour guru’s top tips.

PRAC­TISE #WATERWISETOURISM

We are all very proud of our ef­forts to save wa­ter ... I think the drought has been a big wake-up call as to how pre­cious this re­source is. Vis­i­tors just need to be a lit­tle un­der­stand­ing and will­ing to try and use less than 50L of wa­ter a day. This can be done by buy­ing bot­tled drink­ing wa­ter, hav­ing very quick show­ers, and us­ing the same towel more than one day.

ONCE YOU’VE TACK­LED TA­BLE MOUN­TAIN

Cape Town and the sur­round­ing ar­eas are quite moun­tain­ous, so there are plenty of amaz­ing trails to choose from. A favourite of mine is the Crys­tal Pools hike, found within the Ko­gel­berg Bio­sphere. The trail takes you to some beau­ti­ful rock pools and you are able to jump from the cliff above. There is also the must-do hike up Lions Head dur­ing full moon. Even if you don’t make it up to the very top, you’ll still get spec­tac­u­lar views of the city and Ta­ble Moun­tain. From the top, you’ll score views of Sea Point and Camps Bay. A great place to watch the sun­set is at Sig­nal Hill.

BEST BO-KAAP PHOTOS

The ul­ti­mate photo of this vi­brant neigh­bour­hood is a shot of the multi-coloured houses along the street. If you take the shot from the bot­tom of the hill, you should be able to get the moun­tain in the back­ground. If you take it from the top, the sprawl­ing city will be cap­tured as a back­drop. I also rec­om­mend get­ting a few close-up shots, just to fo­cus on the con­trast of colours.

If you have the time, I would sug­gest do­ing a Cape Malay cook­ing class but, if not, def­i­nitely try out some of the lo­cal treats at Biesmiel­lah such as samosas or Malay koek­sis­ters.

AL­TER­NA­TIVE NEIGH­BOUR­HOODS

If you want to get out of the city cen­tre, Table­view is a must just for the view of Ta­ble Moun­tain. It is also a great place to try your hand at kitesurf­ing.

I would also sug­gest a visit to Wood­stock. There is in­cred­i­ble street art, as well as many fan­tas­tic craft beer and gin mi­cro-brew­eries where you can do tast­ings, award-win­ning restau­rants, and a fan­tas­tic Satur­day mar­ket.

If you love the beach, pay a visit to Muizen­berg to swim and learn to surf. It is also the home of the iconic colour­ful beach huts. Just around the cor­ner is Kalk Bay where you can find some divine cof­fee shops and seafood restau­rants, as well as many great cloth­ing, art and an­tique shops.

While tech­ni­cally not a neigh­bour­hood, I would rec­om­mend vis­it­ing the sur­round­ing wine lands towns such as Fran­schhoek, Stel­len­bosch and Paarl. Not only are there great wine farms to visit … the area it­self is just lovely.

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