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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Day 5: Spend a day – and a night – with the Pink Lady
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…
A stroll through the spectacular gardens are a tonic in itself.