LOOKING ON THE BRIGHT SIDE
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.
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.
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.