5 Days in Cape Town, South Africa

 Sandwiched between the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans, and under the shadow of Table Mountain, Cape Town’s cliff-to-coastline drama is one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

Beyond the safari, one must experience Cape Town, South Africa. Get to know the culture, the people and the food, through the eyes of locals. Everyone speaks English, but there is also Afrikaans, Zulu, Swazi and more of the 11 official languages spoken here.

We took a private city tour with the help of the experts at the Canadian based Tully Luxury Travel and its African Dreams and Private Travel Design. South Africa is one of the best destinations to consider scratching off your Bucket List for less considering our, well, lesser loonie right now. According to travel experts, you’ll get more for your Canadian buck.

Cape Town is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Sandwiched between the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans, and under the shadow of Table Mountain, the city is cliff-to-coastline drama. The core, however, is a walkable low-rise town, with a village-meets-street vibe.

Vineyards and farms hug the city, making farm to table also very local. You can have lunch at a city-based vineyard, including Steenberg, which we visited, and be back in the office by two, pleasure and business at once.

And “pleasure” is one of the Capetonians’ favourite words. Rather than “you’re welcome,” polite thank yous are usually replied to with “pleasure,” a truncated “it’s my pleasure” that slides off the South African tongue in such a genuine way, you can’t help but feel they’re not on auto pilot but that they always really mean it.

But Africa is still a wild and complex destination, and it makes sense to consult with an expert when planning this once-in-a-lifetime trip. Guides, tours, getting to and from the airport and more can – and should – be taken care of before you go. Remember, it’s a long flight, and you don’t want your thinking clouded by jet lag.

Click through below for our road trip slideshow of Cape Town, Table Mountain National Park, Hout Bay and the Cape of Good Hope en route to Cape Point where the Atlantic ocean meets the Indian Ocean, where to stay –­ including sleepovers at One&Only Cape Town and the Belmond Mount Nelson – and what to see.

(If you missed the first two instalments of the series, check out Best of South Africa: An Insider’s Guide and South Africa, An Insider’s Guide, Part II.)

For more info, call (855) 265-0890; email [email protected] or go to www.tullyluxurytravel.com

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Day 1: Beat the Jetlag with a day at One&Only Cape Town

Start with breakfast at One&Only Cape Town, located by the V & A waterfront, a bustling marina with shops, restaurants and plenty of play-the-day-away options, and this spectacular view of Cape Town’s iconic natural landmark, Table Mountain. We recommend the eggs Bennie, with a twist: smoked salmon.

 

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Then take a dip in the resort pool, and chill by the swaying palms.

 

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Finish the day with dinner, and revel in the wine collection, curated by Head Sommelier, Luvo Ntezo, internationally recognized as the Best Young Sommelier in South Africa. Ntezo stores his liquid treasures, with a focus on wines from the Cape lands, in the One&Only Cape Town Wine Loft, a glass-and-steel tower that acts as part jewel-box decor, part tasting room – in the mezzanine – and, most importantly, professional wine refrigeration unit that keeps the vintages at peak temperature.

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Day 2: Cape Town City Tour

Time to go for a tour. A compelling reason for me was to see and experience so much of what I’d heard: taking the cable car up to Table Mountain (below), exploring the Castle of Good Hope, the 17th century fortress in the centre of the city, and study the somber history of District Six. My local guide, Ryan Lesar, took me to all of these places, and at each, I was deeply effected – by wonder, by admiration and by sadness and shock, respectively. Artists and galleries mingle with pubs and high-end dining, hotels and inns share the space, while the lure of the ocean and the great outdoors keeps the active population humming.

 

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Day 3: Time for a Road Trip

And, then, he took me out of the city and along the coast en route to Cape Point, where the Atlantic meets the Indian Ocean. Dramatic, to say the least. The “most beautiful” title definitely extends beyond Cape Town’s city limits. First stop, Hout Bay, above.

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Then, the Cape of Good Hope, above, around which some of the world’s most famous naval explorers, in search of the Passage to India, traversed, and on to Diaz Beach, below.

 

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Our final stop of the day is Cape Point, with its iconic Lighthouse.

 

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And, where the Atlantic meets the Indian Ocean.

 

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Day 4: Take in lunch at a local vineyard

A wine tasting with a bit of lunch is on the menu for this day. Steenberg Vineyards is in Cape Town’s area of Constantia, and view of Table Mountain is only part of the draw.

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The menu is local, farm to table, and inspired by the vines.

Day 5: Spend a day – and a night – with the Pink Lady

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The Belmond Mount Nelson is a little bit of magic, located in the heart of the city. An easy walk to the galleries and restaurants on Cape Town’s high street. But stay awhile, and lounge by the pool, or Afternoon Tea…

 

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A stroll through the spectacular gardens are a tonic in itself.

 

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And lose yourself to the charm of old Cape Town. Go ahead, walk down the garden path. Breathe.

 

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