Cape Town: Tavern of the seas
January 1, 1970
by Shubham Singh
“This is a pretty and singular town; it lies at the foot of an enormous wall (the Table Mountain), which reaches into the clouds, and makes a most imposing barrier. Cape Town is a great inn, on the great highway to the east.”
– Charles Darwin in a letter to his sister, Catherine, 1836
Two years ago, when I stepped in the Rainbow nation, I always wanted to visit Cape Town. I was travelling from Johannesburg which is 1600 Km away from the Cape.
Now before I start describing my experience, I would like to mention that there were a few things I booked in advance. I was flying with Flysafair. I rented a car from Hertz car Rental Company. All the car rental companies are at the airport itself so can choose the one that suits your needs and pocket. I chose Hertz as their service was good and the procedure was really easy. Before heading there, I also made a reservation in Protea Hotel Fire and Ice. I chose this hotel because it is at a stone’s throw from Long Street. Long Street; well here is where it begins
“Long Street” Nightlife:
If you like partying and trying out sensational clubs and pubs to hang out with friends along with having an eye tonic of cape beauty, then Long Street is the place for you. As the name suggests, it’s a long and quiet street till evening but wait for the night to tag along. The street has a large number of clubs to choose from. Every night can create a different story altogether. Fancy buildings there will give you a feel of ancient European architecture which is nicely turned into one of the most happening places in whole Cape Town. The street is so much packed with people on weekends that you won’t even realise which pub you are entering into. My personal suggestion would be to just follow what your eyes see: P
I won’t suggest driving there at first as you won’t find any space for parking and secondly, you can be so wasted after your visit there that it won’t be a good idea to drive back. I would rather suggest getting an Uber cab and enjoying without worries.
Personally, I liked Beer Cafe and Cafe Mojito the most on the long street but I tried almost all of them. It was a nice experience altogether.
Cape Canopy Tours
Cape Canopy tour was actually not on my list to visit but then I got this small little pamphlet at a car hiring company and I changed my mind at once. This tour is the most exciting way to experience the treasures of Cape Flower Kingdom.
The experience is almost indescribable. The tour started with a security briefing at centre along with document formalities. After this, I and my friends were geared up for the expedition while maintaining all the safety measures. You must make sure that you are carrying winter clothing along as the weather in Cape Town can be quite unpredictable. You should also carry some comfortable sports shoes because it all ends with a 1 km hike back to the base. It was good that I knew all this earlier and hence I was prepared with all necessities.
After gearing up, we started with an off road trail of about 25 minutes to the mountain ranges and this is where the fun begins. We encountered thirteen platforms and slides up to 320m long. This part of the adventure was of 4.5 hours under the supervision of 2 professional guides who ensured strict safety standards for us. In my opinion, you will have the most beautiful scenes to visit during this journey including a cross suspension bridge over a double waterfall. Despite the fact that this sounds equally thrilling as it sounds beautiful but let me tell you that it is completely safe and exciting at the same time. Gradually we moved to the last slide from where started a short hike back to the nature reserve and then a relaxing ride back to the camp thereafter. When my appetite for adventure was almost up and my stomach growled for real hunger, we were given a complimentary lunch in the end and a certificate for completion of this adventure. Now that’s pretty cool, right 😛
Just FYI, it is a 45-minute drive from Cape Town with coordinates as (S 34deg 04 E 19deg 02).
Check below for bookings and other tour related information
Tel: +27 21 3000 501
Named after Victoria and Alfred, aka V&A waterfront. It is a place where you would surely like to spend your evening. The waterfront offers you a wide variety of experiences. These include shopping, dining, sightseeing, fairy rides, functions and a lot more to explore.
I will highly recommend dining in Cape Town fish market. It has a charm and history of its own. It is very famous and much more elegant. Another place in VnA waterfront is the Two Ocean Aquarium. As the name suggests, the aquarium has the aquatic marine life of both, Indian and the Atlantic Ocean. If you have kids, they sure would love to find Nemo and Dory here.
For all the recent updates and pre-bookings please refer to the site http://www.waterfront.co.za/
Just like the London Eye, Cape Town offers you Cape Wheel. 100 bucks ride for adults and special discounts for students. Cape Wheel gives you a splendid view of the beautiful architecture and the scenic beauty of Cape Town. It is a 10-15 minute joyful ride for one to experience for sure.
More Info @ www.capewheel.co.za
Robben Island used to be a prison during the Apartheid Era. The place is historic and highly remembered primarily due to a fact that South Africa’s first president Nelson Mandela was held captive here for a significant amount of time. This island is now a very famous tourist destination.You will experience a symbolic history and amusing scenic views here.
You can also book a fairy ride from VnA Waterfront. Apart from this, there are a lot of options available here to choose from. I will prefer to book in advance as there might be an issue of availability on later stages. The fairy rides are also subjected to weather conditions, so make a good use of your smartphone and have a wonderful experience of Robben Island.
Eastern Food Bazaar
Cape Town fish Market at V&A waterfront gives you a great dining experience with an exquisite palette of its freshly cooked seafood. But if you have had enough of that and are a real food junkie to try different stuff, then Easter Food Bazaar is the place for you. Eastern Food Bazaar is just a 5 km drive from the V&A Waterfront. It is designed as a traditional ‘bazaar’ aka market with ancient Indian/Mughal architecture. There are different forms of cuisine from Turkish to Indian available here. For someone who really likes Indian food and sweets, not visiting Eastern Food Bazaar and losing a chance to tickle taste buds with Indian spices can be really sinful.
Table Mountain is the crown of Cape Town. A visit to Cape Town is incomplete without witnessing the beauty of this great landmark. It single-handedly testifies the aura and charm that Cape Town provides to its visitors. Talking about Table Mountain, it is one of the seven ‘natural’ wonders of the world. Table Mountain is the signature to the beauty of Cape Town.
There are two ways to reach the top. Either you can hike on the pre- defined trails or you can take the cableway to the top. Now the thing to keep in mind is that rides to the top are weather dependent. So I would recommend inquiring about it in advance. Also, the queues can be long, so please be patient
FACILITIES & ADDITIONAL DETAILS
- The Restaurant
The self-service restaurant at top of the Table Mountain offers a wide range of food ranging from hot breakfast, delicious snacks and amazing lunch to scorching coffee, tea and other beverages. Meals may be complemented by a selection of fine local wines that can additionally be complimented as a cherry on the top. The restaurant seats 120 people so there are high chances of experiencing the rush. FYI, please follow the signs once you’re at the top.
- Cableway Cocktail Bar
This bar is a perfect blend of calm enjoyment and a beautiful sight of watching the sun set over Camps Bay and lights twinkling above the Mother City. Sit and linger over one of their special cocktails while looking at the bay and the Table Mountain. Up to 120 people can be hosted for cocktail parties. The Cableway Cocktail Bar is situated inside the top station building.
- Cableway Cocktail Bar
- Opening Hours
The cableway opens at eight in morning during summer months (16 September to 30 April) and at 8:30 a.m. in winters (1 May to 15 September). Cable cars depart after every 10-15 minutes. Closing hours can vary depending on the time of the year however during a peak season (16 December to 15 January), the last cable car ascends at 9 p.m. and descends at 10 p.m.
When: Open daily, weather dependent.
Contact Info: +27 214 248 181
Red Bus Tours
Red Bus tours are one of the easiest ways for a tourist to roam around the city.
Hop on and off the double-decker red bus and discover the beauty of Cape Town. It offers informative audio commentary about Cape Town’s major attractions in 15 languages, with a special audio channel just for kids. Don’t be astonished when everyone’s head is turning in the same direction as the commentary proceeds. City Sightseeing tours are the easiest and most fun way to travel the city! There are three different bus routes with various fare packages available. You can further explore for discounts when booking ahead of time.
For more info: https://www.citysightseeing.co.za/cape-town
Contact no: +27 861 733 287
Camps Bay is one of the most exotic locations to be visited in Cape Town. With a scenic view of the Atlantic Ocean in the front and the Table Mountains at the back, nothing can be much more suitable to this composed environment for a relaxing evening. Don’t just judge yet with this calm and relaxing description, the coin is flipped and the place is turned into a party hotspot when the stars come out. Sunset view from this beach as well is something one should witness. There are a lot of other beaches nearby and the accompanying road has a lot of restaurants to hang out with friends and family.
Cape of Good Hope
As the name suggests, Cape of Good Hope is one of the best destinations on the Garden Route. It is a national park with two major viewpoints, Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope. There is a lighthouse at the Cape Point where you can either go for hiking or you can reach there by Cable Car towards the top in case you are out of time. The place has a rich history of sea adventures dating way back in time. Earlier it was called a sailor’s nightmare because a lot of ships wrecked or went missing from this location only. On a clear day, you can watch two oceans, Indian and the Atlantic oceans meet from the Cape of Good Hope. Hiking trails are present for both the viewpoints and it is once in a lifetime experience to witness such beauty and holiness of nature.
Cape Town is also very famous for South African wine. A lot of wine yards can be visited here and you can have a taste of some of the oldest and ethnic wines of the Cape Town. Stellenbosch not much far from the Cape Town has some of the best wine yards. It is also a place worth visiting. If you want to give your boss a souvenir from your visit to South Africa, Stellenbosch wines will definitely place you in their good books.