Cape Town and Surrounds

 

CAPE TOWN - , CAPE WINELANDS and WEST COAST

Cape Town

Between the majestic, Table Mountain and Table Bay, lies South Africa’s mother city, Cape Town.  A modern metropolis with an extended seafront, but holds dear its origins as a 17th century replenishment station with history and cultures abound.  Pristine beaches and secluded coves encircle Table Mountain, which is home to some 8500 floral species, making it one of the most beautiful places on earth. CAPE TOWN is southern Africa's most beautiful, most romantic and most visited city. Indeed, few urban centres anywhere can match its setting along the mountainous Cape Peninsula spine, which slides into the Atlantic Ocean. By far the most striking – and famous – of its sights is Table Mountain, frequently shrouded by clouds, and rearing up from the middle of the city. More than a scenic backdrop, Table Mountain is the solid core of Cape Town, dividing the city into distinct zones with public gardens, wilderness, forests, hiking routes, vineyards and desirable residential areas trailing down its lower slopes. Standing on the tabletop, you can look north for a giddy view of the city centre, its docks lined with matchbox ships. To the west, beyond the mountainous Twelve Apostles, the drop is sheer and your eye sweeps across Africa's priciest real estate, clinging to the slopes along the chilly but spectacularly beautiful Atlantic seaboard. To the south, the mountainsides are forested and several historic vineyards and the marvellous Botanical Gardens creep up the lower slopes. Beyond the oak-lined suburbs of Newlands and Constantia lies the warmer False Bay seaboard, which curves around towards Cape Point.

Cape Winelands

The Winelands are characterized by majestic mountains, valleys carpeted with vineyards, quaint villages, good wine and food, art, culture and much more.  Apart from natural beauty it provides ample opportunity for wine lovers to sample the best of the local produce. The Cape Winelands is another of the huge draw cards to South Africa that manage to effortlessly combine the beauty of ripening vineyards, Cape Dutch manor homes and excellent cuisine in valleys surrounded by indigo mountains to such effect that visitors return to fully appreciate the many wine routes and estates on offer. 

Many of these are within easy reach of Cape Town, particularly those in Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschhoek and Wellington, but there are those slightly further afield in other wine-producing valleys - the Breede River Valley, the Swartland and the Olifants River Valley, to name but a few that are equally inviting.

West Coast

What is still an almost undiscovered treasure trove of unspoilt beaches, incredible mountain ranges, rich geographical diversity, and the most astounding carpet of wild flowers in spring, has evolved into a major holiday route out of Cape Town along Route 27. Cape Town as far as the border with the Northern Cape at Touws River, including within its parameters the indescribably beautiful Cederberg Mountains, famous for centuries-old rock art. All along this stretch of coastline is a series of quaint historic towns and fishing villages with names like Lambert's Bay, Paternoster, Saldanha and Langebaan that today roll with ease off the tongue, but until fairly recently were left to languor in relative obscurity

Salt of the earth residents make the area from Ganzekraal to Strandfontein their home, where snoek, mussels and crayfish are a way of life and ‘bokkoms’ (salted mullet strung up in bunches and left to dry) is the local delicacy. Route 27 on the Cape West Coast is a seafood mecca and a number of open-air beach restaurants offer unsurpassed seafood fresh from the sea, cooked on open fires whilst you watch the sun sink slowly over the sea. Just outside of Cape Town, the little town of Darling deserves a stop, especially in September for its Wild Flower and Orchid show and for its locally produced wines. A little further up the coast, the West Coast National Park is the closest spot outside of Cape Town where one can sample the spring flower season. The Fossil Park, which lies just next door to the park, has uncovered 200 different kinds of animals, many of them new to science.

Highlights include:

  • Cape Town with rich culture and history
  • Cape Point Nature Reserve
  • Table Mountain, one of the 7 natural wonders of the world 
  • Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Boulders, World of birds, Robben Island etc. 
  • The Winelands represents the heart of the wine industry including historical towns of Paarl, Stellenbosch, Franschoek, Wellington as main features 
  • Leading and world renowned wineries Nederburg, Zonebloem, KWV, Neethlingshof, Laborie to name but a few.

 

 

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